Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Rumpun Melayu mere political fiction

The term “Malay” was codified for the first time by British colonialists in the peninsula and may be found in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

KOTA KINABALU: Activists in Borneo have taken exception to a Sabah Minister claiming the Orang Asal in Sabah and Sarawak are part of Malay stock or Rumpun Melayu and “therefore they should be able to accept Umno”. The Minister was echoing a similar statement by the Sabah Mufti not long ago.

“Masidi Manjun is a Dusun who is suffering from an identity crisis just because he happened to be a Muslim and finds himself in Umno, a peninsula-based party in Sabah,” said the president of the US-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPIM), Daniel John Jambun.

The comments by Masidi, the Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, were carried extensively in the local media.

Daniel stressed that it’s unbecoming of Masidi to challenge anyone to Google and prove him wrong.

“There’s a lot of information out there in cyberspace but that doesn’t mean it is correct or accurate,” said Daniel in urging Masidi not to play politics with the issue.

“Only subject matter experts can interpret it, especially given recent advances in DNA techniques,” added Daniel.

Daniel also said that what the people believed was important. He said in that sense, “No Orang Asal in his right mind” would be happy to call himself Malay or even a member of any Rumpun Melayu, he added.

“All nationalisms are defined by what they oppose,” said Daniel. “The Dayaks in Borneo includes the Dusun, which in turn includes the Kadazan and others, and all are opposed to any Malay or Muslim domination. That’s crystal clear for all to see.”

Daniel urged those interested in ethnic origins to check their DNA for confirmation that all the people of Southeast Asia, South China and Taiwan came from the same stock. “There’s no so-called Malay stock separate from this stock,” he said. “It’s political fiction.”

The term Malay, said Daniel, was codified for the first time by British colonialists in the peninsula and may be found in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

Daniel said that this codification was in recognition of the historical origins of the Malay language which was created by Hindus and Buddhists from India, based on a Cambodian dialect to be the lingua franca of the Archipelago, and hence the term Malay Archipelago.

This linguistic evolution, he explained, was for missionary, trade, administration and educational purposes.

Revisiting the debate on stock raised by Masidi, Daniel said the common stock in the Archipelago, the rest of Southeast Asia, South China and Taiwan owe their origin to Dravidians (archaic Caucasoid) who went from South India to South China and Taiwan and mated with the Mongoloid tribes there.

“These Mongoloid tribes are a specialisation descended from one branch of Dravidians who entered South China from Afghanistan,” said Daniel. “The other branch entered India.”

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