Irfan Ullah, Mokhtar Saidin, Bobby Anderson



During the years after initial Malaysian independence in 1957, the North Borneo (Sabah) region became part of the Malaysian Federation, forming the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak. Unlike Peninsular Malaysia, though, Malaysian Borneo had a highly diverse indigenous and migrant population that far outweighed the population of Muslim Malays. Today, Malaysian Borneo still consists of a highly diverse population of indigenous peoples and migrants with a minority of people who identify as Malay. Over 85% of people in Sabah are non-Malay. This article pursues ethnographic and historical background of Malay and Bornean identities is discussed to set a foundation for the analysis of identity formulation in Sabah, Malaysia. Additionally, this includes a discussion of the theoretical frameworks that will be used for the analytic discussion of identity formulation. The methods I carried out, including library research and fieldwork, are discussed in the present the data collected from library research and fieldwork on identities in Sabah. The fieldwork demonstrated that Sabahans have embraced the Malay language and the type of Malay spoken in Sabah is unique to their region.

Keywords: North Borneo, Sabah, Malay language, Field work, Malayness.



Selepas beberapa tahun kemerdekaan Malaysia pada 1957, kawasan Borneo Utara (Sabah) menjadi sebahagian daripada Persekutuan Malaysia, membentuk kawasan yang dikenali sebagai Sabah dan Sarawak. Tidak seperti Semenanjung Malaysia, kawasan Borneo mempunyai kepadatan kepelbagaian kaum yang tinggi dan populasi pendatang yang jauh lebih tinggi berbanding kaum Melayu Islam.  Hari ini Borneo Malaysia masih mempunyai populasi masyarakat asal yang tinggi termasuk kaum pendatang dengan sedikit sahaja yang mengakui dirinya Melayu. Lebih 85% masyarakat di Sabah adalah bukan Melayu. Makalah ini akan menyorot perbincangan mengenai latar belakang secara etnografi dan sejarah identiti masyarakat Melayu dan Borneo untuk menetapkan asas bagi menganalisis formulasi identiti di Sabah, Malaysia. Di samping itu, makalah ini akan menunjukkan perbincangan mengenai kerangka teori yang akan digunakan  bagi menganalisis perbincangan mengenai formulasi identiti. Kaedah yang digunakan dalam kajian ini termasuk kajian kepustakaan dan kerja lapangan terhadap identiti di Sabah. Kerja lapangan menunjukkan bahawa masyarakat Sabah telah mengambil bahasa Melayu dan bahasa Melayu yang digunakan oleh masyarakat Sabah unik bagi kawasan mereka.

Kata kunci: Borneo Utara, Sabah, Bahasa Melayu, kerja lapangan, kemelayuan.

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