18 July 2013: Perak Postcards

The largest collection of postcards ever assembled into one volume … a masterpiece of design.

PerakPost-coverThere’s a scene from the movie Enchanted April where one of the characters, the cranky and feisty Mrs. Fisher, surrounded by old photographs, talks about “better times and better men.” Indeed, nothing stirs the imagination and awakens buried memories like old photographs. Distilled within those images are myriad stories and experiences all waiting to be told. Even old postcards of a bygone era and of exotic, unfamiliar locales have the power of evoking a plethora of emotions. Thus, Perak Postcards is more than a book: it’s a treasure trove of silent recollections. Within a single volume, it gathers an extensive collection of historical Perak postcards neatly arranged by theme  towns, commerce and ethnology – and bookended by an introduction on Perak and the Mandailings.

perak-2A one-of-a-kind publication many have silently wished for, Perak Postcards is nothing less than a book of plenty, a collection of postcards featuring an assemblage of captivating images from Perak’s distant past. Each photograph intimately reflects the culture and essence of the people, man-made and natural structures, schools, villages and commerce. In terms of research, endeavours and resources, it represents an effort that would be the envy of Antaeus himself. The collection, the largest ever of Perak postcards assembled into one volume, provides a vivid window to the heydays of the state that pioneered tin mining, rubber, roads and railways in Malaya. Highlights include a postal history by Malaya Study Group stalwart Malcolm Wade and detailed captions by Areca Book publishers Abdur-Razzaq Lubis and Khoo Salma Nasution.