KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Archaeological and genetic research suggests that ancient Proto-Malays who lived in the Sunda Shelf were the ancestors of the human race.
In a video presentation at the conference on the origin of the Malay race here, conference deputy chairwoman Zaharah Sulaiman explained how inhabitants on the Sunda Shelf survived the Toba super-volcanic eruption 75,000 years ago.
She added that the group, having left Africa, was forced to migrate to other parts of the world 25,000 years ago due to global warming, which she said caused floods that divided the Sunda Shelf into islands.
Supporting this theory was University Sains Malaysia scientist Zafarina Zainuddin, whose DNA-based study claims to trace “pure Malay lineage” for at least three generations.
Financed by a RM1.4 million grant from the Higher Education Ministry, Zafarina’s research ostensibly shows that Malays are the oldest community in South-East Asia.
“They can be traced back to 60,000 years,” Zafarina said.
She added that by finding “Malays have genetics which originate from Malay land”, this would reignite the “Malay spirit” so people will be proud to be Malays.
The conference was officially launched by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhiddin Yassin, who expressed hoped the convention will contribute positively to the development of Malays as well as other races and religion in the country.