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Friday November 9, 2012

Telling It Straight - Marina Mahathir's Musings in a book

TWO new books are being launched tomorrow that take a look at the social and political fabric that makes up this always interesting and quirky country.

Telling It Straight is a compilation of articles that appeared in The Star’s two-decade-old Musings column by popular and outspoken commentator on local social and political affairs, Marina Mahathir. With a Foreword by political scientist and historian Dr Farish A. Noor, this collection – which encompasses articles published between 2003 and 2012 – contains the best of Marina’s takes on the issues, ideas and institutions of the day as well as two articles that were previously unpublished.

The 90 columns are presented thematically, some with specially written introductions to provide context, and cover a wide range of topics, from human trafficking, the underclass and flashmobs to Islamic law enforcement, corruption and plain idiocy.

While Telling It Straight offers the long view with observations covering almost a decade, Floating On A Malayan Breeze – which is also being launched tomorrow – presents a perspective formed in one intensive year of travel around the country. Author Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh approached his examination from the point of view of a Singaporean – because sometimes, you need someone on the fringe to see things for what they really are.

Vadaketh believes that Malaysia and Singapore are essentially the same country and people, separated by politics. Since the split in 1963, these two countries have developed along different paths. To what extent is the divergence? And what similarities remain?

Seeking answers to these questions, the author and his best friend – also a Singaporean – took a month off to cycle around Peninsular Malaysia and connect with the people, all on a meagre daily budget of RM10 each!

Both books will be launched tomorrow at the Borders bookstore at The Gardens Mall, Kuala Lumpur, with the authors making appearances for Q&A and meet-the-public sessions, when they will also sign copies of their books.

Vadaketh will be there at 11am while Marina will appear at 4pm.

Marina will also be appearing on Sunday at 2pm at Borders, The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Selangor; and on Nov 17 at 3pm at Borders Express, Bangsar Village II, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

A Borders Rewards Card will be given free with every copy of Telling It Straight purchased on the day of the event at respective stores; the BRC entitles holders to discounts, special promotions and rewards from Borders.

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