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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

'Melayu Semakin Hilang dari Dunia'! The Disappearing Malays.

'Takkan Melayu Hilang di-Dunia!' so uttered the Malaccan Sultanate's foremost legendary Malay warrior according to the 'Sejarah Melayu' and often repeated in theater plays since the demise of the historical Malaccan empire in 1511 after being defeated by the Portuguese led by Alfonso de Albuquerque.

Today, a growing number of Malays no longer feel obliged to portray themselves as being Hang Tuah's heirs and the titled ones always call each other by their 'Westernized' nicknames.

Salmah becomes 'Sally' ; Mariam morphs into 'Mary', fancy sounding names are given to their offspring and the parents themselves are left clueless as to what they have named their children?

This is what the Datins, Datuks, Tan Sri's and Puan Sri's society practicing with a zeal that will scare the shit out of the ordinary kampong folks if they were ever to be caught in their midst! This tendency is portrayed very aptly in the 'Datin Diaries' tv series.

Malays are very inclined to imitate the latest fads and trends. Many of the Malay youth today go about in attires, attitudes and mindsets that are more akin to the hip hop culture of the Afro-American society of the USA.

Just take a look at the way, Malay television producers and their so called artistes try to out Western each other in their productions and try to sound like Westerners whereas their mugs betray who the hell they really are?

The irony is that, there are hundreds of thousands of foreigners who flock to our nation to try learn the rich traditional Malay culture but we have these hordes of delusional Malays who try to be more 'barat' than the 'orang barat'!

They speak with a funny accent , thinking that they sound 'cool' and are 'alright'. The reality is that their grammar is damn lousy and most can't comprehend proper English!

Instead of living as Muslims, there are many amongst the latter day Malays who don't know anything about their faith of Islam!

Only last Friday, I was shocked to meet three Malay teenagers who were loitering on our apartment's stairways during the Friday prayers time who were reluctant to follow me to the masjid because according to them, they didn't know how to pray?

I succeeded in getting two of them to follow me but the third chap, of Mamak descent managed to escape! Hehehehehe...signs of the times, signs of the times....

Just imagine the scenario 5 years from now or 10 years down the road?

Malays as a race will definitely disappear from the face of this Earth bit by bit and they will morph into something else..halfbreed's? May Allah forbid!

That is if the present slide of the Malays into imitating others is not nipped in the bud by the relevant authorities?

Maafkan hamba Datuk Laksamana Hang Tuah, ' Melayu memang semakin menghilang dari dunia yang Datuk pernah perjuangkan...anak cucu Datuk kini semakin menjadi bagaikan umang umang atau kacang yang melupakan kulit...


Silent Me Not AUthor 1 said...

Hi Mahaguru,

While you re on this topic, may i ask the sensitive question of the definition of Malay, as in your opinion?

These days, we can observe the assimilation of Mamaks (indian muslim) as Malay - our ex PM is a good example. While I am unsure, but your appearance might hint a lineage back to Northern Indian Muslim too. Another variant of "Melayu" is our friendly and hardworking Indonesians who come over to work/stay/have kids/be a citizen. Surely, these people share the same genetic lineage as Hang Tuah, but are they Malay or Indonesian? Without doubt, these two categories of people would, in near future (or currently) receive the so called priviledges entitled to Malays/bumiputera, as enshrined in our Constitution.

What about Chinese Muslims? Or Sri Lankans Muslims? or Is it being a Muslim a pre-requisite to be a Malay?

I think it's an identity and philosophical question that is never and will never be answered, because it's sensitive. :)

keep it up, because of ppl like you, melayu takkan hilang la..;)

mahaguru58 said...

May peace be upon you sir,

The definition of being a Malay is actually a matter of tracing the roots and lineage of a person who resides in the Malay Archipelago and is a descendant of the original ethnic tribes of people living in the Malay Peninsular,including Singapore, Borneo,Indonesia, Philippines, and other islands in the area.

The question of being accepted as a Malay today here in Malaysia is actually a matter that as you have understood to be a person who lives in the Malay archipelago, speaks and understands Malay, professes Islam, practices the culture of the Malays and whose roots have either a parent or both parents deriving from the Malay ethnicity.

My family has both Indian Muslim and Malay lineage.

Hailing from the Malay kampong of Jalan Kota Giam, Jelutong Timur, Penang Island.

I have family members who are deemed to be Jawi Peranakan @ intermarriage between the pure Indian Muslim Rowther clan from my father's side in Tamilnadu, South India and the Penang Jawi Peranakan from my mother's side.

Still if we were to trace back both roots, it goes back to India.

Anyway, ethnic roots don't matter much to me but I have been born in a Malay kampong, grew up in a purely Penang Malay environment.

Learnt the Qur'an from my Malay Tok Guru's, practiced Malay culture from my childhood.

Am married to a Pahang Malay.

Have always loved preserving Malay culture and traditions.

Am a student of English and Malay literature.

Strong supporter of the preservation n of all things Malay and a collector of ancient Malay weaponry which I sadly had to leave behind in Penang when I moved to KL.

As for your questions regarding Chinese Muslims, Sri Lankan Muslims, etc being considered as Malays, it all depends.

A convert to Islam doesn't morph into becoming a Malay by his or her ethnic roots.

A Chinese, Indian or whatever remains as that particular ethnicity.

He or she might have embraced Islam but it doesn't alter their true ethnicity.

Their offspring are a different matter altogether if they marry a true Malay and have children.

Then we have the cases like my family in Penang.

My sisters married Malays and their children do not speak Tamil as they grew up speaking and understanding Malay and English.

One or two of my nephews and nieces understand what is being spoken in Tamil but they can't speak the language.

I am quite conversant in English,Malay,Tamil, Hokkien, a bit of Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, etc from my own volition of learning different languages to help me in carrying out Dakwah and also in my profession as a Sales Trainer.

Being a Malay comes with the natural understanding of having Malay roots, speaking the Malay language, knowing and practicing the Malay traditions and culture.

Penang Malays are a mix of Indian Muslims and Malays.

I used to have fun testing the Mamaks in UMNO by asking them to tell me what is the ingredients of sambal belacan to qualify themselves in passing themselves off as Malays?

Damn, we can see clearly right from the facial features of so many of the ministers and top politicians in UMNO today as having Indian roots.

Tun Mahathir is said to have Malabari roots.

Datuk Kadir Shaikh Fadzir and his siblings are all having Mamak roots.

Dato' Seri Shahrizat Jalil surely has Mamak roots.

Dato Reezal Marican Naina Marican is definitely Mamak.

Dato Subahan Kamal is Mamak.

The 2nd Deputy Finance Minister is Mamak.

The former Bank Negara Governor Dato Ali Abul Hassan is Mamak.

We have so many Mamaks in government.

There's nothing wrong in admitting being Mamak.

There are so many 'captains of industry' with Mamak blood and roots doing this nation and the Malays a great service.

You know, the Malaccan sultanate had Mamaks as their Bendahara @ Prime Minister.

How do you think the 'Mamak' term came into being?

The honorific calling of the Prime Minister of ancient Malacca as 'Mamak Bendahara'.

At the end of the day, as I have pointed out in my article here, the present generation of Malays are being irresponsible in forgetting their roots and traditions of preserving the Malay identity!

Its ironic that it takes Mamaks like me to preserve and call for such preservation of the Malay traditions so that they do not disappear into the folds of time.

If we do not hold on and cultivate the precious Malay traditions of old, then who else will?

Tun Mahathir said that the Malays forget easily.

Its absolutely true...for a growing number of the present day Malays who ape the West so much that they forget their Malay heritage almost overnight.

Assimilating foreign words into the Malay language seems to be the norm for the very bastion of the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and also by the mass media.

RTM is a major culprit in introducing absurd bastardized words from English into Malay.

Words such as 'Ori' to replace the Malay word ' Asli' or 'Tulin'!

Why can't we stick to 'asli' or 'tulin'?

There are just so many new words born out of either the former Minister of Information who is a Mamak that has come into usage by the present day Malays!

Malays will disappear and lose their true identities if nothing is done to stop the rot.

The present day government led by Abdullah Badawi and Najib are just filled with rhetoric spewers and opportunists who don't actually care for the traditions and heritage of the Malays.

As a Malaysian, I care and I will continue speaking out against the slide of the Malays into the abyss of forgetfulness from what Hang Tuah declared 5 centuries ago!

You know, foreigners refer to all of us here in Malaysia as Malays!

It doesn't matter if you are a Chinese or an Indian what more a Malay?

As long as you are from Malaysia, to them you are a Malay!

Tell that to the fellows in UMNO!

Adam M Najri said...

Sometime mamak or chinese muslim who married malays have more spirit of malay than pure Malay in Malaysia like you my brother and Bro Ridhuan Tee (we have invited him in our ceramah at our office)..


mahaguru58 said...

Jazakallah Brother Adam.

The reality is that we are all the Children of Prophet Adam Alaihis Salam, Our Father, and Prophet of Allah the Almighty and are equal save for our faith in Him and our deeds.

I am just worried about our Malays and will do whatever I can to help reverse the deterioration of their aqeedah and amals.

Thanks for your support and words of encouragement, bro.

May Allah SWT bless and guide us all.


abuhanaan said...

Malays were nothing before the arrival of Islam. The kings and aristocrats were Hindu/Buddhist but majority of the Malays worshiped spirits. That is why history never recorded any Malay-Hindu or Malay-Buddha intellectual, simply because there were none. Islam enabled Malays to build their trading empire and paved way for education and writing system (tulisan jawi). The impact of Islam to Malays is more or less the same with the Arabs. It is important for the Malay Muslims to remember these words of Abu Hafs Umar al-Khattab:

“Kita dahulunya adalah kaum yang hina, Allah telah memuliakan kita dengan Islam, andainya kita mencari kemuliaan selain dari apa yang telah Allah muliakan kita dengannya maka kita akan dihina oleh Allah”.

mahaguru58 said...

Bullseye! Right smack on the forehead, if I may say so?

The truth does hurt but at least both people have sort of come to a better stage of life through becoming Muslims.

Actually, if we come to think of it, our Father, Nabi Adam Alaihisalam came to be here on Earth already imbued with the tenets of Islam and his offspring who were born here on Earth as a result of his marriage to our Mother Saiyidatina Hawwa Radhiallahu Anha were raised as Muslims till they were ordered to go to all 4 corners of the world to populate it.

Eventually , lack of keeping to the true faith of Islam taught by Adam Alaihisalam saw mankind come up with all kinds of delusional faiths of their own concoction giving rise to what we have now here on Earth!

All through the passage of Time, Allah SWT kept sending Prophets and Messengers to mankind to help them rediscover Islam yet as usual, Mankind being who we are always refuses to submit to our Creator due to our own bloated egos save those of us who do acknowledge Ar Rahman.

1400 over years ago, the Final Messenger to all mankind was appointed by Allah SWT to deliver to us the total revelations of the Al-Qur'an al Kareem , to complete the delivery of the Truth of Islam to all those who choose to see the light of Islam but today some still can't bring themselves to remove the cataract of pride that is blurring their vision and pride!

As you said brother Abuhanaan, the Malays and the Arabs have gained so much by embracing Islam, without which even the Romans and Greeks bypassed the desert dwellers of Arabia and the Malays of yesteryears were described as natives prone to acts of piracy in the early accounts of the British and Western colonialists in their discovery of the 'Golden Chersonese'.

The Malays and also the Arabs need to wake up to the reality of how important it is for them to hold firm to the true teachings of Islam or risk losing it all to the ravages of time and their stupid pride!

Aiyu said...

A person told me that the general state of debilitation of the Malays can be largely attributed to the fact that the culture is so recent. Take the Chinese for example, they have had thousands of years of history, and wherever they migrate to, they remain generally strong in terms of culture (and survival + business instincts heh). As for the Malays, they've only got 500+ years of history behind them, counting from the time of the Malacca sultanate, since it was only then that they started forming a concrete identity. So 500+ years of history, with most of it spent being colonised lol... is no wonder that the Malay identity is so weak, and that the younger generation are really just trying to find a place to belong to in this dog eat dog world.

Well, I wish you countless luck in your quest - you're certainly gonna need it - though I'm not really sure of the sort of things you're able to accomplish seeing that even the PM couldn't get the Malays to change. Here's a radical suggestion for you: let the worst of the Malays spiral down towards destruction, so that the only ones that are left would be the good (and intelligent) Malays who would then build back the culture to newer & greater heights of glory. Lateral thinking does help sometimes y'know :) Peace~

mahaguru58 said...

Thanks aiyu for your wellwishes!

The thing is that we are here temporarily living out our life's as allowed by Allah SWT.

I figure that while I am still alive, I should try to help out my fellow Muslims as best as I can especially in things that I am capable of.

As they say, its better to have tried and win if we can rather than leave it to chance!

I will do my best to help whoever I can. Insya Allah.

jazrul said...

The truth does hurt but at least both people have sort of come to a better stage of life through becoming Muslims

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jazrul said...

I wish you countless luck in your quest - you're certainly gonna need it - though I'm not really sure of the sort of things you're able to accomplish seeing that even the PM couldn't get the Malays to change.

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