From Our Archives

Meteorological Report, 1885 (NEW!)

Notes on Names of Places in Singapore and its Vicinity

History of the Translation of the Bible into Malay

The Philippine Claim to Sabah



   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 Featured Article : Meteorological Report for 1885    

  An unusual item from our dusty archives constitutes our second featured article for 2014. Its topic is one that continues to engage our daily interest: the weather. The article by Thomas Irvine Rowell which appeared in the JSBRAS of December 1885 had originally been published in the Straits Settlements Annual Report for 1885 but the editors of the Journal at the time must have thought it sufficiently useful to merit its inclusion in the final JSBRAS issue for that year. Readers who are feeling nostalgic for a time when the weather was more predictable might be interested to find out what general conditions were like in parts of Peninsular Malaysia 129 years ago. Though the temperature was arguably cooler at the time, general patterns of the weather do not appear to have altered very much, especially the prevalence of dry conditions in the early months of the year.

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.



   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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