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30 mei 2008 04:30

Revealing the Identity of Melayu Raya (Greater Malay)

Revealing the Identity of Melayu Raya (Greater Malay)

Yogyakarta, MelayuOnline.com- One of the most effective ways to solve cross nations conflicts is to take a look the similarity on historical and cultural background, rather than on its differences. This opinion was delivered at the first session, “Malay History and Culture” in International Seminar “Indonesia – Malaysia Update 2008.” Coming as the speakers were Mahyudin Al Mudra, S.H., M.M., Head of Balai Kajian dan Pengembangan Budaya Melayu-BKPBM (Center for Research and Development of Malay Culture) from Indonesia, Dr. Ahmad Kamal, and Prof. Dr. S. Kumaran from Malaya University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

International Seminar, Indonesia – Malaysia Update 2008 aims to gain collective mission between Indonesia and Malaysia by enhancing cultural and historical studies. Cultural and historical studies are assumed for being able to raise the spirit of unity and equality in both these two countries.

The first speaker, Dr. Ahmad Kamal, explored some similar spheres between Indonesia and Malaysia by presenting historical evidence of both countries, that is, Malay Language. Historically, there is no significant difference between Indonesia and Malaysia because both countries come from the same race, Malay. The most important thing affecting the raising of such differences is political issue that is intentionally arisen since the coming of the British government with their disunity political system.


Though the Indonesia-Malaysia relationship fluctuated frequently, some efforts dealing with Malay Language development in the past cannot be ignored. In 1954, Malaysia participated actively in Malay Language Congress held in Medan, Indonesia. Malaysia regarded Indonesia as the elder brother in Malay Language study, hence Malaysia learns so much from Indonesia about Malay Language. Such programs still continue in shape of Malay Language preservation and development.

In line with Dr. Ahmad Kamal‘s opinion, Prof. Dr. S. Kumaran as the second speaker also stated that language is one of the most effective ways for tightening Indonesia-Malaysia relationship. He also suggested Indonesia to work together developing Malay Language so that it can stand in equal position to other international languages. Malay Language must be used not only in daily social intercourse, but also in every discipline of knowledge including cultural studies.

The last speaker, Mahyudin Al Mudra, with his presentation entitled “Redefinisi Melayu: Upaya Menjembatani Perbedaan kemelayuan Dua Bangsa Serumpun” (Redefining Malay: An Effort to Bridge Cultural Gap among the two same Race Nations) delivered different point of view from two speakers before. In his presentation, Mahyudin emphasized cultural strategy which provides a new paradigm – holistic paradigm – for unifying Malay identity scattering over the world. Moreover, according to Mahyudin, holistic paradigm is capable of offering a new concept beyond the conventional cultural boundaries such as religion. According to Bang MAM, Mahyudin‘s nickname, holistic paradigm aims to counter conventional point of view about culture then offering a new broader cultural point of view. Broader cultural point of view offered here is out of some aspects in culture such as race, religion, and geopolitical boundaries.


In this session, Mahyudin‘s presentation about holistic paradigm attracted one of the participants Pramono, a Malay culture researcher from Andalas University, Padang, West Sumatra. He states that holistic paradigm is a very useful visionary thought. He also argues that this paradigm aims for actualizing the glory of Malay civilization in the future

No matter how the new concept of holistic paradigm has come to appear, there will not be useful without any realization in shape of real programs. As a consequence, all people recognizing their selves as Malay must be active in efforts to reach the glory of Malay civilization in the future. Of course, we obviously hope that Malay culture would be able to stand in equal to other cultures in the world.

(NI/ter/10/05-08)  


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