Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Merdeka Statement: Malays, Malaysia, Truly Asia

I chanced upon this headline in Malaysiakini :

Muslim outcry over ‘Merdeka Statement’
Aug 7, 07 1:28pm
Muslim groups have rounded on those behind the recently launched ‘Merdeka Statement’, saying the contents appear to be renegotiating the social contract and validating apostasy.
-> Non-bumi, no special rights
-> ‘Problematic and negative’

It seems that many blogs write about the Merdeka statement, but there were no links to its final copy. I made an effort to search using Google and found it.

Here it is: CPPS Merdeka Statement . The PDF can be accessed and downloaded.

As for the "issue of rights" and "social contract", I will not make any comments until I have read the Merdeka Statement in full. As for the subject of bumi and non-bumi categorisations, I happen to be surfing through the net and found this thought-provoking article.

Perhaps, readers can view and decipher it with an open mind.

05/08: Contesting Malayness
Category: General
Posted by: Raja Petra

Written by Michael Chick

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 years ago, they moved into Taiwan, (now the Alisan), then into the Phillipines (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 Cambodia 4,500 years ago.

Interestingly, the Champa deviant group moved back to present day Kelantan. There are also traces of the Dong Song and Hoa Binh 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 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 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'll be so glad that their Head-Hunting days are over.

The definition of "Malay" is therefore simply a collection of people's 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 Aboroginies, as well as the Polynesian Aboroginies. These are of the Australo Melanesians who migrated out of Africa 60,000 years ago.

Getting interesting? Read on....

"Malay" should also include the Taiwanese singer "Ah Mei" who is Alisan as her tribe are the anscestors 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 years ago.

( A-Mei and the Alisan tribe )

( A-Mei, Taiwanese Queen of Pop, made it on the cover of Time magazine. Is she a Towering "Alisan" Malay? )

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 years ago nor the Australo Melanesian group from Africa .

Ready for this?

The Bugis are the cross-breed between the Chinese and the Arabs. (for your information, 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. No,w 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? She was 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 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 Portugese of Malacca BUMIPUTERA? Did they not come 100 years AFTER the arrival of the first Baba's? Parameswara founded Malacca in 1411. The Portugese came in 1511, and the Dutch in the 1600's. Strangely, the Baba's are in fact once classified a Bumiputera, but a decided that they were strangely "declassified" in the 1960's. WHY?

The Sultan of Kelantan had similar roots to the Pattani Kingdommaking 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 transalates "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 look 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 look 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. It was, by the old name Langkasuka -- today known as Lembah Bujang. This Hindu Malay Empire was 2, 000 years old. Pre-dating Borrobudor 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?

So, in a nutshell, the "Malays" (anthropologists will disagree with this "race" definition) are TRULY ASIA !!! (main continent and West Asia included ).

Article extracted from Malaysia Today . Alternatively, the full comment/article can be read at MindaCergas .

Sagaladoola's additional comment:
Perhaps, the Ministry of Tourism got it right for "Visit Malaysia 2007" campaign this time, Malaysia is "Truly Asia" was chosen as the motto. Let's hope "practise and preach" is considered as one.

Despite it all, I respect the Agong, the rest of the monarchy, Malays and Islam as the official religion as enshrined in the Malaysian Federal Constitution in principle with "Rukunegara", "Kesetiaan Kepada Raja dan Negara". It does not matter from which "line" one is descended from. Only nationality counts. Eradication of poverty regardless of race is a priority. Racial Discrimination will destroy the nation.

Hope all Malaysians (citizens and government) respect the Constitution too.

Posters for 31st August can be obtained from Mob's Crib. They can be used on blogs (with references to the creator)


daffodils said...

We should all be Malaysians, not bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras. We who are born here like our Tuanku Raja Nazrin has said should be accorded a place under the sun. Let there be no division along racial line. As a single parent, I have to work 10 hours a day, 365 days a year to put both my intelligent children through university and I without fail have been paying my taxes annually. I am a warganegara Malaysia and my children are anak Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

melayu is not a race..
it's the unity of races..