Keeping history in perspective

LETTER:.The sultans came to Malaya — an English word from malai, Tamil for hill — and colonised the Orang Asli and others.

It was the British who created the sultanates in their present form and the Conference of Rulers after hacking away the southern half of the Kra peninsula from the Siamese kingdom.

The British took three million acres from the Orang Asli and created reservations for Melayu — actually Bugis, Javanese, Minang, Aceh, Tamils, Malayalees, and Ahrab vatever — to stay. These lands — Malay reservation or tanah Melayu — have no titles. They were created by gazette. They can be degazetted and returned to the Orang Asli.

Only two million acres of Malay reservation land remains. The other one million acres have been degazetted.

There was no British colonial rule of Sarawak in the 1850s.

Colonialism is criminal exploitation of one country by another for the benefit of the former. It has been banned by international law.

The people in the colonised country are considered subjects of the colonising country.

During British colonial rule of Sarawak after World War II, the people of Sarawak were considered British subjects. Their birth certificates were stamped British subject.

British subject doesn’t mean British citizenship.

British citizenship means being a British national i.e. being British.

Brooke rule of Sarawak was not colonial rule. The people of Sarawak were not considered British subjects during Brooke rule.

The Brooke Dynasty freed Sarawak from Brunei colonial rule. The word Brunei either comes from Borneo and/or may be derived from Barunai, now known as Brunei Malay.

The Sarawak Malays are Bidayuh, Iban, Melanau and Orang Laut.

The Bidayuh nation is split by the international border between Malaysia and Indonesia in Borneo.

Split means being on either side of the border and spreading beyond.

The Iban nation is also split by the international border between Malaysia and Indonesia in Borneo.

The Melanau are not split by the international border. They are from Banjarmasin, south Kalimantan. Some of them transmigrated to Sarawak after one of them got a job with the Brunei sultanate in Sarawak.
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