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7 July 2017: ‘Malay Magic & Divination’ talk by Dr Farouk Yahya June 15, 2017 – Posted in: Newsletters

Areca Books is happy to invite you to a talk by Dr Farouk Yahya on a subject that is sure to hold many spellbound — ‘Malay Magic and Divination’. The talk will be followed by the launch of a recent imprint from Areca Books, The Arts of Southeast Asia from the SOAS Collections, which also happens to be edited by Farouk. Traditional magic (not the silap mata variety!) is a subject that never fails to…

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The Exile and The Promise – Posted in: Reviews

A personal reflection by E V Ratnam. Somewhere in his book, A Malaysian Journey, a conversation arises between Rehman Rashid and a friend regarding an individual’s destiny. Each person, according to Azman, an ex-soldier Rehman had once met, is deemed to have made a ‘promise’ in a moment of his pre-existence. This hypothetical commitment, this ‘promise’, once made, becomes that person’s vocation. “You ask yourself,” says Rehman to the friend, “what would you do if…

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12 May 2017: I, KKK ― The Autobiography of a Historian – Posted in: Newsletters

I have never strayed from the belief that the foundations of history lie in empirical evidence. I have spent a lifetime gathering facts, making sense of them, piecing them together, so that I may portray a true representation of the times I am writing about in all its complexity. ― Khoo Kay Kim Our featured book this week dispels the adage that historians have an aversion to penning their autobiographies. Indeed, the country’s most well-known…

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07 May 2017: Penang Hill – A Journey Through Time – Posted in: Newsletters

Mike Gibby has captured – for the first time – not only the fascinating ‘journey through time‘ of Penang Hill but also what it means to visitors, residents, Penang and the world, including a discussion of its possible futures and a helpful walker’s guide for discovering many of its hidden gems. History credits Francis Light as the first European to open up Penang Hill for settlement when he plotted a horse track from the Penang…

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Dedication and Personal Choices ‘are the key’ to a Healthy Environment June 1, 2017 – Posted in: In The News, Reviews

If there’s a key lesson in conservation, it’s this: you need to keep at it. So says Gurmit Singh, a veteran Malaysian environmentalist who has just published his Memoirs of a Malaysian Eco-Activist. “Everyone thinks planting trees is great. But they forget that trees have to be maintained,” Singh stressed at the launch of his memoirs. “I now tell people that ‘I will support your effort if you check every six months to see if your trees are alive.’…

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True Blue Activist – Posted in: In The News, Reviews

ENVIRONMENTALIST Gurmit Singh has spent his life educating Malaysians on the real cost of preserving nature. Although he is not always successful in creating deep change, the man described as a ‘true blue activist’ continues to be passionate and patient. The 75-year-old recently unveiled his biographical work titled Memoirs of a Malaysian Eco-Activist, chronicling his non-conformist ways, environmental activism and his perspective of the world. Born in Japanese-occupied Malaya in the 1940s, Gurmit was a…

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Maintenance key to addressing environmental issues, says activist – Posted in: In The News, Reviews

by Terence Toh, The Star “Maintenance key to addressing environmental issues”, says veteran activist Gurmit Singh. “Most of the problems pertaining to the environment in the country today stem from issues of poor maintenance.” Speaking at the launch of his book Memoirs of a Malaysian Eco-Activist, the Penang-born activist said Malaysians were very good at constructing new things, but terrible at keeping them maintained. “Everyone thinks planting trees is great. But they forget that trees…

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The unwavering eco-activist – Posted in: In The News, Reviews

The unwavering eco-activist by Elena Koshy, NST Pressing the doorbell to the headquarters of the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development Malaysia (Cetdem), I’m mentally going over my notes and questions. The gate opens and the first thing I do is trip over it, narrowly escaping an undignified tumble on the floor. Nervousness brings out the clumsy in me. After being given perfunctory directions to his room (“Go up the stairs and turn to your…

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This man has been fighting to save Malaysia’s environment for half a century – Posted in: In The News, Reviews

This man has been fighting to save Malaysia’s environment for half a century by Terence Toh, The Star For most of his adult life, Gurmit Singh K.S. has campaigned tirelessly for the nation’s green soul. He’s written books and papers about pressing issues. He’s formed two prominent local environmental organisations – the Environmental Protection Society, Malaysia (EPSM) and the Centre for Environment, Technology and Development, Malaysia – and been involved in many of the country’s major…

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