Event — Seminar

Windows on the Malay world

20 October 2005
Poetry Reading & Seminar on Malay-Indonesian Literature
Navigating Convention in New Terrains: Writing in the 18th to Early 20th Centuries


Lorentzzaal (room A1.44)
Faculty of Law (KOG)
Leiden University
Steenschuur 25

The Malay World is a vast island region of nation-states and ethnic groups, where people speak and write variants of a common language, Malay. They also share customs and traditions, the region’s majority forming the largest Muslim population in the world. These are among the well known facts. But in what style were letters written at the court of Buton when Europeans arrived? How did Balinese writers deal with Malay’s transformation into Bahasa Indonesia? How did Malay authors of yesteryear perceive major Asian nations such as India and China? How does Sufism fare in Java, home to its own brand of mysticism? Does a Javanese text translate well into Malay? And, what is Islam hadhari, currently promoted by the government of Malaysia?
Windows on the Malay World will discuss these questions and more. The two-day event in Leiden and The Hague will offer various views – literary, cultural, social, religious – of the vibrant region once known to the Dutch and the British as the East Indies. The event will also feature distinguished poets from Malaysia and Indonesia, well-known for their dramatic poetry performances.


09.15-09.45 Welcome
By Prof. W.A.L. Stokhof (Director IIAS), H.E. Mr. Mohammad Jusuf (Ambassador of Indonesia) &
H.E. Dato’ Nur Faridah (Ambassador of Malaysia)
09.45-10.45 Poetry reading
Putu Wijaya, Muhammad Haji Salleh & Sitor Situmorang
10.45-11.15 Coffee Break
11.15-12.15 Seminar Session I
Syair Putri Akal: Text, sources, theme (by Dr. W. van der Molen)
Sundanese manakib texts: changing rules for the ritual narrator (by Julian Millie, M.A)
12.15-14.15 Break
14.15-15.45 Seminar Session II
Some notes on official Malay letters from the 18th century Sultanate of Buton
(by Suryadi)
From feudalism to imperialism: India in the eyes of Hang Tuah and Ahmad Rijaluddin
(by Prof. Md. Salleh Yaapar)
Two Malay travellers eating the Calcutta air: A 19th century journey into the heart of the British Empire (by Prof. Muhammad Haji Salleh)
15.45-17.15 Seminar Session III
The Malay version(s) of Bima Suci (by Prof. Ben Arps)
Proposals for a new dictionary of pre-modern Malay (by Prof. E. Ulrich Kratz)
Geguritan Nengah Jimbaran by Cokorda Ngurah Made Agung (by Dr. Maya H. T. Liem)
17.15-17-30 Closing

21 October 2005
Malaysia Annual Lecture


Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Kortenaerkade 12
2518 AX
The Hague


16.00-16.15 Welcome
16.15-17.00 Islam, Development and Multicultural Society
by Tan Sri Dato’Seri (Dr.) Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid,
Chairman of the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM)
17.00-17.15 Question and Answer
17.15-18.15 Reception



Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation with a Muslim majority and non-Muslim minority living in peace and harmony. Although Islam is the official religion of the country, the Federal Constitution of Malaysia guarantees the freedom of worship.

Malaysia’s development approach emphasizes on the redistribution of the country’s wealth among the races, balanced development across regions, social justice and environment preservation. The double-prong strategy is poverty eradication and the restructuring of society within the context of an expanding economy.
Malaysia has adopted a “National Culture Policy”, which provides for accommodation of the diverse cultures, and with Malay culture as the essence of the ‘national culture’.