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Koran Pagi


Video "Icik-Icik" ABG Goyang Blitar

Posted: 09 May 2011 08:06 AM PDT

Blitar - Sebuah video asusila yang diduga diperankan sepasang pelajar tingkat menengah pertama (SMP) kembali menggegerkan dunia pendidikan Kabupaten Blitar. Kepolisian setempat kini tengah melakukan penyelidikan.

Selain copy film berdurasi 7 menit 22 detik itu, petugas juga sudah mengantongi nama pemeran dan penyebarnya. Diduga "aktor dan aktris" film panas itu berasal dari salah satu sekolah (SMP) di wilayah Kecamatan Talun.

"Namun karena diduga berstatus sebagai pelajar, kita tidak bisa membeberkanya secara vulgar," ujar Kasatreskrim Polres Blitar Ajun Komisaris Polisi Edy Herwiyanto kepada wartawan, Senin (2/5/2011).

Dalam file berkapasitas 7,5 MB dengan judul Cewek SMP Talun Icik-Icik itu memperlihatkan gambar dua anak baru gede (ABG) lain jenis yang sedang melakukan adegan intim, lazimnya pasangan suami istri (pasutri).

Paras ABG perempuan tersebut lebih banyak tersorot kamera yang diduga berasal dari perangkat ponsel. Perbuatan asusila tersebut sepertinya bukan kali pertama mereka lakukan.

"Kita juga akan memastikan apakah video itu diambil sendiri atau memang ada pihak ketiga yang melakukanya," terang Edy.

Melihat suasana yang sepi, lokasi film mesum tersebut diduga dilakukan di sebuah rumah kosong. Selain sepi, beberapa permukaan tembok ruangan itu terlihat belum terbungkus semen.

Penyebaran video mesum itu diduga kuat melalui antar ponsel dengan memanfaatkan fasilitas bluetooth dan infra red. "Yang pasti penyebar video mesum ini akan dijerat seara hukum," tegas Edy.

Triono (15), salah seorang pelajar SMP Negeri Blitar, mengakui jika penyebaran film hot tersebut melalui antar ponsel. Dan apa yang ditontonya itu sudah menjadi rahasia umum di kalangan pelajar Blitar.

"Sekira dua hingga tiga harian ini beredarnya. Dan hampir semua siswa yang ponselnya ada fasilitas bluetooth-nya juga punya," tuturnya enteng. (Solichan Arif/Koran SI/kem)

Lagi, Video Mesum Siswi SMP Resahkan Warga

Posted: 09 May 2011 08:04 AM PDT

Blitar - Video mesum oleh remaja kembali menjadi pergunjingan di masyarakat. Kali ini pemeran video porno diduga seorang siswi sebuah Sekolah Menengah Pertama Negeri di Blitar, Jawa Timur. Video tersebut berdurasi 7 menit dan terus menyebar melalui telepon seluler selama tiga pekan terakhir.

Dalam video hanya terlihat pemeran perempuan karena laki-lakinya diduga berperan merekam adegan. Memey, salah seorang warga, Senin (2/5/2011), mengaku dirinya resah mengetahui keberadaan video tersebut. Dia khawatir video itu disaksikan dan berakibat buruk terhadap anak perempuannya.

Polisi Blitar sejauh ini tidak tinggal diam. Kasat Reskrim Polres Blitar AKP Edy Herwiyanto mengatakan sudah meminta keterangan beberapa saksi setelah melihat video tersebut. Dia berjanji akan melacak pelaku dan menangkap pihak yang menyebarkannya ke publik.

Sejarah Seni Pertunjukan dalam Perspektif Arkeologi

Posted: 09 May 2011 08:00 AM PDT

Oleh Timbul Haryono

Kesenian adalah salah satu unsur kebudayaan yang keberadaannya sangat diperlukan manusia dalam memenuhi kebutuhan hidupnya. Kesenian merupakan sesuatu yang hidup senafas dengan mekarnya rasa keindahan yang tumbuh dalam sanubari manusia dari masa ke masa dan hanya dapat dinilai dengan ukuran rasa. Seni diciptakan untuk melahirkan gelombang kalbu rasa keindahan (Israr, 1995:2); dan merupakan kreasi bentuk-bentuk simbolis dari perasaan manusia (Langer, 1982:73-74). Penginderaan rasa kalbu seseorang dapat diciptakan dengan berbagai saluran, seperti: seni rupa, seni bangun, seni musik, seni tari, seni drama, seni sastra, dan lain-lain. Oleh karena itu kesenian mempunyai bidang-bidang cakupan yang cukup luas dan beragam (Koentjaraningrat, 1974:107-109).

Sementara itu menurut Richard L. Anderson (1989:6-27; Sedyawati, 1992:8) seni mempunyai sifat umum yang dapat dijumpai dimanapun. Sifat-sifat tersebut adalah:

1. mempunyai arti yang bermakna budaya, seperti menjadi sarana hubungan dengan
kekuatan adikodrati, menjadi sarana komunikasi dan pendidikan.

2. memperlihatkan gaya, yaitu gaya yang dipandang sebagai tradisi milik bersama dalam
suatu kebudayaan dan sebagai tanda agar seni dapat menyampaikan arti.

3. memerlukan kemahiran khusus untuk menghasilkan suatu karya seni sehingga
seseorang seniman dapat dibedakan dari orang dewasa.

Sifat-sifat seperti tersebut kiranya juga dimiliki oleh kesenian yang hidup dan berkembang pada masa Jawa kuno. Membicarakan kesenian yang hidup pada masa Jawa kuno, khususnya seni pertunjukan, tidaklah semudah membicarakan kesenian masa sekarang. Seni pertunjukan masa sekarang masih dapat disaksikan dan kita mungkin masih terlibat di dalamnya baik sebagai pelaku maupun sebagai penikmat (penonton). Sumber-sumber informasi tentang itu masih lengkap.

Namun untuk seni pertunjukan masa Jawa kuna, bukti-bukti yang masih ada tinggal bukti-bukti tertulis dan butki-bukti relief dan itu pun tidak lengkap. Seni pertunjukan masa Jawa kuno sudah terjadi ratusan tahun yang lalu. Untuk merunut dan mengetahui informasi * Makalah disampaikan pada Diskusi Sejarah dengan tema Sejarah Seni Pertunjukan dan Pembangunan Bangsa, diselenggarakan oleh Balai Kajian Sejarah dan Nilai Tradisional Yogyakarta , 17-18 Mei 2006 seni pertunjukan masa Jawa kuna memerlukan sumber-sumber data yang dapat digolongkan ke dalam sumber data arkeologis. Karangan ini tidak dimaksudkan untuk memberikan gambaran yang lengkap dan menyeluruh, tetapi pemaparan secara deskriptif berdasarkan data arkeologis yang ada.

Yang dimaksud dengan 'masa Jawa kuno' dalam pergertian ini adalah suatu masa yang cukup panjang ketika kebudayaan Jawa mendapatkan pengaruh unsur-unsur kebudayaan India.2) Ditinjau dari dimensi waktu, masa yang dibahas adalah sejak abad VIII sampai abad XVI. Selama kurun waktu yang panjang tersebut secara hipotetis seni pertunjukan di Jawa mengalami perkembangan dan perubahan. Data-data yang dipakai adalah data-data verbal serta data-data piktorial. Data verbal adalah data yang diperoleh dari sumber tertulis yang berupa prasasti dan kitab-kitab kesastraan. Adapun data piktorial adalah data yang berwujud gambar yaitu relief pada bangunan candi-candi di Jawa.

Di dalam sejarah kebudayaan Indonesia kuno, masa yang panjang tersebut dibagi menjadi dua periode yaitu (a) periode klasik tua atau periode klasik Jawa Tengah dan (b) periode klasik muda atau periode Jawa Timur. Periode klasik tua berlangsung dari sejak datangnya pengaruh Hindu sampai abad X; sedang periode klasik muda sejak abad XI sampai abad XVI. Pembagian menjadi dua periode seperti tersebut selain berdasarkan langgam atau gaya seni juga adanya perpindahan aktivitas politik dari Jawa Tengah ke Jawa Timur. Agar gambaran kehidupan seni pertunjukan Jawa kuno dapat dilihat dalam perspektif historis maka pembicaraannya akan dibagi menjadi dua bagian berdasarkan periode yang telah disebut.

Sejarah Seni Pertunjukan pada Abad VIII - X

Sumber-sumber untuk mengetahui kehidupan dan keberadaan seni pertunjukan masa ini adalah prasasti, kitab kesastraan, dan relief pada bangunan candi. Sumber-Sumber yang berupa prasasti Prasasti adalah pertulisan kuno yang dituliskan pada lempengan logam atau batu. Prasasti Jawa kuno biasanya berisi tentang upacara penetapan sima (tanah perdikan) oleh pejabat kerajaan. Meskipun uraian di dalam prasasti itu secara singkat namun kita memperoleh gambaran tentang jalannya upacara sima, perlengkapan dan alat-alat upacara, siapa saja yang hadir, pesta makanan dan minuman, seni pertunjukan yang menyertainya (Haryono, 1980).

Prasasti Gandasuli II tahun 769 Saka
Di dalam prasasti yang berasal dari desa Gandasuli, Temanggung, tidak banyak keterangan tentang seni pertunjukan kecuali hanya penyebutan alat musik 'curing' dalam kaitannya dengan perlengkapan upacara. Kutiban singkat kalimatnya adalah:

(hu) minamahkan pangliwattan
1 padamaran 1 pamapi(r)nya
ngan 6 curi (ng) 1 …

Prasasti Kuti tahun 762 Saka (18 Juli 840)
Prasasti yang ditemukan di Joho, Sidoarjo (Jawa Timur) ini terdiri atas 12 lempengan. Pada lempengan IVa dijumpai kata 'juru bañol' bersama-sama dengan para pejabat lainnya seperti tuha dagang, misra hino, misra hanginangin (baris 3). Keterangan tenteng seni pertunjukan dijumpai pada lempengan IVa sebagai berikut:

1. hanapuk warahan kecaka tarimba hatapukan haringgit abañol salahan.

2. tanparabyapara samangilala drbya haji sawakanya manganti i sang hyang dharma
simanira cañcu

3. makuta sira cañcu manggala ring kuti. Mangkana yan pamuja mangungkunga curing
hamaguta payung.

Istilah hanapuka, hatapukan, berasal dari kata 'tapuk' yang berarti 'topeng', sedangkan kata 'haringgit' berasal dari kata 'ringgit' yang berarti 'wayang'. Kata 'ringgit' sampai sekarang masih ada di dalam bahasa jawa baru yang artinya juga 'wayang' atau bentuk bahasa Jawa krama 'wayang'. Kata 'abañol' artinya lawak atau dagelan. Mereka termasuk di dalam kelompok 'sang mangilala drbya haji' yaitu pejabat kraton yang memperoleh gaji dari kraton (abdi dalem).3 Kalimat 'mangkana yan pamuja mangungkunga curing' dapat diartikan: 'demikianlah jika mengadakan pemujaan supaya menabuh curing'. Dari kalimat tersebut dapat dinyatakan bahwa membunyikan curing dalam kaitannya dengan
upacara pemujaan.

Prasasti Waharu I Tahun 795 Saka (20 April 873)

Prasasti ini berupa satu lempengan tembaga ditemukan di desa Keboan Pasar, Sidoarjo, dan merupakan salinan yang dibuat pada jaman Majapahit. Pada sisi belakang (Ib) dijumpai kata: widu mangidung dan mapadahi, yang termasuk di dalam daftar para pejabat kerajaan yang tidak boleh 'masuk' di daerah 'sima'. Beberapa di antaranya seperti kutipan berikut:

a. … tuha dagang juru gusali mangrumbe manggunje tuha nambi tuha judi.

b. tuha hunjaman juru jalir pabisar pawung kuwung pulung padi misra hino wli tambang … tpung

c. kawung sungsung pangurang pasuk alas payungan sipat jukung panginangin pamawasya hopan pangurangan skar tahun kdi walyan widu ma-

d. ngidung mapadahi sambal sumbul hulun haji amrsi watak i jro ityewamadi kabeh tan katamana ikanang sima…

Dari kalimat tersebut, kata yang menunjukkan adanya jenis seni pertunjukan adalah kata 'widu mangidung' dan 'mapadahi'. Widu mangidung dapat diterjemahkan dengan penyanyi wanita. Kata 'widu' sekarang ini berubah menjadi 'biduan'. Adapaun kata 'mapadahi' berasal dari kata 'padahi' yang berarti 'kendang. Kutipan tersebut menunjukkan dengan jelas bahwa 'widu mangidung' dan 'mapadahi' termasuk dalam 'watak i jro' yaitu golongan dalam (abdi dalem).

Dalam prasasti Waharu I (B) diperoleh keterangan pula bahwa seniman mapadahi (pengendang) hadir dalam upacara penetapan sima dan melakukan tugasnya menabuh kendang setelah acara pesta makan:

"sakrama ni manadah ring dangu umangse ta jnu skar, manabêh ta sang mapadahi".
Artinya: "setelah mereka selesai makan demikian lama, kemudian jnu skar (?) maju dan sang penabuh kendang menabuh instrument musikknya.

Prasasti Mulak Tahun 800 Saka (3 Oktober 878)

Prasasti yang terdiri dari 4 lempengan tembaga ini ditemukan di desa Ngabean (Magelang). Dalam salah satu baris kalimatnya (lempeng III a brs 5) disebutkan bahwa seniman tuha padahi bernama si Kuwuk hadir dalam upacara sebagai saksi dan kepadanya diberi hadiah (pasêk-pasêk)
berupa kain:

III.a.5… tuha padahi si kuwuk rama ni mitra wdihan rangga yu 1

Artinya: … pimpinan pengendang (yang bernama) si Kuwuk ayahnya

Mitra (diberi) kain wdihan rangga 1 pasang"

Prasasti Kwak I (Ngabean II) Tahun 801 Saka (27 Juli 879)

Prasasti Kwak yang berasal dari desa yang sama dengan prasasti Mulak di atas berupa 1 lempeng tembaga. Dari prasasti tersebut diperoleh pula informasi tentang seniman yang hadir dalam upacara sima:

I.b.3… tuha padahi si dhanam/maregang si sukla/mangla
4. si buddha/madang si kundi/mawuai si pawan kapua wineh mas ma wdihan ragi yu 1 sowang sowang.

Artinya:

I.b.3."… pimpinan pengendang, bernama Si Dhanam, penabuh rêgang (kecer)
(bernama) si Sukla/mangla
4. tukang masak sayur (bernama) si Buddha, tukang menanak nasi (bernama) si Kundi, tukang memasak air (bernama) si Pawan semuanya diberi emas 1 mãsa dan kain wdihan ragi 1 pasang
masing-masing.

Dalam kutipan tersebut selain seniman tuha padahi juga seniman yang lain yaitu 'marêgang' (penabuh regang – simbal atau kecer?).

Prasasti Taji Tahun 823 Saka (8 April 901)

Dalam prasasti tersebut upacara penetapan sima diuraikan dengan lengkap. Dalam pada itu tuha padahi juga hadir sebagai saksi. Pesta yang diadakan adalah selain makan minum juga menari atau mangigêl, serta adu ayam. Menarik perhatian adalah tarian dilakukan oleh semua yang hadir termasuk para pejabat kerajaan secara bergantian:
IV.a.9."… i sampun tanda rakryan masawungan mangigêl ikanang rama kabeh molih
10. patang kuliling gumanti renanta mangigal …"

Prasasti Panggumulan 902 M (Titi Surti Nastiti, 1982)

Di dalam prasasti tersebut selain disebutkan tarian juga disebutkan gamelan yang ditabuh yaitu padahi, rêgang, dan brêkuk, seperti dapat dibaca dalam kutiban berikut:
III.a.20. "…samangkana ng ingêlakên hana mapadahi marêgang si catu rama ni kriya mabrêkuk si
III.b.1 wara rama ni bhoga winaih wdihan sahlai mas ma 1 ing sowang
sowang//

Artinya: "…adapun (yang) akan ditarikan ada mapadahi, marêgang (bernama) Si Catu ayahnya Kriya, mabrêkuk (bernama) si Wara ayahnya Bhoga, (mereka) diberi sehelai kain bebed dan emas 1 masa masing-masing".

Prasasti Poh Tahun 905 M (Stutterheim, 1940:3-28)

Di dalam prasasti Poh selain disebutkan adanya seni musik gamelan dan juga seni tari dan lawak. Mereka (para seniman) diundang untuk menghadiri upacara penetapan sima sebagai saksi. Barangkali mereka juga menggelar pertunjukan. Gamelan yang ditabuh adalah padahi, rêgang, tuwung; sedangkan tariannya adalah tari topeng dan lawak:

IIb.13."…mapadahi matuwung si pati rama ni turawus ana
14. kwanus i rapoh winaih wdihan yu 1 mas ma 1 ku 1 muwah mapadahai syuha rama ni wakul anakwanua i hinangan watak luwakan winaih mas ku 2 marêgang si wicar rama ni wisama anakwanu
15. a i hijo watak luwakan winaih wdihan yu 1 mas mã 1//matapukan 2 si mala anakwanua 1 sawyan watak kiniwang muang si parasi anakwanua 1 tira watak mdang kapua winaih mas ma 1
16. ing sowangsowang mabañol jurunya 2 si lugundung anakwanua i rasuk watak luwakan muang si kulika anakwanua i lunglang watak tnep winaih wdihan yu 1 mas ma 6 kinabaihannya
17. ruang juru //"

Artinya

13. "…penabuh padahi penabuh tuwung (bernama) si Pati
14. ayahnya Turawus penduduk desa Rapoh diberi kain 1 yugala dan emas 1 mãsa 1 kupang, dan penabuh padahi (bernama) Syuha ayahnya Wakul penduduk desa Hinangan wilayah Luwakan diberi
emas 2 kupang, penabuh regang (bernama) si Wicar ayahnya Wisama penduduk desa
15. Hijo wilayah Luwakan diberi kain 1 yugala dan emas 1 masa // penari topeng ada 2 (bernama) si Mala penduduk desa Sawyan wilayah Kiniwang dan Si Parasi penduduk desa Tira wilayah Medang, semuanya diberi emas 1 masa.
16. Masing-masing, juru pelawak ada 2 (bernama) si Lugundung penduduk desa Rasuk wilayah Luwakan dan si Kulika penduduk desa Lunglang wilayah Tnep semuanya diberi kain 1 yugala dan
emas 6 mãsa
17. untuk 2 orang juru.

Prasasti Lintakan Tahun 841 Saka (12 Juli 919)

Dalam prasasti Lintakan ini diperoleh data tentang instrumen gamelan yaitu padahai, tuwung, rêgang, brêkuk, gandirawana hasta. Gamelan tersebut digunakan dalam perlengkapan upacara sima. Selain itu di antara seniman yang hadir dalam upacara adalah atapukan dan tarimwa (tarimba).

Sangat menarik dalam hal ini adalah jumlah atapukan (penari topeng) ada 30 pasang:

III.8…. pinda atapukan
9. prana 30 hop rarai winehan pirak dha 1 kinabaihannya. Tarimwanya winehan pirak ma 1 kinabaihannya

Artinya:

8…. Jumlah penari topeng
9. ada 30 pasang semuanya anak muda diberi perak 1 dharana, (adapun) tarimwa (penari?) diberi perak 1 masa semuanya.

Prasasti Mantyasih III (OJO CVIII)

Dalam prasasti ini nama instrumen gandirawana hasta yang disebut dalam prasasti Lintakan ternyata merupakan 2 macam instrumen yang berbeda, terbukti dari nama penabuhnya disebut terpisah:

b.4. widu si majangut matapukan si barubuh juru padahi si nanja maganding si ksrni rawanahasta si mandal kapua winaih hlai 1
pirak ma 8 sowang-sowang //

Artinya:

widu (penyanyi) bernama Majangut, penari topeng bernama Si Barubuh, juru kendang bernama si Nanja, maganding (penabuh gending?) bernama si Kusni, penabuh musik rawanahasta bernama si Mandal semuanya diberi kain bebed 1 helai dan perak 8 masa masing-masing
Di antara nama-nama pemusik tersebut, Krsni adalah nama wanita. Dalam prasasti yang lain kata widu sering diikuti oleh kata mangidung, atau hanya kata mangidung tanpa didahului kata widu.

Prasasti Paradah tahun 865 Saka (OJO XLVIII)

Dalam prasasti tersebut selain disebutkan padahi dan widu mangidung sebagai watak i jro, mabañol bernama si Kalayar. Selain itu dalam acara sajian tarian disebutkan:

46. … i tlas ning manamah mangigal yathakrama tuwung bungkuk ganding rawanahasta sampun sangkap ikanang iniga.
47. lakên malungguh sira …

Artinya:

… sesudah melakukan sembah menarilah mereka yaitu tuwung, bungkuk, ganding, rawanahasta.
Sesudah selesai semua yang ditarikan mereka kemudian duduk …

Dalam kutipan tersebut terdapat kata 'bungkuk' yang mungkin sekali artinya sama dengan 'brekuk' pada prasasti lain. Kalau di dalam prasasti sebelumnya ditemukan istilah tuha padahi, juru padahai, di dalam prasasti yang berasal dari tahun 853 M (prasasti Air) ditemukan istilah padahi manggala (pemimpin pemain kendang). Selain itu juga disebutkan adanya 'muraba'. Barangkali perlu disebutkan juga jenis seni pertunjukan yang lain ialah '

rara mabhramana tinonton' pada prasasti Poh IIb.5: "rara mabhramana tinonton si karigna si darini muang si rumpuk
muang wêrêwêrêhnya si jaway si baryyut".

Artinya:

'dara (anak gadis) yang berkeliling ditonton bernama si Karigna, si Darini, dan si Rumpuk serta tunangannya bernama si Jaway dan si Baryyut". Kata 'tinonton' jelas menunjukkan bahwa gadis-gadis tersebut tentu gadis penari. Perlu dijelaskan bahwa nama orang yang didahului kata sandang si menunjukkan bahwa yang bersangkutan adalah rakyat biasa atau gadis desa.

Prasasti Tajigunung Tahun Sanjaya 194 – 910 M
Dalam prasasti tersebut selain disebutkan tuha padahi dan arawanasta juga disebutkan jenis pertunjukan dengan istilah 'memen': 'memen rakryan mangigal ri susukkan sima i taji gunung si angkus'. Istilah 'memen' juga dijumpai pada prasasti Jrujru tahun 852 Saka (930 M):

16. ytaha sakamenmen rakryan ta
17. hada rikang kala kapua amintonakên
18. . . . . matapukan wuwup pramukha
19. winaih ma 4 kinabaihannya awa
20. yang ki lungasuh grawana winaih ma
21. 4 sowang abañol si liwuhan

Dalam kutiban prasasti tersebut selain pertunjukan 'menmen' juga 'matapukan', 'awayang', dan 'abañol'. Istilah seni pertunjukan seperti tersebut juga ditemukan di dalam prasasti yang berasal dari tahun 902 M (van Naerssen, 1941):

'muang menmen si patinghalan, mabañol si pati bancil,
muang si bari paceh, atapukan si giranghyasen . . . . '

Prasasti Wukajana

Prasasti ini tidak berangka tahun, akan tetapi berdasarkan bentuk huruf diperkirakan berasal dari masa Balitung (van Naerssen, 1937: 444-446). Uraian tentang pertunjukan yang dipentaskan dalam upacara penetapan sima adalah:

9. "…hinyunakan tontonan mamidu sang tangkil hyang si nalu macarita bhimma kumara mangigal kica-
10. ka si jaluk macarita ramayana mamirus mabañol si mungmuk si galigi mawayang buatt hyang macarita ya kumara …"

Artinya:

9. "…diadakan pertunjukan (yaitu menyanyi oleh sang Tangkilhyang si Nalu bercerita Bhima Kumara dan menari
10. Kicaka, si Jaluk bercerita Ramayana, menari topeng (mamirus) dan melawak dilakukan oleh si Mungmuk, si Galigi memainkan wayang untuk hyang [roh nenek moyang] dengan cerita "bhima
kumara".

Kutipan tersebut tidak hanya menyebutkan jenis-jenis pertunjukan mamidu, mamirus, mawayang, mangigal, tetapi juga lakon yang diceritakan yaitu Bhima Kumara (masa muda Bhima) dan nama tarian: tari Kicaka. Adapun ungkapan 'mawayang buat hyang' dapat berarti 'pertunjukan wayang untuk arwah nenek moyang'. Masih ada beberapa prasasti yang menyebut tentang seni pertunjukan secara singkat. Di antara prasasti-prasasti tersebut adalah prasasti Ratawun 881 M (tuha padahi), prasasti Ramwi 882 M (tuha padahi), prasasti Er. Hangat (tanpa tahun) menyebutkan: mangigêl, tuha padahi, widu, mangidung: prasasti kembang 941 M menyebut: kecaka, tarimba, tapukan. Menarik pula untuk disinggung adalah penyebutan 'tabêhtabêhan' di dalam prasasti Waharu IV (931 M):

IIa.2. "…tabêh-tabêhan umiring bala paduka sri ma-
3. haraja …

Artinya:

"bunyi-bunyian mengiringi bala tentara Paduka Sri Maharaja".
Keterangan tersebut menunjukkan bahwa bunyi-bunyian musik dipakai dalam menambahkan semangat bala tentara. Setelah dikutip beberapa keterangan tentang seni pertunjukan dari
beberapa prasasti sampai abad X, berikut ini akan dikutip pula sumber tertulis yang berupa kitab sastra pada masa itu. Sementara ini hanya ada dua kitab kesastraan yang diambil yang diperkirakan berasal dari abad X ialah Ramayana Kakawin dan Wirataparwa.

Sumber-Sumber Kesastraan

Kitab Ramayana

Kitab Ramayana tidak diketahui angka tahunnya. Menurut pendapat H. Kern, kitab Ramayana ditulis pada permulaan abad XIII. J.L.A. Brandes sebaliknya mengatakan bahwa kita Ramayana berasal dari abad X. Sementara itu Poerbatjaraka berpendapat bahwa kita Ramayana berasal dari akhir abad IX atau awal abad X.

Beberapa kutiban yang menyebut alat musik atau kesenian lainnya adalah sebagai berikut (Dwi Anna Sitoresmi, 1984).

III.39. Anakkebi ring indraloka manurun lawan apsari ya teka makuren-kuren ri sira sang tamuy kadbuta Mabangsi
mangidung makinnara malaw wina mangigêl . . .

Artinya:

Para wanita di indraloka turun bersama hapsari mereka itu menjamu (hidup bersama) dengan para tamu yang istimewa. Pemain bangsi, penyanyi, pemain kinnara, pemain lawuwina menari …

VII.3. Megha mogha mapupul ya ring langit tulya kendanganirang manobhawa …
Artinya: Serentak berkumpul di langit seperti kendangnya dewa asmara ...

VIII.28. Hana manggupit hana mabangsi waneh Suraloka tulya nikanang nagara
Artinya: Ada yang bercerita ada yang bermain bangsi

47. Hana tambak ujwala pinikya kabeh Padahi prasada ri dalm tinabêh
Artinya: Ada tanggul yang cemerlang rapi tersusun semuanya. Padahi bangunan tinggi di dalam ditabuh.

100. Tinabêh tikang bahiri ring taman
Artinya: Dipukullah segera bahiri di taman

151. Atitibra ring lara wimoha bapaku tuwi bangsi kinnara ya … karnnassula ya
Artinya: Sangatlah sakit bingung bapakku, segala yang kulihat setiap yang kudengar itu bangsi, kinnara, menyebabkan sakit telinga lagi pula …

166. Nya ta len maweh uneng atita manglare winarawanasta
Artinya: Ada yang lain lagi memberikan kerinduan winarawasta

XII.23. … bwat hajinya mangidung saha wina sawadana
Artinya: …untuk tuannya tugasnya menyanyi dengan wina

65. Sawêtu nira rikang sabha sighra monikanang kahala

XVI.10. …sacarana hanapsari wara ta kinnari kinnara mabangsi mangidung makinnara malawuwina …
Artinya: …ada hapsari ada juga kinnari kinnara, pemain bangsi, penyanyi, pemain kinnara, pemain lawuwina.

12. Asangghani ya manggupit hana sedeng sadarppasiwo
Artinya: Memainkan sangghani, bercerita, ada juga yang sedang sangat girang berkelakar.

XVII.111. mangkin ika manahnya magirang saharsa ya kabeh len mangidung makinnara mabangsi len tang angigêl.
Artinya: Semakin hatinya girang gembiralah semua, ada yang menyanyi, bermain kinnara, bermain bangsi, yang lain menari.

XIX.13. Len kendang koti-kotyada niyuta humung ghroragambirasabda … trus twas ning wang pwa denyanarawata kumeter katarang kalakala monikang mardaladres saha pataha mahasara masrang
makangsi
Artinya: Lagi pula kendang berkoti-koti jumlahnya gemuruh menggelegar suaranya … bergetar kala-kala mengerikan berbunyilah mardala deras serta dengan pataha mahasara saling berlomba-lomba, pemain kangsi.

19. sangkat ning wira mahya padahi pada humung tutu hawan sangka tinyup …
Artinya: Seberangkatnya para perwira berbunyilah padahi, semua bergemuruh sepanjang jalan sangka ditiup…

XXI.207. Len sangkat ning manunggang saha ratha lawan nadhorana muka gambirang bheri ginwal murawa kala-kalaraweng dasadisi.
Artinya: Lagi pula seberangkat mereka yang berkendaraan serta berkereta serta penunggang gajah di depan menggelengar bheri murawa kala-kala dipukul disegenap penjuru.

XXII.3. … teka manabeh ta kendang anulup kalasangka waneh murawa tuwung regang padahi mandra mahaswara
Artinya: …maka manabuhlah kendang meniup kalasangka dan lagi murawa, tuwung, regang, padahi, mahaswara.

XXVI.23. …tumindak umundakmidik ring paras yabrebet bap mahsara masrang makangsinusi ramya bandung lawan kinnara.
Artinya: … berjalan maju terus naik dengan hati-hati di batu karang membunyikan brebet bersuara bersama-sama membunyikan bangsi dengan indah bersama dengan kinnara

24. … suling sing magending salangsang Artinya: suling yang bergending salangsang

Kitab Wirataparwa

Kitab Wirataparwa merupakan bagian keempat dari ceritera epos Mahabharata dan menguraikan kehidupan para pandawa di Istana raja Wirata. Kitab tersebut diperkirakan berasal dari tahun 996 M (Juynboll, 1912). Selama di istana raja Wirata tersebut para pandawa melakukan penyamaran: Yudhistira menyamar sebagai seorang guru brahmin, Bhima sebagai juru masak dan ahli gulat, Arjuna sebagai guru tari, Nakula sebagai sains, dan Sadewa sebagai seorang gembala.

Beberapa kutiban tentang alat musik gamelan antara lain (Dwi Anna Sitoresmi, 1984):

I.11. Sajna haji: Nihan iking patik haji sandakarupa temahana kedi, makasajna Wrhannala, anggucaranakna mantrakayika, tarmolaheng kanakbyan, marahana stri haji ring gitanrttawaditra.

Artinya:

Ampun tuanku raja: Demikianlah hamba tuanku akan menjadi kedi, dengan nama Wrhannala, akan mengucapkan mantra dalam upacara, tinggal di keputren, mengajar para putri raja dalam hal gita, tarian, dan musik.

IV.30. Hanan kadi lawuwinamyakta kathanikang swara Artinya: Ada yang seperti lawuwina berbunyi nyaring
VI.49. … prasamanggwal bheri mrdangga, ajemur arok silih-wor ikang prang silih cidu
Artinya: … sama-sama memukul bheri mrdangga, bercampur saling berbaur mereka yang berperang saling menyiasati.

52 manulingãngidungãnabeha mahãsãra …
Artinya: supaya membunyikan suling, mengidung, dan menabuh mahãsãra

VII.55. … humung kendanganya padahinya kadi angara kala ning pralaya kahidepanya …
Artinya: … riuh kendangnya, padahinya, seperti laut ketika pralaya rasanya

85. … bheda sangka ring angilwaken bangsi tala panawa muddhama. Hana tamawa wina rawanahasta, … humung tang bheri murawa tan pantara …
Artinya: … yang lain lagi membawa serta bangsi, tala (simbal), panawa, mudahama (alat musik?). Ada yang membawa wina rawanahasta … riuh suara bheri dan murawa tak ada antaranya

96. … humung tang tabeh-tabehan makadi sakweh sangkha kahala muangsarwwaditra, umadang sakweh nikang natopataka menmen sarwwa bhandagina
Artinya: … riuhlah suara tetabuhan terutama segala macam sangkha kahala dan segala macam bunyi-bunyian, menghadanglah segenap penari.

Dari beberapa kutipan yang dikumpulkan dari sumber prasasti dan kitab kesastraan diperoleh berbagai nama atau istilah yang menunjukkan keberadaan seni pertunjukan yang telah ada ketika itu adalah:

1. Seni musik gamelan,
2. Seni tari,
3. Seni pertunjukan wayang (pedalangan),
4. Seni suara (tembang),
5. Lawak (dagelan).

Seni Musik Gamelan

Keberadaan gamelan ketika itu dibuktikan oleh penyebutan namanama instrumen gamelan. Instrumen gamelan yang sangat umum dan banyak disebut-sebut dalam berbagai sumber adalah kelompok idiophone dan membranophone. Kelompok aerophone dan chordophone juga disebut meskipun tidak begitu banyak. Ensambel gamelan pada saat itu masih cukup sederhana, terutama sekali adalah 'musik keras'.

Instrumen gamelan kelompok idiophone adalah: tuwung, curing, regang, brekuk, bungkuk, kangsi. Sedangkan untuk kelompok membranophone adalah: padahi, muraba, pataha, mardala, murawa, bahiri, mrdangga, dan kendang. Kelompok aerophone adalah: sangkha, kahala, atau sangkhakala, suling. Kelompok chordophone adalah: lawuwina, winarawanashasta, rawanahasta.

Masih ada beberapa istilah atau nama instrumen musik yang belum begitu jelas seperti mudhama, panawa, tala, bangsi. Tala mungkin sekali sejenis simbal.8 Panawa merupakan jenis kendang dan bangsi adalah suling (Kunst, 1968:85). Istilah bangsi di tempat lain disebut wangsi; dalam bahasa Sanskerta: vamsi berarti suling atau bambu.

Istilah ganding masih belum jelas pula. Dalam beberapa prasasti ka 'ganding' selalu diikuti dengan kata 'rawanahasta'. Di dalam prasasti Mantyasih III disebut dengan 'maganding', sebagai kata kerja aktif yang berarti 'memainkan ganding'. Oleh karena itu istilah 'ganding' tentunya menunjuk pada nama instrumen musik seperti terlihat dalam konteks kalimat dalam prasasti Paradah yang menyebut nama instrumen gemelan: "tuwung, bungkuk, ganding, rawanahasta".

Kata 'gendhing' dalam bahasa Jawa baru menunjuk pada komposisi lagu pada karawitan, dapat pula berarti gamelan secara umum seperti tampak pada toponim Gendhingan sebagai nama desa tempat para pembuat gamelan (Jacobson & Hasselt, 1975). Adapun kata 'rawanahasta' atau 'rawanasta' secara harafiah sering didahului dengan kata 'wina' (alat musik petik). Di India 'ravanahasta' adalah alat musik petik (Kunst, 1968:17). Cukup menarik perhatian bahwa dalam prasasti Tajigunung 910 M disebutkan adanya 'panday arawanasta' yang berarti 'pembuat alat musik rawanasta' yang termasuk sebagai anggota 'sang mangilala drabya haji'. Hal ini berarti bahwa pada abad X instrumen musik kecapi sudah dibuat di Jawa.

Di dalam prasasti Mantyasih III disebutkan bahwa 'maganding' dan 'rawanahasta' dimainkan oleh orang yang berbeda: 'maganding' oleh si Krsni (dengan tanda panjang pada vokal i) menunjuk pada nama wanita.

Dalam bahasa Jawa kuno, kata 'wina' kadang diterjemahkan sebagai 'seruling' (Wojowasito, 1977). Namun demikian karena konteksnya dengan kata 'lawu' – Lawuwina, maka yang dimaksudkan tentunya kecapi dengan resonator berbentuk seperti buah labu.

Nama curing ternyata hanya dijumpai dalam prasasti dari tahun 840 M dan 847 M. Sesudah masa-masa tersebut sampai akhir abad X 'curing' tidak pernah disinggung keberadaannya. Pada hal, nama gamelang 'culuring' sekarang ada di kraton Yogyakarta dan Pura Pakualaman. Nama curing disebut lagi pada masa-masa abad XII.

Kunst (1968:52) berpendapat bahwa 'curing' dan 'tuwung' adalah alat musik yang sama (sinonim). Memang di dalam prasasti 'curing' dan 'tuwung' tidak disebut bersama-sama dalam satu prasasti. Demikian pula barangkali antara 'brekuk' (prasasti Panggumulan 902 M dan prasasti Lintakan 919 M) dan 'bungkuk' (prasasti Paradah 943 M) juga penyebutkan untuk instrumen gamelan yang sama karena kedua instrumen tersebut tidak pernah disebut bersamaan. Kunst (1968:63) berpendapat bahwa baik 'brekuk' maupun 'bungkuk' adalah jenis kenong atau kemong.

Berikutnya yang perlu dibahas adalah kendang. Kata 'kendang' baru muncul pertama kali dalam sumber tertulis sekitar abad X akhir. Namun bukan berarti bahwa instrumen kendang baru muncul pada abad X.

Pada masa klasik awal (tahun 821 M) instrumen jenis kendang sudah disinggung dalam prasasti dengan nama 'padahi'. Bahkan jauh sebelum itu, yaitu pada masa prasejarah instrumen jenis kendang sudah ada (Haryono, 1986).

Istilah 'padahi' (atau padaha, pataha) cukup populer pada masa Jawa kuno terbukti dari 14 prasasti menyebut padahi semua (sampai abad X). Sementara itu istilah 'muraba' dan 'mradangga' hanya disebut sekali. Kedua istilah tersebut berasal dari bahasa Sanskerta dari akar kata 'mrd' yang berarti 'tanah'. Di dalam kitab Ramayana selain dijumpai kata 'murawa' juga ada 'mrdala' dan tampaknya berasal dari akar kata yang sama. Di India kendang yang paling umum dan bentuk paling kuno dinamakan 'mridangga' atau 'mardala'. Dalam mitologi kendang bentuk mridangga diciptakan oleh dewa Brahma untuk mengiringi tarian dewa Siwa ketika berhasil mengalahkan raksasa Trusurapura (Popley, 1950:123; Haryono, 1986).9 Di dalam kitab Wirataparwa disebutkan 'Bheri mrdangga', juga 'Bheri-murawa'. Oleh karena itu dapat ditafsirkan bahwa bheri atau bahiri adalah termasuk jenis kendang atau genderang.

Instrumen gamelan seperti diuraikan di muka kadang-kadang secara umum disebut dengan istilah 'tabetabehan' (bhs. Jawa baru: tetabuhan). Di dalam kitab Wirataparwa selaian tabehtabehan juga disebut 'waditra' (bahasa Sanskrta). Di India instrumen musik secara keseluruhan disebut 'vaditra'. Vaditra dibedakan menjadi 5 kelas (Walker, 1983:88).

a. tata = instrumen gesek
b. betat = instrumen petik
c. sushira = instrumen tiup
d. dhola = kendang
e. ghana = instrumen pukul

Adapun ritmennya (irama) dalam musik India dibakukan dengan menggunakan pola tala yang dilakukan dengan kendang (drum). Irama itu sendiri di India disebut laya yang dibagi menjadi 3 yaitu: druta (cepat), madhya (sedang) dan lamban (vilambita).

Seni Tari

Keberadaan seni tari pada abad VIII-X ditunjukkan oleh prasasti dengan kata 'mangigel', 'angigel', 'inigelaken' (dari kata dasar 'igel' = tari). Tidak banyak informasi yang diperoleh dari sumber tertulis tentang jenisjenis tarian ketika itu. Beberapa istilah yang menunjukkan jenis tari yang dipertunjukkan adalah: tapukan, kicaka (kecaka), tarimba (tarimwa), memen (menmen), mamirus, dan rasa mabhramana tinonton.

Kata tapukan, atapukan, berasal dari kata tapuk yang dalam bahasa Bali kuno berarti topeng, kedok. Oleh karena itu atapukan yang disebut di dalam prasasti dapat berarti pertunjukan topeng (tentu saja dengan menari). Tari topeng ini pada abad VIII sudah dipertunjukkan dalam kegiatan upacara sima. Sampai abad X tapukan masih disebut dalam prasasti. Kata mamirus dapat diartikan pula menari topeng, dapat pula berarti 'melawak' (melawak dengan topeng?). Pirus dalam bahasa Jawa berarti seni pertunjukan (Zoetmulder, 1982).

Sementara itu kata kecaka dan tarimba dalam prasasti belum jelas benar artinya. Namun demikian dapat disimpulkan bahwa berdasarkan konteks kalimatnya kata-kata tersebut mengacu pada jenis seni pertunjukan. Di dalam prasasti Wukajana (abad X) disebutkan 'mangigel kicaka', mungkin menunjukkan jenis tarian yaitu tari kicaka. Apakah nama tersebut kemudian menjadi nama 'tari Cak' di Bali, perlu penelitian lagi.

Soalnya ialah bahwa sesudah kata mangigel kicaka kalimat berikutnya berbunyi macarita ramayana. Di Bali tari Cak mengambil cerita Ramayana. Ungkapan kalimat 'rara mabhramana tinonton' menarik untuk dimasukkan dalam seni tari. Kata 'rara' = dara, gadis, kata 'mabhramana' = berjalan keliling, dan 'tinonton' = ditonton. Kalimat tersebut mengandung makna bahwa para gadis berjalan keliling (dari desa ke desa) mengadakan pertunjukan tari (penari jalanan atau mbarang). Sampai sekarang masih dijumpai pertunjukan keliling yaitu tledhek mbarang dari desa ke desa.

Sementara itu kata 'menmen' dalam prasasti Tajigunung (910 M) dan prasasti Jrujru (930 M) berkaitan pula dengan pertunjukan kesenian. Dalam bahasa Jawa kuno kata 'amen' berarti 'menghibur'; menmen = penghibur dengan pertunjukan seni (Zoetmulder, 1982) atau permainan topeng (Wojowasito, 1977). Dalam bahasa sekarang dijumpai pula kata 'ngamen' yang berarti mengadakan pertunjukan musik.

Pertunjukan Wayang

Pertunjukan wayang sudah ada sejak abad IX dibuktikan oleh adanya istilah 'haringgit' dalam prasasti Kuti 840 M. Padanan kata 'haringgit' adalah 'awayang' dijumpai dalam prasasti Tajigunung 910 M. Sampai sekarang kata ringgit dan wayang masih digunakan. Pertunjukan wayang tentu saja menggunakan media (wayang), namun sumber tertulis ketika itu tidak memberikan keterangan. Barangkali media dalam pertunjukan wayang pada waktu itu semacam boneka-boneka kecil. Keterangan menarik diberikan oleh prasasti Wukajana bahwa pertunjukan wayang waktu itu adalah 'mawayang buatt hyang' = pertunjukan wayang untuk hyang. Hyang adalah dihormat yaitu dewa atau nenek moyang. Hal ini berarti bahwa pertunjukan wayang bukan semata-mata hiburan tetapi lebih bersifat seremonial keagamaan. Cerita Bhima dan cerita Ramayana sudah cukup populer pada abad X sebagaimana dijelaskan di dalam prasasti: 'macarita bhima kumara' dan 'macarita ramayana'. Dalang terkenal waktu itu bernama si Galigi karena namanya disebut-sebit dalam sebuah piagam yang dikeluarkan oleh raja.

Kata 'macarita' dalam prasasti mungkin sekali tidak berhubungan dengan mawayang. Pelaku atau seniman untuk masing-masing tersebut berbeda: macarita bhima kumara dilakukan oleh si Nalu sedangkan mawayang buat hyang oleh si Galigi. Dengan demikian dapat diajukan dugaan bahwa 'macarita' adalah cabang seni pertunjukan yang lain, yaitu profesi seni khusus menyampaikan cerita prosa atau 'story teller'.

Seni Suara

Berbeda dengan profesi 'macarita' yang tugasnya membacakan ceritera prosa, adalah profesi penyanyi yang menyampaikan cerita puisi. Di dalam beberapa prasasti profesi tersebut dikenal dengan nama 'widu' dan mangidung' atau 'widu mangidung'. Sejak abad IX (prasasti Waharu I 873 M) kata widu dalam bahasa Indonesia kemudian menjadi 'biduan' = penyanyi. Profesi 'mamidu' pada masa Jawa kuno mungkin sama dengan 'pesindhen' jaman sekarang. Mangidung berasal dari kata 'kidung' artinya 'lagu', 'tembang'. Dalam bahasa Sanskerta untuk lagu atau nyanyian adalah 'gita'. Menurut kitab Wirataparwa cabang-cabang seni yang dilakukan oleh Arjuna dengan nama samaran Wrhannala adalah gitanrttawaditra yaitu nyanyian, tari, dan musik (gita, nrtta, dan waditra). Kalau ada profesi penyanyi pada masa Jawa kuno tentu ada jenis-jenis nama lagu. Namu sayang, pada periode abad IX – X belum ada sumber-sumber yang dapat diungkap. Barangkali jenis lagu seperti nama-nama bentuk kakawin di India.

Lawak

Pertunjukan lawak sudah ada sejak abad IX. Kesan yang diperoleh dari prasasti bahwa kedudukan seniman lawak sejajar dengan senimanseniman yang lain. Mereka juga diundang dalam upacara sima sebagai saksi. Menurut prasasti Wukajana, lawak juga ditampilkan dalam acara kesenian bersama dengan kesenian lainnya. Di dalam prasasti Kuti ada istilah abãnol salahan. Kata salahan mempunyai arti salah, keliru. Kalau kata salahan tersebut termasuk dalam satu ungkapan dengan kata abanol berarti fungsinya menerangkan 'abãnol'. Oleh karen itu dapat ditafsirkan jenis lawak yang temanya adalah permainan kata yang sengaja dibuat 'keliru' agar sengaja membuat keliru arti kata-kata. Seandainya kata salahan memang untuk menerangkan kata 'abãnol' berarti 'lawak plesetan' sudah ada sejak jaman dulu. Masalahnya akan lain jika kata 'salahan' terpisah dengan kata 'abãnol'.

Namun sampai sekarang belum ada jenis seni pertunjukan yang dinamakan 'salahan'.

Seni Pertunjukan Dalam Relief Bangunan Candi

Sumber Relief

Setelah ditinjau sepintas tentang berbagai jenis seni pertunjukan dari sumber-sumber tertulis, berikut ini akan diuraikan berbagai seni pertunjukan yang ada menurut sumber relief. Bangunan candi yang akan dipakai sebagai sumber pembahasan adalah candi Borobudur dan candi Prambanan (Haryono, 1985).

1. Relief Karmawibangangga – Seri O:

0.1. : penggambaran suasana pasar. Alat musik yang ada ialah kendang bertali yang dikalungkan di leher. Kendang dipukul dengan menggunakan alat pemukul.
0.20. : seseorang menabuh kendang, dan tokoh lain membunyikan alat musik petik.
0.39. : dua orang sedang membunyikan alat musik tiup dan memegang tongkat geserk (scraping stick). Mungkin yang dilukiskan ini adalah gambaran suasana ngamen.
0.53. : alat musik yang digambarkan adalah alat musik tiup dan sejenis alat musik perkusi.
0.52. : alat musik yang digambarkan adalah semacam kendang. Di sini digambarkan pula tokoh bangsawan yang menyaksikan.
0.72. : adegan yang menggambarkan seorang wanita yang sedang menari diiringi dengan musik jenis simbal dan kendang yang bentuknya seperti periuk.
0.101. : dua kinnara sedang bermain musik. Alat musik yang digambarkan adalah alat musik petik (bar-zither) dan suling.
0.102. : tokoh bangsawan sedang mendengarkan musik. Alat yang ada adalah kecapi berdawai dua dan simbal.
0.117. : adegan yang mungkin menggambarkan pemusik jalannya (ngamen). Alat musik yang ada ialah suling.
0.125. : adegan tokoh bangsawan sedang mendengarkan musik. Alat musik yang digambarkan adalah alat musik petik dan kecapi berdawai tiga.
0.137. : penggambaran tokoh bangsawan yang menyaksikan pertunjukan musik siter dan simbal.
0.143. : tokoh bangsawan yang sedang mendengarkan musik, siter.
0.147. : dua kinnara sedang memainkan alat musik siter dan simbal.
0.149. : adegan pertunjukan tari oleh seorang penari wanita yang disaksikan oleh para bangsawan. Alat musik yang ada ialah kendang bentuk periuk, simbal mangkuk, simbal pipih, dan siter.
0.151. : pertunjukan musik yang disaksikan oleh tokoh bangsawan. Alat musik yang ada yaitu: dua buah siter, dua buah kendang ukuran kecil, kecapi berdawai 4.
0.157. : penggambaran tokoh bangsawan dan alat musik siter.

2. Relief Lalitawistara – Seri Ia (Deretan Kesatu)

Ia.1 : Tokoh bangsawan menikmati puji-pujian, alat musik yang digambarkan adalah empat buah kendang silindris lurus, tiga buah kendang cembung, simbal besar, suling, dan kecapi.
Ia. 32 : Tokoh bangsawan sedang mendengarkan musik. Alat musik yang digambarkan adalah kecapi, harpa, simbal, dan suling.
Ia.19 : Adegan yang menggambarkan seorang penari wanita dengan diiringi musik simbal mangkuk, simbal besar, suling, dan kendang bentuk periuk.
Ia.95 : Adegan yang menggambarkan Mara dan pengikutnya yang menggoda Bodhisatwa yang sedang bermeditasi dengan tarian-tarian erotis, diiringi dengan alat musik lima buah simbal kecil, dua buah kendang silindris cembung.
Ia.98 : Dalam relief ini digambarkan alat musik yang mungkin dapat diidentifikasi sebagai saron.

3. Relief Lalitawistara dan Jataka-Awadana – Seri Ib (Deretan Kedua)

Ib.19 : Adegan tokoh bangsawan sedang menyaksikan pertunjukan tari yang ditarikan oleh penari wanita. Alat musik yang dimainkan lima buah simbal kecil, sebuah simbal besar, kendang berbentuk periuk, dan dua buah suling.
Ib.70 : Penggambaran para prajurit yang sedang mengikuti seorang tokoh mendendarai gajah. Mereka diiringi pula para pemusik yang membunyikan terompet kha (keong).
Ib.83 : penggambaran sebuah pelaksanaan upacara. Ada pemusik yang membunyikan kendang silindris dan simbal besar.

4. Relief Lalitawistara dan Jãtaka-Awadãna (Deretan Ketiga) (Seri IBa) IBa.V.42. :

Suatu adegan sandiwara yang dibawakan oleh lima orang laki-laki. Tampak seorang melambai-lambaikan sehelai saputangan, sedang tiga orang lainnya mengangkat tangannya di atas dadanya seolah-olah menirukan gaya seorang pendengar yang tekun.
Seorang lainnya memainkan sebuah kendang silindris lurus.

IBa-XI.46. : Adegan sebuah permainan orkes musik yang didukung oleh beberapa orang yang tampaknya berdiri dengan memakai pakaian yang serba mewah, sedang pemain-pemain musik yang duduk di bawah kelihatannya terdiri dari orang-orang kebanyakan. Alat-alat musik yang ada, terdiri dari: tiga buah simbal kecil, sebuah simbal besar, sebuah kendang seperti jambangan dan dua buah seruling.

IBa.XXVI.233a. : Suatu pertunjukan tari yang dibawakan oleh seorang penari wanita, yang didampingi oleh seorang pendeta/brahmana yang ikut penari pula. Dengan diiringi sebuah orkes musik. Alat-alat musik yang mengiringinya terdiri dari tujuh buah simbal kecil, sebuah kendang berpasangan. Sayang relief bagian kanan sudah aus, sehingga tak begitu jelas alat-alat musik yang sedang dimainkan.

IBaXXX.260. : Adegan seorang raja dan brahmana berdiri menyaksikan orang-orang yang berarak-arak mengusung sebuah rumah-rumahan kecil. Di sebelah kanan tampak iringi-iringan para pemain musik yang sedang memainkan musiknya.

Sumber Tulisan:
http://www.wacananusantara.org/2/124/sejarah-seni-pertunjukan-dalam-perspektif-arkeologi

Sejarah Perkembangan Wayang

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:54 AM PDT

Oleh Sutini

SEJARAH PERKEMBANGAN KESENIAN WAYANG:
DITINJAU DARI SEJARAH PERKEMBANGAN SERTA PERANANNYA DALAM MENUNJANG PENDIDIKAN KEPRIBADIAN BANGSA

Sejarah Perkembangan Kesenian Wayang
Kesenian wayang dalam bentuknya yang asli timbul sebelum kebudayaan Hindu masuk di Indonesia dan mulai berkembang pada zaman Hindu-Jawa. Pertunjukan kesenian wayang merupakan sisa-sisa upacara keagamaan orang Jawa, yaitu sisa-sisa dari kepercayaan animisme dan dinamisme.

Tentang asal-usul kesenian wayang hingga dewasa ini masih merupakan suatu masalah yang belum terpecahkan secara tuntas. Namun demikian, banyak ahli mulai mencoba menelusuri sejarah perkembangan wayang dan masalah ini ternyata sangat menarik sebagai sumber atau obyek penelitian. Menurut Kitab Centini, tentang asal-usul wayang purwa disebutkan bahwa kesenian wayang mula-mula sekali diciptakan oleh Raja Jayabaya dari Kerajaan Mamenang/Kediri. Sekitar abad ke-10 Raja Jayabaya berusaha menciptakan gambaran dari roh leluhurnya dan digoreskan di atas daun lontar. Bentuk gambaran wayang tersebut ditiru dari gambaran relief cerita Ramayana pada Candi Penataran di Blitar. Cerita Ramayana sangat menarik perhatiannya karena Jayabaya termasuk penyembah Dewa Wisnu yang setia, bahkan oleh masyarakat dianggap sebagai penjelmaan atau titisan Batara Wisnu. Figur tokoh yang digambarkan untuk pertama kali adalah Bhatara Guru atau Sang Hyang Jagadnata, yaitu perwujudan dari Dewa Wisnu.

Masa berikutnya yaitu pada zaman Jenggala, kegiatan penciptaan wayang semakin berkembang. Semenjak Raja Jenggala Sri Lembuami luhur wafat, maka pemerintahan dipegang oleh putranya yang bernama Raden Panji Rawisrengga dan bergelar Sri Suryawisesa. Semasa berkuasa, Sri Suryawisesa giat menyempurnakan bentuk wayang purwa. Wayang-wayang hasil ciptaannya dikumpulkan dan disimpan dalam peti yang indah. Sementara itu diciptakan pula pakem cerita wayang purwa. Setiap ada upacara penting di istana diselenggarakan pagelaran wayang purwa dan Sri Suryawisesa sendiri bertindak sebagal dalangnya.

Para sanak-keluarganya membantu pagelaran dan bertindak sebagai penabuh gamelan. Pada masa itu pagelaran wayang purwa sudah diiringi dengan gamelan laras slendro. Setelah Sri Suryawisesa wafat, digantikan oleh putranya yaitu Raden Kudalaleyan yang bergelar Suryaamiluhur. Selama masa pemerintahannya beliau giat pula menyempurnakan wayang. Gambar-gambar wayang dari daun lontar hasil ciptaan leluhurnya dipindahkan pada kertas dengan tetap mempertahankan bentuk yang ada pada daun lontar. Dengan gambaran wayang yang dilukis pada kertas ini, setiap ada upacara penting di lingkungan keraton diselenggarakan pagelaran wayang.

Pada zaman Majapahit usaha melukiskan gambaran wayang di atas kertas disempurnakan dengan ditambah bagian-bagian kecil yang digulung menjadi satu. Wayang berbentuk gulungan tersebut, bilamana akan dimainkan maka gulungan harus dibeber. Oleh karena itu, wayang jenis ini biasa disebut wayang beber. Semenjak terciptanya wayang beber tersebut terlihat pula bahwa lingkup kesenian wayang tidak semata-mata merupakan kesenian keraton, tetapi malah meluas ke lingkungan di luar istana walau pun sifatnya masih sangat terbatas. Sejak itu masyarakat di luar lingkungan keraton sempat pula ikut menikmati keindahannya. Bilamana pagelaran dilakukan di dalam istana, diiringi dengan gamelan laras slendro. Tetapi bilamana pagelaran dilakukan di luar istana, maka iringannya hanya berupa rebab dan lakonnya pun terbatas pada lakon Murwakala, yaitu lakon khusus untuk upacara ruwatan.

Pada masa pemerintahannya berakhir, Raja Brawijaya kebetulan sekali dikaruniai seorang putra yang memunyai keahlian melukis, yaitu Raden Sungging Prabangkara. Bakat putranya ini dimanfaatkan oleh Raja Brawijaya untuk menyempurkan wujud wayang beber dengan cat. Pewarnaan dari wayang tersebut disesuaikan dengan wujud serta martabat dari tokoh itu, misalnya raja, kesatria, pendeta, dewa, punakawan, dan lain sebagainya. Dengan demikian, pada masa akhir Kerajaan Majapahit, keadaan wayang beber semakin semarak. Semenjak runtuhnya Kerajaan Majapahit dengan sengkala Geni Murub Siniram Jalma Saka (1433S/1511 M ), maka wayang beserta gamelannya diboyong ke Demak. Hal ini terjadi karena Sultan Demak Syah Alam Akbar I sangat menggemari seni kerawitan dan pertunjukan wayang.

Pada masa itu, sementara pengikut agama Islam ada yang beranggapan bahwa gamelan dan wayang adalah kesenian yang haram karena berbau Hindu. Timbulnya perbedaan pandangan antara sikap menyenangi dan mengharamkan tersebut memunyai pengaruh yang sangat penting terhadap perkembangan kesenian wayang itu sendiri. Untuk menghilangkan kesan yang serba berbau Hindu dan kesan pemujaan kepada arca, maka timbul gagasan baru untuk menciptakan wayang dalam wujud baru dengan menghilangkan wujud gambaran manusia. Berkat keuletan dan keterampilan, para pengikut Islam yang menggemari kesenian wayang, terutama para Wali, berhasil menciptakan bentuk baru dari wayang purwa dengan bahan kulit kerbau yang agak ditipiskan dengan wajah digambarkan miring, ukuran tangan dibuat lebih panjang dari ukuran tangan manusia, sehingga sampai di kaki. Wayang dari kulit kerbau ini diberi warna dasar putih yang dibuat dari campuran bahan perekat dan tepung tulang, sedangkan pakaiannya dicat dengan tinta.

Pada masa itu terjadi perubahan secara besar-besaran di seputar pewayangan. Di samping bentuk wayang baru, diubah pula tehnik pakelirannya, yaitu dengan mempergunakan sarana kelir/layar, mempergunakan pohon pisang sebagai alat untuk menancapkan wayang, mempergunakan blencong sebagai sarana penerangan, mempergunakan kotak sebagai alat untuk menyimpan wayang. Dan diciptakan pula alat khusus untuk memukul kotak yang disebut cempala. Meski pun demikian dalam pagelaran masih mempergunakan lakon baku dari Serat Ramayana dan Mahabarata, namun di sana-sini sudah mulai dimasukkan unsur dakwah, walau pun masih dalam bentuk serba pasemon atau dalam bentuk lambang-lambang. Ada pun wayang beber yang merupakan sumber, dikeluarkan dari pagelaran istana dan masih tetap dipagelarkan di luar lingkungan istana.

Pada zaman pemerintahan Sultan Syah Alam Akbar III atau Sultan Trenggana, perwujudan wayang kulit semakin semarak. Bentuk-bentuk baku dari wayang mulai diciptakan. Misalnya bentuk mata, diperkenalkan dua macam bentuk liyepan atau gambaran mata yang mirip gabah padi atau mirip orang yang sedang mengantuk. Dan mata telengan yaitu mata wayang yang berbentuk bundar. Penampilan wayang lebih semarak lagi karena diprada dengan cat yang bewarna keemasan.

Pada zaman itu pula Susuhunan Ratu Tunggal dari Giri, berkenan menciptakan wayang jenis lain yaitu wayang gedog. Bentuk dasar wayang gedog bersumber dari wayang purwa. Perbedaannya dapat dilihat bahwa untuk tokoh laki-laki memakai teken. Lakon pokok adalah empat negara bersaudara, yaitu Jenggala, Mamenang/Kediri, Ngurawan, dan Singasari. Menurut pendapat G.A.J. Hazeu, disebutkan bahwa kata "gedog" berarti kuda. Dengan demikian pengertian dari wayang gedog adalah wayang yang menampilkan cerita-cerita kepahlawanan dari "Kudawanengpati" atau yang lebih terkenal dengan sebutan Panji Kudhawanengpati. Pagelaran wayang Gedog diiringi dengan gamelan pelog. Sunan Kudus salah seorang wali di Jawa menetapkan wayang gedog hanya dipagelarkan di dalam istana. Berhubung wayang gedog hanya dipagelarkan di dalam istana, maka Sunan Bonang membuat wayang yang dipersiapkan sebagai tontonan rakyat, yaitu menciptakan wayang Damarwulan. Yang dijadikan lakon pokok adalah cerita Damarwulan yang berkisar pada peristiwa kemelut Kerajaan Majapahit semasa pemerintahan Ratu Ayu Kencana Wungu, akibat pemberontakan Bupati Blambangan yang bernama Menak Jinggo.

Untuk melengkapi jenis wayang yang sudah ada, Sunan Kudus menciptakan wayang golek dari kayu. Lakon pakemnya diambil dari wayang purwa dan diiringi dengan gamelan slendro, tetapi hanya terdiri dari gong, kenong, ketuk, kendang, kecer, dan rebab. Sunan Kalijaga tidak ketinggalan juga, untuk menyemarakkan perkembangan seni pedalangan pada masa itu dengan menciptakan topeng yang dibuat dari kayu. Pokok ceritanya diambil dari pakem wayang gedog yang akhirnya disebut dengan topeng panji. Bentuk mata dari topeng tersebut dibuat mirip dengan wayang purwa. Pada masa Kerajaan Mataram diperintah oleh Panembahan Senapati atau Sutawijaya, diadakan perbaikan bentuk wayang purwa dan wayang gedog. Wayang ditatah halus dan wayang gedog dilengkapi dengan keris.

Di samping itu, baik wayang purwa maupun wayang gedog diberi bahu dan tangan yang terpisah dan diberi tangkai. Pada masa pemerintahan Sultan Agung Anyakrawati, wayang beber yang semula dipergunakan untuk sarana upacara ruwatan diganti dengan wayang purwa dan ternyata berlaku hingga sekarang. Pada masa itu pula diciptakan beberapa tokoh raksasa yang sebelumnya tidak ada, antara lain Buto Cakil. Wajah mirip raksasa, biasa tampil dalam adegan Perang Kembang atau Perang Bambangan. Perwujudan Buta Cakil ini merupakan sengkalan yang berbunyi: Tangan Jaksa Satataning Jalma (1552 J/1670 M). Dalam pagelaran wayang purwa tokoh Buta Cakil merupakan lambang angkara murka. Bentuk penyempurnaan wayang purwa oleh Sultan Agung tersebut diakhiri dengan pembuatan tokoh raksasa yang disebut Buta Rambut Geni, yaitu merupakan sengkalan yang berbunyi Urubing Wayang Gumulung Tunggal (1553 J/1671 M ). Sekitar abad ke-17, Raden Pekik dari Surabaya menciptakan wayang klitik, yaitu wayang yang dibuat dari kayu pipih, mirip wayang purwa. Dalam pagelarannya dipergunakan pakem dari cerita Damarwulan, pelaksanaan pagelaran dilakukan pada siang hari.

Pada tahun 1731 Sultan Amangkurat I menciptakan wayang dalam bentuk lain, yaitu wayang wong. Wayang wong adalah wayang yang terdiri dari manusia dengan mempergunakan perangkat atau pakaian yang dibuat mirip dengan pakaian yang ada pada wayang kulit. Dalam pagelaran dipergunakan pakem yang berpangkal dari Serat Ramayana dan Serat Mahabharata. Perbedaan wayang wong dengan wayang topeng adalah: pada waktu main, pelaku dari wayang wong aktif berdialog; sedangkan pada wayang topeng dialog para pelakunya dilakukan oleh dalang.

Pada zaman pemerintahan Sri Amangkurat IV, beliau dapat warisan kitab Serat Pustakaraja Madya dan Serat Witaraja dari Raden Ngabehi Ranggawarsito. Isi buku tersebut menceriterakan riwayat Prabu Aji Pamasa atau Prabu Kusumawicitra yang bertakhta di negara Mamenang/Kediri, kemudian pindah keraton di Pengging. Isi kitab ini mengilhami beliau untuk menciptakan wayang baru yang disebut wayang madya. Cerita dari wayang madya dimulai dari Prabu Parikesit, yaitu tokoh terakhir dari cerita Mahabharata hingga Kerajaan Jenggala yang dikisahkan dalam cerita panji.

Bentuk wayang madya, bagian atas mirip dengan wayang purwa, sedang bagian bawah mirip bentuk wayang gedog. Semasa zaman Revolusi fisik antara tahun 1945-1949, usaha untuk mengumandangkan tekad pejuangan mempertahankan kemerdekaan Indonesia dilakukan dengan berbagai cara. Salah satu usaha ialah melalui seni pedalangan. Khusus untuk mempergelarkan cerita-cerita perjuangan tersebut, maka diciptakanlah wayang suluh.

Wayang suluh berarti wayang penerangan, karena kata suluh berarti pula "obor" sebagai alat yang biasa dipergunakan untuk menerangi tempat yang gelap. Bentuk wayang suluh, baik potongannya mau pun pakaiannya mirip dengan pakaian orang sehari-hari. Bahan dipergunakan untuk membuat wayang suluh ada yang berasal dari kulit ada pula yang berasal dari kayu pipih. Ada sementara orang berpendapat bahwa wayang suluh pada mulanya lahir di daerah Madiun yang di ciptakan oleh salah seorang pegawai penerangan dan sekaligus sebagai dalangnya. Tidak ada bentuk baku dari wayang suluh, karena selalu mengikuti perkembangan zaman. Hal ini disebabkan khususnya cara berpakaian masyarakat selalu berubah, terutama para pejabatnya.

Peranan Wayang dalam Menunjang Pendidikan Kepribadian Bangsa
Secara lahiriah, kesenian wayang merupakan hiburan yang mengasyikkan baik ditinjau dari segi wujud mau pun seni pakelirannya. Namun demikian, di balik apa yang tersurat ini terkandung nilai adiluhung sebagai santapan rohani secara tersirat.

Peranan seni dalam pewayangan merupakan unsur dominan. Akan tetapi bilamana dikaji secara mendalam dapat ditelusuri nilai-nilai edukatif yang sangat penting dalam kehidupan manusia. Unsur-unsur pendidikan tampil dalam bentuk pasemon atau perlambang. Oleh karena itu, sampai di mana seseorang dapat melihat nilai-nilai tersebut tergantung dari kemampuan menghayati dan mencerna bentuk-bentuk simbol atau lambang dalam pewayangan. Dalam lakon-lakon tertentu misalnya baik yang diambil dari Serat Ramayana mau pun Mahabharata sebenarnya dapat diambil pelajaran yang mengandung pendidikan. Bagaimana peranan kesenian wayang sebagai sarana penunjang pendidikan kepribadian bangsa, rasanya perlu mendapat tinjauan secara khusus.

Berdasarkan sejarahnya, kesenian wayang jelas lahir di bumi Indonesia. Karena sifat local genius yang dimiliki bangsa Indonesia, maka secara sempurna terjadi pembauran kebudayaan asing, sehingga tidak terasa sifat asingnya. Berbicara kesenian wayang dalam hubungannya dengan pendidikan kepribadian bangsa tidak dapat lepas dari pada tinjauan kesenian wayang itu sendiri dengan falsafah hidup bangsa Indonesia yaitu Pancasila. Pancasila sebagai falsafah negara dan pandangan hidup bangsa Indonesia, merupakan ciri khusus yang dapat membedakan bangsa Indonesia dengan bangsa lain. Pancasila adalah norma yang mengatur tingkah laku dan perikehidupan bangsa. Menurut TAP MPR - Rl No. II/ MPR/1993 tentang Garis-Garis Besar Haluan Negara; disitu ditandaskan bahwa untuk mewujudkan tujuan nasional sebagaimana termaktub dalam Pembukaan Undang-Undang Dasar 1945. Perlu menetapkan Ketetapan yang mengatur Garis-Garis Besar Haluan Negara yang didasarkan atas aspirasi dan kepribadian bangsa demi penghayatan dan pengamalan kehidupan kenegaraan yang demokratis-konstitusional berdasarkan Pancasila dan Undang-Undang Dasar 1945.

Pengertian kepribadian bangsa adalah suatu ciri khusus yang konsisten dari bangsa Indonesia yang dapat memberikan identitas khusus, sehingga secara jelas dapat dibedakan dengan bangsa lain. Rumusan Pancasila secara resmi ditetapkan dengan syah sebagai falsafah negara dan pandangan hidup bangsa Indonesia sejak berlakunya Undang-Undang Dasar 1945 sebagai Undang-Undang Dasar Negara Republik Indonesia. Dalam Pembukaan Undang-Undang Dasar 1945 alinea 4 tercanang rumusan Pancasila yang berbunyi: 1) Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa, 2) Kemanusiaan yang adil dan beradab, 3) Persatuan Indonesia, 4) Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dalam permusyawaratan/perwakilan, serta dengan mewujudkan suatu 5) Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia.

Jiwa Pancasila seperti yang termaktub dalam Pembukaan Undang-Undang Dasar 1945 tersebut, bukanlah masalah yang baru dalam dunia pewayangan.

1. Asas Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa
Dalam dunia pewayangan dikenal tokoh yang biasa disebut Hyang Suksma Kawekas. Tokoh ini tidak pernah diwujudkan dalam bentuk wayang, tetapi diakui sebagai Dewa Yang Tertinggi. Tokoh dewa-dewa yang diwujudkan dalam bentuk wayang, misalnya: Bhatara Guru, Narada, Wisnu, Brahma, Kamajaya, dalam pewayangan digambarkan seperti manusia biasa. Mereka juga dilukiskan memiliki watak serta tabiat yang banyak persamaannya dengan manusia lumrah. Dalam cerita-cerita mereka sering pula berbuat salah, bahkan tidak jarang terpaksa minta bantuan manusia dalam menghadapi hal-hal tertentu. Kekawin Arjunawiwaha, misalnya, merupakan contoh yang jelas. Pada saat raksasa Nirwatakawaca mengamuk di Suralaya karena maksudnya meminang Dewi Supraba ditolak para dewa. Para dewa tidak mampu menghadapinya. Untuk mengamankan Suralaya para dewa minta bantuan bagawan Mintaraga atau Bagawan Ciptaning, yaitu nama Arjuna saat menjadi pertapa. Sebagai imbalan jasa karena Bagawan Ciptaning berhasil membunuh raksasa Nirwatakawaca, diberi hadiah Dewi Supraba dan pusaka Pasopati. Di sini terlihat bahwa kebenaran yang bersifat mutlak hanya dimiliki Dewa Tertinggi yaitu Hyang Suksma Kawekas. Ajaran ini tidak jauh berbeda dengan ajaran yang terkandung di dalam sila Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa .

2. Asas Kemanusiaan
Jiwa yang terkandung dalam sila Kemanusiaan, pada hakikatnya suatu ajaran untuk mengagung-agungkan norma-norma kebenaran. Bahwasanya kebenaran adalah di atas segala-galanya. Kendati kebenaran mutlak hanya berada di tangan Tuhan Yang Maha Esa, namun untuk menjaga keseimbangan kehidupan antara manusia perlu dipupuk kesadaran tenggang rasa yang besar.

Kebenaran yang sejati memunyai sifat universal, artinya berlaku kapan saja, di mana saja, dan oleh siapa pun. Tokoh dalam dunia pewayangan yang memiliki sifat dan watak mengabdi kebenaran banyak jumlahnya. Sebagai contoh dapat dipetik dari Serat Ramayana. Di dalam Serat Ramayana dikenal putra Alengka bernama Raden Wibisono yang memunyai watak mencerminkan ajaran kemanusiaan. Kisah inti dalam Serat Ramayana berkisar pada kemelut yang terjadi di antara Prabu Dasamuka yang merampas istri Rama. Tindakan Prabu Dasamuka ini dinilai berada di luar batas kemanusiaan. Raden Wibisono sadar akan hal tersebut, Prabu Dasamuka dianggap melanggar norma perikemanusiaan. Oleh karena itu, Raden Wibisono ikut aktif membantu Raden Rama untuk memerangi saudaranya sendiri. Demi kemanusiaan Raden Wibisono rela mengorbankan saudara sendiri yang dianggap berada di pihak yang salah.

3. Asas Persatuan
Dalam dunia pewayangan tokoh yang memilih jiwa kebangsaan tinggi terlukis pada diri tokoh Kumbakarna digambarkan dalam bentuk raksasa, namun memiliki jiwa kesatria. Sebagai adik Raja Dasamuka, Kumbakarna memiliki sifat yang berbeda. Kumbakarna menentang tindakan Prabu Dasamuka yang merampas Dewi Sinta isteri Rama.

Sikap menentang sama dengan sikap Raden Wibisono, tetapi jalan yang ditempuh berbeda. Raden Wibisono menentang dengan aktif memihak Raden Rama, sedangkan Kumbakarna tetap berpihak Alengka demi negaranya. Niatnya bukan perang membela kakaknya, tetapi bagaimana pun Alengka adalah negaranya yang wajib dibela walau pun harus mengorbankan jiwa raga. Oleh karena itu, nama Kumbakarna tercanang sebagai nasionalis sejati. Benar atau salah Alengka adalah negaranya.

4. Asas Kerakyatan/Kedaulatan Rakyat
Dalam dunia pewayangan dikenal tokoh punakawan yang bernama Semar. Semar adalah punakawan dari para kesatria yang luhur budinya dan baik pekertinya. Sebagai punakawan, Semar adalah abdi, tetapi berjiwa pamong, sehingga oleh para kesatria Semar dihormati.

Penampilan tokoh Semar dalam pewayangan sangat menonjol. Walau dalam kehidupan sehari-hari tidak lebih dari seorang abdi, tetapi pada saat-saat tertentu Semar sering berperan sebagai seorang penasehat dan penyelamat para kesatria di saat menghadapi bahaya, baik akibat ulah sesama manusia mau pun akibat ulah para dewa. Dalam pewayangan tokoh Semar sering dianggap sebagai dewa yang ngejawantah atau dewa yang berujud manusia. Menurut Serat Kanda dijelaskan bahwa Semar sebenarnya adalah anak Syang Hyang Tunggal yang semula bernama Bhatara Ismaya, saudara tua dari Bhatara Guru.

Semar sebagai dewa yang berujud manusia, mengemban tugas khusus menjaga ketenteraman dunia dalam penampilan sebagai rakyat biasa. Para kesatria utama yang berbudi luhur memunyai keyakinan bilamana menurut segala nasehat Semar akan mendapatkan kebahagiaan. Semar dianggap memiliki kedaulatan yang hadir di tengah-tengah para kesatria sebagai penegak kebenaran dan keadilan. Dengan kata lain, Semar adalah simbol rakyat yang merupakan sumber kedaulatan bagi para kesatria atau yang berkuasa.

5. Asas Keadilan Sosial
Unsur keadilan dalam dunia pewayangan dilambangkan dalam diri tokoh Pandawa. Pandawa yang terdiri dari Puntadewa, Bima, Arjuna, Nakula, dan Sadewa, secara bersama-sama memerintah negara Amarta. Kelimanya digambarkan bersama bahagia dan bersama-sama menderita. Tiap-tiap tokoh Pandawa memunyai ciri watak yang berlainan, namun dalam segala tingkah lakunya selalu bersatu dalam menghadapi segala tantangan. Puntadewa yang paling tua sangat terkenal sebagai raja yang adil dan jujur, bahkan diceriterakan berdarah putih. Puntadewa dianggap titisan Dewa Dharma yang memiliki watak menonjol selalu mementingkan kepentingan orang lain, rasa sosialnya sangat besar.

Koleksi Wayang Museum Negeri Provinsi Jawa Timur Mpu Tantular
Di ruang Pameran Tetap Museum Negeri Provinsi Jawa Timur Mpu Tantular juga menampilkan Koleksi Wayang. Koleksi Wayang bisa dilihat di Ruang VII, yaitu Ruang Koleksi Kesenian

Jenis Koleksi Wayang yang dipamerkan:
I. Wayang Gedog; koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Raden Panji Inukertapab
2. Raden Panji Sinompradopo
3. Bancak
4. Doyok
5. Prabu Lembu Amiluhur
6. Aryo Joyosasono
7. Aryo Joyonagoro
II. Wayang Purwo Jawa Timur; koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Puntodewo
2. Arjuno
3. Werkudoro
4. Kresno
5. Sencaki
6. Suyudono
7. Sengkuni
8. Dursosono
9. Bolodewo
10. Karno
III. Wayang Purwo Jawa Tengah; koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Puntodewo
2. Arjuno
3. Nakulo
4. Sadewo
5. Werkudoro
6. Kresno
7. Suyudono
8. Dursosono
9. Indrajid
10. Kombokarno
IV. Wayang Kulit Bangkalan; koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Rama
2. Sinta
3. Lesmana
4. Sugriwa
5. Anoman
6. Dasamuka
7. Trijata
8. Sarpakenaka
9. Indrajid
10. Kombokarno
V. Wayang Klitik Purwo; koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Narodo
2. Durno
3. Jembawan
4. Bolodewo
5. Brotoseno
6. Kombokarno
VI. Wayang Klitik Damarwulan: koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Minakjinggo
2. Dayun
3. Browijoyo
4. Damarwulan
5. Layang Seto
6. Layang Kumitir
7. Noyo Genggong
VII. Wayang Golek Purwo; koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Anoman
2. Bimo
3. Bodronoyo
4. Sumantri
5. Prahasto
6. Bolodewo
VIII. Wayang Golek Damarwulan; koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Layang Kumitir
2. Patih Logender
3. Kencono Wungu
4. Damarwulan
5. Anjasmoro
6. Puyengan
7. Patih Tuban
8. Dayun
IX. Wayang Golek Menak; koleksi yang dipamerkan:
1. Dewi Rengganis
2. Umarmoyo
3. Umarmadi
4. Patih Abdullah Akbar
5. Raja Lamdaur
6. Menak Jayengrono

Kepustakaan
Nawasari Warta, Oktober 1994

Sejarah Agama Buddha di Indonesia

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:47 AM PDT

Oleh Pusdiklat Agama Buddha Mahayana

Agama Buddha bagi bangsa Indonesia sebenarnya bukanlah agama baru. Ratusan Tahun yang silam agama ini pernah menjadi pandangan hidup dan kepribadian bangsa Indonesia, tepatnya pada zaman Kerajaan Sriwijaya dan Keprabuan Majapahit.

Candi Borobudur, salah satu warisan kebudayaan bangsa yang amat kita banggakan, tidak lain cerminan dari kejayaan agama Buddha di zaman lampau.

Sekitar tahun 423 M biksu Gunawarman datang ke negeri Cho Po (jawa) untuk menyebarluaskan ajaran Buddha. Ternyata ia memeroleh perlindungan dari penguasa setempat, sehingga misinya menyebar luaskan ajaran Buddha berjalan lancar. Semua ini tercatat di dalam buku Gunawarman; dan jika didasarkan pada buku ini maka kemungkinan besar ia adalah seorang perintis pengembangan agama Buddha di Indonesia pada zaman tersebut.

Berdasarkan catatan dari Dinasti Tang di Tiongkok, pada pertengahan abad ke-7 di Jawa Tengah terdapat sebuah kerajaan yang menganut agama Buddha, namanya Kaling. Di Tiongkok nama itu lebih dikenal dengan sebutan Ho Ling. Kerajaan ini sangatalah tertib dan tentram walaupun dipimpin oleh seorang wanita tangan besi yang bernama Ratu Sima. Ho Ling saat itu menjadi pusat ilmu pengetahuan agama Buddha, dan tidak sedikit orang Tionghoa dari dataran Cina datang ke negeri tersebut untuk belajar Buddha, walau pun pada zaman Dinasti Tang agama Buddha telah menjadi agama resmi di negeri Cina.

Dalam abad ke-7 dan ke-8 antara India dengan Cina terjalin hubungan yang ramai. Hubungan tersebut tidak semata-mata di bidang perdagangan, melainkan juga dalam ilmu pengetahuan dan agama Buddha. Antara tahun 618 hingga 907 Cina diperintah oleh Dinasti Tang, sedang di India dalam abad ke-7 berkuasa Raja Harcha yang bersikap toleran terhadap agama Buddha. Maka pada zaman itu banyak musafir dan biksu dari Cina yang berziarah ke tempat-tempat suci agama Buddha di India.

Dalam pertengahan abad ke-7 ini pula Sriwijaya tumbuh dan berkembang menjadi pelabuhan penting di tepi perairan Selat Malaka, urat nadi lalu-lintas penting antara India-Cina. Selama beberapa abad, kerajaan ini memegang hegemoni lautan. Sriwijaya boleh dikatakan pusat perdagangan dan pusat agama Buddha di Asia Tenggara. Agama Buddha di zaman Sriwijaya adalah agama Buddha aliran Mahayana yang memperdalam bahasa Sansekerta.

Antara tahun 850 hingga awal abad ke-13, Kerajaan Sriwijaya diperintah oleh keluarga Sailendra yang pernah berkuasa di Mataram, Jawa Tengah, antara tahun 778-850. Selama 75 tahun berkuasa di Mataram, keluarga Sailendra banyak mendirikan bangunan suci Buddhis berupa candi seperti Candi Kalasan, Plaosan, Sari, Borobudur, Pawon, dan Mendut. Sriwijaya kemudian meluaskan kekuasaannya sampai ke Muangthai Selatan yang sekarang disebut Suratani dan Pattani. Candi-candi yang dibuat oleh Sriwijaya di sana antara lain Vihara Mahadhata di Jaiya dan Vihara Mahadhata di Nakorn Sitnamart yang sampai sekarang masih ada dan bentuk bangunan, arca-arca Buddha serta Bodhisattva mirip dengan yang terdapat di Jawa.

Attisa, biksu yang sangat terkenal dari Tibet yang membangun kembali agama Buddha di negara tersebut pernah datang ke Sumatra dan tinggal di sana dari tahun 1011 - 1023. Ia belajar di bawah bimbingan Dharmakirti, seorang biksu terkemuka di zaman Sriwijaya. berdasarkan catatan biografi Attisa yang di tulis di Tibet, Sumatra adalah pusat utama agama Buddha, sedang biksu Dharmakirti adalah seorang cendekiawan terbesar di zaman itu.

Kedatangan para dharmaduta ke Nusantara mendorong banyak orang pergi berziarah ke India untuk mengunjungi tempat-tempat suci dan pusat-pusat agama Buddha seperti Universitas Nalanda. Setelah kembali ke Indonesia mereka mendirikan candi-candi dengan berbagai bentuk dan ukuran.

Agama Buddha yang semula berkembang di Pulau Jawa dan Sumatra adalah beraliran Theravada yang dikembangkan oleh biksu Gunawarman. Lambat-laun aliran ini terdesak oleh aliran-aliran lain yang masuk ke Indonesia setelah mereka memunyai kedudukan yang kuat di India. Hal ini terlihat dengan berdirinya Candi Kalasan yang dipersembahkan untuk Dewi Arya Tara (personifikasi Prajnaparamita menurut aliran Tantrayana, salah satu sekte agama Buddha Mahayana) pada tahun 779 M. Dari catatan epigrafik diketahui bahwa salah satu dari raja Sailendra di Jawa memunyai guru bernama Kumaraghosa dari negeri Ganda (Bengal) yang menganut faham Tantrayana. Hal tersebut mendorong berkembangnya agama Buddha Mahayana.

Kehidupan agama Buddha pada masa Kerajaan Mataram Kuno bisa dilihat dari Prasasti Canggal, sebelah baratdaya Magelang, yang dikeluarkan oleh Raja Sanjaya. Pasasti tersebut menyebutkan bahwa pada tahun 654 Saka (732 M) hari Senin tanggal 13 terang bulan Kartika, Raja Sanjaya mendirikan sebuah lingga yang merupakan lambang dari Dewa Siwa yang dipuja oleh raja dan rakyatnya. Sanjaya sendiri putra Sannaha, saudara perempuan Raja Sanna yang memerintah sebelum Sanjaya.

Pada masa pemerintahan Raja Panangkaran tahun 775, Dinasti Syailendra mulai berkuasa di Jawa Tengah bagian selatan sehingga kekuasaan Dinasti Sanjaya terdesak ke utara Jawa Tengah, yakni sekitar dataran tinggi Dieng. Di sana Sanjaya mendirikan beberapa candi, antara lain Candi Bimo, Arjuno, Semar, dan Argopuro.

Raja-raja yang berkuasa pada zaman Dinasti Sailendra ialah Bhanu (752-775), Wisnu (775-782), Indra (782-812), Samaratungga (812-833), dan Balaputradewa (833-856). Prasasti-prasasti Sailendra ialah Prasasti Kalasan pada tahun 778, dengan menggunakan huruf Pranagari dan bahasa Sansekerta; Prasasti Kelurak dekat Yogya tahun 782, juga memakai huruf Pranagari dan bahasa Sansekerta; Prasasti Karang Tengah dekat Temanggung pada tahun 824 dengan memakai bahasa Sansekerta dan huruf Jawa Kuno; dan Prasasti Kahulunan, Kedu, pada tahun 842 yang ditulis dalam bahasa dan huruf Jawa Kuno.

Selama pemerintahan Sailendra, banyak bangunan candi yang didirikan sebagaimana telah disinggung di atas. Satu di antara candi-candi yang tersohor adalah Borobudur yang didirikan pada masa Raja Samaratungga. Candi Sajiwan dan Plaosan dibangun pada masa pemerintahan suami-istri Rakai Pikatan-Pramodawardhani (putri Samaratungga). Nampaknya pengaruh Pramodawardhani sangat besar, sehingga yang dibangun adalah candi bercorak Buddha. Raja Rakai Pikatan sendiri beragama Siwa (Hindu). Jelas pada masa itu terdapat rasa toleransi agama yang besar.

Perkawinan Rakai Pikatan yang beragama Siwa dan Pramodawardhani yang beragama Buddha bersifat politis untuk menghadapi Balaputra yang sedang berkuasa, selain untuk mencapai kerukunan antara dua dinasti yang sedang bersaing dan bahkan saling bertentangan. Balaputra dan Pramodawardhani bersaing untuk menduduki jabatan Raja Mataram.

Sejak pemerintahan Rakai Pikatan, dan kemudian disusul oleh Rakai Kayuwangi (856-886), Rakai Watukumalang (886-898), Balitung (898-910), Daksa, Tulodong dan Wawa, pemerintahan Dinasti Sanjaya semakin berkembang. Pada masa Raja Wawa, pusat kekuasaan Mataram dipindahkan ke Jawa Timur, sehingga peranan Jawa Timur selama dua abad kemudian berhasil menggantikan kedudukan Jawa Tengah.

Ada dua pendapat tentang apa sebabnya pusat pemerintahan Kerajaan Mataram dipindahkan yang ditandai juga dengan perpindahan massal rakyat ke Jawa Timur. Pertama, mereka yang berpendapat perpindahan itu akibat meletusnya Gunung Merapi yang banyak menimbulkan bencana dan korban. Menurut kepercayaan rakyat, meletusnya gunung Merapi menunjukkan kemarahan para dewa. Kedua, pendapat bahwa perpindahan terjadi karena tarikan faktor ekonomi di Jawa Timur yang semakin besar, di mana perdagangan dan pelayaran laut dan sungai kian rarnai.

Babak pertama pemerintahan Mataram di Jawa Timur dipegang oleh Dinasti Isana, nama yang diambil dari nama Sri Maharaja Rake Hino Sri Isana Wikramadjarmotunggadewa, bergelar Mpu Sendok. Bagaimana Mpu Sendok naik takhta, kurang diketahui. Namun diduga melalui perkawinannya dengan putri Wawa. Dari prasasti-prasasti yang dikeluarkannya, ternyata Mpu Sendok banyak menaruh perhatian pada perdagangan dan pelayaran di Kali Brantas selain pertanian. Mpu Sendok juga dikenal memerintah dengan lebih demokratis dan menaruh minat pada soal-soal hukum serta kesusastraan.

Mpu Sendok sendiri penganut agama Hindu, sehingga timbul kesan adanya toleransi agama yang sangat kuat di masa itu. Nampaknya antara agama Hindu yang dianut di Kutai, Taruma, dan Mataram pada satu pihak, dengan agama Buddha yang dianut Sriwijaya dan Mataram (masa Dinasti Sailendra) di lain pihak, pernah terjadi persaingan dan perbenturan. Namun kemudian terjadi toleransi yang diawali oleh perkawinan Rakai Pikatan dan Pramodawardhani. Hal mana dilanjutkan pada masa pemerintahan Isana dan kemudian terjadi "pembauran" antara Hindu dan Buddha sehingga batas kedua agama itu semakin kabur pada masa Singasari dan Majapahit. Pembauran kedua agama ini masih dapat disaksikan di Jawa dan Bali.

Di antara raja-raja keturunan Mpu Sendok, yang paling berhasil adalah Airlangga. la adalah seorang raja yang ditaati oleh rakyatnya yang rela menyerahkan segala milik mereka demi kepentingan pemerintahaan Airlangga. Airlangga berhasil membawa Kerajaan Mataram pada puncaknya; tapi Airlangga pula yang meruntuhkan kerajaan itu.

Runtuhnya Kerajaan Mataram sudah berada di ambang pintu tatkala Sanggramatunggadewi, orang kedua yang pantas menduduki takhta sesudah Airlangga, menolak jabatan besar tersebut. la lebih suka memilih hidup suci sebagai petapa di Pucangan, Gunung Penanggungan, dengan nama Kili Suci. Maka, Airlangga terpaksa minta bantuan Mpu Bharada yang sakti untuk membagi kerajaannya kepada kedua putranya, Janggala (Singasari) di bagian timur dan Kediri di bagian barat pada tahun 1041. Airlangga sendiri menjadi petapa pada tahun 1042 dengan nama Resi Gentayu sampai wafat pada tahun 1049 dan dimakarnkan di Tirtha, tempat permandian Jalatunda dekat Desa Belahan di sebelah timur Gunung Penanggungan. Airlangga sebagai penjelmaan Wisnu diwujudkan dalam bentuk Wisnu sedang naik seekor burung garuda.

Umat Buddha dan Hindu dalam zaman Keprabuan Majapahit, berhasil mengantarkan Nusantara memasuki zaman keemasannya. Kejayaan Majapahit dapat terwujud antara lain disebabkan karena adanya kerukunan intern umat Buddha dan kerukunan intern umat Hindu serta adanya kerukunan hidup antara umat Buddha dan umat Hindu. Maharaja Hayam Wuruk dalam menjalankan pemerintahannya didampingi oleh penasehat agung dalam keagamaan yakni Dharmadhyaksa ring Kasongatan dari golongan Buddha dan Dharmadhyaksa ring Kasewan dari golongan Hindu. Kerukunan hidup umat beragama pada zaman Majapahit dirintis dan dipelopori oleh pujangga Buddhis yang agung, Mpu Tantular. Dalam bait syair yang ada di dalam buku yang ditulisnya yakni kitab Sutasoma pujangga besar Mpu Tantular menulis: "Siwa Buddha Bhinneka Tunggal lka Tan Hana Dharma Mangrwa". Kalimat yang dapat mempersatukan umat beragama dan rakyat Majapahit pada waktu itu, yakni Bhinneka Tunggal lka, sekarang merupakan kalimat pemersatu bangsa Indonesia dan ditulis dalam lambang negara Garuda Pancasila.

Setelah mengalami zaman keemasan pada masa pemerintahan Hayam Wuruk dengan Mahapatihnya Gajah Mada yang beragama Buddha, akhirnya Majapahit mengalami keruntuhan karena kerukunan hidup umat beragama serta persatuan kesatuan rakyat. Majapahit tidak dapat lagi dipertahankan. Terjadinya perpecahan dan pertentangan yang tidak henti-hentinya akhirnya membawa Majapahit sirna dari muka bumi ini. Bersama dengan itu agama Buddha juga mengalami pasang surut dalam perkembangannya, kemusnahannya semakin nyata dalam zaman penjajahan Belanda. Narnun demilkian, dalam zaman penjajahan Belanda pula agama Buddha mulai dipelajari dan dihayati oleh generasi muda yang terhimpun dalam Perhimpunan Theosofi Indonesia dan Sam Kauw.

Agama Buddha dalam Zaman Penjajahan
Pada zaman penjajahan Belanda, di Indonesia hanya dikenal adanya tiga agama, yakni agama Kristen Protestan, Katolik, dan Islam, sedangkan agama Buddha tidak disebut-sebut. Hal ini adalah salah satu sikap pemerintah kolonial Belanda waktu itu. Dengan demikian agama Buddha dapat dikatakan sudah sirna di bumi Indonesia, tetapi secara tersirat di dalam hati nurani bangsa Indonesia, agama Buddha masih tetap terasa antara ada dan tiada.

Pada zaman pemerintahan kolonial Belanda di Jakarta didirikan Perhimpunan Theosofi oleh orang-orang Belanda terpelajar. Tujuan dari Theosofi ini mempelajari inti kebjaksanaan semua agama dan untuk menciptakan inti persaudaraan yang universal. Theosofi mengajarkan pula kebijaksanaan dari agama Buddha, di mana seluruh anggota Thesofi tanpa memandang perbedaan agama, juga mempelajari agama Buddha. Dari ceramah-ceramah dan meditasi agama Buddha yang diberikan di Loji Theosofi di Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, dan sebagainya, agama Buddha mulai dikenal, dipelajari, dan dihayati. Dari sini lahirlah penganut agama Buddha di Indonesia, yang setelah Indonesia merdeka mereka menjadi pelopor kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha di Indonesia.

Dalam zaman penjajahan Belanda, di Jakarta timbul pula usaha untuk melestarikan ajaran agama Buddha, Konghucu, dan Lautse, yang mana kemudian lahir Organisasi Sam Kauw Hwee yang bertujuan untuk mempelajari ketiga ajaran agama dan kepercayaan tersebut. Dari sini pula kemudian lahir penganut agama Buddha, yang dalam zaman kemerdekaan agama Buddha bangkit dan berkembang.

Dalam tahun 1932 di Jakarta telah berdiri International Buddhist Mission Bagian Jawa dengan Yosias van Dienst sebagai Deputy Director General-nya. Tahun 1934 telah diangkat A. van der Velde di Bogor dan J. W. de Wilt di Jakarta, masing-masing sebagai Asistant Director yang membantu Yosias van Dienst.

Setahun sebelum berdirinya International Buddhis Mission Bagian Jawa, tepatnya tahun 1931, di Jakarta terbit majalah Mustika Dhamia yang dipimpin oleh Kwee Tek Hoay. Majalah Mustika Dharma memuat tentang pelajaran Theosofi, tentang agama Islam, tentang sari pelajaran dan Yesus, ajaran Krisnamurti, terutama mengenai ajaran agama Buddha (Buddha Dharma), Konghucu, dan Lautse. Majalah Mustika Dharma besar jasanya dalam menyebarluaskan kembali agama Buddha, sehingga agama Buddha mulai dikenal, dimengerti, dihayati, dan diamalkan dalam kehidupan. Atas prakarsa dari Kwee Tek Hoay kemudian lahir organisasi Sam Kauw, organisasi yang mempelopori kebangkitan agama Buddha di samping Perhimpunan Theosofi Indonesia, dan Pemuda Theosofi Indonesia, setelah Indonesia merdeka.

Naiada Thera
Tanggal 4 Maret 1934 Narada Thera menginjakkan kakinya di pelabuhan Tanjung Priok, disambut oleh Yosias van Dienst dan Tjoa Hin Hoay dan beberapa umat Buddha. Narada Thera adalah biksu yang pertama datang dari luar negeri setelah berselang kira-kira lima ratus tahun. Narada Thera telah memberikan ceramah agama Buddha di loji-loji theosofi dan di kelenteng-kelenteng di Bogor, Jakarta, Yogya, Solo, dan Bandung. Di Candi Borobudur pada tanggal 10 Maret 1934 Narada Thera turut hadir dalam upacara penanaman pohon bodhi yang cangkokannya dibawa oleh lr. Meertenas dari Buddhagaya, India. Pohon bodhi yang telah tumbuh besar di Candi Borobudur itu kemudian dimatikan, karena merusak bangunan candi. Duta Besar Srilangka menyerahkan lagi cangkokan pohon. Pohon bodhi tersebut ditanam di kawasan luar Candi Borobudur disaksikan oleh Gubernur Supardjo Rustam. Pohon bodhi dari Duta Besar Srilangka itu adalah cangkokan dari pohon bodhi yang sampai sekarang masih tumbuh di Anuradhapura di Srilangka yang dahulu dibawa oleh Raja Mahinda ke Srilangka.

Java Buddhist Association yang telah menerbitkan majalah Namo Buddhaya dalam bahasa Belanda, telah banyak menarik perhatian dan minat orang-orang Cina, yang pada waktu itu telah banyak menganut agama lain dan telah mengganti tradisi serta adat istiadat leluhurnya dengan kebiasaan Barat. Kemudian tahun 1932 Kwee Tek Hoay membentuk Sam Kauw Hwee yang anggotanya terdiri dari penganut agama Buddha, Konghucu, dan Lautse. Sam Kauw Hwee menerbitkan majalah Sam Kauw Gwat Po dalam bahasa Indonesia. Setelah Indonesia merdeka, Sam Kauw Hwee kehilangan ketuanya dengan meninggalnya Kwee Tek Hoay tahun 1952. Sam Kauw Hwee lalu diorganisir kembali dengan masuknya beberapa organisasi kedalamnya, antara lain Tian Lie Hwee di bawah pimpinan Ong Tiang Biauw yang kemudian menjadi Bhiksu Jinaputta. Sam Kauw Hwee kemudian menjadi Gabungan Sam Kauw Indonesia (GSKI) dengan Ketuanya yang pertama adalah The Boan An, yang sekarang dikenal sebagai Maha Sthavira Ashin Jinarakkhita Maha Thera. Dalam tahun 1962 di bawah pimpinan Drs. Khoe Soe Khiam, GSKI diubah namanya menjadi Gabungan Tri Dharma Indonesia dengan majalahnya bernama Tri Budaya.

Perkembangan Agama Buddha Sejak Kemerdekaan R.I.
Perhimpunan theosofi yang bertujuan untuk membina persaudaraan universal melalui penghayatan pengetahuan tentang semua agama termasuk agama Buddha, telah menarik perhatian dan minat orang-orang Indonesia terpelajar. Dari mempelajari agama Buddha kemudian timbullah dorongan untuk menghayati dan mengamalkan ajaran agama Buddha. Dari sinilah bermulanya orang-orang Indonesia terpelajar mengenal agama Buddha sampai akhirnya menjadi penganut Buddha Dharma. Orang-orang Indonesia terpelajar yang kemudian menjadi umat Buddha melalui theosofi antara lain: M.S. Mangunkawatja, Ida Bagus Jelanti, The Boan An, Drs. Khoe Soe Khiam, Sadono, R.A. Parwati, Ananda Suyono, I Ketut Tangkas, Slamet Pudjono, Satyadharma, lbu Jamhir, Ny. Tjoa Hm Hoey, Oka Diputhera. Meski pun theosofi tidak bertujuan untuk membangkitkan kembali agama Buddha namun dari theosofi ini lahir penganut agama Buddha yang kemudian setelah Indonesia merdeka menjadi pelopor kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha di Indonesia. Karena itu, baik Perhimpunan Theosofi Indonesia mau pun Perhimpunan Pemuda Theosofi Indonesia secara tidak langsung memunyai andil yang besar dalam kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha di Indonesia.

The Boan An yang menjadi pimpinan GSKI dan Perhimpunan Pemuda Theosofi Indonesia, kemudian ditahbiskan menjadi biksu di Burma dengan nama Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita. Sejak 2500 tahun Buddha Jayanti, tepatnya tahun 1956 saat kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha di bumi Indonesia, biksu Ashin Jinarakkhita-lah yang memimpin kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha ke seluruh lndonesia. Karena itu biksu Ashin Jinarakkhita dinyatakan sebagai Pelopor Kebangkitan agama Buddha secara nasional di Indonesia. Dari biksu Ashin Jinarakkhita lahir tokoh-tokoh umat Buddha di Indonesia seperti Sariputra Sadono, K. Karbono, Soemantri MS, Suraji Ariakertawijaya, Oka Diputhera, I Ketut Tangkas, Ida Bagus Gin, dan pimpinan Buddha lainnya yang sampai sekarang masih aktif dalam organisasi Buddhis. Dan ada pula di antaranya telah menjadi biksu seperti Ida Bagus Gin yang sekarang dikenal dengan nama Bhikkhu Girirakkhito.

Jadi dari Gabungan Tri Dharma Indonesia dan Perhimpunan Theosofi Indonesia serta Perhimpunan Pemuda Theosofi Indonesia lahir penganut-penganut agama Buddha yang kemudian bersama-sama dengan biksu Ashin Jinarakkhita memelopori kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha dalam tahun kebangkitannya, yakni tahun 1956. Nama-nama yang mendampingi biksu Ashin Jmarakkhita dalam memelopori kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha dalam era 2500 tahun Buddha Jayanti tahun 1956 antara lain: M.S. Mangunkawatja, Sariputra Sadono, Sasanasobhana, Sosro Utomo, I Ketut Tangkas, Ananda Suyono, R.A. Parwati, Satyadharma, lbu Jayadevi Djamhir, Pannasiri Go Eng Djan, Ida Bagus Giri, Drs. Khoe Soe Khiam, Ny. Tjoa Hin Hoey, Harsa Swabodhi, Krishnaputra, Oka Diputhera, dan sebagainya.

Organisasi Buddhis yang mempersiapkan kebangkitan kembali agama Buddha di Indonesia adalah International Buddhis Mission Bagian Jawa di bawah pimpinan Yosias van Dienst, yang banyak mendapat bantuan dari Perhimpunan Theosofi dan Gabungan Sam Kauw.

Organisasi Buddhis yang mempelopori kebangkitan dan perkembangan agama Buddha di Indonesia sejak tahun 1950-an ialah Persaudaraan Upasaka-Upasika Indonesia (PUUI) yang diketuai oleh Sariputra Sadono, kemudian oleh Karbono, Soemantri MS, Oka Diputhera (Sekjen) sampai kemudian berganti nama menjadi Majelis Ulama Agama Buddha Indonesia (MUABI) yang kemudian menjadi Majelis Upasaka Pandita Agama Buddhayana Indonesia. Yang membentuk PUUI adalah Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita dalam tahun 1954, sebagai pembantunya dalam menyebarkan agama Buddha di Indonesia.

Kemudian Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita merestui berdirinya Perhimpunan Buddhis Indonesia tahun 1958 dengan Ketua Umumnya Sariputra Sodono dan Sekjen Sasana Sobhana. Kemudian Ketua Umum PERBUDHI adalah Soemantri MS dengan Sekjen Oka Diputhera. Perbudhi kemudian dilebur menjadi Budhi bersama-sama dengan organisasi Buddhis lainnya.

Dalam tahun 1958 berdiri Sangha Suci Indonesia yang kemudian ganti nama menjadi Maha Sangha Indonesia. Maha Sangha Indonesia kemudian pecah melahirkan Sangha Indonesia. Dengan demikian di Indonesia terdapat dua Sangha yakiri Maha Sangha Indonesia dan Sangha Indonesia. Maha Sangha Indonesia dipimpin oleh Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita dan Sangha Indonesia dipimpin oleh Bhikkhu Girirakkhito.

Tahun 1974 atas prakarsa Direktur Jendral Bimbingan Masyarakat Hindu dan Buddha, Gde Pudja MA, telah diadakan perternuan antara Maha Sangha Indonesia dan Sangha Indonesia. Hasil dan perternuan tersebut melahirkan Sangha Agung Indonesia, yakni gabungan dari Maha Sangha Indonesia dan Sangha Indonesia. Sebagai Maha Nyaka Sangha Agung Indonesia terpilih Sthavira Ashin Jinarakkhita.

Kemudian setelah Kongres Umat Buddha Indonesia di Yogyakarta, di Indonesia terdapat tiga kelompok sangha, yakni Sangha Agung Indonesia, Sangha Theravada Indonesia, dan Sangha Mahayana Indonesia yang sernuanya tergabung dalam Perwakilan Umat Buddha Indonesia (WALUBI).

Sangha Mahayana Indonesia dibentuk tahun 1978. Dewasa ini pengurusnya terdiri atas Biksu Dharmasagaro (Ketua Umum), Biksu Dharmabatama (Ketua 1), Biksu Sakyasakti (Ketua II), Biksu Dutavira (Sekretaris Umum), Biksu Dhyanavira (Sekretaris 1) dan Biksu Andhanavira (Sekretaris II). Sangha Mahayana Indonesia inilah yang mencetuskan ide pembangunan Pusdikiat Buddha Mahayana Indonesia. Cita-cita Sangha adalah menyebarluaskan ajaran Buddha Mahayana di Indonesia dengan menggunakan bahasa Indonesia serta menerjemahkan kitab-kitab suci agama Buddha ke dalam bahasa Indonesia.

Mengingat upacara-upacara ritual agama Buddha dewasa ini umumnya masih menggunakan aksara Mandarin, maka sejak 1982 Biksu Dutavira dengan tidak mengenal lelah dan dengan kemampuan terbatas yang dimikinya berusaha mengembalikan bentuk-bentuk upacara dalam aksara Sansekerta serta bahasa Indonesia. Hal ini telah diterapkan di dua provinsi di Indonesia dengan memeroleh sambutan antusias sekali, khususnya dari para umat Buddha Mahayana. Apa yang dilakukan oleh Biksu Dutavira selama 4 tahun itu boleh dikatakan semacam merintis proyek pilot Pusdiklat Mahayana.

Kini dirasa semakin mendesak untuk meningkatkan proyek pilot tadi dalam bentuk pusdiklat modern yang serba lengkap dan yang didukung pula oleh para akhli agama Buddha baik dari dalam negeri mau pun luar negeri. Rencana ini telah memeroleh izin prinsip dari Departemen Agama R.I. cq. Ditjen Bimas Hindhu-Buddha.

Sumber:
http://www.geocities.com/tanahsuci/sejarah_agama_buddha_di_indonesi.htm (6 April 2009)

Sastra Pesisir Jawa Timur: Suluk-suluk Sunan Bonang

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:42 AM PDT

Oleh Abdul Hadi W. M.

Jawa Timur adalah provinsi tempat kediaman asal dua suku bangsa besar, yaitu Jawa dan Madura, dengan tiga sub-etnik yang memisahkan diri dari rumpun besarnya seperti Tengger di Probolinggo, Osing di Banyuwangi, dan Samin di Ngawi. Dalam sejarahnya, kedua suku bangsa tersebut telah lebih sepuluh abad mengembangkan tradisi tulis dalam berkomunikasi dan mengungkapkan pengalaman estetik mereka.

Pada akhir abad ke-18, masing-masing menggunakan bahasa yang jauh berbeda dalam penulisan kitab dan karya sastra–Jawa dan Madura. Akan tetapi, kesusastraan mereka memiliki akar dan sumber yang sama, serta berkembang mengikuti babakan sejarah yang sejajar. Pada zaman Hindu, kesusastraan mereka satu, yaitu sastra Jawa Kuno yang ditulis dalam bahasa Kawi dan aksara Jawa Kuno. Setelah agama Islam tersebar pada abad ke-16, bahasa Jawa Madya menggeser bahasa Jawa Kuno. Pada periode ini dua aksara dipakai secara bersamaan, yaitu aksara Jawa yang didasarkan tulisan Kawi dan aksara Arab Pegon yang didasarkan huruf Arab Melayu (Jawi).

Pigeaud (1967:4-7) membagi perkembangan sastra Jawa secara keseluruhan ke dalam empat babakan: Zaman Hindu, Zaman Jawa-Bali, Zaman Pesisir, dan Zaman Surakarta dan Yogyakarta.

Zaman Hindu berlangsung pada abad ke-9 hingga ke-15. Puncak perkembangan sastra pada periode ini berlangsung pada zaman Kerajaan Kadiri (abad ke-11 dan 12), dilanjutkan dengan zaman Kerajaan Singasari (1222-1292 M) dan Majapahit (1292-1478 M).

Zaman Jawa-Bali pad abad ke-16 hingga ke-19. Setelah Majapahit diruntuhkan Kerajaan Demak pada akhir abad ke-15, ribuan pengikut dan kerabat raja Majapahit pindah ke Bali. Kegiatan sastra Jawa Kuno dilanjutkan di tempat tinggal mereka yang baru ini.

Zaman Pesisir berlangsung pada abad ke-15 hingga ke-19. Pada zaman ini kegiatan sastra berpindah ke kota-kota pesisir yang merupakan pusat perdagangan dan penyebaran agama Islam.

Zaman Surakarta dan Yogyakarta berlangsung pada abad ke-18 hingga ke-20. Pada akhir abad ke-18 di Surakarta, terjadi renaisans sastra Jawa Kuno dipelopori oleh Yasadipura I. Pada masa itu karya-karya Jawa Kuno digubah kembali dalam bahasa Jawa Baru. Lebih kurang tiga dasawarsa kemudian, karya pesisir juga mulai banyak yang disadur atau dicipta ulang dalam bahasa Jawa Baru di keraton Surakarta.

Khazanah Sastra Jawa Timur
Khazanah sastra zaman Hindu dan Islam Pesisir–dua zaman yang relevan bagi pembicaraan kita--sama melimpahnya. Keduanya telah memainkan peran penting masing-masing dalam kehidupan dalam masyarakat Jawa dan Madura. Pengaruhnya juga tersebar luas tidak terbatas di Jawa, Bali, dan Madura.

Karya-karya pesisir ini juga memengaruhi perkembangan sastra di Banten, Palembang, Banjarmasin, Pasundan, dan Lombok (Pigeaud, 1967:4-8). Di antara karya Jawa Timur yang paling luas wilayah penyebarannya ialah siklus cerita Panji. Versi-versinya yang paling awal diperkirakan ditulis menjelang runtuhnya Kerajaan Majapahit pada akhir abad ke-15 M (Purbatjaraka, 1958). Cerita mengambil latar belakang di lingkungan Kerajaan Daha dan Kadiri. Versi roman ini, dalam bahasa-bahasa Jawa, Sunda, Bali, Madura, Melayu, Siam, Khmer dan lain-lain, sangat banyak. Dalam sastra Melayu terdapat versi yang ditulis dalam bentuk syair, yang terkenal di antaranya ialah Syair Ken Tambuhan dan Hikayat Andaken Penurat.

Tetapi bagaimana pun, yang dipandang sebagai puncak perkembangan sastra Jawa Kuno ialah kakawin seperti Arjuna Wiwaha (Mpu Kanwa), Hariwangsa (Mpu Sedah), Bharatayudha (Mpu Sedah dan Mpu Panuluh), Gatotkacasraya (Mpu Panuluh), Smaradahana (Mpu Dharmaja), Sumanasantaka (Mpu Monaguna), Kresnayana (Mpu Triguna), Arjunawijaya (Mpu Tantular), Lubdhaka (Mpu Tanakung); atau karya-karya yang ditulis lebih kemudian seperti Nagarakretagama (Mpu Prapanca), Kunjarakarna, Pararaton, Kidung Ranggalawe, Kidung Sorandaka, Sastra Parwa (serial kisah-kisah dari Mahabharata), dan lain-lain (Zoetmulder, 1983: 80-478). Apabila sumber sastra Jawa Kuno terutama sekali ialah sastra Sansekerta, seperti diperlihatkan oleh puitika dan bahasanya yang dipenuhi kosa kata Sansekerta; sumber sastra pesisir ialah sastra Arab, Parsi, dan Melayu. Bahasa pun mulai banyak meminjam kosa kata Arab dan Parsi, terutama yang berhubungan dengan konsep-konsep keagamaan.

Kegiatan sastra posisir bermula di kota-kota pelabuhan Gresik, Tuban, Sedayu, Surabaya, Demak, dan Jepara. Di kota-kota inilah komunitas-komunitas Muslim Jawa yang awal mulai terbentuk. Mereka pada umumnya terdiri dari kelas menengah yang terdidik, khususnya kaum saudagar kaya. Dari kota-kota ini kegiatan sastra pesisir menyebar ke Cirebon dan Banten di Jawa Barat, dan ke Sumenep dan Bangkalan di Pulau Madura. Pengaruh sastra pesisir ternyata tidak hanya terbatas di Pulau Jawa. Disebabkan mobilitas para pedagang dan penyebar agama Islam yang tinggi, kegiatan tersebut juga menyebar ke luar Jawa seperti Palembang, Lampung, Banjarmasin, dan Lombok. Pada abad ke-18 dan ke-19, dengan pindahnya pusat kebudayaan Jawa ke keraton Surakarta dan Yogyakarta, kegiatan penulisan sastra pesisir juga berkembang di daerah-daerah Surakarta dan Yogyakara, serta tempat lain di sekitarnya seperti Banyumas, Kedu, Madiun, dan Kediri (Pigeaud, 1967: 6-7).

Khazanah sastra pesisir tidak kalah melimpahnya dibanding khazanah sastra Jawa Kuno. Khazanah tersebut meliputi karya-karya yang ditulis dalam bahasa Jawa Madya, Madura, dan Jawa Baru, dan dapat dikelompokkan menurut jenis dan coraknya sebagaimana pengelompokan dalam sastra Melayu Islam, seperti berikut:

1. Kisah-kisah berkenaan dengan Nabi Muhammad Saw.
2. Kisah para nabi, di Jawa disebut Serat Anbiya. Dari sumber ini muncul kisah-kisah lepas seperti kisah Nabi Musa, Kisah Yusuf dan Zuleikha, Kisah Nabi Idris, Nuh, Ibrahim, Ismail, Sulaiman, Yunus, Isa.
3. Kisah Sahabat-sahabat Nabi seperti Umar bin Khattab dan Ali bin Abi Thalib.
4. Kisah para wali seperti Bayazid al-Bhiztami dan Ibrahim Adam.
5. Hikayat raja-raja dan pahlawan Islam, seperti Amir Hamzah, Muhammad Hanafiah, Johar Manik, Umar Umayya dan lain-lain. Dalam sastra Jawa, Madura, dan Sunda disebut Serat Menak.
6. Sastra Kitab, uraian mengenai ilmu-ilmu Islam seperti tafsir Al-Quran, hadis, ilmu fiqih, usuluddin, tasawuf, tarikh (sejarah), nahu (tatabahasa Arab), adab (sastra Islam), dengan menggunakan gaya bahasa sastra.
7. Karangan-karangan bercorak tasawuf. Dalam bentuk puisi karangan seperti itu di Jawa disebut suluk. Tetapi juga tidak jarang dituangkan dalam bentuk kisah perumpamaan atau alegori. Dalam bentuk kisah perumpamaan dapat dimasukkan kisah-kisah didaktis, di antaranya yang mengandung ajaran tasawuf.
8. Karya ketatanegaraan, yang menguraikan masalah politik dan pemerintahan, diselingi berbagai cerita.
9. Karya bercorak sejarah.
10. Cerita berbingkai, di dalamnya termasuk fabel atau cerita binatang.
11. Roman, kisah petualangan bercampur percintaan.
12. Cerita jenaka dan pelipur lara, misalnya cerita Abu Nuwas (Ali Ahmad dan Siti Hajar Che'Man,1996; Pigeaud I, 1967: 83-7).

Yang relevan untuk pembicaraan ini ialah No. 7, karangan-karangan bercorak tasawuf dan roman yang sering digubah menjadi alegori sufi. Karangan-karangan bercorak tasawuf disebut suluk dan lazim ditulis dalam bentuk puisi atau tembang. Jumlah karya jenis ini cukup melimpah. Contohnya ialah Kitab Musawaratan Wali Sanga, Suluk Wali Sanga, Mustika Rancang, Suluk Malang Sumirang, Suluk Aceh, Suluk Walih, Suluk Daka, Suluk Syamsi Tabris, Suluk Jatirasa, Suluk Johar Mungkin, Suluk Pancadriya, Ontal Enom (Madura), Suluk Jebeng. Pun demikian dengan kisah perumpamaan dan didaktis seperti Sama'un dan Mariya, Masirullah, Wujud Tunggal, Suksma Winasa, Dewi Malika, dan Syeh Majenun (Pigeaud I: 84-88).

Agak mengejutkan juga karena dalam kelompok ini ditemukan kisah didaktis berjudul Bustan, yang merupakan saduran karya penyair Parsi terkenal abad ke-13 M, Syekh Sa'di al-Syirazi, yang petikan sajak-sajaknya dalam bahasa Persia terdapat pada makam seorang Muslimah Pasai, Naina Husamuddin yang wafat pada abad ke-14. Dalam khazanah sastra pesisir juga didapati karya ketatanegaraan dan pemerintahan seperti Paniti Sastra dan saduran Tajus Salatin karya Bukhari al-Jauhari (1603) dari Aceh. Saduran Tajus Salatin dalam bahasa Jawa ini ditulis dalam bentuk tembang. Karya-karya kesejarahan tergolong banyak, di antaranya: Babad Giri, Babad Gresik, Babad Demak, Babad Madura, Babad Surabaya, Babad Sumenep, Babad Besuki, Babad Sedayu, Babad Tuban, Kidung Arok, Juragan Gulisman (Madura) dan Kek Lesap (Madura). Ada pun roman yang populer, di antaranya: Cerita Mursada, Jaka Nestapa,Jatikusuma, Smarakandi, Sukmadi; sedangkan dari Madura ialah Tanda Anggrek, Bangsacara Ragapadmi, dan Lanceng Prabhan (ibid). Karya-karya pesisir lain dari Madura yang terkenal ialah Caretana Barakay, Jaka Tole, Tanda Serep, Baginda Ali, Paksi Bayan, Rato Sasoce, Malyawan, Serat Rama, Judasan Arab, Menak Satip, Prabu Rara, Rancang Kancana, Hokomollah, Pandita Rahib, Keyae Sentar, Lemmos, Raja Kombhang, Sesigar Sebak, Sokma Jati, Rato Marbin, Murbing Rama, Barkan, Malang Gandring, Pangeran Laleyan, dan Brangta Jaya. Penulis-penulis pesisir awal pada umumnya ialah para wali dan ahli tasawuf terkemuka seperti Sunan Bonang, Sunan Kalijaga, Sunan Kudus, Sunan Drajat, Sunan Giri, Sunan Muria, Sunan Gunung Jati, Sunan Panggung dan Syekh Siti Jenar.

Yang amat disayangkan ialah karena dalam daftar yang terdapat dalam katalog-katalog naskah Jawa Timur, nama pengarang dan penyalin teks jarang sekali disebutkan. Namun, sejauh mengenai teks-teks dari Madura, terdapat beberapa nama pengarang terkenal pada abad ke-17 hingga ke-19 yang dapat dicatat. Misalnya Abdul Halim (pengarang Tembang Bato Gunung), Mohamad Saifuddin (pegarang Serat Hokomolla dan Nabbi Mosa), Ahmad Syarif, R. H. Bangsataruna, Sasra Danukusuma, Umar Sastradiwirya dan lain-lain (Abdul Hadi, 1981). Penelitian ini tidak akan membahas semua karya yang telah disebutkan, karena apabila dilakukan maka pembicaraan akan menjadi sangat luas. Supaya terfokus, pembicaraan akan ditumpukan pada suluk-suluk karya Sunan Bonang, khususnya Suluk Wujil, yang sedikit banyak mencerminkan kecenderungan umum sastra pesisir awal. Beberapa alasan lain dapat dikemukakan di sini.

Pertama, kajian terhadap karya Jawa Kuno telah banyak dilakukan baik oleh sarjana Indonesia mau pun asing, sedangkan karya pesisir masih sangat sedikit yang memberi perhatian. Padahal pengaruh karya pesisir itu tidak kecil terdahap kebudayaan masyarakat Jawa Timur. Pengaruh tersebut meliputi bidang-bidang seperti metafisika, kosmologi, etika, psikologi, dan estetika, karena yang diungkapkan karya-karya pesisir itu mencakup persoalan-persoalan yang dibicarakan dalam bidang-bidang tersebut.

Kedua, selama beberapa dasawarsa Sunan Bonang hanya dikenal sebagai seorang wali dan belum banyak yang membahas karya-karya serta pemikirannya di bidang kerohanian, kebudayaan, dan agama. Kajian yang cukup mendalam sebagian besar dilakukan oleh sarjana asing seperti Schrieke (1911), Kraemer (1921), dan Drewes (1967). Sarjana Indonesia yang meneliti, namun tidak mendalam ialah Purbatjaraka (1938). Selebihnya pembicaraan mengenai Sunan Bonang hanya menyangkut kegiatannya sebagai wali penyebar agama Islam.

Ketiga, suluk sebagai karangan bercorak tasawuf yang disampaikan dalam bentuk tembang, memunyai pengaruh besar terhadap kehidupan spiritual masyarakat Jawa Timur. Mengingkari peranan suluk dan sastra suluk adalah mengingkari realitas budaya masyarakat Jawa Timur.

Keempat, suluk-suluk Sunan Bonang mencerminkan babakan sejarah yang penting dalam kebudayaan Jawa, yaitu zaman peralihan dari Hindu ke Islam yang berlangsung secara damai.

Kelima, suluk-suluk tersebut merupakan karya bercorak tasawuf paling awal dalam sejarah sastra Jawa secara umum, dan pengaruhnya tidak kecil bagi perkembangan sastra pesisir.

Sunan Bonang Sebagai Pengarang
Sunan Bonang diperkirakan lahir pada pertengahan abad ke-15 dan wafat pada awal abad ke-16 M. Ada yang memperkirakan wafat pada tahun 1626 atau 1630, ada yang memperkirakan pada tahun 1622 (de Graff & Pigeaud, 1985:55). Dia adalah ulama sufi, ahli dalam berbagai bidang ilmu agama dan sastra, juga dikenal ahli falak, musik, dan seni pertunjukan. Sebagai sastrawan dia menguasai bahasa dan kesusastraan Arab, Persia, Melayu, dan Jawa Kuno. Nama aslinya ialah Makhdum Ibrahim. Dalam suluk-suluknya dan dari sumber-sumber sejarah lokal ia disebut dengan berbagai nama gelaran seperti Ibrahim Asmara, Ratu Wahdat, Sultan Khalifah, dan lain-lain (Djajadiningrat, 1913; Purbatjaraka, 1938; Drewes, 1968). Nama Sunan Bonang diambil dari nama tempat sang wali mendirikan pesujudan (tempat melakukan uzlah) dan pesantren di Desa Bonang, tidak jauh dari Lasem di perbatasan Jawa Tengah-Jawa Timur sekarang ini. Tempat ini masih ada sampai sekarang dan ramai diziarahi pengunjung untuk menyepi, seraya memperbanyak ibadah seperti berzikir, mengaji Al-Quran dan tirakat (Abdul Hadi, 2000: 96-107).

Kakeknya bernama Ibrahim al-Ghazi bin Jamaluddin Husain, seorang ulama terkemuka keturunan Turki-Persia dari Samarkand. Syekh Ibrahim al-Ghazi sering dipanggil Ibrahim Asmarakandi (Ibrahim al-Samarqandi), nama takhallus atau gelar yang kelak juga disandang oleh cucunya. Sebelum pindah ke Campa pada akhir abad ke-14, Syekh Ibrahim al-Ghazi tinggal di Yunan, Cina Selatan. Pada masa itu Yunan merupakan tempat singgah utama ulama Asia Tengah yang akan berdakwah ke Asia Tenggara. Di Campa dia kawin dengan seorang putri Campa keturunan Cina dari Yunan. Pada tahun 1401 lahirlah putranya Makhdum Rahmat, yang kelak akan menjadi masyhur sebagai wali terkemuka di pulau Jawa dengan nama Sunan Ampel. Setelah dewasa Rahmat pergi ke Surabaya, mengikuti jejak bibinya Putri Dwarawati dari Campa yang diperistri oleh raja Majapahit Prabu Kertabhumi. Di Surabaya, ayah Sunan Bonang ini, mendapat tanah di daerah Ampel, Surabaya, tempat dia mendirikan masjid dan pesantren. Dari perkawinannya dengan seorang putri Majapahit, yaitu anak Adipati Tuban, Tumenggung Arya Teja, dia memeroleh beberapa putra dan putri. Seorang di antaranya yang masyhur ialah Makhdum Ibrahim alias Sunan Bonang. (Djajadiningrat ,1983: 23; Sunyoto, 1995: 48).

Sejak muda Makhdum Ibrahim adalah seorang pelajar yang tekun dan mubalig yang handal. Setelah mempelajari bahasa Arab dan Melayu, serta berbagai cabang ilmu agama yang penting seperti fiqih, usuluddin, tafsir Quran, hadis dan tasawuf; bersama saudaranya Sunan Giri dia pergi ke Mekah dengan singgah terlebih dahulu di Malaka, kemudian ke Pasai. Di Malaka dan Pasai mereka mempelajari bahasa dan sastra Arab lebih mendalam. Sejarah Melayu merekam kunjungan Sunan Bonang dan Sunan Giri ke Malaka sebelum melanjutkan perjalanan ke Pasai. Sepulang dari Mekah, melalui jalan laut dengan singgah di Gujarat, India, Sunan Bonang ditugaskan oleh ayahnya untuk memimpin Masjid Singkal di Daha, Kediri (Kalamwadi, 1990: 26-30). Di sini dia memulai kariernya pertama kali sebagai pendakwah. Ketika Masjid Demak berdiri pada 1498, Sunan Bonang menjadi imamnya untuk yang pertama. Dalam menjalankan tugasnya itu dia dibantu oleh Sunan Kalijaga, Ki Ageng Selo, dan para wali yang lain. Di bawah pimpinannya masjid agung itu berkembang cepat menjadi pusat keagamaan dan kebudayaan terkemuka. Tetapi sekitar tahun 1503 M, dia berselisih paham dengan Sultan Demak dan memutuskan untuk meletakkan jabatannya sebagai imam masjid agung. Dari Demak Sunan Bonang pindah ke Lasem, dan memilih Desa Bonang sebagai tempat kegiatannya yang baru. Di sini dia mendidirikan persujudan dan pesantren. Beberapa karya Sunan Bonang, khususnya Suluk Wujil, mengambil latar kisah di persujudannya ini. Di tempat inilah dia mengajarkan tasawuf kepada salah seorang muridnya, Wujil, seorang cebol namun terpelajar dan bekas abdi dalem keraton Majapahit (Abdul Hadi, 2000: 96-107).

Setelah cukup lama tinggal di Bonang dan telah mendidik banyak murid, dia pun pulang ke Tuban. Di sini dia mendirikan masjid besar dan pesantren, meneruskan kegiatannya sebagai seorang mubalig, pendidik, budayawan, dan sastrawan terkemuka hingga masa akhir hayatnya. Dalam sejarah sastra Jawa Pesisir, Sunan Bonang dikenal sebagai penyair yang prolifik dan penulis risalah tasawuf yang ulung. Dia juga dikenal sebagai pencipta beberapa tembang (metrum puisi) baru dan mengarang beberapa cerita wayang bernafaskan Islam. Sebagai musikus dia menggubah beberapa gending (komposisi musik gamelan) seperti gending Dharma yang sangat terkenal. Di bawah pengaruh wawasan estetika sufi yang diperkenalkan para wali termasuk Sunan Bonang dan Sunan Kalijaga, gamelan Jawa berkembang menjadi oskestra polifonik yang sangat meditatif dan kontemplatif. Sunan Bonang pula yang memasukkan instrumen baru seperti rebab Arab dan kempul Campa (yang kemudian disebut Bonang, untuk mengabadikan namanya) ke dalam susunan gamelan Jawa.

Karya-karya Sunan Bonang yang dijumpai hingga sekarang dapat dikelompokkan menjadi dua. Pertama, suluk-suluk yang mengungkapkan pengalamannya menempuh jalan tasawuf dan beberapa pokok ajaran tasawufnya yang disampaikan melalui ungkapan-ungkapan simbolik yang terdapat dalam kebudayaan Arab, Persia, Melayu, dan Jawa. Di antara suluk-suluknya ialah Suluk Wujil, Suluk Khalifah, Suluk Kaderesan, Suluk Regol, Suluk Bentur, Suluk Wasiyat, Suluk Pipiringan, Gita Suluk Latri, Gita Suluk Linglung, Gita Suluk ing Aewuh, Gita Suluk Jebang, Suluk Wregol (Drewes, 1968). Kedua, karangan prosa seperti Pitutur Sunan Bonang yang ditulis dalam bentuk dialog antara seorang guru sufi dengan muridnya yang tekun. Bentuk semacam ini banyak dijumpai sastra Arab dan Persia.

Suluk-suluk Sunan Bonang
Sebagaimana telah dikemukakan suluk adalah salah satu jenis karangan tasawuf yang dikenal dalam masyarakat Jawa dan Madura dan ditulis dalam bentuk puisi dengan metrum (tembang) tertentu seperti sinom, wirangrong, kinanti, smaradana, dandanggula dan lain-lain. Seperti halnya puisi sufi umumnya, yang diungkapkan ialah pengalaman atau gagasan ahli-ahli tasawuf tentang perjalana kerohanian (suluk) yang mesti ditempuh oleh mereka yang ingin mencapai kebenaran tertinggi, Tuhan, dan berkehendak menyatu dengan Rahasia Sang Wujud. Jalan itu ditempuh melalui berbagai tahapan rohani (maqam) dan dalam setiap tahapan seseorang akan mengalami keadaan rohani (ahwal) tertentu, sebelum akhirnya memeroleh kasyf (tersingkapnya cahaya penglihatan batin) dan makrifat, yaitu mengenal Yang Tunggal secara mendalam tanpa syak lagi (haqq al-yaqin). Di antara keadaan rohani penting dalam tasawuf yang sering diungkapkan dalam puisi ialah wajd (ekstase mistis), dzawq (rasa mendalam), sukr (kegairahan mistis), fana' (hapusnya kecenderungan terhadap diri jasmani), baqa' (perasaan kekal di dalam Yang Abadi), dan faqr (Abdul Hadi, 2002:18-19).

Faqr adalah tahapan dan sekaligus keadaan ruhani tertinggi yang dicapai seorang ahli tasawuf, sebagai buah pencapaian keadaan fana' dan baqa'. Seorang faqir, dalam artian sebenarnya menurut pandangan ahli tasawuf, ialah mereka yang demikian menyadari bahwa manusia sebenarnya tidak memiliki apa-apa, kecuali keyakinan dan cinta yang mendalam terhadap Tuhannya. Seorang faqir tidak memiliki keterpautan lagi kepada segala sesuatu kecuali Tuhan. Ia bebas dari kungkungan "diri jasmani" dan hal-hal yang bersifat bendawi, tetapi tidak berarti melepaskan tanggung jawabnya sebagai khalifah Tuhan di muka bumi. Sufi Persia abad ke-13 M menyebut bahwa jalan tasawuf merupakan Jalan Cinta (mahabbah atau `isyq). Cinta merupakan kecenderungan yang kuat terhadap Yang Satu, asas penciptaan segala sesuatu, metode kerohanian dalam mencapai kebenaran tertinggi, jalan kalbu bukan jalan akal dalam memeroleh pengetahuan mendalam tentang Yang Satu (ibid).

Sebagaimana puisi para sufi secara umum, jika tidak bersifat didaktis, suluk-suluk Sunan Bonang ada yang bersifat lirik. Pengalaman dan gagasan ketasawufan yang dikemukakan, seperti dalam karya penyair sufi di mana pun, biasanya disampaikan melalui ungkapan simbolik (tamsil) dan ungkapan metaforis (mutasyabihat). Demikian dalam mengemukakan pengalaman kerohanian di jalan tasawuf, dalam suluk-suluknya Sunan Bonang tidak jarang menggunakan kias atau perumpamaan, serta citraan-citraan simbolik. Citraan-citraan tersebut tidak sedikit yang diambil dari budaya lokal.

Kecenderungan tersebut berlaku dalam sastra sufi Arab, Persia, Turki, Urdu, Sindhi, Melayu, dan lain-lain, dan merupakan prinsip penting dalam sistem sastra dan estetika sufi (Schimmel, 1983). Karena tasawuf merupakan jalan cinta, maka sering hubungan antara seorang salik (penempuh suluk) dengan Yang Satu dilukiskan atau diumpamakan sebagai hubungan antara pencinta (`asyiq) dan Kekasih (mahbub, ma`syuq). Drewes (1968, 1978) telah mencatat sejumlah naskah yang memuat suluk-suluk yang diidentifikasikan sebagai karya Sunan Bonang atau Pangeran Bonang, khususnya yang terdapat di Museum Perpustakaan Universitas Leiden, dan memberi catatan ringkas tentang isi suluk-suluk tersebut.

Penggunaan tamsil pencinta dan Kekasih misalnya terdapat dalam Gita Suluk Latri yang ditulis dalam bentuk tembang wirangrong. Suluk ini menggambarkan seorang pencinta yang gelisah menunggu kedatangan Kekasihnya. Semakin larut malam kerinduan dan kegelisahannya semakin mengusiknya, dan semakin larut malam pula berahinya (`isyq) semakin berkobar. Ketika Kekasihnya datang dia lantas lupa segala sesuatu, kecuali keindahan wajah Kekasihnya. Demikianlah sestelah itu sang pencinta akhirnya hanyut dibawa ombak dalam lautan ketakterhinggaan wujud. Dalam Suluk Khalifah Sunan Bonang menceritakan kisah-kisah kerohanian para wali dan pengalaman mereka mengajarkan kepada orang yang ingin memeluk agama Islam. Suluk ini cukup panjang. Sunan Bonang juga menceritakan pengalamannya selama berada di Pasai bersama guru-gurunya serta perjalanannya menunaikan ibadah haji ke Mekah.

Karya yang tidak kalah penting ialah Suluk Gentur atau Suluk Bentur. Suluk ini ditulis di dalam tembang wirangrong dan cukup panjang. Gentur atau bentur berarti lengkap atau sempurna. Di dalamnya digambarkan jalan yang harus ditempuh seorang sufi untuk mencapai kesadaran tertiggi. Dalam perjalanannya itu ia akan berhadapan dengan maut dan dia akan diikuti oleh sang maut ke mana pun ia melangkah. Ujian terbesar seorang penempuh jalan tasawuf atau suluk ialah syahadat dacim qacim. Syahadat ini berupa kesaksian tanpa bicara sepatah kata pun dalam waktu yang lama, sambil mengamati gerik-gerik jasmaninya dalam menyampaikan isyarat kebenaran dan keunikan Tuhan. Garam jatuh ke dalam lautan dan lenyap, tetapi tidak dapat dikatakan menjadi laut. Pun tidak hilang ke dalam kekosongan (suwung). Demikian pula apabila manusia mencapai keadaan fana' tidak lantas tercerap dalam Wujud Mutlak. Yang lenyap ialah kesadaran akan keberadaan atau kewujudan jasmaninya.

Dalam suluknya ini Sunan Bonang juga mengatakan bahwa pencapaian tertinggi seseorang ialah fana' ruh idafi, yaitu "keadaan dapat melihat peralihan atau pertukaran segala bentuk lahir dan gejala lahir, yang di dalamnya kesadaran intuitit atau makrifat menyempurnakan penglihatannya tentang Allah sebagai Yang Kekal dan Yang Tunggal". Pendek kata dalam fana' ruh idafi seseorang sepenuhnya menyaksikan kebenaran hakiki ayat Al-Quran 28:88, "Segala sesuatu binasa kecuali wajah-Nya". Ini digambarkan melalui perumpamaan asyrafi (emas bentukan yang mencair dan hilang kemuliannya, sedangkan substansinya sebagai emas tidak lenyap). Syahadat dacim qacim adalah kurnia yang dilimpahkan Tuhan kepada seseorang sehingga ia menyadari dan menyaksikan dirinya bersatu dengan kehendak Tuhan (sapakarya). Menurut Sunan Bonang, ada tiga macam syahadat:
1. mutawilah (muta`awillah);
2. mutawassitah (Mutawassita);
3. mutakhirah (muta`akhira).

Yang pertama, syahadat (penyaksian) sebelum manusia dilahirkan ke dunia yaitu dari Hari Mitsaq (Hari Perjanjian) sebagaimana dikemukakan di dalam ayat Al-Quran 7: 172, "Bukankah Aku ini Tuhanmu? Ya, aku menyaksikan" (Alastu bi rabbikum? Qawl bala syahidna). Yang kedua, ialah syahadat ketika seseorang menyatakan diri memeluk agama Islam dengan mengucap, "Tiada Tuhan selain Allah dan Nabi Muhammad adalah utusan-Nya". Yang ketiga, adalah syahadat yang diucapkan para nabi, wali, dan orang mukmin sejati.

Bilamana tiga syahadat ini dipadukan menjadi satu maka dapat diumpamakan seperti kesatuan transenden antara tindakan menulis, tulisan, dan lembaran kertas yang mengandung tulisan itu. Juga dapat diumpamakan seperti gelas, isinya dan gelas yang isinya penuh. Bilamana gelas bening, isinya akan tampak bening sedang gelasnya tidak kelihatan. Begitu pula hati seorang mukmin yang merupakan tempat kediaman Tuhan, akan memperlihatkan kehadiran-Nya bilamana hati itu bersih, tulus, dan jujur. Di dalam hati yang bersih, dualitas lenyap. Yang kelihatan ialah tindakan cahaya-Nya yang melihat. Artinya, dalam melakukan perbuatan apa saja seorang mukmin senantiasa sadar bahwa dia selalu diawasi oleh Tuhan, yang menyebabkannya tidak lalai menjalankan perintah agama.. Perumpamaan ini dapat dirujuk kepada perumpamaan serupa di dalam Futuh al-Makkiyah karya Ibn `Arabi dan Lamacat karya `Iraqi.

Karya Sunan Bonang juga unik ialah Gita Suluk Wali, untaian puisi-puisi lirik yang memikat. Dipaparkan bahwa hati seorang yang ditawan oleh rasa cinta itu seperti laut pasang menghanyutkan atau seperti api yang membakar sesuatu sampai hangus. Untaian puisi-puisi ini diakhiri dengna pepatah sufi: "Qalb al-mukmin bait Allah" (Hati seorang mukmin adalah tempat kediaman Tuhan).

Suluk Jebeng
Ditulis dalam tembang Dhandhanggula dan dimulai dengan perbincangan mengenai wujud manusia sebagai khalifah Tuhan di bumi dan bahwasanya manusia itu dicipta menyerupai gambaran-Nya (mehjumbh dinulu). Hakikat diri yang sejati ini mesti dikenal supaya perilaku dan amal perbuatan seseorang di dunia mencerminkan kebenaran. Persatuan manusia dengan Tuhan diumpamakan sebagai gema dengan suara. Manusia harus mengenal sukma (roh) yang berada di dalam tubuhnya. Roh di dalam tubuh seperti api yang tak kelihatan. Yang nampak hanyalah bara, sinar, nyala, panas, dan asapnya. Roh dihubungkan dengan wujud tersembunyi, yang pemunculan dan kelenyapannya tidak mudah diketahui.
Ujar Sunan Bonang:
Puncak ilmu yang sempurna
Seperti api berkobar
Hanya bara dan nyalanya
Hanya kilatan cahaya
Hanya asapnya kelihatan
Ketahuilah wujud sebelum api menyala
Dan sesudah api padam
Karena serba diliputi rahasia
Adakah kata-kata yang bisa menyebutkan?
Jangan tinggikan diri melampaui ukuran
Berlindunglah semata kepada-Nya
Ketahui, rumah sebenarnya jasad ialah roh
Jangan bertanya
Jangan memuja nabi dan wali-wali
Jangan mengaku Tuhan
Jangan mengira tidak ada padahal ada
Sebaiknya diam
Jangan sampai digoncang
Oleh kebingungan
Pencapaian sempurna
Bagaikan orang yang sedang tidur
Dengan seorang perempuan, kala bercinta
Mereka karam dalam asyik, terlena
Hanyut dalam berahi
Anakku, terimalah
Dan pahami dengan baik
Ilmu ini memang sukar dicerna

Satu-satunya karangan prosa Sunan Bonang yang dapat diidentifikasi sampai sekarang ialah Pitutur Seh Bari. Salah satu naskah yang memuat teks karangan prosa Sunan Bonang ini ialah MS Leiden Cod. Or. 1928. Naskah teks ini telah ditransliterasi ke dalam tulisan Latin, serta diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Belanda oleh Schrieke dalam disertasi doktornya Het Boek van Bonang (1911). Hoesein Djajadiningrat juga pernah meneliti dan mengulasnya dalam tulisannya "Critische Beschouwing van de Sedjarah Banten" (1913). Terakhir naskah teks ini ditransliterasi dan disunting oleh Drewes, dalam bukunya The Admonotions of Seh Bari (1978), disertai ulasan dan terjemahannya dalam bahasa Inggris.

Kitab ini ditulis dalam bentuk dialog atau tanya-jawab antara seorang penuntut ilmu suluk, Syaful Rijal, dengan gurunya, Syekh Bari. Nama Syaiful Rijal, yang artinya "pedang yang tajam", biasa dipakai sebagai julukan kepada seorang murid yang tekun mempelajari tasawuf (al-Attas, 1972). Mungkin ini adalah sebutan untuk Sunan Bonang sendiri ketika menjadi seorang penuntut ilmu suluk. Syekh Bari diduga adalah guru Sunan Bonang di Pasai dan berasal dari Bar, Khurasan, Persia Timur Daya (Drewes, 1968:12).

Secara umum ajaran tasawuf yang dikemukakan dekat dengan ajaran dua tokoh tasawuf besar dari Persia, Imam al-Ghazali (w. 1111) dan Jalaluddin al-Rumi (1207-1273). Nama-nama ahli tasawuf lain dari Persia yang disebut ialah Syekh Sufi (mungkin Harits al-Muhasibi), Nuri (mungkin Hasan al-Nuri) dan Jaddin (mungkin Junaid al-Baghdadi). Ajaran ketiga tokoh tersebut merupakan sumber utama ajaran Imam al-Ghazali (al-Taftazani, 1985:6). Istilah yang digunakan dalam kitab ini, yaitu "wirasaning ilmu suluk" (jiwa atau inti ajaran tasawuf) mengingatkan pada pernyataan Imam al-Ghazali bahwa tasawuf merupakan jiwa ilmu-ilmu agama.

Suluk Wujil
Di antara suluk karya Sunan Bonang yang paling dikenal dan relevan bagi kajian ini ialah Suluk Wujil (SW). Dari segi bahasa dan puitika yang digunakan, serta konteks sejarahnya dengan perkembangan awal sastra Pesisir, SW benar-benar mencerminkan zaman peralihan Hindu ke Islam (abad ke-15 dan ke-16) yang sangat penting dalam sejarah Jawa Timur. Teks SW dijumpai antara lain dalam MS Bataviasche Genotschaft 54 (setelah RI merdeka disimpan di Museum Nasional, kini di Perpustakaan Nasional Jakarta) dan transliterasinya ke dalam huruf Latin dilakukan oleh Poerbatjaraka dalam tulisannya "De Geheime Leer van Soenan Bonang (Soeloek Woedjil)" (majalah Djawa vol. XVIII, 1938). Terjemahannya dalam bahasa Indonesia pernah dilakukan oleh Suyadi Pratomo (1985), tetapi karena tidak memuaskan, maka untuk kajian ini kami berusaha menerjemahkan sendiri teks hasil transliterasi Poerbatjaraka.

Sebagai karya zaman peralihan Hindu ke Islam, pentingnya karya Sunan Bonang ini tampak dalam hal-hal seperti berikut:

Pertama, dalam SW tergambar suasana kehidupan badaya, intelektual, dan keagamaan di Jawa pada akhir abad ke-15, yang sedang beralih kepercayaan dari Hindu ke Islam. Di arena politik peralihan itu ditandai denga runtuhnya Majapahit, kerajaan besar Hindu terakhir di Jawa, dan bangunnya Demak, kerajaan Islam pertama. Demak didirikan oleh Raden Patah, putera raja Majapahit Prabu Kertabumi (dalam babad diidentikkan dengan Brawijaya V) dari perkawinannya dengan seorang putri Cina Muslim.

Dengan runtuhnya Majapahit terjadilah perpindahan kegiatan budaya dan intelektual dari sebuah kerajaan Hindu ke sebuah kerajaan Islam, dan demikian pula tata nilai kehidupan masyarakat pun berubah. Di lapangan sastra peralihan ini dapat dilihat dengan berhentinya kegiatan sastera Jawa Kuna setelah penyair terakhir Majapahit, Mpu Tantular dan Mpu Tanakung, meninggal dunia pda pertengahan abad ke-15 tanpa penerus yang kuat. Kegiatan pendidikan pula mula beralih ke pusat-pusat baru di daerah pesisir. Dari segi bahasa suluk ini memperlihatkan "keanehan-keanehan bahasa Jawa Kuna zaman Hindu" (Purbatjaraka, 1938) karena memang ditulis pada zaman permulaan munculnya bahasa Jawa Madya. Dari segi puitika pula, cermin zaman peralihan begitu ketara. Penulisnya menggunakan tembang Aswalalita yang agak menyimpang, selain tembang Dhandhanggula. Aswalalita adalah metrum Jawa Kuno yang dicipta berdasarkan puitika Sanskerta. Setelah wafat Sunan Bonang, tembang ini tidak lagi digunakan oleh para penulis tembang di Jawa. Sunan Bonang sebagai seorang penulis Muslim awal dalam sastra Jawa, menunjukkan sikap yang sangat berbeda dengan para penulis Muslim awal di Sumatra. Yang terakhir sudah sejak awal kegiatan kreatifnya menggunakan huruf Jawi atau Arab Melayu, sedangkan Sunan Bonang dan penulis-penulis Muslim Jawa yang awal masih menggunakan huruf Jawa, dan baru ketika agama Islam telah tersebar luas huruf Arab digunakan untuk menulis teks-teks berbahasa Jawa.

Dalam penulisan puisinya, Sunan Bonang juga banyak menggunakan tamsil-tamsil yang tidak asing dalam kebudayaan Jawa pada masa itu. Misalnya tamsil wayang, dalang, dan lakon cerita pewayangan seperti Perang Bharata antara Kurawa dan Pandawa. Selain itu dia juga masih mempertahankan penggunaan bentuk tembang Jawa Kuno, yaitu aswalalita, yang didasarkan pada puitika Sansekerta. Dengan cara demikian, kehadiran karyanya tidak dirasakan sebagai sesuatu yang asing bagi pembaca sastra Jawa, malahan dipandangnya sebagai suatu kesinambungan.

Kedua, pentingnya Suluk Wujil karena renungan-renungannya tentang masalah hakiki di sekitar wujud dan rahasia terdalam ajaran agama, memuaskan dahaga kaum terpelajar Jawa yang pada umumnya menyukai mistisisme atau metafisika, dan seluk beluk ajaran kerohanian. SW dimulai dengan pertanyaan metafisik yang esensial dan menggoda sepanjang zaman, di Timur maupun Barat:

1
Dan warnanen sira ta Pun Wujil (Inilah cerita si Wujil)
Matur sira ing sang Adinira (Berkata pada guru yang diabdinya)
Ratu Wahdat (Ratu Wahdat)
Ratu Wahdat Panenggrane (Ratu Wahdat nama gurunya)
Samungkem ameng Lebu talapakan sang Mahamuni (Bersujud ia di telapak kaki Syekh Agung)
Sang Adhekeh in Benang (Yang tinggal di Desa Bonang)
Mangke atur Bendu (Ia minta maaf)
Sawetnya nedo jinarwan (Ingin tahu hakikat)
Saprapating kahing agama kang sinelit (Dan seluk beluk ajaran agama)
Teka ing rahsya purba (Sampai rahasia terdalam)

2
Sadasa warsa sira pun Wujil (Sepuluh tahun lamanya sudah)
Angastupada sang Adinira (Wujil berguru kepada Sang Wali)
Tan antuk warandikane Ri kawijilanipun (Namun belum mendapat ajaran utama)
Sira wujil ing Maospait (Ia berasal dari Majapahit)
Ameng amenganira (Bekerja sebagai abdi raja)
Nateng Majalanggu (Sastra Arab telah ia pelajari)
Telas sandining aksara (Ia menyembah di depan gurunya)
Pun Wujil matur marang Sang Adi Gusti (Kemudian berkata seraya menghormat)
Anuhun pangatpada (Minta maaf)

3
Pun Wujil byakteng kang anuhun Sih (Dengan tulus saya mohon)
Ing talapakan sang Jati Wenang (Di telapak kaki Tuan Guru)
Pejah gesang katur mangke sampun manuh pamuruh (Mati hidup hamba serahkan)
Sastra Arab paduka warti (Sastra Arab telah Tuan ajarkan)
Wekasane angladrang (Dan saya telah menguasainya)
Anggeng among kayun (Namun tetap saja saya bingung)
Sabran dina raraketan (Mengembara ke sana-ke mari tak berketentuan)
Malah bosen kawula kang aludrugi (Bosan sudah saya dulu hamba berlakon sebagai pelawak)
Ginawe alan-alan (Menjadi bahan tertawaan orang)

4
Ya Pangeran ing sang Adigusti (Ya Syekh al-Mukaram)
Jarwaning aksara tunggal (Uraian kesatuan huruf)
Pengiwa lan panengene (Dulu dan sekarang)
Nora na bedanipun (Yang saya pelajari tidak berbeda)
Dening maksih atata gendhing (Tidak beranjak dari tatanan lahir)
Maksih ucap-ucapan (Tetap saja tentang bentuk luarnya)
Karone puniku (Namun tak menemukan sesuatu apa)
Datan polih anggeng mendra-mendra (Meninggalkan semua yang dicintai)
Atilar tresna saka ring Majapait (Saya meninggalkan Majapahit)
Nora antuk usada (Sebagai penawar)

5
Ya marma lunganging kis ing wengi (Diam-diam saya pergi malam-malam)
Angulati sarasyaning tunggal (Mencari rahasia Yang Satu )
Sampurnaning lampah kabeh (Dan jalan sempurna )
Sing pandhita sundhuning (Semua pendeta dan ulama hamba temui)
Angulati sarining urip (Agar terjumpa hakikat hidup)
Wekasing jati wenang (Akhir kuasa sejati)
Wekasing lor kidul (Ujung utara selatan)
Suruping radya wulan (Tempat matahari dan bulan terbenam)
Reming netra lalawa suruping pati (Akhir mata tertutup dan hakikat maut)
Wekasing ana ora (Akhir ada dan tiada)

Pertanyaan-pertanyaan Wujil kepada gurunya merupakan pertanyaan universal dan eksistensial, serta menukik hingga masalah paling inti, yang tidak bisa dijawab oleh ilmu-ilmu lahir. Terbenamnya matahari dan bulan, akhir utara dan selatan, berkaitan dengan kiblat dan gejala kehidupan yang senantiasa berubah. Jawabannya menghasilkan ilmu praktis dan teoritis seperti fisika, kosmologi, kosmogeni, ilmu pelayaran, geografi, dan astronomi. Kapan mata tertutup berkenaan dengan pancaindra dan gerak tubuh kita. Sadar dan tidak sadar, bingung dan gelisah, adalah persoalan psikologi. Ada dan tiada merupakan persoalan metafisika. Setiap jawaban yang diberikan sepanjang zaman di tempat yang berbeda-beda, selalu unik, sebagaimana pertanyaan terhadap hakikat hidup dan kehidupan. Lantas apakah dalam hidupnya manusia benar-benar menguasai dirinya dan menentukan hidupnya sendiri? Siapa kuasa sejati itu? Persoalan tentang rahasia Yang Satu akan membawa orang pada persoalan tentang Yang Abadi, Yang Maha Hidup, Wujud Mutlak yang ada-Nya tidak tergantung pada sesuatu yang lain.

Tampaknya pertanyaan itu memang ditunggu oleh Sunan Bonang, sebab hanya melalui pertanyaan seperti itu dia dapat menyingkap rahasia ilmu tasawuf dan relevansinya, kepada Wujil. Maka Sunan Bonang pun menjawab:

6
Sang Ratu Wahdat mesem ing lathi (Ratu Wahdat tersenyum lembut)
Heh ra Wujil kapo kamangkara (Hai Wujil, sungguh lancang kau)
Tan samanya pangucape (Tuturmu tak lazim)
Lewih anuhun bendu (Berani menagih imbalan tinggi)
Atunira taha managih (Demi pengabdianmu padaku)
Dening geng ing sakarya (Tak patut aku disebut Sang Arif)
Kang sampun alebu (Andai hanya uang yang diharapkan)
Tan padhitane dunya (Dari jerih payah mengajarkan ilmu)
Yen adol warta tuku warta ning tulis (Jika itu yang kulakukan)
Angur aja wahdat (Tak perlu aku menjalankan tirakat)

7
Kang adol warta tuhu warti (Siapa mengharap imbalan uang)
Kumisum kaya-kaya weruha (Demi ilmu yang ditulisnya)
Mangke ki andhe-andhene (Ia hanya memuaskan diri sendiri)
Awarna kadi kuntul (Dan berpura-pura tahu segala hal)
Ana tapa sajroning warih (Seperti bangau di sungai)
Meneng tan kena obah (Diam, bermenung tanpa gerak)
Tinggalipun terus (Pandangnya tajam, pura-pura suci)
Ambek sadu anon mangsa (Di hadapan mangsanya ikan-ikan)
Lirhantelu outihe putih ing jawi (Ibarat telur, dari luar kelihatan putih)
Ing jro kaworan rakta (Namun isinya bewarna kuning)

8
Suruping arka aganti wengi (Matahari terbenam, malam tiba)
Pun Wujil anuntu maken wraksa (Wujil menumpuk potongan kayu)
Badhi yang aneng dagane (Membuat perapian, memanaskan)
Patapane sang Wiku (Tempat pesujudan Sang Zahid)
Ujung tepining wahudadi (Desa itu gersang)
Aran dhekeh ing Benang (Di tepi pantai sunyi di Bonang)
Saha-saha sunya samun (Bahan makanan tak banyak)
Anggaryang tan ana pala boga (Hanya gelombang laut)
Ang ing ryaking sagara nempuki (Memukul batu karang)
Parang rong asiluman (Dan menakutkan)

9
Sang Ratu Wahdat lingira aris (Sang Arif berkata lembut)
Heh ra Wujil marangke den enggal (Ingatlah Wujil, waspadalah, kemarilah!)
Tur den shekel kukuncire (Dipegangnya kucir rambut Wujil)
Sarwi den elus-elus (Seraya dielus-elus)
Tiniban sih ing sabda wadi (Tanda kasih-sayangnya)
Ra Wujil rungokna, sasmita katenggun (Wujil, dengar sekarang)
Lamun sira kalebua (Jika kau harus )
Ing naraka isung dhewek angleboni (masuk neraka karena kata-kataku)
Aja kang kaya sira (Aku yang akan menggantikan tempatmu)

… 11
Pangestisun ing sira ra Wujil (Sadarilah dirimu)
Den yatna uripira neng dunya Ywa sumambar angeng gawe (Jangan ceroboh dan gegabah hidup di dunia ini)
Kawruhana den estu (Bukan yang Haqq)
Sariranta pon tutujati Kang jati dudu sira (Dan Yang Haqq bukan dirimu)
Sing sapa puniku weruh rekeh ing sariri (Orang yang mengenal dirinya)
Mangka saksat wruh sira (Asal usul semua kejadian)
Maring Hyang Widi (Akan mengenal Tuhan)
Iku marga utama (Inilah jalan makrifat sejati)

Dalam bait-bait yang telah dikutip dapat kita lihat bahwa pada permulaan suluknya Sunan Bonang menekankan bahwa Tuhan dan manusia itu berbeda. Tetapi karena manusia adalah gambaran Tuhan, maka "pengetahuan diri" dapat membawa seseorang mengenal Tuhannya. Pengetahuan diri di sini terangkum dalam pertanyaan: apa dan siapa sebenarnya manusia itu? Bagaimana kedudukannya di atas bumi? Dari mana ia berasal dan kemana ia pergi setelah mati? Pertama-tama, "diri" yang dimaksud penulis sufi ialah "diri rohani", bukan "diri jasmani", karena ruhlah yang merupakan esensi kehidupan manusia, bukan jasmaninya. Kedua kali, sebagaimana dikemukakan dalam Al-Quran, surat al-Baqarah, manusia dicipta oleh Allah sebagai khalifah-Nya di atas bumi' dan sekaligus sebagai hamba-Nya. Itulah hakikat kedudukan manusia di muka bumi.

Ketiga, persoalan dari mana berasal dan kemana perginya tersimpul dari ucapan Inna li Allah wa inna li Allahi raji'un (Dari Allah kembali ke Allah). Demikianlah sebagai karya bercorak tasawuf paling awal dalam sastra Jawa, kedudukan Suluk Wujil dan suluk-suluk Sunan Bonang yang lain sangatlah penting. Sejak awal pengajarannya tentang tasawuf, Sunan Bonang menekankan bahwa konsep fana' atau persatuan mistik dalam tasawuf tidak mengisyaratkan kesamaan manusia dengan Tuhan, yaitu yang menyembah dan Yang Disembah. Seperti penyair sufi Arab, Persia ,dan Melayu, Sunan Bonang–dalam mengungkapkan ajaran tasawuf dan pengalaman keruhanian yang dialaminya di jalan tasawuf–menggunakan baik simbol (tamsil) yang diambil dari budaya Islam universal mau pun dari budaya lokal.

Tamsil-tamsil dari budaya Islam universal yang digunakan ialah burung, cermin, laut, Mekah (tempat Kabah atau Rumah Tuhan) berada, sedangkan dari budaya lokal antara lain ialah tamsil wayang, lakon perang Kurawa dan Pandawa (dari Mahabharata), dan bunga teratai. Tamsil-tamsil ini secara berurutan dijadikan sarana oleh Sunan Bonang untuk menjelaskan tahap-tahap perjalanan jiwa manusia dalam upaya mengenal dirinya yang hakiki, yang melaluinya pada akhirnya mencapai makrifat, yaitu mengenal Tuhannya secara mendalam melalui penyaksian kalbunya.

Tasawuf dan Pengetahuan Diri
Secara keseluruhan jalan tasawuf merupakan metode-metode untuk mencapai pengetahuan diri dan hakikat wujud tertinggi, melalui apa yang disebut sebagai Jalan Cinta dan penyucian diri. Cinta yang dimaksudkan para sufi ialah kecenderungan kuat dari kalbu kepada Yang Satu, karena pengetahuan tentang hakikat ketuhanan hanya dicapai tersingkat.

Kepustakaan
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Abdul Hadi W. M. 1981. "Beberapa Informasi tentang Sastra Madura". Sronen No.2, September 1981:11-15.
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——————— 2000. Islam: Cakrawala Estetik dan Budaya. Jakarta: Pustaka Firdaus.
——————— 2002. Tasawuf yang Tertindas: Kajian Hermeneutik terhadap Karya-karya Hamzah Fansuri. Jakarta: Yayasan Paramadina.
Affifi, Abu'l `Ala. 1964. The Mystical Philosophy of Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-`Arabi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Agus Sunyoto. 1995. Sunan Ampel. Surabaya: LPLI Sunan Ampel.
Al-Attas, S. Muhammad Naquib. 1971. Concluding Postscript to the Origin of the Malay Sha`ir. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Ali Ahmad dan Siti Hajar Che Man. 1996. Sastra Melayu Warisan Islam. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
de Graff, H. J & Pigeaud, T.H.. 1985. Kerajaan-kerajaan Islam di Jawa: Peralihan dari Majapahit ke Demak. Jakarta: Grafitti Press dan KITLV.
Drewes, G. W. J. 1968. "Javanese Poems dealing with or Attiributed to the Saint of Bonang", BKI deel 124.
————– 1978. The Admonition of Seh Bari, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.
al-Hujwiri, Ali Utsman. 1990. Kasyful Mahjub: Risalah Tasawuf Persia Tertua. Terjemahan Suwardjo Muthary dan Abdul Hadi W. M. Bandung: Mizan.
Hussein Djajadiningrat. 1983. Tinjauan Kritis tentang Sejarah Banten. Jakarta: Jambatan – KITLV..
Kalamwadi, K. 1980. Serat Darmogandul. Semarang: Dahara Press.
Kramer H. 1921. "En Javaansche Primbon uit de Zestiende eeuw". Disertasi. Leiden.
Mir Valiuddin. 1980. Contemplative Discipline in Sufism. London – The Hague: East- West Publications.
Pegeaud, T. H. 1967. Literature of Java, Vol. I. Leiden: Martinus Nijohoff
Purbatjaraka, R. Ng. 1938. "Soeloek Woedjil: De Geheime Leer van Soenan Bonang". Djawa 1938, No. 3-5.
———————– 1958. Kapustakan Jawi. Jakarta: Jambatan.
Risvi, S. A. 1978. A History of Sufism in India. Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Schimmel, Annemarie. 1981. Mystical Dimensions of Islam. Chapel Hill: The University of North Caroline Press.
Schrieke, B J. O. 1911. "Het Boek van Bonang". Disertasi. Leiden
Smith, Margareth. 1972. Reading from the Mystics of Islam. London: Luzac & Company Ltd.
Suyadi Pratomo. 1985. Ajaran Rahasia Sunan Bonang. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka.
al-Taftazani, Abu al-Wafa. 1985. Sufi dari Zaman ke Zaman. Terjemahan A. Rofi' Utsmani. Bandung: Pustaka.
Zoetmulder, P. J. 1983. Kalangwan: Sastra Jawa Kuno Selayang Pandang. Jakarta: Djambatan– KITLV.

Smallest Orang Asli Community In M`sia

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:24 AM PDT

By Nurul Halawati Azhari

KOTA TINGGI, March 22 (Bernama) -- A slip road from Simpang Mawai, some 15 km from here, leads to a village inhabited by the Kanaq Orang Asli, an indigenous Proto-Malay clan.

The inhabitants of Sungai Selangi village comprise 87 Kanaq Orang Asli, including three Malays, from 23 families.

Based on the Orang Asli Affairs Department`s (JHEO) 2003 figures, out of the 147,412 Orang Asli from 18 tribes in Malaysia, the Kanaqs make up the smallest number.

The village took shape in 1965 with only 40 Kanaq residents from 10 families. The Kanaqs are not a poor lot but they prefer a simple life. Some of the village`s 23 families in fact prefer to stay under one roof.

Sofa sets with worn-out cushions adorn several of the Sungai Selangi houses. The occupants` daily wear are simply thrown onto hangers, giving the dwelling`s interior a rather unkempt scene.

HARDCORE POOR
Power supply lights up 11 houses built under the hardcore poor programme and there are refrigerators too. But these fridges remain idle as food is said to be "smelly" when kept inside them.

Electrical appliances being in constant use are the television sets. Gas cookers are stashed away as villagers prefer to cook outside their houses for the simple reason that firewood cost them nothing.

But this village does not lack basic infrastructure. The villagers have a surau, community hall and even an infirmary. There is also a kindergarten which caters to pre-school aged children.

Other facilities include a tarred road, street lamps and a sepak takraw court. The village even has treated piped water.

There is also a public telephone booth but this telecommunication tool is out of order and beyond repair. But this doesn`t disturb the villagers as many of them own handphones.

In the day, the village appears to be quiet. The men are out working in a nearby Felcra oil palm estate while their wives may be out to catch fish for dinner or resting at home.

There are three parked cars and occasionally a group of children can be seen frolicking on and along the road. Some smiled coyly upon realising that there are `outsiders` in the village.

ETHNOGRAPHY STUDY
For Kiew Yeng Meng, despite some improvement in the villagers` standard of living, their children`s life is still far too simple.

"There are those who go to school, but many decide to play truant due to lack of interest and awareness," the National Museum Curator conducting a study on Kanaq ethnography at Kampung Sungai Selangi, told Bernama.

The Kanaq children get their primary education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Mawai Baru, located some two km from the village. Numbering 17 in all, they are standards one to three.

Kiew said the school authorities are not too happy with the children`s attendance. Their poor attendance causes their standard of education to wane and none of the villagers` children have so far made it to secondary school.

"Even though JHEOA provides a van to ferry the children to school, the response is very poor. At times, there are only three students using this service.

"There is lack of awareness on the importance of education and the parents` lackadaisical attitude is of no help at all," said Kiew.

OIL PALM ESTATE
In 1983, JHEOA gave Felcra the green light to develop an oil palm estate on 24.7 hectares of land at the village. The Felcra Mawai Baru II project provides jobs for 12 families.

On the average, each Kanaq employed by Felcra as a manual worker earns RM300 a month but some are hired to harvest the palm fruits and they can earn up to RM600 a month.

The Felcra participants also earn dividends from Felcra. With money from the Felcra project, the villagers no longer need to look for jungle produce like rattan for their living unless there are special requests from buyers.

However, the petai season would see the Kanaq men disappear into the jungle to harvest this wild and pungent jungle delicacy.

Money earned from selling petai is much more than harvesting oil palm fruits. Hence during the petai season, the Felcra estate that they work on often faces an acute shortage of labourers and is forced to hire Indonesians to harvest the oil palm fruits.

HEALTH STATUS
The Kanaq community converted to Islam en masse in 1994. They still practise traditional healing and would go to their "tok batin" (medicine man) for medication.

However, they began to respond positively to modern medicine after receiving visits by a nurse from the Mawai Baru Clinic.

Since getting better health services, including health checks on children and pregnant mothers as well as tips on family planning, their standard of health has improved.

However, much is still to be desired on their personal hygiene and those of their dwellings, said Kiew, adding that medical problems like diarrhoea, malaria and respiratory tract infections are still rampant in the village.

"Most of the villagers have anemia, believed to be due lack of nutritious food. They consume anything (halal) but their diet is not balanced," said Kiew.

NEGATIVE PERCEPTION
Kiew said the JHEOA has initiated various efforts to "develop" the Kanaq community but these initiatives have not borne much fruit despite the village`s existence since 1965.

"Is this scenario caused by outside elements, and not by the villagers themselves who only want development according to their own pace?" he asked.

"If we assume that the lack of the community`s development is due to their own attitude, then we should also ask ourselves the question why they appear to have a negative perception against outsiders to the extent of rejecting development," he said.

He hazarded a guess that the community could have been slighted by outsiders who did not give them due respect like what they had accorded to others.

USED CLOTHING
Kiew said this after he discovered that a lot of used clothing "donated" by the public were found strewn on oil palm trees that lined the route used as the short cut by the Kanaq villagers to board town-bound buses.

But is it appropriate and polite enough to simply discard these apparel along this route instead of handing over the garments directly to the villagers themselves.

Logically, is it proper for us to pick up clothings found at the roadside without knowing who the owners were and why were they were discarded there?.

This situation alone tells the lack of respect shown by some of their neighbours to the Kanaqs who definitely deserve better.

CONTENTED WITH WHAT THEY HAVE
According to the Kota Tinggi JHEOA officer, Amir Fauzi Baharudin, the Kanaq villagers do not care much about worldly things and appear to be contented with what they have.

The Kanaq Felcra labourers can spend their RM300 monthly wages within a day, and the very next day, the villagers would return to catching fish for their meals.

Amir Fauzi said the Kanaqs adopt the concept of "whatever today is for today as tomorrow is a different story."

This concept, to a certain extent, has prevented the community from making progress, he said.

He said something has to be done to motivate the Kanaq villagers realise that education is the only way to improve their standard of living.

"Only via education, the Kanaq villagers can progress and be on par with the other communities in the country," he said.

Despite various efforts undertaken by the JHEOA, the Sungai Selangi Kanaq villagers lag far behind their Orang Asli cousins in the Kota Tinggi district -- 600 Kuala villagers in Sungai Layau, the Jakun clan at Kempas Semenang (160 people) and Pasir Intan (145).

SENSE OF INFERIORITY
"There is a deep sense of inferiority. At school, the Kanaq children with worn-out uniforms and exhibiting slow learning would feel uncomfortable and begin to isolate themselves.

"At school, there are teachers to give guidance. Unfortunately, when the children reach home there is no person to push them to study.

"It is different when they are in the kindergarten, the children appear to be happy when they are among their own," said Amir.

Amir said the situation may change if there are volunteers willing to teach the Kanaqs the importance of having good personal hygiene and education.

Source: www.bernama.com (12 April 2007)

The spice of Indonesian life

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:19 AM PDT

By Bidisha Bagchi (Shanghai Star)

The Spice Market at Jinan Road, with its combination decor of Southeast Asia, offers a vast assortment of the region`s cuisine.

The decor reflects the individual countries as bronze figurines of Buddha, cane mats, natural plants and as the name of the restaurant suggests, a huge bag of a variety of spices placed artistically on the floor, bringing tradition and ethnicity together.

The best part is actually the wall, which is a mirror, and reflects one entire side of the restaurant, thus giving the feeling that it is double the size.

From the choice of Thai, Malay and Indonesian cuisine, we chosethe last one, to get the feel of its aromatic spices and fresh sea food.

Indonesian cuisine has been appreciated worldwide lately because of its health factor; coconut milk, which is used perhaps in every second dish, and traditional aromatic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, galangaland black pepper cool the mind and help with our indigestion.

We started with Gado Gado Bandung, (30 yuan) a traditional salad of mixed vegetables with peanut sauce. This worked as a unique appetizer as the crispnesof the fresh vegetables appealed to the taste buds. Cap Cai Jakarta (38 yuan), a mixed vegetable dish, was very tasty. The aroma of the spices was mild and even though the vegetables did not contribute much to the "zing" factor, the entire combination was very good.

For our main dishes we chose the Nasi Goreng (48 yuan) - a typical Indonesian fried rice cooked with slices of egg and chicken. Traditionally, Nasi Goreng is a breakfast item but its popularity around the world has forced it to be a common sight on all lunch tables. Mie Goreng (48 yuan) on the other hand was fried noodles with shrimps and vegetables. This item tasted excellent as each string of the noodles were cooked right up to proportion, yet remained firm and the usage of fresh water shrimp and shredded vegetables brought out the unique flavor of the dish. Accompanying the main dish was the Pepes Bumbu Bali (85 yuan), an exotic preparation of steamed fish, aromatized with special spices from Bali. "Bumbu" is a signature spice paste and "Pepes" refers to a similar version of the grill. The specialty of this dish lay in the fact that the entire fish was cleaned and stuffed with a unique spice combination of coconut and garlic, and then garnished with coriander, turning it into an excellent dish all by itself.

For desserts we chose Bubur Injin (30 yuan), a Japanese style black rice pudding. This combination of black and white rice soaked overnight and cooked in water over a slow flame with pandan leaves and palm sugar, and then later garnished by a pinch of sea salt and handsome helpings of coconut milk, turned out to be an exotic dessert with a totally new approach of "not so sweet yet still a sweet dish."

The Spice Market also serves set Indonesian meals, comprising of vegetables,meat, rice, noodles and a dessert priced at 68 yuan.

Source: www.chinadaily.com (12 April 2007)

Globalisation - Its Effect On Malay Language

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:17 AM PDT

By Azrol Azmi & Yusrin Junaidi

Bandar Seri Begawan - The Perdana Forum was held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas Tuesday night and was telecast live on the RTB channel.

Organised by the Language and Literature Bureau in conjunction with the 23`d National Day celebrations, the forum was entitled `Pelestarian Bahasa Melayu Dalam Era Globalisasi` or `Protection Against Destruction of Malay Language in Globalisation Era.`

The event aimed to raise awareness on the effects of globalisation on the Malay language.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports cum guest of honour Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (R) Dato Seri Pahlawan Awang Haji Mohammad bin Haji Daud said that the era of globalisation has always been related to the Info-Communication Technology, which has enabled a borderless world concept.

This, however, has both negative and positive effects. The minister said this during his speech at the forum.

The Malay language is owned by the Malays, it represents their identity, and it is also a communication medium for Malays, the minister went on to add.

Three speakers were invited to elaborate on the positive and negative impact of globalisation on various culture and languages.

They were Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ahmad bin Kadi, Secretary for the Public Entertainment, Picture and Film Censorship Panel, Ministry of Home Affairs of Brunei Darussalam; University Malaya Professor Dr Awang Sariyan; and Universiti Technology Nanyang (Singapore) representative Mohamed Pitchay Gani bin MohamedAbdul Aziz.

Also present at the forum were Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Othman, officials from various government departments, UBD students and local writers. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

Source: www.brudirect.com (11 April 2007)

Sri Lankan Malays and their coexistence

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:14 AM PDT

By: J.M.M. Nizam

HISTORY: Portuguese who arrived in Sri Lanka in year 1505 captured certain parts of Sri Lanka and brought them under their reign.

In 1638 Rajasinghe II, the Sinhala King who was ruling from Kandy sought the help of Dutch to redeem the country from the rule of Portuguese.

Eastern Dutch Trading Company, which was the representative of the Dutch King was having its Head Quarters in Java islands consisting of Malays and Indonesians. Dutch Company which accepted the request of the Sri Lankan King sent a fleet ship to Ceylon under Admiral Rickloff Panhunee.

He recruited some nationals of Java to his army. Portuguese were chased away from Sri Lanka in 1658. Malays of Sri Lanka are the descendants of the nationals of Java who came here to fight for Ceylon against Portuguese. They are called Javas and Malays, after names of those countries.

Lots of Elephants were exported to India. cinnamon, arecanuts, shells, bee`s honey, trees were the major export items. North Indian Kings and Nawabs paid handsome prices for the elephants. Rice and clothes were mainly involved in this business.

Kalpitiya was the important harbour along the wide beach from Negombo to Puttalam. The King communicated with foreigners from this port. Here the trees from which the raw materials for textile colouring are extracted were available in plenty.

Dutch who realised the value of the above specialities captured the Kalpitiya Port. Sinhala King, who was angry over this, proceeded to Kalpitiya with 9000 soldiers to wage war.

As the Malay Army which was with the Dutch refused to fight against the Sinhala King, Walsh, the Captain of the Dutch Army had to give back Kalpitiya. Galle Harbour in the South, Trincomalee and Batticaloa Harbours in the East were the important harbours.

Dutch who built Forts in the harbour cities stationed their armies in those Forts. The Army was mostly consisted of nationals of Java Island (Malays), Dutch put up another Fort at Hambantota.
"Hamban" is a small catamaran in which the people can travel. Muslim merchants mostly travelled by these.

In 1664, British used "Hamban" to send secret messages to King of Kandy. Owner of it was a Muslim. The place where most of the "Hambans" are parked was called "Hamban Thurai" (Hambantota).

The people who travelled in these were called "Hambayo" (This name has been retained as a nickname to call Muslims).

Muslims have also mostly used ships called "Sampan". The People who travelled in them were called "Sampinar". Malays still call the Moor Muslims as "Sampinar". This is the reason that Malays live in numbers in the towns where Dutch built Forts.

Kompanyveediya (Slave Island)
During the reign of Dutch, in 1659-60 period South India experienced severe drought and famine. In some families, members were sold as slaves to avoid death through starvation. Sale of slaves too, commenced.

The Dutch General made efforts to grow paddy inland, with a view of making good money. Workers were needed to work in paddy fields captured by them.

Therefore, he bought hundreds of slaves to serve this purpose. Number of slaves bought rose to 2000 within a year. Until the slaves could be dispatched to paddy fields, a place was required to accommodate them.

Present Kompanyweediya (Slave Island) area is the place where these slaves were kept. The Beira Lake (Constructed by Dutch) was the fort. As the Dutch were attached to Dutch Company they were called Company People.

The street in which Company People were called Kompany Street. The place where the slaves were kept was an island surrounded by the Beira Lake.

So it was called Slave Island. Java Nationals were settled there to protect the slaves under the supervision of Dutch General. Barracks were made for them. They were called Karthel (Old Malays are still calling Slave Island as Karthel). Later Kompanyveediya became Malay Street.

Rights of Malays
Malays came to Sri Lanka as soldiers. Malays were followers of Islam and had great respect and belief in the religion. During the Portuguese regime, hundreds of thousands Sinhala/Tamil people were converted as Roman Catholics.

Dutch who were Protestants were not that successful in converting people. Principal reason for the failure was the conviction the Malays had towards their religion. The Nationals of Java Islands who came with Dutch married Sinhala women, who were family members of high caste officers of the Sinhala King.

These Sinhala wives could not pronounce Malay in the correct way. The Malay language existing in Sri Lanka today is not pure Malay but the mixture that was spoken by these Sinhala wives with the children. Therefore, no one will deny that the blood in present Malays of Sri Lanka is Sinhala blood.

Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka around 2,500 years ago. By that time Buddhism was already in Malaya and it was a Buddhist country. Once the Muslim army of Tharik Bin Ziyath (Rah) captured (Jabal Al Tharik) Gibraltor which divided France and Spain, Islam started spreading to Eastern countries.

The Buddhist King of Malaya was suffering from an incurable disease. One night he dreamt four long robed foreigners and there he heard someone calling him to obey them and that he will be cured.

Therefore, daily he sent a messenger to the Port to find out whether any foreigners had arrived. One day, he heard that four `new people` had arrived and got them down to the courtyard.

These devotees could convince him of the greatness of God. He became a follower of Islam and the countrymen too became the followers of Islam. The soldiers who visited Sri lanka are descendants of these Muslim converted Buddhists.

Dignity of Malays
During the rule of British, after Dutch, Malays became Sri Lanka citizens owing to marriages. Their military experience, courage and honesty helped them to join the British forces and be part of the rulers. Some were promoted Captains of the Forces.

Their fluency in Sinhala, in addition to foreign languages enabled them to be interpreters and translators in the Courtyard. In his autobiography, Robert Knox had stated that the Malay soldiers were performing their religious rites even at the war front.

The grave of Tuan Thunkoos the secretary to the British Governor could be seen in Kandy. He is praised as "Performer of a Miracle" for winning a war almost lost, even without going to the war front.

This is stated on the plaque erected at his graveside. Body of Tuan Pingera The Malay General which was buried in Makam Feersahib - Colombo was exhumed in the present of British Governor. To his amazement, the body was found as fresh as just died. History shows that the General saluted the body and despatched it by sea.

Malays were very keen in putting up mosques in the first instance, wherever they settled down.

When the slaves were kept behind in Slave Island, the Malays were worshipping at a small Thakkiyah, opposite Akbar Mosque (Markaz) which was reconstructed as a Quran Madhrasa some time ago. First siblings of those Malays put up the Jummah Mosque at Wekande, Slave Island.

The Zahira Mosque at Maradana, Jawatta Mosque and all the ancient mosques at Chilaw, Kurunegala and Hambantota were constructed by Malays. Even today, Malays are instrumental in putting up Mosques in Sinhala Villages and settlements. (Some of them are at Mattegoda, Jayawadanagama, Battaramulla, Athurugiriya, Boralesgamuwa).

During the British Regime, Chief Justice was only next to the Governor. The first Sri Lankan to be the Chief Justice was a Malay named "Tuan Akbar", who was called "Akbar Raja" (King).

One day, when he was about to enter the Courts, a rich Muslim, who knew that the Justice was a Muslim, bowed and greeted him.

Immediately, the rich Muslim was put behind bars until the Court sessions were over that particular day. While releasing him, Justice Tuan Akbar said "No Muslim should bow to another other than Allah - that`s why I put you behind bars. Let this be a lesson for you and your descendants".

He, who was born in Kalpitiya was buried in the Jawatte Cemetery. He married a widow from Hambantota and his present to the villagers were Bolana village, which is called "Malay Colony" - eight miles away from Hambantota. Thereafter, the Malay leaders like T.B. Jayah did yeoman service to this country and Muslims.

There are fifteen thousand Malay families in Colombo district itself. Other than that around 1000 Malay families live within Hambantota city limits. There are considerable number of Malay families living in the Badulla, Kurunegala and Gampaha districts.

In Parliament
When the Senate was in existence, there was a seat for Malays too. That right too has gone with the wind. President Premadasa appointed Amith as the appointed member of Parliament.

He resigned his membership in Parliament to pave way for Gamini Dissanayake to enter the Parliament. President J.R. Jayewardene, while addressing the gatherings made special mention of the Malays too.

The Malays are the smallest minority community living in Sri Lanka with their history dating back 350 years.

It is notable that where there is a concentration of Malays, the others in the community also spoke Malay fluently. I am from Hambantota, and my father`s Sinhala friends converse with me in fluent Malay.

The Sinhala language is used quite widely by members of the Malay community. They are also well versed in Tamil and English languages. There is no record of the Malays being ever in conflict with other communities in Sri Lanka.

They have had ample opportunities to go back to Malaysia from where they originated or to Australia as migrants, but they opted to remain in Sri Lanka considering it as their beloved homeland.

They respected other religions and other communities help them during their religious occasions. The economy of the average Malay households deeply depends on the Middle East petro dollars, remitted by Malay girls and young women employed in the region.

There comes to mind a pertinent question when we look at the past - Why is that the smallest minority of Malays with a 350 year long history is able to peacefully coexist when the Tamils who constitute the biggest minority with a history dating back several thousand years are living in turmoil?

About ninety nine per cent of Tamils are able to either talk or understand the Sinhala langauge. Conversely, how many Sinhalese among us are able to speak the Tamil language? When the Malays who lives in the palaces of Sinhala kings, having married Sinhala women, on numerous occasions sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country.

We have a chequered history. At one time we were ruled by the Portuguese. Then the Dutch became the Colonial rulers. Then came the British. Some parts of country had been ruled by Tamil kings and at other times by representatives of the Chola or Pandiya kings.

Finally, the Nayakkar family took over the reigns of the country. They ruled without claiming ownership of the Sinhalese country since they did not dispute that it was the land of the Sinhala nation.

Emperor Barbar conquered India and the Mogul rule extended over the length and breadth of India. But it is significant that none of the Muslims claimed that it was their land.

It is equally important that in India where there are thousands of clans, a Muslim from a minority community, Abdul Kalam became the President, serving as a beacon of light to the student generation, urging them to greater heights.

Writing in the same vein, the Chinese who make up 26 per cent of the population of Malaysia, never demanded a separate country.

Therefore, it is the duty of all the sons of this soil, to create the conditions for the Tamil people to live peacefully in this country like in the case of the Malays who constitute the smallest minority community in Sri Lanka.

Source: www.dailynews.lk (10 April 2007)

Sholto Byrnes celebrates 50 years of Malaysian independence with a rather special banquet

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:09 AM PDT

Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first prime minister of Malaysia, is fondly remembered in the country that celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence this year. Buildings have been named after him, there are plans for a major documentary film on his life, and Kenny Hills, the upmarket area of Kuala Lumpur where the museum to his memory stands, long ago became Bukit Tunku (Hill of the Prince) in his honour.

It was in Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), just by the Royal Selangor Golf Club in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, that the junior son of the Sultan of Kedah stood with his hand raised in salute to the crowd of thousands on 31 August 1957, as the Union Flag was lowered and replaced by the banner of the Federation of Malaya. Around the square, the mock Tudor of the colonial Selangor Club faces the Moorish-influenced Sultan Abdul Samad justice hall, while the skyscrapers of the modern city frame the horizon.

Directly east, at the beginning of the shoppers` paradise known as the Golden Triangle, stands the Federal Hotel. Today, it is at the dowdier end of Jalan Bukit Bintang; here, you find dimly lit shops offering urut massages for a couple of pounds. For gleaming malls full of designer labels, go further along the street. But, in 1957, the Federal was KL`s first five-star hotel, completed at the Tunku`s urging in time for independence so that foreign dignitaries had somewhere to stay.

On the walls of the hotel, where I meet his daughter Tunku Khadijah and his niece Tunku Mukminah, are photos of the Tunku with Margaret Thatcher and the Queen. The man who led Malaya to independence and then guided the formation of Malaysia (with the Borneo states of Sarawak and Sabah and, initially, Singapore) in 1963 was indeed a statesman, but there was another side to him: he was also a very good cook.

"He was fond of cooking and fond of eating. He never cared about his waistline," chuckles Tunku Mukminah. And in Malaysia, where every conceivable kind of food is available, from teppanyaki and T-bone steak, through nonya dishes from Malacca, Singapore noodle soups, Hainanese chicken rice, local satays and curries, to western haute cuisine, there was plenty in which the Tunku could indulge.

His daughter and niece have put together a book, Favourite Dishes from the Tunku`s Kitchen, which is a collection of about 80 recipes ranging from otak-otak - traditional Malay banana-leaf-wrapped fish fillet - to rusuk lembu panggang dengan puding Yorkshire (roasted prime ribs with Yorkshire pudding).

The latter may seem an unlikely dish to serve up in a land of spicy sambal (chilli paste) and rich coconut sauces, but the Anglophile Tunku`s pas sion for cooking developed during the many years he spent as a student in England. "He learned from his landlady when he was living in Earls Court," remembers his son-in-law Dato Syed Hussein Bakar. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding remained his favourite English dish. "He had it at least once a week," says Tunku Khadijah, who was often charged with stirring the pudding batter while her father checked its consistency.

As a young man, the Tunku had plenty of time to hone his kitchen techniques, because he was not the most assiduous of students. While reading history and then law at St Catharine`s, Cambridge, he was more in evidence at race meetings and playing football for the college team than he was at lectures.

Part of the Tunku`s charm was the pleasure he took in the good things of life. He may have been a devout Muslim, but his faith was of the rather unorthodox variety typical of older generations of Malays. "He loved drinking," says Dato Syed. "Whenever you went to his digs, you`d always find bottles of cognac and wine."

Malaysia`s royal families (nine of the country`s 13 states have their own hereditary rulers) are all rich today, but as students in the 1930s many of the princes were short on funds. Tunku Abdul Rahman was an exception, as his mother, the daughter of a Shan chieftain from Thailand, was independently wealthy. Dato Syed remembers the late Sultan of Selangor asking to have lunch with the Tunku in London. "Tunku told him: `If you wash my sports car first, then you can come up and I`ll cook lunch for you!`" Photographs from the time show a rather dashing young man, an easy smile constantly on his lips. Something of a playboy and a practical joker, one trick when he suspected friends were raiding his alcohol supplies was to top up bottles with less pleasant liquids and watch the miscreants splutter after tasting the drinks they had pilfered.

We move outside on to the terrace, where pots of pounded shrimp paste, coriander and black pepper sit beside jars of chopped lemongrass, galangal, chillies and kaffir lime leaves, ready for the chef to prepare kari Siam ayam - Thai chicken curry. Tunku Mukminah busies herself, adding a pinch of ginger here, an extra spoonful of coconut milk there. At the Tunku`s suggestion, she spent some time with the Women`s Institute in England in 1958. "I taught them how to make nasi lemak," she says, smiling at how impossibly exotic the Malay breakfast of rendang sauce, coconut rice, boiled egg, nuts, sambal and ikan bilis (small dried fish) must have seemed.

The curry ready, we sit down to eat at a table laden with crackling prawns, achar (pickled vegetables), mushrooms in glass noodles, and beef with tamarind juice and chilli. Like the country itself, Malaysian cuisine derives from the mix of ethnicities - primarily Malay, Chinese and Indian, but also Bugis from Sulawesi and Aceh nese from Sumatra, as well as remnants of the Arab traders who brought Islam in the 14th century - that have made this land home.

One of the Tunku`s achievements was to form an alliance between the Malay and the main Chinese and Indian political parties that persists to this day. His recipes reflect that intermingling of cultures which makes Malaysia a model - not perfect, but still a model - for harmonious race relations. Enjoying food in his memory seems an appropriate tribute to the winningly pleasure-loving man who had the wisest of goals for his country. "My ambition," he said, "is not mighty Malaysia, but happy Malaysia."

Source: www.newstatesman.com (10 Apeil 2007)

MOE strengthens language education to prepare kids for global future

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:06 AM PDT

SINGAPORE: Language education in schools will be strengthened to help young Singaporeans prepare for a global future.

At the same time, to root them to the country, National Education will also be refined.

Every week, Primary 3, 4 and 5 students at Seng Kang Primary attend either conversational Malay or Chinese lessons.

Lim Lan Chin, Principal of Seng Kang Primary School, said: "We actually hope to have more interactions of the various ethnic groups through conversational languages."

In five years, all primary schools and two-thirds of secondary schools will offer students the opportunity to learn languages other than their own mother tongue at a conversational level.

Last year, only 58 primary and 47 secondary schools offered conversational Malay or Chinese lessons.

Offering third languages is just one way the Ministry of Education is supporting language education.

"We will take further steps to help students in learning their mother tongues. To broaden access to Tamil (TL) instruction, eight more secondary schools will offer TL within curriculum time from next year. This will bring the total number of such secondary schools from 81 to 89, well distributed across the island," said Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The teaching of non-Tamil Indian languages like Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu is also going to get a $1.5 million boost every year.

These lessons are currently provided by community groups and the hope is that the grant can go towards purchasing more instruction materials and training of teachers.

The Education Ministry is also going to work with the Board for Teaching and Testing of South Asia Languages to facilitate the recognition of grades in these languages within schools. This will allow students to use their language grades to apply for Edusave awards, which is currently not in practice.

The move is in part to make young immigrants feel more at home.

Arabic and Bahasa Indonesia will also be offered as a four-year course to interested Secondary One students.

These languages will be taught at the Bishan Language Centre from next year.

The aim is to nurture Singaporeans who are able to engage Indonesia and the Middle East.

French, German and Japanese are already currently being offered at the language centre.

Mr Tharman said: "No other Asian city is making as determined an effort, as determined a move, to nurture in its citizens, a sense of the world out there, a sense of the opportunities. We have to do more of it than others because our future lies in being a global city."

But how do educators make students feel local, even as they are asked to go global?

The answer lies in the National Education Programme which will be tweaked to give greater focus on emotional rooted-ness.

Students will be asked to take greater ownership, teachers trained to play a more facilitating role, and parents and school alumni asked to be more involved.

The Social Studies curriculum will also be reviewed.

Current feedback by most students is that National Education is burdensome and boring propaganda.

But with the changes, it is hoped National Education will be a bonding experience. - CNA/ir

Source: www.channelnewsasia.com (10 April 2007)

Is there a superior race in this planet?

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:02 AM PDT

K George reminds Johor Chief Minister Abdul Ghani Othman that we are all children of the one God after Ghani declared that the Malays are a superior race.

Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman declared, like a bolt from the blue, that the Malays are a superior race. To prove his contention, Ghani quoted the supreme law of the Federation - Malaysia`s Constitution, which states "the races as Malays and others" in the country. Alas, it took 49 years for a Menteri Besar to discover that the Malays are a superior race. But sadly, he missed the teaching of his own religion – Islam.

May I submit that I am not a Muslim; I was born to a Christian family. Nonetheless, out of curiosity, I have gone through some of the teachings of Islam. One of which is glaringly specific: "No race is superior to another". Have you come across this most wonderful teaching of your religion, Mr. Menteri Besar? You, as a Muslim, and I, as a Christian, should have learnt that Almighty God, having formed the Universe, created humans, to whom he bestowed the greatest gift – common sense. Humans would spread to all over the world, where there would be different races, cultures, languages and customs.

I wish to reiterate that a person can only belong to the Malay race if he was born in Malaya, speaks the Malay language, follows Malay culture, and over and above it all must be fully committed to the Faith of Islam. Prophet Muhammad made it clear that one can only claim to be a follower of Islam, if one complies with all its teachings - which in effect means that any deviation would automatically deny one the right to be a Muslim. In simple English, neither the Malay nor any other race is superior to another.

Special position of Malays (bumiputeras)
The word `special position` was inserted in the Federal Constitution with the concurrence of the MCA and the MIC at the request of the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman. The economic and social situation of the Malays before Merdeka in 1957 left much to be desired. Most of the Malays lived in villages, lacked education, depended on agriculture and were deprived of reasonable income. Hence, they really deserved special attention by the government. Originally, it was anticipated that within 15 years or so, the condition of the Malays would improve sufficiently. While certain Malays started talking about special privileges and special rights, the Constitution clearly stated that non-Malays will not be denied their rights.

Malaysia is a wealthy nation. But unfortunately, the poor, with the exception of a few, remain poor because the Barisan Nasional government`s economic policy, including the New Economic Policy, was a failure. Ex-Klang Town Councillor Datuk Zakaria Mat Deros was once a railway-gate keeper; now he is the owner of a four-storey palace located on land comprising eight lots that were originally meant to be allocated to the poor. The land, estimated to be worth RM1.3 million, was sold to the Datuk for a mere RM180, 000. Are we to believe it was a straightforward deal?

When the local media carry stories of millionaire Datuks divorcing existing wives and marrying new ones and spending millions, we can well imagine the reactions of the downtrodden folk. We, ordinary people, watch with frustration when our elected government creates millionaires, bails out cronies, privatises revenue-earning projects such as highways, telecoms and postal services, and ventures into white-elephant projects.

The economic policy of a capable and committed government must be aimed at emancipating the poor and providing the people with satisfactory health care, education, employment, water, electricity, and other infrastructure.

Fate of other purveyors of a superior race
The Second World War was launched by German dictator Adolf Hitler in September 1938. The primary purpose of the war was to establish the superiority of the Aryan race. He started killing Jews and then went on attacking England and a number of European nations. In the process, Hitler managed to kill a million people. He met his Waterloo when he attacked Russia despite having a peace treaty with Stalin. False pride prevented him from surrendering; instead Hitler committed suicide. That ended the chase for the superiority of the Aryan race!

During the war, Japan exploited the opportunity and took control of a number of Asian nations that were colonised by England and other European nations. Japan, an Asian nation, hardly faced any resistance from the illegal colonial occupiers. That convinced the Asians that the mighty whites were no super men nor did they belong to any superior race. In due course, almost all the Asian became independent.

The concept of `apartheid`, introduced in South Africa by the British, was crushed by the black people of South Africa, led by Nelson Mandela. It took several years of struggle and sacrifice by the African people before the mighty white occupiers arrived at the inevitable realisation that they (the whites) were no superior beings.

Buddha, born a prince, left the palace; Sri Krishna, born in a cow-shed, lived with the poor; Jesus washed the feet of his disciples; Prophet Muhammad preached Islam and reiterated that there was one and only God; Gandhi, son of a chief minister, led a simple and humble life and fought for the independence of India with the weapon of `Ahimsa` (non-violence). They preached to all the people to love each other and to help each other. There were many others who were great and preached faith in God.

In conclusion, I wish to emphasise that there is only One God and we are all born equal. While Islamic teaching is specific that there is no race superior to another, no other traditional religions imposes superiority on any of their followers.

As far as Abdul Ghani Othman is concerned, he is the Chief Minister of a few million people in a state; hence it is neither desirable nor becoming of him to treat his people with discrimination. In any case, he is a Muslim and is duty bound to submit to all the teachings of his religion.

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Source: www.aliran.com (9 April 2007)

Malaysia is a medley of many cultures

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:59 AM PDT

By Assunta Ng
For the Northwest Asian Weekly

Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, I`ve wanted to visit an Asian Muslim country. One of my goals is to understand Muslims better. Recently, within two hours of arriving in Hong Kong, I had to decide which one of these countries I would visit.

Traveling to Malaysia was a surprise to my husband and me. We hadn`t planned the trip and knew nobody there. Nor had we read anything about the country. I didn`t consult with my Malaysian friends in Seattle before the trip. But none of these reasons discouraged us from going. That`s how adventurous we were!

We picked the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, because we heard so much about its Twin Towers, once the tallest building in the world. With Chinese and Southeast Asian influences, its food is an interesting blend of cultures. All our meals in Kuala Lumpur were fantastic, even though nothing contained pork! Muslims don`t eat pork. It`s against their religion.

I preferred going to Malaysia rather than its neighbor, Indonesia, which has a notorious record of killing ethnic Chinese. Its government doesn`t seem to be doing anything about the senseless violence.

Does that mean Malaysians treat Chinese well? Read on to learn about my experiences in Malaysia.

Hiring an Indian driver
The only thing we knew about Malaysia was that its taxi service was cheap. US$1.50 can take us more than a mile. The best decision we made on this trip was hiring the right tour guide, a Malaysian-born Indian taxi driver named Sandran who loves this country.

He isn`t an ordinary taxi driver. A retired government employee, he knows a lot about his country, is open minded and is well informed, as he reads two newspapers a day, one in English and the other in his native Indian language.

The first three taxi drivers we had before we met Sandran didn`t speak a word to us, even though they knew some English. The gregarious Sandran`s accent was strong, but we understood him. When we climbed into his taxi, he asked, "Where are you from?"

Instead of telling him that we are Americans, I replied, "Hong Kong." Let`s face it: America doesn`t have a favorable reputation overseas because of the Iraq war. On foreign soil, including in Europe, Singapore and even China, we have to protect ourselves, and that means our real identity. My experience is that native folks tend to charge Americans more for services because they assume Americans have lots of money and can be fooled.

What`s your name? the driver asked.

My husband replied, "George."

"Mr. George," Sandran said, "I can take you to …," as he displayed an album of photos showing the sites of the city. Once we agreed on the price, he took us on an exhausting and exciting journey that included the Prime Minister`s Building, where foreign dignitaries are received; Butterfly Park; and the newly created planned city of Putrajaya, complete with artificial lakes. Putrajaya, founded in the 1990s and home to about 25,000, acts as the federal government`s administrative center. Sandran suggested we take a cruise to enjoy the splendid architecture on both sides of the shore, including the Millennium Tower.

In addition to driving us to the tower afterwards, he took us to Bantu Cave, which houses the century-old 272-step-high Hindu Temple, a waterfall and lots of unwelcome wild monkeys wanting tourists` food.

The cost was US$100 for the first day`s taxi ride. It was an incredible deal, as many of these places were far from each other. And traffic in Kuala Lumpur was horrible.

By the way, we did call a Chinese tour guide recommended by the hotel. But he never returned our call. At US$60 an hour, he would have been five times more expensive than Sandran. We hired Sandran for the next two days and enjoyed our conversations with him immensely.

A fascinating, diverse country
America defines its races using four groups, Native, Latino, Asian and African American. But Malaysia is so diverse that no one can sort out its racial diversity. Just look at the colors of the people`s skin: They vary from chocolate brown to charcoal brown, reddish to yellow-brown, light to dark as midnight. The Malay, Chinese, English and Tamil languages are all frequently spoken.

Like other Asian countries that suffered imperialism centuries ago, Malaysia was once ruled by the Portuguese, then the Dutch, British and Japanese. The Chinese might not have formally conquered it, but China has exerted its influence over Malaysia since the second century. With Islam as its state religion, Saudi Arabia has a powerful presence in the area in terms of loans, tourism and cooperation. Hard to believe, but Malaysia is a fairly young country. It established its independence only 50 years ago with the support of the British.

Of the 26.3 million people in Malaysia, 6.5 million are ethnic Chinese and 2.5 million are Indians. Most Chinese are Buddhists; Indians are Hindu or Muslim. Lots of the illegal residents are from Indonesia, Bangladesh or Pakistan. Temples of all kinds are scattered throughout the country. Mosques are not only bigger, but they are located in more prominent positions than other houses of worship. For instance, next to the Prime Minister`s Building is the biggest mosque in not only Malaysia, but all of Southeast Asia.

There are also no dogs around. Oh yes, Muslims are not allowed to keep dogs. But they can have cats. According to our driver, you can have dogs outside the capital, but you need a permit.

In this day and age, Malaysians still believe in royalty. Yes, they have a king and queen, whose symbolic heads-of-state duties are transferred every five years among the 14 states. However, the prime minister has the power to run the country; he was on the front pages of Chinese and English newspapers daily.

The Twin Towers
Built in 1998, the amazing and glamorous 88-story Petronas Twin Towers was once the tallest building in the world before Taiwan built its Taipei 101. The two buildings are connected by a two-story skybridge on the 42nd floor. With a grand view of the city, the sky bridge is free to everyone. But there is a catch. Visitors have to line up two hours early to get tickets.

Forget it, I said.

Sandran volunteered to get us tickets at 8 a.m. What service!

The Twin Towers are not only a remarkable achievement for Malaysia, but they put the country on the map. Aside from the grand four-story shopping mall, which is equivalent to five to six Bellevue Square malls, the building also houses a concert hall, a library, a private club as luxurious as the Columbia Tower Club, and petroleum companies.

What struck me was that the buildings were very clean and efficiently run. Everything was well organized, including the tour. The free admission to the skybridge is a great marketing strategy, as it encourages families and tourists to spend money at the mall before and after the tour, as they have to wait there for two hours before the tour starts. No wonder the mall is bustling with people and activity. Compare it to the Shanghai Pearl Tower, which has few tourists and many empty malls; China could learn something from Malaysia.

The free tour made us feel obligated to support the businesses there. We bought souvenirs and had lunch inside the mall at the Coffee Bean, a chain similar to Starbucks, which also had a shop there. The nice lunch, which included a vanilla drink, latte, chocolate cake and 6-inch chicken pie, cost only US$16.

Sandran showed us Indiantown and where to exchange Malay currency. A Hindu himself, he said Indian Muslims offer the best exchange rate. There we got the highest rate among the three places we visited on our trip.

While we strolled around Indiantown, Sandran was having breakfast in a tiny cafeteria where everyone was squeezed together at long tables as if they were old friends. I wondered why there were no women present.

There were Malay businesses next to Indiantown, mostly fabric stores and dress shops selling colorful Muslim designs for women. I was attracted to the gorgeous batik pattern of their clothes, but declined to try on a dress when I realized it wouldn`t fit. I noticed Muslim women wear their clothes two sizes bigger than their bodies.

"It`s supposed to be loose," said a saleswoman who understood my concern.

"But I don`t want to look fat," I responded. That might be the biggest cultural difference between Western and Muslim-influenced fashion, I presumed. Western women wear clothes that show the curves of their figures, whereas Muslim women hide everything about their bodies.

Las Vegas-style town on the mountain
Sandran dropped us off at the foot of the mountain at Genting. He warned us about the cold weather. But to us, it was perfect. The 70 degrees at Genting was much more pleasant than the 92 degrees in Kuala Lumpur.

Everything in Las Vegas seemed to be copied by Genting, from the theme parks to the hotels. For example, Las Vegas` Venetian Hotel has a manmade lake with tourists on boats and singing rowers, just like in Venice. At Genting, there`s also a lake inside a hotel and moving boats, but the rower isn`t real.

The casinos are not located in an obvious spot, unlike Las Vegas` casinos, which are the first things you see when you pass through the grand entrance. Although we are not gamblers, we ventured into a casino on the lower level of the hotel. A security guard stopped my husband from entering, indicating that he wasn`t properly dressed. He had a T-shirt on, as did I, but women were allowed to enter with T-shirts. So I roamed the casino alone. To my disappointment, the casino was crowded, dark, dull and small compared to Las Vegas` fancy ones.

To comfort my husband waiting outside, I told him he didn`t miss anything. Immediately, he pulled out a shirt from his backpack, put it on and went inside as if I had lied to him!

The best part of Genting was the US$20 foot massage at the hotel`s mall. It was a slow day and the Malay therapist gave me more than the 40 minutes allowed for the massage, while the Chinese therapist served me tea and entertained me.

The last agenda was dinner in Chinatown. Sandran commented that this neighborhood was famous for selling fake designer purses and watches. He left us in Chinatown before he headed home to celebrate his wife`s birthday. Our generous tip touched him. Sandran told his wife that her birthday gift and dinner were courtesy of "Mr. George" and "Madame."

Chinese in Malaysia
We never felt we were discriminated against in Kuala Lumpur until we talked to a friend in Hong Kong after the trip.

"The Malays have hated the Chinese for thousands of years. The Chinese control everything in Malaysia, from big to small businesses," he said.

In retrospect, he could be right. The Malays were not especially friendly to us. When we asked for directions on the street, the locals weren`t helpful, and many times they gave us the wrong instructions. I didn`t know if it was intentional or not. I thought we got more help when we asked for it on past trips to Istanbul, Turkey, and Casablanca, Morocco.

At a museum, our driver told the receptionist that he was leaving to get gas and asked her to tell us. She saw us waiting in the lobby, but did not relay the message.

A couple of times, Sandran addressed my husband as Chinaman. Most Asian Americans would be upset by the term, but it is acceptable in Malaysia.

There are many stories of successful Chinese entrepreneurs in Malaysia. The Chinese foot masseuse told me many, including that of Mr. Lim, who started Genting town. She said he started from scratch and was perceived as nuts when he decided to build a gambling town on the top of a mountain.

Chinese language schools are important for the locally born Chinese. They can write and read better than many American-born Chinese. I read two of the three Chinese daily newspapers available there. They seem to be doing well, with decent editorial content and strong advertisements.

In Kuala Lumpur alone, there are more than a million Chinese, and I was surprised that I could get by with Cantonese in many areas of the city. Chinese eateries are everywhere. In fact, there are even more Chinese food courts and restaurants outside Chinatown than in it, and the wait staff speaks Cantonese just like in Hong Kong.

Sandran told us that interracial marriages between Chinese women and Indians and Malays are common. What`s interesting is that Indian women don`t marry Chinese men. Sociologists would be able to analyze the issue.

Saying goodbye
On our last day, we invited Sandran to have lunch with us at Seafood Palace, a restaurant he recommended. A vegan himself, he ordered vegetarian fried rice. He was so happy that we included him for lunch that he told the Chinese waitress that we were like his family and friends.

We had a lavish and delicious meal featuring Malaysian lobsters, shark fin soup with crabmeat, and long beans with chopped fish mixed with eggs. Actually, Sandran knew all the great restaurants, and we loved his suggestions. The night before, he told us to dine at Eden Village, right behind our hotel. It was more like Seattle`s Canlis restaurant.

I told him the truth when he brought us to the airport: "We are Americans." His jaw dropped and he was speechless. I gave him many hints, but he never connected the dots. For instance, when we didn`t have enough Malay currency to pay him, we paid him in U.S. money to make up for the balance.

I don`t know when I will go back to Malaysia, but the trip made an impression on us. We were particularly struck by Malaysia`s accomplishments and Sandran and his service. Kuala Lumpur`s modern airport rivals our own Sea-Tac airport. The new government city of Putrajaya is a brilliant expression of art, religion, technology, urban planning and revitalization in an old mining and plantation area.

Malaysia also manufactures cars. Sandran`s taxi was a Malay product. More than half of the automobiles on the freeway were made in Malaysia. Buying a Toyota in Malaysia would cost double.

Unlike Singapore, which has a dictatorial regime and press censorship, Malaysia is a democracy. I don`t care to go back to Singapore, but Malaysia, I would do so again in a heartbeat.

Why we ended up in Malaysia was an accident. My husband and I were visiting my mom in Hong Kong. She has an apartment with an extra guest room. My sister-in-law, who works in Hong Kong, recently started living there on weekdays. On weekends, she goes across the border to China, just like British Columbians who work in our state do when they return home to Canada on weekends. My mom insisted my sister-in-law give up her room and sleep in the living room while we were there. I didn`t like the idea.

After arriving in Hong Kong on Friday morning, we randomly walked into a travel agency in my mom`s neighborhood and told the agent to get us out fast. Within 36 hours, we left Hong Kong in time for my sister-in-law to have her room back.

Source: www.nwasianweekly.com (9 April 2007)

Hotchpotch heaven - Kuala Lumpur

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:55 AM PDT

By Yvone Tahana - Waikato Times

You`ve got to love a country that lays claim to the biggest beer tankard in the world.

It sits, almost 2m tall, a dull-silver looking vessel in Kuala Lumpur, not far from the city centre`s Golden Triangle - the uber shopping district, slums, and Malaysia`s iconic Petronas twin towers.

What`s ironic is this tankard isn`t standing in a country that has a reputation for drunkenness or binge drinking at the weekend. Rather, in conservative Muslim Malaysian, taxes are whacked on spirits and wine and some of the country`s states are as dry as empty kegs.

Malaysia is a country of contrasts, a third-world state with an economy growing at a rate New Zealand can only envy, leading to immense wealth for some while others live on the margins; night markets selling every type of label knock-off from perfume to DVDs, operate right smack in the middle of Old Chinatown KL, a place where huge ornate temples with turtle gardens compete for space with apartment blocks not 25m away.

KL is a brilliant hotchpotch of the colonial, mosques and Muslim-inspired buildings, Indian and Chinese temples, high-rise apartments, and houses in green leafy suburbs; while rapid economic growth has thrown in skyscrapers and luxury five-star hotels.

But back to the beer tanker. And the weather.

Step out of KL`s air-conditioned airport, one of the largest in the world, so big you have to catch a monorail to connecting terminals, and the heat hits like a heavy, soggy blanket.

For months of the year neighbouring Indonesia burns its forests to clear land for farming; the resulting haze hangs over annoyed neighbours such as Singapore and Malaysia.

That makes it hot and humid, perfect conditions for even a tipple of the 2796 litres the tankard holds.

It`s made of pewter, a soft alloy of tin, copper and antimony. Royal Selangor makes the pewter, the best in the world, it claims, and the tankard sits outside its KL factory.

Take a tour of the 122-year-old business and they`ll let you bang out your own wonky bowl, complete with self-engraved upside down initials. For kids and kids-at-heart, it`s fun.

Jason the factory guide reckons a drink out of a pewter tankard is something else, because the metal keeps the liquid cooler.

He looks hung-over, and in that heat I`m dying for a cold beer, so I take his word for it and make a mental note to get one.

For Kiwis, the exchange rate is pretty good - at a little more than two ringgit to the dollar, things are cheap for travellers.

And if you`re looking to spend money on something a little bit different, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre might sound a bit boring, but it has a hidden gem.

Tucked away on one of the lower levels just before an aquarium, is a little shop selling pottery, vases, spoons, plates and pots.

The artefacts are, supposedly, relics from shipwrecks in and around the waters of Malaysia - some of them date from the 11th century right up to time of the Dutch East India Company. They tell the trading story of the region especially in the South China Sea.

It`s amazing that not only can you look at a piece of Chinese porcelain that might be 500 years old, but you can also take that same piece of history home. If it`s for real, it`s crazy, cool, and it`d probably never happen in New Zealand.

Haggling at the night markets in Old Chinatown is expected and while it can be full on with every handbag stall-owner coming at you with faux Gucci, it`s good cheap theatre watching the exaggerated sighs, hand waving and stubborn stares. Be warned: once you enter into a haggle, you`re expected to buy.

This year marks the country`s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Malays, Chinese and Indians are the main ethnic groups in the population of 26 million people.

My tour guide for the day around KL is an Indian man who reckons building a nation out of different cultures comes down to tolerance.

Since independence the state has made a concerted effort to oil the wheels of social cohesion, he says. Everyone learns Malay at school for a common language, although English has gained traction.

He says the atmosphere has to be one of mutual respect for each others` beliefs.

Under the Internal Security Act, the police move quickly to arrest anyone causing unrest, he says.

He reckons a big worry is that teenagers today are grouping together along ethnic lines, not making an effort to make friends from other groups.

It`s a quiet shift away from what the country is about, he says.

In a country of ethnic diversity, it`s funny that they can`t place Polynesian people.

I get asked a few times if I`m half Asian, something I`ve never before been mistaken for. But a few days later, a couple of Chinese women I meet on Penang Island could`ve been aunties from up north or the coast.

Penang`s about an hour north by plane from KL, off the west coast, much of it lush and bush-covered, a nice change from the concrete jungle.

I`m staying at Batu Ferringi, literally foreigners` beach, and at lunch are two of the plumpest, funniest, brownest Chinese women I`ve ever met.

They work for the Shangri-La`s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa - the only five-star place on the island - and part of the perks of having media stay is taking them to lunch and making sure they`re looked after.

They giggle and chat and tell us about the personal trainer we`ll meet after lunch all the while imploring our group to eat, eat, eat.

And Penang is all about food. Usually spicy, but the huge fried pineapple chunks in satay sauce are delicious. Forget about those doomsayers who reckon you should be careful about hawker food, it`s amazing for its variety, it`s cheap and who cares when you`re on holiday.

Little cart-owners set up shop in open-air sheds and Penang`s residents flock to them for food including Nonya, a fusion of Malay and Chinese.

NZ lamb was also on the menu at one hawker place but, like the $2 CD knockoffs, the meat is probably sourced much closer to Malaysia.

Just like KL, Penang is a mix of the new and the old. At Batu Ferringi, the Shangri La drips class. If you feel like living the high life, there`s no better place.

Jimmy Choo, he of the fabulous shoes, grew up on the island and knows the place well, staff say, but it really is a place women will appreciate.

Bliss is hopping in a marble bath on your balcony while frogs croak and an electrical storm revs up.

The massages left me feeling sore but were worth it.

A round-trip of the island takes a day. You`ll come across traditional Malay wooden longhouses atop stilts.

They line both sides of the narrow road that circles the island, and while some have intricate carved facades, many look tired. The houses are a reminder there are still some who are yet to benefit from development.

Back at the hotel, hawker tourist operators bargain for business on the beach. One Chinese man tells me his horse is from New Zealand stock, a former race horse. I don`t believe him but he spins a nice story.

He reckons his job is a hard way to make a living but he likes being outside all day.

Go to Malaysia to see an ethnically diverse place whose face is changing rapidly, where business is driving the country`s future, and where the contrasts between the old and the new are plain for everyone to see.

Source: www.stuff.co.nz (8 April 2007)

Alternative Disputer Resolution in Brunei-Darussalam: The Blending of Imported and Traditional Processes

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:47 AM PDT

By Ann Black

Introduction
In 1984 the Southeast Asian sultanate of Negara Brunei Darussalam proclaimed its independence. Whilst this made Brunei one of the last nations in Asia to severe its colonial ties, the kingdom has been in existence for over a thousand years. From its pre-Islamic animistic past, which was shared with the rest of the island of Borneo, the kingdom has been subject to a range of ideological influences. Although the earliest influence was from the Indic Majapahit empire, the more lasting influence was that of Islam. The year 1360 is officially accepted as the date of the conversion of then Raja, which marked the commencement of the Sultanate as a legal and political entity. Islam provided more than a new religion for the Brunei Malays. It offered, as well, a blueprint for an Islamic social order described as 'an ideologically and canonically inspired vision of reality', [1] which included the prescribed Islamic means for dispute resolution. In contrast, in giving the Sultanate Protectorate and then Residential status, [2] it was the British who prioritised the introduction of western secular values and practices for dispute resolution. The transplantation in the early 1900s of the English common law system – its structure, institutions, laws and jurisprudence – into this quintessentially Islamic society resulted in two distinctive lines of development in dispute resolution.

The parallel, but separate, systems of courts that co-exist today in Brunei are a result of these two distinctive imported influences. The British legacy is manifest in the Civil Court system whilst the Islamic inheritance is apparent in the newly reformed system, of Syariah Courts. Whilst the former was retained post-independence to be the dominant institution in the Sultanate's legal system, recent reforms to the Islamic courts and to Islamic laws have signalled the Sultan's commitment to increasing their role and significance for Brunei's predominantly Malay, Muslim population. This is consistent with the nation's ideology, Melayu Islam Beraja (MIB), [3] designed to promote and uphold Malay culture, Islam and the institution of the monarchy as indispensable components in Bruneian development. Inevitably, MIB also impacts upon the current priorities for dispute resolution, including those processes other than adjudication employed in courts, whether the secular common law or the religious Syariah court systems.

It is two of these 'alternative' processes, specifically arbitration and mediation, that are the main focus of this article. Once more, the role of Islam and the English common law have been influential, particularly on arbitration. However, with mediation, the people of Brunei have long established culturally preferred means of settling disputes and for reducing conflict that utilise informal localised forms of negotiation and mediation. These continue to be preferred over the exported western versions of the ADR movement. That this is occurring is consistent with MIB, which over the last two decades has operated to limit assimilation of all things western, and seeks to retain that which is, or is deemed to be, congruent with Bruneian culture. This means a preference for Islamic and Malay solutions. The preference for using traditional processes over imported versions is also not inconsistent with findings of other research on the transfer of western ADR processes into different cultural contexts including Asia.

Historical and Cultural Basis for Dispute Resolution Preferences
Traditionally there has been a cultural preference in many Asian societies to resolve disputes privately through negotiation, mediation and conciliation. [4]

There is considerable support for the view that historically and culturally many Asian societies preferred processes other than litigation in the courts for dispute resolution. An APEC [5] report on dispute resolution in the region noted: 'Parties from the Asian region are generally averse to referring disputes to the courts. There is a strong traditional cultural preference here to resolve disputes by discussion and by compromise'. [6] Leaving aside the valid issue as to whether the cultures of Asia can be lumped together collectively and generalizations be drawn, [7] Brunei Darussalam would seem to fit the mould of a society, which has a tradition of resolving disputes informally. The interventions of headmen, local ulama (religious scholars) in the community, and imam (prayer leaders at local mosques) has been established for centuries as a means for settling differences and disputes at the local level. Prior to the Residency period, the more serious disputes would come to either the district chiefs or the Sultan personally, with both fulfilling roles as mediator/arbitrators for these disputes, particularly when valuable property or people of standing were involved. For Brunei the historical antecedents provide strong endorsement for these non – litigious forms of dispute resolution. Longstanding practices became embedded in the culture and continue to influence attitudes and sustain preferred ways of behaving.

In terms of culture, researchers have found that people from different cultures adopt different priorities and means for managing conflict and resolving disputes. Moore [8] suggests dividing the world into direct-dealing and non-direct dealing cultures. In the former, conflict and confrontation is accepted, and members are comfortable with direct dialogue, face to face interactions, and direct negotiations. [9] Members of non-direct cultures avoid conflict and confrontation, aim to preserve face for themselves and others, and opt for intermediaries in a resolution process. [10] Moore's descriptors are consistent with the findings of social science research undertaken into cultural variation.

One cultural variable, identified as correlating with divergence in managing conflict and dispute resolution, is that of individualism-collectivism. It has been considered by a number of researchers [11] as providing a concise, integrated [12] and 'empirically testable dimension of cultural variability'. [13] The dimension is bi-polar, with individualism and collectivism at opposite ends of a continuum. Hui and Triandis [14] also found that members of collectivist cultures give emphasis to the implications of their behaviour on others, share resources, emphasize harmony with shame being the controlling regulator, define themselves by group membership and subordinate personal goals to those of the group. People in individualist cultures share mostly with their immediate or nuclear family, are less willing to subordinate their personal goals to that of the group, are prepared to confront others, feel personally responsible for their own successes or failures, and focus on individual initiative, achievements and uniqueness. It has been described as the 'I' identity having precedence over the 'we' identity of collectivists [15] or the normative principle that the well being of the individual should take priority over the well being of the group. [16] Conflict is perceived in terms of the individual and so can be constructed as 'me versus you/us versus them' that is the basis for an adversarial exchange. [17] When conflict arises, people in individualist cultures are more likely to confront the other party directly and employ their rights to justify their solution, on the basis that 'not to claim in the appropriate circumstances that one has a right is to be spiritless or foolish'. [18] Where direct confrontation fails, disputants can elect to articulate their case to a non-partisan third party. In collectivist cultures conflict is perceived as disrupting the harmony in relationships, thereby necessitating that these relationships be restored and maintained. The preferred way to restore relationships is to avoid any direct confrontation [19] and to negotiate a settlement directly, or through a third party, who also shares that group's goals. Only when this fails, and after successive efforts to resolve it intra-group, will external means be used.

Most research on the relationship between collectivism and dispute resolution has centered on the Chinese culture, [20] whose notions of harmony, reciprocity and moral persuasion are derived from acculturation in Confucianist ideology. However, Hofstede's research also positioned Malaysia as a nation with a predominately collectivist culture. Whilst Brunei Darussalam was not analysed by Hofstede, both Malaysia and Brunei have a similar ethnic mix with Malays, Chinese and Indigenous non- Malays comprising over 80% of the population, [21] and share a similar geographic, historical, linguistic and social development. Both promote the Malay culture. It is axiomatic that Brunei's culture would also fall into the collectivist dimension. Additionally, the current MIB promotion of values in accordance with traditional Malay culture ensures continuance of the collectivist viewpoint. Endorsement and maintenance of traditional cultural practices is occurring at both an official and local level, in order to create a buffer against the materialism and individualism of western culture. [22]

Whilst the Malays do not have a scholar philosopher such as Confucius dominating their political, ethical and social thought, traditional Malay culture embodies similar characteristics. The overriding aim is to ensure that harmony in human relations prevails. Social harmony is to be maintained through mutual obligations, and through a defined social hierarchy in which respect and loyalty are promoted. Community effort and mutual cooperation (gotong-royong) is fostered by kinship and locality ties, and reinforced by Islamic values. [23] Decisions in the kampongs are to be reached through consensus. [24] The way to maintain good relations in families and communities is through avoidance of conflict by adhering to proper behaviour or halus, [25] respecting rank and status, and deferring to those with higher status. Social harmony is further achieved by observing the established rituals of courtesy. There is a strong commitment to mutual help, based on notions of duty, obligation and generosity [26] with co-operation and sharing amongst group members known as memucang-mucang. [27] These features of Malay culture extend beyond the family and social setting into the commercial and professional area. Business relationships are equally personalised, and governed by 'elaborate forms of curtesy and standardised rituals calibrated according to the rank of the recipient'. [28] In business dealings there is as much concern for the social relationship as there is for the commercial side of the negotiation, with contractual details and obligations less important than the trust and understanding between the parties.

One consequence of Brunei's collectivist character would be the preference for avoiding direct confrontation when a dispute arises, in favour of compromise and settlement through direct, or third party, negotiations. Collectivist cultures generally correlate with preference for consensual rather than adversarial outcomes. [29] As the western processes of ADR, particularly those of mediation and arbitration, are seen as being less adversarial and as giving more control to parties in a dispute than litigation, there was an expectation that these ADR processes would be adopted in collectivist societies such as Brunei.

However, the processes labelled as part of ADR in the west were ones that developed in highly individualistic cultures. ADR grew as a response to disillusionment with the litigation model that was being used in common law countries such as the United States, England and Australia. It was widely perceived in those countries that delays in the courts were impacting negatively on outcomes and the perception of justice. [30] Concern was also expressed that: 'the adjudicative bias of today's legal profession is not only a fantasy: it harms dispute resolution. Litigation as used in many traditional areas of law is too expensive, divisive, inaccessible or ineffective'. [31] It was also critiqued on the grounds that it was perceived to be hostile and alienating: 'women and minorities have remained at the periphery of the Anglo-Celtic, male matrix of legal values which are expressed in a court room, together with a distressing style of cross-examination and oppressive discourse'. [32] There was sufficient consensus that deficiencies existed with the model and that these needed to be addressed. One means was by reform to the existing system by way of case management. The other was for alternative processes, loosely categorized under the catch-all phrase of ADR, to be encouraged and officially supported by governments and their agencies, the courts, legal and non-legal professionals, and educational or training facilities. A need was perceived and ADR was part of the remedy. It seems that for Brunei the same need has not been identified. In Brunei, court congestion is not a pressing problem, there has been little concern expressed about the cost of litigation, and the society has religious and cultural beliefs, traditions and practices that are distinctive and not shared with the west.

This is the background and context for the description and analysis of the dispute resolution processes of arbitration and mediation that follow. With arbitration both the western and Islamic forms will be considered, and with mediation the focus is on a comparison between the imported western and the local traditional processes.

Arbitration
Arbitration is a process in which the dispute is referred to the adjudication of a third party chosen by the disputing parties and whose decision will be binding on them. Parties, either in a dispute or entering into a contract together, may decide that if a dispute arises it would be best to have it resolved by arbitration, which can give a resolution which is legally binding, but avoid what they consider may be the disadvantages of litigation in the courts. [33] The preference disputing parties will have for arbitration as a process is determined by many factors. These come from their perceptions as to the degree of advantage or disadvantage of arbitration vis a vis other processes, knowledge the parties have of these past experiences, advice given by others, perceptions regarding the specific expertise of the arbitrator or centre providing dispute resolution services, availability, risk assessment, cultural preferences and personal instinct.

In Brunei Darussalam, as in other countries of the Asia Pacific region, arbitration is available to disputing parties. It comes in two forms. There is arbitration in accordance with legislation, Emergency (Arbitration) Order (1994), which was designed to meet the needs of commercial transactions, both domestic and international. It is modelled on the English arbitration law. Also there is traditional Islamic arbitration, takhim, which in Brunei Darussalam has been limited to family and marital disputes, although in several other Islamic nations it is used widely in commercial disputes. [34] Both will be considered.

Features of Arbitration Pursuant to the Arbitration Act (1994)
The Emergency (Arbitration) Order (1994) was enacted to provide Brunei Darussalam with the legislative framework for resolution of civil disputes by means of arbitration. It has subsequently become classified as the Arbitration Act 1994, Cap 173 of the Laws of Brunei Darussalam. As Brunei Darussalam is now a party to The United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention) the Act gave effect to the provisions of that Convention. The Convention obliges the courts in Brunei, as one of the signatory states, [35] to defer to arbitral jurisdiction whenever a case is brought under a contract containing an arbitration clause, [36] and to enforce an arbitral decision made in another country [37] - although there are some limited exceptions to the latter. The grounds for appealing arbitral awards are set out in Article V, including that the award was set aside by a court in the country where it was originally awarded. [38]

To date, Brunei Darussalam is not a party to the Washington Convention (ICSID) [39] nor has it entered into any bilateral investment agreements with arbitration provisions. Brunei Darussalam has recently become a signatory member of WIPO. [40]

The Arbitration Act does not adopt the UNCITRAL Model law for arbitrations. This procedural model was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1958, with the aim of establishing a comprehensive set of rules that would give a unified framework for efficient settlement of commercial disputes internationally, and harmonize the various national legal systems. Parties in Brunei Darussalam could apply the rules of UNCITRAL or the rules of an arbitration institution, as the Act does not limit the parties doing so. It gives them autonomy to modify the procedural rules in the Act, and to introduce their own. The reason for Brunei Darussalam not adopting UNICITRAL may lie in the fact the Britain has not done so, for the commercial and civil law of Brunei is essentially the same as that of its coloniser, England. [41]

The Act will apply when parties have made an arbitration agreement. Section 2 of the Arbitration Act (1994) defines an arbitration agreement as 'an agreement in writing (including an agreement contained in an exchange of letters, facsimiles or telegrams) to submit to arbitration present or future differences capable of settlement by arbitration whether an arbitrator is named therein or not'. This covers ad hoc submissions of existing or current disputes, as well as those where the original agreement between the parties had a contractual clause to the effect that any disputes arising out of their agreement would be resolved by arbitration.

It has been estimated [42] that arbitration agreements would be contained in 90% of contracts in the construction industry, which is the second largest industry in Brunei Darussalam after oil and gas, as well as in a large number of commercial contracts, especially where the subject matter of the contract is complex or technical. Such arbitration agreements are typically found in contracts with the Government of Brunei, for the government and its agencies have immunity from suit. [43] Arbitration can provide an avenue for adjudication in the event of a dispute, otherwise the contracting party has to rely on negotiated settlements with the government. Although the majority of commercial and construction contracts contain arbitration agreements, in practice most parties prefer to waive their rights under the arbitration agreement, [44] in many cases being advised to do so by their lawyers. There were admissions that arbitration agreements were put into contracts to be used as a delaying tactic to buy time, should a dispute arise and the other party commences legal proceedings to get summary judgment in the court. This is because the Act allows for an application to be made to stay the court proceedings in order for arbitration to take place. [45] The court will stay the proceedings unless it is satisfied that the arbitration agreement is null and void, inoperative, incapable of being performed or that there is in fact no dispute between the parties. The Act does not specify which types of disputes can be arbitrated. Certainly criminal matters are excluded, [46] and generally have been in the past, for reasons of public policy. However, contracts 'relating to land or an interest in land' [47] would also be excluded, because an arbitrator cannot make an order for specific performance where there is such a contract. Otherwise the arbitrator has the same power as a court regarding specific performance remedies, unless it is expressly excluded by the contract. Generally, it is matters in which damages may be claimed that go to arbitration. The High Court does have power to set aside any award from an arbitration if it is satisfied that the arbitration agreement was null and void, inoperative or incapable of being performed, or that there is not in fact any dispute between the parties with regard to matters agreed upon for arbitration. [48]

The Act makes a distinction between domestic and international arbitration. The significance is that there are different provisions [49] in the Act to be applied in either case. An arbitration is international when the agreement expressly or by implication provides for arbitration in a state or territory other than Brunei Darussalam and to which neither:

a) an individual who is a national of, or habitually resident in any state or territory other than Brunei Darussalam; nor
b) a body corporate which is incorporated in, or whose centre management and control is exercised in any state or territory other than Brunei Darussalam, is a party at the time the proceedings are commenced.' [50]

The law to be applied in arbitration is that determined by the parties. In most domestic arbitration agreements it is stipulated to be the law of Brunei Darussalam. Whilst government contracts are generally silent as to the choice of law, the prima facie position is that the law of Brunei Darussalam would be held to apply. This accords with the English position that in the absence of an express choice it is the law with which the agreement is most closely associated. [51]

There is no stipulation as to the language to be used in arbitrations but as English is the language used in legal proceedings in the secular courts, and is widely spoken as the second language in Brunei in commercial and international dealings, English would customarily be used in arbitrations. There is no provision in the Act on confidentiality, so this would need to be specified in the agreement to arbitrate.

There are no restrictions on who can be appointed arbitrator, apart from the fact that the consent of the Chief Justice is required before judges and magistrates of Brunei Darussalam can be appointed; and the Minister of Law, who is chairman of the Public Service Commission, must give consent for the appointment of any public servant. [52] Government contracts give the authority to the Minister of Development to appoint an arbitrator, and where the Minister does not so nominate, then the Chief Justice can appoint the arbitrator.

Conciliation Under The Act
Conciliation is provided for in Part 11 of the Arbitration Act (Cap 173), but is limited to circumstances where the parties to an arbitration agreement have included a written provision in their agreement that they should first attempt to settle their dispute by conciliation. [53] Conciliation is not defined but has been taken to mean a process whereby parties are assisted by a neutral conciliator/mediator to reach a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute. [54] The term mediation can be used interchangeably with conciliation, but in the context of this Act, conciliation will be used. If the conciliation process fails to produce such an agreed solution it automatically terminates at the end of three months. Where an acceptable agreement is reached and is signed by the parties, it will be treated as an arbitration award and is to be enforced in the same way as an arbitral award. [55] Where there is a provision for the conciliator to become an arbitrator if the conciliation were to fail, that alone does not become a ground for objection. The act is silent as to the confidentiality of conciliation.

Where the arbitration agreement contains a conciliation provision but does not specify who is to act as a conciliator, the court can appoint a conciliator. The High Court of Brunei Darussalam has not to date made such an appointment. [56] Legal practitioners [57] indicated that they were not aware of any conciliation proceedings that have occurred under the Act, and there were some expressions of concern or doubt as to who would have the ability or experience to warrant such an appointment. Provisions for conciliation are not standard in either commercial or construction contracts in Brunei Darussalam, and there was a perception that if a dispute had reached a stage where it was proceeding to arbitration, it would be too late and unproductive to spend time on conciliation.

Role of Arbitration Under the Act
There are no official figures available on the number of domestic arbitrations taking place in Brunei Darussalam. Lawyers in commercial practice who had nominated arbitration as a process provided by their firms indicated that the actual numbers of arbitrations were small, and that it was an under-utilised option. The Chief Justice was in agreement that the numbers were small, estimating that possibly four to six disputes a year would be decided by arbitration, though two to three times that number of disputants would threaten to use arbitration as a means to bring about a settlement. Like litigation, arbitration was used as a tactic to facilitate negotiations rather than a dispute resolution process in itself. A lawyer in the Attorney-General's Department said 'there may be an Act, but people in business don't think of it (arbitration) as a serious option'. [58]

In Brunei there appears to be a perception that there is no real need for arbitration to play a greater role. There could be several explanations for this. On the practical side, local lawyers consider the courts work effectively. 'There is no reason to look for those sort of alternatives - it doesn't take long to get a matter before the courts and you can be guaranteed a fair hearing. Clients are happy and we are happy'. [59] It was also indicated that there was no significant difference in terms of time or costs between arbitration and litigation, and if there was, arbitration was considered the more expensive (especially arising from payment of arbitrators' fees) and more protracted. Possibly the effectiveness of the court process has been complemented by the introduction of pre-trial conferences. These are mandatory for all civil cases set down for trial before the High or Intermediate Court, where both parties are legally represented. The judge, or more usually the Registrar, will try to facilitate a settlement.

Another contributory factor to the limited utilisation of arbitration is that knowledge and familiarity with arbitration as a process is not extensive. Arbitration was not a service that all firms in Brunei were able to offer, nor could they provide representation for their clients. Less than half of the firms that responded to a survey conducted [60] on dispute resolution processes available to their clients in Brunei indicated that domestic arbitration was a service on offer for their clients. Two of the legal firms responded that they could provide for international commercial arbitration. Several of the firms also questioned the ability of some of the other firms to provide a quality service. The process of selling 'arbitration' as a service in Brunei Darussalam has been undertaken by a British firm that specializes in the provision of ADR services to the construction industry. The firm reports that whilst there has been good attendance at information seminars, [61] the majority of attendees were government employees, with private business and the legal fraternity underrepresented and generally resistant to the possibilities. The indications were that in Brunei Darussalam, lawyers perceived arbitration as an alternative method of litigation, rather than an alternative to it, and the level of confidence in the courts obviated the need to consider the alternatives. There have been occasions, however, when the Supreme Court has diverted a matter to arbitration, when the amount of evidence was such that the protracted nature of proceedings would adversely affect the court list.

It was suggested that a number of contracts and transactions in Brunei Darussalam may be tainted with aspects of illegality, minor and major, and that the scrutiny by the courts or by arbitrators would not be wanted. Even without that consideration, both processes were seen as 'going into the minutiae' rather than getting to the crux of the dispute - essentially coming from the western stable of processes, and not according with the inherent collectivist viewpoint. Both appear to threaten, possibly to be destructive of good social relationships, which are prioritised in Bruneian culture. Whilst in theory arbitration can be less regulated, less formal and more consensual than adjudication in the courts, in reality many in Brunei Darussalam see it as equally rule bound, inflexible and adversarial. It means the choice will come down to going to court, always with the strong possibility that a negotiated settlement will be the outcome, [62] or settle the dispute through 'local means and contacts'. This refers to direct negotiations between the parties, and negotiations which are facilitated 'intra communally' when both disputants share the same ethnicity, language and culture. [63] It involves calling on contacts within one's own community to assist in the resolution of the dispute. Often it will involve a significant third party in that community assisting in an informal but persuasive form of mediation. The third party will be connected to one or both of the disputants through family, friendship or business ties. This is possible given the small population of Brunei Darussalam - 330, 700 (1999), with 200,000 residents in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital and commercial centre.

When any dispute arises in Brunei Darussalam involving a company an important question is, 'who is behind it?' The indications that if the person is well connected, especially with links to the royal family, then the likelihood of proceeding with either litigation or arbitration becomes negligible. Apart from concern over the impact on future business dealings and possible diminution of goodwill, local culture ensures that a Bruneian Malay would find it socially inappropriate to bring an action in the courts, or to invoke arbitration, even when there is a contract with a provision for arbitration. The tenacity of the traditional social hierarchical structure and accompanying rules of appropriate behaviour, [64] even in today's society, mitigate against taking action against a person of royal standing or rank. The factor of considering social place and deference to be displayed to persons of higher rank, social status or age as impeding the acceptance and implementation of ADR processes, has parallels in other countries such as Thailand and Cambodia. [65] The state ideology, MIB, through its endorsement of adat istana (laws and customs of the palace) and promotion of the formalities and features of traditional stratified Brunei society indirectly reinforces the natural collectivist reluctance to litigate or arbitrate against such parties of significant social standing. The consequence is that arbitration would be more likely to be employed for dispute resolution where there exists some equality in social and commercial standing, without a close social relationship having developed. For this reason overseas international companies rather than local Bruneian ones have been more willing to arbitrate.

Although arbitration has not been widely adopted in Brunei Darussalam as a process for commercial dispute resolution either domestically or internationally, this is not totally inconsistent with the trend in the countries of the Asian region. An APEC Report noted:

arbitration is certainly a dispute resolution technique that is in use in the Asia Pacific region. It would appear, however, mainly from anecdotal evidence, that resort to arbitration to settle disputes has not grown as rapidly as one would have expected given the growth in the number of transactions that make up the present trade flows in the region. [66]

The report gives some structural reasons for this, including the fact that rules for conducting arbitration differ among the countries, creating some uncertainty and diminishing confidence, and also that there are differences in the region in the willingness of courts to enforce arbitral awards in international commercial disputes. [67] Cultural reasons, such as the adversarial nature of arbitration in societies where compromise is prioritised, and its capacity to destroy business relationships were also given. A further factor noted was that in international transactions, where parties may come from diverse geographical and legal backgrounds, there may be insufficient understanding of the other's culture to trust ADR processes as being fair or reasonable. [68]

The level of acceptance of arbitration in Asia, however, really turns on each country's unique circumstances, and their own assessment of its benefits or drawable, in their particular circumstances. In the case of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and also in Singapore, there has been a much higher acceptance of arbitration as a dispute resolution process. It has been suggested that in the case of Hong Kong, the growing dissatisfaction with the high legal costs, and the proactivity from members of the Hong Kong Arbitration Centre [69] have contributed to this high level of acceptance. Brunei has different structural, historical and cultural circumstances and it seems that at this point in time Bruneians are not convinced of the need to extend their use of arbitration in the commercial context.

In addition to this western and secular form of commercial arbitration there is also Islamic arbitration which continues to play a small role in dispute resolution for Brunei Malays.

Islamic Arbitration (Takhim)
And if you have reason to fear that a breach might occur between a [married] couple, appoint an arbiter from among his people and an arbiter from among her people; if they both want to settle things aright, God may bring about their reconciliation. Behold, God is indeed all knowing, aware. (Quran, Sura al-Nisa 4: 35.)

Long before the advent of Islam, much of the Middle East including Arabia practiced arbitration. Disputes were settled either by means of self-help processes such as negotiation and personal vengeance or by tribal arbitration. The latter was the sanctioned form for dispute settlement. The divine revelations to the Prophet Mohammad endorsed him as an arbitrator (hakam) for disputes amongst his followers. He rejected the pagan elements that existed in pre-Islamic arbitration, but not arbitration as a process. He conducted arbitrations as well as adjudications, the differences being that in arbitration the parties chose their arbitrators, whilst in adjudication the judge was appointed by the ruler or government. The Prophet also recommended others to be arbitrators. After his death, the Prophet's companions recognised validity in the process and exhorted the role of those who arbitrate and conciliate. [70] The importance is evident in the advice that 'composing of differences between men is better than all fasts and prayers. [71] Islamic arbitration evolved in the centuries that followed. Although it was derived from the Syariah, and was required to be in accordance with it, doctrinal variations between the Shia and major Sunni schools of law [72] developed. These included whether an agreement to arbitrate in a possible future dispute was valid in Islamic law or void for uncertainty. [73] There were differences in the process of appointment of the hakam, [74] and in the qualifications required, [75] but all were in agreement that a third party, even a kadi, could not appoint a hakam who was unacceptable to the disputing parties.

There were aspects of conciliation incorporated into takhim. Attempts were made to conciliate (suhl) the parties, to persuade rather than to coerce, with the hakam endeavouring to create a cooperative atmosphere conducive to amicable settlement. If suhl could not be attained then the hakam, guided by the Syariah, reached a decision for the parties. The schools differed as to whether a decision of an arbitrator could bind the parties. Imam Shafi'i considered that an arbitral award would only be enforceable if both parties agreed to it. [76] This renders it closer to a form of conciliation or mediation. There were other scholars in addition to the Malaki and Hanbali who felt a hakam's decision was legally equal to that of a kadi. The Hanafi scholars held that a kadi could only enforce an arbitral award if he agreed with the veracity of the decision. [77]

Today, arbitration remains a recognised process for dispute resolution in many Islamic countries. [78] Whilst the Syariah continues to inform the procedural and substantive aspects, the actual application and implementation does differ widely amongschools and therefore countries. The degree of secularization of the courts, the extent to which statute law has been developed, as well as the 'degree of strictness' [79] in adherence to specific Islamic doctrine have created significant divergence in application.

Role of Islamic Arbitration in Brunei
To date, the scope of Islamic law has been limited to family, succession, personal and religious matters, with the common law regulating commercial and financial matters. This meant that takhim as a method of commercial dispute resolution did not develop in Brunei. However, this could change given the increasing Islamisation of all aspects of Brunei society, including extensions into the commercial and administrative sectors. [80] Since 1956, Part IV of The Religious Council and Kadi Courts Act (Cap 77) did provide for arbitration in disputes relating to marriage and divorce, when both parties were Muslim and their marriage was solemnised in accordance with Islamic law.

The Quranic recommendations regarding arbitration for marital disputes as outlined above had been reflected in the specific sections of the Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act which required the appointment of hakam by the kadi when there were 'constant quarrels between the parties to a marriage'. [81] Two arbitrators, acting for the husband and wife respectively, were to be appointed. Where possible, the hakam should be a close relative of the parties because this would provide them with knowledge of the circumstances of the case, [82] and ensure a strong commitment to do what is in the best interests of the disputants. The kadi could give directions to the hakam on how to conduct the arbitration, which must be in line with Islamic law. Where the arbitrators were unable to resolve the dispute or the kadi was not satisfied with the arbitral process, other hakam could be appointed. If the hakam were in agreement that the parties could not be reconciled a divorce could be granted by the hakam, provided the parties had given their authority for this. Otherwise, the kadi could confer on hakam the authority to decree a divorce and to have it registered.

The second provision for the intervention of a hakam under the Act was when there had been a revocable divorce after one or two talaks, [83] and the husband has pronounced rujok, (the term for his intention to resume 'conjugal relations') [84] with the wife consenting to the rujok, but not resuming conjugal relations. Where there was no reason in Islamic law not to resume conjugal relations, hakam could be appointed to assist with the resolution of this dispute. If a wife would not consent to the rujok, the kadi could require the husband to divorce her, and if he refused to proceed with the divorce, hakam could again be appointed to assist. [85]

The use of hakam pursuant to the Act had been declining, [86] so that rarely did the kadi use his discretion for the appointment of such arbitrators. The reasons [87] given for this were that divorce had become more accepted as a common life event for both Muslims and non-Muslims in Brunei. [88] This had lessened the social stigma of divorce, and so the earlier priority to reconcile disputing spouses had reduced. Marriage breakdowns had become more complex and bitter with less willingness to be conciliatory. [89] Kadis continued to encourage settlement and conciliatory solutions to marital disputes but were increasingly using professional counsellors, known as Family Advice Service officers, rather than hakam. Unlike hakam, these officers received training for their role, being supervised employees of the Religious Affairs Department. The establishment of the Family Advisor Unit in the Department of Religious Affairs corresponded with the declining role for takhim in marital conflict and disputes.

Despite this noted decline in takhim, the recent Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999), which came into effect in 2001 with the establishment of the Syariah Courts, has retained and expanded the role of hakam in the reconcilation of syiqaq disputes (those marked by marital discord and disharmony). [90] The Order distinguishes the roles for the Family Advice Service Officer and for hakam. Hakam can intervene when the Family Advice Service Officer has been unable to effect reconciliation between parties where one of them is seeking divorce. [91] Takhim is also specified in the Order for cases where the court rejects a wife's complaints to them that her husband has mistreated, assaulted or caused her harm, but she continues to repeat similar complaints thus demonstrating that there are constant quarrels in the marriage. [92] In these cases, the court may appoint two qualified hakam, 'competent in matters relating to arbitration' with 'one acting on behalf of the husband, and the other on behalf of the wife in accordance with Hukum Syara'.' [93] The qualifications referred to are those required under Islamic law, as discussed above, rather than professional arbitral qualifications. Also in accordance with traditional practice, the Order states that 'where possible' preference should be given to appointment of family members as 'qarabah qarib [94] of the parties having knowledge of the circumstances of the case'. [95] Hakam are given authority to investigate the reasons for the quarrels, syiqaq, and endeavour to reconcile the parties. [96] This is to be a concerted process, because if the hakam are unable to agree in arbitration, the court has the power to order them to keep trying, and if the dispute continues for a longer period without reconciliation, the court can dismiss the hakam and appoint new ones. [97] When the point is reached where the disagreement and disharmony between husband and wife continues unabated, and the hakam consider reconciliation unlikely, they can decide that the parties are to divorce, in talaq baain. The hakam refer the divorce to the Syariah court where it is accordingly registered and certified. [98]

The retention of the role for hakam in this new legislation demonstrates a clear affirmation of traditional Islamic dispute resolution practices. The delineation of the respective circumstances for intervention of hakam and of a Family Advice Service officer serves to guarantee the place of Islamic arbitration, as endorsed by the Prophet, for Brunei. As prescribed in the Syariah, the primary focus of takhim continues to be on reconciling differences between the disputing parties. [99] Where amicable resolution is not possible, hakam have authority to reach a conclusive settlement, which is recognized as binding and conclusive by the Syariah courts. One significant difference from arbitration in the western model, is that Islamic arbitration is considered a religious act, so the Syariah must guide and inform any arbitral process. With these parameters hakam must ensure that the process, and any settlement, accords with the Syariah. Additionally, under Brunei legislation the hakam will be chosen precisely for their knowledge of, and family relationship with, the parties.

Although takhim had been declining in marital disputes, its resurrection as a process integrated with those provided by the new Syariah courts is likely to generate a revival in Islamic arbitration that may not be limited to disputes between husbands and wives. It is possible that its role in the settlement of commercial and other disputes could also be resurrected. If Brunei Darussalam continues in its implementation of Islamic principles and processes into its commercial and financial practices, it is likely to follow other Islamic nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, in ensuring arbitration accords with Syariah principles.

Mediation
In this section consideration will be given firstly to some of the terminological issues in mediation in order to highlight the significance of context and culture on the nature of the mediation process. This is followed by analysis of the role played by two variants of mediation - western and traditional - that are employed in Brunei today.

Mediation is a process in which a third person or persons seek to assist the parties resolve a dispute without imposing a binding decision. [100] The parties in dispute are assisted by the mediator, who facilitates a process of discussion to enable them to reach an outcome to which each can assent. [101] Whilst there are many variants and permutations of mediation, with the word meaning different things to different people, it is acknowledged as a process that has had a long and diverse history in most cultures around the world. [102] The cultural context naturally directs and informs the nature of the process so that mediation in rural Islamic Turkey will differ from that conducted by a People's Mediation committee in the PRC. In the same way, mediation in the kampongs and longhouses of Brunei will differ from mediations informed by the western ADR philosophy. Within the latter, much of the discourse has considered the diversity that exists under the label of mediation in western countries [103] to the extent that Greenhouse considers 'mediation' now represents a residual category, filling the gap between formal judicial processes and systems of violent self-help. [104] That there is an on-going terminological debate on what exactly is mediation [105] is, in itself, a feature of western culture, where mediation has been theorised, evaluated, researched and professionalised. This does not happen in the context of traditional mediations where the long-standing, more informal and localised nature of the process, obviates any need for theorising, analysing or evaluating. Western mediation, which has been variously labelled modern mediation, [106] or independent mediation, [107] was consciously formulated and promoted to be an alternative process either in competition with, or complementary to, other dispute resolution options, notably litigation, in the common law countries. The common law setting has informed the process so that some features were to ameliorate perceived problems identified with litigation, whilst others were considered so important that they were incorporated into western mediation process and theory. Significant amongst the latter was the principle of independence of the judiciary. Hence similar features of independence, [108] impartiality, [109] and neutrality [110] for mediators were engrafted onto the process of mediation. In assisting parties to explore options for settling the dispute, the goal of western mediation is to bring about a consensual outcome rather than to coerce parties to settle [111] against their wishes, or on terms with which they feel dissatisfied. The emphasis in the western model is on the participants' own responsibilities for making decisions that affect their lives, and that this personal investment will engender more commitment than one imposed upon them. Although this factor of individual control is not present in every type of mediation found in western nations [112] it is a representative feature in the type of mediation being 'exported' from the west to Asia. This exported form of mediation is to be labelled 'western' mediation in this dissertation to distinguish it from the traditional forms found in Brunei.

'Traditional' mediation therefore refers to the processes that evolved and have been used for centuries on the island of Borneo to resolve disputes. It seeks to bring about a consensual settlement through the intervention of a third party mediator. Like its western counterpart, mediation here is not rigid or unvarying in application. However, there are differences in roles, goals and procedures between the two, and these are set out in Table 1. The dichotomy reflects the underlying dimensions of collectivist versus individualist culture.

Role of Traditional Mediation
As in other non-western, indigenous or traditional forms of mediation found throughout much of Asia, [113] the traditional mediation process in Brunei places a greater focus on ensuring an outcome - that is, settlement of the dispute - than is seen in the western model. This arose because traditional mediation was not an alternative to litigation but was the dominant means for dispute resolution, and the alternatives to it were not courts of law, but physical ordeal, combat and retributive and institutionalised forms of vengeance. [114] For the dayaks in Borneo that meant headhunting. [115] A mediated outcome became an imperative in traditional small communities, for the survival of the group could, in practice, depend upon keeping harmony among its members. These past imperatives can explain some of the characteristics of the traditional forms that continue today.

The person who, by tradition, intervenes as a mediator for local community disputes is typically the headman, either of the kampong or village, or of the longhouse. Unlike western mediators, headmen also assume preventative roles in their communities, to minimise the transformation of conflict into a dispute. Because of long standing membership of that community, they can use their cumulative knowledge of people and events to deal with grievances that experience suggests could escalate into a dispute. When a dispute develops and intervention of a third party is sought, the disputants approach the headman directly, jointly or singly, or another person in the community can bring the dispute to his attention. Generally, the mediation will be informal, so that the venue, [116] dress, [117] and behaviour will not differentiate it. Also a headman's mediation will occur within a short time frame after notification, often the same or the next day. [118] Western mediation also is identified as being informal, inexpensive and able to occur within a quick time frame. However, this is in comparison to the formality, cost and delays that mark litigation in western nations, rather than to 'the in situ' availability of traditional mediations.

Identifying and isolating the issues in the dispute is a feature of most mediation. Whilst the headman typically knows the parties involved, he will seek additional background information on the events and behaviour proximate to the dispute. As well as gathering details from the parties, the opinions and accounts of others who know them is also ascertained. The headman, either alone or with the assistance of other elders in the community, will use these to try to facilitate a settlement with the disputants. If it seems to the headman that one of the disputants has been largely responsible for the conflict, this can be identified. In contrast to the western model where there is avoidance of 'who is right or wrong', [119] mild chiding by the headman is acceptable. Once wrongs or mistakes have been isolated and identified, these can be apologised for, and if necessary reparations or appropriate changes made. Providing examples of 'good role models' [120] and how they may have acted in circumstances similar to those of parties in dispute, may be drawn on, to guide one or both disputants to a particular outcome. The 'role model' is informed by the ideological underpinnings of that group, so that in a Malay context, Muslim role models, whether Malay or from the times of the Prophet, [121] are used. Malay adat with a range of proverbs, [122] metaphors and legal maxims [123] can be employed to guide outcomes. On the other hand, in an indigenous non-Malay community, such as Iban, Dusun, or Murut, it is the adat, and the heros [124] of their own cultural tradition, that inform the process.

The headman is chosen still on the basis of his standing and authority in that community. There is respect and deference accorded to one holding this position. In both Malay and Dayak communities the headman is elected. The headman of a longhouse is chosen not through a formal ballot, but through discussion and debate until a consensus is reached by the members. Although the position is not hereditary, kinship ties continue to have relevance. Since 1992, the election of a kampong headman is by secret ballot and is held in accordance with rules prescribed by the government. To nominate for the position, one must be over 30 and less than 65 years of age, have good knowledge of Islam, some formal education, and not be involved with any political party. Requirements prescribed by the government are part of the ongoing bureaucratisation of the role, so that these headmen are having an increasing administrative and liaison role to perform for the government. This is likely to see a shift in the type of mediation, so that it shifts in the direction of what Moore described as 'authoritative mediation', [125] so that the headman's more official authority requires bargaining parameters that allow for what is mandated by the government.

Although there is no specific formal [126] training required, other than acculturation through observation and participation in community life and experience, headman are expected to be knowledgeable, and to demonstrate personal qualities seen as desirable by that community. [127] Actual knowledge of the particular disputants is regarded as desirable, and as has been found in traditional Chinese mediations, mediation can be particularly effective where parties share an on-going relationship, since 'this forces co-operation.' [128] Equally important is for the mediator to have good knowledge of the rules to apply [129] and to employ these to determine what is the right or fair outcome, and then to direct and guide the parties towards a similar solution. An ability to persuade, even to coerce parties by moral imperatives, to a settlement, is an attribute.

The settlement must be an appropriate outcome for the community as a whole as well as for the actual disputants. [130] The group's interests guide the process. This is consistent with collectivist culture generally where communal and societal interests will preside over individual party interests. It enables this form of mediation to serve an educative role by articulating the social norms and providing acceptable behaviours and solutions for the disputants and for the community as a whole. In this way it differs from western mediations where confidentiality and privacy constraints, for the benefit of the individuals involved, limit a wider instructive role. Although there could be 'take-home' knowledge for individuals [131] having experienced a western mediation, which may provide those individuals with a model for future conflict resolution, the educative component is limited to the parties involved.

Whether traditional mediation by headmen and elders continues will depend on several factors. One is whether these communities can maintain their social cohesion and shared values. Aubert found that dissensus, or divergence in values, corresponded with mediation being less amenable in those communities. [132] Witty also argues that indigenous processes of mediation are characterised by a shared cultural or community identity derived from a shared belief system of rules, obligations, procedures and sanctions. [133] The government of Brunei seeks to maintain traditional values, but has chosen an assertive national culture policy aimed at cementing Brunei Malay culture as the source of values and national identity. This is on the basis that 'undeniably, the Brunei Malay culture is the soul of the Brunei national culture' and can serve to 'unite different ethnic groups, and defend indigenous values and interests against harmful foreign influence'. [134] Whilst it may reinforce cohesion amongst the Malays, so there is no discrepancy between internal moral values and the external national code of ethics; for others such as non-Malay indigenous Dusun, Iban, Murut and Penan absorption into the Malay is at odds with their culture, identity and values. As conversions occur their social cohesion fractures, and traditional ways of social control become less viable. Dispute resolution in these communities requires an assumption that there are benefits from adherence to the traditional means over that of the external institutions of courts, police and lawyers. Unless the traditional is seen as a legitimate and effective process relevant to the issues arising in the community, other options will be chosen. In addition to the dissonance with Islamic Malay values, it has been noted that some of the non-Malay groups are finding traditional adat generally ineffective in dealing with modern problems and issues. [135]

Linked to shared values is the need for an on-going personal relationship and interaction between disputants. [136] Traditional and homogenous communities, as exist in the kampongs and longhouses, have complex kinship networks with strong reciprocal social and economic ties among their members. When these break down, usually with younger members leaving for educational or employment opportunities in urban centres, traditional mediation declines. Whilst those who leave may retain a preference for consensual resolution, the previously reflexive intervention of the headman is not available and the urban environment is generally less conducive to it. This is because social and economic independence and anonymity replace the consistent personal interdependencies and kin relationships of the traditional community. It is a pattern that has been evident in many societies. Even in early America, in the small New England colonial villages interwoven with tight social networks, consensual and mediated processes thrived. [137] The multiplicity of social relations and the need for cooperation and trust did not break down until commercial activity brought about the growth of towns, together with an influx of new persons with different backgrounds and values, and expansion in commercial dealings so that people were doing business with strangers.

A further way in which traditional mediation can be undermined is by government interference and regulation. This introduces changes to both the functions and role ascribed for the headman. The bureaucratisation of their role, and the increased reliance upon the government for delineating functions, can weaken the relationship between community and the headman. Prior reliance on community consensus for obtaining and maintaining the position is being supplemented by the government's confidence in the headman's ability to fulfil these and other tasks. Headmen now receive remuneration from the government, and in turn, government policy informs their role.

Lastly, adherence to traditional means can be affected by structural changes in the society that either decrease its effectiveness, or perceptions of it, through comparison with newer or competing processes. Just as takhim was seen to be less effective once the new option of counselling services of the department of Religious Affairs was introduced, so too could traditional mediation be seen as ineffective as other options are presented, or tested. Now that the Syariah Courts are required to refer particular disputes for arbitration by hakam, this structural change may have a reverse effect, back to the use of Islamic arbitration. People make differential selections on how to settle disputes and will select an option, whether traditional or imported, which best suits their needs or purpose at the time.

Role of Western Mediation
To date, the role for western mediation in Brunei has been limited. Apart from the provisions dealing with it as a condition precedent to arbitration under specific sections of the Arbitration Act (Cap 173), and reference to conciliation in the Trades Dispute Enactment (1961) for employment and industrial disputes, there is scant statutory recognition. [138] The use of mediation in commercial and other disputes would be a matter of contract. There are no centres providing mediation, and it was not widely regarded as a service to be offered by the existing law firms. This may be because lawyers in Brunei see this type of mediation as less effective than other processes offered, or that the clients who come to law firms do so with the expectation of more typical legal services being provided. It did not seem to be the case that lawyers felt they needed more training in mediation techniques, but rather that their area of expertise lay in traditional adversarial-based lawyering services. Because Brunei does not have a law society nor access to the related continuing legal education programs run by such societies, lawyers in Brunei may have had less exposure to courses and information on ADR and mediation. However, all lawyers have had to have been trained in other common law countries (particularly England and Malaysia) [139] and graduates in the last decade would have had acquired knowledge and training in mediation as part of their law courses. Additionally, as intervention by way of traditional mediation is taking place informally in the social setting in which most disputes arise, it is likely to be viewed as a more appropriate forum than a lawyer's office. There was anecdotal evidence supporting this latter view. One lawyer in a major city practice responded to a question as to whether his firm offered mediation for their clients by asking: 'Isn't that what friends and family are for?' Mediation, as an ADR process provided by lawyers or others so trained, was generally dismissed as not needed in Brunei Darussalam.

This has been the experience of bodies that have considered the promotion of western mediation. A British based international firm [140] currently promoting arbitration for the construction and engineering sector also offers services in conciliation, mediation and dispute review boards. However, their prime focus to date has been in the selling of arbitration, with the promotion of the other ADR services a possibility for the future. Other organizations have run seminars and courses on mediation targeted at lawyers and the government of Brunei. These were referred to by several lawyers as 'visits from the lovey people', indicating a sceptical reaction. In the mid 1990s, APEC determined that it should assume a role in providing additional dispute resolution services for the region by creating a Dispute Mediation Service (DMS), [141] that emphasizes mediation rather than arbitration, and which would be voluntary and non-adversarial in nature. The service was to be made available to APEC governments and to private entities. [142] However, it did not become operational and the Mediation Services Expert Group formed to establish it has been disbanded.

Conclusion
The experience in Brunei bears out the pattern elsewhere in the world, which Galanter summed up in the following terms: 'Courts resolve only a small fraction of all disputes that come to their attention. These are only a small fraction of the disputes that might conceivably be brought to court and an even smaller fraction of the whole universe of disputes'. [143] The collectivist nature of Brunei society maintains the preference for avoiding confrontation and for employing consensual and less adversarial means of dispute resolution. Certainly, litigation and settlement prior to trial are used by lawyers in Brunei Darussalam, but their occurrence per head of population remain small, and their role is more clearly delineated in commercial and business transactions rather than in family and community issues where the majority of disputes arise. This is not surprising given that the colonial regime's priority was to secure the certainty and familiarity English derived laws and courts could give to British commercial endeavours; family, personal and community matters, on the other hand, could continue to be sorted out by the traditional means.

Arbitration is also offered by lawyers and is available for a range of commercial and construction disputes. As its role is seen as an alternative form of litigation, and given the general level of satisfaction and confidence in the courts, this mitigates against its use by Bruneians. International companies operating in Brunei are more in tune with arbitration than local Bruneian ones. In keeping with the collectivist perspective, Bruneians wherever possible want to avoid adversarial means, so that business and social relationships can be preserved. The limited utilization of arbitration accords with the findings of APEC research in the region. [144] The small role that Islamic arbitration had been playing in marital and family disputes has been revitalised by the Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order. Given this, and the increasing Islamisation of commercial and administrative practices throughout Brunei Darussalam, it is likely that traditional takhim may also become an option for commercial and financial disputes, as it is in the Middle-east.

Most disputes occur in the local community and continue to be resolved there. The continuance in the twenty first century of the kampong and longhouse as the basic social entities and as the smallest units of local administration, together with the retention and recognition of the position of headmen, has assisted in long-standing practices and values being retained. The more remote and removed a community is from the capital city, and the stronger the social and kinship ties, the greater is the adherence to traditional and collectivist ways of keeping harmony. The mindset is to cooperate rather than to confront, and the assistance of a traditional mediator is culturally conditioned to feel right. Going to a lawyer, or to court, is an option when all else fails. Although Malays, Chinese and the indigenous non-Malays all share a preference for informal and consensual means of dispute resolution, cultural and structural factors combine to maintain traditional avenues for this, so far restricting the scope for western mediation. Whether the incremental modernization and westernization in Brunei will impact on culture and tradition in a way that lessens the relational and collective foundations seems unlikely. Brunei vigorously resists what are seen as the counter-cultural forces of the west, prioritising instead retention of the 'inherent norms of our own internal lifestyle that is collectively practiced by our society'. [145] By rejecting the concept of individualism on the basis that in the west 'it has been the prime cause of moral decadence, degradation of social values and cultural demoralization, disrespect of elders, family and authority', [146] Brunei is turning to Islam to enhance its Malay culture and illuminate its future direction. This means that as well as strengthening the role of the Syariah Courts, alternative means compatible with Islamisation will be more accepted than offerings from the modern and signs of personal strength.*

[1] Sharon Siddique, 'Conceptualising Contemporary Islam: Religion or Ideology?' in Sharon Siddique and Yasmin Hussain (eds), Readings on Islam in Southeast Asia (1985) 338.

[2] The Protectorate commenced in 1888 and the British Residential system came into effect in 1905. On the history of Brunei see Graham Saunders, A History of Brunei (1994).
[3] Translates as Malay Islamic Monarchy

[4] APEC International Commercial Disputes www.arbitration.co.nz/apec/ introduction.htm.

[5] Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation. Brunei Darussalam was one of 12 founding member nations in 1989.

[6] Catherine Tay Swee Kian, Resolving Disputes by Arbitration (1998) 5.
[7] For the perspective that 'there is no 'Asian way' nor an 'Asian culture' or approach, but an 'entire spectrum of approaches' see Louise Barrington, Karen Mills & Tan Swee Im, 'Selected Perspectives on ADR in Asia' in International Chamber of Commerce, ADR International Applications - Special Supplement 2001, ICC International Court of Arbitration Bulletin, (2001) 31. Also see Veronica Taylor and Micheal Pryles, 'The Cultures of Dispute Resolution in Asia' in Michael Pryles (ed) Dispute Resolution in Asia (1997) 1- 6. Cf Christoph Antons, 'The Study of Asian Law: the Need for a General Concept' (1995) 13 Law in Context 106, 117 n 1.

[8] Christopher W Moore, The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict (2nd ed, 1996) 33.
[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Geert Hofstede, Culture's Consequence: Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions and Organisations across Nations (2nd ed, 2001); Harry C Triandis, Individualism and Collectivism (1995). Uichol Kim, Individualism and Collectivism: a Psychological, Cultural and Ecological Analysis (1995).

[12] The construct allows for integration of knowledge across disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, sociology and management.

[13] Uichol Kim, above n 11, 3.
[14] C Harry Hui & Harry Triandis, 'Individualism-Collectivism: a Study of Cross-cultural Researchers' (1986) 17 Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 225 -248.

[15] William B Gunykunst, Stella Ting-Toomey and Elizabeth Chua, Culture and Interpersonal Comunication (1988) 40.

[16] J Reykowski, 'Collectivism and Individualism as Dimensions of Social Change' in Uichol Kim et al Individualism and Collectivism (1994) 278.

[17] Andrew J Pirie, 'Alternative dispute resolution in Thailand and Cambodia' in Douglas M Johnston and Gerry Ferguson (eds) Asia-Pacific Legal Development (1998) 526.

[18] Kim, above n 11, 51.

[19] For individualists, confrontation is seen as being direct, assertive, open and 'to the point', all of which are regarded as positive and signs of personal strength.
[20] Bee Chen Goh, Negotiating with the Chinese (1996); Lim Lan Yuan, 'Impact of Cultural Differences on Dispute Resolution' (1996) 7 Australian Dispute Resolution Journal 197; Stanley Lubman, 'Mao and Mediation: Politics and Dispute Resolution in Communist China' (1967) 55 California Law Review 1284; John S Mo, 'Probing Chinese Mediation' (1997) 8 Australian Dispute Resolution Journal 43.

[21] Census data shows the following distribution in a population of 330 700 in mid-1999: 67% Malays, 15% Chinese, 6% indigenous non-Malays and 12% other races. The definition of Malay for census purposes is broad and includes Dusun, Kedeyan, Tutong, Belait, Bisaya and Murut indigenous.

[22] Dato Paduka Haji Matussin bin Omar, 'The making of a National Culture: Brunei's Experience' in Edwin Thumboo (ed) Cultures in ASEAN and 21st Century (1996) 14.

[23] Hamzah-Sendut, Tan Sri Datuk & Thong Tin Sin, Managing in a Plural Society (1989) 139.
[24] The process for working through differences to find consensus is known as musyawarah.

[25] Similarities between halus and other Asian concepts based on respect for others, and their mutually reinforcing nature such as Korean 'kibun' (considerate behaviour), Thai krengchai and Chinese mien-tzu and lien or 'face' are raised in Hamzah-Sendut, Tan Sri Datuk & Thong Tin Sin, above n 23, 141-142.

[26] Lim Jock Seng, The Inter-relationship of Technology, Economy and Social Organisation in a Fishing Village in Brunei (1986) 79. Also noted are reciprocity, co-operation and sharing with mutual responsibility and indebtedness.

[27] Dato Paduka Haji Matussin bin Omar above n 22,14.
[28] Hamzah-Sendut, Tan Sri Datuk & Thong Tin Sin, above n 23, 141.

[29] Pirie, above n 17, 525.
[30] Jay Folberg amd Alison Taylor, Mediation: a Comprehensive Guide to Resolving Conflicts Without Litigation (1984) 4.

[31] Jack Effron, 'Alternatives to Litigation: Factors in Choosing' (1989) 52 Modern Law Review 480.

[32] Margaret Thorton, 'Equivocations of Conciliation: the Resolution of Discrimination Complaints in Australia' (1989) 52 Modern Law Review 735.

[33] Advantages for arbitration suggested in the literature include choice of tribunal; confidentiality; speed; technical rather than legal expertise of a particular arbitrator; cost; wider choice of representation; flexibility of procedure and wider jurisdiction than a court.

[34] Saudi Arabia is one such country. See George Sayen, 'Arbitration, Conciliation, and the Islamic Legal Tradition in Saudi Arabia' (1987) 9 University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Business Law, 211 -255. Generally on Islamic arbitration see Vincent Powell-Smith, Aspects of Arbitration: Common law and Shari'a Compared (1995).

[35] Art III of the New York Convention 1958.

[36] Art II of the New York Convention 1958.

[37] No foreign arbitral awards had been enforced at the time of communication with the Chief Justice, September 2000.

[38] Art V (e) of the New York Convention 1958.

[39] The International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other States was signed in Washington 1965.

[40] The World Intellectual Property Organisation is an international body of the United Nations established to promote and protect intellectual property around the world. In 1994 the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre was established.

[41] Colin YC Ong, Cross-Border Litigation within ASEAN (1997) 135.

[42] Based on interviews with lawyers and an arbitrator from the Bruneian firm of JR Knowles regarding arbitrations in the construction industry.

[43] Constitution of Brunei s25 (1) (b).

[44] Based on interviews with lawyers in commercial practice.

[45] Arbitration Act (Cap 173) s7.

[46] Given the long title which states 'An Act to make provision for arbitration in civil matters'.

[47] Arbitration Act (Cap 173) s21.

[48] Arbitration Act (Cap 173) s8 (1).
[49] Applications for stay of proceedings and exclusion agreements are provided for in Arbitration Act (Cap 173), s8 and s30 respectively.

[50] Arbitration Act (Cap 173) s 8 (3) & s30 (2).

[51] Hamlyn v Talisker Distillery [1894] AC 202.

[52] Arbitration Act (Cap 173) s16.

[53] Arbitration Act (Cap 173) s3.

[54] Based on the definition of conciliation and mediation used in WIPO http://arbiter.wipo.int/arbitration/index.html.

[55] Arbitration Act (Cap 173) s3(4).

[56] Interviews with the Chief Justice, Dato Sir Denys Roberts in April and September 2000.

[57] Ibid.

[58] Personal communication.

[59] From an interview with a lawyer in private practice in response to a question about the use of arbitration. It was representative of the opinions given by several of the lawyers interviewed.
[60] Eighteen law firms were surveyed by questionaire in 2000.

[61] A seminar in November 1999 had 60-70 people attend.

[62] In 1999 94% of cases commenced in the High Court and 98% in the Intermediate Court settled.

[63] In Brunei Darussalam awareness of ethnicity is evident. It is a factor in employment, education and government services. The Government uses 'ethnicity' as a classifier more explicitly than do multi-cultural countries such as Australia. Identity cards, passports, entry permits and visas all require 'race' to be entered as well as nationality.

[64] For details on the social stratification and importance of rank see DE Brown, 'Brunei in a Social Comparative Perspective' 1978 (26) Sarawak Museum Journal 135.

[65] Pirie, above n 17, 534.

[66] APEC International Commercial Disputes www.arbitration.co.nz /apec/ introduction.htm.

[67] Ibid. For practical difficulties associated with arbitration see Ong, above n 41, 27.
[68] Ibid.

[69] See Barrington et al, above n 7, 33.

[70] Vincent Powell-Smith, Aspects of Arbitration: Common law and Shari'a Compared (1995) 4 - 6.
[71] In the Fatamid authority Da'a'im al'Islam cited in ibid.

[72] The four main Sunni schools are the Hanafa, Maliki, Hanbali and Shafii. These are outlined in Jamila Hussain, Islamic Law and Society (1999) 31-32.

[73] The uncertainty (gharar) is based on the possibility of a dispute arising at some future time over an aspect of the contract that was unknown at the time of agreement.

[74] In the Shafii, Hanifa and Hanbali schools, the appointment of the hakam could be revoked by either of the disputing parties or by the hakam himself, up until the announcement of the decision. In the Malaki texts it was irrevocable. These are discussed by Sayen, above n 34, 230.
[75] See Hussain, above n 72, 175.

[76] Abdul Hamid El-Ahbad, 'Moslem Arbitration Law' in Proceedings of the International Bar Assocation First Arab Regional Conference, Cairo, February, 1987, Vol 1, 341.

[77] Sayen, above n 34, 235.

[78] Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates.
[79] Samir Saleh, Commercial Arbitration in the Arab Middle East (1984) 12.

[80] Islamic Banking, Islamic Trust Funds and Islamic Insurance have been established since 1993.

[81] Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act (Cap 77) s149.

[82] Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act (Cap 77) s149 (1).

[83] Talak or talaq is a form of divorce in Islamic law, available only to a husband. The talaq is a pronouncement to his wife that a husband is divorcing her. The talaq can be revoked by the husband during the period known as idah (the time during which three menstrual periods elapse), and the marriage continues. After three talaqs a divorce becomes irrevocable. See Hussain, above n 72, 87-89.
[84] Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act (Cap 77) s150 (6)(a). Also ruju in Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s53.

[85] Religious Council and Kadis Courts Act (Cap 77) s 150 (6) (b).

[86] Official figures are not available but in an interview with the Chief Kadi in September 2000 he noted this trend.
[87] Also based on interviews with the Chief Kadi, practitioners in Islamic law and representatives from the Department of Religious Affairs in 2000.

[88] Ignatius Stephens, 'Hard Times bring Upsurge in Divorce Cases' Borneo Bulletin, 1 April, 2001.

[89] Personal communication.
[90] Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s43.

[91] Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s42 (13). The officer has to submit to the court a certificate to that effect that he or she is unable to being about a reconciliation and persuade the parties to resume conjugal relations.

[92] Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s43 (2). Where the wife proves to the court her claims of mistreatment, assault or harmful acts to her body, modesty or property by her husband, and the court fails to reconcile them, then a divorce (talaq baain) can be given. Talaq baain means the divorce does not allow for a ruju, or return to the original state of the marriage and resumption of conjugal relations.

[93] Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s43 (2).
[94] This means a family member, based on lawful blood lineage. Defined in the Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s2.

[95] Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s43 (3).

[96] Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s43 (4).

[97] Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s43 (6).
[98] Emergency (Islamic Family Law) Order (1999) s43 (7).

[99] This stage is akin to mediation. This is noted by Powell-Smith, above n 70, 4.

[100] Micheal Mills, 'China: Some Lessons in Mediation' [1993] Australian International Law News, 31.
[101] See generally Laurence Boulle, Mediation: Principles, Process and Practice, (1996) 3.

[102] Moore, above n 8, 20-22.

[103] A chapter on diverse styles and approaches to mediating conflict is in Folberg and Taylor, above n 30, 130; and an overview of core, secondary and variable features of mediation is in Boulle, above n 101, 3-11.

[104] Carol J Greenhouse, 'Mediation: a Comparative Approach' (1985) 20 Man 90.
[105] Mediation is an imprecise term that is acknowledged as having multiple meanings and permutations. See especially John H Wade, 'Mediation - the terminological debate' (1994) Australian Dispute Resolution Journal 204. See also Gregory Tillet, The Myth of Mediation (1993); George Verghese Kurien, 'Critique of Myths of Mediation' (1995) Australian Dispute Resolution Journal 43. Folberg and Taylor write that the practice of mediation falls along a spectrum that defies a strict definition, but they then proceed to define it, above n 30, 7.

[106] Ibid 32. Also referred to as the North American model of mediation, ibid 51.

[107] Moore, above n 8, 41-53.

[108] Andrew Zilinskas, 'The training of mediators - is it necessary?' (1995) Australian Dispute Resolution Journal 58, 65.

[109] Impartiality refers to the constant requirement for 'even-handedness, objectivity and fairness towards the parties'. See Boulle, above n 104, 19.

[110] Mediators are described as third party neutrals, being 'comparatively neutral as to outcome' see Hilary Astor and Christine M Chinkin, Dispute Resolution in Australia (1992) 102 -105; ibid 18.
[111] Folberg and Taylor, above n 30, 7 - 10. However the degree of consensuality in mediation is questioned by Boulle, who demonstrates how pressure to settle can be indirectly or directly imported into the process. See Boulle, above n 101, 26-28. See also Kurien above n 105, 46.

[112] This is why Moore classifies this process as independent mediation to distinguish it from authorative mediation and social network mediation. See Moore, above n 8, 41.

[113] China for over 2000 years has used mediation as the preferred method of dispute resolution. Weidong Ji 'The Chinese Experience: a Great Treasure-house for the Sociology of Law' in Masaji Chiba (ed) Sociology of Law in Non-western Countries (1993) 17; Mills, above n 100. In the context of Japan there has been much research into the reasons why there is an 'expectation that disputes will be settled by an amicable solution or compromise'. See Joseph WS Davis, Dispute Resolution in Japan (1996) 5; John O Haley, 'The Myth of the Reluctant Litigant' (1978) 4 Journal of Japanese Studies 360; Nobutoshi Yamancouchi and Samuel J Cohen 'Understanding the Incidence of Litigation in Japan: a Structural Analysis' (1991) 25 International Lawyer 443.

[114] The role of organized contests, in which the disputants, or their supporters, prove the superiority of their case by physical violence or competition, is noted in Philip Hatch Gulliver, Disputes and Negotiations (1979) 1.

[115] See generally Janet Hoskins, Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia (1996).

[116] In a longhouse, the typical venue is one end of the communal gallery or hall, known as the ruai.

[117] In the past an Iban headman did have distinguishing tattoos and head-dress, but today wears a similar mix of western attire and sarongs as others in the community.

[118] In a longhouse, the hearing of the dispute will be on the same day, after the evening meal has been completed.

[119] Folberg and Taylor, above n 30 at 10.

[120] For example a 'good' wife, husband, child, friend, worker.

[121] The lives of the Prophet, his wives, daughter Fatima, her husband Ali, as well as the Prophet's companions and successors are seen as models for all Muslims.

[122] Proverbs and the advice contained in them play an important role in Malay culture in Brunei. See Haji Hakim bin HM Yassin 'The Folk Literature of Brunei Darussalam' in ASEAN Folk Literature: an Anthology (1995) 591-599.
[123] Michael Barry Hooker (ed), Readings in Malay Adat Laws (1970).

[124] Dayak people have an oral tradition of recounting the exploits of ancestors and deities in epics and legends. Victor T King, The Peoples of Borneo (1993) 234; Benedict Sandin, Iban Adat and Augury (1980).

[125] Moore above, n 9, 41.

[126] In the western sense of courses taken or evaluative standards achieved.
[127] The Iban interviewed identified honesty, fairness and 'loving' as important personal attributes for their headman.

[128] Lokki Woo, 'Sweet and Sour Law: Does Chinese Mediation Suit the Australian Palate?' (1996) 7 Polemic 91.
[129] This is 'rules' in the broadest sense and could include adat, local government regulations, syariah (in a Malay kampong) or augury in an Iban community.

[130] This is a feature of traditional mediation generally see: Sally Engle Merry, 'The Social Organization of Mediation in Non-industrial Societies' in Robert L Abel (ed) The Politics of Informal Justice (1982).

[131] Folberg and Taylor, above n 30, 9.

[132] Vilhelm Aubert, 'Competition and Dissensus: Two Types of Conflict and Conflict Resolution' (1963) 7 Journal of Conflict Resolution, 26.

[133] Cathie J Witty, Mediation and Society: Conflict management in Lebanon (1980) 13.

[134] Dato Paduka Haji Matussin bin Omar, above n 22, 12.

[135] Jay H Berstein, 'The Deculturation of the Brunei Dusun' in Robert L Winzeler (ed) Indigenous Peoples and the State: Politics, Land, and Ethnicity in the Malayan Peninsula and Borneo (1997) 159 –178.

[136] Witty, above n 13e, 10.

[137] B Mann, Neighbours and Strangers: Law and Community in Early Connecticut (1987).

[138] In contrast Australian States have legislation providing opportunities for litigants to use ADR processes, rather than proceeding to trial.

[139] Brunei has no Law School or other legal training centres providing for admission to the common law courts of Brunei. However, a Diploma in Syariah Law has commenced at the local university.

[140] See above n 59.

[141] Protocol on ASEAN Dispute Settlement Mechanism was agreed to in 1996.

[142] Valerie Hughes, Chair, Dispute Mediation Experts' Group, APEC International Commercial Disputes www.arbitration.co.nz/apec/forward.htm.

[143] Marc Galanter, 'Justice in Many Rooms: Courts, Private Ordering and Indigenous Law' (1981) 19 Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 1, 24.
[144] See above n 66.

[145] Abdul Latif bin Haji Ibrahim, 'Cultural and Counter-cultural Forces in Contemporary Brunei Darussalam' in Thumboo (ed), above n 23, 23.

[146] Ibid.
__________
Dr. Ann Black* is a lecturer of Criminal Law, Introduction to Islamic Law and Asian Legal Systems in St.Lucia University. Her rsearch interests are Law of Asia, Islamic Law, Dispute Resolution, Comparative Law, Criminal Law, Legal Education. She is a co-author of the text - Legal Studies for Queensland, Vol I & II. She is a member of Lawasia, CPICL (Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law), and ALTA. She can be attached vis her email address a.black@law.uq.edu.au.

Source: www.austlii.edu.au

The Early Stages

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:11 AM PDT

It has often been said that much of the impact left behind by Malacca has been in the form of traditions of government and in the provision of a socio-political legacy which is related to the scope and concept of the sultanates in modern Malaysia. Furthermore, when we discuss various aspects of the sultanate in several states, and of the monarchy in this country, Malacca usually becomes the focal point of reference in the discussion. This line of thinking is not without a base, and if we take a historical perspective, the reasoning becomes quite evident.

Probably because of his own particular understanding of history, when viewing the traditional framework of political relations in the fourteenth century, whereby a strong suzerain power like Majapahit succeeded in subjugating another declining suzerain power like Sri Vijaya, Paul Wheatley regards Parameswara, a leading royal figure from Palembang who was forced to pay homage to Majapahit, as a traitor against the sovereignty of the central power in Java for his attempt to assert his independence. Having failed in his bold attempt, Parameswara left Palembang and went to Singapore where he once again (in Wheatley's view) became a traitor by killing the ruler of that island.

But other historians take a different point of view. Professor Wang Gungwu and O.W. Wolters, for example, lay great stress on the elements of continuity in the concept of history. They look upon all the events and the political experiences which Parameswara underwent from a broader viewpoint and historical vision in the context of Malay historical and political development in the region. They claim that Parameswara was an exceptional Malay political figure, who in terms of leadership and ability was peerless in all the Malay Archipelago. Having successfully founded and established a seat of power in Malacca around 1399/1400, Parameswara left behind two successors who proved to be equally capable. These two successors were Megat Iskandar Shah and Seri Maharaja who displayed the same administrative and political abilities at the helm of a newly established state. These three leaders laid down the traditions of government and planted the roots of Malay historiography which was to become a heritage not only of their successors until 15l1, but a tradition which was continually practiced not only in spirit and form, but in the sociopolitical and governmental aspects by the sultanates in several states in this country.

The political ability and special leadership qualities shown by Parameswara in the context of the establishment of the Malacca government were not abnormal, but were coincidental. Parameswara had intrepidly defied the authority of the powerful Majapahit ruler. After having been expelled from Palembang,he went to Singapore and killed its ruler. He then reigned as ruler in Singapore for a number of years before founding Malacca. As Tome Pires acknowledged, all these were regarded as a first-hand experience and a political adventure for a man of talent and potential at that time, thus enabling him to become the founder of a new state, who was resolute enough to face all eventualities.

Parameswara's experience as ruler for several years in his own homeland in Palembang followed by his five year reign in Singapore, provided him with great practical experience and the knowledge to handle political affairs. In fact, there was nothing exceptional about this since that political knowledge was a legacy that had been handed down to him and which he inherited from members of his own family and from the political circles at Palembang. Palembang was his birthplace and the place where his leadership skills were nurtured in order to govern the affairs of the Malay Sri Vijaya empire.

The political and administrative experiences that Parameswara acquired whilst ruler in Palembang and Singapore became the basis for his ability to govern and plan the development of Malacca. Subsequently, his successors merely continued along the path which he had marked out for them. The political principles and policies of Palembang (Sri Vijaya) and Singapore became the model for his own dynamic measures in Malacca.

Whilst at Palembang, Parameswara's success in controlling the Straits of Malacca was the prime and determinant factor for the economic survival and dominance of Sri Vijaya to the extent that the members of his own family had to encounter with the power of Majapahit (throughout the fourteenth century). In Singapore, Parameswara had to face the immense power of Siam which strove to control the Straits of Singapore. In Malacca, Parameswara and his successors once again had to protect the Straits of Malacca from Siamese and the Portuguese control. The Straits of Malacca had become the key factor in the economic survival and dominance of Malacca. Sri Vijaya, Singapore and Malacca shared a common and repetitive historical perspective and evolution because they were highly dependent on the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and their adjacent waters. These three states were maritime powers and it was imperative for them to control the sea-lanes and their traffic, because trade formed the basis of their economies, supplemented at a secondary level by the fruits of agricultural activity.

The factors that should be taken into account and which determined Parameswara's success as ruler of Malacca was his charisma as a ruler. He had inherited the attributes of sovereignty from the rulers of the Malay-Palembang or Sri Vijaya empire. Besides this, other factors included the presence of the Malay nobility who had been with him since he was ruler of Palembang, and the support of the Orang Laut (Orang Selat) throughout his reign in Palembang and Singapore until the early period of his settlement in Malacca. All these factors formed the basis that contributed towards the creation of a state with an orderly administrative and political system.

Assuming that we can accept all these factors as valid, then Parameswara was in reality the pioneer who established the link in the grand Malay historiographical tradition in the Straits of Malacca area, that is between the Malay tradition of the Sri Vijaya empire, whose geo-political centre was at Palembang or iambi, and the Malay tradition of the Malacca empire whose geo-political centre was at Malacca itself. When discussing the elements of continuity in the historiographical traditions from the early seventh century until the break-up of the Johor-Riau Empire in the nineteenth century, Parameswara constitutes the historical link during a period lasting twelve centuries. In reality, the historiographical tradition of Malacca in the Malay Peninsula is a continuation of the historiographical tradition of Sri Vijaya based in Sumatra. The factor which probably forms the main basis of differentiation between these two historiographical traditions is that of religion, that is Hindu-Buddhism on the one hand, and Islam on the other.

In other words, the political and administrative experience possessed by Parameswara, his supporters and followers who comprised the ministers and lords since his reign in Singapore and Palembang formed a vital base and source of knowledge, fundamental to and beneficial for the building of a new kingdom in Malacca. Other than the discovery of several inscriptions, until today no written sources have yet been found which could explain the administrative and political traditions of the old Sri Vijaya empire at Palembang-Jambi. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to carry out a comparative study on the two Malay governments to find out similarities and dissimilarities in the relevant fields.

The concept of sovereignty' (i.e. daulat which is taken from the Arabic/Ottoman term 'daulah') in the context of the governmental politics which forms the symbol of sovereignty of a reigning monarch, need not necessarily originate from or exist in Malacca. It should also be seen in terms of the tradition of continuing the pre-Malacca and pre-Islamic forms of Malay government during the Sri Vijaya period. A leader who rules and is styled 'king' will have elements of sanctity, purity and distinction attributed to him, and perhaps, as in the case of the ancient Javanese kings, other extraordinary qualities would also be bestowed upon him. Such elements were important in the beliefs of the common people especially those regarding the traditional political institutions of the state. As a result there arose the concept of the 'god-king', where the belief in, and the existence of genealogies of kings which had been 'invented' (by word of mouth or in written form), were connected with the gods who had descended from their abodes; and metamorphosed as Shiva, Vishnu or Brahma, of genies and fairies and other spirits invisible to the eye. These were linked to the origins and traditions of descent of their ancestors. They were a legacy of Malay-Hindu tradition.

An ancient inscription found at Telaga Batu in Sumatra, provides an important evidence of the existence of an organized system of government during the Sri Vijaya period at Palembang and throws light onto the question of whether these 'god-kings' represented indigenous political elements of yore or whether they represented Hindu influences which had been absorbed and incorporated into local traditions of government. According to the inscription, subjects who proclaimed their allegiance to the ruler were required to take an oath by drinking water that had been poured on to the blade of a keris. Whosoever refused to take his oath of loyalty and opposed the king would be driven insane.

This helps to explain and provide evidence on the concept of kingship and on the political position of the Sri Vijaya ruler. It also provides an explicit outline of what 'sovereigny' (daulat) meant to subjects who rejected that sovereignty after having broken their oath and forsworn their loyalty. A man who had gone insane was doubtless the victim of the misfortune that befell those who abjured the oath which had been sealed by the ruler himself. This was one indigenous way of building up 'sovereignty' (in spiritual and doctrinal terms) in the activities of the state in order to create and manifest the political links between the ruler (who was called 'king') and his subjects.

The inscription found on the upper reaches of the Batang Hari near Jambi, namely Sri Vijaya's second capital after Palembang, also gave a list of high ranking posts such as the court officials, the noblemen, tax-collectors, keepers of the state treasury, judges, scribes, architects, merchants, and officials who were in charge of the royal wardrobe. The details given on this inscription indicate that a complex administrative system had existed during the Palembang period.

It goes without saying that Parameswara who had reigned at Palembang for several years must have been invested with symbols and bestowed with special elements of socio-political traditions as a ruler who was considered to possess the attributes of sovereignty before his subjects. The charisma of being king and chief administrator was already present. The expenience of arranging a system of administration in order to establish a government within a political framework was possessed by Parameswara since his Palembang days. His charisma as king with full sovereignty at Palembang, and the leadership abilities which had been his during his reign in Palembang and Singapore prior to 1400 became the main stimulus which inspired and drove him to exploit the yet greater political openings in the Straits of Malacca at the end of the fourteenth century or the beginning of the fifteenth century.

It was these factors that enabled him to open up Malacca and establish a new kingdom there. The royal, political and cultural elements were already present in him. Parameswara's charisma and attributes of leadership would of course have been meaningless without the noblemen who accompanied him. The foundations of the political authority and leadership Which Parameswara possessed were fully supported by his lords and ministers. It was not known whether they had shared the vicissitudes of Parameswara when he was hounded by Palembang and whether they were still loyal to him, or otherwise (for there are no sources to support these arguments). The Sejarah Melayuclearly states that during his reign in Singapore, Parameswara ( one or several kings including Iskandar Shah or Parameswara?) was supported by his great lords who acted as the agents of the ruler for maintaining '...the old customs'. Generally speaking, the hierarchy of court officials was as follows:

The Bendahara: The first Bendahara was reported to have been the younger brother of the reigning monarch. When the king was away, the Bendahara acted in his stead, which showed the importance of the Bendaharas status and political authority. Two Bendabaras of Singapore were:
TunPerpatih Permuka Beijajar Tun Perpatih Tulus According to custom and tradition, the Bendahara was always the father-in-law of the ruler, since the ruler was married to his daughter.
2. The Perdana Menteri: It is difficult to establish the exact status and political role of this official. In the audience hall the Perdana Menteri is said to have sat facing the Bendahara. One of the Perdana Menteri of Singapore was Tun Perpatih Permuka Segalar.

3. The Penghulu Bendahari: This official was described 'as seated below the Bendahara', showing that his political status was inferior to that of the Bendahara. One of the Penghulu Bendahari of Singapore held the title of Tun lana Bunga Dendang. Below him there were several bendahari, amongst whom was the famous Sang Rajuna Tapa (title), a leading figure in the political crisis which occurred during the MalayJavanese conflict in Singapore.

4. TheHulubalang Besar (Captain-in-Chief): This official was said to have sat next to the Penghulu Bendahari and is in charge of all the captains or military commanders. He was known by the title Tun Tempurung Gemerentak.
5. Other Lesser Ministers comprised:
The Orang Kaya-kaya (lords/noblemen)
The ceteria (royal bodyguards or knights)
The sida-sida (palace attendants/courtiers)
The bentara (heralds)
The hulubalang (captains)

All these official were said to have accompanied Parameswara when he withdrew from Singapore to Malacca. When Parameswara went to Sening Hujung, he left behind a minister there. When he stayed in Bertam, Malacca, he was said to have been surrounded by 'all the officers of the realm'. The presence of these former high ranking officials and ministers from Singapore enabled Parameswara (The Sejarah Melayu uses the title Raja Besar Muda, the son of Parameswara) to form an administrative system that enabled him to establish a new kingdom after the founding of Malacca. The king, as mentioned in the Sejarah Melayu '...ordered the establishment of the royal seat of government according to tradition'. Parameswara is also described as the first Malacca ruler to appoint ministers responsible for the affairs in the audience hall. He also appointed forty heralds to carry out his orders and created the post of Biduanda Kechil (royal page) to bear the state regalia during processions.

In Malacca, the hierarchical system of the ministers and the system of administration became all the more complex as a result of the intricacy of the political and the socio-economic conditions in Malacca itself. Tome Pires stated that Parameswara took up residence in Bertam, located up the Malacca River. The Sejarah Melayu records that the watering places along the shores of Malacca and Bertam could be reached by this river, and formed the route used by Parameswara, the royal family and the senior state officials. All official business was carried out in the city of Malacca. It was here that the audience hall and all the traders and foreign (Muslim) missionaries were found. According to Wake, this was a strategic and very practical measure to avoid external attacks from the enemies. At the same time the Orang Laut or Orang Selat (called 'Celates' by Tome Pires) formed the backbone of Malacca's security.

Going back to the Sri Vijayan period, Wolters believed that the strength and development of the government of Parameswara's predecessors was the result of the existence of close relations between rulers in authority and the Orang Laut who always provided them with their loyalty and naval support. The cooperation between these two groups saw the success in the elimination of piracy which was rampant in the Straits of Malacca. Once conditions became safer, the foreign traders were free to go to Palembang and conduct their business activities there. The Sri Vijaya government was able to control the activities of the Orang Laut and guide them so that they lived in an organized manner and did not perpetrate outrages on traders. In this way, the safety of all traders sailing through the Straits of Malacca was guaranteed. L.Y. Andaya regarded this as one of Sri Vijaya's great achievements.

In fact Parameswara was sensitive to and conscious of the part played by the Orang Laut. Moreover, in Malacca, the position and role of the Orang Laut became more formalised when Parameswara made them a part of the institution and system of government. Their loyalty to the rulers who were descended from the Palembang and the Sri Vijayan line continued until the eighteenth century during the time when Raja Negara di Laut Singapura (King of the Maritime Kingdom of Singapore) became their leader. The military strength of the Orang Laut was utilized by the rulers of Sri Vijaya whenever threats to the security of the empire arose. Indeed, their role was so vital that several Sri Vijaya rulers dubbed them 'The Kings of the Ocean Lands'.

Tome Pires himself reported that when Parameswara and his party retreated from Palembang to Singapore, and then from Singapore to Malacca, he was accompanied by thirty Orang Laut 'protecting his life'. During his stay in Muar, it was the Orang Laut who proposed that he should settle at Malacca. When Parameswara agreed to this proposal, the Orang Laut pledged their allegiance and loyalty to him and his new kingdom. According to Tome Pires, they also declared that:

We too belong to thy ancient lordship of Palembang; we have always gone with thee; if the land seems good to thee, it is right that thou shouldst give us alms for our good intention, and that our work should not be without reward.'

Parameswara assured them that he '...could give them honour and assistance... He agreed to this and said that it was his wish to do this for them'.

The above excerpt reveals the mutual cooperation that had existed between the two parties, the suzerain and the Vassal state. The Orang Laut recognized the sovereignty of Parameswara as the heir of the Palembang rulers and would serve to protect him, and in return Parameswara would preserve their honor and undertook to look after their welfare. Therefore, the Orang Laut were willing to form part of the Malacca naval strength to maintain the peace and security of Malacca so as to encourage foreign traders to call at its port. As a result, the most important source of manpower needed to help upkeep the stability in the administrative system was secured.

From the socio-political point of view, Parameswara had already possessed the attributes of sovereignty ever since his reign in Palembang and Singapore. With the support of the state officials available then, these attributes could also be extended to Malacca. The changes that occurred were geo-political in nature i.e., from Palembang to Singapore and then to Malacca, whilst still possessing the charisma and sovereignty as ruler. In Malacca, his sovereignty became reinforced and further safeguarded by a pledge of loyalty given by the Orang Laut. This became the most vital source of naval strength and an enduring element in the security of their kingdom. According to Tome Pires and de Barros, the Orang Laut settlements were centred at Bentan, Singapore and Lingga.

The Sejarah Melayu mentioned that the offices of the high ranking state officials had already existed in the administrative system established by Parameswara (Raja Iskandar Shah) in Singapore. If this information proves to be reliable and accurate, then generally, very little disparity could be found between the offices available in the administrative system of Malacca during its early stages of establishment and those found in Singapore. The most important offices of state that were inherited and perpetuated by Malacca were:

1. The Bendahara: The Bendahara was the father-in-law of the king. The first figure to hold this post was the Sen Wak Raja.
2. The Perdana Menteri: The holder of this office was also a member of the royal family, namely the Raja Anum (Muda). He held the title Sen Amar Diraja. The 1612 version of the Sejarah Melayu mentioned that the second person to hold this post was the Tun Perpatih Besar, the son of the Tun Perpatih Permuka Berjajar, the first Bendahara of Singapore.
3. The Penghulu Bendahari: The Penghulu Bendahari was the son-in-law of the Bendahara. The holder of this post, namely the Raja Kechil Muda, was also from the royal family, and held the title Sen Nara Diraja.
As was mentioned earlier, the holders of these offices were supported by the lesser officials who were of lower status such as the heralds, the palace attendants and the royal pages.

At the apex of the system was the ruler. He held the title 'King' (raja) or 'Overlord' (Duli Yang Dipertuan). The title 'sultan' was first introduced when Seri Maharaja became the ruler of Malacca and took the name Sultan Muhammad Shah. The king was surrounded by members of the royal family, which included the Bendahara and the Penghulu Bendahari. The first Penghulu Bendahari was the younger brother of Parameswara. What was meant by 'members of the royal family' was probably his children, wives and closest relatives. Tome Pires reported that when Parameswara moved from Muar to Malacca, he had said '...with my wife and household'.

Source: planet.time.net.my

Political Functions And The Administration

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:08 AM PDT

The king who ruled Malacca was described as the source and centre of all secular power. With the exalted position of the king in the system of government, the source of power possessed by him and the sanction conveyed by the attributes of sovereignty was channelled towards initiating the administrative mechanism and power.

The concept of sovereign power and its attributes in the context of fifteenth century Malacca was of course different from the concept understood today. In modern terms, sovereign power primarily refers to the missing government and to the nation that is governed. The figure and personality of the reigning monarch only represents a symbol of that sovereignty. When the 'supreme' laws that form the source which activate the government and its administration are written down and become a formal constitution, the monarch simply becomes a constitutional ruler.

During the early period in Malacca, sovereign power or sovereignty refers to or is related directly to the person and physical presence of the king on the throne. Wherever the ruler ruled (in a geo-political sense), sovereignty was not confined to the country or the place of authority where the ruler resided, but in the personality and the physical characteristics of the reigning ruler himself. A state was established only with the presence of a ruler. The Sejarah Melayu frequently uses such expressions as 'Raja Raden was the State', or 'Raja Husin was the State', while the declaration of loyalty became formally phrased as 'Long Live the King', (daulat tuanku) and not 'Long Live the Nation' (daulat negara) - incidentally making use of the word daulat or sovereignty. In war, a state would readily admit defeat if 'the king was dead'. This is made clear in the Sejarah Melayu by its reference to the words of Sultan Muhammad Shah - '...because of the tradition of royalty, the country is defeated (when) its king is dead'.

Sovereignty was also linked to the charisma of the king and to the 'good fortune' (tuah) that he possessed. When the country became peaceful, prosperous and rich, with traders and missionaries going about their affairs, with farmsteads and plantations flourishing and producing high yields, with an increase in livestock and human population, the king on his throne was held to be the fount of good fortune and the mystique of his sovereignty rode high. Similarly, if the situation was converse, the reverse would occur. The security, the prosperity and the peace and harmony in the state enjoyed by the people were not related to the skill or wisdom of the officials and administrators, and were not construed as the fruits of hard work and enterprise, or of the soil which was naturally fertile. They were regarded as the good fortune of the king who reigned so justly over them, even though this was not necesssarily the actual state of affairs.

Therefore, in terms of philosophy and theory, the ruler was described as being just and wise, the bearer of good fortune and endowed with the mystique of sovereignty. He was also regarded as being blessed, and this gave rise to the expression: '...by the blessings and power of His Majesty' not because of the blessings of the intelligence and intellectual qualities of the important state officials or of the practical efforts of the ordinary people who laboured without respite.

As a person who represented 'the source of both order and prosperity in society' and who was regarded as 'the centre of patterned or formulatic behaviour', to take the view of a Western scholar, the position of the ruler was truly lofty and exalted in his system of government to the extent that his word or command had the force of law, his mere gesture likely to be taken as an order to be carried out, and whose actions and character were beyond reproach. He could override laws that existed in his administration. In fact, the ruler was the law. Therefore, king and kingdom (or the State/government) were synonymous, for figuratively speaking, the ruler was perceived as a shady tree where his subjects could take shelter. The respect of the ordinary people for their ruler was so high that the Sejarah Melayu states that: ...it was the custom of the Malay subject that he would never seek to find fault with the wishes of his master (the king).

The personality and character of a reigning monarch were also linked to the elements of purity which he was supposed to possess. A person who went against the royal word and who refused to recognize his sovereignty would be considered 'traitorous'. It was believed that a traitor would be struck by calamity in two ways. Firstly, he would become the victim of disaster (probably in the form of a curse) as a result of having gone against the king. For example, Sang Rajuna Tapa, one of Raja Iskandar Shah's lords in Singapore, and his wife were reportedly turned into stone as a consequence of having incurred a royal curse for allowing the men of Majapahit to enter Singapore. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the people of the Johor-Riau sultanate, descendants from the Malay sultanate of Malacca, were warned that they would be visited by the curse of bisa kawi and would for ever be unsafe both in this world and the next if they attempted to betray the sovereignty of the reigning monarch.

The second affliction would emerge in the form of a physical reprisal taken by the state itself, that is to say that the person found guilty of treason would be 'scourged' in various ways. The offender would not be the only person to receive the punishment. His family and kinsmen would undergo similar chastisement to the extent that no progeny is left behind. Perhaps due to the handing down of these traditional beliefs, they became so ingrained in the heart and mind of a person that he become truly fearful of the retaliation which he might incur, for no one would like to be turned into stone. Neither would anyone wish to undergo the suffering of those who had incurred the bisa kawi curse, and lived in penury and misery for the rest of their lives. And surely no one would be prepared to withstand the punishment administered in a collective manner at the command of the ruler, which could mean death or suffering physical injury, on account of not observing the rules of the state or for allegedly being shown disloyal to the ruler himself, which was regarded as the gravest of offences in Malacca.

Murder was regarded as another very serious offence. An order of execution was the exclusive prerogative of the ruler. Furthermore, in Malacca, according to the Sejarah Melayu, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah was quoted as saying that no Malay should be killed, no matter great the crime. Hdwever, an execution was permissible if the crime involved high treason. Clearly no one would like to lose their life so easily, if treason was not regarded as a major offence!

Before the introduction of a written constitution for a state and its government, the attempt to instil the concept of sovereignty in the minds of the people, handed down from one generation to another solely in the form of belief and tradition, was no doubt a primeval indigenous means which was not only unique and simple but also paramount and very practical, symbolized by the presence of a ruler with sovereign powers. The concept was absorbed unconsciously but with great effect into the beliefs and thinking of the ordinary people. This acceptance by consensus became one of the conventions and institutions of the traditional political forms in Malacca.

There were, no doubt, a number of legendary figures in local history who rebelled against this tradition of sovereignty, such Hang Jebat (Hang Kasturi?) in Malacca, the men of Kampar in Kedah, Sang Rajuna Tapa in Singapore, and the Laksamana Megat Sen Rama in Johor. However, generally, they all failed to leave their own mark in history and vanished from the face of the earth as a result of having incurred the consequences of lese-majeste!

Whatever the means by which the concept and institution of 'sovereignty' came into being, its political purpose was to create an institution for the survival of the community and the state. It was also aimed at creating a normative way of life in a tolerant environment, but as far as possible with flexible conditions, although within circumstances where the administrative system was somewhat loose. The intention was to create, maintain and protect the safety of the members of society and to ensure a harmonious life under an organized system of government.

In an attempt to establish social standards, it was essential to have a small group of leaders to supervise the system and to administer the far greater number of people whom they led. Under these circumstances, it was also essential for this select leadership group to possess an element or nucleus of supreme secular power which was highly exalted, respected, in which full confidence and the mandate to rule could be reposed. It might also be feared (?) because the traditional belief handed down from the past which they came to symbolize (based on their origins, genealogy and personal leadership qualities). That element and nucleus was sovereignty. The holder of that sovereignty (which was difficult to perceive with the naked eye) was the reigning monarch. It was the ruler who provided the source of spiritual energy to initiate and maintain the working of the administrative machinery for the running of an organized community.

The process of the development of sovereignty ran concurrently with the political, cultural and historical development of the local society itself. Although there are very few sources which can throw light on the concept of sovereignty during the pre~Malacca sultanate period, some knowledge can be derived from the cultural and historical perspective of the pre-Islamic and islamic periods. The culture that was developed between these two perspectives was an indigenous one.

The concept of sovereignty began at the basic level of leadership, namely the 'head-man' (ketua, or in Sanskrit katuha). During the Hindu-Buddhist era, probably during the time of Sri Vijaya, the concept of sovereignty evolved when the headman became a symbol and was linked, politically and culturally, to the various Hindu myths regarding the origins, descent and genealogy, as well as the physical and spiritual qualities which the particular headman or king possessed. The lineage and ancestors of the king were regarded to have been metamorphoses of gods in the purest, most chaste and ineffable traditions of Hinduism-Buddhism. The king was revered according to customs and traditions but without any religious connotations. As time went by, the customs and traditions became more firmly entrenched and began to be accepted as official practice, and ultimately became the political doctrine of kingship within the state. The person who was revered was regarded as pure, as pure as the gods. These pure, spiritual and mystical elements of leadership were then linked to the physical and biological faculties of the recipient of the person. The elements of purity and mystery were merged with the physical and the biological. From this, the concept of the god-king ultimately emerged. Each word, gesture, action and movement of the person was taken as a symbol of the words and actions of a superior being embodying purity. Therefore his commands must be respected and obeyed.

By way of tradition and Hindu cultural influences, some foreign elements were absorbed to form part of the foundation for local politics. The reigning monarch was recognized as the owner of the land and the water on and around it, and became the lord of all the surrounding environment.

The coming of Islam changed the way in which people think, but the political concept connected with the god-king was strongly entrenched in social beliefs and this traditional mentality could not be easily eradicated. Furthermore, based on the spiritual beliefs inherited from the past, this mentality ";,as highlighted' for rationalization with the Islamic doctrines of leadership. The traditional spiritual links of a Muslim ruler with the gods would disappear, but fresh links would be made with Allah and the Prophet together with the saintly band of spiritual leaders and practitioners. Whether they were deliberately created or otherwise,and whether they were true or false, today, we can still come across Malay manuscripts with the genealogies of the Malacca rulers which link them directly to the family and kin of the Prophet in Mecca.

When the editor of the Sejarah Melayu recorded the links between the rulers of Malacca and Allah and the Prophet in order to spread the doctrine of leadership in Islam, he quoted from the dying injunctions of the Bendahara Tun Perak as follows: ....and do not neglect to perform acts of service for your ruler. That is why the learned say, where there is a ruler who is as just as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, he can be likened to a ring that has two precious stones set in it; such a ruler is like the surrogate of Allah in the world, for he is the Shadow of God on earth; to serve the ruler is to serve Allah, the Immaculate and Almighty. Therefore, perform good deeds for Allah and His Prophet and for the ruler... Do not forget this, so that the excellence of the world to come will he yours.

The excerpt above is taken from extracts, translations and free interpretations of a number of quotations from the Koran, but in certain places the concept of leadership has been adapted to circumstances.

There are three main issues which arise from these excerpts: concerning a just ruler the relationship between the ruler on his throne and Allah. The king is described as 'the surrogate of Allah in the world', and mankind must perform good deeds for Allah, the Prophet and the ruler.

If our supposition that this excerpt is a free interpretation of the concept and doctrine of leadership in Islam based on the lines laid down in the Koran is correct, then they are relevant to Chapter Four (Women) of the Koran, verses 58 and 59. Verse 59 explains the concepts of rights and justice in the laws of men:

Allah commands you to fulfill the trust of those who believed in you, and to pass judgement upon men with fairness. Noble is that to which Allah exhorts you. He hears all and observes all.

Verse 59 of the same Chapter explains the responsibility of all the faithful to be obedient to Allah, to the Prophet and to the leadership:

Believers, obey Allah and the Apostle and those in authority among you. Should you disagree about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle,if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. This will in the end be better and more just.

This verse also states that should any disagreement occur amongst the believers, they should refer to the laws of Islam and the judgement of Allah. This is obviously directed at Islamic states and governments.

According to the accounts in the Sejarah Melayu, when Malacca was under Islamic rule, several practices in its administrative institutions were based on Islam. Many of its laws (at least in theory) as laid down in the Undang-undang Melaka Cibe Laws of Malacca) and the Undang-undang Laut Melaka (the Maritime Laws of Malacca) were based on Islam. Therefore, Malacca might fulfilled the Islamic doctrines on leadership at that time.

Nevertheless, there was also quite a lot of 'substitution' and liberal adaptation. Leadership or 'those in authority among you' (al imam) in Islam comprises the ruler and the administrators around him. This concept was apparently a rationalization of local tradition. For the ruler who was selected to rule might not necessarily have the ability to lead or the justness to administer the law amongst his subjects, whereas a just and able leader as demanded by Islam need not necessarily have to be chosen from those of royal or 'blue' blood.

However, the political and cultural tradition of the Malacca Malays inherited from the Palembang era had become the norm and basis for leadership, where a king was selected by descent from the male line. The only change that took place was in terms of religious belief and practices and of the substitution of the Hindu doctrine of leadership for the Islamic one based on local custom and tradition. This transformation seemed to have worked very successfully and effectively for several centuries. Justice could not be achieved merely by depending on the character of the reigning monarch. Therefore, the officials, especially the Bendahara, would assist the ruler to ensure a just administration and control of the state. Collective decisions were regarded more superior to individual ones. Hence the concept of consultation and discussion became established through practice. The existence of these links of mutual authority demonstrated a balance in the control and administration of the government.

The concept of consultation, discussion and agreement by consensus between the ruler, his lords and officials formed the basis for achieving justice and fairness. In fact when this practice was mentioned in written records, it became a standard convention in the relations between the two parties. The Sejarah Melayu made reference to this when it quoted Sultan Mansor Shah: ...and you should come to an understanding with all your ministers and great lords, for however wise and knowledgeable the ruler may be, how will that wisdom and knowledge be made use of,if he does not consult with all his officials?

This could be linked directly to the heriditary traditions and political culture of Malay society itself, where cooperation and a sense of tolerance between the king and administrators on the one hand, and their subjects, the ordinary people, on the other, had been established since the early days. The Sejarah Melayu records the solemn pledge (waadah) made between Sang Sapurba Taram Sen Tn Buana (the ruler) and Demang Labar Daun (his subject) following the primordial tradition of Malay political leadership:

That is why Allah, the Immaculate and the Almighty, has accorded that all Malay rulers should never bring shame upon their subjects; however great their offences may be. They should not be scrutinized, held responsible or execrated with foul words. Should a ruler bring shame to a Malay subject, his realm will face ruin; and Allah, the Immaculate and the Almighty, has accorded that all Malays should never be disloyal to their rulers or shun them no matter how evil and cruel they may be.

These mutual ties came into being between the ruler as protector on the one side and the people as supporters of their protector on the other. The customs and traditions in governing which was probably practised during the period of Sri Vijaya continued to be preserved. Within the context of political culture, another element of mutuality founded on the close and systematic cooperation and interdependence between ruler and subject may be seen in the adaptation of a Persian maxim which was absorbed into the philosophy of leadership and the system of governing in Malacca. Based on the Malay-Islamic culture and political thought which probably took firm root in Malacea during the reign of Sultan Mansor Shah, the compiler of the Sejarah Melayu emphasised this point by citing yet again the words of Sultan Mansor Shah, as follows: In the words of the Persian saying, 'Ar'ayat juna bakhsanat sultan Khasad', which means that the people are like the roots, and the ruler like the tree; just as there would be no tree if there were no roots, so there would be no ruler if there were no subjects.

The link and the interdependence between a tree and its roots became a fundamental analogy in the tradition and philosophy of Malay leadership in Malacca. It is a very simple philosophy but indeed practical - a tree cannot stand without its roots, and the roots cannot survive without a tree! It is through this interdependence can a society survive and a kingdom be established.

Nevertheless, it was the strength of the traditional foundations, the heritage of cultural processes, and the history of the indigenous culture itself which enabled the elements of purity, excellence and virtue to continue to become the crux upon which the attributes of sovereignty could be established and reinforced so that the status of the ruler would transcend secular laws. The analogy of the king and the Prophet being like 'two jewels set in a single ring', both of them hand in hand contributing to its splendour and ultimate beauty, no doubt fitted well into the local ethos of leadership. A king was likened to 'the substitute' of Allah on earth - or His shadow (zulillahi fi'l'alam or zulillahi fil'l ardh). It is at once understood that if we worship Allah and are faithful to the ways of the Prophet, then we must also serve and be loyal to the ruler. If we are disobedient and refuse to follow the commands of Allah or the ways of the Prophet, we will also be considered disloyal to the ruler. This is the primary interpretation.

Such arguments probably provided the most refined and highly effective political means used by the Malays to indoctrinate the ordinary people in order to command their respect and the belief in the sovereignty of their ruler.

The person who strongly supported, exalted and defended the sovereignty of the ruler was the Bendahara. This was appropriately so because the Bendahara was an experienced, elderly man who invariably was either the father-in-law or the uncle of the reigning monarch. Whatever may be the interpretations and opinions of researchers regarding the leadership qualities and characteristics of the Bendaharas as portrayed in the Sejarah Melayu, there are a number of accounts and episodes which shed light on several Bendaharas who frequently defended this 'custom' and political philosophy, even at the cost of their own lives, as in the case of Bendahara Sen Maharaja Tun Mutahir. The basis for upholding sovereignty was the maxim 'no Malay may be disloyal to his ruler'.

In short, the concept of ruling and the prerogative to rule which belonged to the ruler were primarily spiritual and represented a traditional heritage in the form of an accepted belief handed down through the ages. This tradition was influenced by changes in culture and in the perspectives of creed and religion.

This concept of ruling and prerogative to rule became established and, were channeled and put into practice through the physical authority and actions of the state officials and other administrators who supported and became part of the general institution of kingship. The physical authority and actions mentioned above were intended to emphasize amongst other things the establishment, supervision and perpetuation of the practice of state rites based on traditional usage and custom to ensure that they would be rigorously preserved; to prescribe and implement governmental as well as administrative rules and regulations; to define and establish an administrative system; to supervise, maintain and ensure the implementation of the law (which included customs and traditions as well as foreign elements - Hindu and Islamic); to supervise and enhance the social system and the supervision of state protocol on the whole; to ensure peace and harmony of society.

Since the state officials were the pillars that supported and ensured the stability of the institution of kingship and administration, they were provided with certain powers within the sphere of their respective authority based on certain social, political and administrative functions at court, on land, in the home waters of Malacca and in her dependencies.

The cooperation and the ties which existed between the reigning ruler and his state officials who formed the administrative machinery supporting the system of kingship and government could also be seen as one fundamental aspect of political culture. Indeed, following the traditional political philosophy of Malacca, the cooperation and the ties mentioned above were essential for ensuring the success of the whole governmental system.

The smoothness, harmony and success of the system were all dependent on the attitude of mutual support between both sides. Therefore, in order to secure the success of this, system, a political philosophy regarding this type of cooperation was instilled in Malacca, as reflected in the analogy of the ruler as 'the fire' and the state officials 'the firewood'. The Sejarah Melayu discusses this point, and quotes the Bendahara Tun Perak as follows: And there was no harmony in the state, because a ruler is like fire and all his ministers are like firewood; if there is no firewood, how can the fire give its flame?

The overall concept of the close cooperation between ruler and his subject is likened to the relationship between a tree and its roots, while the concept of the mutual dependence between the ruler and his state officials is likened to the relationship between fire and fuel. These formed the basic philosophy and theory of the political, governmental and the administrative system of Malacca as a whole.

According to one scholar, the most interesting example of this concept of mutual dependence which is indispensable between the two sides in this kind of political machinery can be seen in the concept and viewpoint expressed in the Hikayat Hang Tuah, 'a historical novel utilizing symbols'. At the functional level, the book highlights the relations between the ruler of Malacca and Hang Tuah. This symbolizes the relationship between those in authority, in power and given the mandate to rule on the one hand, and those who accept, support and recognize that authority and mandate, on the other. The acceptance and recognition of this system was usually effected in a totally submissive way, with unquestioned and undivided loyalty to avoid any conflict or disturbance in implementing the authority in the administration. This is a unique example of how a Malay sultanate functions, and symbolizes the sublime link between the ruler (in this context the sultan of Malacca) and his subjects (Hang Tuah).

This may have been a concept and an opinion formed by the author of this famous manuscript. The word, summons and cornmand of the ruler emanated from his authority, and that command (through the acceptance and readiness to carry it out shown and manifested by the character, actions and deeds of Hang Tuah) must be obeyed, without any question or argument even to the extent of sacrificing a life. A ruler's command which was carried out and fulfilled traditionally would earn him a fine reward and recognition. The reward could take several forms, material and symbolic, which would be described as a bestowal of a royal favour.

Hence, the legal implication which arose from the use of this term, whether in the form of speech or in the act of bestowing an award, was that only the reigning ruler was permitted to name the award or to confer it upon someone. In other words, the bestowal of awards was the prerogative of the ruler. The Hukum Kanun Melaka (Clause 2:1) states that whosoever took upon himself the role (by speech or action) of bestowing an award, along with the usage of such words reserved for royalty such as Utah, patik, murka and kurnia, would incur the death penalty. Among the awards or honours which were generally conferred were official titles of honour and titles of ranks for offices of the Laksamana, Sen Bija Diraja and others, which served to contribute to and define the position and social and political status of an individual to the point of enabling him to achieve a level of social distinction and be called an 'orang kaya' (for although he had left office, he had attained a superior economic position); grants of land for the cultivation of rice or general farming; and grants of populated land (orchards, inlets, or streams). According to Clause 44:11 of the Hukum Kanun Melaka, to be made raja (i.e. chief or headman) in such places would mean becoming the local administrator, and collector of produce and taxes, and being allocated human beings (male or female) as followers and slaves. The smallest awards given were in the form of a suit of clothes (complete ceremonial dress) as a token of appreciation from those in authority, and whose political sovereignty was acknowledged by the people.

Therefore a two-way link was established between the ruler (who issued commands) and his subjects (who carried them out), and between the giver and the receiver so that all was effected with cooperation and harmony. This was the basis and foundation of the Malacca government. In the context and concept conveyed by the phrase primus inter pares, the spirit of cooperation, reciprocation, tolerance, of commanding and obeying manifested by the dramatis personae of the Malacca ruler and Rang Tuah, was what the Sejarah Melayu described in philosophical terms as the cooperation 'between tree and root'. If the root provides strong support and sustenance, the tree will be sturdy and firm. The same applies to the establishment of a state. On the other hand, if the roots are feeble and fail to provide support and sustenance, the tree will wither and die. In order to support and strengthen the tree, the roots are in turn trained to give their support and sustenance to the tree.

It is this positive spirit that is emphasized by the Hikayat Hang Tuah through the portrayal of Hang Tuah as a man who stands for the principle that 'no Malay may ever be disloyal to his ruler'! At a deeper level, the harnessing of manpower on a collective basis for various civil and military purposes (such as for war, building a palace, and repairing a fort) is an old concept and institution for 'the services or needs of the country' at that time. The involvement of manpower on such a large scale raises the problems concerning rewards (unless the ruler happens to be particularly wealthy and generous), and this is also closely related to individual responsibility, moral obligation (a moralist will not expect material reward) and status. The task of maintaining and preserving the state comprised amongst other things, the support of the rulers ambitions and ideals, the defence of the security of the society, the contribution to the development and improvement of the city for the benefit of all, the construction of ditches and drains to meet the needs of the people, the attendance of official festivals and royal ceremonies in order to fulfill the concept of sovereignty and the state.

These were included in the duties and collective responsiblity (in the spirit of cooperation or gotong-myong) for the kingdom. The willingness and readiness to answer the call for public work (which free us from any prejudice about elements of compulsion) was a sign of moral and physical support for the kingdom. It was a symbol of the people's recognition of the reigning ruler's sovereignty. If the kingdom was in trouble, the people would be in difficulty too. If the kingdom was in distress, the people would suffer equally. And if the kingdom was prosperous, the people would prosper too. Thousands of loyal soldiers participated in the series of military campaigns led by Hang Tuah. They were always loyal to the ruler and were very obedient to the orders of Hang Tuah. Sovereignty was developed and linked to the concept and the symbolic role of kingship. This symbolism was created in order to provide certain exclusive prerogatives and status to the ruler which were superior to those enjoyed by his subjects. Included amongst these symbols were:

1. the traditional insignia
2. the language
3. the law
4. the colour
5. the protocol as well as customs and traditions
The traditional insignia consisted of objects that were displayed and served to 'uphold' the charisma of the reigning monarch. The display of these insignia at every official ceremony attended by the ruler demonstrated symbolically the exaltation of the royal office. For this reason these objects were called the insignia of royalty or regalia.

Ordinary people were forbidden from using such insignia except as an award from the ruler. Among these insignia were the cuspidor, the cruse (kendi), the fans, the banners, the betel caddy, the pawai, several kinds of weapons such as the keris, the sword, the spear, and the javelin, and various kinds of of porcelain dishes, the yellow sash (tetampan), and the umbrella. Collectively they were known as 'the royal articles'.

The royal regalia also included traditional musical instruments which were played at official court functions and ceremonies and according to the traditions of the kingdom. These instruments were used as 'Instruments of State' . Included amongst these musical instruments were the drum, the gong, the flute, the trumpet, the negara and the fife. Together they made up the royal orchestra or nobat. Only the ruler was permitted to own and use these instruments on all occasions privy to his person and which were connected with court and state ceremonies.

Insignia of secondary importance included the litter used by the ruler during his outings. The symbolic role of this item was not so prominent since it was also 'bestowed' to be used by the Bendahara and the Laksamana. The only difference was that when the ruler was borne by litter, he was accompanied by all the officials whose position in the procession was according to the order of their heirarchy. This would enable the people to distinguish that the litter borne in procession with all the officials in attendance was that of the reigning king or sultan of Malacca.

The elephant which was used as a form of land transport and the perahu as a form of water transport were also accorded symbols of royalty. Whenever the ruler mounted the elephant, the Iaksamana and the Temenggung would accompany him to ensure his safety. The royal ride would include the accompaniment of the beat of the drum of the royal orchestra (nobat). The royal perahu was also different from ordinary vessels. Only the perahu used by the ruler was allowed to have a foesle. Some of the royal regalia and insignia of state still form part of the royal heritage today and are used by the Malay rulers in the present system of monarchy.

There were also other items connected with the establishment of secular state 'laws' or conventions. Their purpose was to distinguish between the prerogatives of the ruler and the rights enjoyed and practised by the common people.

Certain items were classified as 'prohibited' (larangan) for use by ordinary people since those items were reserved for the use of the king and members of his family. For example, yellow was a royal colour, and the ruler's subjects were prohibited from using this colour for the embroidery on kerchiefs, for the borders of draperies, for cushion covers and mattresses, or for any form of household decoration. They were only allowed to Lse the colour in the making of ordinary cloth, tunics, and headeloths. White umbrellas were restricted for the use of the ruler alone, while the yellow umbrella was for the use of the ruler's sons. Only the ruler was allowed to live in a building with verandahs and tiang gantung, and to own resort homes.

In order to demonstrate the exclusiveness and elitism of the ruler and his family, the common people were not allowed to use sheaths of gold or silver for their weapons, including the keris, because these were also reserved for the use of the ruler and his family. The same was applied to golden anklets. The common people could only use these things if they were bestowed upon them and were approved by the ruler.

Language was also included under the royal symbol. For instance, according to Article 2.1 of the Hukum Kanun Melaka, there were five words which could only be used to connote royalty, namely titah (royal speech or command), patik (the personal pronoun in the first person used by a subject when addressing the ruler), murka (the royal expression for wrath or anger), and kurnia and anugerah (royal gifts or awards). A commoner who made fun of or who even uttered these five words or used patik out of context would incur the death penalty, or at the very least, would have his mouth 'pummelled'. Clause 2.2 of the same laws made it clear that only rulers could accept tokens of obeisance.

As for funeral ceremonies, no one was permitted to shade the deceased with an umbrella, or to provide a mat or to scatter coins near the grave except for the ruler. The basic purpose behind these special rights and marks of distinction was to 'exalt the ruler according to convention...' and to distinguish clearly between the ruler and his subjects, including the officials in his entourage.

None of this, however, included the order and practice of court ceremonies or state protocol designed to emphasize the concept and the institution of kingship within the sphere of sovereignty. A ruler had to follow certain standards of protocol when he went out to meet his people. It was not easy for a commoner to meet the ruler. When a subject came into the royal presence, he had to conform to and follow certain forms of etiquette, ceremony and ritual which had been laid down, and use the court language (with words like patik (when referring to himself), gering (sick), pacal (slave of the ruler), bersiram (wash or bathe) and santap (eat). This also included the manner and etiquette for sitting when making obeisance, the dress code when in audience with the ruler in the audience hall, and the regulations, formalities and etiquette prescribed when presenting his services to the ruler at court. These were devised, arranged, determined, and formalized to infuse charisma into the concept of sovereignty which had been created and reinforced in the person of the reigning ruler.

The determination and the actual pattern of settlement of the Malacca people, in the context of the establishment of the city's demographic layout, consciously or unsconsciously, also played a direct part in supporting the concept of sovereignty. According to Portuguese and Chinese reports, the most exclusive district was Malacca Hill (now Bukit Seri Melaka).

The royal palace was built on the top of this hill. Various types of halls were found in the palace (such as the audience hall, conference hall and the orchestral chamber.) The royal palace and its precincts were probably built during the reigns of the early rulers of Malacca, for the presence of the ruler was essential for carrying out the administration and the organization of the government (that is, by the process of consultation, discussion,debate and consensus). The great lords and high ranking state officials would have their official audiences with the ruler there, though not according to any fixed schedule. According to Tome Pires, the nearest royal residence for the ruler and his family was at Bertam, located upstream in the Malacca hinterland.

On the slopes of the hill surrounding the royal precincts were the houses of the great lords and high ranking State officials. At the foot of the hill, especially facing the sea front and the Straits of Malacea were found the dwelling places of the captains, soldiers and the Orang Laut. This pattern of settlement was both of strategic importance and very practical for the conditions prevailing then. The ruler and the great lords was always protected from the threat of frontal assaults from the Straits of Malacca. Should an attack occur, the ruler and his followers could always withdraw upstream into the hinterland.
__________

Source: planet.time.net.my

MABM Berencana Bangun Rumah Adat Melayu

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:02 AM PDT

Sambas, Kalbar – Majelis Adat Budaya Melayu (MABM) Kabupaten Sambas berencana mendirikan rumah adat Melayu, tapi belum dapat direalisasikan dalam waktu dekat ini, mungkin pada 2014 baru terwujud.

"Kalau waktu dekat ini sepertinya tidak mungkin. Bisa jadi baru terbangun pada 2014," kata Ketua MABM Kabupaten Sambas Burhanuddin A Rasyid, usai rapat dengan pengurusnya, kemarin.

Paling tidak dalam waktu dekat MABM tengah memikirkan sekretariat. Beberapa pengurus menawarkan berbagai alternatif sebagai kantor MABM nanti. Mulai dari menidirikan bangunan baru, membeli rumah warga sampai ada yang menawarkan pilihan gedung pemerintah.

"Banyak memang yang harus kita benahi. Sekretariat dengan perpustakaan misalnya, menjadi sesuatu yang prioritas," ujar Burhanuddin yang juga Bupati Sambas ini. Dia melanjutkan, rencana pembangunan rumah Melayu nantinya akan difungsikan sebagai pusat kegiatan Melayu di Sambas. Dananya belum dipastikan, hanya saja Burhanuddin menyebutkan akan meminta bantuan pemerintah dan sebagian bersumber dari swadaya.

Burhanuddin menegaskan, lebih dari 80 persen warga Sambas adalah etnis Melayu. Tentunya memiliki peran sangat besar membangun kabupaten ini. Pembangunan tidak akan berjalan dengan baik tanpa dukungan etnis Melayu sebagai mayoritas. "Untuk itu MABM bertekad membantu pemerintah membangun Sambas," ucapnya.

Dalam waktu dekat juga akan dilaksanakan pelantikan MABM di kecamatan-kecamatan. Sebanyak 17 kecamatan di Sambas menyatakan sudah membentuk kepengurusan MABM. Mereka siap dilantik. "Dari 19 kecamatan 17 di antaranya sudah menyatakan kesiapannya dilantik, karena memang sudah terbentuk kepengurusannya," ungkapnya.

Ketua Dewan Penasehat MABM Sambas Juliarti Djuhardi Alwi meminta MABM Sambas menginventarisasi kebutuhan baru memilah mana yang didahulukan. "Karena banyaknya kebutuhan itu harus ada skala prioritas. Mana dulu yang akan kita lakukan," sarannya. Ketua Bidang Sarana dan Dana MABM Sambas, Hasanusi mengatakan, selain sekretariat organisasi ini juga butuh dana untuk operasional. Jika mengharapkan dana pemerintah, menurutnya, tidak akan cukup. "Menyiasatinya kita minta bantuan donatur. Banyak pengusaha Melayu di Sambas ini," tuturnya.

Depok Gelar Festival Seni Budaya Zona Melayu

Posted: 09 May 2011 05:37 AM PDT

Depok, Jabar - Pemerintah kota Depok menggelar festival seni budaya dan kirab seni budaya Provinsi Jawa Barat, zona Melayu Betawi tahun 2011, sebagai rangkaian memeperingati ulang tahun Kota Depok ke-12. Festival kali ini berbeda dengan sebelumnya karena kali ini merupakan rangkaian kegiatan dalam mengisi dan memeriahkan Hari Jadi ke-12 Kota Depok, kata Wali Kota Depok Nur Mahmudi Ismail, di Depok, Sabtu.

Dikatakan oleh Wali Kota Depok Nur Mahmudi Ismail, bahwa festival tahun ini merupakan suatu kebanggaan tersendiri bagi para pimpinan serta seniman dari kabupaten dan kota lain yang memiliki budaya Melayu Betawi karena dapat hadir dan memeriahkan Festival Seni Budaya di Kota Depok ini. Ia menjelaskan, festival seni budaya tahun ini dirangkaikan dengan kegiatan seni budaya Provinsi Jawa Barat antara lain meliputi kirab, tampilan seni budaya dan pameran.

Kirab dan tampilan seni budaya pada tahun ini diikuti 12 sanggar dari kabupaten dan kota lain dan 25 sanggar dari Kota Depok, dengan tujuan untuk melestarikan nilai-nilai seni budaya dan memberikan ruang bagi para seniman untuk mengekspresikan segala kemampuannya yang selama ini di bawah binaan Dinas Pariwisata Seni dan Budaya Kota Depok.

Ia berharap festival ini bisa mempererat tali persaudaraan kita dan dapat mempertahankan budaya khas Jawa Barat. Festival ini juga merupakan wujud dari eksistensi Kota Depok yang mampu bersaing dan mampu mempertahankan budaya lokal walaupun bersebelahan dengan ibu kota provinsi.

Sementara Gubernur Jawa Barat, Ahmad Heryawan mengatakan, Kota Depok telah mengukir banyak prestasi di Jawa Barat walaupun berada di perbatasan ibu kota propinsi. Depok merupakan kota yang maju karena kota pertama dengan IPM tertingi di Jawa Barat dan telah menyumbangkan banyak prestasi, ujarnya.

Gubernur mengharapkan festival ini bisa memjadi ajang untuk mempererat silaturahmi dan sebagai wadah dalam mempertahankan dan mengembangkan seni dan budaya Jawa Barat.

Parade Budaya Lestarikan Adat Budaya Daerah Bangka

Posted: 09 May 2011 05:35 AM PDT

Sungailiat, Babel - Parade budaya yang diselenggarakan Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata Kabupaten Bangka, Provinsi Bangka Belitung, Rabu (4/5/2011) bertujuan untuk menggali potensi kebudayaan adat tradisi yang ada di masyarakat.

"Apapun bentuknya kreasi seninya akan dilihat. Kalau memang cocok dengan budaya kita mengapa dibiarkan. Itu harus diangkat. Ini bagian dari pelestarian budaya kita," ungkap Kepala Disbudpar Kabupaten Bangka, Asep Setiawan kepada Bangkapos.com, Rabu (4/5/2011) di Rumah Dinas Bupati Bangka.

Diakuinya, kegiatan parade budaya dalam rangka memeriahkan Hari Ulang Tahun Kota Sungailiat ke 245 ini, diikuti sebanyak 40 kelompok dari kalangan pelajar, masyarakat umum dan sanggar seni.

"Kita coba angkat, ini dibiasakan dan ini bisa menjadi even," kata Asep.

Menurutnya, yang dilestarikan tidak hanya budaya di Bangka tetapi juga budaya daerah lain seperti Jawa, Madura, Batak, Minang, dan budaya daerah lainnya yang sudah melekat bersama budaya Bangka.

Selain itu juga para finalis Bujang Miak Kabupaten Bangka diarak dengan menggunakan kendaraan jeep melewati jalur parade budaya sepanjang jalan Jenderal Sudirman, start di depan Bank Sumsel hingga finish di depan Taman Makam Pahlawan Padma Satria Sungailiat.

KBRI Wina Gelar Lokakarya Seni Topeng

Posted: 09 May 2011 05:31 AM PDT

London, Inggris - KBRI Wina bekerja sama dengan Museum fur Volkerkunde menyelenggarakan Community Day untuk mengakhiri pameran budaya Indonesia di museum tersebut dengan menampilkan lokakarya seni topeng dan seni memahat buah (fruit carving).

"Acara yang digelar di Museum fur Volkerkunde (Museum Etnologi) di Wina itu dihadiri Friends of the Museum, warga negara Indonesia dan warga setempat," ujar Sekretaris III KBRI Wina Luna Amanda Sidqi kepada Antara London, Rabu (4/5/2011).

Dia mengatakan, dua seniman Austria, yaitu Markus Kupferblum dan Renald Deppe yang berkarya dalam bidang seni topeng, memperkenalkan karya seni bertopeng asal Bali. Topeng-topeng yang diperkenalkan tersebut merupakan hasil karya seni Wayan Tanggu yang berasal dari daerah Singapadu, Bali.

Berbagai macam ekspresi wajah topeng yang awal digunakan untuk upacara keagamaan dipergunakan Markus Kupferblum sebagai karya seninya dengan para seniman dan penyanyi untuk lebih memberikan penekanan ekspresi postur dan suara.

Menurut seniman tersebut, topeng-topeng diibaratkan sebagai kaca pembesar yang efeknya menggambarkan lebih jelas watak kehidupan manusia, berikut ekspresi emosinya sehingga hal ini sangat memengaruhi penampilan di panggung. Dengan dasar alasan tersebut, karya seni bertopeng menjadi bagian yang paling penting dari proses pendidikan sekolah seni.

Dalam sesi interaktif, beberapa pengunjung memakai topeng-topeng dan menampilkan karakter sesuai dengan topeng, yang dibimbing oleh Markus Kupferblum.

Pada kesempatan yang sama juga diperkenalkan seni pahat buah untuk hiasan meja oleh I Made Suharta yang di Bali terkenal dengan karya-karya kreativitas seni pahatnya. Dengan menggunakan buah semangka, lobak labu kuning, dan wortel, pengunjung mengikuti berbagai teknik yang diajarkan untuk membentuk hiasan bunga, daun, dan burung. Salah satu karya I Made Suharta yang ditampilkan adalah wajah barong dengan menggunakan buah semangka.

Anneliese Gattringer, salah seorang pengunjung, mengakui acara ini sangat menarik dan untuk pertama kali melihat topeng-topeng Bali. Ia mengatakan bahwa topeng-topeng tersebut terlihat menakutkan. Namun, ia mendapat penjelasan bahwa topeng-topeng tersebut dapat digunakan untuk menampilkan karakter baik ataupun jahat, bahkan lucu.

Sementara dalam mencoba seni pahat buah untuk hiasan, ia mencoba membuat hiasan bunga yang sederhana dan berpendapat tidak semudah yang terlihat.

Dubes RI untuk Austria, I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, didampingi Sumantri Widagdo, kurator Museum Puri Lukisan Bali, dan Dr Jani Kuhnt Saptodewo, kurator pameran di Museum fur Volkerkunde, menjelaskan lukisan karya I Nyoman Lempad dan Walter Spies yang dipamerkan sejak Februari lalu di museum itu.

Maluku Meriahkan Ambon Night di Darwin

Posted: 09 May 2011 05:27 AM PDT

Ambon, Maluku - Pemerintah Provinsi Maluku mempersiapkan tim kesenian untuk pagelaran "Ambon Night" di Darwin, Northern Teritory, Australia, dalam rangka memenuhi undangan gubernur setempat, Tom Pauling.

Wagub Maluku, Said Assagaff, di Ambon, Rabu (4/5/2011), mengatakan kesiapan tim kesenian Maluku sudah matang. "Saat ini masih menunggu kepastian jadwal pentas yang sementara dikoordinasikan dengan pemerintah setempat," katanya.

Gubernur Darwin Tom Pauling menyampaikan undangan tersebut kepada Wagub Maluku Said Assagaff saat kunjungan ke Darwin pada Juni 2010. "Timnya intensif latihan agar tampil mempesona di Darwin sehingga tidak mengecewakan pemerintah setempat, sekaligus para turis asing yang sedang berkunjung ke sana," ujarnya.

Wagub Maluku menilai undangan Gubernur Darwin itu strategis untuk mempromosikan potensi wisata maupun sumber daya alam Maluku lainnya guna menarik minat turis asing maupun investor ke Maluku. "Peluang ini strategis sehingga Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata dan Taman Budaya Maluku diarahkan untuk mempersiapkan tim guna mementaskan seni maupun budaya khas daerah ini di Darwin," katanya.

Wagub mengemukakan, undangan gubernur Darwin tersebut menunjukkan kekerabatan yang dijalin dengan Ambon sebagai kota kembar (sister city) makin harmonis. Pemerintah Darwin-Ambon menjalin kerja sama di berbagai bidang dan program terkenal adalah lomba layar (yacht race) internasional yang menarik minat pelayar mancanegara setiap tahun.

Darwin, menurut Wagub, memprakarsai juga persekutuan veteran tentara persemakmuran saat Perang Dunia II yang sering memberikan bantuan sosial ke Maluku dengan alasan saat itu masyarakat setempat menyelamatkan personilnya maupun memberikan makanan.

"Kami meresponsnya dengan memfasilitasi agar perayaan Anzac Day (memperingati gugurnya tentara Persemakmuran saat Perang Dunia II) di Ambon setiap 25 April bisa diaktifkan kembali, menyusul dihentikan peringatan tersebut sejak konflik sosial di daerah ini pada 1999," ujarnya.

Di Taman Persemakmuran Kapahaha di Kecamatan Sirimau, Kota Ambon terdapat 1.092 makam serdadu Australia, Inggris (810), Belanda (186), India (30), Kanada (2) dan masing-masing satu dari Selandia Baru dan Afrika Selatan serta 15 lainnya tidak teridentifikasi.

Pada kawasan makam ini juga dibangun "Tugu Ambon" oleh Commonwealth War Commission dalam rangka memperingati 289 tentara dan 171 penerbang Australia yang gugur di Maluku, Sulawesi dan Kepulauan sekitarnya dalam Perang Dunia II.

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