Saturday, October 16, 2010

Here are recent additions to our collection of titles on Malaysia:
  • Malaysia's Foreign Policy, The First Fifty Years: Alignment, Neutralism, Islamism by Johan Saravanamuttu. This overall account of Malaysia's foreign policy 1957-2007 is based on groundbreaking study and interviews with major players over some years. It brings into focus some of the uncertainties and pressures from which the country's present international standing or diplomacy has emerged. Policy changes and uncertainties, the stamp of major personalities, policies of neighbouring countries and global powers, and the pressures of religious and economic change are discussed, with clarifying graphics and systematic referencing. With bibliographic, glossary, and index.
  • Privatization In Malaysia: Regulation, Rent-Seeking And Policy Failure by Jeff Tan. In recent years, privatisation has fallen out of favour in many countries because the underlying political factors have not been well understood. This book examines Malaysia's privatisation programme, focusing on how political constraints resulted in the failure of four major privatisations: the national sewerage company (IWK), Kuala Lumpur Light Rail Transit (LRT), national airline (MAS), and national car company (Proton). It considers why developing countries such as Malaysia might want to embark on privatisation, the factors that lead to policy failure, and what is needed to make it work. It shows clearly that political motives driving privatisation often dominate purely economic considerations, and thus it is necessary to analyse privatisation within the specific country context. It argues that failure in the Malaysian case was due to political considerations that compromised institutional design and regulatory enforcement, leading to problems associated with corruption. It concludes that privatisation does not necessarily improve incentives for efficiency or enhance the finance available for capital investment, and that successful privatisation depends on the state's institutional and political capacity to design and manage an appropriate set of subsidies.
  • I, Too, Am Malay by Zaid Ibrahim. 2010 English edition of the thoughtful 2009 Malay account of the life and ideas of Zaid Ibrahim (b. 1951), lawyer, former UMNO leader and briefly in 2008, Minister of Law. Part I discusses many aspects of his 23 years' involvement with UMNO and the hegemonistic trends which led to his sacking in December 2008. There are thoughtful insights into ongoing issues. Part II traces his career from its beginnings in a Kelantan kampong and shows how his commitment to Islam, the law and to human needs has developed. In Part III, many recent issues are explored, including the fate of the judges sacked in 1988, fascism, communism and liberty in the contemporary scene, the future of Malays and interesting comments on Malay and non-Malay leaders in Malaysia. With photographs.
  • Islamization and Activism in Malaysia by Julian Lee. Islamization and Activism in Malaysia examines aspects of the increasing political and social profile of Islam in Malaysia and describes how different kinds of activists in Malaysia have sought to protect fundamental liberties and to improve the state of democracy in Malaysia. In particular, focus is paid to activists who engage with electoral process, the law and the public sphere, and in particular, to movements that cut across or combine these realms of action. Spanning the period of the Prime Ministership of Abdullah Badawi, Julian C.H. Lee's grounded analysis examines the most important issues of that period including the freedom of religion case of Lina Joy, the Islamic state debate, and events surrounding the 8 March 2008 general elections.
  • Ethnic Relations and Nation Building: The Way Forward edited by Maya Khemlani David and James Mclellan. Most of these 13 papers by social scientists of different disciplines were given at the 2008 conference at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Based on research or experience in Malaysia, and also in Thailand and Myanmar, many problems of nation-building are addressed and also related to everyday situations and forward planning. The papers are grouped as dealing with: the search for National Identity, using work done in Malaysia; Ethnic Identity of Minorities, using work done in: Burma with Rohingya, Karen and Shan-related minorities; with Hill Tribes in North Thailand; with children of Bidayuh-Indian marriages in Sarawak; and with Malaysian Indians. The third section on National Integration explores several of Malaysia's areas of ethnic sensitivity and perceptions of otherness - including politeness (and or its opposite) in the Malaysian Parliament. Index.

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