Wikipedia shows the origins of Malays in three models:
PROTO-MALAYS — Also known as Melayu asli (aboriginal Malays) or Melayu purba (ancient Malays), the Proto-Malays are of Austronesian origin and thought to have migrated to the Malay archipelago in a long series of migrations between 2,500 and 1,500 BC;
DEUTERO-MALAYS — From the Iron Age, people descended partly from the subsequent Austronesian peoples, who came equipped with more advanced farming techniques and new knowledge of metals… They settled and established kampung, which serve as the main units in the society. By the end of the last century BC, these kampung began to engage in some trade with the outside world… The Deutero-Malays are considered direct ancestors of present-day Malays; and,
EXPANSION from Sundaland model — A more recent theory holds that rather than being populated by expansion from the mainland, the Ice Age populations of the Malay peninsula, neighbouring Indonesian archipelago and the then-exposed continental shelf (Sundaland) instead developed locally from the first human settlers and expanded to the mainland.
The earliest records of the word “Melayu” or “Malayu” came from a Chinese record that reported a kingdom named Malayu had sent an envoy to the Chinese court for the first time in 645 CE (Common Era). It was recorded in the book, Tang Huiyao, collected by Wang Pu during the Song Dynasty.
It was suggested that the term Melayu originated from the Tamil word “Malaya” or “Malaiur”, which means hill or high ground .
Historically, the Malay population founded several ancient maritime-trading states and kingdoms, notably Brunei, Old Kedah, Langkasuka, Gangga Negara, Old Kelantan, Negara Sri Dharmaraja, Malayu and Srivijaya, and the later Cham and Mon-Khmer settlers.
The advent of the Malacca Sultanate in the 15th century triggered a major revolution in Malay history, the significance of which lies in its far-reaching political and cultural legacy.
Throughout their history, the Malays have been known as a coastal-trading community with fluid cultural characteristics. With such colourful history, I am proud to be a Malay. Nowadays, people have been saying a lot of not-very-positive things about my race.
Should I be angry or reflect on what they say and try to be better? Lazy is synonymous with the Malays, and up to now, our contribution to the economy is not very encouraging.
Houses are built by Indonesians. Food stalls are operated by mamak and Thais. Bangladeshis man convenience stores and work in the plantations. Guards are from Nepal, and Pakistanis sell carpets. What else?
Not much of the economic pie belongs to this race. Property ownership, especially the higher-priced items, is scant.
Most ustaz like to propagate haram rather than present Islam as a way of life and a religion of compassion.
“Compassion” is the most frequently occurring word in the Quran. Each of its 114 chapters, with the exception of the 9th, begins with the invocation “In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful”.
Were they themselves not taught about Allah being compassionate and merciful? We see arrogance in some, including among our politicians. Backstabbing and slander is not uncommon. Envy or hasad dengki is prevalent.
There are some 20 furniture shops in a furniture mall along Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong, Selangor, which have been around for some time.
Many shops are manned by foreigners. Not much of the economic pie belongs to the Malays.
However, to find three nasi lemak stalls within a 50m radius can be a challenge. Even the sole representative in the list of top 10 billionaires in the country is looked upon with suspicion because of his successes.
I visited apparel, electrical, kitchen cabinet and many other shops. One distinct difference is the service level. A non-Malay sales staff will take the trouble and time to explain a product and will also recommend something that’s value-for-money or suggest alternatives.
The objective is to make a sale. More often than not, a Malay sales staff will just smile (not all the time) and wait for us to ask questions. I was at Universiti Hospital a few nights ago between 11.30pm and 4am to get treatment.
I must give credit to the staff at the emergency unit for being hardworking at that time of the night with so many patients needing treatment. A special mention here for Dr Gayathri Subramaniam.
Sad to say, some from my own race do not show that spirit. They are busy playing with their smartphones and their service level is wanting.
A few patients were in severe pain, but no one was available to provide wheelchairs or stretchers. Worse still, there was none at the entrance. I am aware that this is not a private hospital but a little bit of care and concern will go a long way.
As for the hospital administration, kindly relook at the workflow and processes. There is plenty of room for improvement. Social ills, you name it: drug abuse, Mat Rempit, unwanted pregnancies, baby dumping, snatch thefts, bullying.
On these records, the Malays are the front-runners. Strangely, corruption is not on the social ill list. It is clearly prohibited in the Quran and Hadith. “And do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly or send it [in bribery] to the rulers in order that [they might aid] you [to] consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know [it is unlawful]” (Al-Baqarah 2:188).
Of late, there have been numerous corruption cases but we rarely hear the big fish getting caught or brought to justice. Corruption takes many forms, from graft and cronyism to bribery.
We have also heard of ketuanan Melayu. Yes, Melayu are the rulers, at the helm in politics, government machineries, schools and universities, the courts, television, the military, the police and government-linked companies. However, over the years, changes are not much to shout about and, yet, we blame others for our sorry state of affairs.
With its rich resources, Malaysia should have done better that South Korea economically, and for the Melayu, a better share of the economic pie.
For how long do we want to eat kangkung and nasi goreng? In his last sermon (khutbah), Prophet Muhammad had this to say: “All mankind is from Adam and Eve; an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also, a white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over white except by piety (taqwa) and good action.”
While others are busy racing towards high-income status, I do not see many Malays following this trend maybe except for rent-seekers.
I think we Malays need to quickly change in mindset, character and world view. Be more inquisitive, creative and a problem-solver, and not be part of the problem.
Be conscious of the change and adapt to it. Let us not be in denial.
If the powers that be do not assist, we start the change ourselves. That is the reason we voted them into office. So much for the ability and quality of our wakil rakyat.
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves” (part of al-Ra’d 13:11).
For me, humanity, our beloved country and the wellbeing of its citizens are more important than race or politics.