Indigenizing Colonial Knowledge: The Formation of Malay Identity in British Malaya
By Soda Naoki, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Recently, the question of colonial knowledge and identity formation has been attracting interest in the field
of Malaysian and Malay Studies. Scholars such as H.M.J. Maier, A. Milner, and A.B. Shamsul show great insights
into this question. Nevertheless, much more research still remains to be conducted on the internalization and utilization
of imported knowledge in Malay nationalism.
My current study breaks up the process of the indigenization of colonial knowledge in identity formation
into two phases, namely transmission and appropriation. The first phase lies in the process in which new apprehensions
of a colonial society were transplanted from British colonizers to Malays. The second phase is the stage
in which Malays themselves reorganized their acquired knowledge and made use of it for their own sake.