New Book: A Brief History of Singapore and Malaysia

I was alerted to this new book that’ll be released in March! 📚

Title: A Brief History of Singapore and Malaysia: Multiculturalism and Prosperity: The Shared History of Two Southeast Asian Tigers (Brief History of Asia Series)

Author: Christopher Hale

Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

Publication Date: 21 March 2023

Purchase Links: Kinokuniya (SG) | Tuttle |

Author Website:

About the author: Christopher Hale is an award-winning author and documentary producer. As a filmmaker he has worked throughout Southeast Asia for the BBC, National Geographic and Channel News Asia International where he was executive producer of the CNA Singapore unit.

The book has a nice epigraph:

As a former Singapore student, I’m naturally drawn to the humanistic perspective of the second quotation.

Literature and history were my favorite subjects at school, and I like the approach of this book in terms of exploring two Southeast Asian tigers and why “modern Singaporeans and Malaysians think of their shared history so differently.”

At 400-ish pages, I’d perhaps describe this publication as a “comprehensive brief history” of these two countries.

While this will probably be a very different read from books like Once a Jolly Hangman or Beyond Suspicion, I share the author’s fascination with the history of this region of the world. As a hobby blogger who’s shared info on some of the darker bits of Singapore’s history, I know that there’s still tons of history (dark and not-so-dark) that I don’t know besides the official state narrative we were accustomed to as students.

I’ll update this post or post a separate quick review post if/when I get a copy of this book.

Purchase Links: Kinokuniya (SG) | Tuttle |

Author Website:

What else has been happening?

Hurricane Ian hit my area hard last September. It was really something and that’s the biggest natural disaster I’ve experienced first hand so far.

I don’t want to repeat myself across different blogs multiple times, so you can view my short post on my personal site about that hurricane experience if you’d like to learn more.

The quick summary is that I:

  • thought I was going to die for 8 hours straight
  • had no electricity for 10 days after the event
  • had no home internet for 21 days after the event (!!)

The aftermath was almost as bad as the actual event (in a different way).

I started doing more sketching after that as a form of therapy to calm my nerves down. I first started sketching when I was 16 and have been wildly inconsistent with keeping up the practice.

This year, I hope to get back to that to continue improving. I’ve also started dabbling around with some basic watercolours to add a bit of colour to certain drawings when I feel like it.

I’m glad we installed hurricane windows/doors a couple of years ago, as many of the thinner/older ones exploded either from the ferocious wind or from the changes in air pressure.

The last book review I did here was in 2019 (what?!) and I was reading The Media Enthralled by Francis Seow before the hurricane hit.

I’ve been cleaning up and reorganizing my book shelves, which will hopefully spur me on to continue reading some of the socio-political books I’ve had there for a while.