Concept of a Hero in Malay Society

Concept of a Hero in Malay Society

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"The author of this book attempts to study the Malay conception of the hero as projected by the ruling class… The readers would benefit greatly from the book. They would attain a better understanding of Malay politics and cultural life. This is the first attempt made to study the conception of the hero in Malay society… the way the author tackles the problem makes interesting reading. Anyone aspiring to have a better understanding of Malay society cannot afford to neglect the book" - Foreword by Syed Hussein Alatas. "[A] constant response [to this book] had been to place the burden of anointing heroes on the book, grudging it for its criticisms of socially or popularly acknowledged heroes. The writer is often chided ‘who do you think then should be Malay heroes?’. Such retort always impressed me how the process of social evaluation remain closed to many, hence their lack of self-introspection. They feel it is a question of finding and installing heroes in a detached manner, little realizing their values, ideals and humanity is very much bound with the process. "This book is not so much on heroes as on hero worshippers. It studies heroes to the extent they reflect the values and ideals of their worshippers themselves. It is not really addressed towards resolving the debate which personality should be heralded as Malay heroes, be it Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat or anybody else for that matter. The interest of the book remains primarily an examination of Malay values and ideals, the sense of cultural identity. The book examines the social-historical forces that had shaped those values and ideals, as reflected in group dynamics and ideologies, as well as the vested interests involved" - Preface by Shaharuddin Maaroof.