Get hold of pieces of Malaysian history from Badan Warisan Malaysia’s annual sale, writes Subhadra Devan
IF you like to hold on to pieces of Malaysian history, then Badan Warisan Malaysia’s fourth annual sale should pique your interest.
One of the items is a waterproof sheet of Paper of the Malayan Emergency Period with the signature of Lt Gen Sir Harold Briggs, in Malaya 1949 to 1951. The text in Jawi, with names mentioned in Jawi and English, is about the financial incentives that would result from information supplied leading to the capture, dead or alive, of the Secretary General of the Central Executive Committee of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) for US$30,000 (RM117,000).
The capture of ordinary members, combatant members (Special service Squads, Military Works Force, Protection Corps) of the MCP gets US$1,000.
Such sheets must have been produced in millions over the emergency period, but how many have you seen?
Badan Warisan’s sale includes antiquarian and old books, maps, prints and ephemera, in English or Malay. Ephemera are paper items (such as posters, broadsides and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use, but have since become collectibles.
One such example is a fine engraving called “View made in Pulau Pinang” of a jungle with European figures in the foreground, from Voyage de la Bonite, a famous French circumnavigation in the 1840s. It has full details on the engraving, including the name of the famous UK engraver, Ackermann.
Another item is a colour lithograph titled The Malay Race, Natives of Borneo and Java, Blackie 1882, Comprehensive Atlas.
As for maps, check out a masterpiece in design with great illustrations and one of the busiest maps known from the Times Atlas 1920. It is a collector’s favourite of Post-World War 1 and Pre-World War 2 map of the area of S E Asia called Malaysia up till WW2, that is the island S E Asia excluding Malaya. Malaysia was lucky to pick up the name without dispute!
A cat book by Katherine Sim called These I Have Loved is about her Siamese cats in Malaya before she was forced to flee in 1942.
It is written from the perspective of the cats themselves.
Sim wrote the popular Malayan Landscape, Pre-World War 2. These I Have Loved which was published in London in a slim hardback volume in 1949 by a little known publisher.
Many know of the post-war bilingual Hajis Book Of Nursery Rhymes (HBNR for short) with lovely illustrations by Nora Hamerton.
The title is in English, but the long rhyme was brilliantly translated into Malay, published by MPH and with very nice illustrations by W.G. Stirling, another European artist in Malaya.
As a bonus, there is a signed copy of Selamat Berjumpa, (Corfe 1935), with a loose pencil sketch of a Malay boy very nicely done.
Badan Warisan recommends Anti Guerilla Operations in S E Asia, a three-volume paperback, bound as one from General Headquarters Far East Land Forces, Singapore, 1963, noting the lessons from the Emergency in Malaya that could be useful for activities in Vietnam.
“Well illustrated and with plenty of tips about underground bolt holes and fortified perimeters, which Malaysian homeowners may find useful,” states the Badan Warisan press release with wry humour.
Badan Warisan Malaysia is the leading national non-governmental organisation committed to the preservation and conservation of the country’s built heritage. For details, call the Secretariat at 03-2144 9273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Warisan Kertas 2012
What: Exhibition and Sale of Antiquarian and Old Books, Maps, Prints and Ephemera in Malaysia
When: Till Aug 30, Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday and public holidays), 10am to 5.30pm
Where: Badan Warisan Malaysia, No 2 Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur
Call : 03-2144 9273