Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Why Farish's History is So Important

Simply put, what we know of our past has been oversimplified and condensed into a mould meant to serve ulterior and narrow political motives. For example, little, if any, is ever spoken about the influences of Hindu and Buddhist cultures that have actually played a major role in forming what we know as “Malay” culture today. Similarly, the notions that Chinese and Indians only appeared on our landscape during late colonial times, as recent social ingredients that have made Malaysia multicultural – notions that play very well into the exclusivist political rhetoric that we hear all too often today in our nation. ... The second reason why this book is important, is that our obscured history has for too long been only available, for the most part, to the academicians. Hence, the uniqueness of where this wealth of information was initially presented to the general public.
Walski has an excellent review up on his blog of Farish Noor's alternative Malaysian history What Your Teacher Didn't Tell You.


Walski69 said...

Thanks very much for the mention, Sharon. But who's this S. Jamal Al-Idrus feller pretending to be me? :p

I guess it's no longer a big secret that requires safeguarding, so it's really no big deal anymore. After all, what's the fun of being totally pseudonymous, right?

In all seriousness, though, I do hope that your readers will make an effort to read the book, whose importance has generally been quite understated. What Farish has meticulously researched and presented throws a great deal of light on who we are, as a nation, and more importantly how we got here.

Once again, thank you for the kind mention!

Amir Muhammad said...

Walski doesn't know this, bur Sharon Bakar is really a cunning pseudonym for Umapagan Ampikaipakan. She just uses the name Sharon Bakar because it takes less time to full up forms.

bibliobibuli said...

deepest apogies Walski - didn't realise that you didn't attach your name to your blog as it was through Facebook that I found it. should have thought first.

do love your blog - very intelligent writing, exactly what we need.

haha Amir, you rumbled me!