Thursday, May 28, 2009

Books with Insights on Indonesian Society

Here are three more books on Indonesia that are not quite academic books, but nonetheless provide insights on Indonesia and Indonesian society:
  • Silenced Voices: Uncovering A Family's Colonial History In Indonesia by Inez Hollander. This is an account by a California University teacher of her forbears, a Dutch family long settled in colonial Indonesia. The focus is mainly on their experiences in WWII and in the final years before independence. While information has often been all but unobtainable it becomes clear that many members of the family suffered and died in horrific circumstances over which a blanket of silence has long been maintained. Reasons behind the silences, and the controversies which surround this period of Indonesia/Dutch history are discussed.
  • Eight Prison Camps: A Dutch Family In Japanese Java by Dieuwke Wendelaar Bonga. The author of this book was born in Holland in 1925. She left for Indonesia with her family as a three-year-old, and enjoyed a idyllic childhood in Java. All that soon changed for in the months following the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Dutch nationals were rounded up by the Japanese soldiers and put in internment camps. In these camps, the author witnessed starvation, forced labour, torture and death. On the family's return to Holland after the war, she found a nation that was recovering from German occupation and ignorant of the horror of the war in the Far East. The author decided to write about her experiences in the Indonesian P.O.W camps to document for her own children and for posterity the savage nature of war.
  • Reporting Indonesia: The Jakarta Post Story 1983-2008 by Bill Tarrant. The Jakarta Post was born in 1983 when Suharto's repressive New Order regime was at its height and the media was muzzled. Five rival media companies came together to start an English-language daily that some saw as an experiment doomed to fail. But the newspaper's punchy editorials, clean presentation of the news, and quirky columns and features quickly made an impression with the growing expatriate community. Over the years, the Post developed a unique editorial culture of expatriates and multicultural Indonesians. And by the time Suharto was ousted, the newspaper had earned a reputation for testing the limits of censorship and for breaking stories. This book traces the birth and growth of a newspaper in a developing country against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of the past 25 years in the world's fourth-largest nation. The story of this newspaper illuminates conflicting themes about journalism in Indonesia while taking the reader behind the scenes to reveal intrigue in the boardroom and stresses in the newsroom.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Books on Dr Mohamed Mahathir

Reading the news reports about Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s visit to Singapore, and his hope that his visit would signal “the beginning of a new era” in bilateral ties, my thoughts turned perversely to Dr. Mahathir Mohamed instead. We stock quite a number of books on him, so it’s difficult to come up with a representative list, but here are some books that present him from various perspectives:

  • The Malay Dilemma by Mahathir Bin Mohamad. The Malay Dilemma was first published in 1970 to much controversy, but remains essential reading for all. This book caused him to be called upon to defend his statements and claims. The arguments in The Malay Dilemma reveal the author's reactions to the pressing problems of the day, and show how politically inclined Malay understands the past, explains the behaviour of his own people and the behaviour of immigrants, and foresees the future. Dr Mahathir also examines and analyses the makeup of the Malays - their heredity, their way of life, their religion - and argues their case with stark frankness. The 2008 edition contains a new preface by the author.
  • Beyond Mahathir: Malaysian Politics And Its Discontents by Khoo Boo Teik. As the 22-year regime of Dr Mahathir Mohamad was coming to its end, Penang-based Prof Khoo Boo Teik wrote this rich, jargon-free and often hard-hitting account of his years in office. Mahathir's political persona, his achievements and policies, as well as some of his contradictory stances and dramatic actions are set in context. Unsolved problems are also unflinchingly highlighted.
  • Malaysian Foreign Policy In The Mahathir Era, 1981-2003: Dilemmas Of Development by Karminder Singh Dhillon. A description and explanation of Malaysia's foreign policy from 1981-2003 when Dr. Mahathir Mohamed's views and idiosyncrasies were always of course a very influential factor. Seven foreign policy initiatives are identified and set into local and regional contexts: Buy British last; Look East; Third World spokesmanship; Regional engagement; Islamic "posturing"; and Commercial and developmental diplomacy. External factors related to Japan, Singapore and China are also discussed and also linkages with domestic political pressures.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memories - Book on Old Singapore

An area that Select Books has always done well in is books on old Singapore. This, of course, spans quite a length of time, but books on pre-war Singapore, colonial Singapore and post-independence Singapore are all popular, and we often receive email enquiries. Here are 5 books that we usually recommend:
  • The Singapore Letters by Rigor Mortis. These articles and letters to both the media and individuals were written between 1968 & 1995 by a medical doctor practising in Singapore who is keenly concerned with local public policy and heritage issues. The often hard-hitting writing may well have influenced opinion or policy decisions but many of the issues raised are still of ongoing relevance to the country's wellbeing as well as the tourist industry.
  • One More Story to Tell: Memories of Singapore 1930s-1980s by Chan Swee Kung. Chan Kwee Sung (1930-2002) was a popular freelance writer. These 60 short articles first appeared in the "Life" segment of the newspaper, The Straits Times. They paint a vivid picture of Singapore life and byways in the middle years of the 20th century.
  • Looking Back: A Family's History Discovered And Remembered by Martha Scully-Shepherdson. The Eurasian community in Singapore is small but it has long been an integral part of the society. The author is a descendant of the Scully and de Souza families. She uses black-and-white photographs, reminiscences, and researches on the Internet and family memorabilia to give an informal history of her extended family before, during and after World War Two.
  • That's How It Goes: Autobiography Of A Singapore Eurasian by F.A.C. "Jock" Oehlers.These memoirs by a member of one of Singapore's leading Eurasian families offers many sidelights onto Singapore's life in the mid-20th century. The author, then a dental student, tells of the hardships of his life with a young family at the Japanese-enforced agricultural settlement for Eurasians at Bahau. He tells of his career as an oral surgeon at the University and in private practice, his involvement with the development of the Singapore Kennel Club until his 1990 retirement to Perth, West Australia.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More books on Indonesia

We had a recent post listing several book on Indonesia. Those books were mostly serious academic works. This time around, we thought we would list several books that similarly address important and contentious issues in Indonesian society and politics, but are somewhat lighter and more accessible.

  • Bittersweet: The Memoir Of A Chinese Indonesian Family In The Twentieth Century by Stuart Pearson. Many sidelights onto social and political developments are shed in this family biography/memoir which centres on the life of Chinese Indonesian Anna/An Sudibjo (b.1912). She is a 5th-generation Indonesian Chinese and had a distinguished career in the Dutch and then Indonesian Education Department.
  • Family Business: A Case Study Of Nyonya Meneer, One Of Indonesia's Most Successful Traditional Medicine Companies by Asih Sumardono and Mark Hanusz. The inside story of the now-internationally known Nyonya Meneer business, which produces and markets jamu, traditional Indonesian medicines. Founded by Nyonya Meneer (Lauw Ping Nio, 1895-1978), the family firm grew from its Semarang beginnings to become a nationally and internationally significant company. This account of Nyonya Meneer and the family conflicts which have dogged the company's development offers insights into some of the realities of traditional and modern ways of doing business.
  • On Feminism And Nationalism: Kartini's Letters To Stella Zeehandelaar, 1899-1903. Translated by Joost Cote. Raden Ajeng Kartini (1880-1904) was born into an aristocratic Javanese family and despite the shortness of her life, is widely known and respected as the founder and inspiration of Indonesia's Women's Movement. These letters to a Dutch pen friend she had never met were written 1899-1903. They show the clear educational and reform ambitions maintained by Kartini who, by enforced custom, had left school at the age of 12, but who continued to read, study and develop nationalist and feminist ideas. These she shared with reform-minded contacts. Her arranged marriage was followed by her death shortly after childbirth.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Classic Feynman

I'm now reading Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character. It brings together stories from two of Feynman's bestsellers Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman! and What Do You Care What Other People Think?. There are some new material and it comes with an audio CD of Richard Feynman delivering a lecture, and it makes all the difference to hear his voice first and then read his stories. Feynman was, of course, a great physicist; but his books sold not because of his Nobel prize, but because his irrepressible character, candour and wit shone through his stories. It's quite impossible not to like him from reading the books, or to be inspired by his love for science, for the truth and for solving problems.

I'd read one of the books previously. But, strangely, this time around, I was particularly moved by this poignant passage from his essay about his first wife, Arlene, who died from an incurable illness. They had married shortly after she was diagnosed with the illness:
If a Martian (who, we'll imagine, never dies except by accident) came to Earth and saw this peculiar race of creatures - these humans who live about seventy or eighty years, knowing that death is going to come - it would look to him like a terrible problem of psychology to live under those circumstances, knowing that life is only temporary. Well, we humans somehow figure out how to live despite this problem: we laugh, we joke, we live.

The only difference for me and Arlene was, instead of fifty years, it was five years. It was only a quantitative difference - the psychological problem was just the same. The only way it would have become any different is if we had just said to ourselves, "But those other people have it better, because they might live fifty years." But that's crazy. Why make yourself miserable saying things like, "Why do we have such bad luck? What has God done to us? What have we done to deserve this?" - all of which, if you understand reality and take it completely into your heart, are irrelevant and unsolvable. They are just things that nobody can know. Your situation is just an accident of life.
It is poignant for me because he not only recognised the fundamental fact of life, but somehow, could deal with it in a logical, detached way.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bernard Schwartz Book Award

The Asia Society is an American organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. Founded in 1956, the Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution seeking to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture.

The Asia Society recently announced the establishment of the annual Bernard Schwartz Book Award.
This major international award will recognize non-fiction books that provide outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations. The award seeks to increase public awareness of the changes taking place in Asia and the implications for the wider world, and to raise the profile of authors making a significant contribution to this dialogue.

An independent jury comprised of experts in the fields of policy, media, academia, cultural affairs, and business will select the winner, who will receive a $20,000 prize and will be honoured at a special event at the Asia Society. In addition to the winner, four books will be chosen to receive honorary mentions.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

As promised, here is a list of books featuring the Romance of the Three Kingdoms:
  • Romance Of The Three Kingdoms (in 2 volumes) by Lo Kuan-Chung, and translated by C H Brewitt-Taylor. The original San Guo Yan Yi was written around the fourteenth century. This edition, translated in the mid-1920s, is based on a shortened and simplified version of the original San Guo Yan Yi published in 1670s.
  • Battle At The Red Cliff: A Guide To Three Kingdom by Li Lienfung. The popular Singapore-based writer Li Lienfung, writing under her Green Bamboo column, provided an excellent introduction to many of the famous episodes in San Guo Yan Yi. The author's relaxed style and her array of little known facts and knowledgeable insights and reinterpretations will intrigue readers and inspire them to discover for themselves the characters and timelessness of the original novel itself.
  • Romance Of The Three Kingdoms (A set of 10 books) by Zhang Qirong; Li Chengli (Illustrator). This is AsiaPac's illustrated volume. All the major episodes from San Guo Yan Yi are featured, with elegant and concise writing and detailed and evocative illustrations.
  • Three Kingdoms: Chinese Classics (Classic Novel in 4-Volumes) by Luo Guanzhong, and translated by Moss Roberts. We do not carry this translated edition, but it is available from Amazon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Water Buffalo's Reward

The first book in our new Autumn Wonders imprint is Water Buffalo’s Reward. It is also the first book in the new Asian Values series. We’ve always wanted to do a children’s book series. In 2008, when we started to seriously brainstorm a suitable series so that we could finally kick off a new imprint for children’s books, it was natural to think of a series on Asian Values. It was a good fit with Select Books’s Asian books specialisation. We pitched the idea to the Media Development Authority, who liked the idea and gave us a grant for a series of three books.

Water Buffalo’s Reward, was launched on 6 January 2009, and is now on sale at all the major bookstores as well as on Amazon. It is the story of a water buffalo learning about the value of diligence. Written by Qin Yi, a Singaporean father of two young boys, and illustrated by Li Dan, who has a Masters in Illustration from Edinburgh College of Art, the story is simple and charming, but with hidden complexities that will enable parents and teachers to discuss the story and the underlying value of diligence with children. It also comes with pointers and fun facts for parents and teachers. The artwork by Li Dan is complex and detailed and very attractive. One of the reasons why we liked the story was that it sought to bring out the subtleties of the value of diligence – it’s not just about “working hard”; it’s actually about delayed gratification and a sense of responsibility.

Water Buffalo's Reward was featured on the popular website Culturepush.

The second and third book are scheduled to be published in late 2009 and early 2010 respectively.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Politics and Democracy in Indonesia

With the Indonesian general elections just completed, and the presidential election forthcoming, here are 5 books focusing on the state of Indonesian politics and democracy.

  • Indonesia, Islam, And Democracy: Dynamics In A Global Context by Azyumardi Azra, an internationally respected historian. It explores explores Islam and Democracy and the democratizing and civil society policies of President Abdurrahman Wahab; addresses Islam and Indonesia's international dimensions and policies; and looks at the dynamics of the country's various Islamic movements and trends and also at recent elections.
  • Political Islam and Violence in Indonesia by Zachary Abuza presents a penetrating new investigation of religious radicalism in Indonesia. Indonesia is long known for its diversity and tolerant brand of Islam, but since the fall of Suharto, a more intolerant form of Islam has been growing, one whose adherents have carried out terrorist attacks, waged sectarian war, and voiced strident anti-Western rhetoric. Abuza paints a picture guardedly optimistic about the future of Indonesian democracy, with concerns about the increasing role of conservative and radical Islam in Indonesian society.
  • The Revival of Tradition In Indonesian Politics: The Deployment of Adat from Colonialism to Indigenism by Jamie Davidson and David Henley. The Indonesian term adat means 'custom' or 'tradition', and carries connotations of sedate order and harmony. Yet in recent years it has suddenly become associated with activism, protest and violence. This book investigates the revival of adat in Indonesian politics, identifying its origins, the historical factors that have conditioned it and the reasons behind its recent blossoming.
  • The Indonesian Parliament And Democratization by Patrick Ziegenhai. Democratisation in Indonesia has altered the political decision-making processes in many ways. It has also brought about tremendous change to the role of the Indonesian parliament in the country's political system. Once characterized as a powerless rubber stamp, the parliament has developed into a comprehensive and more representative body. Ziegenhai addresses the parliament's contributions towards the process of democratisation in Indonesia.
  • Military Politics, Islam, and the State in Indonesia: From Turbulent Transition to Democratic Consolidation by Marcus Mietzner. This book provides an in-depth account of the military's struggle to adapt to the new democratic system after the downfall of Suharto's regime in 1998. Unlike other studies of the Indonesian armed forces, which focus exclusively on internal military developments, Mietzner's study emphasises the importance of conflicts among civilians in determining the extent of military involvement in political affairs.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Memories of Old Singapore

Good Morning Yesterday is a blog dedicated to sharing stories of old Singapore – old meaning 1950s onwards. It certainly brought back some fond memories for me. The stories and photos have apparently struck a chord with not only older Singaporeans but also foreigners who previously lived in Singapore, as well as young Singaporeans who have enjoyed his and his readers’ reminiscing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Books on Indian Politics and Economics

The 2009 Elections in the largest democracy in the world is entering its final lap. The results of the election will be announced on May 16, 2009. That’s 714 million registered voters deciding a total of 543 parliamentary seats. I find this quite humbling – think about the colossal effort to organise the elections and to ensure that it’s conducted fairly and (relatively) smoothly. And think about some of the “administrative difficulties”-type excuses that government bureaucrats, here and elsewhere, sometimes come up with. Where there is a collective will, there’s a way.

Here’s a list of 4 books on Indian politics and economics:

  • The Future of India: Politics, Economics and Governance by Bimal Jalan. The author is one of India's leading economists, a former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and Member of the Upper House. He addresses the widely held presumption that India's future is as a developed country. The careful analysis posits that it is the combination of the politics, economics and governance of the country that will determine India's future.

  • The Indian Renaissance: India's Rise after a Thousand Years of Decline by Sanjeev Sanyal. A successful Indian economist/banker explores with verve the history and post-1993 liberalisation of India. He makes a case that this will lead to a profound renaissance and India's re-emergence as an economic and cultural superpower after a thousand years of decline.

  • Indian Democracy: Meanings and Practices edited by Rajendra Vora and Suhas Palshikar. India adopted a democratic constitution in 1950, but democracy as both a form of government and as an organizing principle remains a contentious concept in Indian political discourse. This book examines how Indian democracy has survived the challenges posed by illiteracy, poverty, secessionism and communalism. The fifteen essays in this volume look at how democracy is understood in India, how to expand the meaning of democracy and what developments have emerged. The contributors argue that the democracy in India is not "substantive" democracy and that it does not in fact represent the people.

  • Political Economy of Federalism in India by Govinda Rao and Nirvikar Singh. This book argues that Indian federalism is at a crossroad. The contradictions, weaknesses and challenges of Central-State relations have been made evident by the emergence of regional political parties in India and market-based development in a globalising economy. This book deals with the system, institutions, and outcomes from the interplay of political and economic forces in Indian federalism. It significantly broadens the conceptual framework for analysing Indian federalism by exploring political elements and institutions and their strategic interaction with fiscal variables.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Book Lists

As you will have noticed, many of the posts on this blog are lists of 3-5 books that we recommend based on specific themes. Selections, our usual booklist that goes out monthly to those on our mailing list, is, of course, much more comprehensive in coverage. But we thought that these short lists of books on our blog would provide a more “digest-able” means of introducing books in different topical areas.

Hopefully, they will be useful and relevant in different ways: as a simple reference list for those researching into an area; suggestions for new books to read in a particular area for those already knowledgeable in a particular field; introduction to new areas to read into.

Do let us know what you think of these lists; or if you have an idea for a list that we can do.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Three Kingdoms

The Three Kingdoms period (AD 220-280) has always held a special fascination for the Chinese. San Guo Zhi, written by Chen Shou (AD 233-297) not long after this period, is widely considered to be the most historically accurate account of events of the period. But, it was written as a historical text and therefore not accessible by the common people. Instead, it was professional storytellers who popularised the incidents and personalities of the Three Kingdom period. As the stories were passed on orally from one storyteller to another, and from one generation of storytellers to another, they were, inevitably embellished with fictional events and changed.

It was around the Yuan Dynasty (1250-1368) that the classic
San Guo Yan Yi, often known as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, was written by Luo Guanzhong (1330?-1400?). San Guo Yan Yi is a historical novel, with emphasis on novel; as its title suggests, it is unabashedly a dramatisation of historical events. Many events portrayed in the book deviate from generally accepted historical accounts. But, its genius lies precisely in its skilful manipulation of historical events to create heroic characters and repugnant villains; epic encounters and momentous defeats and victories. Most people now consider the tales in San Guo Yan Yi as historical facts.

With the recent increase in interest in this period, due to computer games as well as TV serials, there are now more English-language books on the period. Most are simply translations and adaptations of
San Guo Yan Yi. I shall list a few of these books in another post.

The Three Kingdoms has also become very popular in the west; primarily because of computer games. There is an excellent
website devoted to the Romance of the Three Kingdom.

As the readers of the Three Kingdoms become more sophisticated, there are now a number of popular Chinese-language books focusing on the historical aspects of the period, and some that specifically attempt to highlight the historical inaccuracies in
San Guo Yan Yi. However, we do not know of any English-language books that do the same. So if you do know of any, do drop us an email, so that we can stock it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Governance in Singapore

There was an interesting analysis on BBC today marking 30 years after Margaret Thatcher first became Prime Minister, and an interesting article on the BBC website that questions the degree that Thatcher was responsible for the political ideology that carries her name - "Thatcherism". It remarks that Thatcher was, above all, a believer in pragmatic policies and that she cultivated a "radical" image to meet political ends. In UK, as it is all over the world, governance and public policy are seldom as clear-cut and ideologically driven as they might appear to be.

All of which brought to my mind several books on governance in Singapore:

  • Politics And Governance In Singapore: An Introduction by Bilveer Singh gives a comprehensive yet succinct account of Singapore politics. Set out in layman's language, it provides a foundational overview of the subject and examines the historical and structural dimensions of Singapore's politics as well as the way politics is conducted in the country. Key determinants and critical issues facing Singapore are analysed and discussed, including the state of nationhood, the role of civil society and democracy, and the sustainability of the current modus operandi.
  • Singapore: The State and Culture of Excess by Yao Souchou takes ideas and frameworks from philosophy, psychology, political science, cultural studies and anthropology to tell the larger 'truth' about the Singapore state. This book argues that this strong hegemonic state achieves effective rule not just from repressive policies but also through a combination of efficient government, good standard of living, tough official measures and popular compliance. Yao looks at the reasons behind the hegemonic ruling, examining key events such as the caning of American teenager Michael Fay, the judicial ruling on fellatio and unnatural sex, and Singapore's 'war on terror' to show the ways in which the State manages these events to ensure the continuance of its power and ideological ethos. Key subject discussed include: leftist radicalism and communist insurgency; nation-building as trauma; Western 'yellow culture' and Asian Values; judicial caning and the meaning of pain; the law and oral sex; food and the art of lying; cinema as catharsis; Singapore after September 11. Sidelights are also offered on the roles played by the Lee Kuan Yew family and several other major personalities.)
  • A Mandarin and the Making of Public Policy: Reflections of Ngiam Tong Dow edited by Simon Tay. Ngiam Tong Dow served in the elite Singapore Administrative Service for more than 40 years. His vision, foresight and leadership in economics and finance helped transform Singapore into a text-book case in development economics. As a senior civil servant and "mandarin", he has worked closely with the founding political leaders of Singapore including Goh Keng Swee, the late Hon Sui Sen, and served under two Prime Ministers, Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong. In this book, he reflects on his experiences and shares personal anecdotes and perceptive insights of the early decades of Singapore. He also boldly questions some of the policies of government and emerging trends in the country to suggest how Singapore must change to survive and thrive in the future.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Autobiography of a Singapore Eurasian

That’s How It Goes was published in November 2008, so it seems a little late to blog about it now; but, it’s a book that’s close to our hearts, so bear with us. That’s How It Goes is a heartwarming autobiography by Professor F.A.C. “Jock” Oehlers. In it, he brings readers with him on his life’s journey, from a carefree young boy growing up in Colonial Singapore, through the terror and hardship of the Japanese Occupation, to becoming a respected Professor of Oral Surgery and the founder and President of the Singapore Kennel Club for 19 years. Throughout this journey, he was accompanied by his wife, Ursula, his childhood sweetheart and partner in life since their marriage in 1942.

It’s a great book about the life of an honest, decent and kind man, and a moving account of the life of Singapore Eurasian. But that’s not the only reason the book is especially dear to us. Jock has been an inspiration to all of us here at Select. Born in 1921, he is 88 years old. Yet, he continues to be active, enthusiastic and helpful. He liaised personally with us over the editing of the book; he personally scanned and restored old photos for use in the book; and he replies personally to readers who have written to him. He has been an absolute pleasure to work with. We’ve never actually met him – and we would love to someday if we can find time to go to Perth, where he now resides – as everything was settled smoothly over email.

In one passage in the book, Jock mentions almost matter-of-factly and modestly how he had to intervene in a trial at the infamous Bahau Catholic Colony during the Occupation. Later, we found a reference in
Jungles Are Never Neutral: An Extraordinary Story of Exile and Survival - The Diaries of Brother Patricius O' Donovan FSC about the incident, and learnt how, in fact, Jock had displayed extraordinary courage when intervening and had helped to saved innocent lives.

The book has been selling well in Select itself as well as the major bookstores. We were helped by the excellent feature The Sunday Times had on the book, headlined “A 69-Year Romance”, with a striking photograph of Jock and Ursula on their wedding day. Most appropriate.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Useful Reference Books for Expats

From time-to-time we receive emails from soon-to-be expats coming to Singapore asking for recommendations on books that would provide useful information. We usually recommend the following books (as well as a couple of others depending on their specific requirements):

  • Living In Singapore. Now in its 10th edition, this is the American Association of Singapore's superb guide to living in Singapore. Expatriates will find it a useful vade mecum and source of advice on both daily needs and occasional emergencies. Official procedures and formalities are noted and transport, housing, leisure, educational and departure needs are discussed. Locations and addresses have been brought up to date and all information is usefully complemented by personal anecdotes and empathic guidance. There are illustrations, conversion tables and an index.
  • 1000 Reasons Why Singapore. This book sets out for foreigners 1,000 reasons for "Choosing Singapore" whether they be investors, professionals, trades, business people, home-seekers or just "looking around". For people who are contemplating arriving for these diverse reasons, this book contains 11 sections on the facilities for developing the potentials of various sectors in business, finance, trade, energy, education, tourism, aviation, and real estate. There is some information about the Singapore lifestyle, a selection of photographs, lists of abbreviations, acronyms, addresses and websites, and a valiant stab at explaining Singlish in the form of a two-page vocabulary table.
  • Singapour Pratique - The French Guide To Singapore Life. This guide is produced by the Association Francaise De Singapour. It takes the form of a directory, organised around several major themes close to the heart of the French: health; children; housing; food; beauty and fashion; leisure and entertainment; dining out; and travel and holidays. The opening section contains essential information about settling in, from the administrative process to finding domestic help. In the comprehensive index of shops and businesses that follows, the compilers have carefully added remarks about the noteworthiness or specialty of most of the establishments featured, be it a grocer, a health clinic or an art school (and everything else in between). This sturdy, colourful and handy guide is in French.
  • Fun For Kids In Singapore. This book addresses the ever-increasing demand for information about children's activities and interests in Singapore. All the information you could possibly need, and more, can be found in this handy-sized book. A comprehensive and focused guide, its user-friendly layout enables readers to access information quickly and easily.