Saturday, June 10, 2017

Malay Peninsula—Not the Home of Lehi – Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding a Reader’s view of the Malay Theory and our response to that. 
    The Reader also has stated about Malay “It was known as an island, and it very well could have been an island as the sea levels were 2 meters higher between the time of the Jaredites and the the time of the Lehites”; however, in the writings of the 1500s of Sumatra and Peninsular Malay, there is not only no mention of any such thing, but a long, constant record of both Chinese and Malay writings talking about Malay as a peninsula. Equally important, is the geologic work done in this area showing just the opposite, not that “island” and “sea levels were higher,” but in actuality they were lower and what is now islands and a long, narrow peninsula was much earlier larger, connected land areas as the following geologic maps show based on geological findings as shown in Harold K. Voris, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois:

The area of Indonesia, including the Malay Peninsula as viewed geologically over the past 120 million years (top) to 40 million years ago (middle) to 10 million years ago (bottom)—certainly showing geologically that Malay went from a much larger area to the present shape long before the Jaredites and Nephite, which totally contradicts his claim – Maps According to Blackwell Science Ltd 2000, Journal of Biogeography, vol27, pp1153-1167. The point is, the opposite of what the Reader claims
There are eight maps in all covering the time involved for the purpose of primarily serving to illustrate how the Sunda Shelf connects the major islands of the Indonesian archipelago (Sumatra, Java and Borneo, the latter still connected to to the mainland of Southeast Asia) with Indochin and how the Sahul Shelf forms a broad connected between Australia and New Guinea. It should be kept in mind that sea levels over the past 30 million years in this area have been well documented in associated with tectonic changes (R. Hall & J.D. Holloway, Biogeograhy and Geological Evolution of Southeast Asia, Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 1998, p417).
    It might also be noted that the reference of the Island of Qumr has absolutely no references that we can find anywhere connected to Malay or Indonesia. A wide-range of searches brings up Comoro or Comorous in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa, which has a city called Moroni as its capital, coming to us from the Bantu language Mūrūnī and meaning “in the heart of the fire.” It also has references to the Arabic “qamar” in reference to the “Moon,” though “qamar” actually means “whiteness.”  In relation to a people, the Arabs associated or designated the Qumr/Khmers (Cambodians) as ethnic brothers of the Chinese, but the origins of the word Qumr, continue to be unclear; however, qamar, associated with the “moon” was a deity worshipped in Babylonia during the Jewish occupation there. Kumra in Aramaic means “priest,” Qumran or Qumaran mean “the two moons” or “sun and moon.” The root QMR in Hebrew can also mean “gambling.”
In addition, using this reader’s earlier comment of the 15th century, Tomé Pires, a Portuguese apothecary  one of the first Europeans to arrive in South East Asia after the Portuguese conquest, wrote in his Suma Oriental (A history of the Eastern Lands and a book of Asian  trade from the Red Sea up to the Chinese) 1512-1515 about being in Malaca, where he avidly collected and documented information on the Malay-Indonesia area, and personally visited Java, Sumatra, and Maluku) and speaks of the Terra de Tana Malaio which he referred to the southeastern part of Sumatra, where the deposed Sultan of Melaka, Mahmud Shah established his exiled government. A little later, the Portuguese historian, Emanuel Godinho de Erédia wrote of the region of "Malaios" surrounded by the Andaman Sea in the north, the entire Malacca Strait in the center, a part of Sunda Strait in the south, and the western part of South China Sea in the east (Mohamed Anwar Omar Din, "Asal Usul Orang Melayu: Menulis Semula Sejarahnya (The Malay Origin: Rewrite It's History)," Juirnal Melayu, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2011, pp28–30). In not one of these instances, of historians and professional people writing about this area of the Malay Peninsula spoke of it as "an island" the Reader indicates, but all referred to it as a peninsula.
    This is found in the history of Krabi, a part of Kra Peninsula (Isthmus of Kra that connects the Peninsula to the Asian continent) dating to 1200 A.D. and referred to as a peninsula.
    Originally, the Malay Peninsula was referred to as the Kra Peninsula, connected to the mainland by the Khokhok Kra, a narrow neck of southern Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand, which connected the Malay Peninsula to the Asian mainland. This area, by the way has an elevation of 4580 feet—rather difficult to submerge beneath sea level. In fact, the Kra Isthmus, the joining of the southern peninsula to the mainland, is the joining of two cordillera mountain chains or between two sections of the central cordillera, the mountain chain which runs from Tibet through the Malay peninsula. The southern part is called the Phuket chain, which is a continuation of the greater Tenasserim range, extending further northwards for over 250 miles beyond the Three Pagodas Pass. The Titiwangsa Mountains are to the south, 28 miles from Songkhla.
This has always been a connected land, not an island. The very name Indo-chinois when first given (later Indo-China) to describe the area's inhabitant and their languages ("Further India" and "Peninsula beyond the Ganges" were also terms initially suggested), to describe the continuation of the Asian continent. Today it is usually referred to as Mainland Southeast Asia
    According to David S. Woodruff, of the Ecology, Behavior, Evolution Section, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, in the Neogene marine transgressions, palaeogeography and biogeographic transitions on the Thai–Malay Peninsula, the Malay Peninsula is tectonically stable peninsula, including those associated with periods of lower sea levels, and has always been so.
    Prior to the foundation of Melaka, reference to Malay peninsula was made in different terms from various foreign sources. According to several Indian scholars, the word Malayadvipa ("mountain-insular continent"), mentioned in the ancient Indian text, Vayu Purana, refers to the Malay peninsula. Another Indian source, an inscription on the south wall of the Brihadeeswarar Temple, recorded the word Malaiur, referring to a kingdom in Malay peninsula that had "a strong mountain for its rampart.” The Greek source, Geographia, written by Ptolemy, labelled a geographical part of Golden Chersonese as Maleu-kolon, a term thought to derive from Sanskrit malayakolam or malaikurram. While the Chinese chronicle of Yuan Dyasty mentioned the word Ma-li-yu-er, referring to a nation of Malay peninsula that threatened by the southward expansion of Sukhothai Kingdom under King Ram Khamhaeng. Marco Polo made a reference to Malauir in his travelogue, as a kingdom located in the Malay peninsula, possibly similar to the one mentioned in Yuan chronicle. Vayu purana, an ancient Hindu text from as early as 350 B.C., along with the Brahmanda Purana text, speaks of the area as a peninsula, not as a separate island as you claim. The aforementioned Vayu Purana discusses its theories of cosmology, genealogy of gods and kings of solar and lunar dynasties, mythology, geography, manvantaarask, the solar system and the movements of the celestial bodies, etc.

The point is, there are numerous odd-ball type writing that can be sighted, some mainstream, most not, but we have yet to find any that deal with the Malay Peninsula ever being an island, but just the opposite, i.e., that much of Indonesia was a single land mass. 
   At the same time we need to keep in mind that some parts of the world refer to Indonesia as the Malay Archipelago (Kepulauan Melayu/Nusantara), which in addition to the peninsula and Borneo/Malay main island, contains some 25,000 total islands, covering 770,000 square miles (1.2 million square miles of sea and land space), and also referred to as Maritime Southeast Asia. It is only natural that the term “island” be applied loosely to numerous places, especially the southern area of the Peninsula; however, no geologic terms of an island have ever been given relating to the Malay Peninsula as a whole.
A gilded map of Nusantara in the Hall of Independence, Jakarta. Dating back to 1336 the term Nusantara has referred to, and literally means, the Malay Archipelago, with the Malay Peninsula at the top and connected to mainland Asia

It should also be noted that the term Nusantara, in Malay, means “Malay World” and has referred to the Peninsula of Malay and the Malay portion of Borneo island since at least 1275 A.D. Indonesian historians believed that the concept of Nusantara was not an idea coined in 1275 as Cakravala Mandala Dvipantara by Kertanegara of Singhasari Dvipantara is a Sanskrit word for the "islands in between" (Wahyono Suroto Kusumoprojo Indonesia negara maritime, PT Mizan Publika, 2009), the synonym to Nusantara as both dvipa and nusa mean "island." The term is used to describe the Southeast Asian Archipelago. Kertanegara envisioned the union of Southeast Asian maritime kingdoms under Singhasari as a bulwark against the rise of the expansionist Mongol Yuan dynasty in mainland China.
    “The islands in between” or more accurately “The islands within” the archipelago in Nusantara were referred to as Negara Agung, the Grand State, or Core Kingdom (the Malay Peninsula and the Malay of Borneo island), and Mancanegra, areas surrounding Negara Agung, which meant “outer islands” and included Java, Sumatra, and many of the other islands. This information can be found in the Pararaton (Pustaka Raja, Sanskrit for Book King, or Book of Kings), a Javanese chronicle dating between 1222 and 1292 A.D.


  1. I have a prediction: (1) I will provide one piece of evidence at a time that the Malay Peninsula was considered an island by many geographers for centuries. (2) You will find some way of dismissing each and every item.

    For starters, this map from 1300 AD clearly shows the Malay Peninsula as a long island.

    Now you will most likely dismiss this 700 year old map because it was drawn by an Arab, or because it doesn't have English on it anywhere, or because the publication house that reprinted it doesn't score high enough in the Citation Index, or because its too old, or too new, or some other reason. I'm curious to see which it will be this time.

    Here's the book: "Maps of Malaysia and Borneo: Discovery, Statehood and Progress
    By Frédéric Durand, Richard Curtis"

    1. With with all the evidence against your claim that Malaysia could be the place you still cling on to the thing. Del has destroyed your theory in so many ways Jay why not just accept that you've got the wrong place. You come up with one outlining source whereas there are multiple other sources that say its wrong and yet you cling to this one little piece of information.

      We need to recap why your theory is dead wrong.

      1. It was not an Island - ever
      2. Nephi couldn't get there in a ship driven before the wind.
      3. The people are not Hebrew but descend from the Chinese
      4. Moroni told Joseph that the BOM record was of the former inhabitants of AMERICA.
      5. FG Williams wrote in the 1830's long before the winds/currents and climate of Chile were known that they landed at 30-degrees South Lattitude after sailing out of Arabia.

      There are many others but you just can drop it even though you have been proven in so many ways as wrong. This is the worst of the theories of the BOM. It is absurd to think that the people of Malaysia are Lamanites when when don't have any resemblance at all.

      Give it rest unknown-Jay and stick by your promise to stop talking about it. You haven't presented one bit of creditable evidence that would make me even want to pursue it any further.

      I wonder now if you are related to the fellow that came up with this lousy theory and somehow you feel compelled to defend it at all costs.

    2. "1. It was not an Island - ever"

      That's not what geologists, historians, and the tribes that have lived on the Malay Peninsula for over 2000 years say. I am unaware of any evidence to suggest that South America was an island at any point within the last 6000 years.


      "2. Nephi couldn't get there in a ship driven before the wind."

      He very easily could have. Studies have shown that drift (wind + currents) takes floating objects that enter the ocean off the coast of Oman directly to the Malay Peninsula. I am unaware of any evidence to suggest objects could float from Oman to Chile.


      "3. The people are not Hebrew but descend from the Chinese."

      The Bnei Menashe of Myanmar have been recognized as the Tribe of Manasseh. They have strong claims that are endorsed by the Israeli Knesset. I am unaware of any evidence that the people of Chile are of Hebrew descent, and that they don't come from the same genetic stock as East Asians and Siberians, or "Chinese" as you call them.


      "4. Moroni told Joseph that the BOM record was of the former inhabitants of AMERICA."

      ...and the source from whence they sprang, which was Asia.


      "5. FG Williams wrote in the 1830's long before the winds/currents and climate of Chile were known that they landed at 30-degrees South Latitude after sailing out of Arabia."

      Orson Pratt wrote in the 1830s that the Lehites passed through the islands, he said nothing about a southern passage that avoided the islands.

      Source: "On board this vessel they embarked, and were guided by the Almighty across the great Indian Ocean. Passing among the islands, how far south of Japan I do not know, they came round our globe, crossing not only the Indian Ocean, but what we term the great Pacific Ocean, landing on the western coast of what is now called South America. " - Discourse by Elder Orson Pratt, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, February 11, 1872. Reported by David W. Evans.


      PS, I am not related to Ralph Olsen. Although I exchanged 3 or 4 emails with him before he passed away, I never met him. Although I wish that I had that opportunity.

    3. Correction, Orson Pratt spoke of the Lehites passing through the islands in the 1870s. Related to your claim that the Malay/Austronesians don't resemble the Lamanites at all. Orson Pratt also said: "Here let me say again, according to the Book of Mormon, many of those great islands that are found in the Indian Ocean, also in the great Pacific Sea, have been planted with colonies of Israelites. Do they not resemble each other? Go to the Sandwich Islands, to the South Sea Islands, to Japan—go to the various islands of the Pacific Ocean, and you find a general resemblance in the characters and countenances of the people. Who are they? According to the Book of Mormon, Israelites were scattered forth from time to time, and colonies planted on these islands of the ocean. In that day the isles will sing with joy; in that day the isles of the sea will wait for the Lord's law; in that day the isles of the sea will rejoice, for they will give up their inhabitants, and they will be wafted in ships to their promised land, and God will show forth his power and gather millions of people from these numerous isles of the ocean, and he will bring them back to the land of their fathers. These poor degraded Lamanites, or American Indians, that are now so far sunk beneath humanity, are to be lifted up by the power of the Almighty when the day shall come for Israel to be restored, for God will not forget them."

      God will not forget them, but you seem to be quite hopeful that He does.

  2. As I said Del has destroyed your model. You don't even use common sense. Take for example what Moroni said. You've completely scrued it. What you are saying is that at 400ad after the battle they all climbed in a ship and came to America. All several million of them. That's the only way your statement can be true. It's nonsense. And you've been proved wrong in soany ways and still can't give even a remotely plausable argument that is believable. So blab all you wantJay. Your stuff is garbage. Ira

    1. As I said and you miss the point. There are millions of Lamanites in America from north to south. They could not be related to the Malaysians other than through Noah. The legends tell us they descend from one family with sister wives. You cannot populate both North and South America in 1400 years from people from Malaysia. It's absurd and Moroni said former inhabitants of this continent. Not present inhabitants. That's the key word. And I might add not one GA ever said they came from Malaysia. It's absurd and simply didn't happen. Del has proved it and has given me the information to show how this model is absolutely impossible in every way. Good luck Jay but as far as I'm concerned our conversation about Malaysia is over. I'm not going to argue your nonsense any longer. Ira

    2. Thanks Ira. Yeah, I think we've exhausted the subject At least until the next post about it. All the best. - Jay

  3. Just looking at the map provided.. and looking at the compass on the map.. and the statement "The map is oriented in the Arab tradition with south at the top" renders Malay is running east and west. Does the land in the Book of Mormon run east to west? If so.. where then in 1300.. is the narrow neck of land?

    1. Quite simply, the map is not correctly drawn. It shows how little of the eastern world was known all the way up to the 15th century AD. Even Columbus had no idea what the area looked like and died believing that he had reached what is known as the Dragon's Tail Peninsula, an area that was a confusion between the narrow neck of the Malay Peninsula and the narrow neck of Central America.

      This is what Columbus believed the New World he discovered looked like. This map was supposedly drawn by Bartholomew and Christopher Columbus just before he died.

  4. Ah.. so a map is presented as evidence of Malay being an island.. and yet.. it is stated: "Quite simply, the map is not correctly drawn." So what part of the map are we to believe that has been drawn.. correctly?

    1. The part that confirms that people in the 1300s believed that Malay was an island that was called Qumr Island.

      If you are seeking scientific evidence to support that claim that Malay was once an island, you can follow the other links I provided.

      "“Parnell (2000) and Gerini (1909) cited geological and historical evidence to show that the land between Kedah and Songkhla is an old seabed and argued that boats crossed the peninsula here until a thousand years ago. Ridley (1911b:59) was explicit: ‘One can gather from the flora that at no great length of time ago the Malay Peninsula was cut off from Burma south of Kedah, by the sea’. Corbet (1941:116) accepted Ridley’s argument for a sea channel but argued that is lay further north: ‘that while the present Malay Peninsula has undoubtedly been separated from the Asiatic mainland since the advent of the present species of butterflies, this separation occurred north of Kedah…”

      The Location of the Indo-Chinese Sundaic Biogeographic Transition in Plants and Birds
      David S. Woodruff
      Nat. Hist. Bull., Siam Soc. 51(1):97-108, 2003

      So, what do you think, was the Malay Peninsula an island at any point within the last 5000 years?

  5. People believed the world was flat too.. didn't make it true.

    I had once looked into the Malay theory. I did not feel the Spirit testify at all that Lehi.. nor his family came there. Lehi never saw MesoAmerica... nor did he see Malay.

    There is so much testifying of the spirit as to the truthfulness that it was Chile that the Nephites landed in.. Peru that they lived in.. And Ecuador/Columbia that they died in.

    When a river "springs forth".. that is the place where it begins. The former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang.. says where they came from. The Book of Mormon is quite clear on where they "sprang" from. Jerusalem. So the inhabitants of this continent.. came from Jerusalem. To think that the inhabitants of our continent came from Jerusalem via Malay is adding to what was spoken by an Angel of God. There is truth witnessed by the Spirit in learning the Nephites & Lamanites that boarded Hagoth's ships and went North.. that there are actual places North of Peru that have civilizations that mimic what is in Peru. MesoAmerica is proof of that. There is the Great wall of Peru.. none like it anywhere.. that goes from sea west to the east.

    “..he was preparing
    to defend himself against them,
    by casting up walls round about
    and preparing places of resort”
    (Alma 52:6)

    “And there they did fortify
    against the Lamanites
    from the west sea,
    even unto the east,
    it being a day’s journey
    for a Nephite,
    on the line
    which they had fortified
    and stationed their armies
    to defend their north country” (Helaman 4:7)

    It is not in Malay.. not in MesoAmerica.. not in the Heartland.. or the Great Lakes region.. nor in any other land that has a theory on the Book of Mormon lands.. except.. Peru. The Spirit so testifies.

  6. Hi Jay- I was just catching up on the last week or so posts and interested to see we are still talking about Malay. You have garnered the attention of Del and many of the long time readers. Interesting. I was just reading the comments from June 10th and echo MC's comment to you. I think you have been very respectful and reasonable in your comments and proposal of the Malay theory. For a long time, I thought Mesoamerica was probably the Book of Mormon lands-even though there were a handful of things that did not quite make sense. I think where things can get confusing is that there were people in these other lands and in many cases they have traditions and beliefs the same or similar to Lehi's family and therefore we tend to lean toward them being of Lehi's family. I came to realize that there absolutely were Nephites in Mesoamerica- but they were from Hagoth's ships and were not lehi's family. I tend to agree with MC that the people of Malay may have been from another tribe of Israel and one day we may have records of them. On June 10th, you indicated that no model is very strong and all are speculative. I will agree that the important thing is that the Book of Mormon is true and our testimonies of that through the spirit are what really matter. That said, as for models, I've studied all of them and my opinion is the South American model is actually extremely strong. I was very skeptical when I first came across Del's blog about 2 years ago- South America once being an island and a mountain rising up recently seemed very odd. But I proceeeded to study every single post and every comment in Del's blog- starting with his first post and proceeding forward. I cross referenced every scripture- I went to other sources to research every claim of wind and current patterns, spanish historians, archeological finds in Peru, etc, etc. I then read each of Del's books he has written on the topic- carefully highlighting and verifying every claim. I then went through my Book of Mormon again verse by verse and highlighted approximately 500 scriptures that offer any insight into locations, climates, cultures, foods, animals, etc- anything that could possibly be tied to a location. After all this study, I cannot find one single claim from the South America model that does not match the Book of Mormon perfectly. There is not a single claim that does not make sense to me logically and match all the independent research I have done. Del states he has 45 or so matches to the scriptures- and he does- but there are actually many, many more than that. Anyway- again I appreciate the respectful manner in which you have defended your view. If you are so inclined, I invite you to open your mind to the possibility that the people of Malay may be a different branch of Israel and give a serious study of this South American model in the manner I have studied it and see if it makes sense to you. Dave

  7. Elder Orson Pratt wrote and is published in the Journal of Discourses (Vol 13 - pg66)

    "During the translation,
    before the book was published,
    when the prophet came towards
    the latter part of the record,
    he discovered
    that the ancient inhabitants
    of this continent
    were baptized in a certain way,
    by those having authority
    from Almighty God.

    He felt anxious to know how he,
    in connection with his scribe,
    Oliver Cowdery,
    might participate
    in the blessings
    of this holy ordinance."

    Shortly after the initial visits of Moroni to the young Prophet Joseph in September 1823, these family gatherings took on, according to the Prophet’s mother, a singular aspect. She wrote:

    “From this time forth, Joseph continued to receive instructions from the Lord, and we continued to get the children together every evening, for the purpose of listening while he gave us a relation of the same. I presume our family presented an aspect as singular as any that ever lived upon the face of the earth—all seated in a circle, father, mother, sons, and daughters, and giving the most profound attention to a boy, eighteen years of age. …

    “During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us some of the most amusing recitals that could be imagined.

    He would describe
    the ancient inhabitants
    of this continent,
    their dress,
    mode of traveling,
    and the animals upon which they rode;
    their cities,
    their buildings,
    with every particular;
    their mode of warfare;
    and also their religious worship.
    This he would do with as much ease,
    as if he had spent his whole life
    with them.” (

  8. That's why Malays Malaysia very different with Malay Indonesia like thinking and progress, because they have 26.7% DNA mediateranean from Middle East.
    Malays Malaysia also have a genetic link with native people or orang asli Semang after mixed marriage around 590BC,with the age of mitochondrial DNA very old around 60,000 year,the same age as the native people, Semang.
    Malays Malaysia also not from Yunan and China and don't have any genetik connection from that area, because East Asia populations have 50 percent haplotype (SNPs group in single inherited chromosomes) come only in Southeast Asia populations.