- Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles' Discourse on the Malay World: A Revisionist Perspective
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 20, Number 1, April 2005
- pp. 1-22
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This article attempts to provide a revisionist perspective of Southeast Asia's historical icon by examining in detail Sir Thomas Raffles' discursive strategies that sought to justify the study and preservation of Hinduism and Buddhism in the Malay World. Foremost within such strategies was by way of portraying Hinduism and Buddhism as practised by the Malays as a binary opposite of Islam. Secondly, Raffles sought to demonstrate the affinities of Hinduism and Buddhism with European Traditions. Last but not least, he argued that the legacies of Hinduism and Buddhism in the Malay World were suffering from a climate of decline. Most importantly, the article demonstrates ways in which Raffles' discourse is revealing of the influence of dominant methodologies and ideologies amongst Europeans during his milieu.