Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society
Volume 94 Part 1, No. 320 June 2021

Editor's Note

Malays in the Indochinese Peninsula: Adventurers, Warlords and Ministers
- Nicolas Weber

The Kong-Moon System in Larut: Chinese Social Relationships in Nineteenth-Century Perak
- Pek Wee Chuen

Âl al-'Attâs and Hadramî Arab Migration to the Malay World
- Syed Farid Alatas

'I Want to Live': Malayan Communist Party Struggles as Seen by Female Defectors
- Mahani Musa

Thamboosamy Pillai and the Colonial Elite of British Malaya
- Sivachandralingam Sundara Raja

PETRONAS, Oil Money and Malaysia's National Sovereignty
- Shakila Yacob

A Penang Portfolio
- Bryn Barnard


- On the River Pluss by X. Brau de St. Pol Lias, translated by Colin Dyer

- Everyday life of the People of the Malay Peninsula [c. 1943] by Ando Kozo, translated by Josko Kozic with Shota Tadano

A Document from Malaysian History

- Affairs in Larut Leading to British Intervention by Leonard Wray, Jun.


- A Discussion of Decolonizing Extinction, by Juno Salazar Parreñas, edited by Faizah Binte Zakaria


Book Reviews

Sonic City: Making Rock Music and Urban Life in Singapore by Steve Ferzacca

Sarawak River Valley, Early Times to 1840: Santubong Kuching Brunei by Suraini binti Sahari and Tom McLaughlin

Wanderlust: The Amazing Ida Pfeiffer by John Van Wyhe

The Crown and the Capitalists: The Ethnic Chinese and the Founding of the Thai Nation by Wasana Wongsurawat

Alternative Voices in Muslim Southeast Asia: Discourse and Struggles edited by Norshahril Saat and Azhar Ibrahim

From Free Port to Modern Economy: Economic Development and Social Change in Penang, 1969 to 1990 edited by Chet Singh, Rajah Rasiah and Wong Yee Tuan

My Story: Justice in the Wilderness by Tommy Thomas

Decolonizing the History Curriculum in Malaysia and Singapore by Kevin Blackburn and Zonglun Wu

Staging Indigenous Heritage: Instrumentalisation, Brokerage and Representation in Malaysia by Cai Yunci

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The first issue of our journal
JULY 1878

Reprinted with the permission of the

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Contents of JMBRAS

The entire List of Articles of the Journals from 1877-2020 is downloadable in PDF format for quick reference. Please click on the letters in blue. The formatting is not perfect but will gradually be updated and standardised for easy reference.

The entire Index to the Journals from 1877-2020 is downloadable in PDF format for quick reference. The MBRAS Index represents an extension to the Index Malaysiana and its Supplementary Issues, physical copies of which are still available. The Index is regularly updated till the latest issue and is an indispensable tool for referencing. Please click on the letters in blue. The contents and formatting may not be perfect but they are consistently reviewed and improvements made from time to time for easy reference.

Back Numbers of Our Journals (JSBRAS, JMBRAS)

Most of the Society's back issues are sadly out of print but selected issues may still be obtained directly from the Society. Please email for past issues that are still available for sale.

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Sale of MBRAS Microfilms

The MBRAS is making available on microfilm all back numbers of the Journal of the Straits/Malayan/Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1878 up to December 2000 (Vol. 73, Part 2).

The set includes full subject and author indices up to 1980, together with a volume by volume list of the contents for the whole run. Films may be ordered in positive or negative. Work is currently in hand to compile an index by author and subject for the period 1981-2000.

The entire set of 35 reels is priced at RM14,000 / S$7,000 / US$3,700. For a partial set (10 reels or more in a single order), the price is RM300 / S$150 / US$80 per reel. All prices are exclusive of postage and packing. Due to the short shelf life of unexposed microfilm, special supplies will have to be ordered, and consequently there may be a delay of up to 3 months.

All prices are subject to change without notice. Please email your order stating volume numbers and dates, positives/negatives, etc. to

The Journal of Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (JMBRAS) is published half-yearly by the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS).It disseminates knowledge and matters of cultural and historical value pertaining to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. All papers submitted should be in English and communicate ideas and information clearly and concisely, with a minimum of jargon. Papers are considered on the understanding that the contents have not appeared elsewhere in substantially the same, or abbreviated form. See Author's Guidelines.
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