(Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (11 May 1752 – 22 January 1840) was a German physician, naturalist, physiologist, and anthropologist. He was one of the first to explore the study of the human being as an aspect of natural history. His teachings in comparative anatomy were applied to his classification of human races, of which he claimed there were five, Caucasian, Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian, and American. Text and Image source: Wikipedia)
Remember Michael Chick? The same author behind “Who is a Malay” is back and I got this in my inbox couple of weeks ago from him but been too busy to post them.
But all the talk about UMNO – PAS unity, Malay unity, one party for all Malays had brought this article by Michael Chick to be more relevant.
Why talk about uniting only Malays when there is a more urgent need to unite all Malaysians?
Note 1: Once again presented verbatim but with minor adjustments to spelling & grammars
Note 2: For further details, please contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note 3: All text and image source – Michael Chick
Note 4: The long post is broken into 2 parts in this blog
Who are the Malays? And how to unite them
By Michael Chick
Follow up to the First Article; it is time to define who the “Malays” really are and to correctly define them.
To begin with, let us look at the subject of “Race”. Since Hitler’s Days of propagating the “Superiority” of the Aryan Race, many have scorned from the very mention of the very word “race” itself.
However, certain Malaysian Political Parties still seems to relish in its’ very notion of separation. Strangely, they go all out to “Divide and Rule” – uniting one race in particular, but not the rest of the country. And they spend lots of time, money and effort to this redundant and lost cause.
Anthropology defines only 5 Races in the World (use your favourite search engine). The Caucasoids, Negroids, Mongoloids, Dravidic, and Austronesians. Any other species is merely a combination of the above 5 main groupings. Geographically, Malaysia falls within the Austronesian category.
Brown-skinned people, residing in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei, Polynesian Islands, Tahiti, Hawaii and so forth. In fact, it is next to impossible to differentiate the Austronesian People, regardless of the country they come from.
However, if there is a certain distinctive physical facial feature, which identifies anyone from any locality; it is usually a case of the gene pool not coming from a wide enough resource. Put bluntly, Incest, or Inbreeding (as Mahathir so aptly put it, in the greater sense of the definition, in his book, “The Malay Dilemma”) – inter-marrying from within the same community.
However, some still believe that it is essential that cousins should marry each other to protect the “Blue-Blood”, and/ or to prevent the family property from ever leaving the clan. This, unfortunately, is in stark contrast to the Mongoloid practice where two people with even the same family names are prohibited from marrying.
In fact, once you remove the nationalities from the Austronesians, you will find a vastly interesting and diverse group of people and from the many ornate costumes to the vast number of religions and cultural practices. The very essence of the Austronesian Culture is bound to intoxicate every observer.
One other category, which seems to confuse the issue, is the existence of whom locals call the “Orang Asli”. Technically known as “Australo Melanesians”, they are the direct descendants of the East Africans who migrated out of Laetoli, Africa circa 60,000 years ago. You will also find it impossible to distinguish between an Australian Aborigine,
The Malaysian Negrito, or the Philippine Aeta with the Papuan Tribes.
So you now have two distinct groups. The first to arrive here are the Australo Melanesians, circa 60,000 years ago, and then you have the Austronesians (from Yunan), who arrived in Malaysia circa 3,000 years ago. Cross-Breeding between the two results in a “new” category called the Polynesians.
“Poly” meaning “many”, thus accurately describing the many “…sians” which have inter-bred. Caucasians with Austronesians, Australo-Melanesians with Austronesians and so on so forth. For an accurate understudy of Anthropology, country borders are irrelevant, and only serve to create severe delusions of the facts.
As the Austronesian Clusters are so diverse, many individual traits start to form in a localized manner. For the sake of individual Nationalism Spirit, many have mutated from its original form.
Others, such as costumes and such have taken on slightly different materials depending on what was locally available to them and was duly influenced by the spice tradesmen of the West who brought new materials. However, they all have their roots in animism, which is still seen in all of greater Polynesia.
As such, their religions are equally as diverse. True to form, most Austronesian Cultures have still retained many traits during their animistic days. Hinduism also has played an extremely large role in defining rituals and is most obvious in local Austronesian Wedding Customs.
The concept of Sultan and Maharaja (Raja in short) is also of Hindu origins. The Sultan is equivalent to the “Son of Heaven” concept of China, therefore, “Duli Yang Maha Mulia” (He who is of Supreme Nobility).
So is the double-handed praying-gesture when addressing someone of importance, or when addressing the King / Sultan. The local bomoh will attest to a combination of animistic, and pagan practices with Islam.
Frowned by authorities, but still permitted to practice; with or without a license. Exorcisms, prediction of lottery numbers, healing the sick are among the many many functions and duties of the local Bomoh. He is also often seen to grace important venues, holding back the rain, or invited to special occasions and functions; sometimes, by the very people who scorn his pagan “superior powers”.
(To be continued)