I have completed my own write-up of what the term 'Malay' should mean and how I have adopted it in my proposed book. It took me the whole month of November 2010 to come up with my own Working Definition of Malay for my book. I have prepared and revised 12 versions of my write-up on Working Definition of Malay. This version which I have displayed is the 13th version, revised today, 27 November 2010. I hope you like it.
I am also proposing that we use Orang Melayu in Bahasa Malaysia and English. The term 'Malay' is then used to refer to all people who have some relations to the Orang Melayu, That way we do not confuse what is Malay/non-Malay and Malayness/un-Malayness. Somewhere I read, I saw it written as orang Melayu but I prefer it written as Orang Melayu.
WORKING DEFINITION OF MALAYINTRODUCTIONThe term ‘Malay’ adopted in this book accepts that all Muslims domiciled in previously Malaya and present day Malaysia, regardless of their roots, are Malay. The reason for qualifying them as ‘Malay’ is in line with our Federal Constitution which was drawn up and duly revised at various times in our history, i.e., during British Malaya (1911), the Federation of Malaya (1956-7) and Malaysia (1960-3-present day). As local Muslims, these people share three common attributes: (1) practise Islam, (2) habitually practise customs of the Orang Melayu, and (3) habitually speak Bahasa Melayu. Thus, the term ‘Malay’ should be taken to mean a large heterogeneous group comprising many sub-groups, who are all united by three basic elements – preference for Islamic faith, appreciation of local customary hospitality with emphasis on courtesy and communicating in a simple language that is comprehensible by the mass of people who live in this country.