(circa 1850: Five people from the Malay Archipelago; from left to right, two Dayaks or Dyaks from Borneo (a Saghai Dayak and a Loondoo Dayak), and three natives of Java (a priest, a lady and a gentleman). Original Artwork: Engraving by R Anderson after a drawing by A Huttula. Image source: Pinterest)
(Note 1: Warning very long historical and anthropological post related to the origins of Malay race ahead – which already appeared in the comment section of many many other blogs)
(Note 2: I want to put this up because I think the politicians in this country has long abused the classification of Malaysians by incorrect & unfair notion of “supreme” race – nothing more, nothing less)
(Note 3: Accuracy of the facts in the post below has not been verified – it is produced almost verbatim. I made some “minor” editing but otherwise, the words are from the commentator himself. )
(Note 4: In case you disagree with what Michael Chick is saying, read his “additional” comments in this blog. I have read them and it made sense.)
(Note 5: Please also read the counter-arguments to Michael Chick here)
By Michael Chick
It has been interesting to read such free-flowing comments on an all “Malaysian” free for all. I hate race classifications and here’s why….
How many of you have read the book entitled “Contesting Malayness – Malay Identity Across Boundaries” (edited by Timothy P. Barnard & published by Singapore University Press)? It reflects the Anthropologists views that there is no such race as the “Malays” to begin with.
If we follow the original migration of the Southern Chinese of 6,000 years ago, they moved into Taiwan, (now the Alisan), then into the Philippines (now the Aeta) and moved into Borneo (4,500 years ago) (Dayak). They also split into Sulawesi and progressed into Jawa and Sumatera. The final migration was to the Malayan Peninsular 3,000 years ago. A sub-group from Borneo also moved to Champa in Vietnam at 4,500 years ago.
Interestingly, the Champa deviant group moved back to present-day Kelantan. There are also traces of the Dong Song and HoaBinh migration from Vietnam and Cambodia. To confuse the issue, there was also the Southern Thai migration, from what we know as Pattani today.
Of course, we also have the Minangkabau’s which come from the descendants of Alexander the Great and a West Indian Princess. (Sejarah Melayu page 1-3)
So the million-dollar question… Is there really a race called the “Malays”? All anthropologists DO NOT SEEM TO THINK SO.
Neither does the “Malays” who live on the West Coast of Johor. They’d rather be called Javanese. What about the west coast Kedah inhabitants who prefer to be known as “Acehnese” or the Ibans who simply want to be known as Ibans? Try calling a Kelabit “Malay” and see what response you get – you will be so glad that their Head-Hunting days are over.
Who are the Malays? In an article in the Star paper, this is what they said (an excerpt is reproduced here below):
“The Malays – taken as an aggregation of people of different ethnic backgrounds but who speak the same language or family of languages and share common cultural and traditional ties – are essentially a new race, compared to the Chinese, Indians and the Arabs with their long histories of quests and conquests.
The Malay nation, therefore, covers people of various ethnic stock, including Javanese, Bugis, Bawean, Achehnese, Thai, orang asli, the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak and descendants of Indian Muslims who had married local women.
Beneath these variations, however, there is a common steely core that is bent on changing the Malay persona from its perceived lethargic character to one that is brave, bold and ready to take on the world.”
The definition of “Malay” is therefore simply a collection of people who speak a similar type of language. With what is meant by a similar type of language does not mean that the words are similar. Linguists call this the “Lego-type” language, where words are added on to the root word to make meaning and give tenses and such. Somehow, the Indonesians disagree with this classification and insist on being called “Indonesians” even though the majority of “Malays” have their roots in parts of Indonesia?
They refuse to be called “Malay” no matter how you may define it.
The “Malay” definition also includes the Champa, Dong Song, HoabinHian, Taiwanese Alisan and Philippine Aetas. The “Orang Asli” are (for lack of a better term) are ex-Africans. If you try to call any one of our East Malaysian brothers an “Orang Asli”, they will beat you up! I had to repeat this because almost all West Malaysians make the same mistake when we cross the South China Sea. Worse, somehow, they feel even more insulted when you call them “Malay”. Somehow, “kurang ajar” is uttered below their breath as if “Malay” was a really bad word for them. I’m still trying to figure this one out.
Watch “Malays in Africa”; a Museum Negara produced DVD and also, the “Champa Malays” by the same. With this classification, they must also include the Filipinos, the Papua New Guineans, Australian Aborigines, as well as the Polynesian Aborigines. These are of the Australo Melanesians who migrated out of Africa 60,000 years ago.
Getting interesting? Read on…
The “Malay” should also include the Taiwanese singer “Ah Mei” who is Alisan as her tribe is the ancestors of the “Malays” and you will need to define the Southern Chinese (Southern Province) as Malay also since they are from the same stock 6,000 years ago.
Try calling the Bugis “Malay”. Interestingly, the Bugis who predominantly live on Sulawesi, are not even Indonesians. Neither do they fall into the same group as the migrating Southern Chinese of 6,000 years ago nor the Australo Melanesian group from Africa. Ready for this?
The Bugis are the cross-breed between the Mongolian Chinese and the wandering Arab Pirates (a runaway Ming Dynasty official whom Cheng Ho was sent to hunt down). Interestingly, the Bugis were career Pirates in the Johor-Riau Island areas and the nephew of Daeng Kemboja was appointed the First Sultan of Selangor. That makes the entire Selangor Sultanate part Arab, part Chinese! Try talking to the Bugis Museum curator near Kukup in Johor – Kukup is located near the most south-western tip of Johor.
Let’s not even get into the Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekiu, and Hang Lekir, who shared the same family last name as the other super-famous “Hang” family member – Hang Li Poh and who was she?
Legend tells us that she is the princess of a Ming Dynasty Emperor who was sent to marry the Sultan of Malacca. Won’t that make the entire Malacca Sultanate down line “Baba”? Since the older son of the collapsed Malaccan Sultanate got killed in Johor, (the current Sultanate is the down line of the then Bendahara) the only other son became the Sultan of Perak.
But wait a minute, that is what the legend says.
Let’s look at the proof – the solid evidence. There is a well next to the Zheng He Temple in Malacca which is supposed to be the well built by the Sultan of Malacca for her. According to legend, anyone who drinks of it shall re-visit Malacca before they die. Hmmm smells like a romantic fairy tale but let us look at who Hang Li Poh actually is.
Which Ming Emperor was she a daughter to? So I got into researching the entire list of Ming Emperors. Guess what? Not a single Ming Emperor’s last name begins with Hang. In fact, all their last names begin with Tzu (pronounced Choo). So who is Hang Li Poh? An Extra Concubine? A Spare Handmaiden? Who knows?
But one thing for certain is that she was no daughter of any of the Ming Emperors. Gone is the romantic notion of the Sultan of Malacca marrying an exotic Chinese Princess. Sorry guys, the Sultan married an unidentified Chinese commoner.
If the Baba’s are part Malay, why have they been marginalized by not being bumiputera? Which part of “Malay” are they not? Whatever the answer, why then are the Portuguese of Malacca bumiputera? Did they not come 100 years AFTER the arrival of the first Baba’s? Parameswara founded Malacca in 1411, the Portuguese came in 1511, and the Dutch in the 1600s.
Strangely, the Baba’s were in fact once classified a Bumiputera, but some Prime Minister decreed that they were to be strangely “declassified” in the 1960s. Why? How can a “native son of the soil” degenerate into an “un-son”? The new classification is “pendatang” meaning a migrant.
Wait a minute, isn’t everyone on the Peninsular a migrant, to begin with?
The Sultan of Kelantan had similar roots to the Pattani Kingdom making him of Thai origin. And what is this “coffee table book” by the Sultan of Perlis claiming to be the direct descendant of the prophet Muhammed? Somehow we see Prof Khoo Khay Khim’s signature name on the book. I’ll pay good money to own a copy of it myself. Anyone has a spare?
In pursuing this thread, and having looked at the history of Prophet Muhammed (BTW, real name Ahmad) we could not figure out which descendant line the Sultan of Perlis was. Perhaps it was by the name Syed, which transcended. Then we would ask which of the 13 official wives named in the Holy Koran? or was he a descendant from the other 23 names of the non-wives?
Of the 13 were (at least known), there are 3 Israeli women. Then you would also ask yourself, isn’t Prophet Muhammad an Israeli himself? The answer is clear. All descendants of Moses are Israeli. In fact, the Holy Koran teaches that Moses was the First Muslim. Thus confirming that all descendants to be Israeli, including Jesus and Prophet Muhammad.
It is also found in Sura 2:58 & 59 which specifically mentions that the Torah and the Kitab (Bible) are Holy Words of Allah.
(Note alfatihmurad’ comments – Prophet Muhammad is not an Israeli. He is not descendant of Moses. Prophet Muhammad was descendant of Ismail, the son of Prophet Abraham. Through Ismail is which the Arabs originated from. Abraham has another son, Isaac, from which the line of Israeli came from. From the bloodline of Isaac came Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus. That’s why the Arabs and the Jews are called semitic. It is because they are very closely related. And yet each is a race of its own, which develop after some time)
(Note Syed’s comments – Prophet Moses AS is from Israeli family, meanwhile, Muhammad SAW is from Arab Quraisy from the Kabilah of Hashim. Raja of Perlis from Al-Jamalulail family have their prove of Nasab (family trees chart) to Prophet Muhammad and its been proving by all around the world from Saudi Arabia, Yaman, and to all Islamic country)
But since this is not a religious discussion, let’s move on to a more anthropological approach.
So, how many of you have met with orang Asli?
The more northern you go, the more African they look. Why are they called Negrito? It is a Spanish word, from which directly translates “mini Negros”. The more southern you go, the more “Indonesian” they look. And the ones who live at Cameron Highlands kinda look 50-50.
You can see the Batek at Taman Negara, who really looks like Eddie Murphy to a certain degree or the Negritos who live at the Thai border near Temenggor Lake (north Perak). The Mah Meri in Carrie Island looks almost like the Jakuns in Endau Rompin – half African, half Indonesian.
By definition, (this is super eye-opening) there was a Hindu Malay Empire in Kedah.
Yes, I said right – the Malays were Hindu and it was, by the old name Langkasuka. Today it is known as Lembah Bujang.
This Hindu Malay Empire was 2,000 years old – pre-dating Borobudur and Angkor Watt who came about around 500-600 years later. Lembah Bujang was THE mighty trading empire, and its biggest influence was by the Indians who were here to help start it.
By definition, this should make the Indians bumiputeras too since they were here 2,000 years ago! Why are they marginalized?
Of the 3 books listed, “Contesting Malayness” (about S$32 for softcover) is “banned” in Malaysia; you will need to “smuggle” it into Malaysia; for very obvious reasons or read it in Singapore if you don’t feel like breaking the law.
The other, “Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsular” (about RM84) are openly sold at all leading bookshops. You should be able to find a fair bit of what I’ve been quoting in this book too, but mind you, it is very heavy reading material, and you will struggle through the initial 200+ pages.
It is extremely technical in nature. Maybe that’s why it wasn’t banned (yet) because our authorities couldn’t make head or tail of it? (if I wasn’t doing research for my film, I wouldn’t have read it in its entirety)
The final one is the “Sejarah Melayu” (about RM 35) is available at the University Malaya bookshop and I have both the English and Royal Malay version published by MBRAS. Incidentally, the Professor (Author) was invited to speak on this very subject about 2 years ago, in KL, invited by the MBRAS. You can imagine the “chaos” this seminar created.
There were actually many sources for these findings. Any older Philippino Museum Journal also carries these migration stories. This migration is also on display at the Philippines National Museum in Luzon. However, they end with the Aeta, and only briefly mention that the migration continued to Indonesia and Malaysia, but fully acknowledge that all Filipinos came from Taiwan and before Taiwan, was from China.
There is another book (part of a series) called the “Archipelago Series” endorsed by Tun Mahatir and Marina Mohammad, which states the very same thing right at the introduction on page one:-
“… that the Malays migrated out of Southern China some 6,000 years ago…”.
I believe it is called the “Pre-History of Malaysia” Hard Cover, about RM99 found in (mostly) MPH. They also carry “Pre-History of Indonesia” by the same authors for the same price.
It is most interesting to note that our Museum officials invented brand new unheard-of terms such as “Proto-Malay” and “Deutero-Malay”, to replace the accepted Scientific Term, Australo-Melanesians (African descent) and Austronesians (Chinese Descent, or Mongoloid to be precise) in keeping in line with creating this new “Malay” term..
They also created the new term called the Melayu-Polynesian. (Which “Melayu” exists in the Polynesian Islands?) Maybe they were just trying to be “patriotic” and “nationalistic” – who knows? After all, we also invented the term, “Malaysian Time” when the rest of the world calls it “tardy” and “late”.
It’s quite an embarrassment actually – Singaporeans crossing the border are asked to set their watches back by about 100 years, to adjust to “Malaysian Time”
In a nutshell, the British Colonial Masters, who, for lack of a better description, needed a “blanket” category for ease of classification, used the term “Malay”. The only other logical explanation, which I have heard, was that “Malaya” came as a derivative of “Himalaya”, where at Langkasuka, or Lembah Bujang today was where the Indians were describing the locals as “Malai” which means “Hill People” in Tamil.
This made perfect sense as the focal point at that time was at Gunung Jerai, and the entire Peninsular had a “Mountain Range” “Banjaran Titiwangsa”, as we call it.
The Mandarin and Cantonese accurately maintain the accurate pronunciation of “Malai Ren” and “Malai Yun” respectively till this very day where “ren” and “yun” both mean “peoples”.
Interestingly, “Kadar” and “Kidara”, Hindi and Sanskrit words accurately describe “Kedah” of today. They both mean “fertile Land for Rice cultivation. Again, a name given by the Indians 2,000 years ago during the “Golden Hindu Era” for a duration of 1,500 years.
It was during the “Golden Hindu Era” that the new term which the Hindu Malay leaders also adopted the titles, “Sultan” and “Raja”. The Malay Royalty was Hindu at that time, as all of Southeast Asia was under strong Indian influence, including Borobudur and Angkor Watt. Bali today still practices devout Hindu beliefs.
The snake amulet worn by the Sultans of today, The Royal Dias, and even the “Pelamin” for weddings is tell-tale signs of these strong Indian influences. So, it was not Parameswara who was the first Sultan in Malaya. Sultanate existed approximately 1,500 years before he set foot on the Peninsular during the “Golden Hindu Era” of Malaysia and they were all Hindu.
The book “Prehistory of Malaysia” also talks about the “Lost Kingdom” of the “Chi-Tu” where the local Malay Kingdom was Buddhists. The rest of the “Malays” were Animistic Pagans but you may say that the “Sejarah Melayu” calls it “Melayu”? Yes, it does.
Read it again; is it trying to describe the 200-odd population hamlet near Palembang by the name “Melayu”? (Google Earth will show this village).
By that same definition, then, the Acehnese should be considered a “race”. So should the Bugis and the Bataks to be fair. Orang Acheh, Orang Bugis, Orang Laut, Orang Melayu now mean the same descriptions of ethnic tribes, at best. And since the “Malays” of today are not all descendants of the “Melayu” kampung in Jambi (if I remember correctly), the term Melayu has been wrongly termed from day one.
Maybe this is why the Johoreans still call themselves either Bugis or Javanese until today. So do the Acehnese on the West coast of Kedah & Perlis and the Kelantanese insist that they came from Champa, Vietnam.
Moreover, the fact that the first 3 pages claiming that “Melayu” comes from Alexander the Great and the West Indian Princess don’t help. More importantly, it was written in 1623. By then, the Indians had been calling the locals “Malai” for 1,500 yrs already. So the name stuck.
And with the Sejarah Melayu (The Malay Annals in page 1-3) naming the grandson of Iskandar Zulkarnain, and the West Indian Princess forming the Minangkabau. Whenever a Malay is asked about it, he usually says it is “karut” (bullshit), but all Malayan based historians insist on using Sejarah Melayu as THE main reference book for which “Malay” history is based upon.
The only other books are “Misa Melayu”, “Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa”, and “Hikayat Hang Tuah” which is of another long and sometimes “heated” discussion. I find this strange.
I also find that it is strange that the “Chitti’s” (Indian+ Malay) of Malacca are categorized as Bumiputera, while their Baba brothers are not. Why? Both existed during the Parameswara days. Which part of the “Malay” side of the Baba is not good enough for Bumiputera classification? Re-instate them. They used to be Bumiputera pre-1960’s anyway.
Instead of “Malay”, I believe that “Maphilindo” (circa 1963) would have been the closest in accurately trying to describe the Malays. However, going by that definition, it should most accurately be “MaphilindoThaiChinDiaVietWanGreekCamfrica” and it is because of this even our University Malaya Anthropology professors cannot look at you in the eye and truthfully say that the word “Malay” technically and accurately defines a race.
This is most unfortunate.
So, in a nutshell, the “Malays” (anthropologists will disagree with this “race” definition) are truly Asia! For once the Tourism Ministry got it right. We should stop calling this country “Tanah Melayu” instead call it, “Tanah Truly Asia”.
You must understand now, why I was “tickled pink” when I found out that the Visit Malaysia slogan for 2007 was “Truly Asia”. They are so correct (even though they missed out Greece and Africa). By the way, the name UMNO should be changed to UTANO the new official acronym for “United Truly Asia National Organization”. After all, they started out as a Bugis club in Johor anyway.
As I said, I hate race classifications. This is so depressing and even more depressing is that the “Malays” are not even a race; not since day one.
“Truly Asia Boleh”
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In ancient Javanese,Malays Means “lari” that means run.Why? Once before @ Java,there are some of them travel and migrate to other side of place eg:Borneo,East coast malay peninsula. And those who originally from java call this people who love to migrate “MALAY”.
Do not pass of this article by Michael Chick as some scholarly work. Race is the ficton of the mind, in the real sense, Tamils, Chinese, English, Americans do not exist extraneous of the minds of the poeople believing they are those labels.
Dont take this race thing seriously, it is hazardous to one’s health.
Let’s put it this way. All Malays are Malayo-Polynesian and of Austronesian descent (these terms are established and accepted in the scientific literature) but not all Malayo-Polynesians and Austronesian descendents are Malay.
From another perspective, talking here of ethnicity, all Anglo-Saxons were Germanic, but not all Germanics were Anglo-Saxon. (Immigration makes things a bit more complicated nowadays). The Germanic tribes included the Goths, the Teutons, the Franks, the Lonbards, etc., who would all meet separate historic destinies. Interestingly, the Germanic Franks gave rise to the non-Germanic nation of France and the Germanic Lombards lent their name to the non-Germanic region of Lombardy.
There is nothing wrong with being a “new” or “invented” people. Great conquerors of the past, from the Mongols to the Zulus, were such people, wherein a small tribe gave its name to a much larger grouping of (usually) related peoples.
From another point of view, “German” or “Italian” did not exist as a political nationality until the mid-nineteenth century. The German and Italian languages and cultures are much older than the nation-states, which were literally invented.
Going back to the Malays. They are descendents of Austronesian migrants who scholars believe came originally from southern China via Taiwan. More accurately, the Austronesians who migrated out of Taiwan are termed Malayo-Polynesian (this is based on language).
It is these Austronesians/Malayo-Polynesians who. over centuries and generations, gave rise to numerous peoples including the Malays. All the indigenous peoples (except the Orang Asli and the Filipino Aeta, who are older “races”) of island Southeast Asia, most of the Pacific and Madgacascar are linguistic cousins. Their languages are not related to Vietnames or Thai or to Chines. The South Chinese today are simply Han Chinese who moved south after the Austronesians and the other had left (some say the Han Chinese pushed them out, but that is another story)
At least some one here can give an informative input on this notion of the origin of “Malayness’.
May I add that recent linguistic studies by our local linguistic scholars have concluded that the possible location for the origin of of the Malay language that is before the input of the Bratiya culture from today’s India, could be West Borneo. Thus the ancestors of the “Malay” those who speak the various dialects that would one day become “Malay” as we know it fanned out in dug out canoes and populate the coastal region .
Much scholastic ink has flowed on the subject of the “Malay” ethnic group.
There is much confusion on the definition of “Malays” over the centuries including the “Malays” themselves.
Suffice to say that the criterion of who are the “Malays” have been shifting for centuries.
One may say that the language spoken in its various dialects may hold the key criterion as obviously the Malay language is distinct from Javanese and Sundanese or even Makasarese as spoken by the “Bugis” and the other is the religion of Islam, both of which presents problems as elements in the definition of a “ Malay”.
Before the Malay Language is spoken as a language of trade, its centre had always been found in the Palembang, Jambi, Riau- Johor and North West coasts of Kalimantan.
It is the people in this region that are least confuse or insecure about who is a “ Malay” and what is “Malay” culture.
Javanese, Sundanese, Bataks, Ibans and even Achehnese and Minangs in Indonesia have always known and still know that they are not “Malays” and have always known a group of people as “Melayu” even before most of those who are put into that group called themselves by that name.
To confuse matters, Arabs call “Malays” – “Jawi” i.e “Javanese” and would lump all those from the nusantara region with that appellation.
There are many theories about the origin of the term “Melayu” to refer this group of people but I believe the best explanation is geographical.
In ancient times, there existed and still exists a “Sungai Melayu” in Jambi, Sumatra. Jambi was known as “Melayu” and that word had been found to refer to a country in Sumatra as early as 100 AD in writings from China to India.
It is in this region that the Sejarah Melayu talks about “Bukit Siguntang” and “Gunung Meru” as the link to the Malaccan Sultans.
The Sri Vijayan Kings too trace their origins to Mount Meru . And thus when the seat of government was moved from Jambi to Palembang, the institution of the ancient “Raja-raja Melayu” was born and it was the prestige of the Srivijayans and later the Malaccan Sultanate which was founded by a Palembang prince that popularized the name “Melayu” for this ethnic group which was clobbered together from conglomeration of related sub-groups.
The Chinese, in Mandarin, call themselves “Han”. “Han” was the name of the dynasty which united China for the 2nd time and which was founded by the King of “Han”, “Han” refers to the region of the Han river, a tributary of the Yang Tze.
Thus, “Melayu” and the subsequent prestige of a Royal House from that region have given a name for the ethno-linguistic group
It is pertinent to note that Raja Haji Ali in his grand opus “Tuhfat al-Nafis” refers to “Melayu” and “Bugis” as two distinct peoples coming into an alliance (at least for the Sultan of Johor was concerned). And in his book he recorded the jealousies and resentment of the “pembesar-pembesar Melayu” towards the “Pahlawan-Pahlawan Bugis”, the latter had become powerful in the politics of the 18th century Sultanate of Johore and its dependencies.
Today, definition have changed as far as Malaysia is concerned.
To compound matters , some intelectuals in the Philipines especially at the time of Indepedence, referred to Philipines as the “1st Malayan Republic” and place Filipinos as part of the “Malay” race and calling Jose Rizal the “Pride of THe Malay Race”( although Rizal himself insisted he was an “Indio Puro” a term literally means “Pure Indian”!!!!! as all native Pilinos were callled “Indio” by the Spanish”).
In short, the definition of “Malay” changes with time and is not set in stone it depends on the political climate and ideas of each countries.
By the way, the term “Masuk Melayu” means becoming Muslim west of the Wallace line but East of it, the term means becoming a Christian!!!
My sincere hope that one day the criterion would change to include all Malaysians who speak “Bahasa Melayu” and view Nusantara as their permanent home.
Mak Jun Yeen,
Thank you for your informative piece.
Ethnogenesis (the creation of ethnicity/ethnic groups) is a natural evolutionary process. Nation-building is an artificial political action. The first engenders over generations a consciousness within a group of being a separate people — linguistically, culturally, and yes, in terms of “race” as well The second establishes a nation-state, usually in a much shorter period of time.
Therefore, in nation-building, there will be short cuts. Unfortunately, this has often in history involved the deliberate manipulation of ethnic identities and its markers, especially language and culture. One of the reasons why American English is spelled (spellt?) differently from British English, for example, is a deliberate decision by formetly colonial Americans (eg. Daniel Webster) to seprate themselves — linguistically and well as politicaly — from their British cousins.
Similar things happened in the more distant past. Perhaps the ancient Sri-Vijayan ruling elite, whatever their original ethnic identity, used “Malayness” to bolster their legitimacy and their power. “Malayness” was something perhaps that otherwise hostile groups could identify with and be (at least nominally) loyal to the monarchy of those far off days.
I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Jambi and Riau “Malay” began their historical career as formidable naval forces in the service of the Sri-Vijayan Empire. I also seem to remember that the first written example of Old Malay dates from the days of the Sri-Vijaya.
After the collapse of the Sri-Vijaya, the former subjects of the Empire fragmented into different groups. Maybe the “Malay” consciously kept themselves separate, in order to maintain their freedom, from the great and powerful surrounding kingdoms in India, Siam, Java and so forth.
By the way, Malay as a language seems to have lost much of the ancestral complexity of its closely related Malayo-Polynesian languages. I think the relationship of Malay to the languages of the Philippines, for example, is a bit like English to German. Malay is a Malayo-Polynesian language that has been stripped of the very difficult verb systems of Filipino (Filipino has verbal tenses and conjugation while, I believe, Malay does not). English is a Germanic language that has lost the complicated noun declensions and gender that bedevils all students of modern German.
I think this means that Malay must either be younger than its sister Malayo-Polynesian tongues, or else it was streamlined over the centuries to make it easy to use as a lingua franca for trade and royal administration over diverse peoples.
Finaly, a note on the use of “Indio” and “Malay”by Filipino nationalists. Filipino nationalism was born in the Nineteenth Century in response to colonial Spanish oppression and racism (the British were much more benign in their colonies than the Spaniards). The Spaniards called the native Filipinos “Indios,” which was a term of derision. To the Spaniards of those times, “Indio” meant “native” rather an Indian from India. (The Spaniards made the original mistake in the Americas, hence, “American Indian,” and carried it over to the Philippines). A “Filipino” originally meant a Spaniard born in the Philipines.
The native “Indio” elite in the Philippines, who had been accumulating wealth and power, reacted when it finally became clear to them that, despite all their education and their attainments, they would never be considered equal — racially, socially or politically — by the Spaniards. The Filipinos did not originally ask for separation from Spain. They asked for equality first (i.e. to be represented in the Spanish parliament, to be treated equally under the law, etc.), and only when this failed did they choose to fight for independence.
Rizal founded a group called “Los Indios Bravos” (the Brave Indians) as a form of reverse racism against the Spaniards. Rizal and the reformers and revolutionaries who followed him embraced the “Indio” identity, aspiring to be free men in a free country rather than remain forever as second-class colonials.
Rizal also did research to show that th Filipinos were civilized before the Spaniards arrived, since Spanish colonialism maintained that it was Spain that civilzed the Philippines. He did this to instill pride among the oppressed native Filipinos and to arm them to fight a “culture war,” intellectually and spritually, but not militarily, against the power of colonial Spain. He wanted to awaken his people from centuries of slumber and forgetfulness during which ime the Spaniards had made them feel inferior and robbed them of their true history (and by extension, their true destiny).
Filipino nationalists may have moved towards asserting a “Malay” identity to show that Filipinos belonged to a greater pan-Southeast Asian world. “Malay” in their view also meant “Brown,” a short-hand method of distinguishing Filipinos and their neighbors from “White” Westerners and “Yellow” Chinese or Japanese. In short, they were staking out new ground to establish their own brand of “Asianness.” (Ironically, many of the Filipino nationalists had Spanish and Chinese mixed blood). Clearly, the Filipinos were not thinking of Malay in the way it is used in Malaysia today, but they were definitely using the term Malay as a political device.
At least we should informed readers on this topic away from any emotional attachements but on rational basis.
This observation of simplication of a language seems to be prevalent amongst languages that became lingua franca of a particular region. English went through a process simplication from its highly inflected nouns and numerous conjugative levels to just a paltry few today because of its role ion commerce as aoppose to the difficulties of rench grammars.
If you look at the difference of the language written in the batu bersurats left by Sri Vijayan Kings and the simplified beauty of the Sejarah Melayu, you would know that the simplication process has to do with its role as the language of trade.
The various Malay creole dialects are so wonderfully easy to grasp from the Baba-Nyoya patois to the melodious Makasarese Malay one would be surprised why Malay is the language easily understood from Sabang to Merauke.
Incidentally. the phrase “masuk Melayu” means becoming a Muslim West of the Wallace Line but becoming Christian east of the Line!!!!
Wallace also observed that the Portuguese descendants who were still living around the spice Islands speak Malay as their 1st language whereas the “natives” spoke their own language but using Malay as the language of trade.
On the subject of “Indios”, the Spanish was not wrong in their perpective to call inhabitants of Philipines or even South East Asia “Indians”. That was because in the mind of the geographers from Europe and their maps , “India” was a geographical concept that included South East Asia just like the concept of the Americas encompasing both North and South and the word “American” did not mean citizens of USA like it now connotes.
Thus even INDONESIA means ” Islands of India” in Greek and its inhabitants , “Indian Islanders” does not necessary connote the country belongs to “Union of India”.
Interesting also to read about the Mandailings who have been administratively subsumed as Malays in Malaysia and Bataks in Indonesia even though they have strong distinctive identity from either.
Your point about using convenient labelling as a political tool to short cut a process that takes at least ten generations is apt, thus today if I call myself an “Indian” by the fact I am born and bred in “India Post Gangem” that is South east Asia I would be look upon with derision by my “Indian” friends whose fore fathers came trom todays “Union of India” and that they are the sole arbitrator of who is an “Indian”.
Soory for the sloppy wrtting, i am bad at self editing and too lazy to provive an addendum. Pls Forgive.
Mak Jun Yeen,
Thank you for the observations!
Never mind the grammar. As we know, a thousand years from now, it will all be said differently anyway!
Can someone give me the answers to the following:
(1) When (approximately) does Malay become the predominant language of the region, replacing the earlier more complex Malayo-Polynesian tongues as the elite language of the ruling class?
(2) Is the emergence of Malay as the language of power directly correlated with the shift in the “Malay” world from Hinduism/Buddhism to Islam or was the process less directly religious and more subtle?
(3) Did Malay retain as much of the rich linguistic inheritance from Sanskrit that appears to be the case in Java?
you may find your answer in th book “Empire of Words” by Nicholas Ostler.
I am no scholar on the subject of (1) and are regurgitating those who spent years arguing in scholastic journals about this.
No time frame can be pin pointed. The fact that Riau Islands, Temasek(Singapore) and Palembang were located near the central connection point of the two seas( S China Sea and Indain Ocean mayu have played a part as people from all over the Nusantara archipelago had to gather either in Temasek or Palembang to trade with the rest of the world may have played a part.
I ching remarked that Sri Vijaya at Palembang had the best Universities to study Sanskrit and Pali before any buddhist pilgrim want to go to Sub Cont. India.
I beleive the prestige of Sri Vijaya circa 600 AD to 800 AD as the centre of Trade would make its local dialect of Malay (which incidentally is still consider ed to be the purest and the Standard although we call it Riau Malay) the prefered language to do business.
Then came the ascendancy of Malaccan Sultanate founded by Palembang Prince with supposed ties to Sri Vijaya. Malacca became not just the distribution centre of goods from around the known world but also of ideas and staging point of the spread of Islam.
Pigafetta, Tomes Pires, Magellan all wrote about the prevalence of “Malay” as the language most understood by many trading areas. When magellan went around the pacific and came to the phillippines, they only found out they have arrived at South East Asia when “Black Henry” Magellan Malay slave could communicate with two Pilipino fisherman in Malay.
The next around of reinforcement came with the Dutch according to Ostler. The Dutch Company made sure its officers learnt Malay and use it as the medium of trade and dealings with the locals all over the archipelago.
Javanese was considered too stratified in caste differences to be effective. Dutch missionaries use Malay as the medium of Evangelisation.
Through out the Dutch period into modern times, Malay was the language of the administration along side Dutch. Thus Malay in Indonesia command a prestige akin to English in British Malaya.
When I was in Bali, I would use Bahasa indonesia as much as I can and locals from managers to taxi drivers feels elevated to converse in Bahasa even though most f them are proficient in other European languages.
As for (3), the literary standard used in Malaysia have seen more Arabism in line with the emphasis of Islamic consciousness. Indonesia, Sukarno wanted the language as the sole unifiying language therefore he encouraged the use of sanskrit words which in his mind were free from any religious affliation and which would not engender objections from non muslims.
Wow… Yup, very good additional info on the Malay as a language. This language is also the reason why Blumenbach created his Malay Racial Classifications. Some more info about this can be read from Benedict Andersons’ ‘Imagined Communities’. Which gives more clarity into why Malay is considered an ethnic denomination in Indonesia instead of as a racial classification as in Malaysia. It’s very interesting to read because it gives a very straightforward assessment on the creation of countries and their citizens.
Oh lovely, two intellectual proponents with knowledge on the subject. Great stuff. Let me just add a little bit more…
Just a I claimed that the “malays” are not a race, and the rebuttal from the linguistic aspect was that they are a linguistic definition and so on so forth. Consider this; to base a “racial” definition on linguistic attributes means that the language by which you base it on has to be pretty strong. Otherwise, you’d have to fall back on the anthropological definition. I am stating my stand here and now. I believe in the Malayo-Polynesian deifinition, as I believe that it is the closest of any definitions. (Even then, I am fully aware of it’s inclusion of the Australo Melanesian (Orang Asli, Aboroginies, and so on) group from 60,000years ago. The other would be the Austronesian definition, which is also moderately accurate. However, let’s come back to the linguistic definition for validating the “malays” as a race. I am currently studying the Portuguese Language to be able to read and examine the letters and reports of correspondence to and from Portugal during the demise of Malacca. I noticed that approximately 15% of the “malay” language is made up of Portuguese words. For example, almari, bola, bomba, and so on so forth. I also noticed approximately the same percentage for the Dutch language. The ret of the “malay” language consists of Sanskrit, Arab, Persian, Hindi, Tamil, and so on. Lately, it has become fashionable to even import English words. Turns out that there were only THREE (3) original “malay” words. They are, “Saya”, “Padi”, and “Babi”.
Now I understand why the curator of the Bugis Museum in Kukup INSISTS that the “malays” are NOT a race. He is, btw of Bugis descent. He says, and I quote, “Macam Mana ada Bangsa kalau tak ada Bahasa?” Maybe he’s right.
Perhaps it was also the definition and the transalation of the definitions of puak, kaum, rumpun, and bangsa which construed the problem. Then there is also the warganegara definition to compare to. That one is easy.
So, just as there is no Bangsa Amerika, there is NO BANGSA MELAYU. The is certainly a Orang Melayu. But to qualify, you need to be a descendant of Kampung Melayu, next to Sungei Melayu, in Jambi, Palembang, of Sumatera.
Truly Asia Truly Rojak
The centre for the Riau Islands is on Bintan. And the original correct name was “RIOH” and not RIAU. refeing to the intollerable noise the traders were making at Tanjong Pinang. This is strikingly simliar to the Johor Lama setup.
I believe the term “geseran Bahasa” would be the most accurate in describing the morphing of the name. Rio in Portuguese means river. ie; Rio De Jenairo. Also note that Brazilian Portugues is slightly different from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal. And yet, Brazil has the largest Portuguese speaking community in the World.
BTW I LOVED the Yellow mosque on the opposite Island. Aparently, egg-white was mixed with sand to form the mortar which holds the bricks together. Am conducting further research in that area in a couple of months.
Also, Malacca is but a pit stop. Pasai was a much bigger, stronger and powerful port. The son of Parameswara married a Pasai princess, and thus converted to Islam. In all probability, Parameswara never did. And the supossed grave of his on Fort Canning Hill in Singapore is NOT his.
Jut my 2 cents again…. 🙂
You should hear the comments of the “malay” buy who takes care of the “Parameswara” grave. He said, and I quote, “Tak tahu Keramat ini siapa punya. Memang tak ada bukti. Tulisan lama siap pun boleh tulis. You boleh tulis, I pun boleh tulis. Masalah ni, Keramat ini memang tiada tulisan. Ha, lagi teruk. Tapi kalau pelancong suka datng, biarlah dia datang tengok. Tak ada masalah-kan?” He said it with the most jovial and friendly smile I had ever seen.
Go check it out. Northest quardrant of the Fort Canning Hill in Singapore. Nearest MRT, City Hall. (10mins walk) The entrance is just 350meters behind the National Archives building.
Dont act like you dont know what orang melayu is………. if youre really gonna take it back like that, then you might as well call people from Britain AFRICAN as their ancestors descended from there………
You can tell the difference between a MALAY, a CHINESE and an Indian. if you cant then get your eyes checked.
I realised my mistake in talking about the “malays” not being a race and all that and came to realize that i failed to give, or announce the “proper” category for them. It would either be the “malayo-polynesians” or the “Austronesians”. That is a proper race definition. This definition is void of religion, and or “things to do which would make one of a certain race”, because that is how race are defined.
Therefore, The Tahitians, the Indonesians, the Philippinos, the Khmers, the Brunei-ians, The Alisan of Taiwan, The Balinese, the Thai Pattani’s and “malays” would be now correctly classified correctly. Free from religious biasness or prejudices.
Dear Well Researched SIR
It was really interesting to read all about malay not being a race and the indian had a dynasty in kedah and all that.
I am sure if we dissect the indians and the chinese as well further back into history then we would have similar oulines about this races too. something has to fuse in order for another new product to materialise so is the case in human evolution.
I am glad the malays share so many linage and i am also glad that the malays of malaysia has taken all that in a positive stride and made themselves to be good and respectable people.
Perhaps we should forget about looking backwards and start moving forward. A once British Officer said “The Malays are the most gentlemanly people in the world i have ever seen” (you an get it in wikipedia) and i do believe it is true.
Lets face facts most malays that i have come accross are generally nice and friendly people and at more times than not are more warm and mild mannered.
So lets not walk back into history and try to look atthe nitty gritty part of how they evolved the fact is they have evolved and when are we going to evole and think like Malaysians for the sake of the nation.
When we see someone in trouble we of good intention will reach out and render help to those in need that for me is the pinacle of of all human intentions immaterial of race religion and when we do that we will feel good for the day of our deeds.
Today the malays, indians, chinese and others are in malaysia carrying malaysian citizenship and being counted as malaysians, i dont want to look behind anymore and see who had the first dynasty or how a particular race evolved i would rather look ahead and reason out means and ways of how to mutually benefit from each other.
Todays motto is all about UNITY UNITY UNITY and nothing but UNITY so my advice is since you haveread this books is good for you to aquire knowledge so do lets move on and march forward for each step you take to turn around and look behind you are actually holding the rest of the link and making progress to slow down.
No country has ever moved forward leaving one part of its children in the lurch and all histroy has a sad story to tell you about how life happiness and progress was denied to a nation which left one part of its children behind and pretended to move forward.
History is there for us to learn not to sit and be stagnant to procastinate. So friends fellow malaysians if you want to only look at the skeleton and forget about the beauty of the closet then we are in bad shape, but if we want to forget the skeleton and realistically admire the closet then the future of malaysia is in good hands
i guess it’s something ethno-religious related.
where your loyalty goes..
Confucianism leans your loyalty to you ancestor’s land…
and that is what they are practicing.
and since their ethnic exclusive marriage, they are hard to distinguish from the new comers.. which more non loyal to the the land they are living in.
because of their new religion, Islam, which taught to them to be loyal to the land where they live, the “baba”s in Palembang are considered as a bumiputera.
what is the religion of Hang Tuah?
Melayu is not just an race, it’s an ethno-religious race. the bondage of the religion is stronger than the ethnic, and is more considered to define the Malayan race.
btw, Muhammad is NOT Israeli. and his real name is not Ahmad. but yes, he is a descendant of Abraham.
If Malay is an ethno-religious race then where does that put the Christian/ Buddhist/ Pagan/ Hindu/ etc. malays (in blumenbach’s definition) of Suriname, Philippines, and Indonesia?
And if we revert to more modern theological and anthropological definitions of religion and race, nowhere in modern time can a religion be distinct unto race. Perhaps, as Benedict Anderson states in ‘Imagined Communities’, before that meaning of ‘modern statehood’ was devised (before the 19th century) race and religion were indeed intertwined. But for modern societies is this not a bane? Isn’t religion from the heart and not from the genes?
I refer to such articles as written by Michael Chick on the subject of who is Malay.
The word ” Malay ” is not an anthropological term.
In the context of today’s debates about race and it’s origins ” Malay ” is a political term.
Unless one is in denial, one has to conclude that the term ” Malay ” is a relatively new word coined by literary personalities in the early Nineties to mean ” the subjects of the Sultanates ” as defined by the British Colonials and perpetuated by our Founding Fathers who agreed to this definition and enshrined it in our Consitution.
I am Sino-Indian by blood and a Muslim. The Constitution says I am Malay by operation of law under article 160.
The article defines a Malay as a Malaysian citizen born to a Malaysian citizen who professes to be a Muslim, habitually speaks the Malay language, adheres to Malay customs, and is domiciled in Malaysia or Singapore.
Above is a political definition of ” Malay ” .
The Subjects of the Malay Sultanates happen to be Muslims or converts to Islam. By alliegance to the Sultans ( Raja Melayu ) these subjects called themselves Orang Melayu and later on Bangsa Melayu. The ( immigrant Chinese and Indians ) never questioned this status quo.
This made it easier for the British to typecast this lot ( Malays ) into one category equal to “natives”.
As it was then; the Chinese and Indians who were non Muslims and had a “motherland ” further made it convenient to classify them by the races of their motherland , thus Chinese and Indian.
Other races were simply those that did not fit in these three.
Nobody , including the late ( founding fathers ) Tun Sir Tan Cheng Lok and Tun Sambanthan even worried about this race divide because most of the Chinese and Indians at that time still owed allegiance to the Leaders in their motherlands. The Chinese up till the Sixties ( well after Merdeka ) still hung portraits of Dr.Sun Yat Sen ( the Chinese Nationalist Leader who fled to Taiwan ) in their homes . These Chinese would have hung portraits of Cumminist Chinese Leader Mao Tze Tung if it was not illegal to do so in Malaya then. Similarly Indians hung portraits of Ghandi and Nehru in their homes and shops and Pakistanis hung portraits of Ali Jinnah.
One has to understand the feelings of Malays in the years before and after Merdaka right through the Sixties when they saw their Chinese and Indian neighbours showing allegiance to Leaders from the countries their forefathers originated. They saw what loyalty meant.
It was quite common to hear an Indian when wanting to visit India on a vacation, telling neighbours they wanted to ” Balik Negeri “, which meant to return to his Country ( India ).
The Chinese were not allowed to travel to China then because of the Communist regime, but inside the ( independently funded ) Chinese schools the students were thought to be loyal to their motherland and the history lessons were slanted towards Nationalism from a different land , not Malaya or Malaysia , but the Motherland ( Tanah Ibunda ). The students were told that some day they would all return to their homeland and be happier. Communism and British propaganda prevented this from becoming a reality.
The Malays who saw all this happen through five decades after Independence got used to the idea of three separate races in Peninsular Malaysia and those of the Muslim faith in Sabah and Sarawak found it easy to align themselves as Malay albeit Melanau, Bajau etc as sub- races of Malay , so to speak.
Politicians found it convenient to find support from grouping by race and even more convenient to form a coalition of the three main races to form the Alliance Party , which was the precussor to the BN. It was a natural order and it worked for over 50 years.
” Fast forward ” >> ………………………today we have become better educated and we have better access to information. We can see where we have gone wrong and we can try to put things right if our social order is in disorder.
It looks like the division of Citizens by race is becoming archaic and unfair to those sidelined by virtue of who they were born from.
If this is to be the change needed for a better society , then the nations Leaders must first be convinced of the need to do so and thereafter find ways to change the constitution ( Articla 160 ) to accomodate the wishes of the majority.
The majority “race ” is Malay and the only way to democratically affect any change of their status is by convincing the Malays to agree to change. If Malays feel threatened by the change proposed by Bangsa Malaysia believers they will unite to resist such change.
The Malays have already been divided by politics. Only Islam can unite the Malays because this is all they have left in common. But we have seen Muslims in other countries disunited by politics.
If we can learn lessons from the failures of Musilms in other countries, we may have a chance of a united Malaysian nation where Muslims accomodate other religions with no force or compulsion.
Unless the threat of Chinese domination in commerce and Indian domination in the legal field is removed , Malays will not trust them to allow any form of concessions from what they are now enjoying. So they will fight to preserve these concessions.
This is what we are seeing today.
Anthropology has very little to do with what we face today. Being Malay is already a political fait accompli , which can only be changed in Parliament.
how do one propose to remove the “threat of Chinese domination in commerce and Indian domination in the legal field” ?
is it not by giving better education to the malays?
by faith, Muslims can be successful businessmen if they follow what Islam teaches.
-Hard work, Honesty, Modest profitability
i choose a chinese laundrette because it opens 8am, where as the next door’s malay-owned opens at 10am.
malays can be dominant in commerce too.
so from my simplicistic opinion, it all comes down to academic and religious education. racial discrimination MUST NOT BE implemented in education. that’s WHERE AND HOW YOUTHS LEARN to be racists.
Nick – agree – education also helps one to think ahead and clear on the issues
reply to the incorrect fact from Krait. Malay not lari, try to use the whole in Malay. “Melayu”, the meaning is “lari”. Yes, malay actually a mix of malayan archipalago long2 time ago. how is it become like that only god knows better. But actully some of descendent of Malay also come from the middle east.. You can find yourself.
this is just my aasumption, whoever mix alot long time ago would be called malay. Like you Bala, you cannot be called malay because you ur not mix alot with different races. this just an assumtion not racist. Because as you know Malay a bit different from others, we have white, intermediate and also black. Once again only God knows better.
I think this definition is based more on anthropological facts than anything else. And anthropologically speaking ethnic-racial denominations don’t always depend on skin.
Im a malay…and i totally agree that the people in malaysia nowadays are all “mixed”. As we all know, we all came from adam and eve. then their children and then their children. You guys, get my drift right? So these children of children of adam and eve go to different places in the world to set up thier lives….their complexion and behavior are all influenced by their environment. Like in cold places, people tend to be more whiter and vice versa…then these families will grow and grow and eventually become a community with the same features (skin, language, etc). these communities are then given names (chinese, indians etc).
So in short we all came from the same person (adam and eve)…So why do we fuss about race, when human beings are just the same? Race is just a community that has the same attributes.
Malay is POWER. This is TANAH MELAYU. whoever not satisfied with MALAY STATUS just leave this land. We are done good enough to treat you as well as a guest.
Penjurit – you are missing the point here. Power and status is nothing but a political ploy by some parties to remain in power. From the very start, everyone including you and me are a guest in this land. Read what Blur have commented
“Then you would also ask yourself, isn’t Prophet Muhammad an Israeli himself? The answer is clear. All descendants of Moses are Israeli. In fact, the Holy Koran teaches that Moses was the First Muslim. Thus confirming that all descendants to be Israeli, including Jesus and Prophet Muhammad.”
Prophet Moses (Musa) is a descendant of Isaac(Ishak) son of Abraham..Prophet Muhammad is a descendant of Ishmael (Ismail) son of Abraham (Ibrahim). Isaac and Ishmael are brothers from different mothers.Jews are the descendants of Isaac..this makes Jaacob (Yaakub), Joseph (Yusuf), Moses , Aaron (Harun), and a lot of prophets until Jesus (Isa) Israelites (not Israeli). but not Muhammad.
it’s interesting to read the article but please get your facts right!!
sources from wikipedia is not that reliable..anybody can write in it..not necessarily to have deep knowledge in what he or she wrote.
Love this article! Really good on facts.
Perhaps it would be good to add that the whole ‘malay’ classification was also due to Johann Friedrich Blumenbach’s racial classifications… which were, to say the least, very racist and very simplified.
Also I would have to say that some Bugis are Indonesian. Since one is an ethnicity and the other a country, hence a bugis can be indonesian, but an indonesian may not always be Bugis.
But other than that, really marvelous analysis!
Michael Chick may have provided lots of facts but his premise is that there are only 5 classification of mankind using the natural and dictionary definition of “race” that is the physical features and geograhical preponderance.
That’s why he said there is no “Malay” race, using bits and pieces of many scholars but really never actually accurately coming to their conclusions.
He has his agenda, that is he is anti “Umno” point and use of “Malay” that permeates the psyche of “Malayness” in Malaysia.
But the old theory of biological races of mankind has been discontinued in the Western scientific discourse and are moving away from 19th century imperialist obsession with “race”.
The dictionary mening of “race” also present problems when in England, Lord Denning held a “Sikh” boy was not a “race” apart from a “Punjabi” and therefore him being denied to wear a Turban in his school did not infring the Race Relation Act. According to eminent Judge of the Century it was Sikh boy religious pratise that was infringed not his “race”. Therefore Race Relation Act (a legislation intended to prohibit racial discrimination could not help him.)
Needless to say that his decision was overturn by the House of Lord in England. They adjudged that you can be born of race “A”, brought up as race “B”, Lived as race “C” and can died as race “B” all in one lifetime.
I do not want to go into legal technicalities, siffice to say that many here are confuse with the term “race”, as far as Malaysians is concerned, “race” means “ethnicism” too and some times even tribal difference. Chinese-Malaysians are quite fond of saying that so and so is of the English race and so and so is of Irish race or sos ans so is of Japanese race and sos and so is Korean race, most Malaysian would not be confused. But if you tell them that the japanese, korean and Chinese are part of the Mongoliod race, most Chinese would say “We are never Mongols how dare you equate me with those barbarians”
Get the picture?
Oh dude.. you’ve got your history all mixed up. Is this what they’ve been teaching you guys in the Chinese Schools? NO wonder you insisted on having your own school system. To propagate your own version of history!
So that you can rewrite history, just like Singapore?
Perhaps…this is just another expansionary plan.. to include the land into Middle Kingdom? You guys are truly SICK!
80% of this is just pure imagination, like you said. I rest my case!
Zubin, this shows you did not really read the details – otherwise you would have read my notes (at the very top) and you would appreciated where Michael Chick (the writer) is coming from.
See earlier comments by one mak jun yeen and Icha and see how they respond to Michael Chick’s writing. Then read the comments by H. Rahman Ibrahim who says “In the context of today’s debates about race and it’s origins ” Malay ” is a political term”.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Gulo takdo, kopi takdo, topung pun tak do! Inilah Melayu … (No sugar, no coffee, not even flour. We are Malays …)
My uncle, who is in his 80’s now, used to tell this story (and he still does) and this is something that he had been telling people since the early 60’s to whomever who wants to hear it:
“The Malays have always been pioneers and have always been a resourceful race. In the early days, they would come from parts of Indonesia and Thailand and some other places and they clear jungles and then would invite their relatives and their friends and their friend’s relatives and their friends’ friends and so on and build a village. They would plant padi, grow rubber trees and vegetables and fruit plants, the latter two for their own consumption, and some would earn extra money by getting produce from the nearby jungle to sell. The village grows and prospers and then a sole Chinese family would discover the village and then decides to come to the village to start a shop to sell provisions and, a sole Indian would come too.
The village grows and prospers further.
After some time, the village folks needs increases but they couldn’t afford them. So, the Chinese and the Indian trader would still supply them – on credit, to anyone who accepts their terms. The person who accepts the terms will then start taking things from the Chinese and the Indian traders. His debts accumulate until it became so big that he couldn’t afford to pay. What would happen next is the Chinese trader would take the land as payment from the debtor and the Indian trader would take one of his daughters as a wife; loan settled.
The Chinese man then starts building a town after accumulating more land and invites other Chinese from his village in China to come and they would start other businesses such as transportation and build houses to sell and build factories. The Indians would normally send their money home and start a new family with his newly wedded Malay wife as well as keep part of the land that he would have obtained in return for the money he lent to some of the Malay folks at the village because not all of them have daughters and he cannot be marrying too many Malay girls.
He then gathers a few friends and clear up the jungle further and the whole thing repeats itself until there’s no more jungle to clear. He moves to another area and start clearing up again and this would go on and on. The Chinese become landowners, businessmen and become very rich at the same time.
There would be some Chinese who would take in a Malay wife and converts to Islam and their offsprings would be fairer, have a Malay name and they are still Malays. The mixed Indian-Malay children would be darker and have sharp features and their names that are normally spelt with an ‘i’ would be changed to ‘ee’ like Hakim (to Hakeem) and those with one ‘o’ or ‘u’ would be spelt with ‘oo’ like Daud (to Dawood). Some would even add Syed, Sheikh, Shaikh and Siti as prefixes to their childs’ names and in few cases you would find prefixes such as ‘Raja’ and ‘Tengku’ even.
So, you would find Syeds, Sheikhs, Shaikhs and Sitis who are not descendents of people from Yemen (Hadhralmauts) or Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries but from India. The darker skinned Rajas and Tengkus with sharp noses and big eyes are ‘so-called’ royalties from India but not the descendents of Sultans, Rajas or Yam Tuan from the unfederated Malay states of Malaya” and then, there’s even a Tengku Abdul Manaf a/l Haneefah.
Besides having Malays with many types and styles of names, we also have Malays of many colours and some even look like Mat Sallehs – those Pan Asian types. Interesting hah!
The Malays are still pioneers and very resourceful today but in many different ways.
To carry on from the story above, as the country develops, the Malays would become civil servants, teachers, soldiers and policemen taking over from the British and they are very proud of that. The Chinese continue with their businesses and the Indians, some become civil servants, teachers, soldiers and policemen and some would continue with their businesses, until now. These people become richer than the Malays and control the country’s economy.
Fast forward to the present time and you will find many Malays, men and women, in very high decision-making positions either in politics or the civil service and many would become lawmakers and planners.
Malays do not clear jungles and hills anymore because the Chinese now have excavators, bulldozers, cranes, wheel-loaders, etc. to do that job and they sometime even do them without first getting approval because some YB, Raja or Tengku told them earlier that they could proceed, no problem. After that, money talklah, what else!
You now hear a minister announcing the increase in taxi fares; during a period of recession mind you, but he totally forgot about the need to re-calibrate the taxi meters first and this would cause a confusion and dissatisfaction to many people because the effective date for the new rates takes place before all the meters in the taxis are calibrated. To diffuse the situation, he issued a directive to all taxi drivers not to charge the new fares until they have their taxi meters calibrated and, please do tell me Hon. Minister; which taxi driver would listen to you?
He didn’t even think about how to enforce his directive before opening his big mouth! So, everybody gadolah – typically Malaysian – ‘Malaysia Boleh’.
Due to some poor planning, sugar is now scarce. It used to be rice, chicken, cooking oil and then flour not very long ago and God knows what else will be in short-supply next.
So, what happens next? Unscrupulous people with the help of people who are in authority start hoarding these goods. Prices of major essentials go up, what else! Who benefits? You know who, I don’t have to tell you …
Do you notice how far the LRT and train stations are vis-a-vis the places you want to go; to your housing estate, to the car park, to the nearest bus terminal, to the shopping complex, to the schools, colleges, offices, markets and what-not? They never think about convenience.
Why? Because they do not use these facilities at all. They all have big cars and drivers too to get them anywhere they want so, why bother!
What about the commuters? To hell with them!
The government builds huge, modern, state-of-the-art twin towers, skyscrapers, stadiums, halls, universities, colleges, schools, mosques, parks, roads and so on but they totally forgot about their maintenance and this is not even accounted for in the budget. Not long after that, they all become dilapidated and they would look like buildings that have been neglected for years and become eyesores. Why? The answer is: “Let others worry about it, I’ve made my money already”.
We build high-rise residential units and some at choice locations near major highways and people hang their clothes to dry in full view of everyone and nobody cares. If it’s too neat and tidy, people may think this is Singapore, not Malaysia.
Why Kuala Lumpur floods whenever it rains even though we have the Smart Tunnel?
Because, the Smart Tunnel is for something else and generally the drains around the city are to shallow and too narrow, and already very badly silted. Doing drains do not cost very much so the few guys who are going to benefit from it will get very little. Geddit, you moron!
They will probably build another bigger Smart Tunnel. Don’t be surprised!
Even when it’s cheaper to build deeper and wider drains, nobody bothers because, building another Smart Tunnel costing billions of Ringgits would be more beneficial to the few selected and so-called privileged people, but not deeper and wider drains.
Adam Road, Farrer Road and Thompson Road next to the Police Academy in Singapore used to flood very badly whenever it rains before and after all the drains there had been widened and deepened and continuously maintained, it doesn’t anymore even if it rains everyday for all the seven days of the whole week. There’s no Smart Tunnel there.
And, why can’t we build bigger roads even when there is space available? Answer: If we build them now, in future, nobody will be able to make money.
Do you notice where pedestrian overhead bridges which are built to help people cross busy roads are placed? Always far away from train stations, bus stands and the places you want to go to. So what happens? People, including schoolchildren and old folks do not use those bridges and they prefer to take the risks crossing the road at points nearer to where they are going.
The next thing you would notice is insufficient parking space at government complexes, hospitals, markets, public parks, etc. I wonder why it is always like this. Don’t the developers, designers, planners and builders ever thought about this?
Sometimes, you see perfectly working streetlights in some Majlis Bandaran township being changed to those with fancy designs and you and I know why. They could use the same funds better by repairing roads and bridges and other infrastructure at the kampungs or villages, but no, there are no BN/UNMO bigwigs staying around there and you can’t make money this way.
Many would argue that the owners, developers, builders and even the contractors are not Malays. Yes, but who approve them especially after all the ‘approvers’ pockets have been very thickly lined with crisp new Ringgit notes.
Why can’t things be done better here? The answer is: “Because we are Malays!”
Then, you start seeing contractors building houses and condominiums on very steep hill slopes where even commonsense tells you that they are not suitable. Still, the construction continues, then the residential units were sold after the buildings were completed and the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation was issued. A few years later, during the monsoon season where the place was hit by not stop rain, the buildings collapsed and several people were killed. Fingers start to point at each other and what’s the cause they they eventually found out? Corruption!
Money changed hands and the designer and the developer got their plans and designs approved. Not by one authority but by several and all have received their fair share with the biggest share going to some bigwigs, sometimes fronting for others, politicians especially, at the local council. However, after the tragedy and the disaster, people still never learn and continue to give approvals and waiting for the next disaster to occur. All should be blamed; developers, designers and the approving authorities and the biggest of all idiots: the buyers.
No, some would answer: It is already fated that the tragedy and the disaster occurred and we must believe in fate otherwise you would be considered an infidel. That’s another story.
Malays are known to be very tolerant, practise ‘give and take policy’ all the time and are very easily influenced. It used to be but now, they already know how to benefit from these and are able to name their price for a favour in return, regardless of the implications. And there are many people who are willing to pay!
Worse still, they are now being used by some unscrupulous people to demonstrate the latter’s feelings and frustrations; these are also done without even thinking what would happen to them next, their families and their people.
The demonstration in KL two Saturdays ago shows.
Melayu oh Melayu!
truly agree with you!
I wonder those Red Indians in America.. they were many clans but still refered as Red Indians as a whole. They arent any Indians in them, but the invaders labelled them as Indians, since Columbus thought he found India. They were in different clans, but same race.
They are many researches done regading the root of Malays. It would be unfair not to include a Malay thought into it. The most interesting research regarding Malays root in detail, written by a Malays, so far can be read at:-
I guess you need to learn Malays to understand Malays. Do Michael Chick speak Malays well?
Yes..you are right…Micheal Chicks knows nothing about Malay, and I ‘m sure he can’t even speak Malay fluently..He’s trying define Malay in his own term to suit his political agenda (taking from unknown writer from Sing, as reference..) ..
Try to divide Malays by clans..same goes to Chinese and Indian in Malaysia..Why are they called Chinese? They are also Hokkien Hakka and so on..Telugu, Singh etc are called Indian. If you really hate to call us Malay, then, call us by the name Austronesian or Bani Jawi..
I realised this one piece of big mistake and I know the rest of the writings are unreliable.
“Then you would also ask yourself, isn’t Prophet Muhammad an Israeli himself? The answer is clear. All descendants of Moses are Israeli. In fact, the Holy Koran teaches that Moses was the First Muslim. Thus confirming that all descendants to be Israeli, including Jesus and Prophet Muhammad. ”
Prophet Muhammad is not an Israeli. He is not descendant of Moses. Prophet Muhammad was descendant of Ismail, the son of Prophet Abraham. Through Ismail is which the Arabs originated from. Abraham has another son, Isaac, from which the line of Israeli came from. From the bloodline of Isaac came Jacob, Joseph, Moses,David, Solomon and Jesus.
That’s why the Arabs and the Jews are called semitic. It is because they are very closely related. And yet each are a race of its own, which develop after some time.
Btw, Moses was not the first muslim. Adam was, since we are all his descendant. Therefore there is not such thing as real chinese, or real indians base on your argument in this article.
Your comments noted in the post
Well well well……if it ain’t one of those that don’t know what it’s all about.
The concept of “monotheism” tends to be dominated by the concept of God in the Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity Mormonism Catholic [Ect] and Islam, before that all were Pagan.
So for you to say that Adam was Muslim is wrong, he could well be a pagan. Abraham came up with the idea of monotheism not Adam.
So going back to the word Melayu, I personally think they are the run away race from the Indonesian archipelago, because in Javanese “Melayu” mean “run, running, run away”, hence Tanah Melayu mean “land of the run away”. Also the Malay language is of lingua franca (is a language systematically used to communicate between persons not sharing a mother tongue), of which is more than 50% sanskrit.
So go put your math together and figure this out.
hi, i dunno what ur religion, thats why i say Hi..
about the things that u wrote here..i don’t agree especially about Prophet Muhammad SAW and his family that later on called ‘syed’. But when i look at ur header (80% imagination) so i realized that we should ignore this coz this is such another cracks imagination.
Prophet Moses AS is from israeli family, meanwhile Muhammad SAW is from arab quraisy from the kabilah of Hashim.
before u go to far i would like to wake u up to reality if its the facts that u try to sabotage with your dream or dunno nothing. Raja of perlis from Al-Jamalulail family have their prove of nasab (family trees chart) to Prophet Muhammad and its been provin’ by all around the world from saudi arabia, yaman, and to all Islamic country. for more details u should ask urself to the perlis ‘syed putra jamalulail royal family’, that i will fwd this behind imagination to em..tq.. thats all
Hi Syed, if you have read Notes 1 – 4, you will realize that this post was done by one Michael Chick (I am not sure whether you can still contact him at his older website) which appeared in a dozen other blogs which came at the height of the madness and arrogance before the 2008 General Election. Anyway, I have updated your comments in the post and as Michael Chick have mentioned that it is more of an anthropological approach in trying to identify who can be called the real Malay. Try reading the readers’ earlier comments as well – there is very interesting anthropological point of view from them.
The Javanese can say whatever they want, but the word Melayu has it sources somewhere in South-Central Sumatra, where there is a kingdom of Malayur, part of Srivijaya. It seems that the Malay peninsula were peopled by the Austronesians, a slow migration of peoples from S. China, to Taiwan, Philippines (some went eastwards to the South Pacific, by sail boats), Borneo, Java, Moluku, Sumatra, and lastly, Malaya. Of course, there was also a migration of peoples (the Tai races) from Yunnan to Thailand, and possibly, to the northern part of the peninsula). However, in terms of polities, there is always a link with Sumatra: the court cultures, the language (Malayur), the religion (Islam, it used to be Hindu, Buddhism), and the relationship between the kingdoms of Sumatra and those in the Malay peninsula (Sriwijaya, Samudra-Pasai, Melaka, Acheh, Johor Rhio). The Malay language (Melayu) has been the lingua-franca among peoples in the Nusantara (S. Phillippines, S. Thailand, Indonesia, Champa), so, it is common for groups of migrants from one part of the region, to settle in other parts of the Nusantara (at least, until the era of western colonialism), even though they are from different sub-groups. And they are, collectively, termed as Malays, as they share the same religion, culture, and language (and the same skin-color).
Of course, Mr. Chick is free to disagree, but racism is within the human DNA, even though we may deny this. For eg., Americans are now not happy when there are too many Hispanics, France, Sweden, Britain, and Holland are now tightening immigration because they are afraid that Muslims may change the religious and racial profile of their countries, and I guess, Australia, too, when there happen to be too many Afghans and Iranians there. So, why is it such a big deal when Malays are not happy when there are too many non-Malays within the country?
As for genealogies, especially for royalties, just ignore them, they are doctored, to elevate their status.
A stupid article, with a political agenda..to divide and rule the Malays into small ethnicity..
To Micheal, please don’t try to be smart..brush up your bahasa first..then only you will get to know the Malays..
I’m Bugis, and proud to be..and Bugis are part of Malay, and proud to say that we are Malays.
Let the truth remain true to the facts despite what Michael Chick here is trying to do! He can be a good writer if only he did/does more in-depth research with profound enthusiasm and focus. He just wrote what struck his head at the time he felt elated. These are not qualities of the sound researcher. I am sad and I do call on all researchers to avoid this way. Go forth and reach the real truths and then explain correctly the actual situation and status. QED.
People are free to say whatever they like, but if they do not like MALAYSIA, they are free to move elsewhere, but not for us, Malays. Idiots should realize that Malay is a political category. Of course, there is ONLY one human race, but anthropologically, a race connotes a large group of people that shares a similar religion and culture.
I am sure that Mr. Chicken, if he happens to be Caucasian from Canada, USA, or Britain, will not be happy, if there happens to be a large-scale, overwhelmimg migration of Malays (millions, of a different religion, and skin-color, and culture), within a short time-span (50-100 years) coming to his country, acquiring his land, and dominating the economy, just because they (the malays) were smarter, and have access to technology, and global capital. Of course, it was not their fault (hypothetically), if the Caucasians happens to be dumber, and culturally inferior.
The indigenous inhabitants of America, Australia, New Zealand, realized this, but they were intellectually and technologically inferior, not to mention the free access to global capital (money laundering from illegal means: money-lending, drugs, prostitution, gambling, arms-sales) to the migrants. Without the safe-guards, the Malays will suffer the same fate as the Aeta, Native Americans, the Australian Aborigines, the native Hawaiians, and even the Palestinians; marginalized, and in no time at all, becoming the minority, because of laws and policies that gives an advantage to these migrants once they are in control, because they were superior; intellectually, technologically, and more importantly, to capital.
The Malay response to these outsiders is natural, even though they are citizens, too, and this response is universal, in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and whatever. Of course, the Malays is a broad grouping, and consists of other sub-groups, but, in times immemorial, before the era of colonialism, people from the Nusantara, are free to move and settle within the region, as they share the same religion and culture, not to mention, the same skin-color. lisof course, I have no problem if the Orang Aslis or the native Borneons are categorized as Bumiputras, too.
My take on this is, if you do not like it here, just leave, or stay, and work for a better Malaysia, let the races sort everything out in a mature, respectful manner. Of course, this may take time, to rebuilt trust, honor, and respect.
You can’t even get your facts right on the lineages of the prophets and you expect us to believe the rest of your story?
Perhaps you can share and enlighten us with the right facts on this as the readers alfatihmurad and syed did instead of simply dismissing the “story” upfront.
Indeed Malaysia is Tanah Melayu. Nice try tho.
There are so many shortcomings in Chick’s short-sighted analysis that it would take too many pages to respond, but I’ll just respond to a few claims.
First of all, let’s not confuse political Malay with anthropological Malay.
Before her independence, Indonesia did not exist. It is a country, not a race. It is a term coined in the 19th century by a Brit. In fact, they were almost called Malayunesians. It was formally adopted only in the 20th century for political identity. It’s no surprise they would now refuse to call themselves Malays as political Malay is separately defined over here. If you check, the Indonesian Archipelago is WITHIN the old Malay Archipelago. No prizes for guessing which archipelago came first. And by Chick’s reasoning, one should also wonder why all the different people of different ethnicities, speaking different dialects and practicing different religions would call themselves Indonesians instead of Jawa, Bugis, etc. Indonesian is not a race but nationality. But they will tell you they belong to “Rumpun Melayu”.
In the old days, if a Malay from any part of the Archipelago travelled to the peninsula, to him it was “Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung” and hence, became loyal subjects to the Ruler of the area. If not, why would a Bugis who came all the way from Sulawesi pledge allegiance to the Johor Ruler and become Yam Tuan? They were Malays. It wouldn’t have happened to Yap Ah Loy. If a Chinese or a Mat Salleh travelled to the peninsula, he wouldn’t even know the proverb let alone treat the Ruler as his Sultan. I also know firsthand they refer to themselves as Rumpun Melayu because my Indonesian domestics always say so. And so would the Malaysian Malays tell you about themselves.They are proud of their own clans and historically they fought and killed each other for power and glory but they often banded together to fight the outsiders (though not always) because they are anthropologically, culturally and spiritually Malays.
And if you go by Chick’s theory on migration from China 6,000 years ago which attempts to explain that Malays are non-existent anthropologically, then neither are the Indians and the Chinese, for DNA evidence shows we all came from Africa 60,000- 80,000 years ago. So should we then start calling the Chinese, Indians and Malays Africans? Or yo, Niggahs! And I’d be wary of making Hindu a synonym for Indians. You might offend the Hindu Malays in Indonesia. The Malays in Bujang Valley adopted the Hindu culture as a result of their contact with Indian traders. Chick himself acknowledged that Malays were once Hindus. How then did they become Indians as he claims? And yes, they are rightly Bumiputra.
As for Orang Asli beating you up if you call them Malay, I wouldn’t propagate such slander. We used to have coffee and chat with them in our kampung home in the old days and they were very nice (yes, I have met with Orang Asli. Maybe Chick just read heard about them and tries to make them out to be scary). They are early Malays and may not like to be confused with modern Malays because the modern Malays used to raid and enslave them (you know, like what the Chinese used to do to their own people, especially from different clans). But anthropologically, DNA evidence shows the Malays and the Orang Asli are one (see paper called Population Genetic Structure of Peninsular Malaysia Malay Sub-Ethnic Groups). Moreover, the Orang Asli’s political organization, like the modern Malays, had a Mentri, a Penglima and a Penghulu. And this organization pre-dates the Indian, Cambodian or Sumatran periods (see Tregonning’s A History of Modern Malaya). So the people and their culture pre-date these periods – same DNA, same culture, same people – ie Malays. Sorry, did Chick claim that all anthropologists do not think that Malays do not exist as a race? He really should read more.
And I’m fascinated by Chick’s fascination at the discovery that Malays were Hindus and Buddhists at one time. It’s been written about by historians and British Residents even before World War II. He even forgot to mention the Indianized Malay kingdom of Funan,with whom China used to trade two thousand years ago. And they went on to form Ch’ih-Tu (Tanah Merah). At least he made that Langkasuka discovery, I’ll give him that. If he were to read any more books, he might just discover that our Museum officials did not invent the “brand new unheard of terms” such as Deutero-Malays and Proto-Malays. Deutero- is a prefix which means secondary. Therefore, Proto must come before that as it means first. Since Malays couldn’t have discovered anthropological science and taught it to the Europeans, I doubt they came up with the terms.
And do please give the Sultan of Perlis a break. Everyone has had strange claims like the Chinese being descendants of Huang Di and Yan Di, who both had turned out to be mythical characters, and Alexander the Great always said he was a descendant of Hercules (which means the God Zeus was his ancestor). Anyway, has anyone disproved the Perlis Sultan’s claim? I’d like to know.
Lastly, in terms of anthropological research, the content in “Contesting Malayness” which Chick happily refers to (I haven’t read it so I cannot vouch for its content) would be as extinct as the T-Rex since it was printed in 2003. Recent archaeological research has confirmed that there was no maritime migration during the Neolithic period (c.2800-500 BCE). This means that for at least 5000 years, no one came from up north but that people had already existed in Malaysia’s prehistory and protohistory. The Neolithic earthenwares found in the peninsula have characteristics that do not exist anywhere else outside of Malaysia. This, and other detail in the paper entitled Current Issues on Prehistory and Protohistory in Malaysian Archaeology debunk the earlier migration theory that Chick keeps referring to. If you don’t believe these archaeologists, then also refer to the migration routes depicted by the Human Genome Project. If you know we were all Africans, you should learn which routes we took to get here and where we went from here. According to the migration routes, you’d be surprised to find out that prehistoric Malays had migrated and populated Taiwan, Korea, Japan, China and North America, and NOT the other way around. Did I hear a bubble pop?
Furthermore, archaeologists have found no evidence to support the theory that Indians had established colonies during protohistoric period. This means that Bujang Valley (and other archaeological sites) were not Indian colonies.
I’m afraid Chick’s claims are fanciful. However, if it amuses those who seek to confirm their bias, then we may also all be descendants of Hercules.
Very well said …
knerys@ Sorry to create an upset,as throughout the years NO traces of homo-sapiens were ever proven in south east Asia.Whereas ,Ganges deltas’ & Peking Man discoveries were described in international journals even before WWII.
As describe by your enthusiasm,how could have migration headed northwards,when the lands here were ever green,and the good weather pleasing all year long?
People migrated in the ancient days for survival,unlike nowadays’ pleasure and pride.As described in many international journals which were being researched painstakingly & lives were risked often than not,Austronesians came dispersing at the south east from central Asia some 8000 years back. Are you were trying to imply the reverse?
Lately,many articles were being formulated to champion causes such as yours’..eg.1;One lady self-professed historian,Malays came from Funan in south China,which was publish in the news. eg.2;Nusantara theory,a story which was even compiled into a column by 2 young aspirants! eg.3;Latest,a ‘top-notch’ backdoor declared they’re from the middle-east!
Have you heard of the Java- man & the Petak-man?
Please google and do your research…
Have you heard of the Java- man & the Perak-man?
Please google and do your research…
I assume that you must be either an Indian or a Chinese…(camouflage as a bigot Christian Westerner)
Since you still retain your ancestors’ chracteristics why not return to where you belong i.e to India or China to see whether you are still accepted you as their clan.!!!
Lol bro… mtDNA has already proven that the malays were the original ppl of south east asia after leaving africa over 100 thousands years ago they travelled rapidly n resettled in the Sunda Shelf or Sundaland whom has Malaysia and Indonesia as its focal point developing a highly advanced civilization. When the last ice age ended and waters rose that is when diaspora happened and these ppl left the Sunda shelf to travel towards china and india and the europe to populate it. That is why the normal malay guy on the street has most of the dna of the non negroid African looking ppl, its because he is the source that spawns most of the other races even the chinese, indians n europeans bcos he is the reservoir of their DNA. Go Google geneticist Dr Stephan Oppenheimer on his research of the genetics of the malays n read his papers. BTW sorry to burst your bubble but what the Greek philosopher described as an ancient civilization so great but sank n flooded by the seas known as Atlantis whom was the cradle of civilization was actually the civilization of the Sunda Shelf n they were the malays lol
red bean army.. nice try..
communist biased research..as long as u manage to destroy the bumiputera rights..pity chinese..u must remember, chinese not only hated in malaysia, but also worldwide..u act brave only in malaysia..in australia, usa and uk, u don’t even have rights to voice out your expression
Interestingly if the Chinese are so hated in Malaysia, why the Government just sold off a big chunk of national assets to the Chinese related companies (yes, the very same “communist” Chinese that you have mentioned) and came out feeling so proud of about it. And it’s funny that you mentioned that only in Malaysia, there is right of expression and not in *cough* developed *cough* countries like Australia, USA and UK – I always thought it was the other way around. I can see you have not reading much lately. Ok fine, assuming communist biased research – can we have your unbiased research to counter and set the records straight? We all love to get the facts rights – so when you going to provide them?