Malay world studies need to be intensified: Rais

SEREMBAN: Malay world studies need to be stepped up for continuity of the Malay civilisation, said socio-cultural adviser to the Malaysian government, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim.

In this regard, he said today's young generation should find ways as to how the Malays could be "saved" so that they could possess a heritage they could be proud of.

"We must be proud to state that Malay, Malay civilisational and Islamic studies should be intensified … not reduced as we need to know our origins, which we must study and appreciate. However, this requires political will and a strong effort."

Rais said this when opening a discourse on "Negri Sembilan Traditional Literary Manuscripts" organised by the Negri Sembilan Museum Board and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) here today.

He said those involved in Malay history studies at the universities should also play a role by continuing with their research efforts.

"More Malays should come forward to write, record and contribute ideas for their race. Hence, all parties should play their role by promoting Malay customs and culture," said Rais, who also proposed the setting up of an institute of Malay adat (customary practices).

DBP deputy director-general (Policy), Datuk Abang Sallehuddin Abg. Shokeran who was present, said old Malay manuscripts were part of the masterpieces in various fields of knowledge that were highly invaluable.

He said the content of these manuscripts needed to be understood, studied, practised and passed down to the current and next generations.

"The knowledge contained in these should be restored and put to good use to boost Malay civilisation, in line with current and future needs.

"Hopefully, the results of authoritative research work on these manuscripts could enrich the existing treasure trove of knowledge as reference material in the study of Malay letters.

"The latest approach emphasised in conducting research on such manuscripts is to study their importance from the historical, intellectual, cultural and epistemological aspects," he said.

Abang Sallehuddin said DBP provided the space for intellectuals in various disciplines to contribute ideas, share expertise and collaborate to draw up suitable research and writing programmes that could enrich the world of Malay letters and literature. — Bernama