Dancing the Malaysian

Author: Joseph Gonzales
Format: Paperback, 248 pages
Subject: Arts & Culture
ISBN: 9789675832345
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2011
Price: RM65.00
“A first in Malaysia, this book investigates interculturalism from the point of view of a dance practitioner-academician whose interest in pursuing multicultural expressions in a multiracial country stems from the experience of living in a society that has assented to the duality of prescribed national cultural policy versus real artistic practices. This engaged writing opens new trajectories in intercultural studies within the domains of contemporary dance in Malaysia, and is a must read for dance and cultural studies readers.”

            – Mohd Anis Md Nor, Professor of Ethnochoreology and Ethnomusicology, Cultural Centre (School of Performing Arts),
Universiti Malaya
“The dance scene in Malaysia right now is actually quite active, and yet we are slow and weak in documentation, in writing about our dance. This book, Dancing the Malaysian is important and exciting because it is this rare voice of an active dancer / choreographer / educator —the voice of one who is frenetically involved in the field, but has taken time to step back, reflect, write and publish. It is a potent document that delves deep into how dance is engaging with the slippery meanings of identity and nation.”

        – Marion D’Cruz, Dancer/Choreographer/Producer/Educator/Arts Activist
“This is an inspiring analysis of the possible national futures being imagined by the discourse of dance in Malaysia. Balancing shrewd personal perspective with meticulous observation and long-term familiarity with the nation’s dance scene, Joseph Gonzales makes clear how art can create a body politic in its image”

        – Bilqis Hijjas, President MyDance Alliance
“From ‘the dancing Malaysian’ who dances, choreographs, educates, and advocates, Dancing the Malaysian offers a unique perspective to all brave cultural explorers on the evolving Malaysian identity”

        – Choy Su-Ling, Arts Critic/Publisher Asia Dance Magazine
“Sutra’s contribution as documented in this important book, linking dance and identity in a post-colonial nation, is testament of the liberating presence of the arts in Malaysia. This reflects a nation with a healthy and liberal vision of itself in the context of global culture.”
        – Ramli Ibrahim, Chairman of the Sutra Foundation
Posted in Arts & Culture, English Books

Making and Unmaking the Asylum: Leprosy and Modernity in Singapore and Malaysia

Author: Loh Kah Seng
Format: Paperback, 189 pages
Subjects: Law, Social Studies
ISBN: 9789833782765
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2009
Price: RM28.00
Making and Unmaking the Asylum recounts the entangled stories of leprosy in colonial and postcolonial Malaya/Malaysia and Singapore – decades of heavy handed biomedical policies and laws enacted in the name of modernity, science and development, interwoven with the personal accounts of those who were sent to the asylums. The leprosarium was a living hell for many. It is also no coincidence, Loh argues, that the majority of patients were poor and working-class.
Yet this book also richly demonstrates how patients resisted being victims – creating new families, forging friendships, working, joining unions, and actively engaging in their communal religious and cultural lives.
Having struggled to remake the asylums into homes, ex-sufferers in both countries has been evicted or moved again, their personal and collective histories erased, and their real homes exchanged for antiseptic hospital wards, or worse.
Posted in English Books, History, Law, Social Studies

Critical States: Environmental Challenges to Development in Monsoon Southeast Asia

Editors: Anond Snidvongs, Chen-Tung Arthur Chen, Louis Lebel, Rajesh Daniel
Format: Paperback, 473 pages
Subjects: Environment & Ecology, Social Studies, Southeast Asia
ISBN: 9789833782628
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2009
Price: RM65.00


Extraordinarily rapid economic development has radically transformed urban-industrial, agrarian and marine environments throughout Southeast Asia. Future development is now being constrained, however, by the consequences of decades of largely unregulated exploitation of the region’s rich natural resources and biodiversity. It has also increased or altered the vulnerabilities of Southeast Asian populations to climatic variables, flooding and global economic shifts.

Critical States provides transboundary “state-of-the-science” reviews, case studies, and assessments of issues in the environmental change-development nexus, including: governance and institutional challenges, urbanization, climate change, poverty, as well as land, energy, and water use.

Posted in English Books, Environment, Social Studies

Malaysian Indians: Looking Forward

Authors: Jayanath Appudurai and G. A. David Dass
Format: Paperback, 51 pages
Subject: Ethnic Studies
ISBN: 9789833782567
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2008
Price: RM8.00

What is the truth about the status of the real Malaysian Indian community today? Is it true that despite its considerable sacrifice and contribution to the development of the country, it has become a marginalised community?

The aim of this publication are to provide a perspective on the present reality of the Malaysian Indians community, and to postulate a future perspective should present trends continue. It is hoped that the data and analysis presented here will go some way in providing the basis for concerned parties and researchers:

  1. to better understand the present position and future prospects of the Indian community in the Malaysian polity;
  2. to analyse the causes of present problems and sources of future changes;
  3. to formulate long-term policies, plans and programmes to ensure that Malaysian Indians remain a viable community in this multi-ethnic nation.

It is also hoped that the result of the statistics and analyses given here will also deal with the question – or the challenge – posed to Malaysian Indians, that is, to establish whether the problems faced by Malaysian Indians are real or imagined and, if real, whether the sources and causes of these problems are endogenous or exogenous to the community.

Posted in English Books, Ethnic Studies