Sanitising and Satanising Malaysia’s Cityscapes: Cultural Power from Malay Decolonialism to Islamic Occidentalism and beyond

  •  Kim-Hui Lim    
  •  Wai-Mun Har    


When difference is seen as conflict, battle for cultural superiority emerged. Agenda of Ketuanan Melayu-Islam (Malay-Islam Supremacy) in Malaysia did not allow pluralism parity or even the existence of it but solitary cultural power. As the cities in Malaysia are the focal point of Western colonial’s capitalism and potpourri of multiculturalism, they resemble the colonisation identities and pluralism, therefore the focus of de-colonisation and “cleansing” un-Islamic elements. The processes of cleansing un-Islamic elements in the city so as to transform colonial Occidental cities to Islamic cities involve sanitisation of Hinduism (and also Chinese) elements and satanisation of Occidental identities. Sanitisation can be categorised into few aspects, namely destroying temples or deities in places of worship, renaming streets or places names, imposing unfair Malay and Islam dominance, and controlling religion freedom. Meanwhile, Western elements are labeled as “Satan”. Specific targeted satanic Western elements ingrained in the city are “money capitalism”, “Western modernity” and “godlessness civilisation”.

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