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Open Access ‘Surrender’, peacekeeping and internal colonialism. A Malaysian instance

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‘Surrender’, peacekeeping and internal colonialism. A Malaysian instance

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A neglected episode in West Malaysia’s subaltern history illustrates how simplistic Western notions of peace—and consequently, of surrender and resistance—can be. In the case of Semai in the Semai heartland, what seems like submission to external pressures turns out to be an ambiguous and ambivalent way of keeping the peace between Malays and Semai in the guise of adding new tools to traditional Semai internal peacekeeping praxis. Semai “double consciousness” of both their own reality and how Malays conceive of it thus allows them to avoid the imposition of external authority by creating a simulacrum thereof. “Surrender” and resistance overlap.

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