Date: 11/07/2018

As a Malaysian citizen, I have witnessed the continuous Arabicization of Malay muslims over decades. In my childhood days the Malay Muslims would be proud of their Malayness (which is largely based on Indian culture) and a liberal outlook. Decades of Islamisation as a state policy (ironically entirely overseen by the newly elected PM) is beginning to bear fruit. We are witnessing many changes at the societal level, where the Malays look to Arabazice the language which is known as Bahasa (stands for Bhasha) Malaysia. They also look to dress and look like the Arabs. Every muslim child starts their education in a madrassa. Despite this there is a section of the society that still looks to exert their Malay identity and culture as well as a section that is liberal in outlook. Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy and while the monarch is only a ceremonial post they hold a powerful sway on the Malay population and most of them are quite liberal and Malay centric. It is interesting to note that the Kings coronation ceremony has a heavy Hindu influence and there is even some form of Shakti worship and mantra chants (of course these are heavily hidden) as the monarchs are also heads of Islam in their respective states. Strong Arab (Wahhabbism) and Indians(Zakir Naik types) have been working their way over decades to transform what used to be cited as a template of an ideal multicultural and multi ethnic society into a more fundamental Islamic society . The umbilical cord to India is still strong as Zakir Naik has a huge following including the present and past PM and many Malay imams take their que from their Indian counterparts (although the Arabs are beginning to gain the upper hand). In fact the Malaysian Government is refusing to send Zakir Naik to India to face charges brought against him. Hopefully with Rajivij's book the seeds of change begins to take shape within the Muslims of India which will most certainly have a ripple effect on this part of the world. The umbilical cord from India to South East Asia was saffron centuries ago, it has turned into a fundamentalist green many decades ago and hopefully it turns multicoloured in the future.