Abdullah Munsyi and the Missionaries
by Jan van der Putten, Assistant Professor in Malay Literature, Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore
Published in Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (BKI) 162-4 (2006):407-440
Abdullah Munsyi is a controversial figure in the history of Malay writing, and opinions about him have varied through time from the extremes of champion of Malay modern thinking to despised collaborator of colonial powers who sold his soul to the missionaries. examples supporting both these extremes may be gleaned from his two major works and his close collaboration with english authorities, but these two works are at the same time highly politicized and not directly relevant to this article. What does concern me here is to what extent Abdullah Munsyi’s writings were influenced by the evangelical impulse that engulfed the world in the nineteenth century.