Progress in research proves Sarawak is world's second oldest Malay state
KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) -- Advances in research today have succeeded in proving that Sarawak, formerly known as Santubong (Santubong kingdom started circa 500AD), is the second oldest Malay state in the world, said Sarawak historian Datu Dr Sanib Said.
He said the progress in research also proved that Santubong had existed for about 300 years before AD (i.e. 300 BC) while the oldest Malay state, Kedah, had existed 500 years before AD (500 BC).
“Ancient history is important to make our history more relevant. So in the context of this history, the older the (history) the better,” he said after the discourse on Malay Manuscripts entitled, ‘Malay-Jawi Manuscripts in Sarawak: Crowning Santubong as the World's Second Oldest Malay State, organised by the National Library of Malaysia (PNM).
PNM in a statement said the programme was aimed at promoting Malay manuscripts stored in its collection, thus revealing the importance of knowledge recorded in the Malay manuscripts as well as showing the influence and assimilation of cultures and images in the community.
Meanwhile, Sanib hoped that Santubong, Kuching in Sarawak could be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and become a new tourism attraction for the state.
"Santubong is big and close to Kuching, so I'm happy as the (archeological) materials there are great such as iron slags and idols," he said.
He added that the relevant parties needed to find ways to expose history and have assignments related to manuscripts for university students so as to cultivate interest and continue the historical research.