The fall of Melaka is depicted in a relief on the pedestal of the Alfonso De Albuquerque memorial in Belem, Lisbon. The next photo-event of the Koboi Project will be a series of street performances at the sites of various monuments to Portuguese marine adventurism and imperialism. This intervention attempts to mark, express and interpret the aggregation of memories, memoirs and memorials that I find at this junction of my own self and this deeply historic place – Belem. The performances will take place in the 2nd week of July 2018.
Kalau roboh Kota Melaka
Papan di Jawa hamba dirikan
Kalau sungguh bagai dikata
Nyawa dan badan hamba serahkan
If the city of Melaka has fallen
In Java shall I make my place
If I am true to the words I have spoken
Life and limb I shall give with grace
Se a cidade de Melaka cair
Vou me pousar então em Java
Se eu for leal às palavras ditas por mim
Oferecerei a minha vida toda com graça
Berpatah mengikut peradaban negerinya, katanama ‘keling’ harus diterima!
Tetapi mengikut sekalangan warganya, panggilan itu memaki rasanya.
Dalam kandang mengembek bermakna, diluar, nadanya mengganggu sahaja!
While I am completely behind Tun Dr. Mahathir in terms the benign, even honourable, etymology of the term Keling, I have personally experienced its use in a derogatory fashion. There is no question that it is uttered and understood as a racial slur in the contemporary lexicon. Indeed, it is important to note that, in the context of the then fast-approaching GE 14, Tun backtracked from his contextual defense (the lexicon of his youth) and apologized for his insensitive use of the term.