PETALING JAYA: Jaffna Tamils have long played an important role in Malaysian society by producing numerous professionals in fields ranging from medicine to politics, says Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah.
Launching a book titled “They Came from Jaffna”, he said the Jaffna Tamil community has contributed to Malaysian culture and heritage through music, dance, movies and culinary arts.
“These contributions are an integral component of the multicultural nature of Malaysia that we all cherish,” he said.
Sultan Nazrin congratulated the book’s author, Indra Rani Lavan Iswaran, for the contribution her book has made to both Jaffna Tamil and Malaysian culture.
In the book, Iswaran details the historical journey of her ancestral family from Jaffna in Sri Lanka to Malaya in the 1890s, while highlighting the original culinary heritage of the Jaffna Tamils.
“She weaves these various strands together most effectively. Insightful tales of personal and national history are brought to life in the many evocative photographs and drawings,” Sultan Nazrin said.
He said the Jaffna, or Ceylon Tamils, have contributed significantly to the development of both Malaysia and Singapore since their migration to this part of the world in the late 19th century.
“Travelling by rail back in the old days, one would have encountered many Ceylon Tamil stationmasters, and many of the chief clerks in government offices and business agencies also came from this community,” he said.
“Many Ceylon Tamils also became teachers, reflecting their sound grasp of the English language.”
Source : FMT Media