“Postcards from the South tells a remarkable story about Malaysia through the history of the people and places along a single railway line in the state of Johor. This book brings to life the characters who have animated this line in their own voices and scripts – Tamil, Chinese, Malay, and English – representing on the page the transethnic interactions of Malaysians. Postcards departs from a racialised lens to relate the connected lives of an ethnically diverse society through the railway line. It is a story not only about trains but the dreams, pleasures, hardships, and memories of numerous figures – some legendary. This book is to be savoured in parts and over time and will interest anyone with a passionate curiosity about Malaysia, the railways, and portraits of people and localities.”

Sumit Mandal, University of Nottingham Malaysia

 Book cover copy
Postcards from the South retraces the historic railway line between Gemas and Tanjong Pagar, giving voice to the railway, the people, and the places they call home. A parallel narrative explores new perspectives on a century and a half of railway history, and its role in nation building, using previously unpublished photographs, documents, and maps.394 pages (full colour)
Size: 227mm x 297mm x 35mm
Price: RM130
ISBN: 9789672165163
Categories: Book, History & Biography



Spreads from various chapters

PKK Gemas

PKK Gemas2

PKK Gemas_prima

PKK Gemas_prima2


PKK Gemas_old station

“The writing of the history of any complex nation must necessarily attempt to capture the complexity of that nation itself, and this has always been a challenge for historians and political scientists alike. In so many ways that challenge has been met in this truly extraordinary work, which recounts the personal experiences and life-histories of Malaysians from all walks of life. Bound together by the theme of mobility and movement, this is not merely a history of Malaysia’s railways, but is a story of Malaysia and Malaysians; connected by their bond to the land that they love and the hopes and apprehensions they harbor in their hearts. In so many ways, it has identified the conundrum of what Malaysia is, and what being Malaysian means; and marks a major step forward in the writing of Malaysian history from the bottom-up.”

Assoc. Professor Farish A. Noor, RSIS and the School of History, NTU


PKK Wooden railway

PKK Lenek3

PKK Lenek

PKK Sayong

PKK Paloh


PKK Dalip

PKK Dalip2



PKK Causeway

PKK Bekok

PKK Bkt Timah

PKK Chamek

PKK Modern

PKK Tg Pagar