From Our Archives

The Capture of Malacca, A.D. 1511 (NEW!)

The Malacca Sultanate

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




Dr Cheah Boon Kheng (1939-2015)

  Dr Cheah Boon Kheng, historian and former Vice-President of the Society, passed away peacefully on Monday afternoon, 27 July 2015, having succumbed to cancer. The funeral service was held Thursday morning, 30 July 2015 at the Nirvana Funeral Parlour, Jalan 222 in Petaling Jaya.

Dr Cheah will be remembered as warm, generous and humble, ever willing to help others and thoroughly dedicated to the cause which he served. Born in 1939, Dr Cheah was one of the rare few who cut his teeth in journalism before embarking - midway in his professional life - on a lustrous academic career after obtaining his PhD from the Australian National University (ANU) in 1978 under the supervision of Dr Anthony Reid and Dr David Marr. Dr Cheah then joined Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as lecturer and served there till his retirement in 1994.

Dr Cheah first joined the MBRAS in 1976 and became its Vice-President in 1991, a post he held until recently when he relinquished it following his illness along with the editorship of the JMBRAS. Under his steady hands, Dr Cheah also edited a number of Monographs and Reprints for the Society.

Some of Dr Cheah's groundbreaking books on Malaysian history include Red Star over Malaya (1983), a classic account of the Communist Party of Malaya's early activities which has recently been reissued by the NUS Press; The Peasant Robbers of Kedah (1988), a fascinating account of social banditry in turn-of-the-century Kedah, including the forgotten exploits of Panglima Nayan and Salleh Tui and To' Janggut: Legends, Histories, and Perceptions of the 1915 Rebellion in Kelantan (2006), a compelling reexamination of Tok Janggut and the 1915 rebellion, which counts among his last original works.

The Council offers its sincere condolences to his family members and notes with gratitude and humility his immeasurable contributions to the Society in particular, and to the discipline of History, in general. May his soul rest in peace.

An obituary notice will be published in the next JMBRAS issue. Meanwhile the Society welcomes any of its members, or indeed anybody at all, who have had the good fortune to be acquainted with the late Dr Cheah to write in and supply us with anecdotes or recollections that will help celebrate his memory and his brilliant scholarship as historian.





"Force 136 and the Malay Resistance"


Rebecca Kenneison

Date: 5 September (Saturday) 2015

Time: 5.30 p.m.

Venue: Badan Warisan Malaysia, Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur

Rebecca Kenneison will give a talk on ‘Force 136 and the Malay Resistance’ at 5.30 p.m. on Saturday 5 September 2015 at the offices of Badan Warisan Malaysia, 2 Jalan Stonor, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

All members of MBRAS and BWM are warmly invited.

As places may be limited, please confirm your attendance by telephone to BWM at 03-21449273.

Rebecca Kenneison, of Malaysian extraction, is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Sussex, working on the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and its members as a means to study the resistance in Japanese-occupied Malaya 1941-1945, and the impact of Occupation in the post-war British colonial state up to the declaration of the State of Emergency in 1948. She has also studied extensively the origins, roles and interconnections of the Eurasian communities of colonial Asia. She is the author of Playing for Malaya: A Eurasian Family in the Pacific War (NUS Press, 2012)



   NEW Featured Article : The Capture of Malacca, A.D. 1511    

  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.

The second part to our earlier featured article on "The Malacca Sultanate" features an engaging account of the military campaign to capture Malacca by the Portuguese in July 1511. 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 takes the reader through developments which set in motion events that eventually led to Malacca's decline and spectacular downfall. Wilkinson's article illustrates the fate that awaits a major regional power like Malacca when an emerging naval power like Portugal takes advantage of its weakness brought about by administrative decay, incompetence, internal dissent and damaging games of court intrigue.

CLICK HERE to view the article and summary.

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.




Monograph 48: Perniagaan Haji dan Dokumentasi Sultan Kedah

  The latest MBRAS offering is Monograph No. 48: 'Perniagaan Haji di Pulau Pinang dan Dokumentasi Sultan Kedah', two joint winners of the Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard Memorial Prize for the best-written academic essays from Malaysian and Singaporean universities.

Both essays are written in Bahasa Malaysia. The first one describes the Haj trade in Penang between the 19th century and its decline in the 1970s. The second essay builds on earlier scholarly efforts to study the Royal Correspondence of Sultan Abdul Hamid of Kedah (1864-1943, r. 1882-1943) while attempting a socio-economic survey of Kedah under his reign. The volume has been deftly edited by MBRAS Council member Dato Prof Abu Talib Ahmad, who also introduces the subject matters to readers.

CLICK HERE for more details.

Edited and introduced by Dato Prof Abu Talib Ahmad
RM40, inclusive of postage, within Malaysia only
For other postage options, please contact us for details.




Reprint 33: Glimpses of Penang's Past

  The latest MBRAS offering is Reprint No. 33: 'Glimpses of Penang's Past', which offers a collection of 14 mostly rare pioneering studies of Penang's history, specially selected and painstakingly prepared for easy reference and modern consumption. Reprint No. 33 has been made possible through the generous support extended by urban regeneration vehicle Think City.

Fourteen articles have been carefully selected by scholars Loh Wei Leng and Badriyah Haji Salleh - both specialists to some extent on certain aspects of the island's history - from the back issues of the JSBRAS and the JMBRAS, articles long unobtainable and mostly inaccessible to the general public. This engaging collection of mostly rare articles - many inexcusably overlooked and forgotten - have been made available to the public yet again in an attempt to provoke a fresh reinterpretation of Penang history and to supplement, wherever possible, existing gaps in current Penang historiography. The new MBRAS reprint is expected to fulfill the growing public appetite for historical material on Penang, particularly during its 170 years of eventful colonial occupation.

CLICK HERE for more details.

Selected and introduced by Loh Wei Leng and Badriyah Haji Salleh
RM35, inclusive of postage, within Malaysia only
For other postage options, please contact us for details.



This KUL City    

BWM-MBRAS-TCSB engagement launched

This KUL City, a collaborative effort between Badan Warisan Malaysia (BWM), the MBRAS and urban regeneration vehicle Think City Sdn Bhd (TCSB), was launched on 7 April 2015 in Kuala Lumpur and officially took off with the Bukit Nanas Discovery Walk on 25 April 2015.

This KUL City is a multi-dimensional programme with elements of cultural mapping, youth engagement and historical documentation aimed at raising awareness and compiling an alternative history of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The programme will run over a period of 18 months.

This KUL City features an exciting programme lined up throughout the year. There will be an engaging Lecture Series on the history and evolution of Kuala Lumpur with vibrant and eminent speakers, KL City Walks to explore the unknown facets of its history on foot conducted by enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, and the much-awaited KL City Ghost Stories, an innovative event to explore the paranormal history of the capital in October 2015.

For more information on the various events lined up throughout this year, please follow this link on This KUL City.

This Kul City events are open to the public. For any queries regarding This KUL City, feel free to get in touch with BWM via email: heritage@badanwarisan.org.my com or by telephone at +603-2144-9273.

Recent Publications

Please download the Latest Order form for a variety of post and packaging options for your area.
This page has been optimised for fast downloading. For contents for each book, please click on the image.
Hit Counter:
Home | About Us| Councillors | JMBRAS | Monographs | Reprints | Public Lectures | Author's Guidelines | Membership
COPYRIGHT © 2010 Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society