It's been interesting to read such free-flowing comments on an all "Malaysian" free for all. While we are on the subject, how many of you have read the book entitled "Contesting Malayness"? Written by a Professor of National University of Singapore . Cost S$32 (about). 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 yrs ago, they moved into Taiwan, (now the Alisan), then into the Phillipines (now the Aeta) and moved into Borneo (4,500 yrs ago) (Dayak).
They also split into Sulawesi and progressed into Jawa, and Sumatera. The final migration was to the Malayan Peninsular 3,000 yrs ago. A sub-group from Borneo also moved to Champa in Cambodia at 4,500 yrs 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. (See also "Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsular".)
Of course, we also have the Minangkabau(s) who 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 do 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 "Achenese"? Or the Ibans who simply want to be known as IBANS. Try calling a Kelabit a "Malay" and see what response you get. You'll be so glad that their Head-Hunting days are over.
The definition of "Malay" is therefore simply a collection of peoples who speak a similar type language. With what is meant by a similar type 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. They refuse to be called Malay. Anyhow you may define it. Watch "Malays in Africa" - a Museum Negara produced DVD. Also, the "Champa Malays" by the same.
With this classification, they MUST also include the Phillipinos, the Papua New Guineans, the Australian Aboriginies, as well as the Polynesian Aboriginies. These are of the Australo Melanesians who migrated out of Africa 60,000 yrs ago.
Getting interesting? Read on.
"Malay" should also include the Taiwanese singer "Ah Mei" who is Alisan, as her tribe are the ancestors of the "Malays". And finally, you will need to define the Southern Chinese ( Funan Province) as Malay also, since they are from the same stock 6,000 yrs ago.
Try calling the Bugis a "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 yrs ago, nor the Australo Melanesian group from Africa.
Ready for this?
The Bugis are the cross-breed between the Chinese and the Arabs. (FYI, 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. Now 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. (Due south of Pontian Kechil.)
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? The princess of a Ming Dynasty Emperor who was sent to marry the Sultan of Malacca. Won't that make the entire Malacca Sultanate downline "Baba"?
Since the older son of the collapsed Malaccan Sultanate got killed in Johor, (the current Sultanate is the downline of the then, Bendahara) the only other son became the Sultan of Perak. Do we see any Chinese-ness in Raja Azlan? Is he the descendant of Hang Li Poh?
Next question. If the Babas 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 NOT BUMIPUTERA? Did they not come 100 yrs AFTER the arrival of the first Babas? Parameswara founded Malacca in 1411. The Portugese came in 1511, and the Dutch in the 1600's. Strangely, the Babas were in fact once classified Bumiputera, but discovered that they were strangely "declassified" in the 1960s. WHY?
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?
So, how many of you have met with orang Asli(s)? The more northern you go, the more African they look. Why are they called Negrito(s)? 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 it right. The Malays were Hindu. It was, by the old name Langkasuka. Today known as Lembah Bujang. This Hindu Malay Empire was 2,000 yrs old, pre-dating Borrobudor AND Angkor Watt, who came about around 500-600 yrs 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 yrs ago! Why are they marginalized?
So, in a nutshell, the "Malays" (anthropologists will disagree with this "race" definition) are TRULY ASIA!!! (Main continent and West Asia included)
Here are some comments from Michael in answer to some Malays who have attacked him for penning this commentary.
Greetings. This is Michael Chick. Unlike others who hide behind "anonymous synonyms" I came clear with my real name. The post which I put up was not a figment of my imagination but the end result of 3 years extensive research. As such, the facts presented are clear-cut, straightforward and unassuming. Perhaps you would all like to chat with any anthropologist at UM before sending-off any flaming sparks in my direction again. These Professors should be as Malaysian as any of you.
The subject matter is fact-based. To Bayi, "Contesting Malayness" is available at Kinokuniya at Takashimaya 4th floor, Orchard road. At a cost of S$32. It is also available at National University of Singapore. Why? 'Coz it's their textbook. Let me repeat -"Contesting Malayness" is an NUS textbook, published by NUS Press, written by Professor Tony Milner.
To Achmad Sudarsono, calling the Malays a "race" is akin to calling the Hokkiens or the Javanese a "race". Please do not confuse the term "orang" with "Bangsa". What do I mean? The term 'orang' is used by Malays to describe Orang Bugis, Orang Acheh, Orang Laut, Orang India, Orang Melayu. And here is where the confusion was. Orang Melayu merely refers to the residents of Kampung Melayu near Jambi, near Palembang . Please use Google Earth to find its exact location.
Unless you can say that all "Orang Melayu" are descendants of that village, you simply cannot be called Orang Melayu. In fact the name "Malay" has been traced to Lembah Bujang, where the Indian traders used to call the locals "Malai" (in Tamil) to describe the locals. The locals were animistic pagans at that time, and readily adopted Hindu practices and Indian customs. "Raja" and "Sultan" are Indian titles. The adat bersanding with the pelamin are of Indian origin. Even the "gifts-bearing" walk by the groom has its Indian roots. Please attend an Indian Wedding before flaming me again. Or have a chat with Prof Nik Hassan who is in charge of the Lembah Bujang archaeological excavations.
Malaya, was therefore a derivative from Himalaya. "Sejarah Melayu" therefore was describing the Kampong Melayu origins. But here is where, from pages 1-3, it will tell you that Kampong Melayu are descendants of Iskandar Zulkarnain (Alexander the Great) through the bloodline of a West Indian Princess. This came from Sejarah Melayu. This book is cheap. You can buy it at the University Malaya Bookstore for a mere RM35. It is published by MBRAS (Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society). Its patron member is Tun Hanif (ex-IGP).
Please speak with Datuk Prof Zuraina Majid, who excavated "Perak Man". She will tell you that Perak Man is a descendant of the Australo-Melanesian stock. African National Museum of the Phillipines will verify that they came from Taiwan . And National University of Indonesia will confirm that they came from the Phillipines.
Nik Aziz (PAS leader from Kelantan) will tell you that his grandfather came from Champa. To all Kelantanese, please explain the newly changed name of a Kampong near Bachok (close to the Pengkalan Chepa airport) to "Kampung Champa" to our friends here.
Please also visit Museum Negara to see the exhibits on the "Dong Song" brass drums and Gua Cha in Kelantan near Gua Musang to see the Hoabinhian Caves. Dong Song and Hoabinh are in Indochina. And therefore, the locals are descendants from that region. The entire Northern States also have their roots from the Pattani Kingdom; which today we call Tahiland. In fact, please visit the Kelantan WWII museum to see the article on how Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu was part of Thailand from 1943-1945. Then walk over to the Kelantan State Museum to see the exhibit on Gua Cha to read their explanations of the Hoabinhian Cultures of Early Kelantan settlers.
Malaysian Archaeologists call the early settlers Proto Malay. And the current settlers Deutero Malay. The scientific term is actually, Australo Melanesian (African) and Austranesian (Chinese, or Mongoloid). This is a DNA and bone structure classification. Even the term Negrito transalates from Spanish to mean "mini Negro".
I hope that I've made myself comprehensible enough. Feel free to ask any further questions to help clear the air. The "Malays" are NOT a race. I'm so sorry that you are only hearing this now. The rest of the Academic World has known it for years.
By: Michael Chick on May 30th, 2007 At 2:44 am
To address Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Li Poh. They were all related by the family name of "Hang".
Please visit their graves in Malacca. Their graves are clear-cut Hindu. This was during the "Great Malacca Empire" when Parameswara was supposed to have converted to Islam. Why are the graves of the "Legendary Defenders of the States" Hindu? They do not have the spiral headstones or the Batu Acheh type headstones - instead, they are solid concrete blocks with triangular holes for incense and oil-lamp burning.
Hang Tuah's grave (Kampong Keling) is another "conspiracy". Please read the inscriptions on the side: "they found a large stone marking a grave, and therefore it must be Hang Tuah...". This grave was merely designed to be a tourist destination. Note that there are no names engraved anywhere. Just a big non-descript stone marking that a human body lies underneath it. Lastly, why is a Muslim buried in Kampong Keling - 'Keling' meaning Indian?
The subsequent question is why is Hang Tuah removed from current school history textbooks?
One of two suggestions comes to mind. He was pure fiction (please read Hikayat Hang Tuah before flaming me again), or as the Bugis Museum Curator in Johor will insist, that Hang Tuah was Chinese. So were the rest of his "blood brothers". They were all Chinese; and related to Hang Li Poh.
Let me pose a simple question to you: Why is it, that when you visit Malacca to see the great historical Malaysian City/State, you see the Portugese "A Famosa" gateway, or the Red Dutch buildings like Christchurch, or even St. Paul's Church on St. Paul 's Hill? Where is the evidence of "The Great Malaccan Empire"?
Let me help you with that answer. Published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka in a publication called "Melayu Journal" in 2005 - "...we had to look for an icon by which the Malays would be proud of..." Since Majapahit, Acheh, Lembah Bujang (Langkasuka) were either Hindu, on Indonesian soil, or both, Malacca was the only location left. The great Parameswara is, by the way buried on Fort Canning Hill downtown Singapore, for those of you who want to visit it. They call it the "Keramat" and it's immediately behind the National Musuem of Singapore.
Please enlighten me by showing me ONE single piece of evidence of "The Great Malaccan Empire". Even Dewan Bahasa couldn't. Perhaps any one of you could. Evidence, and not mere gut-feeling please.
Also, please consult Prof Khoo Khay Khim before flaming me again; Thank you.