IIUM Repository

Warta Jenaka and Wak Ketok: visualising the other in early Malay editorial cartoons

Mohd Noor Merican, Ahmad Murad (2021) Warta Jenaka and Wak Ketok: visualising the other in early Malay editorial cartoons. Jurnal Pengajian Media Malaysia, 22 (2). pp. 31-48. ISSN 1511-2284 E-ISSN 2231-8143

PDF - Published Version
Download (822kB) | Preview


This article defines Malay identity through their portrayal of the Malay Other – the Arabs, Indian Muslims and the Europeans. The Arabs and Peranakan Arabs were identified as foreigners in disguise, the Europeans colonisers as harbingers of modernity. From this perspective not much has been written, using editorial cartoons in Malaysia. This article then focuses on the depiction by the Malay of what constitutes the foreigner (and the West). The medium of the cartoon was a recent innovation in Malay-language newspapers, having first appeared in the first issue of Warta Jenaka a weekly pictorial newspaper on 7 September of 1936. This article surveys three major periodicals in the 1930s including that of Warta Ahadand Utusan Zaman in their construction of ambivalence toward colonialism and Western influence. These were the inter-war years. The periodicals capture Malay sentiments couched in humour and sarcasm ranging from the “proximate” culture of the Arabs to British or European notions of “race”, “modernity” and “progress.” It is cognizant of the colonial condition and the milieu and the inherent character of the Malay press, serving as instruments of criticism and satire. The visual “ethno-nationalistic” discourse is observed about the trajectory of “modernity” brought into Malay awareness during the period.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Editorial cartoons, Malay periodicals, the Other, Sarcasm, Europeans
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N379 Study of the history of art
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P87 Communication. Mass media
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC)
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2024 09:28
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2024 09:28
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/111390

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year