Saturday, November 30, 2013

MALAYSIAN HISTORY X:Meditations on the ruins of Bujang Valley

  • MALAYSIAN HISTORY X #1 ...


    "Meditations on the ruins of Bujang Valley"

    Melaka should no longer be considered the first Malay kingdom in the history of Malaysia; reportedly there was a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom called Kota Gelanggi in Johor, 1000 years old that was a Malay city-state of Hindu-Buddhist influence. Lembah Bujang is a testament of the great influence of Srivijaya, Majapahit, and other Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms. Melaka was not as great as Malaysian history textbooks painted it to be.

    Instead of pushing this or that hegemonic history agenda and called it an Islamic history of the Malay states, the Malay colonial states and the Malay sultanate, right up to the Islamized Malaysian state, national pride and dignity and lies as well in the influence of the Hindu-Buddhist tradition that has worked very well in the form of syncretism ala present-day Indonesia re; the Panca Sila.

    Islam came as a colonizer as well; a cultural philosophical colonizer, albeit through direct trade from Arabia (Hadramaut), so as the thesis on Hamzah Fansuri goes, and it came with a mission as well. i.e. to wipe off the Hindu-Buddhist cultural-philosophical tradition in vogue in Southeast Asia then.

    From the 1970s Malaysia saw the beginning of the cultural contradictions in the form of a "clash" between the two civilizations; Malay syncretism and the advancing Arabist-Turkish-Persian tripartite Islamist ideology out to bulldoze the syncretism of the indigenous peoples ans well as the P.Ramlee- type of Malays.

    After the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the rise of Egypt's Ikhwanul Muslim movement, the Malay consciousness was again bulldozed by the idea of Islamism as ideology, with the systematic program of Islamization that was going hand-in-hand with the new "Islamic Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism" (ala Max Weber's thesis on Protestantism that pay tribute to the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies -- that prudence is a virtue and capitalism is fine, and Jesus' message of The Sermon on the Mount" to the wealthy must now be challenged).

    Malaysia's Islamization agenda went in tandem with Malaysis' Thatcherist and Reaganist neo-capitalist agenda in the cultural mould of Mahathirism's Privatization Policy, Malaysia Inc., and Look East Policy. Like the emergence of the state of Saudi Arabia at the turn of the 20th. Century, Malaysia had two instruments of change" its own Wahabbism and Prince Saud-ism.

    Today, looked at from the perspective Chaos and Complexity Theory, a new brand of theorizing about origins of the Malaysia and the Malays are being orchestrated. The intelligentsia is at work, the intellectuals are put out of work.

    The phenomenology of erasing of history, albeit awkwardly and done by the intelligentsia in a wobbly fashion, has begun.

    We need to read through the process and see how a newer form of Malaysian history will emerge and will cement the Officialdom of Malaysia History framed syntagmatically as Malaysian History, whilst parallel to this, a Malaysian History X is yearning to beak free.

    Destructions, demolitions, reconstructions, re-propagandization of national narratives, nation's memory is now under way.

    Semiotically, we are seeing the wayang play called "Bujang Valley"



    MALAYSIANS: THE TRUTH about OUR INTELLECTUAL PURSUITS ...

    "the destructive and selfish gene in our education system"

    what we have not fully excavated in all its glory of transculturalist philosophies is the intensely rich tradition of great philosophies of the ancient world -- of India, China, Persia, Egypt, Ancient Greece, etc. -- and bring them into the classrooms at the level of teaching and learning as how the Russian psychologist Vygotsky and the American pragmatist philosopher John Dewey would suggest.

    We have failed to engage our children with core ideas of the intensely rich cultural and hybrid ideas of this region of Southeast Asia, of the major texts such the Negarakertagama, stories of Dewa Ruci, of the Pandawa Lima, of the Hikayat Seri Rama, etc. We have failed to make the teaching of the history of ideas meaningful; meaningful and engaging enough to teach the next generation of children well enough not to turn them into plunderers of quick green bucks who would, for a few filthy millions of Ringgit willing to destroy priceless artifact of history of such importance as the one in Bujang Valley.

    That is what world-class Malaysian education is all about: all in the name of an agenda of monocultural, one-race, one idiotic pride, hegemony and idiotic pride perhaps. We are more concerned with producing fatwas that signify our passion of anti-intellectualism, anti-rationalism, and anti-knowledge. Where do we go from here -- before more artifacts are destroyed: simply because they are not Islamic!?



9 comments:

Seava said...

Actually everyone is suffering.Who in this world does not suffer from old age? Who does not die? No one wants to grow old or suffer from disease, but everyone must do so. Where is the enjoyment? The enjoyment is all nonsense because within this material world there is no enjoyment. It is simply our imagination.....We are in the age of Kali (Kali Yuga)....unless one surrenders to the Almighty we all are doomed.

Anonymous said...

Dr Azly,

How I wish you're the Prime Minister of Malaysia! God Saves Malaysia!

Anonymous said...

I can only weep for my next & future generations for the loss of rich culture, the desire for learning that leads to spiritual upliftment (not only in the religious sense, please).

Each generation it seems, is bent on destroying our rich human history that do not serve their immediate political purposes.

We have not learned from all the destruction that forced civilisation to step backwards so many times before.

Why indeed are humans so bent on destruction?

Anonymous said...

Dr. Azly,
Is this the beginning of Bamiyan ala Malaysia? Maybe Bumiyan will be more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Farouq Omaro says: This article should also be translated into Malay.

Anonymous said...

There are also many other Malay city-states and kingdoms of the Hindu Buddhist era in Indochina and in the Peninsular we have Old Kedah, Gangga Nagara in Bruas Perak besides the Kota Gelanggi supposedly in Johor.

Its sad that Our Historians seems to be only interested to write history during the Islamic era.

Anonymous said...

Malacca is only known as the oldest International Port in Malaya.

KEDAH and the Southern Thai peninsular are described in A Chinese Dynasty record (c. 500 AD) which refers to the kingdom of "Lang-ya-xiu" (as being founded in the 1st century AD. As described in the Chinese chronicles, Langkasuka was thirty days' journey from east to west, and twenty from north to south, 24,000 li in distance from Guangzhou. Its capital was said to be surrounded by walls to form a city with double gates, towers and pavilions. The Buddhist monk Yi Jing mentioned encountering three Chinese monks who lived in Lang-chia-su.

In 515 AD King Bhagadatta first established relations with China, with further embassies sent in 523, 531 and 568. In the 12th century Langkasuka was a tributary to the Srivijaya empire, and around the 15th century it was replaced by the Pattani Kingdom.

All this ancient records shows that Kedah is not only a striving trading centre but rules by Hindu Kings

And in 630CE, Maharaja Derba I (Raja Gemeron - today Bandar Abbas (Persia)) was defeated in a battle, fled to Sri Lanka. On his way back to Persia, was sweep to Kedah, the people found him intelligent and appoint him to be their king and that is the beginning of Persian, Malay, Thai Kingdom, he also introduce Nobat to the royal house.

It is the 9th Maharaja Derba II who renounce Hinduism and convert to Islam in 1136 after the visit of a Yemeni Islamic scholar

Anonymous said...

Just eager to share, & without prejudice.
After the Malayo Polynesians trekked here from central Asia some 8000 years back,civilization didn't arrived until the Indian Guptas mapped out eastwards,and the entire SEA archipelago,even BC.
Hence,followed by the seafaring Indians of Sri Vijayan clan,whose descendants shaped up many SEA nations.Our's wasn't spared!
Recent destructions of the Hindu temples and shrines in our various states,took to questioning the altering of our country's origin....

Anonymous said...

Just eager to share, & without prejudice.
After the Malayo Polynesians trekked here from central Asia some 8000 years back,civilization didn't arrived until the Indian Guptas mapped out eastwards,and the entire SEA archipelago,even BC.
Hence,followed by the seafaring Indians of Sri Vijayan clan,whose descendants shaped up many SEA nations.Our's wasn't spared!
Recent destructions of the Hindu temples and shrines in our various states,took to questioning the altering of our country's origin....

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