Thirty-three nations across the world, comprising of 580 delegates took part in the first international Malayo-Polynesia Ancestral Nations conference in which several resolutions have been made. The conference was organised under the theme “Re-establishing and Revitalising Common Grounds and Global Relationships” and took place from 5 to 7 July at Klana Resort Seramban in Malaysia. According to Dato’ Professor Dr. Kamaruddin Kachar, they hope to establish a Malayo-Polynesia World Secretariat as a means for the Malay language and culture, to become known to the 33 nations represented at the conference.
“We are to also establish an employment bureau, where we hope to help the youth from these nations to gain experience working in the neighbouring countries. The other resolution is that we will identify and establish universities to serve the 33 nations as well as an online Malayo-Polynesian Museum. We plan to work on an economic bureau, where our youth will learn to organise trade and commerce and become achievers in world economic development.”
Cape Town’s own Nazreen Salie from Cape Malay Consultants was elected to be in charge of correspondence between all 33 nations. “We are excited and happy to have her on board as she contributed many ideas in this international conference. She is very imaginative and enthusiastic and is providing all the assistance possible to make this secretariat a successful one.”
Kachar said there are a number of other South African individuals who have come on board to preserve the history of about 387 million people of Polynesian-Malay descent. These individuals include Faika Haroun of Stellenbosch University and Zulfa Abrahams of the University of the Western Cape, who both presented papers on Cape Malay Culture and Language, as well as Imam Abdul Malick Johennesse who presented a paper on the Malays of Bosmont.
“More than 800 years ago our ancestors of Malay origin were skilful and daring, yet they were united. They had such a great vision that they ventured into 32 other nations, where they established governments and in time brought forth the Malay culture and language. The Malay language is therefore spoken in most of the 33 nations participating in this conference and the culture is even still being practiced today, especially in Indonesia where we have 230 million Malays,” Kachar explained.
He said he was not really surprised to hear that there were so many Malays in South Africa as he knew the history of Cape Malays. “The Malay population in the city is about 900 000, but we were very happy to see the representatives when they arrived at the conference… most of them had come back to the land of their ancestors.”
Kachar added that the Malaysian government is extremely supportive of the initiative, to such an extent that the entire conference was funded by the State of Malaysia. “The state government is also very happy that we organised this seminar, bringing all these nations together in the process… the first ever in the history of Malaysia.”
He said the organisers decided to hold the conference every two years. “In 2014, this international conference will be held in New Zealand and we hope to organise the 2016 edition in South Africa and in Brunei in 2018. If we do not hold these conferences regularly, we will not be able to implement the resolution, which is why we hope to put together a World Malayo-Polynesian Community Organisation.”
VOC (Aqeelah Bawa)
Last modified on Monday, 09 July 2012 15:40
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