My first book, called Sang Kancil: A Tale about How Ordinary Malaysians Defied the Odds, is out in all major bookstores now.


(1) Physical bookstores

MY: Kinokuniya, MPH, Popular, eslite

SG: Kinokuniya, Wardah Books

(2) Online shops


– Kinokuniya Online:

– MPH Online:

– Popular Online:


– Kinokuniya SG:

– Amazon SG:

– Wardah Books:


– Barnes and Noble:

(3) Kindle (e-book)(Worldwide)

– Kindle:


Ordinary is not as ordinary as you think. History is written by the loudest and most charismatic victors, but are silent about the true movers and shakers: the rebels, the honest servants, the quiet doers, the square pegs in a round hole, and the ordinary believers who kept showing up.

Through seven moving tales of courage, prolific Malaysian writer, James Chai, shows us in his debut book how:

— A frail 70-year-old woman became the face of Malaysia’s largest protest that helped overturn the longest-ruling regime in the world;

— A mother-of-two fought through gender and racial unfairness and became the first Asian woman to win the ‘Nobel Prize for Cancer Research’;

— A middle-aged, middle-level government servant exposed the largest white-collar crime in the world;

— A punk graphic artist persevered through multiple arrests and drew one of the most recognisable activist artworks in the region;

— An indigenous retiree battled powerful governments and corporations to usher in one of the largest environmental victories in Southeast Asia;

— A group of leaderless Sikh organisation saved the lives of thousands in the worst flood in modern Malaysian history; and

— A suburban bottom-of-class student found his way through modern history’s bloodiest wars and won the Pulitzer Prize.

Sang Kancil will force us to reassess what is truly important and remind us of what we are capable of. Filled with research-backed theories, this book is a call-to-action for the underdogs battling our own giants.

What others say about the book (advance praises)

“In this eye-opening book, James Chai shows how apparently small actions based on common decency can have huge transformative consequences if they are pursued in bravery and in solidarity. This book will change the way we understand social transformation in the coming years.
— Ha-Joon Chang, bestselling author of Economics: The User’s Guide and Edible Economies–A Hungry Economist Explains the World

Sang Kancil is a powerful, beautiful book… His vivid, compelling narration of these stories will have you thinking about them — pondering their lessons — long after you lay the book down. Sang Kancil is compulsory reading for anyone who yearns to make the world a better place.”
— Christine Helliwell, author of Semut: The Untold Story of a Secret Australian Operation in WWII Borneo, winner of the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award

James Chai portrays several characters from our multiracial Malaysian society, who fight against the power that looms over them. The use of Sang Kancil is highly appropriate, and brings an element of folklore to these stories of ordinary Malaysians.”
— Muhammad Haji Salleh, National Literary Laureate (judge’s citation)

The past few years have been rough on the psyches of Malaysians, and Sang Kancil offers these superheroes (sans capes and masks) to readers, teaching them absolute resolve and resilience.”
— Dina Zaman, bestselling author of I Am Muslim

Rarest presentation of literature. A collection of oral history on how ordinary people can shape the world.”
— Faisal Tehrani, author of 1515 and winner of Malaysia’s National Art Award