CWA talk at NMS

Posted on the 10th April 2015 by Lindsay
Location:  National Museum of Singapore

This weekend Mrs Betty Chen, president of the Chinese Women's Association, will be giving a talk at the National Museum. She will discuss the history of the association with a focus on its founder members and what life in Singapore was like at the beginning of the 20th century for women.

This talk follows the launch of the CWA's book, Chinese Women's Association: 100 Fabulous Years, as well as the launch of the NMS exhibition Leading Ladies: Women making a Difference.

The talk is tomorrow, 11 April, starting at 3 pm. It will be held at the Seminar Room, Level 2, National Museum of Singapore.

If you'd like to come along please register with Yishi Koh on 6332 3541, 9436 0203 or [email protected].

EDM's latest book in The Straits Times

Posted on the 9th April 2015 by Lindsay

Check out the article in today's Straits Times on EDM's latest publication Chinese Women's Association: 100 Fabulous Years. The article is on page B5 of the Home section.

The CWA is celebrating its hundredth anniversary this year and has published the book to mark this momentous occasion.

The founder members of the CWA were modern-minded women, one of which was Mr Lee Kuan Yew's aunt, Dr Lee Choo Neo. Dr Lee was Singapore's first female doctor. The Straits Times article focuses on her.

The book was launched last night at the National Museum with guest of honour Ms Ho Ching. Check back in the next couple of days for photos of the fabulous event.

The History of the Thai-Chinese launch

Posted on the 30th March 2015 by Lindsay
Location:  Bangkok

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EDM's Thailand office is pleased to annouce the launch of its latest book The History of the Thai-Chinese.

A History of the Thai-Chinese will be officially launched at SCB’s classic Talad Noi Branch, Bangkok on 30 March in the presence of the Guest of Honor, Khun Anand Panyarachun, former Prime Minister of Thailand. The book is being launched 40 years after the historic restoration of formal ties between Thailand and China in 1975. It will be distributed worldwide through leading bookstores at the recommended retail price of US$39.90.

The Book's Synopsis

This is the remarkable story of how a people and a country embraced the opportunities provided by each other, a tale that ultimately left the identities and success of both inextricably linked. For many centuries, Chinese migrated to many ports, cities and provinces of Thailand. There were traders, skilled laborers, adventurers and the near destitute who dreamed of a better life. Over time, they came to form one of the largest and most influential diasporas in the world. Some Chinese would advise Thai monarchs and be accepted at the Thai court. Many intermarried, became nobles and ran businesses integral to the economy. From tin mining to railway-building to rice trading, their skills helped the country develop and prosper. One son of a Chinese father and a Thai mother even became king. To attain such success, the community overcame no shortage of personal, cultural and social challenges. In the end, they became Thai themselves, an integral part of almost all the kingdom’s affairs through the present day. This is the extraordinary history of the Thai-Chinese.

About the Authors

Jeffery Sng and Pimpraphai Bisalputra have dedicated much of their lives to the study of Chinese and Thai history. Sng studied philosophy and literature at Singapore University and went to Cornell University for post-graduate studies at the Institute of Southeast Asian studies. Over the 30 years that he has lived in Bangkok, Sng has written many articles on the Chinese diaspora, Thai-Chinese business community, Chinese handicrafts, Chinatown and other topics related to the subject of this book. Pimpraphai graduated from the London School of Economics and also went to Cornell University for her post-graduate studies. She has published extensively on the Chinese in Thailand in the Thai language. Her popular books include Sampao Siam Tumnan Jek Bangkok (2001), Nai Mae (2003) and Kra Buang Tuay Kra La Taek (2007). The pair previously collaborated on the work, Bencharong & Chinawares in the Court of Siam, The Surat Osathanugrah Collections. 



The History of the Thai-Chinese

Posted on the 25th March 2015 by Lindsay

Praise for The History of the Thai-Chinese

The Chinese in Thailand have sunk deep roots and shared a rich history with Thai peoples at all levels. How and why this happened has been an inspiration to Chinese and other communities in the region for a long time. But no book illustrates and explains this phenomenon as well as this one. Its insights on what Thai-Chinese have contributed to their country as Sino-Thai are the most illuminating I have read and should reach the widest audience possible.

Wang Gungwu
University Professor 
National University of Singapore


The success of Southeast Asia remains a key mystery. One key to solving this mystery is to study the role of the Chinese diaspora. No country in Southeast Asia has been as successful as Thailand in integrating its Chinese community. This book provides deep insights into this process and should provide illuminating reading for anyone interested in Southeast Asian success stories. It is a must-read.

Kishore Mahbubani
Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
The author of The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World


A History of the Thai Chinese, does a splendid job of filling the long-neglected gap in the studies of the ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia. Despite not having been fully colonized by the West and despite the relatively unproblematic ethnic and cultural assimilation, the anomalous history of the mysterious ethnic Chinese of Siam has been thoroughly investigated in the most meticulous and comprehensive manner. Thanks to Pimpraphai Bisalputra and Jeffrey Sun, this masterpiece has truly opened a much needed and much anticipated new horizon in the studies of the Chinese Diaspora.

Wasana Wongsurawat PhD.
Department of History
Faculty of Arts
Chulalongkorn University

Americans in Thailand launch

Posted on the 3rd December 2014 by Lindsay

Editions Didier Millet launched its lavish hardcover book, Americans in Thailand, with a grand party in the Four Seasons Bangkok attended by 250 people, including the movers and shakers of the American expat community, many high-profile Thais and other nationalities.

Dr Surin Pitsuwan, a former secretary-general of ASEAN with a PhD from Harvard, charmed the crowd with his keynote speech, drawing laughs when he mentioned how he’d wanted to study in California or Florida, some place sunny with palm trees, but wound up in the cold and wintry Minnesota.  The former Minister of Foreign Affairs also spoke at length about the close and mutually beneficial relationship enjoyed by the United States and Thailand over more than two centuries. As documented in the book, the Americans built the first private schools and clinics while also helping the kingdom to ward off colonization by the French and British. 

One of the most famous American musicians in Thailand, Todd “Thongdee” Lavelle, was on hand to emcee the event and entertain the crowd with his Thai-farang band. 

The crowd snapped up copies of the book, which tells the sometimes colorful, often funny and by turns tragic story of the American community from the first arrival in 1818 through the present day. Many of the most famous Americans are included, such as Jim Thompson, the legendary silk trader, Bill Heinecke, the richest foreign businessman in Thailand who became a Thai citizen, and William Klausner, who first came to Thailand in 1955, taught law for decades at Chulalongkorn University and continues to serve as an advisor on Thai culture for that institution.  

Americans in Thailand, the first comprehensive book about one of the world’s most vibrant foreign communities, is on sale at Asia Books and Kinokuniya for 1,295 baht.

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Dr Surin Pitsuwan (center) with Yvan Van Outrive (left) and Didier Millet (right) of Editions Didier Millet (EDM), which launched its new history book Americans in Thailand on November 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok. The colorful and detailed book tells the story of the American community from the first arrival in 1818 through the present day.

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The editorial team behind Americans in Thailand, which was launched on November 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Bangkok by Dr Surin Pitsuwan. From left to right: Theerawat Pojvibulsiri, Purnama Pawa, Grissarin Chungsiriwat, Nicholas Grossman, Wesley Hsu, Denis Gray, Robert Horn, Jim Algie, David Lyman and Yvan Van Outrive.

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Dr Surin Pitsuwan (left) receives the new history book Americans in Thailand from its editor Nicholas Grossman (right) on November 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel. Dr Surin was the keynote speaker at the launch of this colorful new book, which tells the story of the American community from 1818 through the present day. 

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Dr Surin Pitsuwan was the keynote speaker at the launch of the colorful and detailed new book, Americans in Thailand, which tells the story of the American community from 1818 through the present day. The event saw more than 250 Americans and Thais and other nationalities celebrate at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok on November 24. 


LKY World City Prize 2014

Posted on the 10th June 2014 by Lindsay

Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has been praised by travellers such as Marco Polo as one of the most beautiful cities in China. Its exquisite gardens, which date back to the 6th century BC, have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its canals and stone bridges have earned it the nickname “Venice of the East”.

Like most of China, Suzhou, a city of over ten million, has experienced rapid urbanisation and industrialisation in the past two decades. However, its ancient charm and beauty can still be found, thanks to firm leadership and a comprehensive master plan. The urban authorities have also adopted sound policies to manage pollution and congestion, and promote social security.

In recognition of its success, Suzhou was selected from 36 cities to win the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, which honours outstanding achievements in the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities. The prize will be awarded on 2 June 2014, during the World Cities Summit in Singapore.

Suzhou is the third city to clinch the prize, after Bilbao, Spain, in 2010 and New York City in 2012. More about Suzhou’s accomplishments can be found below, while you can read about the previous prize winners (and Special Mentions) in EDM’s book “Cities in Transformation: Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize”. 

Blog - Cities in Transformation cvr_72dpi.jpg Read more about the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in EDM's book Cities in Transformation.

This entry was written by EDM's editorial intern, Janice Gan.


Launch of Fluxion

Posted on the 19th February 2014 by Lindsay

On Friday 14 February EDM's latest title, Fluxion - Kumari Nahappan: Arts & Thoughts, was launched. The launch was held at The Glass Hall at the Singapore Art Museum.

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You can see many of Kumari's public art sculptures and installations throughout Singapore, including Pedas Pedas a giant bronze chilli at the National Museum of Singapore, Saga at Changi Airport and Nutmeg at ION Orchard. Go check them out.


What We're Reading: Yonghui

Posted on the 14th January 2014 by Lindsay

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More from inside 7 Days in Myanmar

Posted on the 27th December 2013 by Lindsay

The following spreads are from the Yangon + Nay Pyi Daw chapter of the book.

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Main photo (left): Aung San Suu Kyi is greeted by her faithful at Yangon's inetrnational airport. Born in 1945, she is the daughter of Myanmar's revered independence hero Aung San, the man credited with ridding the nation of British colonial occupation. She fully inherited her father's revolutionary pedigree in 1990, the year her National League for Democracy party soundly won popular elections that should have sent her to the prime minister's seat. Instead, the military annulled the election and confined her to house arrest for much of the following two decades. Photo by Aung Pyae MYANMAR.
Photo group right: Win Tin (top), founding patriarch of the National League for Democracy and one of Myanmar's best-known former political prisoners. Confined off and on for roughly two decades by the now-defunct junta, he is currenlty outspoken and free. Tin Oo (centre), a former army commander turned political dissident and right-hand man of Aung San Suu Kyi,at the National League of Democracy headquarters. Khun Htun Oo (bottom), a former political prisoner and leading statesman from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy. Photos by Athit Perawongmetha THAILAND.

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Top left: Fifty-year-old Khin Soe works in a cavernous kiln outside of Bago, a small town 60 km (37 miles) from Yangon. His pottery gig generates cash during a dry season lull. Farming is his primary vocation. Bottom left: Young women roll local cheroots near Bago, a centre of production for these large mild cigars, which have been popular with both men and women in Myanmar since pre-colonial times. Right: A farmer ploughs the earth with his cattle in the early morning mist near Tharyawady, north-west of Yangon. While 70 percent of people live without electricity in Myanmar, its reach is spreading year by year. All photos by SC Shekar MALAYSIA.

Sneak peek at 7 Days in Myanmar

Posted on the 26th December 2013 by Lindsay

These two spreads from 7 Days in Myanmar are from the Yangon + Nay Pyi Daw chapter.

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Caption: The over-2500-year-old Sule Pagoda is in the very centre of Yangon; the distance between Yangon and other places in Myanmar is measured from this pagoda. Lieutenant Alexander Fraser, the Scottish military engineer who planned Yangon's street grid in the 1850s, used the chessboard design of an earlier period, with narrow north-south numbered streets and wide boulevards running east-west, starting from the riverside and with Sule Pagoda in the centre. Photo by Catherine Karnow USA.

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Caption: A shinpyu Buddhist novitiation ceremony is held at Shwedagon Pagoda. The young men about to become novices lead the procession dressed as royal princes, followed by young girls who each wear the costume and headdress of a princess. Photo by Athit Perawongmetha THAILAND.