Postcolonialising Heritage and the Idea of “Malaysia”

  • Sharmani Patricia GabrielEmail author


With heritage discourse becoming steadily politicised in Malaysia, the term is another means to privilege inclusion—and validate “otherisation”. Recognising its social, economic, political and ideological value, as well as its role in nation-making, this chapter subjects “heritage”—as concept, lived experience and discourse—to careful examination. It argues that although state discourses endorse fixed representations of heritage, the latter is also an outcome of informal cultural practices. By “postcolonialising” heritage and foregrounding the various uses to which heritage has been put, continues to be put and can be put, the chapter points to the complex status of heritage as a cultural and political construct. The key question it raises is—What is at stake and who is empowered when heritage is invoked?


Heritage production Malaysia Postcolonialising State-society tensions Governmentality Ethnicity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universiti MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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