The Malay are the race of people who inhabit the Malay Peninsula and portions of adjacent islands of Southeast Asia, including the east-coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo and smaller islands that lie between these areas.

They were once probably a people of coastal Borneo who expanded into Sumatra and the Peninsula as a result of their trading and seafaring way of life. These sea-tribes, referred to by the Portuguese historian, Godinho De Eredia as Saletes or people of straits, played a major part in the making of the great Malay empires of Melaka and Johor.

The present-day Malays of the Peninsula  and coast of Malay Archipelago are described anthropologically as deutero-Malays and are the descendants of tribal Proto-Malays mixed with modern Indian, Thai, Arab and Chinese blood.


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