Malay history: What’s missing from the textbooks (2)

The Chinese arrived at least 876 years before Parameswara reached Malacca. Could the Chinese have been the original royal lineage of Brunei?

By John Doe

Also interesting to note is the following:

In Late Yuan Dynasty, China became chaotic, people who lived along the coastal area of Fujian, under the leadership of Ong Sum Ping’s siblings, escaped to eastern Kalimantan — they landed at the river mouth. When they were exhausted, facing a shipping crisis, someone lost their arms. After that, the Kadazans named it as Sungai Kinabatangan — the place where the Chinese lost their arms.

Ong Sum Ping and his sister, and the Chinese people, developed the area of Sungai Kinabatangan and they increased their influence there. With the increase of his prosperity, the natives named him Raja or King. The Chinese named him ‘Chung Ping’ — meaning the General. We can clearly see that Ong Sum Ping controlled Eastern Kalimantan.

This is Ong Sum Ping Road in Brunei.

“Located the north-western part was the Sultanate Brunei; its southern area was controlled by local Malays (from Palembang) and they were in a state of decline. In the eastern part, they suffered from the invasion of the Muslim Sultan of Sulu. When the new (first) ruler — Sultan Muhammad Shah — ascended to the throne, he asked for the help of Ong Sum Ping. Sultan Muhammad Shah married his daughter to Ong Sum Ping, and titled him as Maharaja Lela. Muhammad Shah also asked his brother to marry the sister of Ong Sum Ping, and titled her as Puteri Kinabatangan. Via these marriages, these two regional powers built a close relationship. Under the cooperation of Ong Sum Ping and the Chinese armies, they fought against the Sulu Muslim invasion, and Brunei was saved from utter collapse…”

Without Chinese help, Brunei and Sabah would have collapsed and fallen to the Muslim pirate Suluks. And the year is the early 1400s. And for the record ‘Kina’ (kee-na) is used by Kadazan Dusun which, similar to ‘Cina’ (chee-na) used by Malay, refer to the Chinese. So, the correct way to say it in today’s context, is to call it CheenaBatangan, and Mount CheenaBalu, or Mount CheenaBaru (had they mispronounced it), and Kota CheenaBalu (to replace the British given name of Jesselton).

This is all in line with how the Kadazan pronounces Kina, to mean Cheena. Ask your Kadazans friends, if you want to find out more. (‘Sino’-anything means Chinese.)

Mt Kinabalu, is known as Mt CheenaBalu in the Kadazan Language.

This is the first clear record of the ‘Social Contract’. Both pendatangs would fight side by side to ward off other vicious attackers. Both pendatangs would help each other in times of need. And both pendatangs would intermarry, regardless of religion.

The second is that Maharaja Lela is a Chinese, and his name is General Ong Sum Ping. Now I ask you this: What is the significance of the title ‘Maharaja’? It contains the word ‘Maha’ followed by ‘Raja’. It is a title to mean ‘Most High King’. A title befitting a God and put together, it means “The God King, Lela”. The king of Thailand (Rama V, aka Chulalongkorn) also changed his name, from Dharma Raja to Dewa Raja)

Using one’s brains, one would easily deduce the following:

Firstly, the Sultan of Brunei was so extremely grateful that he elevated his Chinese brother-in-law to ‘God’ status.

Secondly, no Muslim is going to do that. ‘Maha’ anything is reserved for Allah. And to title his Chinese brother-in-law in this manner, whether Ong Sum Ping was a Muslim or not, is simply unthinkable had the Sultan really been a Muslim. Which again reinforces that Sultan Muhammad Shah was no Muslim.

Thirdly, Malaysia still has the title ‘Duli Yang Maha Mulia’ so I could be wrong about Muslims being able to call a human ‘Maha-something’ instead of the word reserved only for the divine.

And the best of course, is reserved for last:

“In fact according to Chinese records of the Liang Dynasty, Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty, Brunei had been sending her envoys to China and had also been receiving envoys from China. The earliest records stated that in the years 517AD, 521AD and 631AD, Brunei had sent her envoys to China. In 977AD, China sent her envoys to Brunei.” (see The Brunei Times)

The above sends a clear message that someone else was already King in Brunei circa 876 years before Sultan Muhammad Shah declared himself Sultan. It is also very clear that the Chinese were already in Brunei 53 years before the Prophet Muhammad was born.

Also important to note, the Chinese arrived at least 876 years before Parameswara reached Malacca. Could the Chinese have been the original royal lineage of Brunei? Remember that by the Year 53-Before-Prophet Muhammad, Chinese had already been living in Borneo. And never forget that the earliest Arabic maps label Malaya as ‘Barr Chin’ to mean Land of the Chinese.

And even earlier is this:

Second half of the 5th century: The Buddhist monk Hui-Shen and his Afghan companions travelled from China to Fu-Sang. Yes, the Afghans were Buddhists and carved the Bamiyan Buddhas that were destroyed by the Taliban.

Hui Sen visits Holotan (Java), on his way back to China. And the King of Java then sends seven missions to China begging them to recognize his kingdom, because no one else recognized them. This brings up strange questions. The Javanese kings did it, the Sultan of Brunei did it, and even Parameswara did it. Why were all these kings sucking up to the Chinese over the centuries? Is this what Ketuanan really means? Sucking up to China? All the Austronesians have certainly done it for the past 1,600 years, or more ….

Final parting thoughts …. Why are the oldest mosques in Malacca all shaped like Pagodas (in Trengkera)?

Why is there no ‘local’-shaped mosque architecture in Malacca? Why is there Bukit Cheena in Malacca, but no Bukit Melayu or more importantly, no Bukit Sultan? Why is there zero trace of any grave belonging to the Sultan of Malacca? Before anyone gives his lame excuse, there are at least 15 royal graves here in Brunei. All intact, all complete, and no missing links.

There are all records ranging from the Chinese (the later ones were Muslims) being in Borneo right from the fifth century right up till the 15th century. So the next time someone tells you that the Chinese only arrived in the 19th century …

Postscript: If I wrote a book on collective Southeast Asian History (complete with actual location photographs), I wonder how many of you people will buy it?

Related:  Malay history: What’s missing from the textbooks (1)



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Yoshiaki Ishizawa, ‘Chinese chronicles of C1st-5th century AD Funan’, citing Wan Zhen, Nanzhou yuwuzhi.

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quoted regarding irrelevance of these anchors.

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