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Revisiting Covid-19 in Malaysia: Plight and perseverance

Vilashini Somiah & Nur Dayana Mohamed Ariffin | 2023

Universiti Malaya Press

In light of the COVID-19 glocal pandemic, this edited volume captures the important and emerging area of medical humanities that analyses the historical, social, political, and cultural representation of health and sickness. As contemporary cultures and practices emerge under the ‘new normal’, social, political, and economical transformations have also taken shape. This book project deconstructs these issues from social science and humanities perspectives: the new and important ways people, organisations and states react and adapt to life under pandemics, and what they must do to survive them.

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Irregular Migrants and the Sea at the Borders of Sabah, Malaysia: Pelagic Alliance

Vilashini Somiah | 2021

Palgrave Macmillan

Pelagic Alliance is an exploration of the relationship between irregular migrants, many originating from southern Philippines and the sea, in their struggle against the realities of state power in Sabah. It explores the ways in which these irregular migrants contest inconvenient national sea boundaries, the trauma of detention and deportation, and other impositions of state power by drawing on supernatural support from the sea itself. The sea empowers them, and through individual narratives of the sea, we learn that the migrants’ encounter with the state and its legal system only intensifies rather than discourages their relationship with the Malaysian state.

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Sabah From The Ground: The 2020 Elections and the Politics of Survival

Bridget Welsh, Vilashini Somiah & Benjamin YH Loh | 2021

ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute

This edited volume is the first in-depth study of a Sabah election. It brings together scholars, journalists and social activists who were on the ground in Sabah to analyse what happened in the 2020 state elections, why and the broader implications of the outcome for Sabah and Malaysian politics. Traditional explanations prioritise the role of the federal-state relationship in shaping Sabah politics. Sabah from the Ground challenges this paradigm, suggesting that politics in Sabah needs to be better understood as a reflection of conditions within Sabah – as Sabahans struggle to navigate and survive on Malaysia’s periphery.

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