Date: 3rd August 2022 (Wednesday)
Time: 8:30pm
Platform: Zoom

Discussion abstract:

The talk will revolve around the book entitled Acts of Resistance: Dol Said and the Naning War which happened in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, and her resistance to the four colonial powers of Malaysia as well as the larger context of the history of imperialism in Southeast Asia with some elements of the story dating back to the Crusade right up to World War 2.

When the British colonists first arrived in Malaya, they considered Naning, a small village about 30 miles from Malacca, to be under their jurisdiction. The incumbent penghulu of Naning, Dol Said, resisted, claiming that Naning was an independent sovereign state with its own traditions and laws. Intending to follow in the footsteps of their Indian conquest, a military campaign was sanctioned by the British East India Company to seize Naning and arrest its chief in 1831.

What ought to have been a simple campaign turned out to be one of the empire’s greatest blunders in what is now modern-day Malaysia. Some would argue that Dol Said’s anti-colonial stance was replicated for more than a century afterward, with different actors fighting the land’s colonial masters.
Shaun Adam’s narrative ties in archival records with folk narratives and oral histories, thus creating a richer and more comprehensive narrative of the infamous Naning War that sparked off a history of unjust conquest – and resistance.


Shaun Adam was born in the state of Selangor, Malaysia, and went on to build a career in the field of international socio-economic development. He has held official positions representing the interest of the Malaysian government as well as the European Union and contributed to the ASEAN economic community for economic integration to working with the United Nations in Geneva. Under a scholarship, he earned a Master’s from the University of Edinburgh. Passionate about social innovation, Shaun’s ideas and solutions to address inequalities have been exhibited at the Nobel Peace Centre where he also represented Malaysia at the Nobel Peace Giving Ceremony in 2017. He also holds a certification in sustainable heritage management from UNESCO.


Emelia Noor holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and MBA (UPM). Upon entering the workforce, she realized that her interest is also in social science with history and culture as her focus. Since 2013 she started joining public forums and workshops organized by various NGOs advocating different issues, from women’s rights to history from below among others. Currently, Emelia is planning to undertake an interview project of a Malay community who used to live in Estate Prang Besar (now Putrajaya) to record their story of Malay estate workers living among Tamil workers on the rubber plantation.