Thanks for the wonderful article. I'm a bad driver... Haha
I read your article with interest and admiration, but it avoids one major topic related to the Malays-- religion.Malays now want to be defined their religion to such an extent that most Malaysians tend to equate Malays with the Islamic religion, regardless of the variety being practised.I think if you wish to address this issue of racialism and racial stereotyping, I think it's high time you start poking holes into the Malay thinking that religion is what defines them. Being semi-Malay/Muslim living in Thailand, I see the Muslims here can be very laid back, which is a big diversion from what I see in Malaysia. Conversion in and out of the Islamic religion is common. I know of several who eat pork, which to most muslims (including those alcohol-consuming types in Malaysia) would be totally unacceptable. I think in generally non-Muslim countries, it is perceived that being Muslim is not equated to belonging to any ethnic group. To most westerners and non-muslims, it is a matter of choice, not an immutable aspect like being a certain race or possessing a certain skin color.Since you seem to have a following, i suggest you pick up this topic, let it percolate in your brain, and see if you can come up with a good analysis. If you shy away from it, then I will know where you stand.
"If you shy away from it, then I will know where you stand."Ooo anonymous, are you threatening him? Ish ish ish...x elok mcm tuh... Why don't you write it yourself, let us see where u stand? :-D
I want to, but I might dawdle into the touchy area of Muslim hypocrisy, especially with respect to Malay women who superficially wear hijab while simultaneously maintaining sexually active lifestyles. I hope you are not offended.Perhaps more intrepid bloggers are willing to tread on such dangerous grounds by openly discussing such issues. I eschew such topics for fear of being accused of siding with the kafirs and kuffars.This is why I don't blog.
I can give you a stand right now.Malay = MuslimNot a muslim not a Malay. Because by definition in the constitution a Malay is someone who speaks Bahasa Melayu, practices the Malay culture and is a Muslim. Technically Malay is more of an Ideology more than race as there are no mention of ancestry or skin colour. Malay is more of an Upbringing and lifestyle with Islam as it's chief Ideology. So there. Plus I write what I feel like writing not what others tells me to. No offense yeah.
owh ok... I'm not offended at all! :-) The truth is there, we could see tons of Malays with bad lifestyle, drifted away from what have been taught by their religion.(You claimed Malay women who wear hijab while maintaining sexually active lifestyles)Islam, Christian, Buddha, Hindu...you name it. Which religion allow you to have sex before marriage? The answer is simple. NONE. So, how can we blame our religion for the wrong doing of human itself? Wake up dude, it's always came from HEART. Even if you're Muslim, but you don't have a good heart, then you can be called a bad Muslim. Don't expect all Muslims should behave like angels.:-D p/s: Sharing thoughts...lalala
In my opinion, defining Malay as an ideology undermines the Malay people. Had we (ok maybe not me, since I am less than 50% malay), been more homogenous and strict about our "Malayness", we wouldn't be in this situation where Chinese Malaysians (or Malaysian Chinese?) identify themselves with the strength of Mainland China and Indian Malaysians (or Malaysian Indians?) feel pride whenever India is mentioned as an emerging superpower.Which country do Malays identify with as their 'superpower'? Indonesia? Do Malays even have a 'home base'? If we had kept our country's name as Malaya, would people have a stronger "Malay" identity now? Does the word Bumiputra just confuse religion and culture into this issue of race?I still think that our basest instincts as humans encourage us to simplify groups into race. By compartmentalizing, we can easily stereotype others while maintaining greater intra-racial unity. There is evidence that this could have been a tenable proposition. In the 19th century, a german scientist named johann blumenbcah identified/classified Malay as one of the basic races. Chinese fell under Mongoloid. Imagine if Malaya had followed such a simple definition throughout since our founding!?If we simplify Malay= Muslim, we also make the tautology very easy and error-prone as well. Why not Malay = Orthodox Sunni Muslim or Malay = Liberal Modern Muslim? Non-muslims tend to argue that not only do Malays have trouble identifying their racial identity, they also have trouble practising their religion in a uniform manner. This is so evident when it comes to female dressing, our prayer rituals during workign hours and other overt forms of relgious practice.Ok, I take back what i wrote about encouraging you to write on this topic. It’s your choice. I know some people like to just make light of the situation, and tackle in a humoristic way, which I think you did. However, I raise this in hopes that maybe one day we (as Muslim/Bumis/Malays) can have a straightforward talk on this, so we can get our story straight. The non-muslims, non-malays, non-bumis are just taking advantage of how confused we are about our own identity.TO MARIATIANS: I think you are quite typical in looking at issue of pre-marital sex or other forms of liberal sexual practice in terms of religion. The modern NON-muslim does NOT look at it as religious issue. To them, it is an issue choice of the female and another consenting adult. Yes, they have religious practices that set down moral rules, but they leave it up to the individual. In Islam, individualism is not really allowed. Think about it, can we really re-define our religion to suit our whims? Or can we wilfully leave our religion without being castigated, or worse yet killed? Never.PS An example to show how race plays into things… I was in a business meeting where a Filipino and a thai met. Let me tell you how they identified their backgrounds. The Filipina said she is half Chinese, the thai said she is a quarter. Why didn’t the thai say she was half khmer or the Filipina say she was half manilan?? The Chinese race has become a strong identity. Imagine if history were different. If malays stayed strong as a racial identity, we could have been a base for the thai Khmers and the Filipinos!
Too long *sigh*...So long~ :-D
Just read the part addressed to you. It's in a simple paragrpah.
TO MARIATIANS: I think you are quite typical in looking at issue of pre-marital sex or other forms of liberal sexual practice in terms of religion. The modern NON-muslim does NOT look at it as religious issue. To them, it is an issue choice of the female and another consenting adult. Yes, they have religious practices that set down moral rules, but they leave it up to the individual. In Islam, individualism is not really allowed. Think about it, can we really re-define our religion to suit our whims? Or can we wilfully leave our religion without being castigated, or worse yet killed? Never.**************Yes, DONE! :-DCall me whatever, typical? ketinggalan zaman? Stereotype? I don't mind. But sorry anonymous, I have a feeling that you're expressing your hatred of Malays (Muslims) here. Too much complaining. That's not cool, dude. Respect others.(^_^)Y
That's the just part of the problem. I can't really criticize muslim women or islam in general without being labelled. So sorry. I take it all back.I think in general it is bad to say ANYTHING about women. It's up to them. Yes, i have zero opinion on this.In some countries they want to go around nude. In other countries they want to wear niqab. I don't care.I think men have now learnt, let them wear what they want. Don't force it onto them!So we cool?
That's cool! ^_^
To Mariatians:http://www.godlessgirl.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/sex-and-religion-info-graphic-19190-1246392856-13.jpgNote buddhism, they don't really care about premarital sex.This chart is rather instructive. Don't you think?Howevr, non-muslims-- at least the ones I hve encountered-- tend to identify according to their Libertarian attitudes. They might see the above and still say 'to each his/her own'. They can espouse a certain religion, but they don't expect it to be followed by its followers.Do you think PAS and UMNO exchange barbs with each other because they believe in individual rights in practising religion according to his/her individual beliefs? I doubt it. They will both quote for the religious texts to win their arguments. Unfortunately, those texts were never written in modern legal language, so they are open to interpretation.Today's news we see arguments about the 'burqini'. I have met the creator of the original burqini. Yesterday, she made a statement denouncing the knockoff burqini type worn by the lady creating the hubbub in France. Her original is damn expensive.Funnier still are those Western Muslim women who argue AGAINST the hijab. I am an observer in terms of the hijab issue. Let you and other women sort this out.All I see is that the more we argue about these things, the stronger non-muslim see our lack of unity and identity.
I see Anonymous' point actually. I find it a little tiring explaining how race and religion arent the same. I think the problem is not that one sees that a malay must be muslim (because constitutionally speaking that is the truth) but to see a muslim as automatically a malay is rather puzzling.As a muslim woman, I believe that I have made the choice of subscribing to the Islamic faith. It does not define my very being when I put on a headscarf only my moral belief and my choice in the way i live my life. It does not tell people whether im good or bad.I can see the hypocrisy in a person who claims to profess the faith, wears aurat-friendly clothes but still indulges in things not allowed by the chosen faith.Our commitment to our choices and how we respect that is what defines us as persons. That's how i see it.I dont think it unfair for a man to point it out. Both sexes have their faults and I wouldnt deny the truth in what Anonymous has said. I also doubt that anything said was under hateful consideration. It seems more like a thought process to me...
Thanks K for the support.My issue is not just about women, however. It is larger. Our blogger Sinatra_Z wishes to point out the dynamic nature of the "malay" group. By labelling it an ideology, it is suggested that it can morph according to the aims/objectives or agenda of the members of that group. That's what ideologies are.I am all for that definition, to tell you honestly. I want the "Malay" to be a dynamic group or ideologue. But, I question how dynamic is it? Can it really qualify as an ideology?I want to bring back this issue of "Malays= Muslim". To Malaysian non-muslims, this simple equation is commonplace and therefore programmed into their minds. They only get confused when they go to Sabah/Sarawak and see "malay-looking" people who drink and frolick like non-malays. They get 'cognitive dissonance'. Some non-malays go so far as to point out to mainstream peninsular "malays" that they have met Person A/B in another part of the country who are Malay-looking,liberal and can drink / eat pork / dress in sexy manner. So they question: what defines "Malays"?To further add to the confusion, there are the loose Muslims. They don't care about the rituals, either. Non-malays then question the conservative malays, why can't you be liberal like those loose muslims? So this poses the question, can we reduce Malay = Muslim? In mathematics, that equation would imply symmetry, ie A = B, B =A. But, we know that is not the case. We may try to explain that If A then B. But B does necessarily = A. That just sounds awkward.Therefore the debate should be about SHOULD MALAYS DEFINE THEMSELVES AS MUSLIMS? By making Malays = Muslims, we become a sub-set of the greater Muslim world. We are subject to all the controversies surrounding islam vis-a-vis modern society. If we define ourselves as Malays as a race, we don't subjugate ourselves to debates on women, drinking, polygamy, anti-zionism, conservatism vs liberalism.. etc etc... We would just be "malays".Brings me again to that example I gave... the Thai and the filipino. Somehow they identify being a chinese, albeit partially. It's a strong identity, and a RACIAL one. They can even specify the percentage of their chinese 'content'. Can you specify the percentage of how muslim you are? Can you be 50% muslim?In the future, will indonesians assume that racial role, which the malay people lose? I have already met some foreigners who describe their friends as 'part indonesian' like it is a race. If Indons claim our food, our popular local songs as theirs, will they win as the cultural progenitor and become a fundamental racial identity, like the Chinese/Indians?So, in conclusion, the definition of Malay has been diluted. Its origin was a racial term affirmed by foreigners. It is now diluted by being a part of the greater Malaysian people and Islamic religion. How long can Malays continue to identify themselves as cohesive racial group? Isn't this the BASIS of a very well-known political party (which I will leave unnamed)? I don't know. I pose it to those out there. We are being weakened as a political group. AND, I think we can expose what is wrong with firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous,I find your observation and train of thought very insightful.It is mental stimulating, something that the article itself fail to really address.With all due respect to both authors of course.
My foot lah joe. It's also known asBORINGGGGG
Regarding the Thai's and Filipinos. Filipinos do not regard themselves as chinese, not at all. In fact a few years back in their passport they actually write Malay. Only recently they revert it back to Filipinos because of the "Malay" definition in Brunei, Malaysia and even Indonesia. To equate Malay and Islam is not that confusing nor degrading the people itself. Just like the jewish people define themselves. A jew is someone of an ancestry and a follower of Judaism and someone who marries/convers into Judaism. People who are not jewish by decadents or religion but lives in Israel are known as Israelis. Just like Malays and fellow Malaysians. Simple. To revert back to malay as just a race is a bit hard and to say that the Malays does not have a homeland (or superpower) is a very shallow statement, as the language and culture dates back to thousands of years which included the ideology behind the religion. Bahasa Indonesia is an adaptation of the language used in Riau which is Bahasa Melayu a Lingua Franca in the island in south east asia which is known as Kepulauan Melayu (the malay islands) and the group of people known as Rumpun Melayu. The Malay term is diluted, well okay just like how the Chinese term is diluted. Chinese = Hans, Cantonese, Teochew, hainan, Manchu, Uighur and etc... But the share the same Lingua Franca and base of culture - Mandarin. And before communism they even share the same religion/ideology which categorize them as chinese ie. a mixture of bhuddism,Tao and Confucianism. To me, by extracting Islam with Malay is to abandon the chief ideology in the Malay world. Losing it's tadition and many of it's culture which so inter-wind with the religion. In fact the Malay identity (or basis of the Malay Identity) is to be lost greatly with this move. It's because of islam that makes the Malay Political power stronger because by the defenition as stated above the malay world welcomes anyone regardless of the skin colour or descendants to be a Malay, in fact by definition there's nothing racial in it. I think it actually makes our political power stronger because the Malays are bond by religion/ideology rather than race.
with regards to Anonymous' arguments, i dont think one can be a percentage of a muslim for one reason: you either are a muslim or not. I think when a person chooses to describe their ethnicity it may just be a description using familiar terms known to them which are perhaps not correct/politically correct at all. You dont really stand there pondering your roots in order to answer a rather "simple" question...i suppose the thinking only comes lateri dont know about Malays being an ideology. put that way it seems possible to make it so but to execute any attempt on defining the ideology of the moment surrounding the notion of what exactly constitutes a malay is quite a headache.I somewhat suspect that political groups based on race should be a thing of the past. I think the next generation dont really see ourselves differently through our races but our opinions. to be liberal, to be conservative etc.It feels a bit tiresome arguing over races and perhaps could be why the arguments of such a well known party isnt working as they hope it would. If anything it divides more than unites...Zaidel,Actually, to be jew is quite different from being muslim malay. Jews are, among other definitions, an ethnic religious group whereas in Islam race is irrelevant. You have to be jew to be a follower of Judaism but you dont have to be malay to be muslim.The only reason malays = muslim, (legally) lies in our constitution. Anywhere else it would understandably appear confusing the same way some people equate all arabs to muslims.though you (Zaidel) may feel the way you do, the political ones do make it a racial agenda. And it does appear under "race" in every form we fill in.plus the Malay culture doesnt take purely from Islam (since the religion holds no cultural values) but from other races. To be a Malay today is to be a "new" race born of a mixture of many races. Thats how i see it. Also to be muslim is quite circumstantial...malays couldve very well have been Christians if the Kings before chose so.I dont deny the richness of our differing cultures but Id give anything to see the day when it wont matter in terms of opportunities. Perhaps there is something to be gained from the Israelis. We should all just be Malaysians and start thinking about genuinely trying to build 1Malaysia. Whatever the hell that means at the moment.
True in Islam race is irrelevant but in the definition of being a Malay religion is relevant. By the definition of "Jew" who you just mentioned who are the ones who define it? god? a council? or jews themselves? I think it's the jewish people themselves. Doesn't matter what you would like to think or wish what it would be but if the Malays in Malaysia wants that definition than that is the definition, definitions after all are defined by the people themselves. Political agenda or what I don't really care, like always people somewhat tend to deny the Malay identity simply because one have a problem with a certain political party. Because it seems to me, from a discussion which started from Malay identity and religion you're somewhat sliding more into the political area. Seems dubious to me. Previous kinds could choose christian as their faith, yeah probably if they did Malay would associate themselves to Christianity. But it didn't happened, it was Islam instead so Islam it is. I don't think that one would have to sacrifice the Malay identity for 1 Malaysia, why? That's just ridiculous. I concur with the status quo, ideology wise or identity wise. If I am not mistaken even Indonesia concurs to the fact that Malays and Islam are one. Refer to Mahyuddin Al Mudra. So NO I won't write about it. Guess you will have to do it yourself. Like I said, I don't write something just because someone tells me to. Life goes on....
Hi Blue Eye-Z,I know you do not like for people to tell you what to write, but....Can you write about: -1) Buddhist who have sex when they are not suppose to habour any desire as desire = suffering2) Christians who accpts homosexuality when the Pope disapprove.3) Hindu's who stop cheking out the stars and numbers for marriage when their Shaktism request them to do so.Well maybe you don't have to write anything on this.Bye.Ms.Eu Mei Fat
Naaah I don't feel like it.
gua tahu kenapa lu stereotyping melayu cina dan indiasebab lu mamak...wakaka...mamak memang perangai dia macam tu, tak caya lu tengok mahathir, macam2 dia kutuk melayu masa dia jadi PM dulu, cina lepas tak jadi PM dan india sebab marah semi veluemelayu umno memang bodoh, angguk je apa mahathir cakap...wakakajibam
hi there, what a funny yet deep article. love it a lot. keep tracking on your article's update on "malaysian insider".envy...envy..envy you so much. how can u write down something so good like this.hm, not really understand bahasa melayu. eventhough i'm an indonesian. hehehe. prefer to read your articles in english.
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