Sabtu, 21 Januari 2012



Research in archaeology and genetics could very well prove that the ancient Proto-Malays living in the Sunda Shelf were the ancestors of the human population today.

Stating this in a video presentation at a conference on the origin of the Malay race in Kuala Lumpur today, conference deputy chairperson Zaharah Sulaiman showed how the Sunda Shelf inhabitants survived the Toba super-volcanic eruption 75,000 years ago.

Zaharah said that having emigrated from Africa to the Sunda Shelf (which is Southeast Asia today), the inhabitants were among the 10,000-odd humans who survived the Toba eruption.

They survived as they were residing in a part of the Sunda shelf  not blanketed by volcanic ash.

"They were the torch bearers who pioneered man's journey into the modern era," the video presentation states.

The group was, however, forced to move to India, China, Japan, North America and the rest of the world starting from 25,000 years ago due to global warming, which caused a series of floods that broke the Sunda Shelf into islands.

This debunks the theory that Malays originate from Yunan, or the “express train” theory, which states that they originate from Taiwanese rice growers who emigrated to the archipelago and obliterated the original population.

Stephen Oppenheimer
Oxford Genetic Anthropology Expert

Supporting this in his presentation at PWTC today was Oxford genetic anthropology expert Stephen Oppenheimer (right), who showed genetic evidence that Malays and the Orang Asli originate from Southeast Asia.

This is either from island Southest Asia, namely Indonesia and the Philippines, or mainland Southeast Asia that is Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Indochinese region.

He said that his research, which involves testing the DNA of the Semang, Senoi, other Orang Asli and Malays, shows that 44 percent had ancestors who lived in the region well before 25,000 years.

Another 36 percent had ancestors who lived in the region from 5,000 to 25,000 years ago, while only 6 percent have their origins traced to the Taiwanese rice growers who emigrated 5,000 years ago.

He said that there is also archeological evidence of a flake industry between 6,500 to 8,000 years ago which spread from Indonesia to the rest of the world.

Indian components in Malay subgroups

While the modern Malays trace their lineage to island Southeast Asia and mainland Southeast Asia, the Semang and Senoi’s DNA show that they are predominantly from peninsular Malaysia.

“They are a completely indigenous group,” he said.

He said that the fact that migration occurred following great floods also indicate that it was not on foot and that the Proto-Malays were the world’s first sailors.

Interestingly, he presented that there is significant evidence of Indian lineage in many Malay subgroups tested.
The genes of the Malays in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore tested showed 14 percent Indian component.

“This is very preliminary, and we need to do more sequencing to determine if this is really Indian but it seems to be from Northern India from the Bay of Bengal,” he said.

“The Rawa from Gopeng, Perak have more than 25 percent Indian component while the Banja, also from Perak, don’t have Indian admixture,” he said.

A Kedahan Acehnese were found to have 13 percent Indian components in their genes, the Minangkabau 8 percent, while the largest evidence of Indian components found was in the Lembah Bujang Malays.
Kelantanese, he said, were more “complicated” but their genes were mostly of South-East Asian components.

Malay pride
Also supporting the theory that the proto-Malays had emigrated into the world to found different civilisations was Universiti Sains Malaysia scientist Zafarina Zainuddin.

She said that her study is based on DNA derived from groups who have been living in the same place and can trace a pure Malay lineage for at least three generations.

“If he is, say, Kelantanese from Machang, he can trace his roots there for three generations. If he is unsure of his lineage or knows of mixture with Indian lineage for example, we exclude him,” she said.
She said that the research, which began in 2007 thanks to a RM1.4 million Higher Education Ministry grant, proves that Malays are the oldest community in Southeast Asia.

“The can be traced back to 60,000 years, similar to the Orang Asli,” she said.

“This is why I propose the “out of the Malay archipelago” theory... (of migration) starting from the Southeast Asian islands to Thailand, Indochina, mainland China and to North China,” she said.

She added that she hopes that the finding that “Malays have genetics which originate from the Malay land” reignites the “Malay spirit... so that people will be proud to be Malays”.

The conference was earlier officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Source : MK
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