Friday, April 27, 2012

Books on Labour Relations and Workers' Rights

This is a selection of books on labour relations and workers’ rights.

Labour in Vietnam edited by Anita Chan, Anita. Two decades after Vietnam introduced a programme of economic renovation commonly known in Doi Moi, the country today allows market competition in industry, and a new working class has been created. This is the first book to focus on the role and conditions of workers in the new economic regime. The authors of the book trace Vietnam's labour history, explore the impact of the socialist legacy and examine the reasons for the large number of recent strikes. The book provides insights into the workforce of one of Asia's most rapidly developing industrial economies.

Migrant Workers in China by Han Changfu. Changfu Han, since 2009 China's Minister of Agriculture, has written this important study of China's rural-urban migration which now involves some 200 million migrants. After an overview of China's post-1968 industrialising scene, population trends and residency restrictions, the migration patterns in Brazil, United States and elsewhere are reviewed. Many aspects of migration and its impacts on industrialisation, agriculture, family stability, education and political balance are discussed. The need for social support programmes and a general overhaul of the present official and company employment requirements is urged and possible practical measures are outlined, with supporting data. Other practical measures to promote the stable absorption of migrants into urban life are outlined. Index.

Labour Market Segmentation in Malaysia Services by Khong How Ling and Jomo K.S.. This substantial study of labour in Malaysian services uses the market segmentation approach as it addresses issues in both the public and private components of the economy. Part One overviews Malaysia's post-colonial economic transformations including growth, structural change and government spending issues. Part Two looks at labour market segmentation and organisation and posits a framework for analysis. Part Three explores Traditional Services employment including small, petty trade patterns and family enterprises, and Part Four deals with Modern Services Employment which tends to have structured wage systems and modern organisational management. With glossary, bibliography and index.

Marketing Dreams, Manufacturing Heroes: The Transnational Labor Brokering of Filipino Workers by Anna Romina Guevarra. This is a study of multi-layered brokering process which recruits, manages and sends Filipino migrant workers from their homeland to jobs of many different kinds all over the world. Filipino migrant workers number at least 5 million and the brokering organistions are involved in recruitment, training and disciplining workers, presentation marketing publicity at home and abroad and also with government policies. These nowadays permit and manage but allegedly do not promote migrant work for Philippine nationals. The author draws case material from nurses and care workers in the US and discussion with brokers and employment agencies of various kinds in Manila and elsewhere. Bibliography and index.

Guide to Singapore Employment Act (Second Edition) by Vincent Gabriel. A clearly set out summary guide to the provisions of the Singapore Employment Act. Insets present case situations. The Act's definitions are set out in the Appendix.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Select Books at 51 Armenian Street

*** Update ***

How time flies! It seemed only a short while ago that we excitedly moved into 51 Armenian Street for a new chapter in Select Books's journey.

A busy two years - and lots of book signings, book launches and meet-the-author sessions - later, our lease at Armenian Street ended, and we decided to move to a new location.

We hope to have the new bookstore operational by the end of 2014. We will let everyone know about the details as soon as we can.

In the meantime, other aspects of our business (including publishing and distribution) are still going on as per normal. Please continue to search for books and purchase them online through our online bookstore:


We are operational at our new home at 51 Armenian Street!  After a hectic week of packing, unpacking and moving of shelves around, we started operating on Monday, April 16, 2012.

We haven't quite finished with the fittings yet and will continue to bring stuff in over the next month or so (including a signboard - as one helpful customer pointed out!).  Likewise, the cafe will take a little more time to get up and running, but it's almost there.

Already we have customers who have told us that they went to Tanglin Shopping Centre, found that we had moved, read the note that we had stuck on the glass, and tracked us down at our new place.  As always, we are extremely touched by how our customers continue to give us their support.  Thank you!  And we hope to win over more new friends at Armenian Street.

At Armenian Street, with the bigger space available, we have designed the bookstore cafe to facilitate book activities and events.  If you need a cosy and friendly place to hold bookclub meetings, book launches or meet-the-author sessions, let us know.  We'd be happy to see how we can help.  We also have plans to use one of the walls as a space for mini-exhibitions of art and photographs.

Contact us at

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Books on Indonesia

These are recent additions to our large stock of books on Indonesia:

From the Ground Up: Perspectives on Post-Tsunami and Post-Conflict Aceh edited by Patrick Daly; R M Feener and A. Reid. The tsunami that struck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 evoked international sympathy on a scale beyond any previous natural disaster. The international relief effort broke all records both in scale and diversity, with seven billion U.S. dollars donated from all over the world through public and private agencies for Sumatra alone. Simply as a reconstruction effort, therefore, the disbursement of those funds and the rebuilding of housing, infrastructure, and economy posed major national and international challenges. However this was not simply a reconstruction effort. Aceh at that time was a war zone, with Indonesia's military engaged in a major operation to crush a separatist rebellion that had been simmering since 1976. Even though the funds had been donated for tsunami relief, any real reconstruction of Aceh had to consider the impact of the conflict on the well-being of the population, as well as governance and administrative capacities. This volumes serves the purpose not only of discussing some of the lessons of the Aceh reconstruction and peace processes, but also of maintaining critical links between Aceh and the international community after the initial tranches of aid expire.

Power, Change, and Gender Relations in Rural Java: A Tale of Two Villages by Ann R. Tickamyer and Siti Kusujiarti. Based on field studies between 1993 and 2010 in two rural villages in the Yogjakarta area of Java, this is a comparative study of gender roles andn power exercise at the end of the New Order regime during the following transitional period, and the subsequent democratic government. The findings indicate that contradictions abound in the lives of these Javanese women in their independent management of some property and family roles while cultural, legal and state pressures press heavily on aspects of female autonomy. The widespread criticism of female public figures from several viewpoints is shown to demonstrate contradictions in a society dealing with major social change. Bibliography.

Bali Raw: An Exposé of The Underbelly Of Bali, Indonesia by Malcolm Scott. Considered one of the world's most popular holiday destinations, the tropical island of Bali in Indonesia has long been the site for Western fantasies about paradise. Millions of tourists visit the Island of the Gods every year, from families treating the kids to a beach holiday to single men looking for cheap booze and sex. And for many young Westerners and Singaporeans, hardcore partying in Bali has become a rite of passage, but it is not without pitfalls. Bali is a rough place, as dangerous a place as you will ever encounter. What you don't see in the glossy brochures is the rampant prostitution, the prevalence of AIDS, the bloody turf wars waged between local gangs and the drug- and alcohol-induced Western hooliganism. Tourists are robbed, raped and murdered and Westerners get into vicious fights amongst themselves and with Indonesians on a regular basis. In this extraordinary exposé, Australian author and Bali resident Malcolm Scott reveals the raw underbelly of Bali. He walks readers down Bali's mean streets with honesty, humour and gritty realism and offers up a Bali choking with violent street fights, cheap sex and aggressive crime. Bali Raw is a must-read for anyone who has visited, or is thinking of travelling to, Indonesia's Island of the Gods.

Greetings from Jakarta: Postcards of a Capital 1900-1950 by Scott Merrillees. Greetings from Jakarta: Postcards of a Capital 1900-1950 is the most comprehensive visual record of Jakarta ever published covering the first half of the 20th century which was also the last half century of colonial rule. Four hundred and sixty postcards from the author's own collection are brought together here to reveal a city that has largely vanished and is barely recognizable even to most lifelong residents. Three hundred and sixty-two of the postcards have individually researched captions and are linked to period maps which enable the reader to identify the precise location of the each image. This book is the result of twenty years of collecting and research by Scott Merrillees to try and answer the questions: what did Jakarta look like in the past and how did it evolve into the city it is today? It is a continuation of Scott's first book, Batavia in Nineteenth Century Photographs, which focuses on Jakarta during the second half of the nineteenth century. The aim of both books is to transport the reader back to the Jakarta of an earlier age and bring it back to life for the understanding and enjoyment of modern residents and visitors alike before it is lost forever.

Eko (Space) Nugroxo edited by Adeline Ooi and Beverly Yong. Eko Nugroho (b. 1977) is one of Indonesia's hottest rising stars. He is a member of the artistic and intellectual community that centres on the vibrant central Java city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. Working across media, form and presentation, Eko's works often forces an interface between high art and street and popular culture. He works in diverse media, creating paintings, murals, videos, handmade zines with collage and drawings, and also collaborates with local machinists to produce beautiful embroideries. Eko has participated in numerous international shows. This is his first monograph, and documents the artist's career from the early 2000s up till 2011. Includes an in-depth interview by Enin Supriyanto with the artist.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Books on Ageing in Asia

This is a selection of books on the issue of ageing populations in Asia:

Ageing Baby Boomers: The Most Pressing Issue of the Age by Kua Ee-Heok. The baby boomers have come of age - the first cohort born in 1946 is now 65 years old. The pervasive themes in this book are mental resilience, the ethical mind and life satisfaction. What factors influenced and determined the lives of 40 young lads from a small Malaysian town who were from the same school in 1964? Their experiences and life stories are juxtaposed with another group of baby boomers in Singapore. This book is, in essence, a quantitative and qualitative study of their collective experiences. There are many books on gerontology in the libraries and bookshops, but they are all written from the British or American perspective. Ageing Baby Boomers is written from an Asian perspective, viewed through the lens of time by a doctor who has lived and worked on both sides of the Causeway. Professor Kua Ee-Heok hopes it will ignite interest, like the yeast for the unleavened bread; its effervescence will give rise to new ideas in addressing the most pressing issue of the age - the ageing of the baby boomers.

Ageing in Singapore: Service Needs and the State by Peggy Teo; Kalyani Mehta, Leng Leng Thang et al. Older persons are often portrayed as social and financial burdens because pensions, health and social care have to withstand increasing old age dependency ratios. Due to a lack of access to representation or a lack of social and economic power, older people have found few opportunities to have their voices heard, making age an immensely political issue. Written by an impressive team of authors, this book provides an in-depth analysis of the experience of ageing in Singapore examining key issues such as health, work, housing, family ties and care giving. It looks at how social categorization enters into everyday life to elucidate the multiple meanings of age and identity encountered in a rapidly changing economy and society. Providing original critical discourse from Asian writers recording Asian voices, this work will appeal to a wide readership and is an invaluable resource for policy makers, service practitioners and scholars working on Asian gerontology.

Older Persons in Southeast Asia: An Emerging Asset edited by Evi Nurvidya Arifin and Aris Ananta. We all know that today's demographic trends will inevitably mean that the proportion of elderly in Asia's ever-growing population will continue to increase. In these 15 papers 26 specialists address many aspects of implications of this not-necessarily-negative fact. After introductory overviews in Part 1, Part 2 looks at aspects of income security with reference to approaches in Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Part 3 considers employment and other sources of financial and social support. Part 4 examines ageing, migration, and development issues with reference to experiences in Singapore, the Philippines and Sarawak. The final two papers discuss interactive issues of government, civil society and policy implementation. With index and separate bibliographies.

Ageing in Southeast and East Asia: Family, Social Protection and Policy Challenges edited by Lee Hock Guan. Southeast and East Asian countries are undergoing varying stages of population ageing. The social, economic and political implications of population ageing will be enormous, and because of the fast speed of ageing in the region, the countries cannot afford the luxury of time for the gradual evolution of social and structural support systems and networks for the older population. The papers in this volume are selected from those presented at a 2004 workshop on Ageing and the Status of the Older Population in Southeast Asia. They critically examine national ageing policies and programmes, the sustainability of existing pension systems, housing and living arrangements, inter-generational transfer, and aspects of quality of life of the elderly population in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. While the findings show that most Southeast Asian countries have started to formulate and implement national ageing policies, they also indicate that the existing policies are by and large inadequate and underdeveloped in serving the needs of the older population and indeed much more must be done to prepare for the future.

The Glittering Silver Market: The Rise of the Elderly Consumers in Asia by Yuwa Hedrick-Wong. Throughout the world there is an ongoing increase in the elderly consumer market and its impact in Asia is the focus of this clearly organised. After an overview of ageing patterns, tabulated economic and demographic data are provided for each chapter on: Ageing Japan; Affluent Asia (i.e. Australia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore); Emerging China; Emerging Asia: Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and India; and a final chapter on immediately appropriate changes in focus by marketers, in the workplace and in public perceptions. Index.