Malaya no longer has a national language, Bahasa Melayu deader than dead

Bahasa Melayu, now deader than dead, was based on a Cambodian dialect, Tamil, Sanskrit and Pali.

The original script for Bahasa Melayu was Indian as in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The French changed the Indian script in Vietnam to Roman letters.

The Johor-Rhio-Lingga version of Bahasa Melayu, the Bahasa Kebangsaan, is dead.

Bahasa Malaysia based on Bahasa Melayu, terms from other local languages and dialects, and English has replaced Bahasa Melayu.

Bahasa Malaysia is not the Bahasa Kebangsaan.

Malaya no longer has a Bahasa Kebangsaan.

Compromise . . . Non-Malays can study khat if the so-called Malays study Chinese characters and Tamil calligraphy.

Jawi is based on Farsi and Arabic.

Any language can be written in Jawi.

Utusan Melayu killed Jawi by closing down.

Jawi was previously introduced in schools but fizzled out. It was a case of “hangat hangat tahi ayam”.

Utusan Malaysia ran weekly columns on Jawi and then stopped it.

Bahasa Kebangsaan, Article 152, is not in Jawi but Rumi i.e. Roman letters.

Definition of Malay . . .

Many people are still missing the point.

Read the Definition of Malay in Article 160. This is an artificial construct, an aberration in law.

It’s bad law. It does not exist, as if it never existed.

The Malays, in fact, do not exist. They have never existed. Malay is a misnomer.

Malay should not be mentioned in polite society.

Language is no proof of race. I speak English as my primary language. That doesn’t make me an Englishman.

The Malay language was the lingua franca in the Archipelago before the advent of the West in the region.

Lingua franca means a language used by various communities, all having their mother tongues, to communicate with each other in a common medium.

The Malay language has also been carried to the Cocos Keeling Islands, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Surinam in Latin America.

If ever a Malay people existed in the Archipelago, i.e. speaking the Malay language as their mother tongue, it’s not reflected under the 1st prong in the Definition of Malay in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution.

There’s no evidence of a Malay race, so to speak, speaking only Malay. Every Malay speaker, i.e. those classified as Malay, has his mother tongue i.e. Malayalam, Tamil, Bugis, Minang etc

Generally, the Malays in Article 160 are Tamil, Malayalee, Pathan, Yemeni and Turks (only adherents of Islam among these communities, from India, were re-classified as Malays); and Bugis, Javanese, Minang, and Aceh (only adherents of Islam among these communities, from what is now known as Indonesia, were re-classified as Malays).

Briefly, the Definition holds that Muslims able to speak Malay, and either born or domiciled in Singapore or Malaya, by Merdeka 31 Aug 1957, are Malay.

Their descendants are also Malay.

Patently, the Definition is not about DNA, race, history, geographical origin, Natekaran, Valiangkati, First Nation people, Orang Asal, Indigenous, Aborigine, Native, rumpun Melayu, Kepulauan Melayu, Nusantara, Archipelago or Austronesian.

Hence, it’s a contradiction in terms to speak in the Definition’s 2nd prong of those in the 1st prong practising Malay culture, customs, and traditions. The issue is not only subjective but highly debatable.

Needless to say, the so-called Malays defined in Article 160 were not the first people in Malaya.

The British colonialists seized Orang Asli land in Malaya to create gov’t reserves by gazette.

Some of these reserves were given to Muslim squatters, labelled Malay for administrative reasons, to get them out of the way where the British wanted to plant rubber and mine tin.

The Malays referred to these gov’t reserves as “tanah Melayu”.

Tanah Melayu is a misnomer for Orang Asli land the British seized to create gov’t reserves.

Besides Article 8, the Orang Asli in Malaya can also refer to Article 5 “right to life” and Article 13 “property rights”.

The Orang Asli came 40, 000 years before the Malayan gov’t. The Negrito (Semang) came from Kerala, south west India.

The Malayan gov’t cannot claim, in law, that the Orang Asli are squatting on state land.

The Orang Asli have Adat, based on customary practices, which has force of law.

Adat is international law.

Author: fernzthegreat

Joe Fernandez holds a honours degree in management, majoring in economics, and has opted from academia in law to being a jurist. He was trained professionally on the job as a journalist. He's a longtime Borneo watcher, keen on the history and legal aspects of Malaya's presence in Sabah and Sarawak. He teaches the English language privately and has emerged as a subject matter expert in public examination techniques.

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