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Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society


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Historians & Their Discipline

The Call of Southeast Asian History

Nicholas Tarling

Intended both for students and scholars, this book of personal essays is the first by a group of historians as researchers, writers and teachers specializing in Southeast Asia. The group has not, to our knowledge, as a collective unit at least found any biographers before. They consist of a number of "veterans" who have been invited by Professor Nicholas Tarling to comment on the way they got into Southeast Asian history, its development over the past decades and its future. As result, the essays mainly semi-autobiographical innature, are not only illuminating, but also revel many "trade secrets", why they chose their particular area of specialization, andhow they went on to pusue their research interests, academic careers and writings on their chosen subjects. This is companion volume to New Perspectives and Research on Malaysian History, which is a collection of essays on Malaysian historiography, and is also published by MBRAS to coincide with the celebration of its 130th anniversary in August 2007.

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Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

Vol. 83 (2010) through current issue

The Journal of Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (JMBRAS) is published half-yearly by the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS). It disseminates knowledge and matters of historical value pertaining to Malaysia and the surrounding region.

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Letters of Sincerity

The Raffles Collection of Malay Letters (1780-1824), A Descriptive Account with Notes and Translation

Ahmat Adam

Letters of Sincerity is a study in the traditional Malay art of letter writing. The work is based on the Raffles collection of Malay letters first discovered in Aviemore, Scotland, in November 1970. In this book Ahmat Adam provides a transcription form the original Jawi, into Rumi script of a series of letters sent to Stamford Raffles mostly around 1810 and 1811 by rulers of regional Malay polities. He also provides a translation into English, and supplementary notes, which set the letters in the context of the times, and explain the issues which they raise. In the course of this he additionally povides a detailed guide to the intricacies of Malay-Islamic dating which was in use at that time in the Malay-Indonesian world. His study on this aspect of Malay culture is the first to link Malay dating with Sufism.

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Malay Secret Societies in the Northern Malay States, 1821-1940s

Mahani MusaMahani Musa

This study describes the origins, function and role of secret societies in the Malay society. The Malay secret societies emerged in the northern Malay states of the west coast of the Malay peninsula between 1821 and the 1940s. These societies were the main avenue to solve various problems which resulted from socio-economic development and competition among the Malays. They reflected an early Malay mode of organization at a time when political parties and associations had yet to be formed. Some of these societies started as religious and welfare organizations. Later they deteriorated into criminal activities due to the failure of the existing leadership to control these tendencies. Just like the Chinese secret societies, members of the Malay secret societies were bound by an oath of secrecy which made detection by the police rather difficult.

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Murder Most Foul

A Panorama of Social Life in Melaka from the 1780s to the 1820s

Radin Fernando

This book presents a tapestry of social history of Melaka rich in details as never before, using the court records from the 1780s through to the 1820s serendipitously preserved. Through the eyes of Dutch judges who carefully recorded crimes committed in the town, Radin Fernando weaves a fascinating narrative of social history of ordinary people caught in the most serious of all crimes, murder, as both perpetrators and victims. They speak for themselves, revealing their anxiety, anguish, humour and mischief, feelings common in human life but rarely encountered in history books, projecting a lively picture of the life of ordinary people in Melaka.

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New Perspectives and Research on Malaysian History

Cheah Boon Kheng

Historiography is both the study of the writing of history, and the history of historical writings. The book deals with the current research interests, methods, thinking and trends in Malaysian historical writing. The individual essays focus not only on new historical sources and methodologies, but also on debates between different schools of Malaysian historians on conceptual issues and on ways to reconstruct the Malaysian past. For a long time the primary object of Malaysian historical studies has been the nation-state, but some of the historians in this volume now argue that local history, social history, economic history, and the role of women, minorities and marginalized groups like trishaw riders are equally important concerns within Malaysia's socially diverse and multi-ethnic society. The essays also discuss challenges Malaysian historians face from new movements like post-modernism in representing historical truth and objectivity. This book should be of interest not only to students of Malaysian history, but also to the general reader.

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Studies in Malaysian and Singapore History

Mubin Sheppard Memorial Essays

Bruce Lockhart & Lim Tse Siang

Almost every year history undergraduates at the honours level at the National University of Singapore have been given the option to undertake research and write a thesis on their choice of topic in their fourth year before graduation. This is part of their professional training as historians. This volume contains the best history graduation essays fro the 2008/2009 academic year. The essays, selected and edited for publication under the society's Mubin Sheppard Memorial Fund, demonstrate each student's competence and ability to apply research methods, adopt critical perspectives and approaches and present an original interpretation and analysis of issues and problems in Malaysian and Singapore history.


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Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

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