The Troubled Malaysian Book Trade and its Possible Recovery

By William Tham

August 2020 FEATURE
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2020 WAS SUPPOSED to be a robust year for the Malaysian book trade, but that is not to be. The Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (KLIBF) was postponed by several months as Covid-19 cases mounted. Just a week after the announcement, events that were scheduled to commemorate KL’s designation as UNESCO’s World Book Capital were halted by the Movement Control Order (MCO)2. Malaysia’s book trade is an ecosystem that depends on the interaction of each of its individual components. At...

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William Tham

first novel, Kings of Petaling Street, was shortlisted for the Penang Book Prize in 2017. His second novel, The Last Days, was published in 2020. He is the editor of Paper & Text, a collection of essays on Malaysian literature and the book trade.