Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An Omitted and Forgotten Part of Malaysian History

Activists Hishamuddin Rais and Adam Adli were arrested in the Sedition Act due to numerous police reports that they have put up a Sang Saka Malaya flag during the Merdeka countdown night at the Merdeka square. What has been noted is that the action by the police was due to the number of police reports made by a few right-wing Malay NGOs including the GPMS.

The Sang Saka flag was one of the parts of the pre-Merdeka Malaysian history that has been omitted and deliberately forgotten. It is meant to paint the picture that it was UMNO that spearheaded the road for independence in 1957. However, the path was traveled twice before:

1. The first attempt was in 1945 just before the end of the Second World War. Japan had agreed to grant independence to Malaya on 17 August 1945. However, following the A-bomb incident resulting in Japan's surrender on 15 August, two days before the set date, the plan was scuppered.

2. The second attempt was in 1946 spearheaded by AMCJA - the All-Malayan Council of Joint Action. Because it has mostly comprised of left-wing people, UMNO calls it a communist.

In the Memoirs of Mustapha Hussain, pg 344, the Sang Saka flag was alluded there. Excerpt:

On behalf of PUTERA, I proposed four more clauses to strengthen our rights, referring to the magic phrase "The 9 Malay States" already in the preamble as proof of PUTERA's absolute right to claim them:

a) Malay to be Malaya's national and official language.
b) Malaya's defense and foreign policies to be handled by the Malayan and British governments with equal responsibility.
c) Malay as the nationality for the people of Malaya.
d) The National Flag would have a red band over a white one.

The problem is there are many NGOs and parties who are actually too emotional and sentimental, not using their brains to think well. This is why there are a flurry of unnecessary police reports made as a result of being blinded from one part of history by the main party that runs the government. It is no wonder that Malaysia was described by someone as the country in the world where there are most number of police reports made!

There are still many who while acknowledged that the national flag did not realize that it(s) design was largely influenced by the American flag (noted for its blue, red and flag bands). On the other hand, our national anthem's tune was largely based on Memula Moon tune, popular in Hawaii. Unfortunately, we didn't acknowledge the work of the original composer, unlike in Germany. The German's national anthem, though it(s) lyrics had changed over the last 200 years, yet it's tune was credited and acknowledged that it was written by the Father of Symphonies himself, Joseph Haydn. 

Are we still in the believe that UMNO was the first and last party that spearheaded independence without bloodshed? On the contrary no. There are precursor parties and events prior to 1957 that shaped the path of independence from colonialization by the English. Why are many Malaysians no longer fly our national flag? Partly it's because they have realized and discovered the unrevealed history of our nation. Partly it's because that the independence fighters, those who have fought against the English including Tok Janggut, Datuk Bahaman and the rest have been totally forgotten by the people and made to do so by the UMNO propaganda machine.

Have we really forgotten as the famous saying of "Melayu mudah lupa?"

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