Thursday, September 02, 2010

Review Thursday: A Malaysian Journey by Rehman Rashid

A Malaysian Journey
By Rehman Rashid
Paperback: 295 pages
Publisher: RAHMAN RASHID (first edition 1993)
ISBN-10: 9839981919
ISBN-13: 978-9839981919
Selling Price: RM 59.90

This is not a new book, but I reread it last week and thought it deserves a mention for being one of the best books describing modern Malaysia.

Rehman Rashid grew up in post World War II Malaysia, when the country was newly independent. A scientist by training, and a journo by trade, Rehman explains how the country changed during the years Dr Mahathir was prime minister.

Rashid chronicles the effects of the New Economic Policy (a set positive discrimination laws that favours Malays over other Malaysian ethnic groups), the curtailing of press freedom, the politicising of Islam, and other hot topics.

It's all set in the context of a trip Rashid took through Malaysia, so you get the benefit of a travelogue as well as a personal (spiritual) journey, and political commentary.

Some Malaysians hate this book and say it's terribly biased; others say it explains exactly how non-Malays of Rashid's age think.

Few can argue about the style though.  This book is beautifully written, and is already considered a modern classic.

If you're not in Asia, Check out Amazon, and second hand online traders like Abe Books.

4 comments:

Boom Nisanart said...

Interesting Book..Must be really good cause of re-read. Thank you for sharing : )

Everyday Melbourne
Everyday Cat Visitor

A Bookaholic said...

Wowww sounds good to me! Shall look out for it. Thanks for sharing :)

CeliaAlma said...

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Mishkat said...

Thanks so much for the review. I checked and it is indeed available on Amazon in used paperback version - quite cheaply (also has excellent reviews on Amazon!) Will add to wish list.