The Importance Of Malaysian Culture

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After arriving in Penang, Raffles observed in particular that: “I cannot but consider the Malayu nation as one people, speaking one language, though spread over so wide a space, and preserving their character and customs” and that “the Malays” were “least adulterated in the character, usages, and manners”, and described in detail the “character of a Malay” (“indolent” but “polite”)

The Malay culture prides itself in being a very values-oriented culture. It’s evident from the quotes above that this has been the case ever since back in the 1800s. But many scholars regard globalization as a force that will inevitably bring about decline and erosion in many aspects. This can be seen in Singapore now, where globalization has lead to an erosion of essential Malay identity, culture and values.

This paper aims to highlight the underlying problem whereby the focus will be on the Malays’ dressing, the tension present between wanting to be a global city and a nation state and the importance and urgency of this issue.

Underlying problem

Institutes of traditional Muslim education or madrasah/Muslim religious school, as it is termed today, came into being in Singapore with the setting up of the Madrasah Al-Iqbal Al-Islamiyyah in 1908. This madrasah provided an education in Arabic and English, which touched mainly on academic curriculum but also emphasized a lot on Islam.

Pioneering paper Al-Imam (1906-1908) helped to develop an explicitly

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