I have several heritages in my family including Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, Punjab and Malay.
However, today I’m going to point out what Malays originally are.
According to the biased historical reference to the “Malay Annals”, otherwise known as “Sejarah Melayu” in Malay language, the earliest Malay kings were descendants of Alexander the Great. However, from biological researches of human evolution and migration, the early South-East Asians were actually Austronesians whose origins can be traced to the Taiwanese aborigines who then migrated to the various lands of South-East Asia.
In conclusion, Malays are not descendants of Alexander the Great.
But what I am pointing out here is the identity of the Malayan ethnic race. Modern Malays claim themselves to be the Deutero-Malays, a race who shared similar ancestors to the Proto-Malays, the latter being the first aboriginal settlers of the Malayan peninsula. Deutero-Malays was believed to have migrated to the Malayan peninsula during the Iron Age, and have modernized further than their Proto-Malay counterparts.
But what if terms such as Proto-Malays and Deutero-Malays did not exist?
Historical records shows that the Indonesian Islands during the existence of the Srivijaya and Majapahit empires had mostly modernized and followed pre-Islam Vedic religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, mainly in the Javanese and Sumatran islands. During this era, only half of the Malayan peninsula was administrated by Srivijaya, implying that the peninsula wasn’t fully explored and was inhabited mostly by Austronesian aborigines. Although the inhabitants of Sumatra and Java islands were also Austronesians, however they were modernized and civilized by the Indian travelers and monks who visited the archipelago.
Thus, the term of Proto and Deutero Malays are mostly made up. There is no such things as Austronesian Deutero Malays who learned blacksmithing suddenly intended on mass-migrating to the Malayan peninsula just to conquer their Proto cousins who are still using sticks and stones in their daily lives. Modern Malays came from Sumatra, and most of them migrated to the Malayan peninsula during the decline of the Srivijayan kingdom.
If you were to ask me whether I’m a Malay or not, I’m going to answer: My father is an Austronesian, while my mother is a mixture of the many Mongoloid races, plus one type of Indian race. Although my father adheres to the Malay customs and traditions, apparently I don’t. I don’t like wearing the Malay traditional dress, I dislike most Malay foods, I dislike Malay customs and traditions – although I do speak fluent Bahasa Malaysia with understanding of some Malay dialects, including Bahasa Indonesia.