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Agriculture in the Malaysian Region was originally published in Hungary as a contribution to a series of books under the title "Geography of World Agriculture". Covering Malaysia together with Singapore and Brunei it presented a detailed account of agriculture at that time from economic, social and technical standpoints. An innovation was an analysis of the region's agroecosystems. The major types of agriculture covered were shifting cultivation, wet rice production, smallholder tree-crop and mixed forms of cultivation, the plantation systems and finally intensive market-gardening and livestock production. In this edition, a complete revision of the original text has been made while retaining the original framework of analysis. An extended chapter bringing the subject up to date has been added. This sets major changes in agriculture against the backdrop of significant structural change in the region's economies as a whole. Singapore has seen a shift from highly labour intensive production to very capital intensive and specialized forms of production. In Malaysia capital intensity has also increased except in rubber production. Increasingly, agriculture faces the problem of increasing labour costs. The book concludes with an attempt at identifying the likely changes in the agricultural sector in the medium term.
Inaugural edition (2008); Vol. 1 (2009) through current issue
The Asian Bioethics Review covers a broad range of topics relating to bioethics. An online academic journal, ABR provides a forum to express and exchange original ideas on all aspects of bioethics, especially those relevant to the region. The journal promotes multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary studies and will appeal to all working in the field of ethics in medicine and healthcare, genetics, law, policy, science studies and research.
In March 2009, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) was briefly taken over by a Christian faction. Their coup was overturned within a matter of weeks, but the episode highlighted a variety ofissues, including the role of religion in civil society, sex education, homosexuality, state intervention and media engagement. Although the immediate issue was control of an activist group concerned with women's rights, it has implications for the agendas and concerns of NGOs, "culture wars", the processes of citizenry mobilization, mass participation and noisy democracy, and liberal voices in contemporary Singapore. In this book, academics and public intellectuals examine the AWARE saga within the context of Singapore's civil society, considering the political and historical background and how the issues it raised relate to contemporary societal trends. In addition to documenting a milestone event for Singapore's civil society, the authors offer provocative interpretations that will interest a broad range of readers.
Banditry was rife around Batavia (modern Jarkata) during the late colonial period. Banditry in West Java identifies the bandits and describes their working methods and their motives, which at times went beyond simple self-enrichment. The author also explores the world of the robbers' victims, mainly city-dwellers, who viewed the bandits as the antithesis of civilization and made them into convenient objects onto which respectable citizens projected their own preoccupations with sex, violence, and magic. The colonial police force in the Dutch East Indies was reformed in the early 1920s, and banditry was subsequently brought under control. However, the bandit tradition lived on in Javanese popular imagination and folk culture, particularly in the tales of Si Pitung, a Robin Hood figure who flourished in nineteenth-century Batavia.
Histories, Hopes and Citizenship in the Riau Archipelago
In 1999, the people of Indonesia's Riau Archipelago were angry. Resentful of decades of "internal colonialism" by Mainland Sumatra, and concerned that they lacked the education and skills to flourish in a globalised world, they dreamed of inhabiting a province of their own. When the post-authoritarian state committed itself to democracy and local autonomy, they lobbied vigorously and successfully for the region to be returned to its "native" Malay residents. Riau Islands Province was born in 2004. This book explores what happened next. Living in a new province created "for Malays" forced Riau Islanders to engage with thorny questions over what it meant to be Malay and how to achieve the official goal of becoming globally competitive "human resources". Putting nuanced ethnographic observations of life in the islands into a provocative dialogue with theorists ranging from Žižek to Sartre, this book explains how feelings of unsettledness and doubt came to permeate the province as a result of its very creation. Offering fresh perspectives on commerce, spirit beliefs, education and culture, Being Malay in Indonesia challenges much of the received wisdom in the anthropology of Southeast Asia and makes a powerful case for the importance of feelings, sentiments and affect in studies of local development and political change.
Revolution and the End of Traditional Rule in Northern Sumatra
In northern Sumatra, as in Malaya, colonial rule embraced an extravagant array of sultans, rajas, datuks and ulèëbalangs. In Malaya the traditional Malay elite served as a barrier to revolutionary change and survived the transition to independence, but in Sumatra a wave of violence and killing wiped out the traditional elite in 1945‒46. Anthony Reid’s The Blood of the People, now available in a new edition, explores the circumstances of Sumatra’s sharp break with the past during what has been labelled its “social revolution”. The events in northern Sumatra were among the most dramatic episodes of Indonesia’s national revolution, and brought about more profound changes even than in Java, from where the revolution is normally viewed. Some ethnic groups saw the revolution as a popular, peasant-supported movement that liberated them from foreign rule. Others, though, felt victimised by a radical, levelling agenda imposed by outsiders. Java, with a relatively homogeneous population, passed through the revolution without significant social change. The ethnic complexity of Sumatra, in contrast, meant that the revolution demanded an altogether new “Indonesian” identity to override the competing ethnic categories of the past.
Agricultural Expansion on the Southeast Asian Frontier
Since the 1960s, Southeast Asia's agricultural sector has experienced phenomenal growth, with increases in production linked to an energy-intensive capitalization of agriculture and the rapid development of agrifood systems and agribusiness. Agricultural intensification and territorial expansion have been key to this process, with expansion of areas under cultivation playing an unusually important role in the transformation of the countryside and livelihoods of its inhabitants. Borneo, with vast tracts of land not yet under crops, has been the epicenter of this expansion process, with rubber and oil palm acting as the spearhead. Indonesia's Kalimantan provinces and the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak have all undergone major changes but the time frames have varied, as have the crops involved. Agricultural expansion in Borneo is both an economic and a political process, and it has brought about profound socio-economic transformations, including deforestation, and development of communication networks. There has also been rapid population growth, much faster than in either Indonesia or Malaysia as a whole, with attendant pressures on employment, housing and social services. Until the end of the 20th century, agricultural expansion in Indonesia and Malaysia was largely state driven, with the goal of poverty reduction. Subsequently, as in Borneo, boom crop expansion has been taken over by private corporations that are driven by profit maximization rather than poverty reduction.
Diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Britain at the height of the Cold War provide unique insights into the overall foreign policies of both nations. King Norodom Sihanouk’s strategy of preserving the independence and integrity of Cambodia through a policy of neutrality grew ever more challenging as the Cold War heated up in Indochina and conflict in Vietnam became a proxy war between the superpowers. Despite its alliance with the United States, Britain’s diplomatic objectives in the region largely aligned with Cambodia’s, and British criticism of US policy towards Cambodia was a problem in the alliance.British diplomatic records present a fascinating window into Cambodian decision-making, and the rationale behind Sihanouk’s sometimes apparently irrational policies. The reports yield new insights into Sihanouk's efforts to sustain Cambodia’s integrity vis-à-vis its more powerful neighbours.Equally, a fine-grained analysis of British-Cambodia relations reveals much about the dynamics of British foreign policy in the period. Britain's ultimate dependence on its powerful American ally limited its influence in the region. After 1967, indeed, it ceased to have a strategic role. Over the period, British frustrations grew, even as it remained consistent in its foreign policy objectives and approaches.
The Geneva conference on Laos of 1961-1962, which Britain helped initiate and bring to a conclusion, throws light on Britain's policy in Southeast Asia during what in some sense may be seen as the last of the decades in which its influence was crucial. This book is the first to make full use of the British archives to explore the conference, but it also bears on the history of Laos, of Vietnam, and of Southeast Asia generally. The core of the Geneva settlement was the neutralisation of Laos, the United States to strengthen its commitment to Thailand and Vietnam. North Vietnam could accept this result only if it allowed continued use of the Ho Chi Minh trail, which sustained resistance in South Vietnam. Under these circumstances, the agreement on neutralisation, though elaborately negotiated, had little chance of success. In the longer term, however, the agreement played a part in developing the concept of a neutral Southeast Asia advanced by ASEAN. The book is important for scholars in the various fields it touches, including modern Southeast Asian history, the history of Laos, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and international relations. It will be of expecial interest to those studying British policy at a time when Britain was seeking to reduce its commitments while continuing to avert the escalation of the Cold War.
From the Age of Commerce to Rentier State
Now an energy-rich sultanate, for centuries an important trading port in the South China Sea, Brunei has taken a different direction than its Persian Gulf peers. Immigration is restricted, and Brunei’s hydrocarbon wealth is invested conservatively, mostly outside the country. With some 393,000 inhabitants and today comprising 5,765 square kilometers in area (about the size of the American state of Delaware), Brunei first appears in the historical record at the end of the 10th century. After the Spanish attack of 1578, Brunei struggled to regain and expand its control on coastal West Borneo and to remain within the trading networks of the South China Sea. It later fell under British sway, and a residency was established in 1906, but it took the discovery of oil in Seria in 1929 before the colonial power began to establish the bases of a modern state. Governed by an absolute monarchy, Bruneians today nonetheless enjoy a high level of social protection and rule of law. Ranking second (after Singapore) in Southeast Asia in terms of standards of living, the sultanate is implementing an Islamic penal code for the first time of its history. Focusing on Brunei’s political economy, history and geography, this book aims to understand the forces behind Brunei’s to-and-fro of tradition and modernisation.