SHS Web Conf.
Volume 45, 20187th International Conference on Local Knowledge (ICLK 2017)
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||History & Community|
|Published online||12 June 2018|
Eurocentrism and the Historical Perception About the Malays
Senior Lecturer, History Section, School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang Malaysia.
1 Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
This study examines the effects of Eurocentrism to the view of the character, nature and image of the Malays especially in the period of British colonialism in the 19th century. This research explains why Eurocentrism creates confusing and negative views of the nature, civilisation and wisdom of the indigenous people. Eurocentrism is a form of thoughts that often measures and defines non-European civilisation through historical, cultural, religious, geographical, scientific and progressive perspectives based on Western or European values, which is considered to be supreme. The beliefs transpired in the minds of scholars and European politicians as early as the 16th century, and some were extended in the writings about local history by means of the roles played by the European colonial explorers and administrators. In the process of colonising and exploiting the wealth of the indigenous people, the European explorers and administrators often created records that could explain not only the economic potentials of the area that they intend to colonise, but also depicted the inferior characteristics and civilisations of that society to justify their colonisation attempts. In the process, they produced a record of colonial history which later became key references to historians to understand and explain the traits of the indigenous peoples. The ideas behind that colonial history were not only biased as the result of exaggerating the ignorance and retrogression of the indigenous people; it even sought to undermine the wisdom and civilisation of the indigenous people. This is to highlight their own superiority and noble values when placed side by side with the values of the indigenous people. Despite the prejudice, the Eurocentric colonial history is very influential in Malaysia's historiography until this day. This study explains how the influence of thoughts has blurred the understanding of the actual traits of the indigenous peoples and create an apparent confusion over the history of Malay society.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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