From Our Archives

The Malacca Sultanate (NEW!)

Meteorological Report, 1885

Notes on Names of Places in Singapore and its Vicinity

History of the Translation of the Bible into Malay

The Philippine Claim to Sabah




MBRAS Youth Forum

"Who writes our history?"

Date: 10 December (Wednesday) 2014

Time: 2 p.m.

Venue: Auditorium, Menara Star, Phileo Damansara, Petaling Jaya

Please join us for the MBRAS Youth Forum next week, the first ever event of its kind organised by our younger members. The MBRAS Youth Forum had been mooted by MBRAS President Tun Hanif Omar, aimed at creating greater awareness about the need for a deeper understanding about Malaysia’s multi-ethnic and multi-cultural history. More importantly, the theme of the forum stresses the need for the construction of a national history and its teaching in Malaysian schools.

The forum will be moderated by Dr. Neil Khor, the Hon. Secretary of the MBRAS and involve student leaders from Malaysian schools and private higher education institutes. Joining them will be academics and educationists such as Dr. Ong Kian Ming - the MP for Serdang - along with Dr. Helen Ting of IKMAS, UKM. It is held in collaboration with Star Publications which has generously offered to host the event at its auditorium in Menara Star, Pusat Dagangan Phileo Damansara, Petaling Jaya,located next to Eastin Hotel.

We welcome new members who wish to learn more about our Society and its work. Those interested to sign up as members will be able to do so on that day. A selection of our publications, including old journal issues, will be available for purchase on that day. You may also place an order with us and pick it up on that day when you attend the forum.

Click here for further details about the forum.

The MBRAS Youth forum is open to the public at no charge. Feel free to direct any queries via email: mbrasmsb@gmail.com or by calling us at +603-2283-5345.



   NEW Featured Article : The Malacca Sultanate    

  The rise and fall of nations and governments are usually of mere passing interest to most of us. However when a mighty empire like the Malacca Sultanante crumbles to the ground after holding sway for over a century, it represented a turning point that triggered a major political realignment in Southeast Asia in the 16th century and had far-reaching geopolitical consesequences for the region at the time and for several centuries later. Our featured article for the end of 2014 features a short account of the Malacca Sultanate from its rise at around 1400 and its demise as a formidable regional power at around 1511 when it fell into Portuguese hands. Its author, R.J. Wilkinson, was one of the finest scholar-administrators that British Malaya ever produced and his works on Malay subjects continue to be standard reference to this day. In this article, Wilkinson charts Malacca's ascendancy in a geopolitical environment where China was the patron-state through to its decline due to moral decay, intrigue, indolence and corruption. Major themes in Wilkinson's article will resonate deeply in contemporary readers who may see one or more of these elements contributing to the political turbulence of our times.

Please click on the title above to get to the relevant page.

As usual, comments and corrections are much sought after. Meanwhile we hope readers will enjoy this rather short article and our brief notes accompanying the article.



   UPDATE : Report of 2nd MBRAS Lecture 2014

  The reports and pictures from the 2nd MBRAS Lecture for 2014 by Mr. Ng Tze Shiung can now be accessed on our Lectures page.

The second round of the MBRAS Lectures took place on Saturday, 4 October 2014 in Singapore, where the Council met for the third time this year. The lecture "The Raffles Paradox: Liberal, Autocrat, or something else?" was delivered by Mr. Ng, a professional engineer who is currently researching part-time for a PhD at the Australian National University (ANU) under distinguished historians Anthony Milner, Robert Cribb and Alex Cook.

The subject matter being an individual generally highly regarded by Singaporeans young and old, the topic naturally generated considerable interest, amply testified by the lively question-and-answer session which followed. Discussions on 18th century European political philosophy are apt to produce a certain languor among the unitiated but Mr. Ng's eloquence and ability to dissect the subject matter without resorting to excessive jargon - due, no doubt, to his training as an engineer - must have gone down well with the audience at The Pod, National Library of Singapore, where the lecture was held. The objective of Mr. Ng's lecture, namely in getting the audience to challenge some of the prevailing assumptions about Raffles' personality, had been achieved by the end of the talk when he sent the audience away into the evening to chew on some fresh and unsettling interpretations about a multi-faceted colonial official whose life, 188 years into his death, still pays greater study.

Click on the title of this section above and scroll down to the relevant sections on our Lectures page for more details.



   NEW From MBRAS : Biographical Dictionary of Mercantile    Personalities of Penang

  The 200 concise biographies of early Penang mercantile personalities included in this volume offer a rare and invaluable glimpse into their lives. The selection is a veritable cultural cross-section of those who pioneered the growth of Penang in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It highlights not only their contribution to the economic, social, political and cultural development of Penang, but also of Malaysia and Southeast Asia as a whole.

Click on the title of the volume above for more details.

Volume edited by Loh Wei Leng, Badriyah Haji Salleh, Mahani Musa, Wong Yee Tuan and Marcus Langdon
RM 50, inclusive of postage, within Malaysia only
RM 40, if purchased in person from the MBRAS office
RM 36, for authors of the volume
For other postage options, please contact us for details.

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