Monday, August 30, 2010
With Braudel's long duree insight the Malay identity has been attacked in a systematic way for more than a decade. It started in Singapura, a Malay nemesis, with a conference on contessting Malay identity that even Malay scholars supported in the name of an intellectual discourse. This was followed by the denouncement of keris, the Malay symbol of power, following an UMNO general meeting that saw even the once fiery youth cowed in the name of violence. The cultural basis of the Malay identity succumbed to the on-slaught by the Chinese, in particular.
In the past weeks, it was the spiritual identity became the target. In Pulau Pinang, a Malay Muslim prayed for a Chinese Chief Minister while excluding the King and the Governor in a few occasion during the holy day of Friday prayer. This was followed by a Chinese woman parliamentarian using the sacred prayer hall to give "tazkirah", a sermon.
In all these events it was the Malays who were consequently confused and divided as some political and Islamic leaders gave different interpretations and failed to take punitive actions.