Book Review: Beyond Bicentennial: Perspectives on Malays

When Singapore commemorated the 200th anniversary of Raffles’ arrival on the island last year, many dialogue sessions were held for the public to discuss and reflect on Singapore’s history. Through these dialogues, the public saw competing views on Singapore’s history. More critical voices emerged to challenge the dominant narrative on Raffles, the history of Singapore and the colonial construction of the Malays.

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Book Review: Air-Conditioned Nation Revisited

It is June 2020. As the country battles a global pandemic, along with the ugliest sides of society it has uncovered, the government speaks about holding elections. “The sooner the better,” they say, to rally Singaporeans together to tide through uncertain times. I remain unconvinced by this argument. How does having an election unite the country?

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Book Review: Alternative Voices in Muslim Southeast Asia: Discourse and Struggles

Alternative Voices in Muslim Southeast Asia: Discourse and Struggles (or “Alternative Voices”), edited by Dr Norshahril Saat and Dr Azhar Ibrahim, features twelve articles written by scholars, activists, and observers of social change, that present a critique of the Muslim society of Southeast Asia today, specifically in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

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Book Review: Hard at Work: Life in Singapore

At first glance, I was intimidated by the sheer volume of the book. It’s Hard at Work: Life in Singapore published under the Ridge Books Imprint by NUS Press. Was this a university textbook, or one of those academic anthologies that usually never see beyond the walls of the university library? I expected it to be covered in MLA or APA citations, chapters of analyses and referencing other academics.

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Book Review: Alfian Sa’at Collected Plays Three

Collected Plays Three is the third volume of Alfian Sa’at’s Collected Play series. For the first time, plays that have been written and staged in Malay are translated into English for readers. The four plays in the book consist of Nadirah, Parah, Your Sister’s Husband and Geng Rebut Cabinet (GRC). As always, Alfian brilliantly explores the issue of Malay identity and race relations in this volume.

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