This posting is about the Malay community of Bangkok, the descendants of the Malay prisoners of war.
I first heard the story many years ago from my buddy Amir Zohri who still has many relatives there.
After the defeat of the Malay Sultanates thousands of prisoners of war were taken to Bangkok. The Warriors were given the task of digging the klongs, the skilled artisans were building the palaces and the gold and silversmiths were allowed to continue the trade.
My last visit, I was privileged to drive to the new Malay settlement and given the narrative of the Saen sap klong The klong of a thousand tears by PandithaNadzru Azhari.
Now the descendants are landowners. These are no ordinary landowners. Imagine the extent of owning strategic lands along a 20km highway 5 km on both sides, just outside Bangkok.
That is just under 200 years of history. The Malay language is gone but they still keep their faith. Now they form a strategic grouping in the thai political society. Looking beyond they are well positioned to be ASEANPeople.