The Malay race (consists into two groupings – Proto Malays and Malay Polynesians, or Melayu Darat and Melayu Laut), likely originates from the Yunnan province or surroundings. The early Malay (or Champa) civilizations are: Lin Yi (also called Fu Nan), located in what is South Vietnam and Cambodia today, the dates of the civilization is around 100AD until 1500AD during its peak, and finally ended with the last King of Champa who died in 1823. The remnant of this civilization is off course the Great Angkor Wat. The second great civilization of Malays is Sri Vijaya, located in Palembang (South Sumatera) – which I believe, the empire was established after waves of migration from the Champa continent by sea using the monsoon winds to South Sumatra. After the fall of Sri Vijaya, which was defeated by Majapahit of Java, Parameswara, the prince of Palembang migrated to Malacca, which in turns established the Sultanate and Empire of Malacca. From the Malacca Empire and Sultanates, then we saw the birth of many Sultanates and kingdoms in the Malay Peninsula (as most of the Malay Sultans are linked by marriage or by blood to the Malacca Sultanate).
Originally, Malaysia was occupied by the Proto Malays – which may migrate to the Peninsula in batches probably during the ice-age, when the continental plate and the Islands were connected by land. This Proto Malays are what we termed today as “orang asli”, the same is true for some other ethnics in Sabah and Sarawak (Ibans, Dayaks etc). The second major wave of migration is from the Champa (circa 500 AD till 1500 AD), as the great Champa Kingdom expands, the population expands southwards, which includes the southern Thai peninsula (what used to be called Pattani, which have the old Malay name of Langkasuka). These Malays are classified as the Malay Polynesians or Melayu Laut. They tend to settled around river mouths and of agrarian society in nature. Later on when the Arabs came to Asia by the sea, these Malays learned the seafaring activities, and then became sea faring people as well.
From the South, with the advancement of the Malacca Sultanate, the Malays from Sumatera, formerly of Sri Vijaya empires migrated to Malay Peninsula – which we saw the formation of Negeri Sembilan – immigrants from Padang, Sumatra; and the immigration of Bugis diasporas in Johor, Pahang, and Selangor (circa 1500AD until 1900AD). Later on we also see waves of immigrations from Java (central and east Java) to Johor and Selangor, around the period of late 1800s until early 1900s (the Javanese of Tanjung Karang, Kuala Selangor, as well as Batu Pahat, Muar, and the western coast of Johor). These immigrants, I would consider to be Malays, as they are from either Proto Malays origin (as some Javanese are), or Polynesian Malays (as most of others are). Other immigrants to the Malay Peninsula are either of Arabic or Indian origins (from the West), and of Chinese origins (from the East).
The original religion of the Malays is of some form of Animism or Paganism, which worships the Nature. But prominence among them is the belief in what we called as “Adat” or customs. In fact, the position of Adat is so high that it ranks higher than the religion itself (remember the sayings: “Biar mati anak asalkan jangan mati Adat”). Therefore, it is quite easy for Malays to accept new religions into their society, as these religions by belief do not pose any conflict with Animism, and as long as it does not threaten the Adat. Because of this, Malays embrace Hinduism, when they came to Asia; and in the same manner embrace Islam as it came. One thing that we must understand, when the Malays embrace Hinduism or Islam, they never leave their Adat. In fact the version of Hinduism or Islam that they embrace, is very much a mixed of religion and Adat. And this probably explains why the Sultans in our present constitution are called as Ketua Agama dan Adat Istiadat Melayu. This also explains why the names of the old Malay kings are interchangeable between Hindu names and Arabic (Muslim names).
The other major waves of migrations to Malaysia were during the British dominance of Malaya: where many Chinese and Indians were brought forth by the British, as well as general migration encouraged or allowed by the British into what then was called Malaya. This is when many new “cities” in the hinterland were then developed, and replace the river mouth cities of the old. Examples are Ipoh in Perak replacing Telok Intan, Kuala Lumpur replacing Kuala Selangor and Klang, and of course the populations of the Straits Settlements were expanded. All of these took place in the period of 1700s until early 1900s.
So all in all, the establishment of the Malaysian population took place from around 1500 until early 1900s – about 400 years in waves of immigrations. Starting with the Champa Malays, and then followed by the Sumatran Malays, then we have the Bugis and other sea faring Malays (from 1500s until 1700s). After that we have waves of Chinese, Indians, Javanese immigrants and other sorts of immigrants from 1700s until the 1900s. And thus explains what I claimed that Malaysia is really a “Nation of Immigrants”.
I hope this explains about my claims that claims of racial superiority over the land are rather dubious and incorrect. In fact those Malays who are “anti-Chinese” should understand that the Malays and Chinese pretty much originate from almost the same place: the Chinese continent (Yunnan and Champa). We all are immigrants to this Land. And for those Malays who are anti Indian, he must understand that in terms of Adat, the Malays are very integrally defined with the ancient India (Hinduism –as it forms most of the Malay Adats). Similarly, the same is true for any Chinese or Indians who are anti-Malays, should realize that our origins are so intricately close and linked. The bottom line is: We all share much more things than we differ. The racial divides that being promoted by some – are in actuality Political Divides – that is to expand a political agenda using racial justifications.
Hopefully now, if anyone wants to rebut you on this subject, please ask them to understand the history and culture first.