As a young Malay Muslim man I am in the midst of an identity crisis. I am, like others of my generation, caught between upholding the much-loved traditions of my Malay heritage and embracing the Islam of Malaysia today. I am proposing a project that examines the impact of this growing dichotomy on my generation. As a continuation of my current work, I will focus on my generation values its heritage as we living in modern ages. What does it mean to be Orang Melayu?
According to the constitution of Malaysia, a person of Malay birth must observe Islam. It also states that, as a Malay, I must be fluent in the Malay language and practice Malay culture and traditions. In this, I am being told to be both a
good Muslim and a good Malay. However, the reality for my
generation is that this often creates a conflict. How am I to
balance those ideals? How will I carry my defining heritage
into the future? I began to photograph Malays in Peninsular Malaysia to better understand how the traditions and the religion exist side by side.
While making these images of community, it was apparent that religion and culture are intertwined as the constitution demands of us. Even though we were born and raised in this land, it is not easy for us to navigate the pressures of the modern world and continue to identify as Orang Melayu. For this proposed project, I will more closely examine the identity crisis of my generation, particularly the young men. The grant is an opportunity for me to spend time with and documenting my generation identity as I found out the identity is something that very organic, it will keep changing through time, The youth expose to so many influences and influences tend to change the identity
Funded by Singapore (October 2019)