Was Bujang Valley culture the beginning of Malayness?

By Ooi Kok Chuen

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A model of the Bujang Valley estuary civilisation.
FACT 1: The Bujang Valley civilisation, which stretches back to possibly as early as the year 110, is the oldest in South- East Asia, predating Angkor Wat (12th century), Sri Vijaya (seventh century), Majapahit (13th century), Borobudur (ninth century) and the Malacca Sultanate (15th century).FACT 2: “Valley” is actually a misnomer. The territory spans 1,000sqkm from Bukit Choras in Kota Sarang Semut in the north to Cherok Tekun in Bukit Mertajam in the south, with its eastern flank stretching to Jeriang.Scholarly interest...

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Ooi Kok Chuen

is an art-writer and journalist, and the author of MAHSURI: A Legend Reborn (Ooi Peeps Publishing), an adult contemporary fantasy “movel” (a novel conceived as a mock movie) spun from a local legend.