Monday, December 7, 2009

The Great Tanah Melayu Debate

The Great Tanah Melayu Debate
Archive 2009
2 Dec 2009

We hear UMNO's cries for “Brain Gain”, caused by excruciating “Brain Drain”, in the wake of hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who are fleeing their country. We've heard the many alleged reasons provided from both sides of the fence. One of the strongest seems to be the fact that UMNO is asking all “pendatangs” to leave the country if they are not happy.

By Michael Chick

Well, Robert Kwok certainly did just that. And along with him, his entire businesses worth billions in “Tax Drain”. BTN has also been copiously assisting, by enthusiastically brainwashing simple minds into thinking that “Tanah Melayu” is reserved for Orang Melayu. Of course, they quickly tell you that anyone can become an Orang Melayu by speaking, dressing, and behaving like one (whatever that means, who knows?).

Well, UMNO managed to achieve one thing. The BTN-type morons, and their predecessors, have been overwhelmingly successful in brainwashing todays' 27 million citizens. Who says that the Peninsular was ALWAYS called “Tanah Melayu”? This is a recent British Term!! Let me dedicate this Article to the foremost “so-called reknown Historian” of the country. Prof Dr Emeritus Khoo Khay Khim (and anyone else who claims to be as competent in History as well).

Prior to “Tanah Melayu” being a British Tag in the 19th century, the peninsular was formerly known as Malacca in the 15th century. The newly-renamed book “Sejarah Melayu” (previously known as “Asal-Usul Raja-Raja”) mentions every other place from India to China, including the tiny-speck-of-dirt called Temasik EXCEPT “Tanah Melayu”. Why was Tanah Melayu NEVER MENTIONED in Sejarah Melayu? Simple!! Because that was not its name!!

Tanah Melayu was NEVER the name until the British came and colonized the Peninsular.

(please see map below)

Since UMNO has a habit of believing that “whatever is older is better”, let's take a short walk down this slippery slope of history. (Also, BTN-Baru syllabus planners should start taking notes.)

For starters, “Malaya” in Tagalog means “Peaceful” (go ask your Pinoy maid).

Malai” means “Hill” in Tamil; as in “mini-Himalaya” to describe the Titiwangsa Range on the said Peninsular since the 2nd century by the Gujerati Traders who helped the local Malays set up their formidable Hindu Empire at Lembah Bujang.
ref: Prof Nik Hassan, Tom Harrison, and H.G Quatrich Wales

Also read here:

Only in the 19th Century was The Peninsular known as “Tanah Melayu”.

In the 15th Century, the Peninsular was known by no other name than “The Malacca Peninsular”.

Before “that Rebel-Indonesian Guy” came over here (look, he wanted to kill his own father; what else do you want me to call Parameswara?), the Peninsular was known as “Barr Kra” in the 10th Century. Before that, the Peninsular was known as the “Golden Chersonese” since the 2nd Century.

“Golden Chersonese is the ancient name to refer to the Malay Peninsula by Claudius Ptolemy or Claudius Ptolemaeus (Greek: Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος; c. 90 – c. 168). Known in English as Ptolemy, he was a Greek-speaking geographer, astronomer, and astrologer. During Roman times, the Malay Peninsula developed an international reputation as a source of gold; hence the name was given.”

By the way, “Barr” simply means “Land” in the Persian Language. And Barr Kra above, means “Land of Kra” (as in reference to the Isthmus of Kra).

But I've saved the best for last, as usual. And I hope all you soon-to-be “Brain Gain” people are sitting down reading this ....

The earliest known Arabic Maps refer to the Peninsular as “Barr CHIN”.

Where Chin refers to CHINA! Why did the Arabs call this Peninsular “Tanah China” instead of “Tanah Melayu”? When Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. spoke about “Exotic Tanah China”, was he actually refering to Malaya? After all, according to records, Malayan Gold Mines was already famous 500 years BEFORE the Prophet was born!! As his wife, Khadijah was a Great Trader. He must have known!

Footnote: Chin is spelt “Xin” by the Portuguese, but always pronounced as Chin.

Alright, it's now public!! The oldest known Arab Maps called the Peninsular “Barr Chin”; which translates to “Tanah China”, or “Land of Chinese”. BTN can now implement this new found knowledge into their syllabus. You cannot deny that you don't know it now! Perhaps if you spoke Hokkien, dressed like a Hokkien, and practised Hokkien Customs, the Hokkiens might be gracious enough to accept you. Sounds absurd? Absolutely; and so does the other “Great Race-Changing Trick” practised by UMNO. And I quote Prof Dr Anthony Milner (ANU), “If it's so easy to join a race, it must be equally easy to 'un-join' that race ...

Alright, Prof Khoo, your turn now ...

This will be the first exercise in “Brain Gain” which UMNO is allegedly proposing, for the greater good of 1Malaysia; plus, I'll even give you a hint: (because I'm nice and assume that you actually really, really, really, don't know ....)

It's a Dark Green Hardcover Book about an inch thick; usually reserved for Academicians like yourself. So you won't find it in Popular, MPH, Wiki, Amazon or any Pasar Malam. I'm sure that Great Historians like yourself, have your own Jstor Account number.

Unfortunately, it's written in English, so UMNO people cannot possibly understand it; because, as they say it so eloquently, “...that English sounds like strange babbling ....” So be nice, Prof, and please translate it for them. And in my best Manglish, “Can translate or not? Please?”

Me? I'll take a nice stroll over to the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies here in Leiden, to read more on this .... I'd better put on a Jacket too, it's a little nippy today.

Doei!!” Pronounced, 'do-we' in Dutch.