Skip to main content Accessibility help

Understanding Melayu (Malay) as a Source of Diverse Modern Identities

  • Anthony Reid (a1)


This article attempts to bring together recent literature about the typology of nationalism, with the ways in which ‘Malay’ or ‘Melayu’ have been used as the core of an ethnie or a nationalist project. Different meanings of ‘Melayu’ were salient at different times in Sumatra, in the Peninsula and in the eastern Archipelago, and the Dutch and British used their respective translations of it very differently. Modern ethno-nationalist projects in Malaysia and Brunei made ‘Melayu’ a contested and often divisive concept, whereas its translation into the hitherto empty term ‘Indonesia’ might have provided an easier basis for territorial, or even ultimately civic, nationalism in that country.


Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0022-4634
  • EISSN: 1474-0680
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-southeast-asian-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed