By: RaY KinZoKu

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Tuesday, 18-Jul-2006 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark

One fine Friday morning,
over a cup of milk coffee, Nasi Kerabu Daging Bakar and a morning Malay language newspaper,
I stumbled across this news :

Source : Utusan Malaysia, Friday 14th July 2006.
Online source : Orang Kelantan Melayu sebenar?

I did mention about the same thing in my past entry ( So, Where DID You ~ Come From ?, 25 Nov 2005 ).
I thought the story had ended there, where I wrote, but months passed and it returned in the local daily.

Then, a few days later,
an article, obviously referring to the matter, appeared in the local English newspaper :

Source : The New Straits Times, 18th July 2006

A CHAMPION : Do the Kelantanese hold the unscathed, original Malay DNA ?

* Image info :
A proud owner with his invincible fighting bull, a champion.
Bullfighting was a popular sport in Kelantan in the early 20th century and gambling ( betting ) was heavily associated with it.
The sport, along with Cockfighting is now illegal by law and considered sinful in Islam.
* Image source : Kelantan A State Of The Malay Peninsula, W.A Graham, 1905

Though not yet conclusive ( as it will take another 3 years for the whole result ),
but the idea of suggesting the Kelantanese Malay as being the original Malay, is not surprising.

Surfing the internet on Kelantan, I often come across with descriptions on the state, like :


" Kelantan's history dates to between 8000-3000 B.C. Kelantan boasts of a historical past that date as far back as prehistoric times. During the early Chinese era, Kelantan was influenced by the Indianized Funan Kingdom of the Mekong River..... "

From : Kelantan @

Kelantan has a very long historical past.
A significant existence that even predate the well known and well reputed Melakan Sultanate.
A fact that is agreed by most experts and researchers.

Governed in the past by many kings and queens,
Kelantan is also said to be a part of an ancient Kingdom of the Ithmus, the Langkasuka.
It is even mentioned in the early Chinese records ( like the Ming Shi Lu, for instance ) and
on the early maps made by Dutch/Portuguese explorers, Kelantan often appeared as a town
in the East Coast of Malay Peninsula, marked as " Calantan " or " Calantao ".

However, the "Original Malay" idea is not just supported by the fact that Kelantan has a long history but also by the habit of most Kelantanese, since olden days, of maintaining the originality of their gene pool through marriage within their own groups.

When they are not at that, they would venture outside,
opening up new lands, engaging in trades or even embarking on study trips as far as the Middle East, a practice that has been going for generations

( no, not since PAS governs Kelantan like many non-Kelantanese would like to believe, that got nothing to do with this ages old tradition. )
and in the process, stretching their strands of DNA to the non-Kelantanese, which often comes with unexpected outcomes :


" ........ From Hang Tuah's description, it is clear that on the Isthmus, powerful and well-established kingdoms such as Kelantan and Pattani preceded the founding of the Melakan Sultanate. Melaka did manage to defeat Kelantan on its second attempt and ended with a marriage of the Kelantan Princess, Onang Kuning, to Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Melaka. Their prince, Muzaffar Shah became the first sultan of Perak in 1531.

....One noteworthy aspect of the wars between Kelantan and Melaka is the fact that in the Malay world of those days there was a blurred line between conquest and alliance. We can see this in the fact that the "defeated" Kelantan dynasty, through Princess Onang Kuning, ended up establishing marital ties with the sultanates of Melaka, Johor, and Perak....."

From :
Zulkifli Mohamad : Evanescent Kingdoms, Everlasting Spirit ~ Seeking Langkasuka
( Section : North versus South )

Alternative Source :

Perak Sultanate came to being through a Kelantanese royal womb ?
The source was Sejarah Melayu ( translated : The Malay Annals ).
So if you believe Tun Seri Lanang, then you should believe that too.

* Source : Kelantan A State Of The Malay Peninsula, W.A Graham, 1905 - Chapter VIII " Language ", page 36

Besides, when the root of human family tree itself is shallow, then that most probably be true.
Pretty amazing, isnt it ?

One thing for sure,
the study will not only be about the Kelantanese Malay but other major Malay groups as well.
to know who is the original Malay is interesting
but the whole process of identifying the "original" genetic traits of a "true" Malay from each
and every Malay groups throughout the archipelago is a complex and time consuming work
hence the three years time.

Placing the Kelantanese Malay within its scope is merely to prove that the Kelantanese bloodlines,
through long continuing practice of in-groups marriage, centuries of living in geographical and cultural seclusion, are pure like it were hundreds if not thousands years ago, representing the original sea-going Malays of ancient days, who sailed from island to island and gave the whole archipelago their own identity.

To me,
whatever the result,
it is always interesting to know who is..... the " ORIGINAL " !

( Hey, who wanna buy fake anyway ? ha ha )

" Mari kita tengok siapa yang kena ! " , Ibrahim Pendek - Ali Baba Bujang Lapok

In The Blogosphere :

The Last Living Malay is from Kelantan ?
A Proto Malay in me?
Kelantanese (Vietnamese) Original People Of Malaysia - Academics
Melayu,Orang Asli keturunan berbeza
iSu ~ ::_BeNaRkAh MeLaYu KeLaNtaN MeLaYu PaLiNg TuLeN ?_ ...
Saya Ore Kelante : Orang Kelantan Melayu sebenar?

Orghe Kelate Kito~
Melayu Sebenar

Brain Supplements :

Even the sheeps in Kelantan are unique !

Roots of human family tree shallow


A comment made by a visitor, math_sokhontear ( see below ) made me to come up with this quote from an article on the internet.

On the Cham Malays, a group of people of Malayo-Polynesian ethnicity descended from the IndoChinese Lost Kingdom of Champa, a kingdom prior to the Khmer, Thai or even Nyuyen ( Viet ) empires. Despite being surrounded by Sino-Tibetans ( Thai, Khmer, Viet etc ), the Chams are Malayo-Polynesian by ethnicity, like the Malays of the Archipelago.

Very interesting to know their deep relation with other Malays especially with the Kelantanese, a fact that the Kelantanese themselves are very much familiar with :


People-to-people relations between the Chams and the Malays were not confined to religious activities. It is likely that the Chams had been frequenting Kelantan for many centuries.

Several place names there, such as Pengkalan Chepa and Kampung Chepa, suggest close ties between the two peoples and wide acceptance on the part of the Malays. There were costume and textile names associated with Champa, for example, tanjak Chepa (headdress), sutra Chepa (silk), and kain Chepa (cloth). Chepa is used to describe one type of keris (dagger). There was padi Chepa (Champa paddy) and sanggul Chepa (a hair decoration).

It is believed that a mosque in Kampung Laut was built by Cham sailors who frequented Kelantan. And according to the Hikayat Kelantan (Kelantan Annals), the ancestors of Long Yunus, the founder of the present-day Kelantan sultanate, originated in a state known as Kebayat Negara or Kembayat Negara, which is believed to be Champa.

Vietnam-Champa Relations and the Malay-Islam Regional Network in the 17th–19th Centuries
by Danny Wong Tze Ken.

Foot Note :
To the Kelantanese, " Champa " or " Chepa " is an old reference to the Cham people. Nowadays, the term " Orghae Kembojo " ( Cambodian people ) is commonly used instead, due to the present day political & geographical understandings ( since many Chams settle in Cambodia than their original homeland in coastal southern Vietnam. )

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