The Avatar Of 1786: Decolonizing The Penang Story


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Title: The Avatar Of 1786: Decolonizing The Penang Story
Author: Ahmad Murad Merican
Price: RM31.00 ISBN: 978-967-461-664-9

There must be a closure to the history of Pulau Pinang (and Kedah). There was no 1786 treaty - no agreement, no document, no signatories. The narrative continues independent of each other, representing an uncomfortable conscience glancing at each as two separate polities of Penang and Kedah, socially and intellectually structured by the year 1786. This book makes a strange revisit to pretension of a fact/event. And it counters the terra nullius doctrine. It also establishes that the lex loci was the Adat Temenggong (customary law) modified by the Qanun (laws) of Kedah. Malay collective memory maintains that Pulau Pinang is integral to the Kedah Sultanate. The island has law, order and society before the presence of the Europeans; not a "band of natives and fishermen" as stereotyped by the colonial narrative, even in the colonial courts. The Malays in Pulau Pinang in recent decades have become 'beggars' to their own history. This book contests that history through moral and legal arguments, as well as raising the themes and issues of representation and redemption.


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