Thursday, October 08, 2009

"Sawojaya" -- a new (replacement) Malay race

“History is bunk": Henry Ford, American inventor

What if the Malays undergo a conscious and mandated name-change - from Melayu or Malay to Sawojaya? I believe this is possible as a preamble to a suggestion of a planned evolution of the name “Malay”.

I think we are at an exciting historical juncture in which human creativity is at its highest point, given the power of the advanced digital communication technologies such as Web 2.0 and the like.

It is time that the Malays are “rebranded” into something less contentious as the name of a race or ethnic group or even a political entity. It would be an exciting idea in postmodern anthropology' - one that will signify a discovery of the grounded theory of the Malay philology. The anthropological challenge might be to erase all the prefixes, affixes, and suffixes of “Malay” in all existing documents that have ever existed about the Bangsa Melayu.

An exercise in rebranding

Why this proposal?

Consider these, within the context of the syntagmatic perspective of history, within the paradigm of the political-economy of change, and the archeology and philology of language analysed within the context of class and the post-modern caste system.

The word "Malay" or "Melayu" in the modern and post-modern times has carried its connotation of "malaise", "withering", "wilting" "backwardness", "paranoia", disempowerment", and even “laziness”.

Me-layu = wilting
Malays = malaise
Mel-ange = range of differences/fragmentation
Malas = lazy

In Malaysia, particularly wherein Malays form a substantial majority and political power is in the hands of a "Malay" party called "United Malays National Organisation", concepts related to the word "Malay" have been hovering to indicate the "malaise-ness" of ideas:

Notions such as ketuanan Melayu successfully marketed by the Malay propaganda outfit, Biro Tata Negara (BTN), kedaulatan Melayu trumpeted by Malay blind nationalists and ageing sloganeers, and tak Melayu hilang di dunia (Malays will never be extinct) vainglorified by one-dimensional historians and inscribers on meaningless statues propped in front of a national museum – all these have been the reason behind the bad publicity the Malays have been getting over the last 500 years.

In fact the founding of Melaka itself has been a historical accident that has catapulted the word Malay into a situation of historical problems and contributed to the feel of the malaise-ness of the Malays.

Politicians no Malay paragons

The biggest culprits in contributing to the malaise have been the Malay politicians.

Of late, there is confusion amongst the Malays themselves as to who is representing who in the struggle to "liberate" the Malays. Many are confused why there is a small segment of the Malays supporting the continuation of the use of the repressive tool of the state, the Internal Security Act.

Many are confused why the Malay linguistic nationalists are insisting that Mathematics and Sciences are taught in the Malay language. Many are even more confused about which Malay political party is actually representing the Malays.

In modern times much has been written about the Malays and what is happening to this ethnic group. Works such as The Malay Dilemma, The Malays: Their problems and their future, Revolusi Mental, Tuntutan Melayu, Quo Vadis Bangsaku, are amongst those that address the Malay racial and political-economic problems.

Might is right seems to be the notion that governs which political entity or entities will guide the Malays. It is as if the leadership of the Malays has undergone a process of salah pimpin (bad leadership) in the process of leading due to the fact that they have undergone salah tuntut or wrongly following the philosophy of leading. In the culture of the Malays, salah tuntut is a serious matter – entailing a life relegated to following this or that cult that produces deviant teachings.

Institutions and ideologies that have permeated the psyche of the Malays, create misrepresentation, and exacerbate the malaise-ness of the Malays abound. Consider these:

- Biro Tata Negara
- Malay-only institutions
- Malay centric curriculum
- Malay Rights doctrine
- Malay centric notion of a "social contract"
- Malay postmodern bourgeoisie class
- Malay media power that monopolises the indoctrination of the Malay mind
- UMNO or United Malays National Organisation

The Malays are generally considered a people of a dark brownish skin color. In the language it is called "sawo matang" drawn from the kiwi/mango-looking brownish fruit popular in the island of Java.

The word "Jaya" is a Sanskrit word meaning "Victory"; the core idea of The Mahabharata. The assassin-prince of Melaka, had a name of a Hindu god, Parameswara.

I consider the suffix “Jaya” as a successful idea that can be used in hybridizing the word “Sawo” (“brownish-skin”) to replace the word Malay.

Examples abound, especially in the names of places-- symbols installation of the ideology of “victory” : “Cyberjaya”, “Putrajaya”, “Petaling Jaya”, “Subang Jaya”, “Kelana Jaya” “Seberang Jaya”, “Nusajaya” “Johor Jaya”. There is also a Malaysian mall that uses the word “Jaya”: Jaya Jusco. There is also a favourite 1980s composition called “Raja Jaya” by the Malaysian percussionist Lewis Pragasam's band Asiabeat Percussion.

A new race is born

In the age of biogenetics, cloning, nanotechnology, embedded journalism, casino-capitalism, stimulus packages, this or that “-nomics” Web 2.0, deconstructionism, and cultures that undergo re-enculturalisations, a name-change of the Malays is necessary. A new identity, a karma, a rebirth, a renaissance, a cure for this linguistic myopia in the form of a construction of a brave new world is necessary.

I hereby call upon the Malays to agree on a name change.

Viva Bangsa Sawojaya!


Tamerlane said...

this is what happens whe you smoke too much crack and watch the matrix trilogy repeatedly

komando said...

Dear Dr, you forgot the most important one!


AsiaEUniversity said...

Dear Dr,

In the eyes of the world, what do you want the Malays to be remembered of? When you mention Malays, what will be the first things your friends will relate or associate her with? What has the Malays give to the world? Think about it. Every race has given something to the world that people can remember or associate with.

The Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Thais, English, Scottish, Israelite, Arabs, etc have some good things that we all can associate with. I can't think of any good things that the modern Malays has contributed to the world.

Malay has become an ethnic group rather than race since Dr Mahathir has adulterated the Malay race with Bumiputra and also changing the Constitution of Malaysia to define the Malay.

Anonymous said...

" History is written by learned historians . Nature is written by man who theorizes and writes the evolution of nature " , I say .
The date , that bloody riot of May the 13 in the year 1969 was the unforgettable and regrettable day for us Malaysian . It was an historical actuality because the riot took place on the said date . Historically it was an affirmation , it was a racial riot .
Is this tragic happening is the statement of historical fact or is it just the construction of an illusion ? Whose history that man must learn from ? Who was the contractor of this riot ? What is the conception of human nature be ? How the history of this riot be written for its official knowledge ?
Frankly , we cannot simplify to answer all these above complex questions , as in relation to May the 13 riot . But we do know that the bloody riot of May the 13 was an actual fact in our history . Who , how and what the interpretation of the events are going to be written in as the official knowledge of history are in ambiguity . And to answer the question why , why it happens is the podiums for mental masturbation . Historians write and interpret about the tragedy historically . Politicians write and interpret it politically . Economists write and interpret it economically and so on . And who will write it rightly , only heaven knows . To me all the questions are uninspiring and irrelevant to the reality of 13 May riot . What really matter to us Malaysian , the riot has thought us not to be an egocentric and not being branded under an illusionist-Malay as called . I have learnt not to be ignorant of my fellow non Malays culture and well being. I trust my non Malay families are not ignorant of my culture either . Progressively and the beauty of being Malaysian , we could strive to continue our determination to learn more of our each other culture and well being for the sake of Peace and Harmony . Along the wobbling path we will learn and not being trapped in by our ignorance , prejudices , mischievous ideologies and the emergence of tailored ideologies from the ' intelligent pop prophet '. In doing so we are out from our ' malaise syndrome ' and hopefully we be more human with consciousness . This is our Malaysian dream and the meaning of 1 Malaysia .

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