Culture & People

Featured Titles
Welcome Home: A Year Of Loving SingaporeWelcome Home: A Year Of Loving Singapore by Ng Koon Seng

Welcome Home: A Year of Loving Singapore is a book that invites the reader to explore, rediscover and reflect on Singapore and everything Singaporean. Over the course of 365 days, facts, personal anecdotes and vignettes of Singapore's history, heritage, economy, geography, arts and culture are presented in the format of a daily journal. The book is a co-creation of the collective memory and aspiration of the Singapore we love and one which we hope to achieve greater heights in the next 50 years.

Becoming Hannah: A Personal JourneyBecoming Hannah: A Personal Journey by Yeoh, Hannah; Deborah Loh

Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan is the Speaker of the Selangor State Legislative Assembly and State Assemblyman for Subang Jaya, Selangor. This is Hannah's story, from finding God to rediscovering her confidence, to the miracle of her marriage proposal and her amazing journey into politics.

Peaceful People, The: The Penan And Their Fight For The ForestPeaceful People, The: The Penan And Their Fight For The Forest by Malone, Paul

The Peaceful People is the story of the Penan, the jungle nomads of Sarawak, who for decades have fought for possession and preservation of their traditional forest lands. Drawing on extensive first-hand interviews, as well as the diaries and journals of explorers, botanists and colonial administrators, and the observations of missionaries, the book provides the most comprehensive account of the dynamics of Penan society to date. Written in a compelling and accessible style, the narrative tells the shocking history of the Penan, exposing massacres and murders, while recounting the nomads' uniquely shy and peaceful way of life.

Invisible Force, The: Singapore GurkhasInvisible Force, The: Singapore Gurkhas by Chong Zi Liang; Zakaria Zainal

The Gurkhas need no introduction, with their storied reputation built up over two centuries of battlefield exploits around the world. A unit of these Nepalese warriors have been serving Singapore for more than 65 years, yet precious little is known about them. Indeed, the Gurkha Contingent clashed with communists and militant unions in its early days and continues to protect the island state's most important places and people even today. Discover the untold story of the Singapore Gurkha through the eyes of different generations who carried the famed kukri blade: The rigorous, punishing training that forges elite soldiers; the family lives of these paramilitary policemen; and the lengths their sons go to follow in their fathers's footsteps. Above all, The Invisible Force reveals the loyalty and gratitude the Gurkha has for Singapore, and the struggles he and his family face upon retirement, including an unresolved request for better employment terms.

Urban Sketchers Singapore by

This inaugural compendium of sketches documents the escapades of the locally based Urban Sketchers Singapore group while reflecting on urban context and city planning through the eyes of a diverse group of artists and sketch hobbyists. Anchored by the work of the earliest members, the book aims to represent the island city-state through a varied selection of sketches that show off the wide spectrum of skill, techniques and experience found amongst the urban sketchers of Singapore.

Hope And Healing: A Doctor's Reflections On Cancer by Ang Peng Tiam

Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases worldwide, and certainly one that strikes fear in the heart of many. Yet, it is also surrounded by so many rumours and controversy - what causes it, what prevents it, what treatments are available - that it can be hard to know what to believe. Featuring 37 articles from Mind Your Body (a health weekly by The Straits Times), Dr Ang Peng Tiam from the Parkway Cancer Centre shares his experiences and insights into the disease through stories of patients who have undertaken the challenging journey against cancer. Written simply with a good dose of compassion and humour, this book sets about debunking the myths, stating the facts and - most importantly - sharing the hope that life goes on.

RecollectionsRecollections by Tan Tiong Liat

This series of recollections sketch the extended family history of matriarch Wong Pek Leng through the eyes of grandson Tan Tiong Liat. Growing up in George Town, Penang, he encountered many colourful characters in his childhood and youth. Tinged with humour and insights, his anecdotes and memories capture the essence of a Peranakan upbringing in the Baba Nyonya environment that existed before the Second World War. The accompanying photographs portray a bygone era of the early and mid-20th century lifestyle of the overseas Chinese in Malaysia.

Fortitude: The Life And Times Of Heah Joo SeangFortitude: The Life And Times Of Heah Joo Seang by Ong, Pamela

Fortitude is the biography of rubber magnate Heah Joo Seang, a Straits-born man of Malaya whose life was touched by drama and tragedy. His wealth, power and influence were immeasurable, and his good works can be seen even today in his beloved Penang, yet nothing had been written about this man who was the darling of the local press in his day - until Pamela Ong began to take an interest in the history of Penang. This led her to write two biographies, the first of her father Dr Ong Chong Keng, and the second, that of Dato Onn bin Ja'afar. Like them, Heah Joo Seang was involved in the post-colonial politics of Malaya. He believed that Straits-born Chinese like himself would be better off under British rule than independent Malaya with special rights to Malays. Controversy dogged Heah throughout his life. Whether as a patron, an antagonist to the Japanese during World War II, a rubber magnate, or a politician, he assessed the risks and took them on. He was chivalrous, intelligent and energetic, and adhered doggedly to high standards. But of all his qualities, the one that stood out for the author is Heah Joo Seang's fortitude, his determination to learn from experience and emerge stronger.

Strong In The Rain by Birmingham, Lucy; David Mcneil

Blending history, science, and gripping storytelling, Strong in the Rain brings the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan in 2011 and its immediate aftermath to life through the eyes of the men and women who experienced it. A beautifully written, moving account of how the Japanese endured the earthquake's horrific consequences.

Paper Tigress: A Life In The Hong Kong GovernmentPaper Tigress: A Life In The Hong Kong Government by Cartland, Rachel

Rachel Cartland came to Hong Kong in 1972 as one of just two female expatriates in the Hong Kong Government's elite administrative grade. Before she retired in 2006, her life was shaped by the momentous events that rocked Hong Kong during those years. The backdrop to her story ranges from Kowloon's infamous Walled City to Government House to the rural New Territories. Paper Tigress is full of humour and incident and, at the same time, an accessible account of modern Hong Kong and the forces that shaped it.

Dictionary Of Asian Language, TheDictionary Of Asian Language, The by Crowell, Todd

Of course there is no single Asian language. But plenty of vogue words from this booming continent are entering English. Did you know there is a flower named after former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il? The Chinese have a word - shengnu, literally leftover - for the new phenomenon of unmarried women over thirty. These are just some of the hundreds of words that illuminate little corners of life and culture in a pan-Asian selection of keywords from the zeitgeist.

Stories From Serat Centhini: Understanding The Javanese Journey Of Life by Santoso, Soewito

This book is based on The Centhini Story, the condensed, English-language translation of the original 12-volume Serat Centhini, one of Indonesia's oldest surviving manuscripts dating back to 1814. It tells of the flight and reunion of three royal children from the Kingdom of Giri when their father went to war. Tales of place origins like How the Progo River Got Its Name, of moral lessons like The Case of the Diamond Beads, and The Three Evil Monarchs, and stories that teach the Javanese art of love like Secrets of Sex Play and Secrets to the Heart of a Woman are threaded into this rich tapestry of Javanese culture, legends and mysticism.

Pleasure Factory: Horrors Of The Singapore Flesh TradePleasure Factory: Horrors Of The Singapore Flesh Trade by Leong Kaiwen

In the Pleasure Factory, women advertise pleasure by the hour, but the only real product is pain. Night after night, these women force smiles onto their faces, while their bodies are taken, ravaged, and violated. Their bodies may not be their own, but they each have their own story to tell. For the first time ever, discover the lives of prostitutes in Singapore.

Window Into Schizophrenia, A: My Brown BearWindow Into Schizophrenia, A: My Brown Bear by Meyer, Rosalind Sharbanee

A powerful, tender and moving account of the life and death of a young man who suffered from the torments of schizophrenia. Rosalind Sharbanee Meyer has written this story about her son Peter in the hope that it will help other mothers who have a child with schizophrenia.

Najeeya's StoryNajeeya's Story by Meyer, Rosalind Sharbanee

Reminiscences by Rosalind Sharbanee Meyer on her aunt Najeeya.

Rosie's War: Escape From Singapore 1942Rosie's War: Escape From Singapore 1942 by Meyer, Rosalind Sharbanee

Singapore, 1942, is an exotic tropical city and the home of six-year-old Rosie Sharbanee. Born into a lively Iraqi-Jewish family who rose from humble beginnings to create a thriving business, Rosie's days are filled with the love of her amusing and exasperating relatives and servants. Forced to flee or submit to the Japanese occupation, Rosie's family splits apart. Rosie's War reveals their hazardous escape to Bombay, from the perspective of watchful, sensitive Rosie. With honesty and affection, Rosalind recalls her fascinating childhood in a family of multilingual British subjects, and illuminates their wartime struggles.

Race, Racism, And Development: Interrogating History, Discourse And PracticeRace, Racism, And Development: Interrogating History, Discourse And Practice by Wilson, Kalpana

Race, Racism and Development places racism and constructions of race at the centre of an exploration of the dominant discourses, structures and practices of development. Combining insights from postcolonial and race critical theory with a political economy framework, it puts forward provocative theoretical analyses of the relationships between development, race, capital, embodiment and resistance in historical and contemporary contexts. Exposing how race is central to development policies and practices relating to human rights, security, good governance, HIV/AIDS, population control, NGOs, visual representations and the role of diasporas in development, the book raises compelling questions about contemporary imperialism and the possibilities for transnational political solidarity.

Biographical Dictionary Of Mercantile Personalities In PenangBiographical Dictionary Of Mercantile Personalities In Penang by Loh Wei Leng; Badriyah Haji Salleh

Following the settlement of Penang by the British East India Company in 1786 the island quickly developed into a flourishing maritime port of exchange. By 1805 the population was 'so diversified as at this day to write in 13 distinct alphabets, & speak in 28 distinct dialects'. The 200 concise biographies of early Penang mercantile personalities included in this volume offer the reader a rare and invaluable glimpse into their lives. The selection is a veritable cultural cross-section of those who pioneered the growth of Penang in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It highlights not only their contribution to the economic, social, political and cultural development of Penang, but also of Malaysia and Southeast Asia as a whole.

Tamils In India, Ceylon And Malaya, TheTamils In India, Ceylon And Malaya, The by R.Visvanathan P.J.K.

…My dear friend Ramalingam Visvanathan has over the years very painstakingly undertaken a broad brush history, culture/ religion of the Tamils and their contributions from ancient to contemporary times. In his task, Visvanathan has covered a vast chronological and topical canvas. Pitching his narrative from the Tamil heartland of India and Ceylon he covers the various aspects of their historical evolution as a distinctive linguistic, cultural and religious community. His storyline then describes their unique Hindu (Bakti) religious philosophy, literature and art and the intertwined nature of their religion and caste as well as their language, literature, customs, art, music, dance and education. In this storyline he highlights the remarkable contribution in architecture, art, music, dance and religion the Tamils have made to countries outside the borders of Tamil heartland. -Dr. Viswanathan Selvaratnam

Tonton Filem by Fadli Al-Akiti

…Tidak banyak buku yang 'menceritakan sesebuah filem melalui tulisan setelah usai sesuatu filem itu ditonton di Malaysia. Kebanyakan ulasan-ulasan filem itu ditulis melalui satu ruang bebas, boleh digapai apabila adanya satu teknologi yang bernama internet. Maka, lahirlah pelbagai cabang ruang untuk menyampaikan idea, pemikiran dan ulasan mengenai sesebuah filem itu. Salah satu media yang boleh diguna adalah blog. Tontonfilem bermula dengan sebuah blog yang diasaskan oleh seorang anak muda yang mencari ruang untuk menyampaikan 'rasa' hasil daripada menonton sebuah filem. Blog yang pada mulanya dibuat atas dasar suka-suka, kini semakin serius dengan pengemaskinian yang dilakukan oleh penulis untuk setiap entri yang ditulis.