Non-fiction & Biography


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The Quah Kim Song Story
“What made Quah Kim Song such a great football star? I think it was a combination of talent, hard work, discipline, courage and great team spirit. He also had a great coach in Uncle Choo Seng Quee. I like the story told by Kim Song.” – PROF TOMMY KOH, Honorary Chairman, National Heritage Board

“I especially loved Kim Song’s portrait of his carefree youth. I could feel, smell, hear, touch those Quah family Sundays at the Sembawang seaside bungalow! What a family, what a lost way of life! ” – ILSA SHARP, Editor/writer and former long-time Singapore resident

“I witnessed first-hand how good the Quahs were at the ‘beautiful game’. They were football artists as well as artisans, and born with natural talent and impeccable skills that were admired by fans in Singapore and beyond.” –GODFREY ROBERT, Consulting Editor, The New Paper, and former Straits Times Sports Editor

The Quah Kim Song Story is about football in Singapore and the region, told in Kim Song’s colourful football vernacular to Jacintha Stephens. This book, she says, “is of a special time and place in Singapore’s social history. Of a moment in time when a young nation suddenly found a common goal and identity – and roared their allegiance as their football team played their hearts out. This was the birth of the great Kallang Roar.”

For almost three decades, there was a Quah in the national team. A legacy started by Quah Kim Beng in the late 1950s ended with Quah Kim Song in the early 1980s. In between there were Kim Swee, Kim Siak and Kim Lye, and three sisters, Theresa, Doreen and Rosa, who also donned national colours. In his book, Kim Song delves deep into what the Quahs were all about. His anecdotes and experiences, particularly on the football pitch, added to his lively sketches of crucial games, teammates, coaches and competitors, make this a rich memoir of the Kallang Roar era. Prof Tommy Koh, in his Foreword, writes that “When the Singapore national team was playing at its peak, the whole nation was proud of it and followed each match with bated breath. …Every great team must have an inspiring striker. Quah Kim Song was our inspiring striker in the 1970s.”

CONTENTS: Foreword by Prof Tommy Koh • Baptism of Fire • “He’s My Brother!” • Kicking Around in My Backyard • Serving School and Country on the Field • Meeting My Mentor • The Cup Whisperer • Breaking Hearts – and Legs • Gearing Up for Battle • Ending the 12-year Drought • After the World Cup • So Hard To Say Goodbye

Our price: US$14.00
Thinking Allowed? Politics, Fear and Change in Singapore

Must politics in Singapore be taboo? Need political discussion engender fear? Is the Singapore system averse to change? Can it be remade? These are among the questions confronted in this book by one of Singapore's leading political commentators, a unique ringside perspective of the politics of this country quite different from any that has been told before.

Political observer Warren Fernandez draws from first-hand experience covering politics for the Straits Times for over a decade. He has witnessed the heat of the hustings, sat through countless parliamentary debates, trailed politicians on constituency walkabouts, travelled with and interviewed the country's top leaders... From the cost of living to censorship to Chinese education in schools, he tackles issues in his clear, no-nonsense style - just thinking aloud, but also always insisting that thinking should be allowed on the critical affairs of the day.

Drawn from the "Thinking Aloud" columns on Singapore politics and society that have appeared in The Straits Times since 1991, the book includes new essays that kick off the chapters and delve into the recurrent issues that Singapore has been grappling with for years, and is likely to do so for a long time to come.

Our price: US$16.50
We also served-Reflections of Spore's former PAP MPs
“MPs are important actors in determining Singapore’s history. I encourage all MPs, including those who oppose the PAP, to give their accounts of the past. They will give a multidimensional view of past events and provide richness and texture to the story.” — Lee Kuan Yew

“I expect our book to do two things. First, to inform, and second,to inspire, the younger generation of Singaporeans, including new Singaporeans. They will know something of the two generations of political leaders in the first 40 years of independence. We can hope that a few of these Singaporeans will seek the mandate from the people, so that they will continue to lead our country into the future.” — Chiang Hai Ding

For the first time, 25 People’s Action Party former MPs tell how they became involved in politics, what they did as politicians, what they felt and wished for Singapore. They are former ministers and other office holders to backbenchers. Some served five terms, totalling over two decades, and some one term of four or five years. These are stories of ordinary people who served in unusual times and achieved extraordinary results for Singapore. Some are of very humble origin or have little formal education. Some served in the crucial decade, 1955 to 1965, during the birthing of the new nation, when the political outcome of their struggle could have gone against them, and they would have paid a heavy price for their convictions. Most served when that new nation started out on the long road to nation-building, during the decades of rapid social and economic change, when they had to convince their fellow citizens to make the necessary changes for independent Singapore to survive and progress. Most were not prepared for the tasks they had to undertake.

CONTRIBUTORS: 1 The branch secreta ry Chor Yeok Eng, 1959–1984 • 2 The was herwoma n’s son Ho See Beng, 1963–1984 • 3 The trade union lea der Mahmud Awang, 1963–1968 • 4 The “orang laut” Othman Wok, 1963–1980 • 5 The coffeeshop “boy” Teong Eng Siong, 1963–1979 • 6 The artist Ho Kah Leong, 1966–1996 • 7 The first Malay graduate MP SHA’ARI TADIN, 1968–1980 • 8 The historian Chiang Hai Ding, 1970–1984 • 9 The Rhodes Scholar Tan Eng Liang, 1972–1980 • 10 The Nantah pioneer Chai Chong Yii, 1972–1988 • 11 The self-made man Sidek Saniff, 1976–2001 • 12 The football mediator Teo Chong Tee, 1976–1996 • 13 The chemical engineer Bernard Chen Tien Lap, 1977–2001 • 14 The man with a godfather Rohan Kamis, 1979–1984 • 15 The industrial doctor Chau Sik Ting, 1980–1984 • 16 The Administrative Officer Othman Haron Eusofe, 1980–2006 • 17 The leadership trainer Saidi Shariff, 1980–1984 • 18 The teacher Wan Hussin Zoohri, 1980–1991 • 19 The political reporter Goh Choon Kang, 1984–2001 • 20 A woman in the House again Dixie Tan, 1984–1991 • 21 The country boy Wang Kai Yuen, 1984 –2006 • 22 The Political Secretary Zulkifli Mohamed, 1984–1996 • 23 The head prefect Lew Syn Pau, 1988–2001 • 24 The ENTREPRENEUR R. Sinnakaruppan, 1991–2001 • 25 The cardiologist Michael Lim Chun Leng, 1991–2006

Our price: US$30.00
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When the Party Ends - China's leaps and stumbles after the Beijing Olympics
Peh Shing Huei’s provocative book captures his harrowing, humbling and sometimes hilarious experiences in China when he was China bureau chief from The Straits Times. As he documents the rise of China, he also uncovers the problems beneath its sinews. Peh visits the bustling factories of Guangdong wrestling labour woes; strays into the line of fire during the bloody ethnic riots in Urumqi; journeys to the forgotten museum of the Cultural Revolution on a remote mountain top. When the Party Ends chronicles vivid accounts of questionable processes against the voiceless and the powerless. Peh gives voice to their battles with the Chinese Communist Party and errant companies over rights and resources. He shakes off officials so as to meet an environmentalist who was tortured for wanting to save a river from pollution. He speaks to a man who was jailed simply for posting an intemperate tweet. He interviews an ageing former Red Guard undertaker who still cries when he recalls the atrocities of the Cultural Revolution.

These and other vignettes are counterposed against Peh’s riveting narrative of the“palace intrigues” of the powerful communist leaders in the lead-up to the epochal leadership change in late 2012. It culminates in the dramatic downfall of princeling Bo Xilai – the latest in China’s complex political machinations. When the Party Ends is an absorbing and remarkable work of journalism, offering a fascinating insight into a changing China, one where the status quo is being reinvented with each passing day.

Our price: US$22.00
Winning Against The Odds

Winning Against The Odds covers the critical years 1961–1965, when battle raged between NTUC and the pro-communist unionists for the hearts and minds of Singapore workers. This period was a turning point in the broader struggle against militant forces out to destroy Singapore’s way of life. NTUC’s foundations were laid then, a fact not well known to many people, not even to members of today’s labour movement. In Winning Against The Odds, S R Nathan relives that period, telling in his typically direct fashion, what he remembers about the events that took place then, to give a sense of the harsh realities that he and his colleagues were confronting. In simple language he also relates the conflicts he had with union leaders, civil servants and the man he deeply admires, C.V. Devan Nair. 

Our price: US$21.50
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Writing Your Autobiography

Everyone has one book that they are qualified to write – their own life story. But not everyone knows how to go about doing it. Now, with this little book, which will have them chuckling as they read it, they can get expert advice and finally get started.

Writing Your Autobiography is a blueprint for the would-be autobiographer. It takes you step by step through all the issues, from literary styles to practical matters such as how to get published.

Our price: US$9.50
Zheng He and The Treasure Fleet

Seven grand armadas. Thousands of ships. Legions of men. Exotic cornucopia. Historical, religious and cultural relics. Beauties of China and concubines for foreign potentates.

This was scale and magnitude of Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He's Treasure Fleet's expeditions from the Middle Kingdom to the Arab, Occidental and Oriental worlds of antiquity.

This truly Renaissance explorer championed new cartography, new shipbuilding technology; founded colonies and outposts; left flora, fauna, religious, historical and cultural artifacts; and transformed the face of Asia and the world.

From China to Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, the Treasure Fleet explored and documented an ancient world. Their exploits are only recently being discovered and researched by present-day historians, the generating worldwide interest and controversy.

Retrace the admiral's voyages and revisit his ports of call. Experience their moments of history and culture, and discover their present-day legacy.

  • Full colour illustrations
  • Old maps, old prints
  • Archival and contemporary pictures documenting the then and now.

Our price: US$19.90