Sikh Pioneers of Perlis, Malaysia 1906-1957: A Community History
Author: D.S. Ranjit Singh Darar
Publisher: UM Press
History books which posit family histories as a major source for systematically constructing historical narratives, especially community constructs, is a rarity in Malaysia. In this context, this study on the Sikh pioneers of Perlis, is a novel and singular initiative undertaken by the author in expanding research to new frontiers. By methodologically examining the family histories of the Sikh pioneers of Perlis and skillfully juxtaposing them with the milieus of local and international events, the author has not only brought to life the trials, tribulations, and achievements of ordinary people, but has successfully constructed a cohesive and holistic community history of the Sikhs of Perlis. The study discovered that Sikhs started coming to Perlis in 1906 and soon began serving in large numbers as police officers and jail warders in the state. Over the years they forged a viable community in their new land of adoption and laid the foundations for future generations of Sikhs in the state. The waxing and waning of the community’s fortunes from 1906 to 1957 ultimately inspired the author to create some new and interesting conceptual categories.
The study however is not only of great value intrinsically but has the potential of immensely enriching the local and national narratives, including the broader Sikh narrative and the comparative discourse on global diaspora. It is a refreshing and captivating read