Book Review: Becoming Hannah

Daniel Teoh briefly reviews Hannah Yeoh’s autobiography.

The first thing to note is Becoming Hannah is an honest book.

Most urban voters, and LoyarBurok readers, would already be quite familiar with her story and background — from political greenhorn to the where she is today (her book actually has a chapter titled “A Greenhorn”).

Yeoh has a self-perceived non-significance — “I know I am completely dispensable” — which is a constant theme permeating this book, especially, the later chapters. Not many politicians are like that, despite many claiming so.

As Yeoh has undergone legal training, the writing somewhat reflects this — see for example her definition of the word ‘deliverance’: a ministry in a Christian context where activities are aimed at casting out spirits, demons or the influence of such that afflict a person or home.

Those who have read legal statutes would recognise the style in which she writes. Other than that, Yeoh’s clear and precise thinking is much seen in her use of language.

The book also talks much of her Christian faith. In fact, the chapter “Becoming Hannah” ends only after a tale of her conversion. Much is about how her belief comes constantly, sometimes supernaturally, to her aid in moments of need — “the story of my life involves a bit of prophecies”.

The book makes good reading for the politically-exhausted and hopeful, whether preparing to give up or beginning to take an interest, in Malaysian affairs. It could also serve as a guide for those thinking of emigrating or returning home, whether or not the reader is a Christian.

The only possible disappointment upon finishing the book is if one has the expectation of reading about political ploys and insider information on certain events. There are none.

Yeoh’s personal glowing belief in the future of Malaysia is well-represented and presented. Perhaps readers will be much touched by her example.


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Daniel Teoh Tzu Yong is a Malaysian.

Posted on 26 May 2015. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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4 Responses to Book Review: Becoming Hannah

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