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Kedah/Pulau Pinang as the alam rantau Minangkabau: Pre-colonial Malay history from Pagaruyung to Batu Uban

Merican, Ahmad Murad (2014) Kedah/Pulau Pinang as the alam rantau Minangkabau: Pre-colonial Malay history from Pagaruyung to Batu Uban. In: 23rd International Conference of Historians of Asia 2014 (IAHA2014), 23 - 27 August 2014, Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.

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Much of the history and historiography of the early Malays in Pulau Pinang have seen its fair share of misrepresentation.In many ways, the island was seen to be separated from the larger polity of the Kedah Sultanate, uninhabited, or occasionally mentioned to be inhabited by a “band of natives” – fishermen and pirates who roamed the seas between the Kedah mainland and the island. The notion that the island was terra nullius dominates the present discourse. The existence of the Malays on the island has been supressed by the larger mainstream histories, and heritage discourse in Pulau Pinang and Malaysia as a nation. What rarely comes to public knowledge is the existence of Batu Uban as a town and port, not only of the Strait of Melaka, but of the Indian Ocean. Batu Uban was the centre of Malay-Muslim commercial and cultural life, bonded with Batu Bara, and othe areas in Sumatera and the rest of the Malay archipelago. Both are noted as cultural and identity transition points. Thus far, whatever sketchy history of Batu Uban and its regions tells use of links with Kedah and Minangkabau Society, as well as traders and missionaries from the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. Batu Uban has evolved, but its legacy denied.Batu Uban is an example of the deconsecration of history and heritage.The early pioneers to the island are certainly legends.They existed but are hardly recognized in mainstream history. They had in fact, after traversing across and along the Strait of Melaka for years, finally settled in Kedah (later the island off its coast, Pulau Pinang, was temporarily ceded (pajak) to Francis Light), and produced thousands of descendants.The extended larger family evolved, with Malay as their ethnicity and identity and living as a vibrant society – contributing to the nation’s history and advancement, cultural, political and intellectual life. Kedah/Pulau Pinang should be consciously appropriated as the alam rantau Minangkabau – the alam that has largely configured upon the Malay archipelago.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: ISBN 978-967-0474-76-2 organized by Universiti Utara Malaysia and Malaysian Historical Society (Persatuan Sejarah Malaysia).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Minangkabau, rantau, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, representation
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Divisions: School of International Studies
Depositing User: Mrs. Norazmilah Yaakub
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2015 13:14
Last Modified: 22 May 2016 07:00

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