This is all very confusing if you live in Indonesia and are used to how Indonesians identify ethnic groups.

In Indonesia you would say that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib is  a  a orang Bugis.   At no time would the Indonesians say that he is a orang Melayu or even orang keturunan Melayu because his ancestors hail from Sulawesi, not Riau or a small part of Kalimantan that is home to orang Melayu in Indonesia.

Yet in Malaysia, Najib is head of the United Malays National Organization, or Umno, that is the main coalition partner in Malaysia. The organization champions Malay rights and such interesting concepts such as ketuanan Melayu (Malay superiority).

So please help me out: Is Najib a Bugis or a Malay? Or a Gowan (if such a word exists and its not Scottish for a yellowish flower).

Najib: Gowa visit like a homecoming

By SA’ODAH ELIAS

MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi): For Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, his second visit to this capital city of South Sulawesi since becoming Prime Minister is by far the most nostalgic one.

Royal welcome: Najib (centre) and his wife Rosmah, dressed in traditional Gowa costumes, arriving for the 689th anniversary ceremony of the Gowa kingdom yesterday. — Reuters

Royal welcome: Najib (centre) and his wife Rosmah, dressed in traditional Gowa costumes, arriving for the 689th anniversary ceremony of the Gowa kingdom yesterday. — Reuters

“I feel like I am returning to my roots,” said Najib at the end of his one-day official visit yesterday. He is making his fourth visit to the capital.

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