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Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Malay Sketches

“The real Malay…disposition is generally kind, his manners are polite and easy. Never cringing, he is reserved with strangers and suspicious, though he does not show it. He is courageous and trustworthy in the discharge of an undertaking; but he is extravagant, fond of borrowing money and very slow in repaying it. He takes an interest in the affairs of his neighbours and is consequently a gossip…He is however lazy to a degree, is without method or order of any kind, knows no regularity even in the hours of his meals and considers time of no importance……….”

Frank Swettenham, the First Resident of the Federated Malay States in his book “ The Malay Sketches” (1895).


  1. well.. that's the weakling extreme of the malay disposition that he is describing. later he must have also found out the malay gedebe extreme.

    It usually exihibited thus.. when humiliated, push to a tight corner, the malay are prone to embark into a murderous frenzy the like of which nothing in the english language can describe, that they adopt the word 'amok'.

    Birch was a victim of putting himself in this situation and i guess the festivities of may 69 is also as a result of this situation.

    Now, with the insults thrown at the malay royals, non-malays taking potshots at special malay right and privileges..??

    from the boondocks

  2. Well, ano, Malays are also human beings..when it comes to Malay traits, it is plentiful. Malays are kind hearted, polite to others, forgiving etc, thus the sacrifice Malays made in accepting the rest as citizens of this country before independence.


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