The Towns of Malaya provides snapshots of pre-Independence urban life on the peninsula. The histories of the 35 royal, port, mining, administrative, railway and hill station towns are described and illustrated with maps, engravings and archival photographs. The book draws on extensive photographic and map archives to showcase nearly 300 images and maps which provide fascinating insights into urban development and life in Malaya from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries.
The Towns of Malaya takes readers on an absorbing journey into the past and offers rarely seen insights into Malaya's progress over the last 150 years. The book focuses on the history of 35 towns in Peninsular Malaya, including royal, port, mining, administrative, railway and hill station towns. It begins with an introduction that covers day-to-day urban life in pre-Independence Malaya and the plural nature of its society.
The major part of the book comprises a description of the history, layout and prominent features of each town in turn, illustrated with archival photographs, engravings and maps. For the majority of the towns covered in the book, a special illustrated feature article is included comprising, in some cases, personal accounts of pre-Independence life by distinguished Malaysians and, in others, coverage of notable buildings, features and industries.