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Politics of the Temporary: An Ethnography of Migrant Life in Urban Malaysia
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Politics of the Temporary: An Ethnography of Migrant Life in Urban Malaysia

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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  29 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
For more than three decades Malaysia’s economic growth has been driven in part by the skills and sweat of large numbers of migrant workers. The country has become the temporary home for more than two million documented migrants. Many more than that are undocumented, living precarious lives on the margins of society. In cities like Kuala Lumpur and George Town, workers from ...more
Paperback, First , 184 pages
Published 2015 by SIRD
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Syahira Sharif
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, malaysia
Politics of the Temporary is a collection of ethnographic essays about various the transient migrants of Kuala Lumpur and was divided into three parts: ‘Restaurants, Cafe, Culture and Identity’, ‘Race, Ethnicity and Street Politics’ and ‘Quiet Encroachments and Tortured Smiles”. Within each parts of the books was stories that ranged from simple observation of known streets of Kuala Lumpur, to discussions between people of different background and nationalities and the author’s own narrative on t ...more
Christopher
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
Politics of the Temporary is a powerful piece of ethnographic work that is already demonstrating its potential even at this incunabular stage. The stories, notes and essays, which straddle between more structural reflections of injustices and the author’s personal outrage at how these injustices are manifested in everyday life, seek to foreground the systematically marginalized narratives of migrants, told from the community’s standpoint as much as possible, within a lopsided, warped nationalist ...more
Marc Faoite
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an important book that all Malaysians and those living in Malaysia should read. It paints a dystopian picture of present day Malaysia and the inhumane conditions in which Malaysia's immigrant community are forced to exist. Framed as a series of essays and stories, each relating to a specific immigrant, Parthiban Muniandy explores many different aspects of human rights issues faced by Malaysia's migrant workers. He peels back the cover on Malaysia's endemic corruption and complicity in hu ...more
Adriene Leong
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
A glimpse into the lives of migrants in urban Malaysia, how they survive. People all around us.
Andy V
Sep 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Is this a cry for US Citizenship (hint: "It is most certainly not the home I feel association with any longer")? Or are you trying to out-do an episode of Zarna Joshi and Hugh Mungus?

I'm not sure, but I was impressed by the migrants humour, dignity and self-respect. Which isn't surprising, as they prefer to work, rather than rely on handouts. Their lot is undeniably better here. Malaysian entrepreneurs and economy provide these opportunities. The cheap labour is badly needed; the jobs create fo
...more
Alia Salleh
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
The book's title was misleading to me because I thought it's a simplified (popular writing type) version on the research work the author was doing. It really is a collection of raw experience and interviews he conducted with the subject: migrant workers, students, the "temporaries".

The content is however still interesting and important. Each of the stories. The writing can sometimes be a bit repetitive and too opinionated (but hey, it's a recounting of his experience), but importantly the write
...more
Sherlykusumasetiadi
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book gives an interesting insight to the life of blue collar migrants workers in urban Malaysia. The chapters in this book present vivid and colorful stories which come from individual interviews and observations conducted by the author with and to the workers.
Chairil Aiman
May 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Might be enlightening to some, but not much new info for me. After all, it is the author's intention to describe mundane aspects of immigrants' life.
PikGuan Wong
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Sep 16, 2015
Parthiban Muniandy
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Zaid Rashid
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
The information is quite repetitive, sometimes within a paragraph to a paragraph. The last chapter is a bit too personal and emotional in my opinion, probably its the author personal thoughts or frustration after covering this subject. However, after reading this I admit it is an eye opener for me and I tend to agree to most of the arguments presented in this book.
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