Which is nothing new nor surprising, since the Nusantara region has been regarded as Greater India.
So it's a shame he has apologised, because he said nothing remotely offensive nor untrue.
The controversial part about South East Asia being an extension of South Asia (mainly India), if anything, is this bit (though Kula never alluded to it):
One of the major issues with Indianisation is the common debate whether or not Indianisation is the reason for the development in South East Asia. Many struggle to date and determine when colonisation in Southeast Asia occurred because of the structures and ruins found that were similar to those in India. Several books and anthropologists believe that India is seen as the superior culture that influenced a lot of Southeast Asian countries. However, throughout this time that many began to debate, other anthropologists suggested that Southeast Asia had indigenous civilisation and the idea of Indianisation was just seen as a 'national motivation'. These debates continued for some time, until the Pacific War, which led to legitimately ending the debates and reviewing Southeast Asia's response to Indianisation.
While it may officially be referred to as Indianisation, there is no doubt that there was significant Chinese influence over South East Asia as well. After all, the East Coast of Malaya has had kingdoms, which were no doubt named by the Chinese such as the Chih Tu and Pahang (or Pan-Huang) and Langkasuka (which was a big force in its own right back in 3CE).
It's just that people tend to underestimate the influence of Islamisation in Malaya -- due to Greater India:
Not only was the spark of Buddhism the driving force for Indianisation coming to an end, but Islamic control took over as well in the midst of the thirteenth century to trump the Hindu kingdoms. In the process of Islam coming to the traditional Hindu kingdoms, trade was heavily practised and the now Muslim Indians started becoming merchants all over Southeast Asia. Moreover, as trade became more saturated in the Southeast Asian regions wherein Indianisation once persisted, the regions had become more Muslim populated. This so-called Islamic control has spanned to many of the trading centres across the regions of Southeast Asia, including one of the most dominant centres, Malacca, and has therefore stressed a widespread rise of Islamisation.
It was possibly during this time that Hindus began to recognise the dominance of Islam and marginalise its adherents, though perhaps that is a more recent thing. It's ironic that India marginalises its Muslim community. Even more bizarre that Myanmar refuses to acknowledge the Rohingya who have lived in the fringes for centuries.
I've blogged extensively on the issue of being called "pendatang", and I am tired of it. Only in Malaysia does such a trivial issue take up such levels of public interest and even aggression.
Perhaps that's what makes people tick -- feeling superior to someone else and belittling them.
Not too long ago, an Indian mob attacked a bunch of Muslim men who were minding their own business, going about India on a road trip (something they are perfectly entitled to do). The vicious assault left one of the five men, Mohammed Azam, a UK-educated IT worker from India's tech hub in Hyderabad, dead, and at least two of the others badly beaten.
The reason for that mindless assault? The answer given was, "He looked like a terrorist."
I despair. One nation champions its Malay Muslimhood and another flaunts its Hindu privilege. Yet they are both of the same stock.