Talk:Malay Archipelago

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earlier comments[edit]

Note that I'm neither Malaysian nor Indonesian, but AFAIK, when Indonesians say "Nusantara" they mean the Indonesian archipelago (== nation). This is quite different from the Malay archipelago, which is the whole shebang. Jpatokal 07:58, 25 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I think that the article de:Indonesischer Archipel is not the counterpart of this article, as there they have a narrower concept. Andres 13:10, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Confusion of Terms[edit]

I have just consulted various sources, and all seem to agree that "Malay Archipelago" in fact means the island group between Indochina and Australia. It has no political or cultural meaning at all. However, I have come across another term, Malay World, which means what is described in this stub article. So, I think I shall perhaps move the text here to that heading, and overhaul the text here at this heading. I might borrow freely from the German article, which seems quite complete. ———Kelisi 2005/2/8

I have now performed this permutation. The material formerly here, such as it was, is now under Malay World, and this article has now been thoroughly overhauled with "Malay Archipelago" being interpreted in its geographical meaning.

Also, about the word for Malay World in Malay. That's Dunia Melayu. And I would also like to point out that Malay and Indonesian are in fact the same language. There are differences between Malaysians' and Indonesians' speech, but none truly significant.

You started with the difference between the two languages but went on to explain the 'Malay' term, which is a non sequitur. Let's focus on the languages first, not the term. Bahasa Indonesia is a designed language to unite all ethnic tribes in Indonesia, loosely based on Bahasa Melayu which was widely used in Sumatera. Of course it's natural that every language evolves, the differences between Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Melayu today is bigger than say 50 years ago. In its earlier days, there was no significant differences - probably only a few dialect variations, which doesn't apply to their current state.
Now about the Malay term (or Melayu in Indonesian): In the past there's no differences between people in Malaysia and Sumatera where we refer to them as Bangsa Melayu, e.g. Parameshwara - the founder of Malacca - was originally from Palembang. If you live in Sumatera and you don't associate yourself with any of the local ethnic groups (Bataknese, Acehnese, Minang, Lampungnese etc) then you refer to yourself as 'Orang Melayu'. UUlum (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:24, 24 March 2012 (UTC).

Edit and comment by User:Kelisi[edit]

Kelisi, you reverted an edit to the article Malay archipelago with the edit summary "rv -- deletion of pertinent information; insertion of bogus information.", and then proceded to write on my talk-page under the header Homosexuality Laws of the World "I second that. Cut it out! It is not all right to delete pertinent facts, nor is it all right to insert false information." (which I have now removed from my talk page). I think you have made a misjudgment (and a slight fool of yourself). I urge you to consult the edit histories so you know what you are talking about. I also urge you to take a peek at the Wikipedia guidelines and be guided by them. If you wish to contribute to this particular article and if that contribution involves major reverts, please do discuss this at the talk page beforehand. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. --Big Adamsky 07:00, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Wahey archipelago[edit]

There is an orphaned article called Wahey Archipelago. It sounds like it may be the same thing as the Malay archipelago. Are they different?--Dcooper 18:33, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

They are not the same. The Malay Archipelago is much larger than Wahey. In fact, the Malay Archipelago streches from northern Sumatra till the coast of New Guinea. Wahey on the other is located somewhere between Java and East Timor. Note that Java and East Timor itself is part of the Malay Archipelago. Thus, Wahey is a subset of the Malay Archipelago. __earth (Talk) 01:57, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Er, correction. Instead of between Java and East Timor, it's in between Borneo and Sulawesi. The archipelago is part of Greater Sunda Islands which in turn part of the Malay Archipelago. __earth (Talk) 16:20, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Malay peninsula and Pattani not part of the Malay Archipelago ???[edit]

Why isn't the Malay peninsula and Pattani (Muslim area in southern Thailand) part? The natives of the areas are related to the Malays anthropologically and culturally. Should they be part of the Malay Archipelago too?

Because they're not islands, and this is an archipelago. Jpatokal 12:37, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Whose archipelago?[edit]

Filipinos are not Malays; we are much more diverse than that. We are Hiligaynons, Moros, Kapampangans, Pangasinenses, Bicolanos, etc. If anything, this so-called "Malay Archipelago" should only include Malaysia and Singapore. 14:30, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Its just a name for a group of islands - see [1]. It has nothing to do with ethnic, cultural or political groups. You can't just change the definition of something because you don't like the name. (Caniago 15:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC))
But somehow he represents the rejection of the people outside of Malaysia of the term "Malay Archipelago". So why are we persisting on the term, instead of the more neutral "Maritime Southeast Asia"? Matahari Pagi (talk) 05:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
There's plenty of discussion about that below. Good luck. --Merbabu (talk) 06:10, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

The vast majority of Filipinos are, however, Austronesians, with thousands of years of historical relationship with Indonesia and Malaysia. The term reflects an older usage that was a coverall for inhabitants of the archipelago from the sixteenth to early twentieth century, reflecting the common bonds and history of the vast majority of the peoples of the archipelago, and the relative prestige of Malay language and culture, which was used as a lingua franca throughout the region prior to European conquest (this relationship can be seen in terms like "salamat", which appears to have been borrowed from Persian via Malay). The point is taken that it might not be a term that is acceptable to modern nationalist feeling in the Philippines, but it does have a significant history, and that history should not be erased. "Maritime Southeast Asia" has the advantage of including coastal areas (like peninsula Malaysia, Pattani, etc.) that are part of the same broad historical, linguistic and cultural worlds, but has the disadvantage that it does not get across the "archipelic" nature of the region. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Slmiller6 (talkcontribs) 00:55, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Merging with Maritime Southeast Asia[edit]

Oppose - According to this article

Maritime Southeast Asia is more or less coextensive with the Malay Archipelago.
However it it does not state that both exactly the same. Also Maritime includes all of Malaysia ad is more of a politacal rather than a geographic description.--23prootie 16:57, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the two could be merged. "Malay Archipelago" is rather antiquated, "MSA" is what people call it these days, and the only difference that I can see is that MSA also includes Peninsular Malaysia. Jpatokal 04:44, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Support merge. Yes, the two are slightly different, but close enough to warrant one article. Both meanings simply need to be mentioned and compared. PS, I'd suggest merging MSA into Malay archipelago as it appears M A seems to be the more common term (even if it is out dated), but i can be corrected on that one.--Merbabu 05:42, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Support merge Maritime Southeast Asia is a neutral term as the archipelago is so much bigger than just being "Malay".Matahari Pagi (talk) 03:11, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

New Guinea[edit]

I don't think New Guinea is part of the Malay archipelago. They have a different fauna and flora than Malaysia, Western Indonesia and the Philippines and has more similarities with Australia. They also have a different culture/language. The people of Malaysia/west Indonesia and Philippines are mostly Southeast Asiatic Malayan and speaks a Western Malayo-Polynesian language while the New Guineans are black Papuans/Melanesians and speaks Papuan or Eastern Malayo-Polynesian language - Jcdizon 15:03, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Pls be aware that the term was invented as biogeographical term, to describe the diversity within this area: how the flora, fauna, and people change gradually from west to east. It is somehow like study of spotted area which show changes gradually. It was not intended to group an area based on similarity. Exclusion of some area will result in losing useful information. Kembangraps 15:48, 25 September 2007 (UTC)


The article presently states that the Malay Archipelago constitutes the territories of Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah along with the Federal Territory of Labuan, East Timor, and most of Papua New Guinea.. I understand the case for excluding or including New Guinea, and the best solution would probably be to shade it in a different color, but the other islands of Indonesia east of Sulawesi are definitely in the Archipelago.

And no, being in the "Malay Archipelago" doesn't mean everyone in it is Malay, just like not everyone living by the "Sea of Japan" is Japanese. Jpatokal 04:41, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I like the two colour idea. Correct, Maluku is part of the Malay archipelago. --Merbabu 05:43, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Why they use Malay to refer "Malay Archipelago"[edit]

Please notice Malay archipelago it self referred to the archipelago where the langguage of people living there defined as austronesian language. The word Malay in this term didn't referred to malay it self. The word of malay being used, because of this word was the only ancient word who refer to geographical definition. May be if pararathon manuscript founded earlier than "kedukan bukit" manuscript, they would prefer to use "Java Archipelago" then "malay archipelago", since Majapahit kingdom are far widely then me-la-yo jambi kingdom.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Itemboleh (talkcontribs)

Kindly refer to WP:OR __earth (Talk) 03:46, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that the term "Malay Archipelago" becomes as such because the person who coined it i.e. Alfred Wallace, is a British. The British tends to use their subject i.e. the Malay ethnic on the Peninsula as a point of reference. Hence the various related ethnics are called "Malay Race", the language family "Malayo-Polynesian" and the archipelago "Malay Archipelago". Before the arrival of Europeans, the island of Java was the point of reference, hence Arabs calls the people "Bani Jawi", Khmers call the people Chvear (even nowadays Khmers call any muslim Chvear, which literally means Javanese), and the Tamils and Sinhalese call the people Javakas. You can see why the usage of "Malay" as a catchall term is still problematic due to it's colonial history, and prior to the usage by European anthropologists, the people were never called as "Malay" by outsiders, although they probably acknowledge the genetic and cultural relationships. It's also anachronistic to say that the term was chosen to reflect Srivijaya's influence, as Alfred Wallace's book was published decades before the anyone even suspected about Srivijaya's existence.

Requested move[edit]

I plan to request a move of this page to Malay archipelago, where the a is decapitalized. Archipelago in this phrase is not a proper noun, and shouldn't be capitalized. Does anyone disagree? Foobaz·o< 20:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

It's not a proper noun? But Malay Peninsula, Iberian Peninsula, Mergui Archipelago, among others are proper nouns. Therefore, why the Malay Peninsula isn't so? __earth (Talk) 23:18, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
It's definitely a proper noun, and should be capitalized. Jpatokal 02:35, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Since you're all against the move, i won't request it after all. I believe the examples you give are not proper nouns either. The name of the landform is sometimes capitalized, sometimes not, so either opinion differs on the subject, or a lot of people don't know what they're doing. Both seem likely. Foobaz·o< 03:10, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Try a Google search: [2] brings up tens of thousands of hits, and as far as I can see all are capitalized as "Malay Archipelago". Jpatokal 05:19, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Please distinguish Malay race and malay archipelago concept[edit]

Please distinguish Malay race and malay archipelago concept.

This is important since The concept of a Malay race (Malay: Bangsa Melayu) was proposed by the German scientist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840).[1] Since Blumenbach, many anthropologists have rejected his theory of five races, citing the enormous complexity of classifying races. However, the term Malay is still often used in this context, and it is the basis for Malay identity within the country of Malaysia. However, the term Malay Race is rarely used in Indonesia. And in reality the only country support this concept is only malaysia. Indonesia refer malay as Malay (ethnic_group)

The malay archipelago concept it self was proposed by Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 – 1913) and he identified the Wallace Line that divides Indonesia into two distinct parts, one in which animals closely related to those of Australia are common, and one in which the species are largely of Asian origin.

So those two terms malar race and malay archipelago is simply different since proposed by different scientist, talking in different area and one malay race being refected by the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Itemboleh (talkcontribs) 13:08, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

It is quite obvious that the "Malay Archipelago" was intended as the place where the "Malay race" lives — that's why it's called the Malay archipelago, after all. So, no, the cite and the pointer to Malay race should not be removed. Jpatokal (talk) 13:27, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I think you wrong. If wallace really saying like that (malay archipelago as geographical area for malay race), please put the cite. Anyway the cite for malay race statement didn't tell malay archipelago concept that presented by wallace are defined for geographical area for malay race. What wallace said is malay archipelago as a zoo-geographical area. Another think is that racial concept from Blumenbach are strongly rejected by most of scientist. Presenting malay race concept in this article potentially providing wrong information since this article intended as scientific article and not related to any nation concept. comment added by Itemboleh
of course we can write about non-scientific concepts as long as it is clear that this is non scientific. Otherwise, we would have to delete the Darth Vader article. Simply because something is fictional or incorrect does not make it not notable. Agree with jpatokal on this one. --Merbabu (talk) 06:07, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to make this debate into long without any result. I put some addition in the article to put both of our idea in there and let the reader decide what they believe. comment added by Itemboleh —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:24, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
"Your idea" has no references and is original research. It's also poor English. Note that using multiple anonymous IP's (Ericsson in Sweden) does not circumvent the WP:3RR rule for which you can be blocked. --Merbabu (talk) 10:49, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Dear anon, you can read the original Malay Archipelago's chapter on "The Races of Man" right here, and one of the first sentences is: "Two very strongly contrasted races inhabit the Archipelago--the Malays, occupying almost exclusively the larger western half of it, and the Papuans, whose headquarters are New Guinea and several of the adjacent islands." Jpatokal (talk) 13:38, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

"Malay archipelago"[edit]

Because a source uses a term (say Webstars), but relevant sources don't, does that mean that the former sources definition is the name for a region or a name for a region?

The term "malay archipelago" derives from European colonial times and the then popular but now anachronistic concept of a "Malay race". For me it's telling that no book on Indonesian history seem to mention the term.

And if wikipedia MUST say it "IS" the term for the region (millions would object) rather than say it is "A" name for the region (which would seem like a NPOV compromise), why is there no place for the origin of the term in the lead? --Merbabu (talk) 01:11, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

PS: per WP:LEAD, a lead is a summary of the article's important points. So now we banish the origin of a term, and we banish it's non-universally accepted nature. Isn't the origin of the term kinda important to an article? --Merbabu (talk) 01:14, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

This is tortured hyperbole. A number of reputable sources don't simply say that 'Malay Archipelago' is the name for that archipelago, they come out point blank and say that it is that, e.g., Webster's Britannica. My edition of Merriam-Webster's Geographic Dictionary (different from usual dictionary) also doesn't mention the variant. As well, as pointed out, the origin of the term and race element is expanded upon in the 'Terminology' section; iterating it in the lead seems more to fit with the tortured wording. You are using false semantics to push upon us a far less common variant name for the region. As noted, Google reveals 468k instances of 'Malay Archipelago', and only 15.5k of 'Maritime Southeast Asia' In fact, 'East Indies' is far more common when referring to this archipelago (224k instances) than the version you favour; Britannica points this out as well. I also see that you've provided no sources to support your viewpoint, and little discussion has taken place about this content. So, please do before pushing your viewpoint, adding misplaced tags, and continuing to edit war. Or, be thankful that I don't relegate the alternate term to a footnote or remove it from the lead based on the above. Bosonic dressing (talk) 01:23, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
(a several ec's!) MA is but a POV (irrespective of the existence of the term MSEA). But there is no good reason not to include the origin of the term in the lead. Please consider your style: Removing the "dispute" tag because you say it's resolved is not appropriate. It's not even been 1 hour.
As a compromise, I suggest the origin of term be inserted in lead - why hide it? I suppose if I had used my "right" to 3RR as you have on everything else, I could have it there. --Merbabu (talk) 01:38, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
As i said above, I think it's telling that there appears to be no mention of the MA in the authoritative Indonesian history texts on my shelf. Either as reference to historical or current usage. --Merbabu (talk) 01:44, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Everything is a point-of-view, but I'm basing my stance on prevalence of terms out there and policies dealing with neutral and equitable treatment of content. Simply put, the title of the article is the overwhelmingly common term for the archipelago, confirmed with sources and Google counts. Your overarching word on mentions of this or that in the volumes on your shelf means little. The prior lead was imbalanced, giving equal weight to both. The variant is at this point included as a concession but there is little cited justification as is for it; so, I iterate prior comments. If it can't be substantiated, it will be refactored or removed. As well, I neither support nor not 'East Indies' (already noted in 'Terminology' section): the sources guide relevant content and indicate it is far more prevalent than 'Maritime Southeast Asia'. Moreover, I do not see there being a substantial reason to include the origin of the term in the lead (as is) when it is dealt with in more detail, and better placed, in the section below re: terminology: the article is supposed to be summative, not repetitive. Thus, it is not being 'hidden'. Lastly, it is not appropriate to clutter an article with said tags when a case has barely been made to justify them, particularly given the above, and to that point with no discussion on the talk page.
And, I have no regrets about my style. Please present me with arguments of substance, and you may get a better response. And, we're both beyond that golden rule (hence the pot/kettle comment), so we may want to resolve items consensually on the talk page before taking further action. Bosonic dressing (talk) 01:54, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Disagree about "repetition" in the lead. A good lead summarises all important points - thus a one line referring to a whole section of an article is appropriate - if it was not, then we'd just use the first sentence for the lead, as the rest, per your argument, is repetitive. The lead also suffers the reverse problem - items mentioned in it that aren't in the article proper.
And, I have no regrets about my (mostly deleted) comments on your style. Not sure I agree with your idea of "consensually" - now that you've got all your changes, further resolution to be on talk page? --Merbabu (talk) 02:03, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, the manual of style prescribes summary style for all articles, so it's not a matter of my opinion. If you want to summarise the origin of Malay in the lead, fine, but I will remove 'Maritime Southeast Asia' (or move it down) as it's not reputably sourced and a very minor variant relatively. I do agree that the content of the lead should be better expanded upon later in the article.
I note consensual editing so as to avoid any real or perceived edit warring infractions. it should've been that way to begin with, but alas ... Bosonic dressing (talk) 02:09, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Ignoring listings of wikipedia and its clones, the first 100 results of a google test are largely concerned with Wallace's book and/or his studies. Yet, this wikipedia lists it as the sole name for an officially recognised geographical entity. Very original research in my opinion. It needs a bit more than pulling out a dictionary and citing Google test results. --Merbabu (talk) 07:24, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

In comparison, the term Maritime Southeast Asia seems to come up in a much more diverse range of sources, particularly academic ones. Admittedly, that's just by quickly scanning the pages, but it would be itneresting to list the first 100 of each. Again, in 15 years of studying and travelling to Indonesia, I've never heard the term used, apart from in the context of Wallace's book. No, I'm not suggesting MSEA is "more correct", rather that is disingenuous for use to state that MA *is* the name. A dictionary and a google test can't assert that for us. --Merbabu (talk) 07:36, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Quit the vague talk. You will have to reliably cite your contributions on this point, or I will not hesitate to correct or refactor them as I have. You've had some time to do so, and haven't. Bosonic dressing (talk) 10:46, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Quit the simplistic talk (to take on your continuing less than civil manner). It's not vague at all, albeit not straight forward as pulling out your Websters. There are plenty of mentions of MSEA. A dictionary definition doesn't make MA any less than an anachronistic term - one that google shows is highly related to a 19th century naturalists book (albeit an outstandingly groundbreaking book). You could look at the first 100 yourself - sorry, I won't be able to define that. Vague it is not, and resolved it is not.
This is an article on a definition, it is not an article on accepted geographic entity - a geographical idea at best. --Merbabu (talk) 10:59, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Cite your work, q.v. Britannica. I defer to prior comments amidst repetition. Bosonic dressing (talk) 11:05, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
All I am asking is that the first sentence says acknowledge that this is *a* term or "refers" to. I'm not arguing that it we say it's inaccurate, not universally acknowledge etc. You position insists that this is a geographical entity on par in acceptance with, say, SE Asia or Europe. I have studied Indonesian, travelled and worked there over a period of 15 years. Until I came to wikipedia, I have never heard the term used to refer to the area except in the context of Wallace's work. I have shelves full of texts on Indonesia and to a lesser extent other countries in the region - the use of MA barely appears, and at best it is in flimsy usage. I have discussed this above. i do have a clue - you have a websters it seems.
Picking up a dictionary is not going to tell you the subtleties. My argument is not vague, yours is simplistic. --Merbabu (talk) 11:21, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Why? You have yet to provide a source corroborating your insistence on wordiness. And you are arguing it's inaccurate, given your blatant addition of said tag. Until you do, why should I accede? As for simplicity, KISS: if these common compendiums do not reference the terms you insist upon, why should they be included at all? You really haven't addressed that, and continue to push your vague and rather imbalanced point of view on the rest of us. Bosonic dressing (talk) 12:57, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I know this goes against "keeping things for simple for stupid", I said above that I am not requesting the article to say the term is inaccurate. I'm merely asking for the article to acknowledge that it's but *a* term. There is a distinction - that it is not blatant doesn't mean it's vague. There are plenty of sources on MSEA for example on the internet - I've provided one, and you can see plenty more for yourself as you've said you've done the dispute. I find it not unsurprising that "common compendium's" don't use the term, but it doesn't mean. Have you actually looked at the nature of the google hits of the 300,000 "MA" hits vs. that for MSEA (at least the first 100)? or is that a vague argument?
How on earth is it a POV problem? --Merbabu (talk) 13:10, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

All I'm asking for is "MA 'refers" to - my case above makes that clear. In the same way as the East Indies does. --Merbabu (talk) 13:11, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

As well, your RAND reference doesn't prove your case at all. It describes MSEA as being more of a geopolitical area explicitly comprising 4 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The Malay Archipelago, however, is more a physiographic region of islands, obviously; per Brtiannica, only including East Malaysia, e.g.[3] The two, as cited, are not necessarily equal, and I see no sources provided that equate the two. This further gives me pause about the 'clarity' of your case and whether you do have a clue. Bosonic dressing (talk) 13:12, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeas, lay on the charm if all else fails. So if, as you suggest, they are not equal, would you suggest a new article on MSEA? --Merbabu (talk) 13:20, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Possibly, barring any reliable sources that do equate the two: I mean, I have asked for this numerous times. The last thing that is needed, though, is a point-of-view fork if there is sufficient similarity between the two. Bosonic dressing (talk) 13:24, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
And I've asked for anything more substantive than a dictionary definition which merely exists to tell a reader what is intended - not as an encyclopaedic explanation. I never said they were exactly one in the same, but I did say it wasn't simplistic - as is clear by the second reference i added. This is the crux of the issue. --Merbabu (talk) 13:32, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Can you point out the text in the reference you've just added that equates the two? Otherwise, it simply seems to be your addition of a book with an eponymous title. As for argumentation, I have pointed you as well to an encyclopedic definition of the region in addition to others (none of which appear to support your position), so your argument is still rather lacking in substance. Bosonic dressing (talk) 13:36, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I didn't say the 2nd reference equates the two. It provides it's definition. repeating that my argument lacks substance, doesn't make it true. Nor is repeating that "refers to" and "is" is mere "vague" semantics. --Merbabu (talk) 13:45, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Then, why include it if it doesn't equate the two and is not directly relevant to the topic? Actually, your case is not necessarily aided by this reference:
  • "Southeast Asia divides naturally into two parts, the mainland and the islands....Such generalizations always pose problems... the southern part of ... the Malay Peninsula is essentially an island....Thus, Southeast Asia's maritime realm...includes the southern part of the Malay Peninsula[, southeastern Vietnam, and the islands]."
No real mention of [Papua] New Guinea. And, still -- importantly -- no apparent equation of MSEA with MA. You have to do better than that -- vague semantics and lack of substance is precisely what your tack is apparently. Bosonic dressing (talk) 13:50, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
You continue to mix up the issues. At the end of the day, MA "refers to" rather than "is" - if that's just semantics, then no wonder you prefer KISS. (eg, Africa vs. East Indies).
MSEA is a side issue, and I never said it equated (as in 100%) to MA. --Merbabu (talk) 14:04, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I am mixing up the issues? If you do not maintain that the terms are synonymous and comparable, why are we even discussing it and you wasting our time? And for every geographic entity, do we say: 'x refers to y' as opposed to 'x is y'? Tortuous. You have provided f-all to support your argument, despite being repeatedly asked to source it, and then add barely relevant references to buttress your original content (appropriately tagged since it does not corroborate your assertion). The burden of proof to retain this content is on you, which you have yet to fulfill. You are comparing apples with oranges and it seems you are having enough trouble editing in accordance with KISS, let alone policy. So, let me be clear: if you do not provide a reputable citation that directly equates MA with MSEA in accordance with policy, I will remove said mentions from the article in accordance with policy. Any further discussion without doing so is pointless. Bosonic dressing (talk) 18:14, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
They are "synonymous and comparable" (by normal definitions of these words) - rather, for the third time, I never said they they equate 100%. And I will be seeking administrator advice on your antagonistic and aggressive manner. (eg, "f-all). It's unacceptable. In what way have I not provided cites for MSEA? If you remove the reference to MSEA for which reliable sources have been provided - you have failed to suggest how the sources are not reliable - then I will seek dispute resolution. The insistence on KISS is part of the problem: it's not policy, and is the basis of your position. --Merbabu (talk) 20:20, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
You have provided no references of any kind indicating the two are synonymous and comparable: i.e., the Malay Archipelago is sometimes known as/called Maritime Southeast Asia. This article is about the Malay Archipelago, that particular group of islands in southeastern Asia, not dissimilar concepts which may or may not coincide. Britannica is a good analog to go by, but not the only one, and it makes no similar leap. AFAICT, in essence, you are synthesising information without providing any sources to back it up. Your edits may be eminently germane at Southeast Asia (q.v. Mainland Southeast Asia), but not necessarily here. Since you have not provided any clear references to support your assertion or your text edits, I have removed the offending text and irrelevant reference. Relatedly, I find your editing, intransigence, and time-wasting throughout rather exasperating and repellent. Wikipedia is not your mother. You do what you need to do, and I will do the same, but none of that changes the above. Bosonic dressing (talk) 20:48, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Reliable sources[edit]

There is support for Merbabu in the above discussion, however it is always a much better editing environment when civility is maintained and we each do our best to assume good faith, that other editors have only the general reader and improvement of the article in mind. Having said that, my plan is to leave any perceived incivility behind and begin anew. I see no reason why a cited source must come right out and say that this area of the world, these beautiful islands, are called by different names and state all the names they are called by. A source about any given name is considered reliable as long as it relates the name to the same places, the same peoples, the same deities and so forth. In this respect, all three sources are reliable sources that show that the name Maritime Southeast Asia is applied to this region of the world.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  17:25, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

  • PS. I did not rm the Who template at the end of the lede, however I am unclear as to why it is there. "Who" is being asked for or sought?
    • Where is this support? No citations have been provided which connect the dots: i.e., corroborating that Maritime Southeast Asia is but another name for the Malay Archipelago. As for the 'who', who (in even a general sense) reckons that both are the same as indicated? Overall, you may not see a need for a source to directly indicate something -- but I do, and that's is how Wikipedia operates. If citations cannot be provided, I will move all the recent additions to Southeast Asia where is it more appropriate belong. Bosonic dressing (talk) 18:04, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
The support for Merbabu's stance is from the reference citations and from me, Bosonic dressing. Please forgive me, but I still don't understand. The dots appear to be connected in those citations where the areas, countries, peoples and even deities are described. I think you're asking too much for a source that will come right out and say that the region is called the "Malay Archipelago" and also "Maritime Southeast Asia". If citation A calls him "Jake" and citation B calls him "Pete", and the descriptions in the citations, when read in detail, yield that Jake and Pete are the same person, then the dots are connected, aren't they?
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  18:32, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Not quite. AFAICT, there appear to be no reliable, referenced citations presented to this point to support the assertion. If I've overlooked, my apologies -- please list. Otherwise, yours is apparently a synthesis argument or one made by making inferences. That is insufficient. I am obviously not asking too much to reference said assertions, in accordance with policy, when one readily exists in Britannica with noting 'East Indies' (the ref needs to be added, actually); your other recent name additions per Wallace are also fine. This appears to have been the root of some contention for at least the last two years (consult upper sections). Nonetheless, I iterate that if it can't be reliably sourced, it will be removed -- it is perfectly appropriate in Southeast Asia, since there is a very clear regional cleavage between the mainland and islands. Bosonic dressing (talk) 20:17, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
It sounds to me, Bosonic dressing, that you seemingly might be misapplying synthesis as defined by Wikipedia. I am not taking a conclusion A drawn in citation A1 together with conclusion B drawn in citation B1 and coming up with my own original conclusion C. That is not what is happening here. The areas and peoples described in those various citations are generally, with little exception, the same areas and peoples described in the article. So the conclusion drawn is clearly that the name, Maritime Southeast Asia refers "generally, with little exception" to the same areas and peoples described in this article titled "Malay Archipelago". How is this synthesis? If you truly think this is not good research, then I suggest you start an RFC, because if that is the case, we are not in consensus.
Nope. I maintain that you and company are drawing original conclusions (iterated again above) that MSEA is an oft reference for the Malay Archipelago, based on the various citations which really do not explicitly mention the former at all AND the latter, perhaps out if a desire to be politically correct and neutral. And failing, I might add, It may be good research, but not necessarily for this article. The peoples, lands, and cultures involved may largely overlap and coincide, but, then again, so does Europe and the EU, and Australia and Australasia. In fact, given the failure to produce any references which directly join the two terms, a separate article about MSEA might be warranted. And, we are clearly not in consensus. Bosonic dressing (talk) 22:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
There are two quite different ideas being debated here, yet as I read it, BD's point of difference is based on treating them (incorrectly IMO, or at least unncessarily simplistically/KISS-like) as one. Namely:
  • MA & MSEA are the same.
  • The region is also referred to as MSEA.
The latter is what the current version of the article states, while BD’s argument is that the latter needs removing because no reference is provided that directly asserts the former. I suspect BD will argue that is vague semantics, but until there is open acknowledgement of these two distinct concepts, then we will continue to argue around in circles. Ie, there’s no point arguing that one is eating an apple which tastes like an orange, when in fact one is eating an orange. The references provided amply support the latter, and the latter’s inclusion is relevant for the reader. I agree with BD that the references don’t explicitly state the former, but they don’t need to as the article doesn’t explicitly say so. --Merbabu (talk) 23:14, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
At least, it seems, you and I agree on two things:
  1. We agree to disagree, i.e., we are not in consensus, and
  2. It is not precisely citational "synthesis" that you perceive the article is up against.
You still appear to be avid about Merbabu and I being guilty of original research, and yet, when I read Merbabu's assessment above, I would have to agree with that analysis and that you are comparing apples to oranges. Neither we nor the article stipulate that the Malay Archipelago and the Maritime Southeast Asia names/labels are exactly alike and refer to exactly the same areas and peoples. What we do iterate is that the general area described in the article titled "Malay Archipelago" is also referred to as "Maritime Southeast Asia", and that the verifiability of this as amply supplied by each and all of the reference sources listed. It really sounds to me that you, Bosonic dressing, need to begin an RFC to get other editorial opinions on this issue. I know you have the article's best interests at heart; however, you appear to be just a little "rusty" when it comes to your assessment of what "original research" is. I see none here, and I certainly don't sense any on my part nor on the part of editor Merbabu as regards this issue.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  23:38, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
It is not I who is comparing apples to oranges. To extend the metaphor, if I am 'rusty', you and compatriots certainly are either blind to or ignorant of the core issue: verifiability. Per your two questions: no sources have been provided indicating MA and MSEA are the same, nor have any explicit references that the Malay Archipelago is also referred to as MSEA; yet, you insist the notion be included in this article, and you yourself have iterated the very synthesis which has resulted in us going around in circles. If you would like to connect the two terms, feel free to do so in a more appropriate article where it is obvious (Southeast Asia, Maritime Southeast Asia). And why should I get other editorial opinions, though I would welcome them? The burden of proof is on you to retain content, not on me to dissuade. Nonetheless, given the ... challenged editing herein, it may be more appropriate to cleave the article again -- besides, even though there is no consensus now, there doesn't even appear to have been one when the article was merged way back when. One way or the other, if satisfactory sources are not provided, the article will be refactored appropriately unless a consensus strangely asserts otherwise. Bosonic dressing (talk) 00:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Yet again, no-one is suggesting that "Malay Archipelago is also referred to as MSEA", rather the text says and amply verified in sources that the "region is also called MSEA". This distinction has been amply stated above, without your acknowledgement. Thus your use of "not in citation tags" is at best, wrong, at worst, disengenous. --Merbabu (talk) 01:57, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, a number of times above you have made precisely this assertion; this also seems to be somewhat long-standing (dating back a couple years). And, if it is the region (and not the archipelago) being called MSEA, why again are we noting it in this article about the archipelago without a reliable source? And who is comparing apples and oranges? Bosonic dressing (talk) 10:33, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Uhm, Bosonic? Please check again as to what Wikipedians mean by consensus! The burden is on all of us, my friend, not just me or you, nor any single editor. There must be consensus or dispute resolution before controversial changes are made. So the bottom line is this: The text stays in place per WP:Preserve until either we can come to an agreement, or our dispute is settled using the steps outlined in dispute resolution, usually beginning with an RFC. I was just suggesting that since it is you who want the material removed, then it would be more appropriate for you to call for an RFC. You are the one disputing that the sources we found are WP:V, so it is you who should seek dispute resolution.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  03:09, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I am well aware what is required to garner consensus, and we are not there. You assert these are controversial changes, yet acknowledge more clarity is required with regards to sources -- as the content is not reliably sourced, its removal or refactoring is equally not controversial. I may seek wider input, but am truly flummoxed that it is needed given the body of evidence -- or lack of same. Again, the burden is on you to prove, not on me to disprove ... though I believe this has been done. Bosonic dressing (talk) 10:33, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
". . . although usage of these terms is not always completely synonymous with the term 'Malay Archipelago'."[who?] So the answer to "Who?" is "nobody". Nobody reckons that these terms are exactly the same, nor is that what is being indicated. The "fact" that is being indicated is that the areas, cities, peoples, animals, plants, deities in the "Malay Archipelago" are not necessarily exactly the same areas, cities, peoples, animals, plants, deities in the "East Indies", and not necessarily exactly the same areas, cities, peoples, animals, plants, deities in "Maritime Southeast Asia". The answer to "Who?" is "nobody".
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  18:57, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
So, if 'nobody' is saying that, why is it in the article? It does apply with the East Indies, given its source (Britannica). This shouldn't be too hard if it's reliably referenced. Bosonic dressing (talk)
It's not that "nobody's saying that", it's that nobody is saying what you infer: That "somebody" is saying that the two names relate to exactly the same thing, exactly the same areas and peoples. However, I feel that more clarity is called for, so I changed it a bit, hopefully to your satisfaction.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  21:44, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
This, again, is the article about the Malay Archipelago: it is not an unreasonable inference, given that other there are other terms which do relate more clearly (e.g., East Indies) and are sourced. So if someone is saying it, no supporting citations have been provided. I really do not see why it should be so difficult to source something like this. Bosonic dressing (talk) 22:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
For the record, I don't think the case for inclusion of East Indies is stronger (in terms of "co-extensivety" or verification) nor do I think Wallace's use of other terms (Indian archipelago, etc) is all that relevant. And, haven't yet included Nusantara, the Indoensian intepretation of which is usually/often/sometimes/(!?!) co-extensive with MA. But, I won't push these points at this stage, lest the debate be clouded further.--Merbabu (talk) 23:30, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
There is a distinct difference: 'East Indies' is readily cited, as may be other variants; MSEA, not apparently. Bosonic dressing (talk) 00:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I must concede that I, too, would wish for more clarity such as found with some of the other names, and I continue the search. What I am finding is that all of the sources that seem even remotely reliable turn out to be citing Wikipedia! The plus side is that once again I find that Wikipedia is widely used as a reference, and that those sources command the first many pages of search engines. But those sources cannot be used as they are what I call "circular references", something akin to "circular reasoning". As I said, I continue searching for even better sources, however that is not to say that I don't think the existing sources are not adequate, for I do believe they are.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  00:15, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
  • PS. Here are two candidates with perhaps different levels of adequacy: [4] and [5] (that second one also mentions "Nusantara"). Here is one that calls the area "insular" Southeast Asia: [6] (page 63). I'm getting hungry, so I'll sign off for now. Best of everything to all, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
  • PPS. Where exactly is this reliable source I keep hearing about for the East Indies connection to the Malay Archipelago? I don't see any in the lede.
  • Note. Here is an interesting paper where Alfred Wallace refers to the area in question not only as the "Malay Archipelago", but also as the "Indian Archipelago" and the "Indo-Australian Archipelago". One could say that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"?
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  18:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

(out). Please don't remove any content until consensus is reached— Ref.: policy Wikipedia:Preserve. I see that editor Bosonic dressing has replaced those "not in citation given" templates. I wonder then, since as you say I do not understand, what precisely are you expecting from those sources? As far as I can see, they do the job nicely. Where do they fall short?
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  18:10, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

The sources (at the least the two that I checked) say MSEA = Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines. Is that not the same region as what our sources for MA say? The article does not say that these terms are 100% interchangeable - it says "the region is also referred to", which is 100% supported by the sources. No, they don't say the terms are 100% interchangeable, but they shouldn't have to be included here. It's part of the context and should be there for the benefit of the reader. For the life of me, I cannot understand the need to be so exceedingly precise that all accuracy is lost. --Merbabu (talk) 20:17, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Half the problem is the attempt that the article has long made (not just the last few weeks), to elevate a loose colonial-era "label" to the status of an official entity, which tends to be a wikipedia habit. --Merbabu (talk) 20:26, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the sources do show that the name MSEA applies to the same general area and peoples that MA applies to. Editor Bosonic dressing is trying to make a case that this is synthesis, and therefore does not meet Wikipedia's verification standards. And I disagree with this supposition. Also, Merbabu, try to understand that, according to the Wikipedia standards, anytime a claim of any kind is challenged in an article, then a reference citation is needed to meet that challenge. Any editor may challenge any claim, however Wikipedia does also suggest that the challenging editor do what she or he can to find a reliable source before openly challenging a claim. So my policy is to place [citation needed] templates only after I have researched the claim and tried to find a reliable source myself. That's just me. That's just a suggestion to other editors. As for the "official" status of any of the names/labels, such things sometimes tend to gain official status gradually over time, but only in the geographic areas where the terms are originated and well-used. This, of course, can often be construed as systemic bias, and is something worth delving into and changing/improving when that is at all possible.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  22:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Your sentence with “try and understand…” suggests you believe I don’t understand the need for citations. My reading of the situation here is that I am in line with you – ie, the issue for us is that the citations provided by yourself and me ‘’do’’ meet the challenge, whereas, as you also point out, BD is arguing they don’t. On that, you and I agree. If I’ve misinterpreted your point, my apologies. And thanks for your patience and efforts at fostering civilty and a more conducisve collaborative environemtn. regards --Merbabu (talk) 22:33, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
In your words, "For the life of me, I cannot understand the need to be so exceedingly precise that all accuracy is lost." I took this to mean, perhaps in error, that you do not understand the need for citational precision. If I was wrong, then you definitely have my apologies. For me, I learned the concepts of "accuracy" and "precision" the hard way, because while I served in the US Air Force, it often seemed as if the standing philosophy was "Measure it with a micrometer, Mark it with chalk, then Cut it with an axe. <grin> So to me, accuracy and precision are just different levels of the same concept; therefore, it is not possible to sacrifice one for the other. One gains in accuracy until at some point, one becomes precise. It's like striving for excellence without worrying about being perfect. One just gets better and better.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  23:51, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Today's deletions - 11/9/09[edit]

Discussion about today's deletions may be necessary. We need to find a way (early) to indicate the other two names for these beautiful islands. I realize that there is controversy above regarding the name(s), however since the other two names, the Indonesian Archipelago and Maritime Southeast Asia, both REDIRECT to this page, it is rather imperative for searching readers that they don't land on the Malay Archipelago page and start scratching their heads wondering how they got here. Putting these names at the bottom of the lede might not work so well. This is why I added the Selfref hatnote at the TOP. With the immediate notification to any reader searching for one of the other names and landing here in this article, there would be no scratching of heads.

Editors need to please pay more attention to the impact their edits have across skins. An editor made massive deletions today to the infobox, which made the page look pretty bad in some of the other skins. Fortunately, it still looked okay in the most-used skin, Monobook, however there are 8 other skins that can be used by editors. I use the Simple skin to edit, and here is how the article appeared in the Simple skin: [7]. I have repaired this problem, so we can go on.

The deletions of the countries and cities from the infobox beg the question, "Why?" There are seven countries within this area, this archipelago, and per WP:Preserve I intend to replace them. Before I do, I shall expand the {{Infobox Islands}} template so that all seven countries/states can be included in one infobox. The reason two infoboxes were used is because, as it stands now, the Infobox Islands will only allow six countries to be entered. I believe there may still be controversy over calling them "states" or "countries", and this, too can be addressed.

So please, let's discuss all these deletions of this date. TIA!  —  Ellsworth's Climax  09:15, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

You've highlighted a number of issues which perhaps could be more clearly dealt with separate sections. The confusion of redirects that you mention only occurs because "Maritime Southeast Asia" has been demoted from the first sentence to the end of the lead. I'm not concerned about that happening for the Indonesian archipelago and the East Indies as they are rarely used and historical respectively. MSEA is common enough to be used in the first sentence, particularly if one considers the makeup of the first 100 hits in google for both this term and MA (I haven't looked beyond the first 100 yet).
As for the infobox, there were two and they were repetitive - i removed one. As for removing the city info, why do we need all that? That can be found at the South East Asia page - which is a far more accepted and universally used page. I am not a fan of filling out infoboxes because the parameters are there. Sorry, I'm not so sure what you mean about the skins - does the problem suggest the infobox template perhaps inappropriate? --Merbabu (talk) 09:56, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
(ec). Hi Merbabu! Thank you for your input! Let me go over your concerns and also briefly the general issues. I remain neutral on the issue of the two other names for the Malay Archipelago. You and other editors will hopefully come to consensus on that. My only concern is for the general reader who searches Wikipedia for Maritime Southeast Asia or Indonesian Archipelago (I see you've altered one of the REDIRECTs). That reader will be REDIRECTed to this article. If that name is not prominently displayed (as I did in the hatnote that was removed), then that reader will wonder why he or she wound up in this article.
With the infobox issue comes the fact that I have enabled the {{Infobox islands}} template to now include a 7th country/state (That country vs. state controversy I mentioned actually begins in another article, and an editor has raised the issue on the the template's talk page, so it might not be a concern for us here.), so Singapore can now be included, and there is no more need for a second infobox. You asked, "Why do we need all that?" And the answer is that I certainly don't need it, and you obviously don't need it, however what about the hundreds, perhaps thousands of general readers over time who will more than appreciate having that info right at their fingertips, which is precisely what an infobox is for. It provides rapid information to readers so they don't have to "hunt down" what they need. The major countries that make up the archipelago? how can this not be important and useful information to general readers? The Wikipedia policy, Wikipedia:Preserve, is invoked to keep the country info in the infobox. Yes, I do realize that nothing is etched in stone, and yet as a gentle reminder, editors must have very good reasons and solid grounds, not to mention consensus, to go against policy.
As for skins, all the info you may need is provided in the Skins guideline. I would only add that care should be taken that major edits, such as the removal of the Countries from the infobox, should work well across the skins. What happened was that when you rm'd the countries, you inadvertently deleted the {{Fixbunching}} "end" template. No problem, as I replaced it and the article looks good across all the skins.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  11:53, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
We're in agreement on the demotion of the other terms to the end of the lead, and the problems that might cause for redirected readers - it does seem to be convention that other common terms - as opposed to obscure terms - are also mentioned in the lead. And, we seem to agree that Indonesian archipelago should direct to Indonesia. And now I get why there were two infoboxes there - thanks for fixing it.
I don't agree that we need to list the biggest city of each country. While the countries is probably important, I think listing each countries' biggest city as trivial particularly when this definitional article should not really get much bigger. And, f we include that, why not list say, the religions, or the population, or areas of each country - I'm not saying we list all that, rather what's so important about cities? I get the advantage of infoboxes - i just don't agree that we need to stack them full of info simply because there is a field for it. AND, importantly, not using a field in an infobox is not going against "against policy". Rather, the discussion should be on the specific infobox at hand. --Merbabu (talk) 12:00, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome, and I like the way you did that, Merbabu. The cities are prominently mentioned in the country articles, so your idea to rm the cities and link the countries is definitely sound.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  12:14, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
A hatnote is unnecessary for the alternate terms, as it arguably places undue weight on very minor terms that have yet to be sourced (and note that 'Indonesian Archipelago' actually redirects elsewhere), but otherwise concur with PE's commentary. Bosonic dressing (talk) 10:51, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
I've removed mention of the Indonesian archipelago as it rightly directs elsewhere. I have also removed the list of cities from the infobox. Just because the parameter is there doesn't mean they should all be used. Does it really make sense to list the biggest city in each country? Why? --Merbabu (talk) 11:23, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
pardon me - it appears that "Indonesian archipelago" redirected here to MA. After looking up the pages that used the term, it's clear it means Indonesia and not MA, and should be redirected to Indonesia. regards --Merbabu (talk) 11:51, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, Bosonic dressing, I'm not so sure about the hatnote not being needed. My main concern is for the general reader who plugs Maritime Southeast Asia into the Wikipedia search field, winds up here in this article and wonders why. Whether or not that second name is deemed valid, it does REDIRECT to this article, and it should be prominently mentioned as soon as possible, either in a hatnote or in the first sentence of the lede. As for the other name, Indonesian Archipelago, I see that its REDIRECT has been altered to the Indonesia article. I remain neutral as to the validity of this change, but it was my impression that "Indonesian Archipelago" was an historic name for this Malay Archipelago. I am unaware of any reliable source for that, so I could be wrong.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  12:07, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
The Malay archipelago is an historic term for the area that included the islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago. ;-) A lot of the use for the term Indonesian archipelago is in a history of Indonesia context to get around the fact that before 1945 (or 1949 depending on your side of history) there wasn't actually a state known as "Indonesia". Other usage seems to be comparatively flippant such as in travel guide books or cook books (kinda like Malay archipelago). --Merbabu (talk) 12:12, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, Merbabu! So, I had it backward, then. Just proves that having a good command of English on the English Wikipedia is not enough. One must also be on solid ground when it comes to knowledge of the subjects involved. These articles about these parts of the world are in good hands!
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  07:42, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


There are about I suppose 10 articles or terms linked to this one that are fraught with danger - for the unwary - specially those who enjoy a bit of an argument for the sake of sounding right - in the issue of which of the dominant or over-used terms of 'malay', 'eastern', 'indonesian' 'sundanese' - may in fact be the one to assert is the correct term - the big problem is that conflation of separate subjects have been tangled together for over a hundred years. Earlier the english speaking world conflated the whole south east asian region as the 'eastern indies' - then in the era of Raffles (early 1800's) the 'Malay Peninsula' was a recognised english usage - the big problem is that any current website or encyclopedia or whatever is simply going to provide the malaysian archipelago as a 'fact'. It is not that at all - the usage of a word for the language family and Malayo-Polynesian ethnic identity can be traced in the OED to 1840's - and the big problem is that the race/language identification is simply overlaid with the geographical features that conveniently fall into the same region. However the problems like the wallace line - and other issues that arise as to the variation in ethnic identity and geographical and other identifiable cultural variations do not sit very well with such an over-arching idea. I would suggest that any description of the phenomenon of the ascribed malay archipelago without a careful explanation of the conflation of the linguistic label from the 1840's and the much more recent geographical reach of the claimed archipelago show little understanding of the industry of easy labels that writers have always had - a cheap and unexplained version is always so much easier than a sensitive understanding of the issues of the politics and power behind the etymology of some usages - words become things to batter people and countries with SatuSuro 15:01, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

That is why reference 6 (current reference quoting wallace on the issue) is more in tune with the problems with the label rather than accepting any blanket label without wondering whether it is the langauge or the ethnicity or geography the term is being used for... SatuSuro 15:06, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Are you saying that MA is but a "label"? It would be good to get published academics' comment on this issue. --Merbabu (talk) 15:14, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
They all are b.. labels - they did not exist before some smarties coined the usage - someone in the early 19th century was trying to look at the continuity of language families for the Malayo Polynesian region - and it got published as early as 1840's about that - 'south east asia' for instance was coined sometime much more recently - but they are all inventions, anyone who ignores etymological history (ie the fact that can identified as there is a first usage or coinage of a certain term or phrase - by an author ) - and claims that something is a fact because a derivative or more recent source can establish such - has little hope of reaching an understanding of where it came from - or why it came about. The big problem is the confusion of the malay archipelago as a determinant of language usage or of as a geographical feature - therein lies the quandary - the evidence does not fit - they are two very different things imho SatuSuro 15:28, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, it seems to be the b.. that gets up around here nowadays. --Merbabu (talk) 10:48, 1 December 2009 (UTC)


I've protected this for a week. There are several issues that could benefit from a week of discussion here. And the edit warring is way out of hand.

I'll start one such thread below shortly.

Hesperian 01:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

"Maritime Southeast Asia"[edit]

The history of this article would make an interesting archaeological case study. Such a study would, I think, reveal a rather depressing narrative showing the way in which an article can drift into falsehoods, not through intentional vandalism or POV-pushing, but through innocent treaking and rewriting. This appears to be what has happened with this "Maritime Southeast Asia" claim.

Once upon a time, we had two separate article for "Malay Archipelago" and "Maritime South East Asia". This was a bit problematic because the two terms have quite similar meanings, and it might be argued that their differences are more connotation than denotation.

The first attempt to make clear the difference in this article was by Kelisi on 16 April 2005: "The region known as Maritime Southeast Asia is more or less coëxtensive with the Malay Archipelago, except that Singapore is not usually included in the latter."[8]

Over the next year or so there were several attempts to alter the definition to include Singapore[9], and these were only partially reverted,[10] so that the distinction originally intended was partially lost.

In January 2007 the two articles were proposed to be merged,[11] but discussion stalled. It wasn't until October that Merbabu first commented, saying "Yes, the two are slightly different, but close enough to warrant one article".[12]

Possible Merbabu was prompted to comment on this by MKHH's assertion that the article's location map depicted Maritime Southeast Asia, not the Malay Archipelago.[13]

In December 2007, the Maritime Southeast Asia article was very clumsily merged into this article,[14] and in the process of cleaning up, some poorly worded but possibly important distinctions were lost,[15] and the article lead ended up endorsing the idea that Maritime Southeast Asia and the Malay Archipelago are one and the same, though the original "more or less coextensive" comment remained in place further down.[16]

Still we had the occasional visitor trying to point out that the terms have different meanings.[17]

In July 2009, Starstylers made a series of quite extensive edits that restored the distinction between the two terms,[18][19][20] but their edits, overall, were perceived as unhelpful, and they were reverted.[21]

This brings us to the last few days. One of the last remaining vestiges of a distinction between the two terms was removed by Bosonic Dressing in an attempt to tighten the scope of the article.[22] After an a long edit war, Merbabu restored the distinction somewhat, by adding "although usage of these terms is not always completely synonymous with the term "Malay Archipelago"".[23] Bosonic dressing then quite correctly observed that the source to which the sentence is cited does not have anything to say about the degree of synonymity of the terms.[24] There followed a long and silly edit war over {{failed verification}} tags, which achieved nothing except to polarise the discussion to the point where Merbabu, whose opinion was once 'the two are slightly different, but close enough to warrant one article", was now saying "perfectly obvious its the same region".[25]

What to do then? In my view the four-year-long history of clarification, corrections and counter-corrections in the article history demonstrate that it is certainly not "perfectly obvious its the same region". On the contrary, there are many people out there who think that they differ, in particular with respect to Malaya. Therefore any claim, implicit or explicit, about the degree to which these are synonymous, needs to be cited—and not to a source that merely mentions one or the other; we need a source that explicitly equates or contrasts them. In the absense of such a source, I think the only way forward here is to revert the article merge.

Hesperian 01:57, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I am more than happy for two articles - provided they cross reference each other. However, BD did indicate that that this would be a POV fork, which kind of confirmed my fears, so I really couldn't be bothered given the ill feeling and incivilty. --Merbabu (talk) 02:05, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much for weighing in, H. I was getting exasperated, and lacked the patience/attention to more clearly articulate the issues as you have done. I think we are on the same page, and concur with your recommendations. :) As well, perhaps a cooling period is required. More later. Bosonic dressing (talk) 15:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Malay Archipelago warrants an article if and only if you can find reliable sources on the Malay Archipelago. Maritime South-east Asia warrants an article iff and only if you can find reliable sources on Maritime South-east Asia. The two topics warrant treating within a single article if and only if you can find reliable sources that indicate the degree of similarity or synonymity between the two. It is the last of these conditions that appears not to be met here, and without meeting that condition any POV fork claim is baseless. Hesperian 02:09, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
FOr the last point, "similarity" is certainly met and amply referenced - as is "synonymity" according to my definition of the word. If you mean absolute and definitive 100% co-extensivity, then no - that may not be forth coming - but that is no reason to exclude mention of the other shoudln't be made in either article. Similarity is obvious and by no means WP:SYN.
BD has more recently indicated that a "cleave" would not be out of the question as far he was concerned. Certainly a way forward - but this doesn't resolve the non-universality or non-official nature of the term per SatuSuro's comments. For now as a circuit breaker, I am suggesting two articles that do have cross-referencing that acknowledge the existance of the other term's similarity if not, or as opposed to their identicalness (is that a word?). thanks for your help --Merbabu (talk) 02:05, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I think it should be easy to find sources that define Maritime Southeast Asia; I expect such sources would define it as comprising peninsular Thailand, Malaya, and the archipelago, possibly including New Guinea. I also think it should be easy to find sources that define the Malay Archipelago. The fact that these areas are geographically similar is obvious, and not WP:SYN, I agree. On the other hand, I don't agree with your assertion that similarity is currently "amply referenced". I don't see any sources here that contain any statements about similarity of the terms' meanings. Better to remove the citations and find a wording that will be seen as so obvious that no citation is needed. And by the way, that Worldworx citation is just embarrassing; nothing can be legitimately sourced to a crap site like that. Hesperian 02:48, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
[26] and/or [27]? Both of these mention "Malay Archipelago" and "Maritime Southeast Asia" in the same breath.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  03:40, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
We're citing adventure clubs and dive shops now? If that's all you have, then you have nothing. Hesperian 03:41, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
There are ample sources on MA & MSEA individually - I don’t think anyone disputes that – so moving on. I am not sure that if as you say the similarities between MA & MSEA are obvious, then what is the problem with mentioning MSEA and its similaritues? What would be your suggested wording that makes no citation necessary? I thought “The region is also sometimes referred to as MSEA” (which is not the same as saying the two are interchangeable) – but perhaps that doesn’t cater for MSEA’s inclusion of mainland Malaysia and in one case coastal Vietnam – but that’s still a great similarity. --Merbabu (talk) 03:46, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I think "the region is also sometimes referred to as" implies that they are different names for the same region, but one name is more popular. This is, I think, not true. I think the reality is that Maritime Southeast Asia encompasses both the islands and, to some extent, the peninsulas; i.e. Malaya (perhaps only in part) and (perhaps) peninsular Thailand. That is, MA and MSEA are different regions but they overlap a lot. The original "more or less co-extensive" wording captured it pretty well. But I don't know if this would survive without a source; in general I don't know what statement would be considered sufficiently obvious that no citation is necessary: it sucks working without sources.

My impression is that Malay Archipelago is purely a topographic construct. By definition, an archipelago is a cluster of islands, so any definition must encompass a cluster of islands. You can argue about whether to include New Guinea, but Malaya is clearly, unarguably excluded by virtue of not being an island. On the other hand Maritime Southeast Asia is a geopolitical and cultural construct, and so was defined and redefined in the hurley-burley of history. For example I wouldn't be surprised if some sources include Thailand in MSEA, simply because Thailand turned its back on the mainland and hung out with the non-communist maritime countries during the Cold War. Hesperian 04:25, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

You are correct about Peninsular Malaysia being included in definitions of MSEA. And, logically it is correct to deduce that that Peninsular Malaysia cannot be part of an archipelago, but further exploration of usage *might* show differently – but that’s a distraction.
I too think "more or less co-extensive" wording was good (although no doubt some would insist on quantifying "more or less" even if in the lead to the detriment of good reason) – however, I continue to question the need for a single source linking the two by saying exactly that when the individual sources ‘’show’’ them to be similar even if they don’t categorically say it (with the exception of the diving sites!). Particularly, as you yourself say, the similarity is obvious. --Merbabu (talk) 05:17, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
As a bit of trivia, the vast majority of Malays don't actually live in the Malay archipelago. lol. But, let's KISS --Merbabu (talk) 12:04, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The adventure club perhaps, however the Thailand Diving Club is a National Geographic Dive Center, or did you miss that? National Geographic is a reliable source for a good many things, no?
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  03:58, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Are you taking the piss or what? Hesperian 04:25, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Happy to oblige. Bye now.
 —  Ellsworth's Climax  07:04, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Analytical gobbledegook[edit]

Again, this is completely incomprehensible:

For analytical purposes, Wallace included within the region the Solomon Islands and the Malay Peninsula due to physiographic similarities.

Suggested replacement:

While Wallace himself noted that it is "not geographically correct to include any part of a continent in an archipelago"(insert exact page ref here), his original definition of the term also covered the Malay Peninsula.

Why would this exclude the Solomon Islands though? Jpatokal (talk) 22:22, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

I am unsure why you think it incomprehenisble, since the paper is about (duh) the physiography of the archipelago. The sentence was an attempt to clarify an apparently contradictory statement from Wallace (and pointing out the truism of what an archipelago includes), while being succinct and dealing as well with the Solomons (a carryover from a prior edit). I'm not necessarily satisfied by your proposal, but there may yet be a happy medium. Bosonic dressing (talk) 22:27, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd also question why the lead contains a couple of Wallace's less commonly used terms, yet hides and important distinction about the definition of an area. Given that so many (the majority?) of references to MA relate to a nineteenth century naturalist, it would seem like a rather important definition to include. That simply reemphasises the problem with relying on labels as fact. --Merbabu (talk) 00:02, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Your assertion that MA is largely historical and in reference to Wallace is false, perhaps in furtherance of your stance about the region, since a number of volumes clearly define the region ... and do so by not including (as Wallace also points out) the mainland.[28] After all, that's what an archipelago (at least the contemporary meaning) is. Of course there's no reason why Wallace's definition shouldn't be mentioned but I challenge mentioning that point upfront and placing such (undue) emphasis on it when countless others do not -- my volumes of Oxford and Merriam-Webster make no such mention. Thus, it is appropriately mentioned in the geography section. The mention of alternate names, while a somewhat different issue, seems fine as is, but can be moved down. As pointed out before, let's be mindful of the scope of the article and not confuse and conflate issues. Bosonic dressing (talk) 00:32, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Answers is basically a mirror of wikipedia and an irrelevent item to bring up - when we are considering this subject - to invoke Encyclopedias, dictionaries and online sources - we might as well pack up and go and edit other items, they are totally irrelevent when considering an issue such as this - if we were to abide by mirrors and encyclopedias (sic) - we are in territory where the article will become even more of a mess than it is already - personally I would re-write the whole article- but due to recent conflict over the lead para - I have stayed out - it is a gross misrepresentation of the issues of labels for land and ocean masses in south east asia - and if we had a real sources to hand - it would have been blown out of the water long ago - primarily the issues are etymological and historical - usage prior to wallace, wallace, and post wallce need to be given historic credence - as the lead stands it is a misrepresentation, full stop.

The whole subject of the racial ascription should be in a separate article as well SatuSuro 00:51, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

The problem with the article is it is covering an issue that requires adequate historical understanding of the 'usage' or the initial usage of the label - 'east indies' was the precursor - and the malay ... language/region/peninsula - came after that and then came the wallace issue - to reverse the order of mention in the article would require adequate explnation of why - currently there isnt SatuSuro 00:54, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Actually, no: the 'answers' link exhibits other compendiums and how they define the term (in English), which I provided to for comparison and to be concise. And the lead is little different than those other compendiums. How is that a misrepresentation? In fact, few others have been exhibited that weigh in any other way. If you feel that the article is lacking in historical context, then I don't see any reason why that can't be built upon in the body of the article. The lead should be summative, not an exploration of apparent inequities in the label (which seem more artificial than not).
And as for usage, the body of evidence indicates that the current title is the overwhelmingly predominant label for the entity, full stop: everything else is context, and -- as has been recently demonstrated -- some may even be fodder. The current order of terms in the lead simply seems to reflect contemporary prevalence. Nonetheless, there's a terminology section for added context. Bosonic dressing (talk) 00:57, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

jaza'ir al-jawi[edit]

i read that arab people call malay archipelago as jaza'ir al-jawi or java archipelago but i can't find a reliable source.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Proposed edit[edit]

Admin users may consider a link to Insulindia‎‎, a somewhat archaic term, commonly used discussing the Portuguese imperial history in the region. Too bad people messed up this interestinc topic... T L Miles (talk) 20:38, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

problems with Size section[edit]

First, "by geography, not by number" is confusing because this archipelago *does* have the largest number of islands in the world, so number is true. Perhaps "more by size than by number" is better.

Second, "Sabang to Merauke" is an Indonesian slogan and totally omits Philippines and Nugini. I propose that the range be described as a triangle "Sumatra to Luzon to Papua" even though that omits some of the islands to the east. Martindo (talk) 04:03, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I removed the section as it is quite WP:OR. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 11:05, 24 January 2012 (UTC)