Published on: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun continued to draw flak Wednesday for stating that the natives in Sabah and Sarawak are part of the Malay stock or Rumpun Melayu and "therefore they should be able to accept Umno".
President of US-based Borneo's Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPIM), Daniel John Jambun, said Masidi was simply echoing a similar statement by the Sabah Mufti not long ago.
"Masidi 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," he said.
He said that it is unbecoming of Masidi to challenge anyone to Google the definition of the Rumpun Melayu and prove him wrong.
"There is a lot of information out there in the Internet but that doesn't mean they are correct or accurate," he said, urging Masidi not to politicise the issue.
He said that only experts in the subject matter could interpret it especially given the advances in DNA techniques.
Daniel said what the people believe was very important.
To this, he said that no native in his right mind would be happy to call himself Malay or even a member of any Malay stock.
"The Dayaks in Borneo including the Dusun and Kadazan and others are all opposed to any domination. That's crystal clear for all to see."
Those keen on their ethnicity origins, he said, could check their DNA for confirmation that all the people in Southeast Asia, South China and Taiwan came from the same stock.
"There is no so-called Malay stock which is separate from this stockÉit is all political fiction," he said.
The term Malay, Daniel said, was codified for the first time by the British colonialists in the peninsula, which is found in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.
The codification, he said, was in recognition of the historical origins of the Malay language which was created by the Hindus and Buddhists from India and based on a Cambodian dialect to be the lingua franca of the Archipelago, and hence the term Malay Archipelago.
He explained that this linguistic evolution was for missionary, trade, administration and educational purposes.
He said 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 mixed with the Mongoloid tribes there.
"These Mongoloid tribes descended from one branch of Dravidians who entered South China from Afghanistan while the other branch entered India," he said.