The Portuguese in Malay Land
In his book “The Study Of Ancient Times In The Malay Peninsula”, Dato Sir Roland Braddell (1880-1966) writes, “No statement could be more untrue or more unwise than that Malaya has no history”. This dense work of 458 pages (reprinted edition no. 7 by MBRAS in 1989), from Dato Sir Braddells's studies appearing in the “Journal of Asiatic Society”, between 1935 and 1951, is followed by 50 pages of notes on the historical geography of Malaya and sidelights on the Malay Annals by Dato F.W. Douglas, a contemporary of Braddell.
Sir Roland examines the book VII of “Ptolemy's Geographica” written about 160 AD, which sends us back to the land of Ophir of the Bible, also called “Golden Chersonese”, where gold of higher purity had already been found around 3000 years ago in today's Pahang.
As to the human presence, the “Malay Orang”, “being an islander”, (he) was able to sail the Eastern seas long before the people of the mainland could; and by such contacts achieved a higher state of civilization: he took the products of this area, gold, incense, spices and the Malayan jungle fowl with him and then the people of other countries came here”, according to F.W. Douglas in the conclusion of his foreword, dated 15.1.1949. Malays are therefore inborn sea traders.