Melayu: Politics, Poetics and Paradoxes of Malayness
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: NUS Press Pte Ltd
Title Page, Copyright Page
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In the face of waning scholarly interest in Area Studies, the global significance of the Malay World and Malayness as a field of critical study is in need of revitalization. This volume, Melayu: The Politics, Poetics and Paradoxes of Malayness is but a part of an emerging genre of both scholarly and popular literature ...
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The passages above refer to attempts at recognizing, reconstructing and communicating an identity. Rizal’s reflections evoke images of hope, idealism and the commitment to liberty among a subjugated group of peoples. Yet, at the same time, just who were the “Malays” as against “Filipinos” was not clear ...
MALAYSIA: Contending Imaginations of Malayness
Chapter 1 Boundaries of Malayness: “We Have Made Malaysia: Now It is Time to (Re)Make the Malays but Who Interprets the History?”
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In the heyday of European nationalism, 19th-century Italian historian Giuseppe Mazzini, observed the role of the state in creating and shaping a people: “We have made Italy: now we have to make Italians” (ch’e fatto l’Italia, bisogna fare gli italiani). The subtitle of this chapter paraphrases a similar observation. ...
Chapter 2 Like a Shady Tree Swept by the Windstorm: Malays in Dissent
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Outside of the Malay Peninsula, it was only in East Sumatra and Brunei that there was the existence of a strong Malay sultanate in colonial times. But in East Sumatra, the movement toward a postcolonial Malay identity formation was thwarted with the demise of the kerajaan,1 through a violent social revolution against ...
Chapter 3 Malay Racialism and the Sufi Alternative
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In studies of identity construction and evolution of social groups whose members are seen to possess shared features and characteristics, the concepts of “race,” “ethnicity” and “nation” often end up being conflated with one another. In Malaysia, the majority Malay community has commonly been referred to ...
Chapter 4 Malays and Orang Asli: Contesting Indigeneity
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Malays, as spelled out in the statement above by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, lay claim as the indigenous people of the land.4 This positioning is based on their stance as the first group to establish a government, traced to the 15th-century Malaccan Sultanate. The Orang Asli,5 the “other” indigenous group ...
Chapter 5 Gender, Islam and the “Malay Nation” in Fatimah Busu’s Salam Maria
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The effort to write oneself into the “nation” and the Body Politic has often been seen and recognized as a masculinist enterprise by the Malaysian state. Thus far, Malaysia’s National Laureates (Sasterawan Negara) have been men from one ethnic group who write in the national language, Bahasa Malaysia. ...
SINGAPORE: Malays as Minorities and the Politics of Identities
Chapter 6 Malay Identity in Postcolonial Singapore
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This chapter aims to capture the continuous interactions between minority identities and those of global, regional, and local developments. Toward that end, I explore the dynamics and politics of identity formation within the Malay-Muslim minority community in postcolonial Singapore, which much like its ...
Chapter 7 Tudung Girls: Unveiling Muslim Women’s Identity in Singapore
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In contemporary multicultural Singapore society, the wearing of the tudung (head covering) among Malay women is very visible. Very often, this is read by both Malays and non-Malays as an expression of Malay Muslim women’s identity.2 This is not surprising. In the implementation of Singapore’s “multi-racial policy,” ...
Chapter 8 Malayness as Mindset: When Television Producers Imagine Audiences as Malay
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While media have long been studied as a site for the representation and contestation of ethnicity, however understood, much of the work done has been through the detailed analyses of media texts or by studying how audiences respond to or interpret them in relation to a number of modes of identification.2 ...
INDONESIA and the PHILIPPINES: Borderland and Forgotten Malays
Chapter 9 Riau: A Malay Heartland at the Borders
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Attempts to persuade people that they form a group with others sharing certain key characteristics and solidarity while being distinct from other groups, is a normal practice in the politics of a society or a country. Often, these groups are designated certain categories such as “race,” “nation,” “class,” ”ethnicity,” ...
Chapter 10 Filipinos as Malay: Historicizing an Identity
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“Googling” the key words “Filipinos as Malay” produces thousands of at least minimally relevant results. Among other possibilities, it suggests the idea’s widespread currency. In a site called Yahoo! Answers, for instance, someone posted a question, “Filipinos, do you know that you look like Malays?”1 ...
ACROSS NATIONS: Representing/Rejecting Malayness
Chapter 11 Absent Presence: The Malay in Straits Chinese Literature
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This chapter is an attempt to understand how the Malay figure appears, or fails to appear, in Anglophone Straits Chinese Literature. The Straits Chinese are cultural hybrids whose identity is the result of five centuries of history and interactions with Malays. Yet, from the time they started imagining a distinct ...
Chapter 12 Melayu and Malay — A Story of Appropriate Behavior
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27 February 1850, high noon. The sun is fierce, the land is shrouded in a glistening mist. The East coast of Sumatra. The Dutch Indies government official has given orders to strike the sails of the proa on entering the shallow waters of the bay. The maps have told him there should be a settlement here, inland, ...
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Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid is Associate Professor of Political Science at the School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. He has held visiting fellowships at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and the Asia Research Institute, ...
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Publication Year: 2011