I am an independent scholar in Singapore.  My work investigates little-studied subjects in the urban social history of Singapore and Malaysia and explores the linkages between past and present in contemporary Singapore, such as the official use of history, oral history, memory, heritage, and archival access. I have published two books, Making and Unmaking the Asylum: Leprosy and Modernity in Singapore and Malaysia (SIRD 2009) and The Makers and Keepers of Singapore History (co-edited, Ethos & SHS 2010), in addition to numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. My manuscripts on the Bukit Ho Swee fire and the University of Malaya Socialist Club are also under review for publication. I am currently working on a book project on the British military withdrawal from Singapore in the late 1960s. I was previously a history teacher and still speak to students about the challenges of researching the past.

Research interests:
Singapore and Malayan history (postwar, colonial)
Urban social history
Squatters and slum dwellers
History of medicine (leprosy)
Fires in history
Oral history and memory
Student activism
Archival access

Teaching areas:
Singapore history and studies
Southeast Asia
Urban history
Modern international history



1 Comment

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One response to “welcome

  1. Rosemarie Nief

    Dear Kah Seng,

    In response to your email I tried to buy your book ‘Making and Unmaking the Asylumbook’ from the publisher’s website and failed. When it came to enter payment details website constatly froze.

    ‘I am writing to inform you that my book on the history of leprosy in Singapore and Malaysia is out, published by SIRD Publishing in Malaysia and distributed by ISEAS and Select in Singapore.’

    Could you please send us a copy of ‘Making and Unmaking the Asylum’ and invoice for my attention at address below.

    Many thanks and best wishes

    Rosemarie Nief

    Assistant Librarian, Collection Management and Operations,
    Wellcome Library,
    183, Euston Rd.,
    NW1 2BE, UK

    Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7611 8498
    Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7611 8703
    The Wellcome Trust is a registered charity, no. 210183.
    Its sole Trustee is The Wellcome Trust Limited, a
    company registered in England, no. 2711000, whose
    registered office is 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE.

    For information about Wellcome Collection, go to:

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