11/10/2005

a malay renaissance

the malay civilisation is relatively young when compare to the arab, indian or chinese civilisation. the european civilisation too is older and far more advanced especially in the fields of science, technology and even philosophy. they have even leapfrogged over all the older civilisations and have set the pace for the pursuit of knowledge, arts and culture, science and technology in the last few centuries. it may be too early to talk about a malay renaissance for so young a civilisation. but in terms of size, the malay stock, including indonesians, bruneians, the filipinos and to a certain extend the thais and kampucheans, is quite numerous. there is enough critical mass for the civilisation to find its own place among all mankind. though it does not have an indigenous written script other than the jawi script which was adapted from the arabic script, it has its own clearly defined language, custom and culture. the malay stock, under some of the more progressive malay leaders like mahathir, anwar and habibie, has been pushing itself very hard to establish itself as a recognisable people and race. malaysia did show a lot of promise during the early years under mahathir. unfortunately, too much affirmative actions and govt assistance plans have an adverse effect in retarding the progress of the nation and people. the literacy rate has gone up but without much success in throwing out shining examples of scholarship or men in the fields of science and technology, or in arts and culture. perhaps the greatest hope for a real malay renaissance lies in the young and successful malays in the little republic. this breed of malays are modern, confident and academically proficient, having gone through tertiary education in some of the best universities in the western world, on their own merits. there are enough of them to form a core of malay elite to spearhead a movement for excellence in all fields of endeavour. time is on their side. they have climbed the social and intellectual ladders all within one or two generations. many are still very young, in their 30s and 40s, but very well qualified. with this group, they could attract the other malays in the region and be their role model in the pursuit of modern science and technology and lead the malay civilisation forward. a strong and credible base has been formed and is essential for the advancement of the race.

2 comments:

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redbean said...

why not the intelligentsia from malaysia or indonesia? for the former, a bid difficult to ascertain how good they really are given the affirmative policies in education where practically any bumiputra can get a degree without much merit or effort.

the indonesians are in a world of their own, and are more inward looking given their immense country and issues to deal with.

the singapore malay elite are in many ways more international in thinking and are exposed to a very cosmopolitant environment, dealing with worldly issues and tapping to the latest developments around the world.