Friday, June 12, 2015

Published: Thursday June 11, 2015 MYT 4:51:00 PM
Updated: Thursday June 11, 2015 MYT 11:46:15 PM

Khoo Salma shortlisted for prestigious book prize

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/06/11/Khoo-Salma-Penang-ICAS/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

 
PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian author has been shortlisted for the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) Book Prize 2015.  
Khoo Salma Nasution's book about the Kapitan Keling Mosque in Penang is judged top six under the Best Study in the Humanities category from submissions received across the world. 
Titled The Chulia in Penang: Patronage and Place-Making around the Kapitan Kling Mosque 1786–1957 , it is published by Areca Books.
The book tells the history of the prosperous Penang Tamil Muslims, who were once known as Chulias. 
"I'm very happy and honoured to be shortlisted because it is not easy to get there, especially competing against so many academic books," the Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) president told The Star Online.  
On whether she hopes to bag the top prize, Khoo Salma said that she is already pleased to be shortlisted.  
"That (winning) would be very difficult, I think. The ICAS book prize is very tough," she said with a laugh. 
Khoo Salma added that the shortlist showed that the "100% Malaysian book" is capable of competing against other books from prestigious international publications and university presses.  
The book was shortlisted for the jury prize by the ICAS reading community after being chosen from longlisted titles. 
It is also in second place under a different voting-based Colleague's Choice category with 32.8% of the votes.  
In the lead for the prize is The Great Kantō Earthquake and the Chimera of National Reconstruction in Japan by J. Charles Schencking with 38.2% of the votes.  
The biennial ICAS competition has been running since 2004 and aims to create an international focus for publications on Asia.  
Prizes are awarded to outstanding English-language works on Asian issues.   
Voting for Colleague's Choice is open until June 16 with 179 books being considered for this year's competition.
Winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on July 6 in Adelaide, Australia.
To purchase Khoo Salma's book, visit http://arecabooks.com/

To vote for her book under the Colleague's Choice Award, visit: www.surveymonkey.com/s/ICAS-Colleagues-Choice-Award-2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tamil Muslim diaspora, patronage and place-making

Tamil Muslim diaspora, patronage and place-making

chulia 1

The derelict Muslim heritage sites along Chulia Street have aroused my curiosity since the early 1990s… When faced with such enduring evidence, an urban historian can only ask, who were the Chulias? Why were they so important to early George Town? What happened to them? This book is an attempt to answer those questions and to add another layer of historical interpretation to the rich historic urban landscape of the George Town World Heritage Site.

Khoo Salma Nasution, The Chulia in Penang: Patronage and Place-Making around the Kapitan Kling Mosque, 1786–1957

To purchase the book, click here

Farewell photograph at Kapitan Kling Mosque in Penang in 1924 on the transfer of Encik Ahmad Jalaluddin bin Sheikh Muhammad from Penang Free School to Kuala Kangsar Malay College. Arkib Negara.
Farewell photograph at Kapitan Kling Mosque in Penang in 1924 on the transfer of Encik Ahmad Jalaluddin bin Sheikh Muhammad from Penang Free School to Kuala Kangsar Malay College. Arkib Negara.


About the book

Excerpts from the Introduction


The Kapitan Kling Mosque, better known today by its Malay name, Masjid Kapitan Keling, is a historic centre of Islamic devotion and congregation in George Town, the capital of Penang. With a prominent dome and minaret, this fine monument occupies a notable position in the core zone of the city’s World Heritage Site. To the north is Chulia Street, once thickly settled by Muslims from southern India, and today still full of character and life. To the south is Buckingham Street, modern and regular, alluding to British patronage of the mosque and its community in colonial times. The address of the mosque is Pitt Street, not so long ago renamed ‘Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling’.1 This thoroughfare is also dubbed ‘The Street of Harmony’,for several houses of worship representing a variety of world religions have co-existed here for over two hundred years, enriching the lives of denizens and visitors alike.
chulia 3_white
A Living Place of Worship
The Kapitan Kling Mosque is at the centre of a vibrant Tamil Muslim neighbourhood built on endowment land. The Tamil Muslims in this area assume a variety of occupations; they are jewellers, money changers, textile merchants, spice merchants, and food vendors. Families live in houses and apartments, buying their daily necessities and food from local shops and wet markets. Their children attend kindergarten at the back of the mosque. At the sound of the azan (Islamic call to prayer), Muslims from the surrounding shops converge on the mosque from all different directions. Many of the Indian Muslim shopkeepers here pray several times a day at the mosque, locking up shop for a lunch break and then dropping by the mosque again on their way home. There is also a steady trickle of tourists, travellers and itinerants who come to perform their prayers or to simply find a quiet place in the bustling city centre.
While open to all Muslims, the mosque has a strong Tamil character and heritage, dating back to the days when South Indian mariners and labourers were the backbone of the Penang port, manning the lighters and purveying European and Indian vessels. Indeed, the history of the mosque stretches back to the days when Tamil Muslims were called Chulias and the English East India Company – that sovereign-backed maritime multinational – ruled the waves.
The Kapitan Kling Mosque, endowment and community evolved for much of its history within the context of British colonial rule. Among Muslims of the South Asian continent, there is a fond regard for the number ‘786’, which is a numerical equivalent for the auspicious phrase ’bism illāh ir-raḥmān ir-raḥīm’.2 For Penang Indian Muslims, the number is doubly auspicious because the year 1786 (1+786) is the date when Penang was established as a British trading post. Penang became famous among the Tamil Muslims as a land of fortune, and it was from Penang that new networks of Tamil Muslim diasporas spread to the rest of Malaya and Southeast Asia in modern times.
Seller of sweatmeats, friend and children sitting on the front steps of a house. Wade Collection.
Seller of sweatmeats, friend and children sitting on the front steps of a house. Wade Collection.
Place-making and Endowment
A local perspective can be adopted in charting the evolution of the Tamil Muslim community in Penang. Within this port town, the Kapitan Kling Mosque is the principal mosque and centrifugal institution which historically provided Muslims of Indian origin with a symbol of belonging and a sense of place, and continues to do so today. Rather than state or national boundaries, the port town or ‘port cluster’ (the locality where all services related to the business of the port are concentrated) is taken as an appropriate geographical scope for ‘pinning down’ this historical diaspora.
Like all historic cities, the George Town World Heritage Site illustrates layers of ‘place-making’; the latter is simply defined here as the act of making places meaningful. The colonial regime implemented ‘top-down’ processes of place-making – the sponsorship of new architecture, recreational spaces and civic amenities, and the creation of a public realm which offered residents and visitors the experience of ‘progress’, ‘prosperity’ and ‘modernity’. The various indigenous and Asian diaspora communities implemented ‘bottom-up’ processes of place-making through various processes of human settlement, architectural construction and landscape patterning, the creation of sacred spaces, the inscription of social memory through ritual performances, as well as enduring patterns of communal land use.37 Each diaspora made a home away from home by establishing a network of interconnected ‘transcultural spaces’ imbued with cultural-religious values reflecting their ethnic origin and affirming their diasporic identity.
The colonial administration gave official names to streets as one strategy for ordering the town. In George Town, South Indian Muslims lived and worked on Chulia Street (originally named Malabar Street). Kampung Kolam and Jalan Masjid were also named after Tamil Muslim places. Kampung Kaka, Kampung Malabar, and Dato’ Koya Road were the street names for Malabari settlements which no longer exist. Kampung Takia was an unofficial place name for a Tamil Muslim settlement; it made way for what is now Ah Quee Street.
‘Native Coolies at Work (Road repairing), Penang’. A ‘chain-gang’ of labourers undertaking road repairs on Transfer Road, being watched by their overseers (right) from the colonial public works department. In the background is the Keramat Dato’ Koya, marked by a pair of flags. Wade Collection.
‘Native Coolies at Work (Road repairing), Penang’. A ‘chain-gang’ of labourers undertaking road repairs on Transfer Road, being watched by their overseers (right) from the colonial public works department. In the background is the Keramat Dato’ Koya, marked by a pair of flags. Wade Collection.
Imperial and vernacular place-naming often co-existed. The simultaneous use of English, Tamil, Chinese and Malay place names is evidence of historical layering of an urban space. Various communities gave their own place names to locations they used, which nurtured familiarity, recognition and attachment to their new temporary or permanent home. Both Muslim and Hindu Tamil speakers shared the same mental geography of the city and have common Tamil place names for streets, junctions and settlements, reflecting their economic activities. Weld Quay was known as Padahu Thurai (‘boat yard’). King Street was Padahukara Teru (‘boatmen’s street’), the street of Tamil boatmen, sailors and fishermen. Market Street was Kadai Teru (‘street of shops’). Penang Street, where the Nattukottai or Nagarathar Chettiars have their lodge and warehouse, was known as Kittingi Teru (‘street of Chettiar premises’). Green Hall was called Uppukaran Teru (‘salt traders’ street’) where salt was dried and stored in godowns. The junction of Pitt Street and Buckingham Street, in front of the Kapitan Kling Mosque, was called Yeela Muchanti (‘auctioneer’s junction’). The junction of Penang Road, Chulia Street and Argyll Road was named Rajati Medu (‘the Queen’s mount’) after a grand arch erected by the Kadayanallur community during an imperial celebration.38 The junction of Larut Road and Hutton Road was named Thanni Salai (‘water road’) after a tank which supplied water for sale. Many of these vernacular place names reflect the activities of the Tamils who were concentrated in the port area. By comparison, two very early Tamil Hindu villages are found in the outskirts: the washermen’s village at Dhoby Ghaut along the Pinang River and the doolie carriers’ village called Narkalikarar Thandal Kampam at Waterfall Road near the Moon Gate.39
In Penang as elsewhere, Muslim places of significance were often associated with waqf: an endowment, created according to the stipulations of Islamic law, to be held in perpetuity while its usufruct should be devoted to its religious or philanthropic objectives. Waqf has been an important institution in Tamil Muslim society, both in India and among the diaspora.40 Community patrons often dedicated waqf in response to community needs, thereby earning both social prestige and spiritual reward. Mosques and burial grounds were endowed for the use of the Muslim community, while Sufi saint-shrines (dargah) were important places of resort for both Muslims and Hindus, thus providing an integrative transcultural space. While endowments were but one process of place-making, they were often retained and inscribed in the social memory due to their religious and supposedly permanent nature. Even a piece of waqf property which had been wrongly sold or misappropriated would be remembered for generations later, although particular details might be disputed.
The port town, especially the area on both sides of Chulia Street, is dotted with evidence of Tamil Muslim endowments. Mosques and saint-shrines endowed by Tamil Muslims were built not only in town, but also in every suburban or rural settlement where there were substantial numbers of Tamil Muslims. Feasts (kenduri) were localized forms of patronage, as the richest in the society were expected to maintain regular benefactions towards their kinship groups and immediate community; though usually meagre and ephemeral, these benefits would be tangibly and emotionally felt by the poorest in the society. Festivals and procession routes helped expand the geography of the diaspora, allowing them to assert a stake in the urban space.
The Burmah Road mansion of Shaik Eusoff Gunny Maricar. He was a Penang harbour pilot, patron of the Nagore Dargah and president of the Muslim Society, Kapitan Kling Mosque. Courtesy of Alex Koenig.
The Burmah Road mansion of Shaik Eusoff Gunny Maricar. He was a Penang harbour pilot, patron of the Nagore Dargah and president of the Muslim Society, Kapitan Kling Mosque. Courtesy of Alex Koenig.
Apart from the well-known Kapitan Kling Mosque and the Nagore Dargah, which continue to be frequented, many religious sites and domestic buildings associated with the Chulias are today found in an abandoned and derelict state. A few have been refurbished with little understanding of their cultural significance. Yet physical records point to the major historical importance of the South Indian community in the port area of Penang in the nineteenth century, a much more substantial presence than what is visible today. The Kelly map of 1893, which shows an array of built forms, brick bungalows, wooden cottages and warehouses, as well as more regular shophouses, also reveals an abundance of Muslim urban heritage – mosques, dargahs, mausoleums, burial grounds, even an Indian tank and an ashurkhanah, all of which will be elaborated upon later. Many private properties formerly belonging to wealthy Muslims have been sold off and demolished, but the institution of waqf (which implies the meaning ‘to retain’) has preserved some of this built heritage.
When faced with such enduring evidence, an urban historian can only ask, who were the Chulias? Why were they so important to early George Town? What happened to them? This book is an attempt to answer those questions and to add another layer of historical interpretation to the rich historic urban landscape of the George Town World Heritage Site.
A nineteenth-century view of Chulia Street, showing the street congested with bullock carts and rickshaws. The twin miniature minarets of the Nagore shrine can be seen. Wade Collection.
A nineteenth-century view of Chulia Street, showing the street congested with bullock carts and rickshaws. The twin miniature minarets of the Nagore shrine can be seen. Wade Collection.

Organisation of the Book

The book is divided into six parts, each roughly corresponding to a historical period. Each part is divided into individual chapters which look at the dominant themes of that period. The construction of this social history depends greatly on English sources available to the author, supplemented by limited Malay sources as well as minimal Tamil sources.
Part One, entitled ‘A New Port for the Chulias’, depicts the maritime trade of the Chulias in ancient times and during the period leading up to the establishment of the British trading post of Penang in 1786. The new settlement was ruled from the Bengal Presidency, and was itself elevated into the Penang Presidency (1805–30). Significant milestones include the Siamese invasion of neighbouring Kedah in 1821 and the incorporation of Penang into the Straits Settlements in 1826.
Chapter 1, ‘Indian Ocean Connections’, provides a general background of Chulia traders in the East Indian Ocean and their competition and cooperation with European trading companies, then narrows its focus on the Chulias in the Straits of Malacca, and British dealings with Aceh and Kedah before 1786.
Chapter 2, ‘Early Settlers and Mosque’, looks at the Chulia population of early Penang – the traders, mariners and sepoys who took up land and trading opportunities in the new settlement. In order to encourage them to settle, the East India Company gifted land for a mosque and burial ground.
Chapter 3, ‘Piety and Patronage’, shows how the Chulias created their own centres of spiritual protection. Sufi saints had already left their mark on the precolonial spiritual landscape, which played a role in encouraging assimilation and conversion. The establishment of the Nagore Dargah strengthened the connection between the Nagore merchants and the new port of Penang.
Chapter 4, ‘The Kapitan Kling’, profiles Cauder Mohuddeen as a Marakkayar shipping merchant and community leader. It looks at his origins from Porto Novo and his role as ‘Captain of the Chulias’, in which capacity he took on leadership in mosque-building. Cauder Mohuddeen was made an example of by the courts as soon as the judicial system went through a transition from a pluralistic legal system to English law.
Chapter 5, ‘Munshis and Malay Writers’, features Long Fakir Kandu, a Chulia from Kedah, who was involved in a long-standing land dispute with Cauder Mohuddeen. His two sons, Ibrahim Kandu and Ahmad Rijaluddin Kandu, were Malay scribes who authored two significant works of pre-modern Malay literature.
Chapter 6, ‘Family and Legacy’, relates several accounts about the Marakkayar women who feature prominently in the clan history. Cauder Mohuddeen’s bequest, by which he created his familial endowment, is discussed in detail.
The Noordin family mausoleum on Chulia Street, Penang. ‘Proposed Wakoff Institution at Chulia St. for N. Morham’,  plan submitted by E. Hogan, 1907.
The Noordin family mausoleum on Chulia Street, Penang. ‘Proposed Wakoff Institution at Chulia St. for N. Morham’, plan submitted by E. Hogan, 1907.
Part Two, entitled ‘From Seafaring Merchants to Settlers’, dwells on the period after Penang’s demotion from its Presidency status in 1830. A few Chulias emerged as prominent merchants in Penang, and several chapters are devoted to these leading families and their legacies. This period is marked by several watersheds: the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the dissolution of the East India Company and the inauguration of the British Raj in India, as well as the subsequent transfer of the Straits Settlements from India to the Crown in 1867, all of which had repercussions in terms of British attitudes towards their Indian Muslim subjects.
Chapter 7, ‘Penang as a Centre of Marakkayar Trade’, looks at how, partly due to European control over other ports, Penang became the foremost port for the Chulias on this side of the Indian Ocean. The triangular trade between the Coromandel Coast, Penang and Aceh – shipping textiles to the Southeast Asian market in exchange for betel nut and pepper for the Coromandel market – was the mainstay of Penang Chulia businesses. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 accelerated the domination of the seas by European steamships. The invasion of Aceh by the Dutch in 1873 destroyed the Muslim sea trade and spelt the end of the golden age of the Penang Marakkayars.
An old Indian property along Chulia Street with a large communal kitchen. SN Khoo.
An old Indian property along Chulia Street with a large communal kitchen. SN Khoo.
Chapter 8, ‘The Jawi Peranakan’, samples descriptions made by a number of observers of this culturally hybrid community and examines various educational influences on this group.
Chapter 9, ‘Pepper and Pelikat Tycoons’, describes the patriarchs of several famous Jawi Peranakan families and their estates. The leading Chulia merchant Mahomed Noordin died in 1870 but his legacy remained considerably intact for another half a century.
Chapter 10, ‘Women with Status and Property’, gathers information about Marakkayar women of this period from wills and court cases.
Chapter 11, ‘Diversity, Difference and Division’, sketches a picture of the Indian society in nineteenth-century Penang, when the presence of military regiments and convicts added to its heterogeneity. During this period, social divisions manifested themselves in terms of competing religious authorities and popular participation in secret societies. This chapter also describes the Penang Riots of 1867 and the practice of alternating mosques.
Chapter 12, ‘Cultural Expressions’, uses the insights from previous chapters to offer some tentative new findings on the cultural phenomena of Awal Muharram, Boria and Bangsawan.
The ‘Empress Victoria Jawi Peranakkan Theatrical Company Penang Indra Bangsawan’ in full costume. Reproduced from Aruna Reena Singh, A Journey through Singapore: Travellers’ Impressions of a By-Gone Time, 1995.
The ‘Empress Victoria Jawi Peranakkan Theatrical Company Penang Indra Bangsawan’ in full costume. Reproduced from Aruna Reena Singh, A Journey through Singapore: Travellers’ Impressions of a By-Gone Time, 1995.
Part Three, entitled ‘Mosque, Endowments and Community’, discusses the circumstances and consequences of government decisions affecting Muslim endowment lands: firstly, as a result of various court judgements, secondly, by way of fervent implementation of the Municipal Ordinance of 1887, and thirdly, through the legislation of an ordinance in 1905 governing ‘Mohammedan and Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments’. By the end of the nineteenth century, the term ‘Chulia’ had been largely replaced by the term ‘Kling’: therefore, except where the latter word appears in quotes, the contemporary term ‘Tamil’ or ‘Tamil Muslim’ is used in this book to refer to Muslims originating from Tamil Nadu, providing a clearer identification of the people mentioned.
Chapter 13, ‘Religious Endowments’, discusses the making of endowments by Muslim testators, and their unmaking by the British courts. The elaboration of the concept of waqf and its significance in the Penang context lays the foundation for the rest of Part 3.
Chapter 14, ‘Land and Leadership in Dispute’, profiles Pa’wan Abdul Kader, the pilgrim agent, and the other grandsons of Cauder Mohuddeen. It chronicles the disputes between them in relation to the management of mosque lands and the Cauder Mohuddeen family endowment.
Chapter 15, ‘Reforming Muslim Endowments’, provides background information on the establishment of a government-appointed Commission to inquire into Muslim endowments.
Chapter 16, ‘The Consultative Process’, follows two lively debates that took place among the Muslim community in 1904: firstly, the likely benefits of proposed government reforms to Muslim endowments, and secondly, the election of a new qadi. Hadhrami Arab personalities assume positions and influence the outcomes.
Chapter 17, ‘The Endowments Board’, explains the setting up of the Mohammedan and Hindu Endowments Board and the powers and functions exercised by the Board.
Chapter 18, ‘Urban Transformation’, describes the dramatic changes to the environs of the Kapitan Kling Mosque, propelled by the new Endowments Board.
Chapter 19, ‘Reimagining Mosque Architecture’, traces the architectural development of the Kapitan Kling Mosque from its first known form (c. 1801) to the last major pre-war expansion (c. 1925).
The Kapitan Kling Mosque and minaret in polychrome Indo-Saracenic style, as it was designed by the architect H.A. Neubronner. Courtesy of Chua Hock Khoon.
The Kapitan Kling Mosque and minaret in polychrome Indo-Saracenic style, as it was designed by the architect H.A. Neubronner. Courtesy of Chua Hock Khoon.
Part Four, entitled ‘Social Movements and Modernity’, gives an idea of the competing worldviews of the early twentieth century, shaped by the print media, and their impacts on the Penang Muslim community. Trends in religious reform and secular modernity, pan-Islamism and British Empire loyalism, the Self-Respect Movement and Malay ethnic nationalism are traced. To illuminate these complex topics, the section follows the careers of a few historical personalities associated with the Kapitan Kling Mosque, the commercial town and the port milieu, each representing certain visions, aspirations and agendas.
Chapter 20, ‘The Press and Pan-Islamism’, gives prominence to the pioneers of the Tamil press and Malay press based in Penang at the turn of the twentieth century, and highlights reports on the Tamil Muslim community’s participation in imperial celebrations as subjects of both the British Empire and the Ottoman Caliphate.
Chapter 21, ‘The Mohammedan Advisory Board’, discusses the repercussions of the Singapore Mutiny of 1915 and the colonial government’s increased monitoring of Muslim affairs. The Board’s establishment inaugurates a new relationship between the colonial state and its Muslim subjects, acted out through symbolic events such as the opening of the Kapitan Kling Mosque minaret.
Chapter 22, ‘Religious Reformists and Rifts’, describes Malay views of ‘Tamil Islam’, and the tensions between ‘Islamic modernists’ and ‘traditionalists’ which were heightened when Penang became a centre for Muslim intellectuals and educationists.
Chapter 23, ‘Social Leadership’, relates the migration of the Kadayanallur and Tenkasi community to Penang, and profiles the leadership of the Muslim Merchants Society and the Muslim Mahajana Sabha. It looks at how Penang Tamil Muslims responded to First World War taxation, the Khilafat Movement of the early 1920s, and issues arising from the trafficking of Indian labour to Malayan plantations.
Chapter 24, ‘Diverging Identities’, describes the dynamics fostered by various modern associations: the character-forming Mohammedan Football Association, the self-positioning Penang Malay Association and the grassroots-affirming ‘Dravidian resurgence’ of the Self-Respect Movement. The future direction for identity politics is set by the call for ‘Malaya for the Malays’ on the one hand, and the separatist agenda of the All-India Muslim League on the other.
The Muslim Mahajana Sabha, gathered to celebrate Hari Raya. Its president, P.K. Shakkarai Rawther, with white moustache and beard, is seated at front centre. Courtesy of Yusoff Azmi Merican.
The Muslim Mahajana Sabha, gathered to celebrate Hari Raya. Its president, P.K. Shakkarai Rawther, with white moustache and beard, is seated at front centre. Courtesy of Yusoff Azmi Merican.
Part Five, entitled ‘The Port Cluster’, is a preliminary study of Tamil businesses and occupations within the port sector as well as the service sector that supports it.
Chapter 25, ‘Business Networks’, notes the expansion of Tamil Muslim retail networks, lists some of the traditional trades and occupational specializations of the Tamil Muslims in the port town, and features a business trademark issue which was taken up to the Privy Council.
Chapter 26, ‘The Penang Port’, depicts the general functioning of the Penang waterfront, examines the various niche areas of Tamil Muslim specialization and explains how this sector was adversely affected by neglected infrastructure and industrial strife.
Part Six, entitled ‘War and Politics’, serves as a sort of epilogue. It offers a cursory history of the Japanese Occupation and the immediate post-war years leading up to Malayan independence. While much more information about this period is still ‘out there’ waiting to be documented, a more comprehensive social history of Tamil Muslims during the war and post-war period would be beyond the scope of this book.
Chapter 27, ‘The Japanese Occupation’, draws on the eyewitness account of Captain Baba Ahmed, and focuses on the impact of the Japanese invasion and occupation on the Kapitan Kling Mosque and its qariah.
Chapter 28, ‘Post-War Politics’, looks at a period in which Indian independence and Malayan politics raise new issues of citizenship, loyalty and identity. Through the local branch of the Muslim League, Tamil Muslims in Penang engage in city and settlement politics. The book ends in 1957, the year George Town achieves city status and Malaya becomes an independent nation.
‘A Street Stall, Penang’ shows customers enjoying Mamak food at a street junction. Nasi kandar, gandum and other ‘mamak’ food used to be sold by itinerant hawkers carrying their food in baskets suspended from shoulder yokes (kandar). Wade Collection.
‘A Street Stall, Penang’ shows customers enjoying Mamak food at a street junction. Nasi kandar, gandum and other ‘mamak’ food used to be sold by itinerant hawkers carrying their food in baskets suspended from shoulder yokes (kandar). Wade Collection.

Vote for the book IBP-2015-CCA-green_0_0

The Chulia in Penang is also up for the ICAS Book Prize 2015 Colleagues’ Choice Award.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writing Penang

Khoo Su Nin 邱思妮 @ Khoo Salma Nasution

Please vote for my book!

ICAS Book Prize 2015 shortlists The Chulia in Penang


The Chulia in PenangThe ICAS Book Prize 2015 shortlists The Chulia in Penang

Areca Books is delighted to announce that The Chulia in Penang: Patronage and Place-Making around the Kapitan Kling Mosque 1786–1957  has been shortlisted for the ICAS Book Prize. The Chulia in Penang is a social history of the Tamil Muslim diaspora written by independent scholar Khoo Salma Nasution. It is one of only six books shortlisted by the International Convention for Asian Scholars for Best Study in the Humanities this year.

Vote for the book IBP-2015-CCA-green_0_0

The Chulia in Penang is also up for the ICAS Book Prize 2015 Colleagues’ Choice Award. You can vote for the book here.
 [Instructions: As the books are listed alphabetically, scroll down to “T” and click “The Chulia”.
Then scroll to the bottom and click “Vote”. Thank you for your support.]

Praise for The Chulia in Penang:

“an exemplary local history, rooted in a profound depth of local cultural knowledge”
Sunil Amrith, author, Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants
“deserves to be at the top of the league in diasporic studies”
Raj Brown, author, Islam in Modern Thailand: Faith, Philanthropy and Politics
“encyclopaedic and impeccable”
Ameer Ali, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs
Barbara Andaya, co-author of A History of Malaysia, has also written a review of this book which is expected to appear in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Studies (JMBRAS).

About ICAS and the Book Prize

 ICAS stands for the International Convention of Asia Scholars.  About a thousand scholars attend its bi-annual conference.
This year, 175 books were submitted for the ICAS Book Prize. The Chulia in Penang is the only Malaysian entry.
The ICAS Book Prize 2015 shortlists The Chulia in Penang for Best Studies in Humanities award. It is one out of only 20 books on the long list (10 each in Humanities and Social Sciences), and recently as one of only 12 books on the short list. It is one of only 6 books shortlisted for the ICAS Book Prize 2015 Best Study in the Humanities.
The results will be announced at the ICAS Conference in Adelaide in early July.
The Chulia in Penang book cover
The Chulia in Penang book cover




ABOUT KHOO SALMA NASUTION

Writer, publisher, social historian, heritage advocate and cultural entrepreneur. Married to Abdur-Razzaq Lubis, three children, two dogs, one cat.

President, Penang Heritage Trust

Mission statement: 'Keeping our heritage intact, alive and relevant for present and future generations'.

Titles of books, magazine articles, etc. listed below.

Short resume

Khoo Salma is a fifth generation Penang peranakan and a writer, publisher and heritage advocate. She is currently president of Penang Heritage Trust and custodian of the Sun Yat Sen Museum, Penang, at 120 Armenian Street. As co-founder of Little Penang Street Market through Lestari Heritage Network, she is involved in growing Penang's creative economy. Khoo Salma has written or co-written more than a dozen books on Penang and Perak, on the subjects of social history, cultural heritage and sustainable development. Her publishing company Areca Books has four titles listed on the Malaysian National Book Council's '50 Best Malaysian Titles 2011'. She promotes heritage networking in Southeast Asia and is an Asian Public Intellectual (API) Fellow of the Nippon Foundation. 


Areca Books



Partner of a small publishing enterprise called Areca Books founded in 2005. www.arecabooks.com. Areca Books has six titles listed on the National Book Council's '50 Best Malaysian Titles' - four books in 2011 and two books in 2013. 





Lestari Heritage Network

Partner of Lestari Heritage Network founded in 2004 which has convened meetings on heritage conservation in Asia. In 2012, Lestari conducted a project called Revitalizing Intangible Cultural Heritage (RICH) to compile an intangible culltural heritage (ICH) inventory for the George Town World Heritage Site. 





Penang Heritage Trust

Khoo Salma is currently president of the Penang Heritage Trust, a non profit non-governmental organisation with tax-exempt status for heritage preservation. She has been involved with the organisation as Honorary Secretary (1989-2003) and then as President (2009-present). George Town has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site after a 10 year campaign by the Penang Heritage Trust. www.pht.org.my


Penang Story

Through Penang Heritage Trust, she spearheaded the successful 'Penang Story' project in 2001 to showcase the local histories of Penang. This culminated in an international conference in 2002. Since 2010, the new chapter of this project features a series of Penang Story Lectures highlighting Penang's role in regional and global history, with a special focus on Penang and the Indian Ocean.


Heritage Conservation



1991 Co-founder of Asia & West Pacific Network for Urban Conservation (AWPNUC) and organised a number of international workshops. The network reconvened in an international symposium in January in 2013 and is now called the Asian Heritage Network.


1993-present Custodian, Sun Yat Sen Penang Base, 120 Armenian Street, involved in progressive restoration from 1993 to present

1993-1994 Project Manager, Syed Alatas Mansion pilot restoration supported by federal, Penang state, MPPP and French Embassy, working with Didier Repellin, chief architect of historic monuments, Lyon. The restoration was recognized with an award from Badan Warisan Malaysia.

Little Penang Street Market
Co-founder and committee member of the Little Penang Street Market (under Penang Arts Council), a day-long arts and crafts market which takes place on the last Sunday of each month, bringing creative arts and performers to their market and their audience. Little Penang Street Market.

Sun Yat Sen Museum
Custodian of the Sun Yat Sen Museum (formerly called the Sun Yat Sen Penang Base), a historic house associated with the 'founder of the modern China'. She started restoring this house in 1993. The importance of this house has gained international recognition over the years. Famous visitors: Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Hu Jintao, Gareth Evans, Peter Carey, Gurmit Singh (Phua Chu Kang), Winston Zhao, Victor Sun and Leland Sun (leaders of Sun clan), and the Governor of Bangkok M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra.  www.sunyatsenpenang.com

Sustainability
Founding coordinator, Sustainable Penang Initative: Creating State-Society Partnerships for Sustainable Development, 1997-1999.

Founding coordinator, Penang Global Ethic Project, 2006. www.globalethicpenang.net  This project helped to establish the 'Street of Harmony' in George Town, Penang, which was celebrated in a poem by Dr. Abdul Kalam, former president of India, entitled 'The great city of Harmony'.

Spearheaded the planting of 10 Penaga Laut trees (Callophyllum inophyllum) along the Esplanade to mark the UNESCO world heritage listing of George Town. http://tanjungpenaga.blogspot.com/

Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

1981 A.B. Duke Scholarship, Duke University, 1981

2001 UNESCO-LEAP Special Achievement Award

2003 Certificate of Exceptional Accomplishment, World Monuments Fund

2004 Asian Public Intellectual (API) Fellow awarded by the Nippon Foundation


2011 Malaysian Women's Weekly Great Women of Our Time 'Most Inspiring Woman 2011' award based on sms poll


Books & Journals (for book reviews, please see website www.arecabooks.com)

Khoo Salma has written 7 books on Penang and co-written another 6 books on Penang and Perak, on the subjects of social history, cultural heritage and sustainable development.

Khoo Su Nin (2004, first published 1993). Author and photographer of Streets of George Town, Penang: A Guide to Penang's Historic & Cultural Attractions. Penang: Areca Books (fourth edition).

Khoo Salma Nasution (1997). Heritage Habitat: A Source Book for The Urban Conservation Movement in Asia & The Pacific, Penang: Asia & West Pacific Network for Urban Conservation.

Khoo Salma Nasution (1998). Author & photographer for pilot edition only, The Real Guide: Penang Complete Visitor Handbook. Penang: Coda Designs.

Khoo Salma Nasution, (1999) Anonymous compiler and editor, The Sustainable Penang Initiative: Penang People’s Report. Penang: Socio-Economic & Environmental Research Intitute (SERI), 1999, and drafted the vision statements for Ecological Sustainability, Social Justice, Economic Productivity, Cultural Vibrancy and Ecological Sustainability reproduced in the report.

Khoo Salma Nasution (Dec 2001). The Sustainable Penang Initiative, Creating State-Society Partnerships for Sustainable Development. London: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Abdur-Razzaq Lubis & Khoo Salma Nasution (2003). Raja Bilah and the Mandailings in Perak, 1875-1911 Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS monograph).

Khoo Salma Nasution & Malcolm Wade (2006, first published 2003). Penang Postcard Collection 1899-1930s. Penang: Areca Books (second edition).

Khoo Salma Nasution & Abdur-Razzaq Lubis (2005). Kinta Valley: Pioneering Malaysia’s Modern Development.Ipoh: Perak Academy.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2006). More Than Merchants: A History of the German-Speaking Community in Penang, 1800s-1940s. Penang: Areca Books.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2008). Sun Yat Sen in Penang. Penang: Areca Books. (Also Chinese versions, translated by Tan Yau Chong).

Khoo Salma Nasution (2009), Heritage Houses of Penang. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish.

Yeoh Seng Guan, Loh Wei Leng, Khoo Salma Nasution & Neil Khor (2009). Editors, Penang and Its Region. Singapore: Singapore University Press.

Khoo Salma Nasution, Alison Hayes & Sehra Yeap Zimbulis, (2010). Giving Our Best: The Story of St George'sGirls' School, Penang, 1885-2010. Penang: Areca Books.

Abdur-Razzaq Lubis, Malcolm Wade & Khoo Salma Nasution (2010). Perak Postcards 1890s-1940s. Penang, Areca Books.

Book Chapters


Contributed chapters to both popular and academic books.

Khoo Salma Nasution, (2002). 'The Rich Legacy of the Jawi Pekans' in Khor, Neil (writer) and Das, Malini (editor), Glimpses of Old Penang. Petaling Jaya: Star Publications, pp. 43-47.



Khoo Salma Nasution, (2002). 'The Tamil Muslims – Weaving a Tale of Success' in Khor, Neil (writer) and Das, Malini (editor), Glimpses of Old Penang. Petaling Jaya: Star Publications, pp. 67-69.

Khoo Salma Nasution and Gwynn Jenkins (2002). ‘George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia: Development Strategies and Community Realities’ in William S. Logan (editor), The Disappearing ‘Asian’ City: Protecting Asia’s Urban Heritage in a Globalizing World. New York: Oxford University Press.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2009). 'The Tamil Muslims in Early Penang: Networks for a Global Frontier', in Straits Muslims: Diasporas of the Northern Passage of the Straits of Malacca. George Town: Straits G.T. of Intersocietal and Scientific (INAS), pp 97-120.

Khoo Salma Nasution, (2010). 'Curating the Sun Yat Sen Penang Base', in Leo Suryadinata (editor), Peranakan Chinese in a Globalizing Southeast Asia, Singapore: Chinese Heritage Centre, pp. 170-184.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2010). 'The "Street of Harmony" in the George Town World Heritage Site', in Francois Ruegg, Andrea Boscoboinik (editors), From Palermo to Penang: A Journey into Political Anthropology. Berlin: Lit Verlag, pp. 283-295.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2013). 'Exploring Shared Histories, Preserving Shared Heritage: Penang's Links to a Siamese Past', in Chris Baker (editor), Protecting Siam's Heritage. Chiang Mai: The Siam Society/Silkworm Books.pp. 295-322.


Scholarly Journal Articles & Published Papers


Contributed articles published in scholarly journals or as conference proceedings.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2002). 'Colonial Intervention and Transformation of Muslims Waqf Settlements in Urban Penang: The Role of the Endowments Board', Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 2, October 2002, pp. 266-315. This article was based on a paper presented at the Malaysian Studies Conference in 1999.

Khoo Su Nin (Salma) Nasution. 'Once Upon a Time in Phuket: Changing Identities Among the Baba Chinese and Thai Muslims in a Tourist Paradise'. Reflections on the Human Condition: Change, Conflict and Modernity, The Work of the 2004/2005 API Fellows, pp. 24-38. Published on the API website http://www.api-fellowships.org/body/international_ws_proceedings/year4.pdf

Khoo Salma Nasution (2008). 'George Town as an Open Museum?: Community Efforts in Conservation and Interpretation' in RARC International Conference 2008: Knowledge Infrastructure Management for Tourism,Penang, Malaysia 3-4 November 2008. Niiza-City: RIKKYO Amusement Research Centre, Tourism 
Project Research Series.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2009). 'Hokkien Chinese on the Phuket Mining Frontier: The Penang Connection and the Emergence of the Phuket Baba Community', Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (JMBRAS) Vol. 82, Part 2, pp. 81–112.

Khoo Salma Nasution (September 2011). 'Tamil Muslims in the Penang Port, 1900-1940', paper presented at the Penang & the Indian Ocean: An International conference. Published on the Think City website 



Magazines & Newsletters

She was editor of Pulau Pinang Magazine in the early part of her career and continues to contribute to magazines and newsletters.

Khoo Su Nin (1989-1992). Editor, photographer, researcher, feature writer, Pulau Pinang Magazine, Vol. 1 No. 1-6; Vol 2. No. 1-6; Vol 3. No. 1, published by Georgetown Printers, Penang, 1989-1992.

Khoo Salma Nasution (1997). The 5th Column: The Soul of Cities, Far Eastern Economic Review.

Khoo Salma Nasution, (1997-2000). Editor, Asia & West Pacific Network for Urban Conservation (AWPNUC) Newsletter.

Khoo Salma Nasution (1998-2000, 2002). Editor, Penang Heritage Trust Newsletter.

Khoo Salma Nasution (Autumn 1999). 'Social Integration: Penang - Creating A City For All', Asia Urbs Magazine, Brussels, No. 2.

Khoo Salma Nasution (Oct 2000). 'George Town at a Historic Crossroads', International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Newsletter No. 23.

Khoo Salma Nasution (Oct-Dec 2008) 'The Challenge of World Heritage Listing', in Heritage Asia, pp. 26-33.

Khoo Salma Nasution (Jan 2010). 'Studying Others and Staying Unique', Penang Economic Monthly, pp. 32-36.

Khoo Salma Nasution (Jul 2010). 'Baba Nyonya Culture in Penang and Phuket', Penang Economic Monthly. pp. 50-53.

Khoo Salma Nasution (Summer 2011). 'George Town: A Historic Urban Landscape in Southeast Asia'. International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Newsletter No. 57. p 43.





Heritage Maps & Brochures




She pioneered the production of heritage maps in Malaysia, producing the first one in 1992 and the most recent in 2010.



Khoo Su Nin (1992). Author & designer, Penang's Historic Melting Pot heritage map published by MPPP, Penang.


Khoo Salma Nasution (1994). Author, American Express Heritage Trail, signage and brochure, Penang.

Khoo Salma Nasution (1997). Co-author & designer, Taiping: Town of Everlasting Peace, heritage map, Taiping Municipal Council, Taiping.

Khoo Salma Nasution (1999). Author, American Express Heritage Trail 2.

Khoo Salma Nasution (1999). Co-author & designer, Ipoh, Perak: The City That Tin Built, heritage map, Perak State Government, Ipoh.

Khoo Salma Nasution, (2000). Co-author & designer, Lebuh Acheh & Lebuh Armenian, Wadah Tumpuan Warisan Budaya, published by Pusat Warisan Pulau Pinang. Penang Heritage Trust edition 2002.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2006). Author, World Religions Walk, published by Lestari Heritage Network. Republished as Street of Harmony, 2008.

Khoo Salma Nasution (2009). Author, George Town Heritage Map, designed by Panca Designs and published by Areca Books. Reprinted 2010.