King's Chinese, The: From Barber to Banker, the Story of Yeap Chor Ee and the Straits Chinese (Paperback)
An informative and well-researched book, The King's Chinese provides a superb account of the Straits British Chinese, a distinct migrant society from various districts of South China in the late 19th Century. Daryl Yeap gives us a fascinating story of this hybrid community, taking us on tour through one man's journey, beginning with how he left a war-ravaged China to Penang, where he started life as an illiterate itinerant barber to becoming one of the most successful bankers in South East Asia. As she takes us through his story, Daryl brilliantly captures its unique society and wonderful mix of cultures explaining how Penang was once considered the Cinderella of the East; what the earliest forms of passports were; how a coconut scraper, so novel, was confused as 'one musical instrument' by the British eye; and exactly how a borrower's credit profile was assessed with just one glance of the face. A highly readable book with plenty of witty anecdotes and compelling analysis, it is undoubtedly a book that sheds light on a significant development in Malaysia's history.