FITRI JALIL

THE MALAY

As a young Malay Muslim man, Fitri is in the midst of an identity crisis. Like others of his generation, he is caught between upholding the much-loved traditions of his Malay heritage and embracing the Islam of Malaysia today. This project examines the impact of this growing dichotomy that affects his generation. As a continuation of his current work, he will focus on the generation’s identity crisis as we navigate this modern age.
What does it mean to be Malay? According to the constitution of Malaysia, a person of Malay birth must observe Islam. It also states that, as a Malay, he must be fluent in the Malay language and practice Malay culture and traditions. There is something problematic about the title "The Malay" - the idea of a 'Malay race' was a product primarily of the colonial period, but it was not formulated solely by the Europeans.  
It was 'localised' or re-crafted with considerable ideological skill by local intellectuals, and in ways that have led to confusion.

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