In a period where no native scholars of equal repute existed, where no one possessed similar levels of extensiveness and depth in terms of understanding Malay culture and literature, it must be admitted that the Orientalist stand taken by scholars like Winstedt was unavoidable. As a matter of fact, even today one can still find Malay scholars echoing his and other European Orientalists’ opinions...”
The Sejarah Melayu has been known by many names, and its text has changed too. Interpolations, recensions and revisions over the centuries have resulted in dozens of variants, which brings up many questions. Was Tun Seri Lanang the author of the text? Can the manuscript be regarded as an authoritative historical source? How entrenched are Orientalist views in contemporary scholarship of the Sejarah Melayu? The answers, as well as digressions into mystic letters and Portuguese loan words, can be found in this new collection of essays.