Gerakbudaya – A book-based cultural movement

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Chong Ton Sin’s life is all about books, and of the very serious type.

“That’s my boss,” Chong Ton Sin said when he caught me glancing at the Che Guevara poster on the wall of his office. Actually, there were two posters: one red, one yellow.

Che Guevara isn’t his boss, of course. Chong, 67, is the boss of his own empire – the Gerakbudaya book publisher and distributor. But perhaps, the Argentine revolutionary inspired this intrepid man who has lived an unconventional life.

Chong started out working at a construction site in Johor after dropping out of secondary school. Today, his life is all about books – that is, books of the very serious type: social sciences, politics,history, culture, economy, religion, and Malaysian and South-East Asian studies. He publishes them, distributes them and reads them, of course.


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