In Malaysia, attempts to use archaeology to uncover the origins of race

Once again, the debate in Malaysia of the origin of the ‘Malay’ ‘race’ using poorly understood and misused archaeology.

REALLY? Malays are not ‘PENDATANG’ – panellist
Malaysia Chronicle, 30 January 2015

Facts based on researches in the fields of DNA, folklores and archaeology has proven that Malays are not “pendatang” as claimed by some parties.

“We are not immigrants, and we have facts to prove it,” said one of the panellists during the Bestari Institute of the Malay World and Civilization (Atma) Talk Forum on “Melayu Bukan Pendatang” today, chairman of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and University Science Malaysia (USM) Ombudsman Prof Datuk Seri Dr Md. Salleh Yaapar.

“In Nov 2012, Dhamma speaker Datuk Dr Ananda Kumaraseri wrote in the New Straits Times that the origin of the Malays is traced to Tibet and the Yunnan Plateau, and some others claim that we are from China and Taiwan.

“But through folklore studies, which is my field of expertise, we have found out otherwise. In fact, the aboriginal tribes from Taiwan are all descendent of settlers from around the Malay Archipelago, their legends say that their forefathers came from the south, from the aboriginal race, and that race is Malayan,” he added.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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