Brand Malaysia?

  • Friday, 18 Aug 2006

Branding MalaysiaAuthor: L.S. SyaPublisher: Oak Enterprise, 322 pages 

BRANDING Malaysia poses aninteresting question – can anation be branded like a product?Plausible, surely, when you considerthat Japan has become synonymous withhigh-technology and quality control; Germanywith automotive excellence; China asa place to outsource manufacturing and theUnited States, its cutting edge IT industries. 

This book explores how Malaysia can exploitthe concept of nation branding and in theprocess, realign its industries to spruce upits brand image. For those who think this isan exercise in futility, we are reminded thateven if we do not brand our country, otherswill, perhaps in a less favourable fashion. 

Thornton’s Malaysian Tax CommentariesAuthor: Richard ThorntonPublisher: Sweet & Maxwell Asia, 605pages 

THIS book is an invaluable repository ofmaterials on direct taxation in Malaysia. Itgives the full text of the law along withhelpful annotations and commentaries. Thissecond edition covers income tax, real propertygains tax, promotion of investmentsand the Labuan offshore business activitytax, including all the schedules and legislationof current and general relevance. 

Provisions concerning self-assessment – thathas applied to companies since 2001 andthree years later, to individuals and othertaxpayers – including compliance requirements,are also covered and explained. 

Forged Cheques and the LawAuthor: Lee Mei PhengPublisher: Penerbit Fajar Bakti, 213 pages 

AS its title suggests, this book examines thevarious legal aspects of cheques and thelaws governing and affecting forgedcheques. It starts with the history ofcheques, in particular, forged cheques, followedby bases of claims on forged cheques. 

Then, it examines the development of thelaw, statutory protection for bankers, andevidential issues on forgery. Going a stepfurther, the author also reviews the future of electronic cheque-clearing system. Notingthat cheque fraud is a real problem inMalaysia and is increasingly becoming analarming hazard for bankers, the authormakes various propositions for legal reformand Malaysian banking practices. 

12 Books that Changed the WorldAuthor: Melvyn BraggPublisher: Hodder & Stoughton, 372 pages 

LORD Melvyn Bragg offers food for thoughtwhen he observes that people tend to thinkof extraordinary events – the assassinationof leaders, the invasion of countries and the havoc wreaked by natural disasters – when they think of things that changed the world. 

And yet, no one remembers to mentionbooks! It may not appear to be a likely contender as a world-changing catalyst, buthave we not at some point in our lives read a book that shaped our perceptions? 

Bragg lists 12 books that changed the world but admits that these are not the 12 books– a wise move especially considering that the ones he lists all happen to be penned byBritish writers. When he set out to compile the list, Brag essentially wanted to enjoya range, which would encompass leisure and literature, science and constitution. 

So what are the 12 books that made it onBragg’s list? Some were expected while others turned out to be surprises, including one book that details the rules to an obscure ball game that has become the world’s most popular sport. 

The Boy Who Talks to GhostsAuthor: Benny and Alice WongPublisher: Horizon Books, 142 pages 

COULD it be true? A boy who talks toghosts? It has to be – written at the top ofthe book is: “An Incredible True Story!” Inthis book that 13-year-old Benny co-wrotewith his mother, he shares about how he isonly able to talk to good ghosts and thosewho are members of his family.  

While he is able to see and hear other spirits, including evil ones, he cannot speak to them. His first ghostly encounterhappened in 1999 when his Auntie Nancy, whohad been killed in a car accident several months ago, communicates with him to relay an important message to his mother. 

That’s just the start of a whole slew of supernatural encounters for the youth. 

Teach Yourself: Stop SmokingAuthor: Matthew AldrichPublisher: Hodder Education,187 pages 

YES, we’ve all heard it before, like the proverbial broken record – “I can stop anytime I want” or “I’ll stop tomorrow/next week/next month/next year.” But when the deadline rolls around, the person is still puffing away like a chimney. 

So what do you do? Give up? Well, notuntil you have made sure that your friend orpartner reads this book that’s been writtenby a smoker turned health expert. Theauthor debunks all supposed reasons as towhy one wants or needs to smoke – such asthe weight-gain myth – before going on toshow the real benefits enjoyed by those whodo not smoke, like better sex. 

Incidents in the Life of a Slave GirlAuthor: Harriet JacobsPublisher: The Other Press, 221 pages 

FIRST published in 1861, Incidents is one ofthe first personal narratives by a slave and one of the few written by a woman. It tells the story of Harriet Jacobs’s abuse and exploitation as an enslaved black woman. Jacobs (1813-1897) was born into slavery and like many others before her, her life was one of misery and cruelty. She managed to escape and hid in an uninsulatedgarret for seven years. 

Peering through the crevices, she watched her children growing up without their mother and witnessed her relatives being raped. 

Eventually, she escaped to the North and years later, was reunited with her children. 

Lift Me UpAuthor: Ron KaufmanPublisher: Ron Kaufman, 136 pages 

IF you love quips and quotes, check out the Lift Me Up series of books by Ron Kaufman, an internationally-acclaimed innovator and motivator for partnerships and quality service.  

Each title contains 512 thought-provoking pointers, hilarious one-liners and motivational phrases taken from proverbs and quotes from writers, artists, statesman and celebrities.