Friday, June 01, 2007

What’s in a Name – Lina Joy or Azlina Jailaini? Are names important? Your existence is nameless. What you are NO Letter or Alphabet can Contain it.

'What is your name, each of you?' My name is also nameless. I have no name.
You give yourselves names, because you believe they are important. Understand, your existence is nameless. It is NOT voiceless, but it is nameless. The names you take are structures upon which you hang your images . . . What you are cannot be uttered, and NO letter or alphabet can contain it. Yet, now you need words and letters, and names and objects. You want magic that will tell you what you are. I have had TOO many identities to cling to ONE name.

Also understand the entity is the basic self, immortal, nonphysical and the individual is the portion of the whole self that you manage to express physically. There is one self, but within that self are many. You exist in other realities and other dimensions, and the self that you call yourself is but a small portion of your entire IDENTITY. Within the self that you know is the prime identity, the WHOLE SELF. This whole self has lived many lives and adopted many personalities. Personality may be somewhat molded by the circumstances that are created for it by the whole self but the prime identity uses the resulting experience.

Our social institutions are set up to fence in the individual, rather than to allow the natural development of the individual. How can we unentangled our minds with mass of knowledge or habits that we call "I and to look beyond it to see at the real thing? To be enlightened and observe and understand things so easily. The majority of people of religious faiths with their expressed beliefs will hold on to their beliefs as truths - unbending and unyielding. The only way to change is to change the beliefs.

At the Heart of All Religions is the Same Truth
That's why many of us cannot understand that one religion is no different than the next, it’s because of the mind. Perhaps, we are not that enlightened to go beyond the mind. Then we see differently, and truly understand that there’s no difference, ever. It's such a simple thing we shake our heads and can’t believe that we couldn’t understand it before.

It's alright if each of us can pursue what he or she wants to study and believe, whether false or true. But the problem comes when we start to ARGUE and FIGHT among each other because of philosophical differences. Then we truly disgrace ourselves and our ascended Teachers because they always preached peace, integrity and love.

Thus, it doesn't matter now whether we believe that Christianity is the greatest religion, Islam is the right path or that Buddhism is the highest belief system in the world; we don’t need to argue. Instead we should seek to know our true religion, the true religious essence, which Buddha left behind, which the Teacher of the Tao left behind, which Christ left behind and what is stated in the Koran. And then we’ll know that the only, the best and the quickest way are through enlightenment

= == = == the following, an unpublished work of Sonia Randhawa
from H E R E

This is an article I wrote for The Sun, but which was never published. Given the demise of the Constitution earlier today, it no longer seems relevant, though it may be of some interest. Just so we know what we've lost.

Wha’s in a Name; By Sonia Randhawa

I've always been grateful for my first name. Sonia doesn't rhyme with anything. My brother, in contrast, endured years of primary school suffering. My name has a meaning, and I learnt what it's formal meaning was long after I had learnt that 'Sonia' meant me. But names aren't always as carefully constructed to their owner as Sonia now seems sculpted to me. Some names are, merely, labels. The nicknames that various friends called me in school, none of which have stuck. The nastier names thrown by enemies. These names are only as important as the truth they contain, vicious or virtuous.

Some names, however, can shape the named. If you call a child worthless, it internalises the label and begins to incorporate this into its identity. It shapes the child's behaviour, his or her outlook on life. But it isn't just people that can be shaped by labels. It's hard to see how a table would change, even if you persuaded successive generations to call it 'Kate'. Call a State something, though, and it can have exceedingly worrying consequences. Which is why I was worried when I was engaged in a conversation about whether Malaysia as an 'Islamic state' is merely a label, or if it is indicative of something deeper.

And was before we couldn't protect our Constitutional rights through peaceful forums, closed due to the threat of mob violence. Before one of the leading organisations in the 'Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA' declared that it was okay to imprison people without trial, if it was for religious transgression. Before the clampdown on 107 religious 'deviants', with barely a whimper from civil society. The Islamic state label is more than just on name, regardless of what Mohd Nazri may have maintained earlier this year. It is an issue at the heart of many recent debates, from Anthony Rayappan and M. Moorthy, to Lina Joy, Shamala Sathiyaseelan, even the closure of radio shows on Ai FM. Because what is at stake is who or what is the supreme legal power in this country. 'Islamic state' is more than just a description. It is prescriptive as well.

It prescribes how our courts, our Parliament and our Executive should behave. It prescribes a theocratic state, one in which God, as interpreted by one religion and its proponents, is in charge of the day to day running of the State. Not the Constitution, not the law, not Parliament, not the Government. This might work, if God deigned to come down in, as it were, person, to rule in the stead of our Prime Minister. Or if our Prime Minsiter (as Bush has claimed to be) is directly inspired, a Prophet. Both solutions, of course, are blasphemous in Islam.

So we can't rely on God to govern directly. Which means that people will be governing. And my experience has been that most people are fallible. Except, possibly, Tun Dr Mahathir. What we have is a State where, in name, God is the supreme power, but in practice, a person rules in his stead. A fallible person. What happens when the fallible person makes a mistake? Well, that's the problem with a theocracy. With God as the head of state, they can't make mistakes. Because then it's saying that God is making mistakes, and that is undoubtedly blasphemous. It was for these reasons, along with a host of others, that democracies in Europe replaced monarchies. Not because the societies were mature, just or wise. But because they were fed up with dealing with the mistakes of monarchs who believed they were infallible. In the UK, as here, they rather liked their monarchs, so rather than beheading them, they just ensured that their powers were limited. True, it took civil war to get to the point, but they did get there.

Unfortunately, even in a democracy, there is no guarantee that the ruler will not attempt to usurp God-like powers from those who first put him or her in power (that's us). That's where Constitutions come in. It's our first line protection, saying, sorry, but no, you don't have the power to do that. You, no matter who you are, can't tell me what religion I should follow. You can't curb my freedom of speech.

You can't send me into exile, deny me the right to life, the right to assemble. I am equal with anyone else, before the law, regardless of race, religion, gender or class. (That one I love so much, it's painted on the side of my house). If we are a theocratic state, then these rights are taken away from the Constitution and put in the hands of a man-made interpretation of what God wants. If we're an Islamic state, it's put into an interpretation of God that neither myself nor anyone in my multi-religious family adhere to. It's just a name. Call us an Islamic state. What difference will it make, to Lina Joy, or any of us. Sticks and stones may break my bones, sure, but names will never hurt me? I hope not.
= = == = ==
May 31, 2007
21:57 PM
Accept Decision In Lina Joy Case With Open Mind, Says Abdullah

ABOVE: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at a press conference after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today asked the people to accept with an open mind without being influenced by emotion the Federal Court's decision in the case of Azlina Jailani or Lina Joy. "If we allow ourselves to be overcome by emotion, we will begin to have all kinds of thoughts; we will have suspicions about this and that," he said. The government did not bring any influence to bear on the decision of the court, he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Umno Supreme Council, here.

"That is the decision of the court; I don't question them," he said. The Federal Court yesterday dismissed by a 2-1 majority decision an appeal by Lina, 42, who claimed to have renounced Islam to embrace Christianity 17 years ago, to have the word "Islam" removed from her identity card. The court insisted that Azalina, who had taken the name Lina Joy, had to obtain a certificate of apostasy from the Syariah Court before the National Registration Department could drop the word "Islam" from her identity card. Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Federal Court Judge Datuk Alauddin Mohd Sherif dismissed her appeal while Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Richard Malanjum dissented. Asked if the Federal Court decision would cause a religious divide in the country, Abdullah said: "I don't think there is a divide although the discussion on religion becomes more widespread." At the press conference, Abdullah also dismissed a suggestion from a foreign journalist that Islamic law was now above the Federal Constitution in the country. "There is no such thing (of Islamic law being above the Federal Constitution). The Federal Constitution is the Federal Constitution. There is a set of laws we have to follow. It is something that we have to follow, that's all," he said.
= = == =
May 31, 2007 18:19 PM

Zainuddin Regrets That Western Media Used Lina Joy Case To Run Down Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 (Bernama) -- Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin today expressed regret that the western media have taken advantage of the court decision in the Lina Joy case to run down Malaysia as an Islamic country that practises injustice. He said the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had used the screaming headline "Malaysia Rejects Christian Appeal" in its news portal while The Times had said that the court decision is a slap in the face for religious freedom in Malaysia. "This is clear proof that the western media will use any opportunity for 'Islamic bashing' without regard for any country as long as it practises Islamic law," he told reporters after receiving a visit from Iranian ambassador to Malaysia Mahdi Khandagh. The Federal Court yesterday dismissed the appeal of Lina Joy, born Azlina Jailani, to drop the word Islam from her identity card.

Zainuddin said that the separation of the civil and syariah laws had been in place all this while since the time of the British in the country as a mark of respect to the Muslim Malay community as the original people in the country. Zainuddin said that in Lina Joy's case, it was clear that the western media could not see the aspect of justice practised in the country but only saw justice from the aspect of the freedom and egotism of the western democracy. It must be remembered that Malaysia's position as a model Islamic country with a multiracial society was recognised not only by the leaders of Islamic nations but also other countries in the world that admired Malaysia, he said. "To me, this view of the western media is only their own view and will not affect the position of Malaysia which is well-known as a model Islamic country that practises and is committed to safeguarding the rights of its people of various races and religions," he said.
= = == = = =

Two bad decisions
By Philip Bowring Thursday, May 31, 2007; from IHT India
BANGKOK: Two decisions on the same day on Wednesday have delivered huge to
blows to liberal, plural democracy in Thailand and Malaysia, two relatively prospering and open Southeast Asian societies. Both decisions have been given the appearance of being judicial, but both are highly political and represent efforts by entrenched interests to maintain political control. The dissolution of Thai Rak Thai, the party of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was deposed as prime minister of
Thailand by a coup last September, has caught more headlines.
But given the volatility of Thai politics, this may prove less enduring than a decision in
Malaysia to deny a woman the right to convert from Islam to another religion. The highest court in Malaysia ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the Muslim Shariah courts, even though the Malaysian Constitution, which the civil courts are supposed to uphold, guarantees freedom of religion. The Shariah courts have been adamant that "apostasy" cannot be allowed; Muslims cannot become non-Muslims. The ruling will be seen in most of the rest of the world as an example of Muslim arrogance,intolerance and obscurantism, which are particularly out of place in a country where more than 40 percent of the population is not Muslim (and non-Muslims are a majority in some states). But the ruling is as much about the politics of race as it is about religion. The Malay elite is less noted for piety than for its determination to cling on to the economic and political privileges it has awarded itself through the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the party that has dominated the political process since independence 50 years ago.
All Malays are deemed to be Muslims; thus religion has become a means of reinforcing the racial basis of politics. The elite will not disavow it, partly to protect the privileges and partly to avoid being outflanked among Malay voters at election time by the more fundamentalist Parti Islam. In Wednesday's ruling, the chief justice argued that one could not leave a religion "at whim," suggesting that it was a function of birth more than belief. By implication, he raised this question: Are Malays in
Malaysia (unlike Indonesia) incapable of making their own decisions on religion? The court (with the one non-Muslim judge dissenting) appeared to forget that non-Muslims who wish to marry Malays must convert to Islam. In short, the court has in effect undermined Malaysian pluralism for the sake of UMNO's political expediency.

For both Malaysia and Thailand, the rulings on Wednesday represent major setbacks in their efforts to become fully developed societies in which pluralism is enshrined in the conduct of institutions.

= = ==

Bar Council: Federal Constitution must remain supreme; June 1, 2007

PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council supports theminority judgment of Chief Judge
Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum that no court or authority should be easily allowed to have implied powers to curtail rights that are constitutionally granted

Its president S. Ambiga (ABOVE) said the Federal Constitution "is and must remain in law, supreme." "In an event of any inconsistency or conflict between the provisions of State Enactments and of the Federal Constitution, the latter must prevail," she said in a statement yesterday. On Wednesday, the Federal Court rejected Lina Joy's appeal to compel the National Registration Department (NRD) to remove the word "Islam from her identity card. Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Federal Court Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff voted against her appeal and said conversion issues should be dealt with by the Syariah Court. In his dissenting judgement, Justice Malanjum described the NRD's insistence that Lina Joy obtain a certificate of apostasy from the Federal Territory Syariah Court or any Islamic authority as illegal and unreasonable. Ambiga said: "We are mindful that issues relating to religion will inevitably draw emotive responses in a multireligious society. "Malaysians must be prepared to confront these issues maturely and dispassionately within the framework of our Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land." Council of Churches of Malaysia general-secretary Rev Dr Herman Shastri said it viewed the Federal Court's decision with regret and concern. "We believe that the constitutional provision in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which guarantees freedom of religion in our country has been severely violated," he said. He said the majority judgement had denied the individual the right to freedom of conscience and choice of religion. "It is, therefore, vital that the necessary legislation be enacted to ensure that no citizen would be penalised when he or she exercises the individual right to choose a faith and to practice it in freedom," he said

= = == =& for More Pics & Vide
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11:16 AM  
Anonymous Michael Chick said...

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 6,000yrs ago, they moved into Taiwan, (now the Alisan), then into the Phillipines (now the Aeta) and moved into Borneo (4,500yrs ago) (Dayak). They also split into Sulawesi and progressed into Jawa, and Sumatera. The final migration was to the Malayan Peninsular 3,000yrs ago. A sub-group from Borneo also moved to Champa in Vietnam at 4,500yrs 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 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 get... you’ll be so glad that their Head-Hunting days are over.

In an article in the Star, dated: Dec 3rd 2006

available for on-line viewing at:

An excerp 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'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 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"…. Anyhow you may define it.

The writer failed to identify (probably didn't know), that the "Malay" definition also includes, the Champa, Dong Song, HoabinHian, The Taiwanese Alisan and the Philippino Aetas. He also did not identify that the "Orang Asli" are (for lack of a better term) 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. 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 60,000yrs 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 (Southern Province) as Malay also, since they are from the same stock 6,000yrs 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 6,000yrs 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 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 100yrs 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 were 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 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 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 2,000yrs old. Pre-dating Borrobudor AND Angkor Watt. Who came about around 500-600yrs 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 2,000yrs ago! Why are they marginalized?

Of the 3 books listed, "Contesting Malayness" (about S$32 for soft cover) 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; Kinokuniya, MPH, Borders, Popular, Times, etc. 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)…coz our authorities couldn’t make head or tail of it? (FYI, if I wasn’t doing research for my film, I wouldn’t have read it in its entirety)

While the "Sejarah Melayu" (about RM 35) is available at the University Malaya bookshop. 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 yrs 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 Philippinos came from Taiwan. And before Taiwan, 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 6,000yrs 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”. While 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 100yrs, 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 2,000yrs ago during the “Golden Hindu Era” for a duration of 1,500yrs.

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 were Hindu at that time, as all of Southeast Asia was under strong Indian influence, including Borrobudor, 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 are tell-tale signs of these strong Indian influences. So, it was NOT Parameswara who was the first Sultan in Malaya. Sultanage existed approximately 1,500years before he set foot on the Peninsular during the "Golden Hindu Era" of Malaysia. And they were all Hindu.

“PreHistory of Malaysia” also talks about the “Lost Kingdom” of the “Chi-Tu” where the local Malay Kingdom were Buddhists. The rest of the “Malays” were Animistic Pagans.

But you may say, "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 Achehnese 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 Achehnese on the West coast of Kedah & Perlis and the Kelantanese insist that they came from Champa, Vietnam.

Morover, the fact that the first 3 pages claiming that "Melayu" comes from Alexander the Great and the West Indian Princess doesn'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’s 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)

BTW, 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….

I told you all that I hate race classifications…. This is so depressing. Even more depressing is that the "malays" are not even a race; not since day one.

“Truly Asia Boleh”

2:06 AM  

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