Archive for August, 2007

Malaysia and the Myth of “Tanah Melayu” (Part II)

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Malaysia and the Dilemma of Assimilation
And so it would appear that Malaysia is, after all, an Islamic state.
This was the conclusion that many Malaysians have had to accept after the recent pronouncement on the part of the Prime Minister that the country has apparently been run and governed on Islamic lines all along; a startling [...]

Malaysia and the Myth of “Tanah Melayu” (Part I)

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

We are sustained by myths only as long as they are empowering, inspiring, instrumental and serve our interests; yet when those very same myths provide us with little else than the false comfort of an unreconstructed nostalgia for a past that never existed, then they turn into cages that imprison us for life. The myth [...]

Caliphate Anyone?

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Communities have their own ways of dealing with crises of all kinds: structural, institutional, functional or cultural. But what is even more interesting is to see how each community, or sections within each community, deals with such crises and the antidotes that are offered as the panacea for all that is wrong in the world.
In [...]

They Have Taken Our Malaysia From Us

Friday, August 17th, 2007

This being the August issue, I felt compelled to write a laudatory paean to Malaysia and all things Malaysian. Marooned as I am in rainy Berlin at the moment, my heart-strings were pulled by the warmer climes of Malaysia, where indeed the grass is greener (even if the air is hazier). But as I sat [...]

We Do Not Own, Nor Are We Owned By History

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Perhaps it says something about the human condition today that so many of us feel the need to belong to, as well as to own a part of, history. Living in the postmodern world of late industrial capitalism where more and more of us have become the denizens of a shapeless and homogenous urban landscape [...]

The Great Malaysian Paradox

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Written by Dr. Dzulkifli Ahmad
The deputy premier’s (DPM) pronouncement that Malaysia is an Islamic state has sent shock waves across the nation, as expected. Already we are measuring swords between detractors and advocates of the ‘Islamic state’.
He chose an opportune time to unleash his well contrived strategy. What better than to issue the statement when [...]