Two weeks ago, I suggested books to read on Malaysia’s Independence Day. On 16th of September, Malaysians will celebrate Malaysia Day to commemorate the establishment of Malaysia which includes Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. Please do not confuse Merdeka (locally known) or Independence Day with Malaysia Day. If you are indeed confused, this article clearly explains the difference.
In my humble opinion, Malaysia Day signifies the present and the future of modern Malaysia because it is a more inclusive national day. Therefore if you are looking for books to read, I’d like to suggest contemporary Malaysia books.
‘Life in the Skies: Everything you want to know about flying’ by Captain Lim Khoy Hing
Captain Lim provides insights into every aspect of air travel – informing passengers of all the hidden mysteries of airplane safety and regulations, enlightening those who wonder how someone trains and becomes an international airline pilot, and entertaining readers throughout with anecdotes, tales and jokes from his own personal experiences in the air. Complemented with more than 40 full-colour personal illustrations of the Captain, Life in the Skies will be a valuable and useful guide for air travellers and budding-pilots alike!
Captain Lim Khoy Hing is an ex-airline pilot who is passionate about flying, having worked all his life high above the clouds since leaving college. Prior to his retirement from flag-carrier Malaysia Airlines, he was fortunate enough to fly the latest fly-by-wire planes such as the Boeing 777 and Airbus A320, A330 and A340. He has logged a total of 25,500 flying hours, or about 20 trips to the moon and back. Capt. Lim started his flying career in the Royal Malaysian Air Force, having been trained by the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom in 1967. He served for about 12 years in the service before joining Malaysia Airlines and finished his career with the carrier AirAsia before retiring in 2011.
‘Can or Not?’ by Reggie Lee
Reggie Lee is a cartoonist whose work has been published in The Star and Sunday Star. ‘Can or Not?’ is a compilation of cartoons about Malaysia’s quest to put an astronaut into space. This book is guaranteed to make you laugh.
‘Iban Dream’ by Golda Mowe
Orphaned as a young boy in the rainforests of Borneo, Bujang is brought up by a family of orangutans, but his adult future has already been decided for him by Sengalang Burong, the Iban warpath god. On reaching adulthood, Bujang must leave his ape family and serve the warpath god as a warrior and a headhunter. Having survived his first assignment — to kill an ill-tempered demon in the form of a ferocious wild boar — subsequent adventures see Bujang converse with gods, shamans, animal spirits and with the nomadic people of Borneo as he battles evil spirits and demons to preserve the safety of those he holds dear to him. But Bujang’s greatest test is still to come and he must rally a large headhunting expedition to free his captured wife and those of his fellow villagers. In this unique work of fantasy fiction, author Golda Mowe — herself an Iban from Borneo — uses real beliefs, taboos and terminology of the Iban (a longhouse-dwelling indigenous group of people from Borneo who, until very recently, were renowned for practising headhunting) to weave an epic tale of good versus evil.
‘Karpal Singh: Tiger of Jelutong’ by Tim Donoghue
Karpal Singh is widely regarded as the best criminal and constitutional lawyer practising in Malaysia today. Since graduating from the University of Singapore in 1969 he has been a fearless, intelligent advocate for justice and a defender of human rights in South East Asia, and has appeared in the Privy Council in London on a number of occasions before such appeals were abandoned by Malaysia.In his long and illustrious career, Karpal Singh has defended more people headed for death row in Malaysian jails than he cares to remember. More importantly he has developed an international reputation for his defence of many people from many nations who have faced the death penalty under Malaysia’s Dangerous Drugs Act. One of his biggest achievements in recent years has been his successful defence of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on two charges of sodomy. Indeed, without his steely involvement at the head of Anwar’s defence it is difficult to imagine the opposition coalition being in the position it is today of being able to realistically challenge the ruling United Malay National Organisation for power at the May 5, 2013 election.
In this book, veteran journalist Tim Donoghue, who first met Karpal Singh in 1986 while based in Hong Kong, tells the remarkable story of a tenacious and principled lawyer and politician who has emerged as the kingmaker among the various Malaysian opposition political parties.
Note: This biography won the non-fiction category of the Readers Choice Awards held by Bookfest@Malaysia 2014.
Do you know any other book that matches our ‘Malaysia Day’ theme? Share your suggestions with us in the comment box below.