International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Home About Us Scope Editorial Board Blog/Latest News Contact Us
10th percentile
Powered by  Scopus
Scopus coverage:
Nov 2018 to May 2020


IJSTR >> Volume 8 - Issue 8, August 2019 Edition

International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research  
International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Website: http://www.ijstr.org

ISSN 2277-8616

Abdullah Munshi As The Captured Character In His Own Autobiography

[Full Text]



Rahimah Hamdan, Arba’ie Sujud, Nik Nur Hasmiru Husna Bahari



Abdullah Munshi, Autobiography, captive character, Hikayat Abdullah, Syed Hussein Alatas, Western, Malay



This paper was aimed at identifying the captive attitude of Abdullah Munshi in his work and to analyse how the West came to recognise him as ‘The Father of Modern Malay Literature’. Abdullah Munshi’s courage in challenging the existing literary conventions and in introducing a Western style of writing to Malay audiences earned him this title. This recognition made him the most credible Malay literary figure from the perspective of the Western colonialists, especially with his first autobiographical work titled Hikayat Abdullah. His reputation continued to rise until several scholars began to dispute his credibility by arguing that he did not deserve to be recognised as such. Abdullah Munshi was labelled as an individual who was captivated by everything concerning his Western benefactors, as illustrated in his magnum opus. With this phenomenon in mind, this study applied the text analysis method to the first Malay autobiography, the Hikayat Abdullah, based on Syed Hussein Alatas’ concept of a captive character. The findings of the study revealed that Abdullah Munshi conformed to five criteria in this concept of a captive character, namely, a person who copies the activities of Westerners and regards them as beneficial; a person who is unable to raise new questions in life; a person who regards Western knowledge to be the best; a person who accepts the suggestions of Westerners without objection; and a person who thinks so highly of the West that he fails to realize that he himself has become a captive. This means that Abdullah Munshi was a person who was a captive of the West, as he himself revealed through his autobiography. To summarize, it can be proven that the recognition accorded to Abdullah Munshi as ‘The Father of Modern Malay Literature’, which led to the separation of Malay literature into two periods, was the best agenda by the West to ensure the relevance of their presence in the colonies, particularly in the Malay World.



[1]. A.Bakar Hamid. (1979). Diskusi Sastera, Jil.II: Kesusasteraan Moden.Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
[2]. Alatas, Syed Hussein. (1972). Modernisation and Social Change. Sydney: Angus and Robertson Publishers.
[3]. Al-Attas, Syed Muhammad Naquib. (1969). Preliminary Statement on a General Theory of the Islamization of the Malay-Indonesian Archipelago. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
[4]. Al-Attas, Syed Muhammad Naquib. (1971). Concluding Postscript to the Origin of Malay Shair. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
[5]. Ampuan Haji Brahim Ampuan Haji Tengah. (2000). Perbandingan antara Abdullah Munshi dengan Pangeran Shahbandar Mohammad Salleh. Jurnal Pangsura, 6(11), 121-129.
[6]. Andaya, B.W. & Andaya, L.Y. (2015). A History of Early Modern Southeast Asia, 1400-1830. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[7]. Azhar Ibrahim Alwee. (2009). Menghadapi Watak dan Minda Tertawan: Pemerian, Penyanggahan dan Pemithalan daripada Syed Hussien Alatas. Seminar Antarabangsa Legasi Pemikiran Syed Hussien Alatas, anjuran Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 4 hingga 6 Ogos.
[8]. Bastin, J.A. (1965). The British in West Sumatera. Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press.
[9]. Alan Chong. (2018). Ethical Political Economy: Lessons From The Malay World’s Hikayat Abdullah (1849). Asian Journal Of Comparative Politics. 3(3), 219-231.
[10]. Cohn. B.S. (1996). Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
[11]. Gallop, A. T. (1990). Early Malay Printing: An Introduction to British Library Collections, Journal of Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 63, 1 (258), 85-124.
[12]. Gullick, J.M. (1995). Adventures and Encounters: European in South-East Asia. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press.
[13]. Hashim Awang. (2008). Hikayat Abdullah. Kuala Lumpur: Yayasan Karyawan.
[14]. Hassan Ahmad. (2010). Beyond 'Post-Modernism' : Revisiting The Malay-Muslim Akal and The Construction of The Malay Grand Narrative. Kuala Lumpur : IIUM.
[15]. Ismail Hussein.(1974). Sastera dan Masyarakat. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit Pustaka Zakry Abadi.
[16]. John.A.H. (1979). ‘The Turning Image and Reality in Malay Perceptions of the Past’. In A.Reid & D.Marr. Perceptions of the Past in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Heinemann Educational Books (Asia) Ltd.
[17]. Kamus Dewan. (2007). Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
[18]. Kassim Ahmad. (Ed.). (1970). Kisah Pelayaran Abdullah. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit Fajar Bakti.
[19]. Kassim Ahmad. 1981. Kisah Pelayaran Abdullah. Kuala Lumpur: Fajar Bakti.
[20]. Leur, J.C.van. (1955). Indonesian Trade and Society. The Hague/Bandung: Van Hoeve.
[21]. Milner, A.C. (1982). Kerajaan: Malay Political Culture on the Eve of Colonial Rule. Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona Press.
[22]. Milner, A.C. (1995). The Inventions of Politics in Colonial Malaya. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[23]. Mohamad Daud Mohamad dan Zabidah Yahya. (2005). Pascakolonialisme Dalam Pemikiran Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
[24]. Mohd.Taib Osman. (1988), ‘Moden Malay Literature’, In Muhammad Hj.Salleh, An Anthology of Contemporary Malaysian Literature (pp.281-293), Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
[25]. Mohd. Yusof Hasan. (2012). Minda Global Melayu. Perak: Penerbit Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.
[26]. Noriah Taslim (2016). Kolonialisme dan Fenomena Sastera Abad Peralihan. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
[27]. Putten, J.van de. (2006). Abdullah Munshi and the Missionaries. Bidragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (BKI), 162 (4), 407-440.
[28]. Rahimah Hamdan, Arba`ie Sujud & Shaiful Bahri Md Radzi. (2016a). The Emergence of Autobiography in Malay Literature, The Social Sciences, 11 (5), 654-660, doi:10.3923/sscience.2016.654.660.
[29]. Rahimah Hamdan & Arba’ie Sujud. (2016b). “An Author’s Relationship with His Audience”: The Earliest Autobiographical Work of a Local Malay, The Social Sciences, 11 (18), 4511-4522, doi: 10.3923/sscience.2016.4511.4522.
[30]. Rahimah Hamdan, Arba’ie Sujud & Nik Rafidah Nik Muhamad Affendi. (2016c). Perspective of Abdullah Munshi as the Father of Modern Malay Literature, Journal of Scientific Research and Development, 3 (7), 73-77.
[31]. Rahimah Hamdan, Arba’ie Sujud & Nur Farhana Adanan. (2018). Abdullah the Priest and His Advice Based on the Al Quran and Hadith. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), 9 (7), 1566–1574.
[32]. Rahimah Hamdan & Arba’ie Sujud. (2019). Guidance Behind Criticisms: The Good Parenting as Portrayed in the First Malay Autobiography. Asian Social Science, 15 (2), 116-123, doi:10.5539/ass.v15n2p116.
[33]. Ras, J.J. (1985). ‘Book-reviews. Ahmad Rijaluddin’s Hikayat Perintah Negeri Benggala Edited and Translated by C.Skinner’. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, vol.xvi (2), 341.
[34]. Siti Aisah Murad. (1996). Abdullah Munshi dan Masyarakat Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
[35]. Skinner. C. (1959). Prosa Melayu Baharu. London: Longmans.
[36]. Skinner, C. (1978), ‘Transitional Malay Literature. Part 1. Ahmad Rijaluddin and Munshi Abdullah’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (BKI), 134 (3), 466-487.
[37]. Stockwell, A.J. (1982). The White Man Burden’s and Brown Humanity: Colonialism and Ethnicity in British Malaya. Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science, 10 (1), 55-57.
[38]. Sweeney, A. and Phillips, N. (1975). The Voyages of Mohamed Ibrahim Munshi. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press.
[39]. Sweeney, A. (1980). Reputations Live on: Live on: An Early Malay Autobiography. Berkeley: University of California Press.
[40]. Ungku Maimunah Mohd.Tahir. (1997). ‘R.J.Wilkinson dan Pensejarahan Kesusasteran Melayu Moden’. In.Shafie Abu Bakar & Mohamed Anwar Omar Din (Eds). Peradaban Melayu. Bangi: Jabatan Persuratan Melayu, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
[41]. Ungku Maimunah Mohd.Tahir. (2009). Dinamika Pemikiran Sastera Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka..
[42]. Vlekke, B.H.M. (1965). Nusantara: A History of Indonesia. The Hague: W.Van Hoeve Ltd.
[43]. Watson, C.W. 1989. ‘The Study of Indonesian and Malay Autobiography’. Indonesia Circle, No.49 (6), 3-18.
[44]. Wilkinson, R.J. (1907). Papers on Malay Subject. Malay Literature 1; Romance, History and Poetry. Kuala Lumpur: FMS. Government Press.
[45]. Yahya Ismail.(1987). Sejarah Sastra Melayu Moden. Kuala Lumpur: Fajar Bakti.
[46]. Zaharahanum Kamarudin. (2015). Bahasa Inggeris Wahana Pendidikan: Minda yang Masih Tertawan. Dewan Bahasa., 8.
[47]. Zahir Ahmad & Taufik Arridzo Mohd Balwi. (2006). Munshi Abdullah Sebagai Bapa Kesusasteraan Melayu Moden: Satu Tafsiran. Kertas kerja Wacana Minda Munshi Abdullah in Air Keroh, Melaka, 27 April.