Revisiting Malaya

Revisiting Malaya

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"The contents of this volume go a long way to furthering our understanding of many dimensions of the difficult issues involved, including the national question." Jomo Kwame Sundaram.

The concept of ‘Malaya’ continues to exert a powerful draw on our imagination, steeped in exotism and Orientalist reductions. Even decades after the end of the colonial period, it casts a long shadow over modern-day Malaysia and the rest of maritime Southeast Asia. How can we understand this constantly transforming subjectivity? Most importantly, how do we recognise the continuation of problems inherited from colonisation, and overcome these distorted discourses?

Revisiting Malaya seeks to explicitly address these problems, taking regional Cold War divisions and historical links and fractures into consideration. By considering a wide range of topics presented by speakers at two landmark conferences, from the propaganda efforts of the Malayan Film Unit to the visionary writings of visionaries and revolutionaries, ranging from Usman Awang to Tan Malaka, this book uses ‘Malaya as method’ to better understand historical and contemporary realities.

Show Ying Xin is a postdoctoral fellow at the Malaysia Institute, Australian National University and lecturer at ANU's School of Culture, History & Language. She received Ph.D. in literature from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is interested in Southeast Asian history and literature, and her current research project looks at the cultural history of Sinophone/Chinese community in the making of Malaya during the Cold War through literature. She is the Mandarin translator of Singapore writer Alfian Sa’at’s short stories collection Malay Sketches. 

Ngoi Guat Peng is associate professor at the Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia (Chinese Program). She received her PhD from the School of Arts and Social Sciences of the National University of Singapore. Her research interest includes Chinese intellectual history, Neo-Confucianism and the history and literature of Malaysia and Singapore. She has published a monograph entitled Unity of Jun Dao and Shi Dao: The Discourse of “Unity of Three Teachings” in Late Ming Period in 2016 and a collection of essays called Malaysian Chinese Literary Criticism in 2019.

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