Saturday, February 12, 2011

Problems With Malay Theory Part V

Continuing with the earlier posts on Ralph Olsen’s claim that the Land of Promise was located in the Malay Peninsula, we find that archaeologists consider this land to have been peopled much earlier than the Jaredites.

Anthropologists claim that the first inhabitants of the Malay Peninsual were probably Negritos—a term that refers to several ethnic groups in isolated parts of Southeast Asia. Their current populations include 12 Andamanese tribes of the Andaman Islandes, six Semang tribes of Malasia, the Mani of Thailand, and the Aeta, Agta, Ati and 30 other tribes of the Philippines. Negritos share some common physical features with African pygmy populations, including short stature, natural afro-hair texture, and dark skin—hardly anything matching the Book of Mormon descriptions, especially with the Jaredites who are described as large and mighty men (Ether 1:5:26). Later, around 2500 B.C., Austronesians began migrating to the Malay and that they came from Taiwan, colonizing as far as New Zealand.

In addition, Chinese records, which are some of the earliest reliable records that tells of early Southeast Asia, state that in the 2nd and 3rd century A.D., there were more than a hundred kingdoms in what they referred to as the southern seas—that is, the Malay Peninsula, who were also referred to as Sea tribes and as the People of the Straits.

Anthropologists also trace the home of the Malay race to the northwestern part of Yunnan, in China—these Jakun were a seafaring people, and were once probably the people of coastal Borneo who expanded into Samatra and the Malay Peninsula as a result of trading and seafaring way of life. Traders and settlers from China and India are claimed to have arrived in the peninsula as early as the 1st century A.D., at a time when the Nephites were experiencing their greatest period of unity and peace and there were no separation or classifications among them. These settlers established towns and trading ports in an area where the Nephites were expanding in large numbers. Such infiltration is hardly the history of the Land of Promise.

Trade is also found beginning and flourishing between southern Malay with India in the 4th century A.D., at a time when the Nephites and Lamanites were locked in a 50-year war of annihilation. Trade also flourished at this time between western Malay and Sumatra. Again, hardly a match for the Land of Promise.

As to the Peninsula’s history, the northwest peninsula was the earliest development (Kadaram or Kataha), and settlement worked its way south down along the peninsula—in the opposite direction of the Land of Promise. People from Sumatra (across the Strait of Malaccu—a distance of anywhere from about 5 miles in the south, to as much as 180 miles in the extreme north) were continually invading and settling in Malay, again, not a part of the Land of Promise history.

In addition, the kingdom of Langkasuka was established in the 1st century A.D., called “Lang-ya-xiu” by the Chinese. The Old Kingdom of Kedah was also established at that time, whose early history can be traced from various sources, such as the archeological site of Bujang Valley, the early Maritime trade of India, Persia, Arabs to the written works of early Chinese pilgrims and early Chinese records, the Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa—the Kedah Annals), to Al-Tarikh Salasilah Negeri Kedah. In the early days, Kedah was known by the Tamils as Kedaram, Kidagam, and Kataha, and to the Persians as Kalah or Kalaha.

Obviously, there is no history involved in the Malay Peninsula, including archaeolgocial and anthropological findings, actual records, etc., that show any similarity whatsoever with the Land of Promise.

(See the next post, “Problems With Malay Theory, Part VI,” to see why the climate and precipitation would now grow seeds from Jerusalem, and why Old World animals are found there)

1 comment:

  1. I think Olsen would argue that Zhenla and Langkasuka were the Nephite/Lamanite societies. So their existence supports the theory. Legend (as recorded by the Chinese) state that Zhenla was founded by a foreigner that received a divine mission to cross the seas. Chinese explorers describe cities with walls and towers and communities ruled by kings.

    The Kedah Annals of Merong Mahawangsa were works of fiction that came a millennia or two later. Nobody considers them history.

    Your arguments against the Malay theory all hinge on the argument that since we're not told about it in the Book of Mormon, it can't be true. But my guess is all those less important things were probably cut out of the abridgment and sealed up in the hills by Mormon with all the other records that we've never read. There are plenty of extant legends in SE Asia talking about buried golden books bearing ancient histories that have been lost.