Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Malays have settled in the UK for decades. The early Malays came and settled primarily in Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and London. Their numbers have dwindled owing to death and the organisations that they formed have either disappeared or is now non-functional. The earliest student organisation KMUK (Kesatuan Melayu United Kingdom) has also died. However the death was not due to the decline in the number of Malay students but was the victim of student politics.
Melayu UK has to learn from the failures of earlier organisations. We cannot afford to be engaged in factional or party politics which will divide the members. As such Melayu UK has always been independent of political parties and has never and will never ever aligned itself to any political party. Melayu UK also cannot afford to be an exclusive club of those born in Malaysia as this will lead to natural death. Instead Melayu UK have to embraced the younger generations who were born and bred in the UK as the successor of the current leadership. This society really belongs to them as they are the ones who can truly claim to be Melayu UK. This society will eventually be run by British Malays, not Malaysian Malays. Many of the those who were born in Malaysia still think Malaysia as their home and engaged actively in discussions on Malaysian politics, unlike those born in the UK.
There are many Malay students organisation in the UK. However they have unstable membership simply because the membership lifespan of a member is defined by the duration of his or her study in the UK. You can join them but the members will disappear after a few years and every year you will have to know more new members whom you know will soon disappear.
Melayu UK is a community of permanent members and is not an organisation for those in transit. As more and more Malays are born in the UK, Melayu UK can only get bigger and become more prominent. We also have to embark on innovative membership recruitment programmes to create and enhance this growth in membership. Our recruitment programmes should primarily target the children and not the adults. The experience and excitement of attending Melayu UK activities during childhood will continue to be sweet memories throughout adulthood and until death. These sweet memories will create a love of Melayu UK that will the motivator for expanding and improving the society. After all, children born in the UK in this age will not experience or appreciate the sweet memories of "Lat the Kampung Boy". If we ignore the social and emotional needs of our children, they will possibly become individualistic in this Western society or they will become active in cyberspace but passive in the real world.
Perhimpunan Keluarga is one of our recruitment programmes. It is not just for adults but for the children as well, no matter how old they are. In fact, just like a family outing, the programme is more about ensuring that the children will have fun. As adults, we had our memorable childhood days. It is time for us to create memorable childhood days for the children.
Melayu UK is our investment for the future of the children. Our effort is actually âsadaqah jariahâ or perpetual charity and we will continue to reap the rewards even after our death. Genuine commitment to make Melayu UK a success can only come from our conscience and sincere intention. With sincere intention, Allah will make it easy for us and we will never be depressed, inshaAllah.