QUOTE(sonofgunongjerai @ May 26 2008, 09:40 AM) [snapback]3719391[/snapback]
A very nice thread Seasurfer, you are the most concerned and open minded Chinese (if I'm not mistaken) that I've ever seen. Maybe everyone has forgotten about Jawi has been abolished from national Malay system by our early leaders. One of them is Mr. Khir Johari, eventhough he is a Kedahan as I am, I feel ashame to our muslim ancestors because of his plan as an Education Minister and it was agreed by other cabinet members. Even his successors never tried to replace the Romanized Malay writing into Jawi back. Jawi was a writing used by muslim Malay to learn Islamic knowledges and it is used by Malay kingdoms around 13th century as the script to write documents and codes. It is also the symbol of our freedom from Western colonization in 19th century, like Thai Nolya script is the symbol of Thai nationalism.
Other point is that, Malaysian at the early time trying to standardize the script with Indonesian counterpart without checking the impacts that will be received by classical Malay used in Malaysia. I do not agree with the opinions about Jawi couldn't represent the sound of modern Malay pronunciation, it is just a baseless reason. I can write Kedahan dialect well with Jawi and they sounds better than Romanized script represents. Many Malay younger generation cannot read Jawi well after the declining of Jawi in public usage and some of them cannot read classical prose, thus they have no sense over traditional arts anymore and becoming westernized easily. The younger generations will eventually adopt Western frozen culture and being close minded like the Westerners.
A very brilliant proposal Seasurfer, to use Kawi script to write Malay. Malay that used Kawi and Pallawa script is actually known as ancient Malay. Kawi means poem in Sanskrit and it was a loanword in Malay. Kawi is used by the Javanese and not by Malays in Malayan Peninsula, Javanese in Java Island today still learning Kawi script at their schools because not all Javanese in Java Island are muslim, there may be Javanese with Kejawen belief which based from ancient Hinduism. Kawi is a modified form of Pallawa writing and that script is so difficult to be mastered even by a Hindu Javanese.
Malays in ancient time before accepting Islam are Mahayana Buddhists, some may be Buddhists but calling themselves as Hindus because they modified some of Hindus culture. Malay use Pallawa script to write inscriptions, it is based from Southern Indian Brahmin scripts, that script evolved to be Myanmar script and Khmer script today while Thais adopt the modification form of Khmer script. I learned this script through Thai script, there is a book called "Patti Sanskerit" or "Reading Sanskrit. It uses Pallawa writing together with the comparison in Thai script, I borrowed it last year and trying to learn Sanskrit through Thai.
Wow, very informative, you are one the most knowledgeable Malaysian I know. This is the kind of information I have been looking for a long time. Thanks for this invaluable lesson. I really did not know that Kawi is still being used, it is really great to know that it is still being used.
I have always been wondering for years why there is a need to abolish Jawi, initially I thought that is was difficult, therefore making the assumption that it was the reason for its decline. Until a few years ago, I decided to learn Arabic, after learning all the Arabic alphabet and some basic Arabic, I realized that I can read most Jawi sign board and road signs in my hometown Johor without much trouble, therefore making me think that it wasn't difficult after all. Since it is not difficult, than why want to abolish it.
Then one day, there was a Chinese calligraphy and Arabic calligraphy competition side by side in my school. Initially I only took part in the Chinese calligraphy, since I was good at that. During the competition, I found it amusing to see some beautiful Arabic calligraphy written by some of the Malay participants. I told the organizer that I understand some Arabic and requested them to allow me to also take part in the Arabic calligraphy competition, I also told them since this is unexpected to me, I don't have those specially made pen to write Arabic calligraphy, I told them that I will use my Chinese brush to write after I finish my Chinese calligraphy. This was my first time attempting to write Arabic calligraphy, I was also the only Chinese in a sea of Malay participants, this make me very nervous, but the whole process is so fun, the Arabic characters are so beautiful to write as an art. Though I never win the prize, but I was so happy to learn something new. Ok....I will admit that I was happy because all the Malay girls came to surround me after the competition, I get all the attention from them, felt so pampered by them...
This competition made me realize that Jawi script has its beauty that is not replaceable by roman alphabets. This even makes me wonder more, why was it abolished? Don't the Malay love Jawi art? Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it part of the culture? Doesn't it make a person learn Arabic easier, therefore making it more useful? The government wants to promote Malay, but isn't this part of the original Malay? The Chinese never object using Jawi anyway...