Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/229354
Title: LECTURE HALLS AND LIVED REALITIES: SITUATING MALAY STUDENTS’ RESPONSES TOWARDS DISCOURSES CHALLENGING THE IDEA OF A “MALAY IDENTITY”.
Authors: MUHAMMAD RIDHWAN BIN ZAIDI
Keywords: Singapore
malay
Institute of Higher Learning (IHLs)
identity
malayness
malay community
ethnic
racial identity
islam
Issue Date: 18-Apr-2022
Citation: MUHAMMAD RIDHWAN BIN ZAIDI (2022-04-18). LECTURE HALLS AND LIVED REALITIES: SITUATING MALAY STUDENTS’ RESPONSES TOWARDS DISCOURSES CHALLENGING THE IDEA OF A “MALAY IDENTITY”.. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This paper attempts to situate the responses of Singaporean Malay students, particularly those in Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), towards academic discourses that challenge the ideas of Malayness and a Malay identity. Such discourses materialise in the form of arguments seeking to show that the Malay identity and Malayness are ambiguous concepts, with definitions that are constantly changing and being contested. There are many ways in which arguments have been made against a fixed perception of Malayness, including challenging how Malays are portrayed to behave as a community, examining the dominant association of the label to the religion of Islam, and even illustrating how the term itself has evolved throughout history, being used to refer to different groups, communities and entities. The paper will examine the range of differing reactions students possess towards discourses underpinned by such ideas. To this end, interviews with Malay students from Singaporean Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) have been conducted. Indeed, responses provided by the interviewees showcased a process of line-drawing between the respondents and those they identified to have responded to these discourses in differing manners. The findings also suggest that matters of ethnic and racial identity remain key issues to students today, with many of the interviewees displaying a propensity to utilise academic resources to address their lived experiences outside of academic settings. The paper also argues that this widespread fixation of identity, and the Malay identity in particular, can be traced back to official and publicised portrayals of the Malay community by the state.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/229354
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