Review from The Australian Quarterly, Sept 1963:
For the general reader here is a kaleidoscopic account by a sensitive journalist of some of the more prominent places, personalities and events associated with the recent political history of the five South-east Asian territories it was intended should be formed into the Federation of Malaysia on 31st August, 1963.
The author is a self-confessed old hand around the kampongs, temples and bars of Singapore, where the story is mostly set. Through these he hunts his way nostalgically to the haunts of a com-fortable and leisured, if wickedly colonial, past.
His persistence succeeds only in convincing him that the old colonial charm has been irrevocably displaced by the Japanese interregnum and its aftermath. All that is left now appears to be a “frenetic” involvement in the hurly-burly of contemporary South-east Asian real-politik.
The political problems relating to the formation of Malaysia are considered through a series of swift and economical pen portraits of some of its leading advocates—Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Tungku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, etc.