The Lost City of Kota Gelanggi Archeological Find - (The First Immigrants to Malaysia)

I was reading an article just now in Facebook that claims how the Malaysian government downplayed a recent finding of Kota Gelanggi in Johor, Malaysia, that was touted to be the first civilization in Malaysia, 1000 years earlier than the Malacca empire. The reason given by the article was because Kota Gelanggi was Buddhist in nature and the discovery of it would very much undermine the position of the Malays as bumiputra. And to give the article a more authentic "feel", it was claimed that a Dr Lee Kam Hing, a former history "professor" from Singapore, wrote and did the research regarding Kota Gelanggi.


Being a Malaysian Chinese myself, i find myself very tempted to believe in what the article claims, that Malays were in fact not the first settlers in Malaysia but Chinese and Indians are. After all, the article did give a lot of credible looking proofs and we all love conspiracy theories, especially when it involves the Malaysian government and the bumiputera status.

However, as much as i am tempted to believe that those UMNO suckers are wrong all these time, something about the article did not look right.


One, if the article is indeed written by a Professor, it should have been published in some sort of journals, a requirement that every university professors should meet whenever they want o publish their work to the world. Although the article sounds and looks authentic, it is clearly lacking on the characteristics of a journal. The article did not mention what it was trying to prove and what was the purpose of the paper. It is lacking in citations, a definite research method, references to past work and the things that would make it look like a scholarly paper. The ending sentence, "The truth will never hurt anyone. Lies, always will", clearly serves a more political purpose rather than a scientific one.


Two, putting a National Institute of Education ( Singapore ) home page link http://www.nie.edu.sg/,at the end of the article clearly does not mean that the NIE endorses it. For all i know, i could write myself an article claiming how handsome am i and put Oxford's link at the end of the article to back my handsome claim. If the paper was published by the NIE, surely there will be a specific link to that article? To confirm my belief, i click on the NIE website attempting to search the original article from there but there was zero results. All i got was the NIE directors were planning to run together on the 15th of October, which has no connection with who came first to Malaysia. Another attempt to fool the readers.


Three, a Google search on Dr Lee Kam Hing indeed proves that he is a real person. However, using a real authoritative to back your claims is often a tactic used by many to make you believe that what they are saying is true. The question here would be, "Did Dr Lee really made the claim on Kota Gelanggi or did someone else misuse his name?"
Like i said earlier, in the scientific and scholarly world, it is very important for you to publish scholarly papers when you want to show the world your findings. It serves as a way of claiming ownership over your research. Much like the idea of copyright. A dig into his career found that among the papers that he published include The Sultanate of Aceh: Relations with the British 1760-1824 (Oxford University Press) and Education and Politics in Indonesia (University of Malaya Press); and jointly edited The Chinese in Malaysia (Oxford University Press), Christianity in Malaysia (Pelanduk Publications), The 1978 General Elections and Malaysian Politics (Oxford University Press) and The Biographical Dictionary of the Chinese in Malaysia (Pelanduk Publications). Nothing about Kota Gelanggi.
 So did Dr Lee said it? It is disputable. There's no proof showing that he said it but there's no proof disputing it either. But to give you a feel of what it would have looked like if Dr Lee indeed published a paper on this matter, you can check out this link of an article he's written: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34769054/The-English-Educated-Chinese-in-Malaysia. Completely different from the original article on Kota Gelanggi.


Four, the question remains on who wrote the original article. Some claim it was another Dr Lee Ong Kim, as evident from the second link i gave you above other than the Facebook one, but it is still debatable. A more detailed Google search returns an email in which this Dr Lee Ong Kim denies that he was responsible for this article. An excerpt: "Dear Prof. Dato Dr. Aminah Ayob and Prof. Datuk Dr. Zainal,
I received a message from Prof. Mansor yesterday and I found it necessary to inform him that I am NOT the person who wrote the article. I notice that I missed you in the c.c. list and so I am forwarding you my reply to him. I am saddened by the fact that there are people who can do “cut and paste” to make it appear that I am the author, whatever his or her reason is. I also notice that additional comments are made above the article, also to make it appear like the comments were mine. I find this truly unethical.
Nonetheless, the lesson for me is to stop forwarding such articles I receive, even to a few friends. I was too casual about it at that time."


Five, what actually did the mainstream media said? In 2006, an expedition lead by a group of Malaysian researchers have failed to uncover any evidence that Kota Gelanggi indeed exists at the time of press. However, orang asli villagers have reported on seeing the ruins quite a few times during their trips in the forest. In 2008, the Malaysian Press reported the discovery of an ancient bronze vessel or Kendi near a river close to Mentakab, Pahang Darul Makmur that may be connected to the ancient city of Kota Gelanggi in Johor Darul Takzim.


Conclusion? Kota Gelanggi may or may not exist and even if it does, it may or may not disprove the claim that Malays indeed came to Malaysia first. I know it is very easy to buy into all these conspiracy theories when you want to believe that the government and UMNO is wrong, but it is often advisable to take all these "news" with a pinch of salt. There are many irresponsible parties out there that will do anything to forward their agenda, including falsifying and over-exaggerating some elements of the news. Read into the behind story and do a conclusive research when faced with articles like this next time, the internet is your friend. 

And actually, there's really not much need in proving who actually came first, the Chinese, the Indians or the Malays. We all own this land. We all are Malaysians. It doesn't really matter who was first as long as we can live happily together. And speaking of who's first, i think the Chinese, the Malays and the Indians would all lose to the orang asli. They are the original settlers of this land. There's no need to dig up any kota-kota to prove that. Period.

Comments

  1. Salam Seni Beladiri, Luke, :),

    Reminds me of Luke Skywalker, your name is, hihihi...

    'Stumbled' upon your blog while researching for our 'Ops Kota Gelanggi'. Uncle guggel did that, actually.

    There is an indie group in Forum Harmoni which undertake it as their mission to dig up this kota. Comprises of multiple backgrounds, this group believes that this kota will uncovers history of our land and should be made known to the public as our shared heritage. The effort is on going and so far, funded by their own pocket money.

    Having said that, i hope you don't mind me sharing your point of view here, with them in there.

    Thank you and "Selamat Hari Raya Korban" to your friends who are celebrating it.

    :)


    Best regards,

    Mahadher bin Abdul Halim
    'Callsign' SEPULUH di FORUM HARMONI:
    http://www.harmoni-my.org/forum/index.php


    SENI BELADIRI :: OPS KOTA GELANGGI
    :: ||| i|i
    ~i|i~
    :)
    .

    ReplyDelete
  2. My husband met someone who was making a documentary about this site about 5/6 years ago. He mentioned many of the points in your article above ie they were filming a documentary about a site of historic interest which lies within the jungle of Malaysia which is as significant as Angkor Wat is in Cambodia.He said people were not allowed to go to the site and it was not well known or on the tourist trail.This site predated the inhabitants of present day Malaysia. He also said that after the film was made it was suppressed and never shown because it could change the current thinking of the history of Malaysia as it is presented today, and cause upset to the idea of who the first inhabitants of the country were. He also said it showed the religion of the first inhabitants to be Hindu, further causing concern to the Malay Muslim majority and the idea that they were the founders of Malaya and their Bumi Putra status. I started googling to try to find the name of the site and to find out if the documentary could be viewed online or what had happened to it when I came across this website which very much agreed with what he said. The film makers were not from Malaysia as I recall.I think they were from Singapore. Sorry I can't be more specific. That's all I remember.

    ReplyDelete
  3. itu lokdor tara baca punya olang....dulu olang melayu aa pernah anut agama hindu sama buddha jugak. Tp melayu sudah tukar itu agama kp islam, sbb sudah talak pecaya sama itu tuhan manyak2. There is no god but Allah the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Buddhist ka Hindu ka..x bermaksud mereka tu India Atau cina..Kalo nak kata Kota Gelanggi tu cina sbb Buddhist..kalo camtu org melyu pulak org Arab sbb kami pakai nama arab dan beragama islam..see,funny isnt it..how can u determine one race just by relegion..In malaysia we also have INDIAN muslim n CHINESE muslim..so r they malays/Arab..NO!! They r INDIAN n CHINESE..regardless of they relegion..Once, de malays also BUDDHIST n HINDU before they convert to islam 14-15 ce..so before that the malays we either Pagan,HINDUU or BUDDHIST..do u UNDERSTAND the concept..If u ask me Peninsular Malays were decend from MON-KHMER People from IndoChina just like Melayu-Proto..Before u guys make n assumption try to understand the malays in this state first KEDAH,PAHANG, KELANTAN, TERENGGANU, n south thais..learn they langguage, learn they culture n traditions..then u will understand what i`m talking about..believe me..u will find something from them..

    ReplyDelete
  5. PLEASE READ MORE BOOKS BEFORE YOU PUBLISH THIS. READ THE OLD SEJARAH BOOKS.
    THE FACTS WERE NEVER COVER UP.
    ITS A FACTS THAT EARLY RELIGION WERE HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM.
    MOST OF ASIAN COUNTRIES HAVING THE SAME RELIGION.
    BUT OPEN UP YOUR SMALL BRAIN AND THINK....IF YOU CANT, LET ME TEACH YOU....RELIGION AND RACE ARE 2 DIFFERENT THING!
    IT WAS BELIEVE THAT ADMIRAL CHENG HO DID REACHED AMERICA. SO, U MEAN UNITED STATES IS ACTUALLY BELONG TO CHINESE.

    LUKE, IF YOU WANT TO FIND TRUTH, STUDY AND DO RESEARCH. THEN PUBLISH A BOOK. DONT JUST QUOTE SOME DUMB ARTICLE ONLINE AND POST THEM, SO THAT YOU LOOKS SMART. ( NOBODY KNOW THAT YOU ARE AN IDIOT UNTIL YOU PUBLISH ALL THESE STUFF.)

    ReplyDelete
  6. SO KOTA GELANGI IS BUDDHIS LOST CITY,SO IT BELONG TO THE CHINNESSE.WHAT ARE PATHETIC MORON YOU ARE,THIS IS MALAY PENISULAR, RULE BY MALAY ETHNIC FOR OVER THOUSAND YEAR. MALAY RACE OR SUB MALAY ETHNIC BUGIS,JAWA,MINANGKABAU ETC.ALL KNOWN BASE ON HISTORY,BEFORE ISLAM CAME OVER TO EAST ASIA,PEOPLE HERE ARE HINDU OR BUDDHIS RELIGION,MAKE GREAT CIVILAZATION....PLEASE STUDY MORE ABOUT SAILENDRA EMPIRE,SRIVIJAYA EMPIRE THE GREAT MARITIME POWER FOR 3000 THOUSAND YEAR BEFORE WESTERN COLONIAL CAME OVER,THE ONE WHO BUILD THE GREAT BOROBUDOR IN JAWA.THE LARGE BUDDHIS TEMPLE IN WORLD ALSO ANGKOR WAT IN KAMPUCHEA OR EVENT HARIPUNJAYA IN KAMPUCHEA/THAI BORDER..DONT STUPID SO MUCH...RASIS

    ReplyDelete
  7. STUPID ARTICLE NO HISTORY VALUE.....RASIS..U DONT KNOW ABOUT HISTORY....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once again our government wiped out any references to a famous Melaka prince as being Hindu and belonging to the powerful Hindu empire Sri Vijaya. So all of a sudden our museums, school text-books, etc. all refer to Parameswara as a Malay prince.

      What race ruled or did not rule is besides the point. What is important is not butchering history to create your own truths. You cannot change your race even if you convert - Parameswara could have been responsible for Umno's proud heritage of 'Ketuanan Melayu'.

      If this is what it is based on, there is no 'Ketuanan Melayu'.The lineage of Melaka Sultans are Indians, not Malays. It is no secret that Parameswara was an Indian and a Hindu prince.

      It is clear from records that Parameswara never converted to Islam. He was an Indian Hindu who fled Palembang in Sumatra to eventually found Melaka circa 1400 AD. It was Sri Maharaja who converted himself and the court of Melaka to Islam, and as a result took on the name of Sultan Muhammad Shah sometime after 1435.

      The most famous of Indian Hindu Kings were Raja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola who invaded Southern Thailand, Kedah, Perak, Johor and Sumatra about 1000 AD. This is Raja-raja Chola - the Indian/Hindu kings and not Raja Chulan - a Malay king. But what is really sad is that our children are taught as though Malaysian history suddenly began in 1400 with an Islamic Melaka.

      We are led to believe that the Indians and Chinese first arrived on the shores of Malaysia in about 1850 as desperate indentured labourers, farmers and miners. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      The cultural influences of India in particular, and China, in South East Asia span over 2,000 years, starting with the arrival from India of the Brahmanical prince/scholar - Aji Saka in Java in AD78, through to Vietnam, Cambodia (Indo China), Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Bali, Borneo, Brunei and beyond.

      The findings at Bujang Valley speak of an ancient Indian/Hindu presence in Kedah. There were Chinese settlements in Pahang and Kelantan around the 13th-14th century and in 12th century in Singapore.

      The early Brunei Sultanate had a Chinese Queen. One need not ponder at length the implications of Angkor Wat and Borobudur or that 40%-50% of Bahasa Malaysia comprises Sanskrit/Tamil words. To illustrate, some of these words are :
      bumi = boomi
      singgasana = singgasanam
      putra = putran
      perdana = pirathamar
      raja = rajah
      menteri = manthiri
      desa = thesa
      kapal = kappal
      syakti = sakthi
      samudra = samuthiram
      kolam = kulam
      sepatu = sappattu
      bahaya = abahya
      jaya = jeya
      maha = maha
      aneka = aneha
      nadi = naadi
      kedai = kadai
      mahligai = maaligai
      mantra = manthrum
      tandas = sandas
      (This list can go on)
      An extremely important archaeological find that pointed to one of the greatest empires in history - the Raja Chola empire that ruled from the Maldives through India, Sri Lanka and right down to South East Asia found deep in the jungles of Johor a few years ago and made headlines in the mainstream newspapers in 2005, suddenly disappeared from the news...

      The time has arrived for us to record our history as the facts tell us and not as we would like to wish it.

      Delete
  8. A small piece of History for our future generation, of Indian Malaysian.

    Hitler's public relations manager, Goebbels, once said, 'If you repeat a lie often enough , it becomes the truth.' this reference to Chinese and Muslimin's


    Once again our government wiped out any references to a famous Melaka prince as being Hindu and belonging to the powerful Hindu empire Sri Vijaya. So all of a sudden our museums, school text-books, etc. all refer to Parameswara as a Malay prince.

    What race ruled or did not rule is besides the point. What is important is not butchering history to create your own truths. You cannot change your race even if you convert - Parameswara could have been responsible for Umno's proud heritage of 'Ketuanan Melayu'.

    If this is what it is based on, there is no 'Ketuanan Melayu'.The lineage of Melaka Sultans are Indians, not Malays. It is no secret that Parameswara was an Indian and a Hindu prince.

    It is clear from records that Parameswara never converted to Islam. He was an Indian Hindu who fled Palembang in Sumatra to eventually found Melaka circa 1400 AD. It was Sri Maharaja who converted himself and the court of Melaka to Islam, and as a result took on the name of Sultan Muhammad Shah sometime after 1435.

    The most famous of Indian Hindu Kings were Raja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola who invaded Southern Thailand, Kedah, Perak, Johor and Sumatra about 1000 AD. This is Raja-raja Chola - the Indian/Hindu kings and not Raja Chulan - a Malay king. But what is really sad is that our children are taught as though Malaysian history suddenly began in 1400 with an Islamic Melaka.

    We are led to believe that the Indians and Chinese first arrived on the shores of Malaysia in about 1850 as desperate indentured labourers, farmers and miners. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The cultural influences of India in particular, and China, in South East Asia span over 2,000 years, starting with the arrival from India of the Brahmanical prince/scholar - Aji Saka in Java in AD78, through to Vietnam, Cambodia (Indo China), Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Bali, Borneo, Brunei and beyond.

    The findings at Bujang Valley speak of an ancient Indian/Hindu presence in Kedah. There were Chinese settlements in Pahang and Kelantan around the 13th-14th century and in 12th century in Singapore.

    The early Brunei Sultanate had a Chinese Queen. One need not ponder at length the implications of Angkor Wat and Borobudur or that 40%-50% of Bahasa Malaysia comprises Sanskrit/Tamil words. To illustrate, some of these words are :
    bumi = boomi
    singgasana = singgasanam
    putra = putran
    perdana = pirathamar
    raja = rajah
    menteri = manthiri
    desa = thesa
    kapal = kappal
    syakti = sakthi
    samudra = samuthiram
    kolam = kulam
    sepatu = sappattu
    bahaya = abahya
    jaya = jeya
    maha = maha
    aneka = aneha
    nadi = naadi
    kedai = kadai
    mahligai = maaligai
    mantra = manthrum
    tandas = sandas
    (This list can go on)
    An extremely important archaeological find that pointed to one of the greatest empires in history - the Raja Chola empire that ruled from the Maldives through India, Sri Lanka and right down to South East Asia found deep in the jungles of Johor a few years ago and made headlines in the mainstream newspapers in 2005, suddenly disappeared from the news...

    The time has arrived for us to record our history as the facts tell us and not as we would like to wish it.

    ReplyDelete

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