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[ Volume 22, No. 2, 2015 ]



The Asian Journal of Humanities

Published by
Universiti Sains Malaysia Press

Print ISSN: 1394-9330
Online ISSN: 2180-4257
Frequency: Biannually
Current Issue: Volume 22, No. 2, 2015
Abstracting/Indexing: SCOPUS, Malaysian Citation Index (MyCite) Google Scholar, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), JURN, Genamics JournalSeek

* The term Kemanusiaan is a Malay word meaning "Humanities". It is derived from the form manu, a Sanskrit term which means "man" or "mankind".


KEMANUSIAAN The Asian Journal of Humanities, formerly known as Jurnal Ilmu Kemanusiaan (Journal of Humanities) publishes theoretical and empirical writings on aspects of the humanities in Asia as well as those that are universally relevant and provide new knowledge to the broad area of the Humanities.

USM has extended content delivery format for its journals’ publication in print and PDF to include ePub, to address the growing need for more mobile accessibility.


Publication Ethics

KEMANUSIAAN The Asian Journal of Humanities adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) standards on publications ethics. For further details please visit:

Current Issue
Volume 22, No. 2, 2015

Title: Reading Daerah Zeni: Navigating along the Literary Spaces in/of a Malay(sian) Novel
Author: Husni Abu Bakar
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 22(2): 1-22, 2015
- Abstract  

How do we read the Malay novel in the postcolonial, postmodern context of Malay/Malaysian literature? Daerah Zeni, a 1985 novel written by National Laureate A. Samad Said and an example of Malay historical fiction, tells an embattled story of an author writing about a nationalist fighter during the late period of colonisation, portraying the reality of the literary production of the novel itself. As a historico-literary mise-en-abyme of sorts, the novel offers opportunities for infinite readings of national history, literary history within the nation, literary spatiality, and how the authorial figure acts as a reflective link between/of the novel and the nation.

Keywords and phrases: literary space, time-space, historical fiction, reading, national novel

Title: Museums in the Northern Region of Peninsula Malaysia and Cultural Heritage
Author: Abu Talib Ahmad
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 22(2): 23–45, 2015
- Abstract  

Museums in Malaysia, including those in the northern region, have become closely associated with nation building seeking to project commonly shared experiences besides their increasing attachment to the tourism industry. The cultural displays in these museums are done in line with the national culture policy that favours Malay and other indigenous cultures that were not contradictory to Islamic precepts. This essay scrutinises 28 general and specialised museums located in the northern region of peninsula Malaysia, covering the states of Perlis, Kedah, Penang and northern Perak. These museums are under the administration of the Department of Museums, state governments and other government departments, besides private organisations and individuals. A few of the more important ones are discussed in details while the natures of their main exhibits are tabulated for easy reference. The discussion looks at the visitor numbers to these museums and provides possible reasons for museum attractions to visitors. The more substantiated discussion focuses on the region's distinctive performing arts like boria, mek mulong, hadrah, the cultural side of the Perak Man and paddy cultivation, and Chinese Peranakan culture in the museums.

Keywords and phrases: general museums, specialised museums, northern region, visitor numbers, distinctive performing arts

Title: Potentials, Threats and Challenges in Managing Natural Heritage in the Penang National Park
Author: Chan Ngai Weng, Badaruddin Mohamed and Hong Chern Wern
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 22(2): 47–65, 2015
- Abstract  

Penang is one of the most developed and highly urbanised states in Malaysia with very little remaining forests. The Penang National Park (PNP) was gazetted in 2003 with only 1200 hectares. It is one of the smallest national parks in the world, but the park is rich in natural heritage such as pristine rainforest, rich biodiversity, white sandy beaches, crystal clear sea, clean rivers, a meromictic lake and a scenic natural environment. However, many threats to the PNP are identified, including encroachment from farming, tourism development, environmental pollution, over-collection of plants and animals, poaching, ineffective management, poor enforcement and the lack of stakeholders' involvement. The challenges in managing the PNP include addressing all the mentioned threats. Although not a straight forward and easy task, the threats can be reduced via a holistic and integrated management approach, careful planning and expert guidance, strict monitoring of development and enforcement, and active involvement of all stakeholders via empowerment. The park can also be developed into a nature education centre for students and used as a natural laboratory for research and data collection. On the whole, integrated environmental planning and management of the PNP with a focus on ecotourism will lead to sustainable development and ensure the park remains a lasting natural heritage area.

Keywords and phrases: Penang National Park, national park management, natural heritage, ecotourism, environmental conservation

Title: Perceptions about One's Heritage Language: The Case of the Acehnese in Kampung Aceh and Malacca Portuguese-Eurasians in the Portuguese Settlement in Malaysia
Author: Stefanie Pillai, Wen-Yi Soh and Yunisrina Qismullah Yusuf
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 22(2): 67–92, 2015
- Abstract  

This paper looks at perceptions of heritage language in two minority communities in Malaysia: the Aceh community at Kampung Aceh in Kedah; and the Portuguese-Eurasian community at the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca. The heritage languages of these communities—Acehnese and Malacca Portuguese Creole or Cristang—continue to be used within the multilingual and multi-ethnic makeup of Malaysia, where Malay is the national language and where English is also widely used, alongside other local languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese and Tamil. Based on interviews with selected respondents from these two locations, it was found that both communities regarded their heritage languages positively, and regarded their languages as an important part of their cultural heritage. The Acehnese community, despite being culturally similar to the Malays, still try to hold on to their heritage language. For the Portuguese Eurasians, their heritage language is one way to distinguish themselves as a cultural group with European and Asian roots.

Keywords and phrases: Acehnese, Malacca Portuguese Creole, Cristang, heritage language, perceptions, cultural heritage

Title: "It is Only Watching, Waiting, Attention": Rethinking Love with Alain Badiou and Simone Weil
Author: Jeremy De Chavez
Source: Kemanusiaan The Asian Journal of Humanities 22(2): 93–116, 2015
- Abstract  

Love has traditionally been thought in conjunction with emotion, affect, passion and feelings. The work of Alain Badiou, however, challenges such an "anti-philosophical" position, and posits that the truly philosophical way to approach love is through logic, which also underscores loves close kinship to thought and to truth. In this essay, the author draws on Badiou's thoughts on love to theorise an amorous politics. Responding to critiques on Badiou's evental politics as essentially passive, the author suggests that the thought of Simone Weil offers a way to think of waiting as a pre-evental form of political agency. The author argues that positioning Badiou's thought with Weil's makes even more legible the political utility of his radical philosophy of love.

Keywords and phrases: Alain Badiou, Simone Weil, love, continental philosophy, waiting