Journal Menu

Journal Home
Aims & Scope
Editorial Board
Past Issues
Forthcoming Issue
Submission Guidelines
Journal Policies
Publishing Charge
Contact Us

  Related Links

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)
USM Press
ScholarOne™ Manuscripts


journal cover

View content online
[ Vol. 30, No. 1, 2023 ]




The Asian Journal of Humanities

Published by
Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia

Past Issue - Volume 30, No. 1, 2023

  • Manikam Kalbu and Nusantara Women: An Inquiry into Regional Female Expertise and Knowledge
    Nur Dayana Mohamed Ariffin

    Abstract: What was the role of women as gatekeepers and users of technology before its modernisation and institutionalisation in Nusantara? How were they custodians of specific knowledge formed in and around the Malay world? There is no adequate amount of information in the archives for these questions to be answered sufficiently, but in Manikam Kalbu, Faisal Tehrani’s novel about two Malay seamsters set in a parallel period—the Malaccan sultanate in the 16th century and Malaysia in the 20th century—elicits the profound mastery of the material, tools, and art of sewing and craftsmanship by female characters who were depicted as caretakers of traditional knowledge and gatekeepers of their respective craft. Such depictions are either skewed or non-existent in Malay or Indonesian historiography, as many historical narratives are male-centric or focused on the political participation or domestic roles of women as wives and mothers. This study aims to uncover traces of historical reality from Faisal Tehrani’s fictional world as a means to fill the gap in historical literature and paint a critical and often absent picture of women in Nusantara, their expertise, their knowledge and the continuities of traditional and indigenous knowledge.

    Keywords and phrases: Manikam Kalbu, technology, traditional knowledge, Malay, Nusantara women
pdfLogo PDF  

  • “You are Unique, the Way You are”: Policing the “Fat Female Body” in Fanney Khan
    Neha Kumari and Rajni Singh

    Abstract: In South Asia, the fat female body is accorded narrative prominence to construct different synonyms of beauty and power. It is frequently consigned to the edges of fictional realms in visual representations and popular cultures. The standards of beauty (i.e., slender body, seductive dress, skin colour, make-up, etc.) are colonising the brains of women by dividing them and forcing them to adhere to the beauty norms by limiting their performance to the erotic subject. The article analyses the film Fanney Khan (2018) as an imperative study to understand how the concept of “fat body with ability” is subjugated to the conventional idea of “fat = inabilities, unhygienic, unhealthy, diseased and disabled” by the hegemonic society through the protagonist and eventually dismantling the same. This article investigates how juvenile fat subjects parley through numerous discursive interactions in the film Fanney Khan (2018). It illustrates how the female lead in the film confronts, resists and ultimately debilitates the conventional notions of the fat body and beauty standards. Although fatness is represented in this film as either a source of extreme animosity and conflict or a matter of desexualised femininity and conventional clothing choice, it nonetheless serves as a counter-hegemonic ideal that destabilises fatphobia (Singh 2021).

    Keywords and phrases: fat female body, standards of beauty, body shaming, hypervisibility and hyper(in)visibility, fat to fit
pdfLogo PDF  

  • Al-Jabiri’s Quranic Hermeneutics and Its Significance for Religious Education
    Mahmud Arif and Zulkipli Lessy

    Abstract: The Quran is believed to have always been in dialogue with mankind throughout the ages. Accordingly, each Muslim generation is responsible for presenting new interpretations. Therefore, al-Jabiri offered a hermeneutic approach to interpreting Quranic verses and Islamic turâts (cultural heritage) to explore the meanings and significance of sacred and canonical texts. This study aims to analyse al-Jabiri’s Quranic hermeneutics, its application and its significance for religious education. Hence, the application of the holistic method in analysing al-Jabiri’s works is to construct main ideas and contextual meanings. According to al-Jabiri, the hermeneutic approach fulfils the interpretation’s demand for objectivity and continuity. The conceptual framework of sharia universality and the main purpose of sharia is used as a contextualisation paradigm for the interpretation of scripture, while the chronology of revelation is used as a basis for contextually aligned interpretation. His efforts to formulate the concept of human rights in the Quran are based on the application of his hermeneutic approach to verses that speak of human nature. Although it does not specifically discuss education, al-Jabiri’s hermeneutic approach is appreciated as a foundation for the development of religious education. Therefore, religious education is required to execute its role in humanisation and hominization.

    Keywords and phrases: al-Jabiri’s hermeneutics, open scripture, objectivity, continuity, religious education
pdfLogo PDF  

  • From Hikayat Hang Tuah to Bharat Ek-Khoj: A Malay Culture Hero in an Indian Docudrama
    Kogilavani Nagarajah and Md Salleh Yaapar

    Abstract: Hang Tuah, the most illustrious warrior figure in Malay literature, is said to have lived in Malacca during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah in the 15th century. The story of Hang Tuah has fascinated audiences for many centuries and continues to be retold and fashioned to attract modern audiences. This study traces the adaptation of Hang Tuah across different languages, cultures and media. It explores the adaptation of Hang Tuah by an Indian from India. The objective of this study is to analyse what transpires in the adaptation of a Malay literary text to an Indian docudrama and make a close analysis of Hang Tuah as a Malay culture hero based on Hikayat Hang Tuah. His qualities as a culture hero are discussed thoroughly according to the concept of a culture hero by Jerome Long. At the same time, this research allows the readers to go into the Indian mind, asking especially the director to explain why he decided to adapt Hang Tuah in his historical docudrama. This study article critically analyses the transformation of the Malay culture hero, Hang Tuah, in the literary text entitled Hikayat Hang Tuah to Hang Tuah in the docudrama entitled Bharat Ek-Khoj. The transformation is examined in the context of literature-to-film adaptation. The relation between the original source and the screen adaptations is also investigated.

    Keywords and phrases: Hang Tuah, Hikayat Hang Tuah, Bharat Ek-Khoj, literature-tofilm adaptation, Shyam Benegal, Malay culture hero
pdfLogo PDF  

  • A Successful Model of Acculturation: Historic Overview of Baloch Migration from West and South Asia to East Africa
    Amirbahram Arabahmadi, Maziar Mozaffari Falarti and Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid

    Abstract: By examining the historic settlement of the Balochi people from West Asia to East Africa, this article seeks to study and examine their past immigration patterns, presence and current socio-political situation as a minority Muslim population. The Balochi people are an Indo-European ethnic Sunni Muslim minority population located in a region currently shared and divided by modern Islamic republics of Iran in West Asia and Pakistan in South Asia. The Balochis have formed a significant part of the non-indigenous Muslim population in East Africa since the late 17th century. Yet, there is not much written on them as a distinct Sunni Muslim minority group originating from historic Iran (including parts of South Asia) to Africa. Being part of a larger project, this study will explore the chief reasons behind the immigration of the Balochis to the regions of East Africa and how did their presence affect the local population and vice versa. The hypothesis is that the Balochis were formerly welcomed by the indigenous and non-indigenous population of East Africa and established amicable relationships with them. Using the method of qualitative content analysis combined with historical analysis, this article highlights the reciprocal impacts of the Balochi immigrants and indigenous people of East Africa.

    Keywords and phrases: Asian-Muslim diaspora, Balochis, East African history, cultural assimilation, Indian Ocean migration
pdfLogo PDF  

  • Pemahaman dan Penghasilan Ayat Pasif dalam Kalangan Kanak-kanak Melayu
    The Comprehension and Production of Passive Voice among Malay Children
    Norsofiah Abu Bakar, Jong Hui Ying and Muhammad Zuhair Zainal

    Abstract: The study aims to determine on language acquisition, which involve huge data from Malay children in Malaysia, are somewhat limited. This study examines language acquisition patterns from the perspective of passive voice in comprehension and production. This study is a cross-sectional study that examines the ability to use passive voice in Malay among Malay children. The study is aimed to determine the different abilities to comprehend and produce passive voice in terms of age and type of passive voice by the Malay children. The age groups for the subjects are 4;0 years old to 6;11 years old and 7;0 years old to 9;11 years old. The finding shows that there is a significant difference between the achievement of the 4;0 years old to 6;11 years old age group and the 7;0 years old to 9;11 years old group. The data was collected through a picture-sentence-matching test and a sentence extraction test adapted from previous studies. The findings of the study found that the passive voice “di-” from the standard Malay language variation was difficult to master by the group of children aged 4;0 years old to 6;11 years old. The findings also show that the passive voice structure is acquired in the later stage of the Malay children’s language development.

    Keywords and phrases: passive “di-”, passive “kena”, Malay children, variation language, Malay language

    Abstrak: Penyelidikan tentang pemerolehan bahasa yang melibatkan data besar dalam kalangan kanak-kanak Melayu di Malaysia agak terbatas. Kajian ini meneliti tentang corak pemerolehan bahasa dari aspek ayat pasif, yakni aspek pemahaman dan penghasilan. Kajian ini berbentuk kajian keratan rentas dengan meneliti keupayaan penggunaan ayat pasif bahasa Melayu dalam kalangan kanak-kanak Melayu. Kajian ini bermatlamat untuk menghuraikan pemahaman dan penghasilan ayat pasif dan menentukan sama ada terdapat perbezaan keupayaan ayat pasif disebabkan oleh umur, jenis ayat pasif dan kemahiran pemahaman, dan penghasilan antara dua kumpulan kanak-kanak. Subjek kumpulan terdiri daripada kumpulan kanak-kanak berumur 4;0 tahun sehingga 6;11 tahun dan kumpulan kanak-kanak berumur 7;0 tahun sehingga 9;11 tahun. Data kajian dikumpulkan melalui ujian padanan-ayat-bergambar dan ujian pencungkilan ayat yang diadaptasi daripada kajian lepas. Hasil kajian menunjukkan bahawa terdapat perbezaan yang signifikan antara pencapaian kumpulan kanak-kanak berumur 4;0 tahun sehingga 6;11 tahun dengan kumpulan kanak-kanak berumur 7;0 tahun sehingga 9;11 tahun. Dapatan kajian mendapati bahawa perbezaan prestasi kedua-dua kumpulan disebabkan oleh variasi bahasa Melayu ayat pasif “di-” yang standard dan belum dikuasai oleh kumpulan kanak-kanak berumur 4;0 tahun sehingga 6;11 tahun. Dapatan kajian juga menunjukkan bahawa ayat pasif merupakan struktur bahasa yang lewat diperoleh dalam perkembangan bahasa kanakkanak Melayu.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: ayat pasif “di-”, ayat pasif “kena”, kanak-kanak Melayu, variasi bahasa, bahasa Melayu
pdfLogo PDF  

  • Kata Ganti Nama dan Representasi Identiti Pewacana Parlimen
    Pronouns and Identity Representations of Parliamentary Speakers
    Dayang Sariah Abang Suhai, Kesumawati Abu Bakar and Norsimah Mat Awal

    Abstract: In a discourse of political interaction, the use of pronouns can indirectly reflect the identity of the speakers involved, specifically the government’s or opposition’s member of parliament. Besides being used to refer to a person, personal pronouns (PP) can describe the form of social relationship built between the speakers and the audience. This study aims to identify the form of the first personal pronoun utilised by government and opposition discourse as well as explain the identity highlighted through the use of PP based on critical discourse analysis approach. The text of the 2019 Budget debate is used as study data. A preliminary review of this study found that in both government and opposition discourse, the use of singular first PP “saya” is dominant compared to the use of plural first PP. For the plural PP, the use of “kita” inclusively is dominant in the opposition, while the the use of “kita” exclusively is dominant in the government. Similarly, both discourses are seen trying to “stand out” on their own, stand up, have a personal touch, and even try to get closer to their target audience. In comparison, the opposition emphasises the nature of belonging and togetherness with its discourse audience, while the government emphasises the nature of party which is seen as trying to strengthen the party’s position as the “new ruler” in the new Malaysian parliament.

    Keywords and phrases: personal pronouns, parliamentary discourse, government, opposition, identity

    Abstrak: Dalam wacana interaksi politik, penggunaan kata ganti nama dalam ujaran secara tidak langsung dapat mencerminkan identiti pewacana yang terlibat, khususnya ahli parlimen kerajaan dan pembangkang. Selain berfungsi sebagai perujukan, pemanfaatan kata ganti nama diri (KGND) dapat menggambarkan bentuk hubungan sosial antara pewacana dan khalayaknya. Kajian ini bertujuan mengenal pasti bentuk KGND pertama yang dimanfaatkan oleh pewacana kerajaan dan pembangkang serta menjelaskan identiti yang diserlahkan menerusi penggunaan KGND berpaksikan pendekatan analisis wacana kritis. Teks perbahasan Belanjawan 2019 dijadikan data kajian. Tinjauan awal mendapati kedua-dua pewacana mendominasi penggunaan KGND pertama tunggal “saya” berbanding KGND pertama jamak. Bagi KGND jamak, pembangkang mendominasi “kita” inklusif, sebaliknya kerajaan mendominasi “kita” eksklusif. Secara persamaan, kedua-dua pewacana dilihat cuba “menonjolkan diri” secara sendirian, berpendirian, mempunyai sentuhan peribadi, dan juga cuba merapatkan diri dengan khalayak sasarannya. Secara perbandingan, pembangkang menyerlahkan sifat kekitaan dan kebersamaan dengan khalayak wacananya, manakala kerajaan lebih menyerlahkan sifat kepartian yang cuba mengukuhkan kedudukan parti selaku “pemerintah baharu” di Parlimen Malaysia Baharu.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: kata ganti nama diri, wacana parlimen, kerajaan, pembangkang, identiti
pdfLogo PDF  

  • Bahasa Agama dalam Falsafah Melayu: Faktor Pengabaian dan Kepentingan
    Religious Language in Malay Philosophy: Factors of Neglect and Significance
    Munif Zarirruddin Fikri Nordin

    Abstract: In philosophy, the term “religious language” aims to provide an explanation of the meaning of religious sentences and expressions. In the Malay intellectual tradition, religious language is commonly referred to as language in Islamic texts, which are studied under the umbrella of Islamic studies, such as tafsir al-Quran, ilmu kalam or monotheism, usul fiqh and mysticism. However, the importance of religious language in Malay philosophy seems to be neglected, both in philosophy of religion and philosophy of language. This article discusses (1) the factors of the neglect of religious language in Malay philosophy and (2) the enhancement of the significance of religious language in contemporary Malay philosophy. The data of this discussion are four issues of religious language that arose as a result of the philosophical attempts of some Malay Muslim thinkers to explain the meaning of religious sentences and expressions. There are factors that contribute to the neglect of religious language in Malay philosophy, such as Malay pessimism towards philosophy and legal provisions that preserve religious language from philosophical arguments. The significance of religious language as a branch of religious philosophy in contemporary Malay philosophy could be enhanced, not only by harmonising the significance of philosophy in religion and language, but also correcting misunderstanding about philosophy, including strengthening the existing philosophy subject as a core subject in tertiary education level.

    Keywords and phrases: religious language, Malay philosophy, philosophy of religion, semantics in religion

    Abstrak: Dalam falsafah, istilah “bahasa agama” bertujuan memberikan penjelasan tentang makna ayat dan ungkapan agama. Dalam tradisi intelektual Melayu, bahasa agama lazimnya dirujuk sebagai bahasa dalam teks-teks Islam, yang dikaji di bawah payung pengajian Islam, seperti tafsir al-Quran, ilmu kalam atau ilmu tauhid, usul fikah dan tasawuf. Namun begitu, kepentingan bahasa agama dalam falsafah Melayu seolah-olah diabaikan, baik dalam falsafah agama mahupun falsafah bahasa. Makalah ini membincangkan faktor pengabaian bahasa agama dalam falsafah Melayu dan peningkatan kepentingan bahasa agama dalam falsafah Melayu kontemporari. Data perbincangan ini ialah empat isu bahasa agama yang tercetus ekoran usaha kefalsafahan beberapa pemikir Muslim Melayu untuk menjelaskan makna ayat dan ungkapan agama. Terdapat faktor yang menyumbang kepada pengabaian bahasa agama dalam falsafah Melayu, seperti pesimisme Melayu terhadap falsafah dan peruntukan undang-undang yang memelihara bahasa agama daripada penghujahan falsafah. Kepentingan bahasa agama sebagai cabang falsafah agama dalam falsafah Melayu kontemporari dapat ditingkatkan, bukan hanya dengan mengharmonikan kepentingan falsafah dalam agama dan bahasa, tetapi juga memperbetulkan salah faham tentang falsafah, termasuk memperkasa kursus falsafah sedia ada sebagai kursus teras pada peringkat pengajian tinggi.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: bahasa agama, falsafah Melayu, falsafah agama, semantik agama
pdfLogo PDF  

  • Dari Entrepot ke Agraria: Pemikiran tentang Pembangunan Ekonomi Berdasarkan Undang-undang Kedah Ku Din Ku Meh
    From Entreport to Agraria: Ideas on Economic Development Based on the Undang-undang Kedah Ku Din Ku Meh Version
    ‘Aisyah Kamaruddin and Mahani Musa

    Abstract: The Malay states are often viewed by colonial scholar-officials as devoid of any systematic political system before the arrival of the West while its laws were seen as cruel and unworthy of the attention of the serious readers. In actuality, traditional laws like the Undang-undang Kedah (Kedah Laws) which was already in place since the 17th century had proved otherwise. This article aims to scrutinise the ideas and conceptions held by Kedah rulers with regards economic development as manifested in indigenous laws like the Undang-undang Kedah the Ku Din Ku Meh version (1893). This study applies the qualitative method which involve analysing the relevant sections of the Kedah laws to identify ideas, concepts and thoughts relating to state administration notably the economy of the state. Based on textual analysis of the Undang-undang Kedah the Ku Din Ku Meh version, it is found that Kedah had already in place an organised legal system so as to facilitate the economic transition that had taken place from the 13th to the 17th centuries which enabled the state to evolve from a port state to an agrarian one.

    Keywords and phrases: Kedah, economic transition, entreport, agriculture, Undang-undang Kedah

    Abstrak: Negeri-negeri Melayu sering dilihat oleh sarjana pentadbir kolonial tidak mempunyai suatu sistem politik yang sistematik sebelum kedatangan Barat manakala aspek undang-undangnya pula dilihat kejam dan dianggap tidak perlu diberi perhatian serius oleh pembaca. Walhal kewujudan undang-undang tradisional seperti Undang-undang Kedah yang telah disusun sekurang-kurangnya sejak kurun ke-17 membuktikan sebaliknya. Artikel ini bertujuan meneliti idea dan pemikiran pemerintah Kedah tentang perancangan pembangunan ekonomi seperti yang terpancar dalam teks Undang-undang Kedah naskhah Ku Din Ku Meh (1893). Kajian ini menggunakan kaedah kualitatif yang melibatkan analisis terhadap fasal-fasal yang terkandung dalam teks tersebut bagi mengenal pasti idea, konsep dan pemikiran tentang pentadbiran negeri khususnya yang berkait dengan ekonomi. Berdasarkan kajian terhadap teks Undang-undang Kedah naskhah Ku Din Ku Meh ini didapati bahawa Kedah telah pun mempunyai satu sistem perundangan yang tersusun demi memanfaatkan transisi ekonomi yang dilaluinya sejak kurun ke-13 hingga kurun ke-17 yang akhirnya membolehkan Kedah beralih daripada sebuah kerajaan pelabuhan kepada agraria atau pertanian.

    Kata kunci dan frasa: Kedah, transisi ekonomi, entrepot, pertanian, Undang-undang Kedah
pdfLogo PDF