World View of Malay Muslim Intellectuals in Singapore
by Dr Tsuboi Yuji
Qalam contained pictures and articles on a wide range of international affairs. They reflected how Malay Muslim intellectuals viewed the contemporary world. While their perspective was basically Islam-oriented, they shared modernist values as well. Compatibility between Islam and modernity is an important theme in the “Age of Qalam”.
Space Satellite and Hair Oil: Exploring Muslim Modernity in Pre-Independence Singapore
by Dr Hiroyuki Yamamoto
Qalam was published with the aim of fostering a kind of Muslim brotherhood amongst Muslims in the Malay world under the editorship of Edrus, an Arab Muslim who migrated to Singapore from Banjarmasin, Kalimantan. A series of articles in the magazine introducing the evolution of science and technology at that time, along with illustrated advertisements, demonstrated that the Muslim society in Singapore were seeking a way of modernisation without being caught up by the competition between the East and the West camp.
Dr. Tsuboi Yuji is a Research Associate at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), and leads the joint research project on Qalam in CIAS, Kyoto University since 2010. He received his Ph.D. (letters) from the University of Tokyo. He specialises in history of modern Malaya/Malaysia, especially in the formation of the Malay nation from the late 19th century until the decolonisation period. Among his recent works are ‘Islam, Politics, and Nationalism in Malaya from the Perspective of Muslim Intellectuals on the Opposite Shore’, in ‘Islam and Multi-culturalism: Coexistence and Symbiosis’, ‘Tokyo: Organization for Islamic Studies’, Waseda University (2014), ‘The Formation of Multicultural Public Sphere in British Malaya: Controversies around Malayness during the 1930s’, in Sawai, Sai and Okai (eds), ‘Islam and Multiculturalism: Exploring Islamic Studies within a Symbiotic Framework’, Organization of Islamic Studies, Waseda University (2015).
Dr. Hiroyuki Yamamoto is an Associate Professor at the Center for SoutheastAsian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University. His research interests includemodern history of Malaysia, specialising in Sabah, the home state of University Malaysia Sabah where he taught for two years. He is co-editor of ‘Bangsa and Umma: Development of People-Grouping in the Islamized Southeast Asia (Kyoto University Press, 2011)’. Currently, he organises the Qalam project at Kyoto University, Japan that involves transcribing selected Jawi periodicals into Romanised Malay.
About the Jawi Research Society
The digital archives of Qalam is constructed by collecting its whole volumes, digitising the contents, transliterating the articles and developing a new search system based on ontology for easy and convenient access for readers worldwide.
The project presently has 20 transliterators based in Malaysia, who are literate in Jawi. These transliterators are being tasked to bridge the public with Jawi materials, via Jawi literacy training and re-publication of the Jawi materials in Romanised Malay (Rumi).