(Austronesians were the first humans in history to invent ocean-going sailing technologies, which allowed them to colonize a large part of the Indo-Pacific region. Image source: Reddit)
While it is true that a large number of Austronesians are of the Muslim faith (but not in the greater Polynesia), it is also important to note, that (in South East Asia) the majority of them converted en masse during the late 19th Century just prior to the Krakatau Volcanic explosion.
Read Part 1 here
Impending “Doomsday” brought about a massive conversion from the previous 1,500 years of Hinduism. Why the Balinese, the North “Sulawesians”, the Kalimantans, the people from Flores, the Papuans and the central Javanese never converted, we will never know. Perhaps they never heard of the impending explosion of this volcano, or that they were simply too far away to care.
Read ‘Krakatoa’: The Wrath of the Earth and how it turned Indonesia Muslim by Richard Ellis.
Travelling by air from Jakarta to Bali will present you with an unprecedented view of many active volcanoes along central Java. (a possible “peek” into the past of the pre-Krakatau days).
“… Kejawen is the actual and true religion of most of the Javanese people, but they have been forced ever since 1947 to identify themselves as Muslims, thus swelling the number of declared Muslims into the majority …” -John Valentine
For those wanting to read more on Kejawen can turn to:
Again, use your favourite search engine to research/ Amazon.com your “Kejawen” materials. Spending the past 3 months in Indonesia has allowed me to make many ground-level observations firsthand. For those keen, make your own observations, and studies.
Aceh, in North Sumatra of Indonesia, is actually an acronym few are made aware of. A=Arab, C=Chinese, E=Europe and H=Hindi (India). The diagram below offers a much known migrational origins of the various Austronesians ( only known as “Malay” in Malaysia).
To further confuse the issue, Indonesia, defines a “Malay” simply if you come from 2 regions. The Riau (formerly known as riuh, meaning “noisy”) and its neighbouring islands, as well as to the Brunei inhabitants (who probably came from the same Riau region).
But regardless, circa 75% of West Malaysian Austronesians are migrants from the Island of Java (Batavia), thus should be called Javanese instead of “Malay”. Even better would be the preferred and correct name of Orang Ambon. For the record, in Austronesian language, “Orang …” simply implies the place of origin.
As such, “Orang Aceh”, does not mean the “Acehnese Race”, but people from Aceh. Similarly, “Orang Jawa” simply means “People who come from Java. Nowhere has the word “Orang” (in its original sense) meant “race”. “Bangsa” translates as “Race”, while “Warganegara” translates as “Nationality”.
Hence, no one ever talks about the “Singaporean Race”, even though one might refer to them, as “Orang Singapura”, or “Warganegara Singapura”.
Now, using the same definition, “Orang Melayu” means people from Kampong Melayu, Jambi, Sumatera. Somewhere along the way, some bright spark decided to “upgrade” Melayu, from Kaum (tribe) to Bangsa (Race) – noble, but wrong. For reasons best known only to the Individual Local Governments, the very insistence of a “Malay race”, as well as the concept of “Ketuanan Melayu” (Lordship of Malays) continues to elude the Academia.
Who exactly are they referring to, when they mention the word “Malay”, and who exactly do these “Malays” have Lordship over? Is this concept of Lordship then, just as fictitious as the “Malay-race” definition itself?
In closing, the above picture is an “In-Your-Face” challenge, to see if anyone can accurately identify, which tribes these Austronesians are from, or next best, which country they each originated from individually. (FYI. The flower garlands could be props from dancing in front of hotels or actual ceremonial costumes) Wherever they come from, I’m very sure that once the Austronesian Race is correctly identified that the UMNO’s demented definition of the word “Malay” would cease to be significant. Just like the very existence of UMNO itself.
By the same definition, Mahathir resumes being an Indian; Badawi is once again part-Hainanese, part Pakistani, his former wife, part Japanese, and his present wife, Portuguese. And so, looking back, Malaysia never had a “Malay” Prime Minister since independence – t-o-u-g-h!
For now, we are all looking forward to the unification of all Malaysians and not any individual “race” from any particular Political Party. And no matter many kilos of C4 is used, one can never take away the Beauty, the Charm, and the Mystique of the Greater Exotic Austronesian Race. But for the record, Malaysia cannot unite, unless, you first correctly identify the “Malays”.
Do some soul-searching. Ask your relatives, most will gladly tell you where you came from. The only people, who obviously cannot possibly remember, are the Orang Asli’s. They have been here since 60,000 years ago – far too long for any mortal to remember.
And they, and they alone, my friends, are the True and Only Bumiputera of this land.