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


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. 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.

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.

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

Founding coordinator, Penang Global Ethic Project, 2006.  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.

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

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

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.