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Sustainability and environmentalism: perspectives from the youth June 28, 2018 – Posted in: In The News

It is very rare that the youth get a chance to voice out their concern, even rarer with regards to a topic as important as sustainability and environmentalism. Last week, I represented #PowerShiftMsia to attend the book launch of The Sustainability Shift: Refashioning Malaysia’s Future by Dr Adnan A. Hezri. To be completely honest, I have never heard of the author prior to the event nor have I previously attended any environmentally oriented book launch.…

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The challenge of designing culturally June 25, 2018 – Posted in: In The News

At the crossroads of globalisation and urbanisation, how can we continue to evoke identity through allusions in modern design and construction? In his seminal book “Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka”, Professor Leonard Andaya paints a picture that reaches out in time, beyond the confines of the present geographical boundaries of nations. The memory of lands bordering the Straits of Melaka—known as lands within the Sea of ‘Malayu’—were…

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Punca identiti Melayu sukar diterapkan dalam seni bina – Posted in: In The News

Identiti Melayu sukar untuk diterapkan dalam seni bina Malaysia berikutan kurangnya generasi muda Melayu yang tahu mengenai seni dan budaya bangsa. Hal itu menjadi semakin rumit kerana kebanyakan pemaju juga bukan dalam kalangan orang Melayu, selain kos pembinaan seni bina tradisional amat tinggi. Penasihat Sosiobudaya Kerajaan Malaysia, Tan Sri Rais Yatim, berkata bagaimanapun dalam hal ini menyalahkan generasi muda sebagai tidak peduli atau tidak menghargai budaya sendiri adalah tidak tepat. “Generasi muda hari ini tidak…

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Finding Arina June 11, 2018 – Posted in: Reviews

I was honoured to launch her first book, Paracosm, on Saturday, 6 May 2017, at the University of Malaya. I have nothing but praises for the 17-year-old Puteri Fateh Arina Merican Megat Suffian Merican, or Arina. She is indeed an extraordinary girl, extremely talented and ferociously opinionated. She is one of the most creative young minds in literature I have come across in recent memory. In my speech, I said that she has “a sophisticated,…

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Ipohworld’s World review of “Perak Postcards 1890-1940” June 4, 2018 – Posted in: In The News, Reviews

Once the premier state of the Federated Malay States, Perak pioneered tin mining, rubber, roads and railways in Malaya. In the early twentieth century, Europeans and Asians venturing into this frontier country bought picture postcards to send home to family, friends and pen pals all over the world. Perak Postcards 1890s-1940s represents the largest such collection ever assembled into one volume, with more than 500 picture postcards contributed by several collectors. Practically all the major Perak districts…

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Perak Postcards, 1890s-1940s – Posted in: In The News

Regular readers of the Echo will know that I often voice my concern over the lack of interest in Perak’s heritage, tangible or intangible. We seem to be losing our trees, limestone hills, culture, buildings and genuine history faster than ever, despite the cries in the wilderness that come from the different heritage organisations. Soon there will be nothing left of these things but faded memories. It is therefore with great pleasure that I picked…

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Through the wheels of time – Posted in: In The News

THE nostalgia hits many locals on busy Penang Road. From the Chulia Street-Penang Road junction towards Komtar, commuters will come across parallel steel tramlines, built sometime between 1880 and 1906. Road builders dug them up by accident in 2004 while replacing underground utility cables. To make them invulnerable to the grinding wheel of time, the road running along the tramlines is encased not in normal asphalt but solid concrete. This preserved vestige of Penang’s history…

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Postcard Journeys – Posted in: Reviews

Every once in a while, a book comes along that surpasses expectations. Although there have been other publications about postcards in Malaysia, Penang Postcard Collection 1899-1930 is by far the most ambitious study of the subject to date. Serious collectors or scholars of postcards (deltiologists, as they are called), as well as casual readers, are sure to delight in this richly illustrated and beautifully designed volume. Packed with fascinating historical detail, this book is a…

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French book on Penang launched in Paris – Posted in: In The News

A book on Penang entitled Penang: la Porte des Secrets (Penang – Through Gilded Doors) as well as an exhibition of photographs on the Malaysian island were launched today, 18 October 2006 in Paris. The book, its French edition stylishly written by Julia de Bierre and superbly photographed by James Bain Smith was officially launched by the Malaysian Ambassador to France, H.E. Dato? S. Thanarajasingam, at a ceremony held at the Café des Initiés in Paris.…

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