Wang Gungwu and Malaysia

Professor Wang Gung Wu’s name may not ring a bell in most Malaysians.

His name has flown below the radar until recently in 2017 when he returned to the University of Malaya to give a lecture to a full house. He spoke at the inaugural China Lecture Series to a crowd of more than 600 strong.

This 2021 book is a festschrift to him, age 90 now.

Born in Surabaya, Indonesia, and raised in Ipoh where he studied at the illustrious Anderson School, his return to his roots in Malaya is a full circle of his life journey.

A life lived fullest. He is considered the doyen of historians specializing in Southeast Asia, in particular, the Chinese diaspora here.

Interesting essays here include Wang Gung Wu: A Personal Recollection, Teaching tin mining in 18th century Perak, Hakka dialect in Malaysia, and The Historian and The Judge.

I can only think of a similar festschrift in honor of Victor Purcell published in 1970 comparable to this festschrift to Wang’s scholarship on China and Southeast Asia.

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