This book narrates and re-tells ideas, episodes and places in the MalayArchipelago. Some have called it a cultural history of the region. It could be viewed as the sociological imagination of the Tanah Air. The collective experience of the rantau is here reminded and recontextualized. In this regard, we see the past—of Melaka, Kedah, Tanjong, by extension Malay society and the Malay Archipelago as integral to global history. This is where civilizations and cultures meet; where its rivers, straits and seas give life to communities and societies over the centuries. The Alam Melayu, expressed through the Tanah Air is never an ambiguous notion to its inhabitants. It is relatively a manifestation of a cosmopolitan world. It is a historical, cultural and sociological reality. This book is not meant to be read as history; but to be consumed, visualized and experienced.
“Here the author develops a fresh perspective on certain facets of early Melaka and Malaysian history, as well as the past of the Malay Archipelago, and provides insightful interpretations and analyses on the narrative of the Tanah Air,…The essays reflect the author’s well-known thoughts that the history of Malaysia and the rantau should not just be viewed from the perspective of Western orientalists.”
—Datuk Seri Abdul Jalil Hamid,
journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of Melaka Hari Ini.