Contesting Malayness: the quest for the elusive Melayu
Md. Salleh Yaapar
The term Melayu is ancient and was first noted by Ptolemy as early as the second century CA. In current, everyday usage a Malay is someone who speaks the Malay language, practices Malay customs, and in most cases, follows the Muslim faith. The term, however, is more complex and elusive than what is usually understood. Who then are the Malays? What constitutes Malayness? When did the notion arise, and among whom? These are some of the difficult questions that give rise to the collection of stimulating essays in this volume, aptly titled Contesting Malayness: Malay Identity Across Boundaries.