Bringing Alatas To The Theory Of Post Colonialism In The Malay World

Abstract

The theory of post colonialism is nothing new but not in the Malay world. The main reason is that most of the opinions given towards the east come from the west, and apart from that, the colonised people had little voice to say about themselves. There are still a lot to be argued amongst the intellects especially from the views of the orientalist. This paper examines the tangible term ‘post-colonial’ which was engaged in the power of colonialist discourse. It also laments the ideas of Syed Hussein Alatas which were rudimentary and important for the history of the decolonization process in Asia. His work is mainly an analysis of the modalities tangled the construction of stereotyping the ‘native’ as the ‘Other’ from the eye of the colonial metro pole, that was intended to epistemologically arrest the constructed of these people, and at the same time incapacitating and disempowering the colonised subject.

Keywords: Post-ColonialMalayDiscourseAlatas

Introduction

Britannica encyclopedia defines the Malay or Orang Melayu (“Malay People”), any member of an ethnic group of the Malay Peninsula and portions of adjacent islands of Southeast Asia, including the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and smaller islands that lie between these areas. The Malays speak various dialects belonging to the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) family of languages (Malay, 2015).

The origin of the Malay is doubtful. Some claim Malays were among the earliest indigenous people in the Malay Archipelago, started from coastal Borneo and then expanded into Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula as a result of their trading and seafaring way of life (Wallace, 1863). That this expansion occurred only in the last 1,500 years or so is indicated by the fact that the languages of the Malay group are all still very much alike. The Malay culture has been strongly influenced by that of other peoples, including the Siamese, Javanese, and Sumatran. The influence of Hindu India was historically very great, and the Malays were largely Hindu before they converted to Islam in the 15th century.

Islam constitutes a key element in Malay ethnic identity and therefore has critical impact on the development of Malay culture (Crouch, 1996). The clash between the two beliefs was obvious especially in rural areas, as the Malay also preserved some of their old beliefs in spirits of the soil and jungle, which are partly Hindu in origin and against the Islamic teaching. Traditionally the Malay had a somewhat feudal social organization, living in villages as farmers.

The preceding views and explanations of Malay character actually were dating from the 16th century onward. One of the earliest available of these, compiled by Tom Pires when Malacca was conquered by Portuguese. Then, followed by another Portuguese Duarte Barbossa in 1518 who wrote about the Malay and also the Java abounds in details.in 16th century, a Spaniard Emanuel Godhino de Eredia observed the Malays in Malacca and claimed majority of them were cheerful, roguish and wanton. After that, the Malay land was opened to all people, and became the observations. Some noticeable writers wee an Italian Careri, Dutchman Francois and by the 18th century, this Malay land nothing new for British authors like Raffles, Crawford, Swettenham and Clifford.

The Malays

The origin of the Malay is doubtful. Britannica encyclopedia defines the Malay or Orang Melayu (“Malay People ”), any member of an ethnic group of the Malay Peninsula and portions of adjacent islands of Southeast Asia, including the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and smaller islands that lie between these areas. The Malays speak various dialects belonging to the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) family of languages (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/359662/Malay).

Some claimed Malays were among the earliest indigenous peoples in the Malay Archipelago, started from coastal Borneo and then expanded into Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula as a result of their trading and seafaring way of life. That this expansion occurred only in the last 1,500 years or so is indicated by the fact that the languages of the Malay group are all still very much alike.

Blust (1986) somehow briefed,” Malay is one of the races in the family of a very broad ethnic group known as the Malayo-Polynesian or Austronesian. Among the tribes in this family are Malay, Javanese, Bugis, Sundanese, Maori, Hawaii, Fiji, and so on. The Malay region is very wide.”

This is supported by Wallace, an expert in anthropology and world history from Oxford who wrote The Malay Archipelago mentioned the Malay Archipelago as the whole South East Asia that forms a triangle, starting from Nicobar Island in the East Sea to the Solomon Islands in the South East, and of Luzon in the North to Rotti near the island of Timor in the South. He divides the vast areas into several groups: Indo-Malaya Islands, Timor Islands, Maluku and Papua islands (Zain, 2000).

Mpu-Prapanca (2013) a Javanese poet from the royal Majapahit, in his Desawarnama in 1365 had listed some areas identified as the land of the Malays such as Jambi, Palembang, Jakarta, Kampar, Kampar, Rokan, Pane, Kampe, Aru, Mandaileng, Tumiang, Lamuri, Barus in Sumatra and Langkasuka, Kedah, Kelantan and Pahang in Malay Peninsula

The Malay classical texts such as the Malay Annals ( Sejarah Melayu ), Undang-Undang Melaka , Hikayat Merpati Mas dan Merpati Perak , and Adat Raja Melayu also use the term sons of the soil itself which could be traced from a mysterious usage of the word ‘ tanah ’ or sometime ‘ bum i’ (both could be translated as ‘soil’ or ‘clay’) which consistently appears in the Malay Annals (Ahmad, 1986) the usage of the word ‘tanah’ (soil) is as follows:

Segala Melayu itu tanahmu, seperti kata Arab Al-’abdi tinu’lmaulahu, yang hamba itu tanah tuannya.

Brown’s translation of MS Raffles No. 18 as follows:

the Malays are your clay as the Arab Tradition says, Al-’abdi tinu’lmaulahu, which being interpreted is ‘the slave is as it were his master

Malay Annals translated by Brown (1952)

In addition, when Singgahsari empire wanted to expend his expedition and subdue the power of Srivijaya Empire, the name of the expedition was called Expedition Pamalayu. This proves that the name of Malay and Malay civilization had been around a long time.

There are many theories about the origins of Malays that came from Yunnan and Taiwan. However, the latest theory published by archaeologists in Malaysia said that the Malays were in the country since 74000 BC. Among the archaeologist that issued this theory is Datuk Dr Wan Hashim Wan Teh which rejected the earlier theories (Kamaruddin, 2014). It is a fact that Malay ancestors were the first people who founded the political formation or actual government in Nusantara in general and in Malaysia in specific. This could be verified by the 3rd century B.C. Indian primeval texts Ramayana and Vayu Purana which had chronicled an entity called ‘ Malayadvipa ’ in Nusantara.

The next theory talks about the arrival of the Malay was raised by Oppenheimer (2004) as saying that the Malays were originally from Southeast Asia. His point is that once during the ice age, the Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, Borneo, Philippines were mutually joined to one another before sinking due to the end of the ice age

As a result of flood, the Malays were scattered all over the place as far as Hawaii. The myth about the great flood is still kept among the Malay-Polynesian even the ancestors of the Malay or the Malay Proto also keep their own story about the great flood that forced them to spread everywhere.

Malay Proto is one of the aboriginal tribes in Malaysia. Some other aboriginal tribes are Jakun and Temuan. They are actually a group of Austronesian peoples who either accept or refuse civilization from India, China, Arab and others that have influences in the Malay world (Crawfurd, 1967).

The more advanced Proto Malays normally lived along the coast and exposed to social life and external influences eventually declined their counterpart whose life was based on agriculture and hunting further inland. Proto Malays conduct maritime trade eventually turned into Deutro Malay. Deutro Malay is the modern Malay today.

They then set up collection centers and bases that evolved into the government and early kingdom. There was a great probability since then they declared their race as ' Malay '. Yet, there are still some notable similarities can between them and Proto Malays especially in language.

Specifically, the earliest civilization of the Malay nation can be traced at Sungai Batu civilization, aged 500 BC. The settlements in this Bujang valley are also said to have 13 remains of Architecture of the Administration Centre in Sungai Batu Complex. It is found in the western part of the ancient port and four of the discovery are over the age of 500 BC (Tua, 2014).

This is followed by other governments such as Champa, Chih Tu, Funan, Sri Dharmaraja, Resort, Sri Dharmaraja, the Sultanate of Kedah, the Old Brunei Kingdom, Kutai Kingdom, Pasai, Old Kelantan Kindom, and even hundreds of Malay kingdoms (Hussin, 2011).

Genetically, a study on the origin of the Malays shows Malay Kelantan are the most likely the original Malay settled in the peninsula over 60,000 years ago. The study involved 10 sub-ethnic Malays in Peninsular Malaysia to determine the origin of the Malays: Malay Javanese in Johor and Selangor. Malay Aceh (Perak), Malay Minang, (Negeri Sembilan, Malay Banjar (Selangor and Johor, Malay Bugis (Selangor and Johor) Malay Rawa (Perak) Malay Champa (Perak, Kedah and Kelantan), Patani (Kelantan), Malay Kelantan and Kedah Langkawi.

This study is the first in the world to identify the basic genetic of the origin of the Malays. The subject was chosen from every sub ethnic with regards to their background for at least three generations.

If the subject has a background of mixed marriages, he would be not being taken into the study. A total of 300 blood samples were taken from 10 respected ethnics. Mitochondrial DNA was extracted from the blood and then went through the process of sequencing to obtain a profile of each subject.

From the study of 10 sub ethnic groups, only Malay Kelantan have haplogroups (group of mitochondrial DNA that specific to race and geographic) which is very unique. It should be at the Orang Asli (Semang) and this haplogroup was identified as a very old haplogroup based on molecular clock method.

It might occur because of the attitude of the Malay Kelantan in the past that was quite firm in choosing a life partner that reduced to the exposure of mixed marriages.

Based on this study too, it was found Kelantan Malay genetically correlated to the genetic Malay Java. This may be based on the history of the kingdom of Majapahit that was once established in Kelantan (Hussin, 2011).

This theory is consistent with the findings from Human Genome Organisation which proved the same genetic proposed by (Oppenheimer, 2004). The evidence suggests that the distribution of population in Asia occurred through the islands of Southeast Asia, without the migration from mainland Asia. In addition, Martin Richards, Archaeogenetics professor from Leeds University, reported an evidence in the study of DNA that rejected the theory Malay came from Yunnan and Taiwan.

Su B et. al. who wrote “ The Y - Chromosome evidence for a northward migration of modern humans into Eastern Europe during the last Ice Age ," published by American Journal of Human Genetics in 1999, also said the earliest record of human occupation was in Southeast Asia (Yaapar, 2014).

How the Malay Word Exists?

There are many records discussing the origin of the name Malay itself. Among the earliest record found is a Ptolemy ‘s map as early as the first century AD which also name it as Golden Peninsula, also known as Maleu- Kolon. In addition, among the earliest record of the origin of the Malay name is about a Malay kingdom that existed since the fourth century AD in the North Sumatera, known as Moloyu. Moloyu is an independent government believed to exist since the fourth century AD before being captured by a Srivijaya empire (Cohn, 1988).

These were followed by the records from the China Dynasty like Dan Ming, which obviously mentioned about the Malays. Yet the way word – Malay was pronounced was in accordance to the Chinese accent. Amongst are Bok-la-yu, Mok-la-yu, Ma-li-yu-er, Oo-lai-yu, and Oo-lai-yu.

Srivijaya was the first Malay Empire founded in the Malay Archipelago. It once conquered Palembang and reached the peak of its glory having power over entire archipelago (Yaapar, 2014).

When Islam was brought by Indian and Arab traders to this region, some of the Malay kingdom became Islam like Malacca Sultanate, the Sultanate of Aceh, the Sultanate of Pasai, the Sultanate of Brunei and began to rise and dominate the archipelago.

However, the era was later and towards the medieval and late medieval time. Among the earliest Malay sultanate that existed on the peninsula is the Sultanate of Kedah. Which one of the oldest sultanate in the world?

The Common Features of Malay

The Malay culture has been strongly influenced by that of other peoples, including the Siamese, Javanese, and Sumatran. The influence of Hindu India was historically very great, and the Malays were largely Hinduized before they were converted to Islam in the 15th century

Islam constitutes a key element in Malay ethnic identity and therefore has critical impact on the development of Malay culture (Crouch, 1996). The clash between the two beliefs was obvious especially in rural areas, as the Malay also preserved some of their old beliefs in spirits of the soil and jungle, which are partly Hindu in origin and against the Islamic teaching. Traditionally the Malay had a somewhat feudal social organization, living in villages as farmers.

Based on the classical definition towards the Malays, The Malaysia 1957 constitution gives special status to the Malays within modern context. This ethnic group is considered to be the indigenous population of the country, whose ancestors lived there long before any other modern group. The Malays must fulfil four constitutional requirements which are related to religious affiliation- "professes the religion of Islam,'' habitually speaks the “Malay language'‘, conforms to Malay custom and finally one of his ancestors have to have been born in Malaysia or Singapore before Merdeka Day, even though it became a separate country just two years later.

The Views

The preceding views and explanations of Malay character actually were dating from the 16th century onward, one of the earliest available of these, compiled by Tom Pires when Malacca was conquered by Portuguese. Then, followed by another Portuguese Duarte Barbossa in 1518 who wrote about the Malay and also the Java abounds in details.in 16th century, a Spaniard Emanuel Godhino de Eredia observed the Malays in Malacca and claimed majority of them were cheerful, roguish and wanton. After that, the Malay land was opened to all people, and became the observations. Some noticeable writers wee an Italian Careri, Dutchman Francois and by the 18th century, this Malay land nothing new for British authors like Raffles, Crawford, Swettenham and Clifford.

The views of the Malays from the Malays’ eyes are not as much as the outsiders because literacy was something new to the Malay world. Besides, the Malays who wrote about their people during the colonial time and earlier than that were heavily influenced by telling myths. Thus the written work was not authentic and genuine to describe the real life of the Malays at that time.

The Theory of Post Colonialism

The theory of post colonialism in the Malay land mostly touches on issues such as the logics and forms of European rule and its effects upon the Malay world. Somehow, it is imperative to explain the concepts and definition of the term ‘colonialism’.

As Chambers and Curtis (1996) generalizes that colonialism as the Europe enlargement world power which started for the past four hundred years. This is where a dominant center of an empire carried out a relationship by controlling and influencing his colonies. This affiliation was then extended to various aspects of human life which seen the culture relationship between the European settlers and the locals. It is the place the educated exclusive class establishing themselves as the European "mother" that controlling the local. Such frameworks are conveyed inside its inalienable ideas of racial mediocrity and otherness.

In the context of Malay world, colonialism can be ascribed explicitly to the European powers, referring to the Portuguese, Dutch, English and Spanish. Additionally, Al-Junied (2011) claimed that what additionally separated the European imperialists from others was the entrepreneur and exploitative closures which drove their venture of mastery, the settlements of colonialism and led from their supreme focuses, and their far reaching sway upon locals.

This, according to Al-Helmy (1951), was unprecedented in the history of man, even if the Indians and the Chinese had once established empires, they had not exploited the subjugated regions on a massive and devastating scale as the Europeans had. Aljunied supports this as the beneficial interaction of capitalism and imperialism that came with the ventures of industries and markets through formal and casual means made by European imperialism significantly more worldwide, much broader and unsavory than any past venture.

For Al-Helmy (1951), the roots of colonialism in the Malay world started in the sixteenth century, after the collapse of the Melakan sultanate to the Portuguese in 1511, and the condition persisted unmoved until the second half of the twentieth century. He claimed the disassemble of the first Muslim community in the Malay Peninsula as a degeneration of the Malay world as a whole.

Post-imperialism is extensively an investigation of the impacts of colonialism on societies and social orders. It is perpetuated with both how European countries that vanquished and took power over “Third World" societies and how these groups have since reacted to and opposed to those infringements. Post-imperialism, as both a group of hypothesis and an investigation of political and social change, has gone and kept on experiencing three expansive stages:

  • a starting consciousness of the social, mental, and cultural subservience obliged by being in a colonized state

  • the fight for, political ethnic and, cultural sovereignty

  • a rising consciousness of cultural intersection and hybridity

(Key Terms in Post-Colonial Theory from https://www3.dbu.edu/mitchell/postcold.htm)

After the Second World War, historians defined ‘post-colonial’ as states which had an evidently chronological meaning, designating the post-independence period. Nevertheless, from the late 1970s, the term has been used by literary critics to discourse the innumerable cultural effects on colonization.

Edward Said who wrote “Orientalism” can be said the pioneer to the study of post colonialism, defining it as: “the controlling power of representation in colonized societies which started in the late 16th century”. This brought to the development which later was more known as colonialist discourse theory in the work of critics such as Spivak and Bhabha.

The tangible term ‘post-colonial’ was not engaged in these early studies of the power of colonialist discourse to figure and formulate opinion and policy in the colonies and capital. The first term ‘post-colonial’ used by Spivak for example in the collection of interviews and recollections printed in 1990 called The Post-Colonial Critic.

For Ashcroft (1977) In spite of the fact that the investigation of the impacts of colonial depiction, the term 'post-colonial per se was initially used to allude cultural connections inside colonial social orders in fictional circle.

'Post-expansionism/postcolonialism' is at present comprehensively being utilized to differentiate approaches to review and examine the European regional successes, the various foundations of European imperialisms, the conversational procedures of kingdom, the complexities of subject structure in colonial discourse pioneer talk and the contention of those subjects. The most critical sign most likely the varying reactions to such attacks and their existing colonial inheritances in both pre-and post-independence nations and societies.

While its use has tended to highlight on the cultural production of such communities, it is becoming largely used in historical, political, sociological and economic analyses. These restraints remain to occupy with the impact of European imperialism upon world societies.

The prefix ‘ post ’ in the term also remains to be a cause of strong debate amongst critics.

The cooler sense of the ‘post’ as its connotation ‘after’ colonialism has been questioned by a more detail comprehension of the working of post-colonial cultures which strains the conveyances between and across the politically alluded to historical periods, of precolonial, colonial and post-independence cultures. Subsequently, more questions have been asked about what limits, if any, should be fixed round the term.

Ahmad (1995) claims that when the term ‘colonialism’ can be strapped back to the Incas and forward to the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, after that it befits ‘a trans-historical thing, always exist and always in process of disbanding in one part of the world or another’ (p. 9).

However, it is clear that postcolonialism as it has been engaged in most recent accounts has been mainly concerned to observe the developments and effects of, and responses to, European colonialism from the sixteenth century up to and including the neo-colonialism of the existing day. The term still lasts to be used from time to time to mean merely ‘anti-colonial’ and to be equal with ‘post-independence’, as in orientations to the post-colonial state.

At the current time, the basis of the term in European colonialist histories and institutional practices, and the responses (either the indigenous were resist or not) to these practices on the part of all colonial people continue to be fundamental. It doesn’t matter how we conceive of ‘the post-colonial’, and whatever the debates around the use of the problematic prefix ‘post’, or the equally problematic hyphen.

In short, the results are contingent upon the precise location. For example, the resistance might vary from one to another. Each ‘postcolonial’ occasion requires, against these common contextual principles, to be exactly positioned and examined for its exact interplay. A forceful civil argument has spun around the conceivably homogenizing impact of the term 'post-'-colonial’ (Hodge and Mishra 1990; Williams and Chrisman 1993).

Problem Statement

The theoretical issues hidden in these two rudiments – materiality and location – lie at the basis of much of the argument over what the term references and what it should or should not contain. Yet, despite these differences and disputes, signs of a prolific and corresponding relationship between numerous post-colonial methods have appeared in current work in the field.

Most recent discussions have emphasized the need to maintain and toughen these central parameters in defining the idea of the post-colonial/postcolonial no matter it starts with a root in discourse theory, or from a more materialist and historical reading. As critics like Young have indicated, the crucial task has been to avoid assuming that ‘the reality of the historical conditions of colonialism can be safely discarded’ in favour of ‘the fantasmatics of colonial discourse’ (Young 1995: 160).

The project of recognizing the general conversational forces that held together the imperial enterprise and that operated wherever colonization happened is often in conflict with the need to deliver comprehensive accounts of the material effect of those discourses as they worked in dissimilar times and vicinities.

To suggest that colonialism or imperialism were not multivalent oppresses, and functioned inversely according to the times in which they befell, the specific ‘contact zones’ in which they took effect or the metropolitan cultures from which they continued, is clearly to over-simplify.

But the main problem is that, it is difficult to define extensive communal fundamentals within these local particularities, specifically at the level of ideology and discursive formation, appears similarly insufficient as a foundation for any but the most partial accounts.

Research Questions

This paper examines the tangible term ‘post-colonial’ which was engaged in the power of colonialist discourse.

This paper has one sole main research question:-

What are the ideas of Syed Hussein Alatas which were rudimentary and important for the history of the decolonization process in Asia?

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to reveal Syed Hussein Alatas’ governing concepts, inherent methodologies and implicit expectations while revealing the underlying logic arguments.

The effect of describing the colonial experience of a great range of cultures by this term is argued, to elide the differences between them. However, there is no inherent or inevitable reason for this to occur. The materiality and locality of various kinds of post-colonial experience are precisely what provide the richest potential for post-colonial studies, and they enable the specific analysis of the various effects of colonial discourse.

Research Methods

This paper is qualitative in nature, by looking at the secondary data – articles by Alatas. The methodology used is Content analysis. It was first used before as a method for analysing hymns, newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements and political speeches in the 19th century. Today, content analysis has a long history of use in communication, journalism, sociology, psychology and business, and during the last few decades its use has shown steady growth It is also known as a method of analysing documents.

In this study, insightful and suave reading of Syed Hussein Alatas’ works are attained by positioning them squarely within the knowledgeable field of the history of ideas, as well as in the common context of the colonial experience.

Findings

Hussien Alatas is very prominent in post-colonial discourse especially within the Malay region and had so many to say because he witnessed the fall of colonialism – British, America, Spain, French and Dutch during his life.

Even he, was born in Indonesia, Alatas built his career in Malaysia. He was among the few intellectual who was actively involving in a politics. several intellectuals who formed Gerakan in 1968 as an offshoot of the defunct Labour Party. Gerakan was successful in the 1969 general election, where it campaigned on a platform of social justice and the reduction or elimination of Bumiputra privileges outlined by Article 153 of the Constitution.

Al-Attas’s Epistemology

Alatas (1978) is very prominent in post-colonial discourse especially within the Malay region and had so many to say because he witnessed the fall of colonialism – British, America, Spain, French and Dutch during his life. Even he, was born in Indonesia, Syed Hussein Alatas built his career in Malaysia. His insights on philosophy and Malay world were shared as an academician at few institutions in Malaysia and Singapore. According to Bruno Fernandes, Syed Hussein Alatas was a " sociologist, philosopher, academic and policy analyst " who " worked out a critical and reflexive work from the point of view of the ex-colonized countries ", and while Syed Hussein Alatas was and is today well "known in the Malayan intellectual world (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines) – and (by) a " broad Malayan intellectual (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines) community", he is "broadly ignored elsewhere…." (Fernandes, Bruno "Compte-rendu analytique et extraits de l'ouvrage" Review in French and Malaysian in the Anales de desclasificación)

The late Said (1978) for example, whose book Orientalism recast post-colonial scholarship, acknowledged his debt to Alatas (1978) whose critique of imperialism in his Myth of the Lazy Native and of colonial historiography in Thomas Stamford Raffles: Schemer or Reforme r were pioneering efforts in Third-Worldist post-colonial responses to Western social sciences. He has been regarded as one of the founders of sociological investigation in Southeast Asia and as a mentor to many in the Malaysian Social Science and academic community, more generally.

His name and position as an activist-oriented sociologist was not only bound to Malaysia alone, but had spread across the world from North America to Europe, the Arab world, Africa and multiple parts of Asia. Though the pace and tenor of his life was not as hot and racy as his contemporaries elsewhere such as Franz Fanon or Albert Camus, his works and ideas reflected concerns that were common to theirs; namely addressing the historical baggage of the colonial past while also having to face the impending crisis of governance in a post-colonial state rapidly floundering.

The latter is an analysis of the modalities tangled the construction of stereotyping the ‘ native’ as the Other’ from the eye of the colonial metro pole, that was outlined to epistemologically arrest the constructed of these people while at the same time, incapacitating and disempowering the colonised subject. Syed Hussein Syed Hussein Alatas’ work can be considered as a new paradigm as there were no Malaysian scholars before attempted to produce such work- that ranged analytical tools from sociology to history, or from a discourse analysis to a racial critic in a deconstructive effect. Syed Hussein Alatas’ work was not only truly ahead of his time but also particularly unique within Malaysian context. It came at the time when most of the today younger generation of scholars are enthralled by the writings and ideas of luminaries like the late Edward Said and some other critical theorists who focus on diaspora studies Subaltern studies, cultural studies and countless of fresh disciplines that have sprung forth following the regular fall of the old schools.

According to Alatas (2016) 'Myth of the Lazy Native' emphasizes some critical focuses that should to never be forgotten by any researchers dealing with political history:

First, that personality of governmental issues and the development of racial classes and racial generalizations are never unintentional yet are procedures on a very basic level embedded to the working of (racialized) power.

Second, that the colonial enterprise needed an ethical affection that was allowed by the development of appropriate 'instrumental fictions' (to get Edward Said's expression) that supported such venture.

Third, that the propagation and proliferation of such classes of character and contrast were running similar to the workings of racialized colonial laissez faire and that the two supported each other, subsequently making the very divisive and uneven 'plural economies' so normal in numerous colonial backgrounds.

Furthermore, fourth, that the heritage of colonial laissez faire, having established itself in the racialized governmental issues of distinction and sectarianism in numerous colonies, would be difficult to destroy even after the withdrawal of the colonial power for the nearby local elites themselves would have, by then, come to discover that the extremely same instruments of partition and rule could be utilized by them to sustain such power differentials later on.

In The Myth of the Lazy Native , Alatas (1978) also discusses this ideology that the negative image of the societies deliberated by Western colonial powers, which subjugated the colonial philosophy, was drawn on the foundation of superficial interpretations, occasionally with robust built-in biases, or erroneous and wrong approaches. For him, the general negative image was not the result of scholarship. Those who proclaimed the people of the area indolent, dull, treacherous, and childish, were generally not scholars.

Natives were often compared with animals and the natives often had a functional, labor-focused status in the colonizer’s hierarchy — a position similar to that of livestock, who are valued for their efficient-ness in labor. Syed Hussein Alatas quotes a British Government official who writes:

From a labor point of view, there are practically three races, the Malays (including Javanese), the Chinese, and the Tamils (who are generally known as Klings). By nature, the Malay is an idler, the Chinaman is a thief, and the Kling is a drunkard, yet each, in his special class of work, is both cheap and efficient, when properly supervised.

There were some Malaysians like Mahadir Mohammad and Senu Abdul Rahman who were critically debunked by Syed Hussein Alatas prior to their ideas. The Western Imperialist, Mahathir and Lee Kuan Yew are contradict to Syed Hussein Alatas who believes that the resilience and intuition of a race is very much formed by its surroundings instead of by inherent qualities (http://www.loyarburok.com/2011/12/13/mahathir-lee-kuan-yew-lazy-native/)

What is more he lamented the fact that even after the independence these new generation of Malay ethno-nationalist leaders still cannot escape from using the same clichés like what being propagated by the colonial- stereotyping Malays as a ‘backward’ and ‘lazy’ race, thus need to be protected. For Syed Hussein Alatas, some of them were doing this to gain the power and sympathy from the others. He was not alone as some other Malaysian scholars like Chandara Muzaffar and Jomo Kwame Sundaram were also taking up his lead, questioning the logic of racialized benefaction and the culture of neo-feudalism in Malaysia and how this racialized capitalism was being controlled and regulated at the hands of certain people.

In short, Syed Hussein Alatas accomplished to bring himself out of the cocoon, maintained to be acute, objective, primarily lucid, positivist and agile by the accoutrements of deceitful ideology, racialized essentialisms or politically practical heterodoxy. Prior to that, he will be remembered in the local world of academia as one of the founders of critical theory in Malaysia, though the term ‘critical theory’ was not common during his era.

His work and cognoscenti deconstruct the knowledge of colonial and post-colonial power in this region, particularly involving the Malays. Such idea were not only demonstrating that academic work does not only have social and political significance, but also that such critical thinking was politically essential.

Conclusion

Based on the ideas of colonialism and capitalism of others, Syed Hussein Alatas had managed to mould his own definition the roots and meanings the colonial ideology to fit the zone of Malay region. Syed Hussein Alatas' scholarly heirloom has been vital in interrogative the status quo that has been strengthened by most of the socialites from various fields especially those in economy and politics that sometimes can be “a thorn” in the modern society as this group might continually oppress the others like what the colonial rulers did before. Apart, there are still rooms and consequences that come along when we talk about this disputed point. In short, the issue of colonialism even it is something left from the past would still be the country's flourishing scholarly culture. It is the platform which can convey the changes to the ways in which we wish to administer ourselves as free, autonomous individuals.

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18 December 2019

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Embong, A. M., Bakar, ,. Z. B. A., Merican, A. M., & Sulam, M. B. (2019). Bringing Alatas To The Theory Of Post Colonialism In The Malay World. In & M. Imran Qureshi (Ed.), Technology & Society: A Multidisciplinary Pathway for Sustainable Development, vol 40. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 487-500). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.05.39