Wkikipedia : The Serama (Malay Ayam Serama), also called the Malaysian Serama is a bantam breed of chicken originating in Malaysia within the last 50 year.
The Malaysian Serama origins and history are unclear. There are legends of it being descent from a chance cross between a pigeon and chicken. Other stories of the birds derived from a gift of some small chickens by the King of Thailand to a local sultan in ancient times. It was almost certainly developed in Kelantan Province in Malaysia (near Thai border). Small chickens have always been popular pets in this area and are often referred to as "ayam katik" (pygmy chickens) and "ayam cantik" (pretty chickens).
The modern breed is attributed to the efforts of Wee Yean Een from Kelantan, who named the breed "Serama" after Raja Sri Rama, a character in the Wayang Kulit (or shadow puppet plays). The breed was first exhibited in 1990 The breed was hit hard by the Asian bird flu epidemic in 2004 when many birds were culled amid government concerns.
There are no written standards for the breed in Malaysia. Many breeders have a style or type that they breed to, but often breeders keep several "styles". These styles are often names given by breeders to describe a blood line of a champion (e.g. Husin, Mat Awang), but may also be more general shape, characteristics or behaviour (e.g. slim, ball , apple, and dragon). Hence there is quite a lot of diversity in Malaysia. All the different styles compete against each other in open table top competitions (often described as "beauty contests") and scored by several judges.
The Malaysian Serama is not constrained by a single set standard in its homeland, this is why the Malaysian Serama has evolved so much in such a short timespan and still continues to evolve there today. There have been calls for an official body to step in and set standards for the various styles. However, some Malaysians have argued that a standard should not be set because it would limit the breed. One influential Serama breeder making the analogy with the automobile: "The designs for the perfect automobile is not set out by government, so why should they specify one for Serama chickens. Technology moves forward and we learn and design new things. So why should it be any different with chickens."