It's one of those strange hybrids - a travelogue that wants to be a thesis and vice versa.
I can't get into the travel section because the facts keep getting in the way.
I can't get into the facts because they are dully presented (with footnotes) which intrudes on the Lonely Planet musings.
In the end, it's just like being stuck between Singapore and Malaysia in no-man's land.
Perhaps the author should re-visit and stay at each capital and just write what he feels without being weighted down by history/social commentary.