English Nursery Rhymes with a Malay Spin

Many of us would recognise nursery rhymes such as “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and “Hot Cross Buns”, but reading Malay versions of these typically British children’s poems in a culturally misplaced context takes some getting used to. A collection of whimsical nursery rhymes given a delightful Malayan spin is the subject of an illustrated compendium published in 1939. Titled Haji’s Book of Malayan…

Malaya Through One Man’s Eyes

In the early 1900s, there were few authoritative resources that could provide an accurate picture of Malaya’s colonial history. That changed in 1906, when the book British Malaya was published. Written by Frank Swettenham, the first Resident-General of the Federated Malay States (FMS), the book details the history of the Straits Settlements ports of Singapore, Malacca and Penang – in particular, the establishment of…