Kuala Lumpur

Featured Books

* Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in Malaysia
* Readings from Readings: New Malaysian Writing
* Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City
* KL NOIR: Red
* Architecture and Urban Form in Kuala Lumpur: Race and Chinese Spaces in a Postcolonial City

Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya: Negotiating Urban Space in Malaysia

by Ross King
University Of Hawai’i Press, 2008

Arguably Southeast Asia’s most spectacular city, Kuala Lumpur—widely known as KL—has just celebrated fifty years as the national capital of Malaysia. But KL now has a very different twin in Putrajaya, the country’s new administrative capital. Where KL is a diverse, cosmopolitan, multiracial metropolis, Putrajaya fulfills an elitest vision of a Malay-Muslim utopia. KL’s multicultural richness is reflected in the brilliance and diversity of its architecture and urban spaces; Putrajaya, by contrast, is an architectural homage to an imagined Middle East.

The “purity” of Putrajaya throws the cosmopolitan diversity of Kuala Lumpur into sharp relief, and the tension between the two places reflects the rifts that run through Malaysian society. In this copiously illustrated book, Ross King considers what form of metropolis the Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya region might foreshadow, arguing that signs of this future city are to be sought in the collision points between the utopian dreams of imagined futures and the reality of purposely forgotten pasts.

Drawing on postcolonial studies, media studies, and critical social theory, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya makes a significant contribution to architecture, urban planning, urban design, and Malaysian politics and society.

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Readings from Readings: New Malaysian Writing

 Readings from Readings

edited by Bernice Chauly and Sharon Bakar
Word Works, 2011

Bernice Chauly and Sharon Bakar select the best poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction submitted by Malaysian, Singaporean and expatriate writers who have read their work at their live literary event, Readings, and demonstrate the sheer variety and range of voices that characterize the local writing scene. You will find works from both established poets and authors, and from promising new writers making their debut. If ever evidence were needed that the local writing community is thriving — this is it.

Readings from Readings celebrates Kuala Lumpur’s longest-running live literature event. Founded in 2005 by Bernice Chauly, Readings provides a regular place in which local writers and readers can connect in an informal atmosphere.

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Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City  

Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City

by Christine B.N. Chin
Oxford University Press, 2013

Cosmopolitan Sex Workers is a groundbreaking look into the phenomenon of non-trafficked women who migrate from one global city to another to perform paid sexual labor in Southeast Asia. Through a new, innovative framework, Christine B.N. Chin shows that as neoliberal economic restructuring processes create pathways connecting major cities throughout the world, competition and collaboration between cities creates new avenues for the movement of people, services and goods. Loosely organized networks of migrant labor grow in tandem with professional-managerial classes, and sex workers migrate to different parts of cities, depending on the location of the clientele to which they cater.

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KL NOIR: Red

KL NOIR: Red

edited by Amir Muhammad
Buku Fixi, 2013

KL NOIR: Red is the first of 4 volumes about the Malaysian capital city’s dark side. There are 14 short stories and one essay about the seedy, the sinister and sometimes the spooky. You will find murder, drug-dealing, kidnapping, sexual depravity, prostitution, celebrity secrets, suicides, academic rivalry, gangsters, police brutality, cannibalism, black magic, creepy rituals, political corruption and even busking. It’s all totally fictional. Well, maybe the cannibalism is.

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Architecture and Urban Form in Kuala Lumpur: Race and Chinese Spaces in a Postcolonial City

Architecture and Urban Form in Kuala Lumpur: Race and Chinese Spaces in a Postcolonial City

by Yat Ming Loo
Ashgate, 2013

Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, is a former colony of the British Empire which today prides itself in being a multicultural society par excellence. Engaging with complex colonial and postcolonial aspects of the city from the British colonial era in the 1880s to the modernisation period in the 1990s, this book demonstrates how Kuala Lumpur’s urban landscape is overwritten by a racial agenda through the promotion of Malaysian Architecture, including the world-famous mega-projects of Petronas Twin Towers and the new administrative capital of Putrajaya. It demonstrates how the ‘Malayanisation’ and ‘Islamisation’ of the urban landscape – the core of Malaysia’s decolonisation projects – has marginalised the Chinese urban spaces which were once at the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Drawing on a wide range of Chinese community archives, interviews and resources, the book illustrates how Kuala Lumpur’s Chinese spaces have been subjugated. This includes original case studies showing how the Chinese re-appropriated the Kuala Lumpur old city centre of Chinatown and Chinese cemeteries as a way of contesting state’s hegemonic national identity and ideology.This book is arguably the first academic book to examine the relationship of Malaysia’s large Chinese minority with the politics of architecture and urbanism in Kuala Lumpur. It is also one of the few academic books to situate the Chinese diaspora spaces at the centre of the construction of city and nation. By including the spatial contestation of those from the margins and their resistance against the hegemonic state ideology, this book proposes a recuperative urban and architectural history, seeking to revalidate the marginalised spaces of minority community (Chinese spaces in Kuala Lumpur), and re-script them into the narrative of the postcolonial nation-state.

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