Belgian banker to publish picture book on Malaysia
For a man who climbed Mount Kinabalu four times but never tasted durians, Belgian banker Walter François is exceptionally keen to share with his countrymen his 17-year love affair with Malaysia.

He had travelled to many Southeast Asian countries, never revisiting any one place, but with Malaysia, "it stopped".

Returning here for the 11th time, François is on the threshold of publishing a book of snapshots, an almosts wordless guide for belgians and others to know Malaysia better.

Europeans seem better acqauinted with countries such as Thailnd, Indonesia and Singapore, but did not know much of Malaysia, he said in his latest visit to show local authorities a maock version of his coffe-table book.

For the past four years, François, who just turned 54 last Wednesday, has made four trips to the country with award-winning photojournalist Yvan Deweerdt.

Taking a year's leave from his profession of 33 years, he then began the long process of selecting and arranging the best 240 photographs from a collection of more then 12,000 snapshots of Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak.

Friends have jokingly called him "mad", but François continued to put his souls and RM300,000 into his hobby, insisting that the coffee-table book would not be a "touristy" book.

"My approach is to show how Malaysians have adapted to modern times, without losing their identity and character," he said, pointing out that he would not be "exaggerating the costumes" (there are only three photographs prominently featuring traditional costumes).

Two photographs have already seen print in a Belgium financial magazine, one of a fish hatchery and another of a boy sitting on a motorcycle cerrying bread and other confectionery, he added.

The 256-page book, to be printed in Belgium this October, is expected to reach Malaysia in November.

The book will retail for about RM200.

Source: New Straits Times
Date: 11/06/2011
Author: ---
Arcticle copy (PDF)

Other articles:

•  2011/01/28 Former PM launches Book
•  2011/01/19 For the love of Malaysia
•  2011/01/17 Malaysia 'kekasih' Walter (Malay)
•  2011/01/07 Belgian writer launches his fourth book on Malaysia
•  2010/12/30 Wherever you go, have respect!
•  2008/09/19 Walter François: "MaleisiŽ is echt geen apenland" (Dutch)
•  2008/08 Ghent in Kuala Lumpur, a photographic exhibition by Walter François
•  2008/08 Ghent in Kuala Lumpur
•  2008/06/18 Bonding two nations via photographs
•  2007/09/19 From banking to writing
•  2006/11/17 Gemeente Lochristi: Exotische sfeer in gemeentehuis (Dutch)
•  2005/12/27 Walter François's new book on Langkawi
•  2005/12/27 Penulis Belgium hasilkan buku tentang Langkawi (Malay)
•  2005/12/14 Belgian writer's new book On Langkawi out next week
•  2005/11/02 Belgian Banker-turned-author promotes Malaysia through books
•  2002/02 Walter François presents Malaysia
•  2001/06/11 Belgian banker to publish picture book on Malaysia
•  2001/06 Kekaguman warga Belgium terhadap Malaysia (Malay)
•  1999/07/03 Borneo anders bekeken (Dutch)
•  1999/04/28 Pictorial book on two States being compiled
•  1998/06/26 Dok Mungki Walter
•  1997/07 Tentoonstelling 'Borneo 2000' (Dutch)
Preview Gallery
Below a small selection of pictures which are featured in Walter's latest coffee table book. Click on the pictures to see the larger version.