Monday, 1 November 2010


Islam in Malaysia: Perceptions & Facts is the translation of Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin's book Mengemudi Bahtera Perubahan Minda. The translation and annotations were by U-En Ng.

The synopsis begins: 

While still in his 30s, Dr. Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, former Mufti of Perlis, earned a reputation as a popular, and sometimes controversial, public intellectual on the subject of Islam in Malaysia. This collection of his articles seeks to identify and celebrate the true Islamic essence of simplicity, rationality and justice; and to separate it from superstition, prejudice and taklid (blind adherence) to self- serving 'religious' leaders.

At 343 pages, this is the second-thickest publication by Matahari Books (after 120 Malay Movies, which is 432 pages). You may download 3 of the 47 chapters as a free PDF at the end of this link here.

The bad news is that the main bookshops will only stock this book at the end of the month; they're still making up their minds. The good news is that you may order it right now! 

Here are the four methods:

1. Bank in RM40 to Maybank 014105120512 (Amir Muhammad) and email with your proof of payment, your address and phone number. Delivery will be by City-Link courier, three times a week. (Free delivery anywhere in Malaysia.) 10% of the proceeds from this postal order will be donated to the MERCY Malaysia - Yasmin Ahmad Fund for Children. You may also, of course, order any of the other books in the Matahari Books catalogue as well, while you're at it!

2. Order directly from the distributor, Gerakbudaya, here.

3. Get it in person at Silverfish Books in Bangsar.

4. Pre-order on here.

This is totally different from the other Matahari Books titles so far. For one, it's a compilation from a newspaper column (his articles originally appeared in Mingguan Malaysia); but since these are newly translated, with over a hundred extra footnotes and a Glossary, it is a venture very much worthwhile. 

The subject of Islam in Malaysia (the title of the book came from the author, who politely declined my own suggestion, What the Mufti Saw) will grow in size and importance in the coming years, and this book will, I hope, be part of the discussion. I certainly learned a few things from it, and although his world-view is essentially more, shall we say, traditional than mine, I admire the way he can cut through the racialised, culture-bound and divisive BS that so often obfuscates popular Islamist discourse here. Just read the 3 sample chapters and you will get what I mean.

I will also be posting on Twitter a few dozen self-contained extracts from the book, so stay tuned!


Amir Muhammad said...

Thanks to Nina Md for being the 1st to order :-)

Linness Yusof said...

Sudah order dan sudah bayar!

djambu puadovich said...

salam. hi, saya sedar ini mungkin terlambat/terlepas keretapi, tapi ada tak cara nak dapatkan Lelaki Komunis Terakhir?

terima kasih :)

dotsnodds said...

Why are the bookshops 'still making up their minds'?

Hazlin Aminudin said...

Me too :)

Amir Muhammad said...

Djambu, silalah emel saya di alamat emel yang tertera di atas, trimas.

D.N.A.S said...

Dear bookshops, please make up your mind fast.

Huda Engku said...

Going to make my payment today, inshaAllah~

ShawnSharif said...

That was quick! I have already received my copy =)

Thanks Amir!