The Malay

As a young Malay Muslim man, I am in the midst of an identity crisis. I, like others of my generation, am caught between upholding the much-loved traditions of my Malay heritage and embracing the Islam of Malaysia today. 

I am proposing a project that examines the impact of this growing dichotomy that affects my generation. As a continuation of my current work, I will focus on my generation’s identity crisis as we navigate this modern age.

What does it mean to be Malay? According to the constitution of Malaysia, a person of Malay birth must observe Islam. It also states that, as a Malay, I must be fluent in the Malay language, and practice Malay culture and traditions. 

There is something problematic about the title "THE MALAYS": the idea of a 'Malay race' was a product primarily of the colonial period, but it was not formulated solely by the Europeans. 

It was 'localised' or re-crafted with considerable ideological skill by local intellectuals, and in ways that have led to confusion.

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