Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kontroversi novel Interlok makin hangat

Imperative that the public lock horns over ‘Interlok’
Written by K Pragalath   
Friday, 28 January 2011 17:17

Introduction by CPI
The Star today frontpaged ‘Interlok stays’ as its main story and reporting Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin as saying the contentious novel is to remain a Form 5 exam text but with amendments to several aspects “deemed sensitive by the Indian community”.
A section of the Indian community suspects that the selection of this more than 40-year-old book – only reprinted as recently as last year – was impelled by an ulterior motive. The novel Interlok not only portrays the Indian community as the ‘pariah’ class that emigrated to the peninsula but has as its running theme a recurrent allusion to the Indian and Chinese races as ‘pendatang’ as well as many negative, racial stereotypes.
Muhyiddin was quoted by The Star (source: Bernama) as saying that his ministry’s decision to retain ‘Interlok’ was made “after taking into consideration the views of all parties, which acknowledged that the book was good in nurturing and strengthening unity among the multi-racial and multi-religious society in Malaysia”.
The Minister’s rationale and claim of “nurturing unity” fail to withstand scrutiny when there have been nationwide protests against the book, countless police reports as well as threats of civil suits. These very acts in themselves are already indicative of the deep cleavages and ill-will that the book has engendered.
Are we to trust Malay Literature teachers, predominantly belonging to one race, to exercise an adequate wisdom and tact over such an emotion-rousing novel when the racist utterances of the Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and Kulaijaya (Johor) school principals still leave a sour taste in the mouth?
And are we to hope that the impressionable students sitting the exam who are tasked with writing standard exam answers – where their essays will be expected to fit the officially prescribed model and thinking mode – will not be subtly and sublimally brainwashed ala the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) modus operandi?
In fact, complainants even suggest that the book was selected for this year’s reading list in bad faith and with the hidden agenda of denigrating Indians; the novel has too much potential to cause Indian students to become the object of derision in the classroom and victims of a state-fostered inferiority complex.
It is therefore timely that CPI has translated the article below so that a wider public may be aware of the woeful lack of understanding of India, Indians, Indian history, Indian customs and culture, and the Indian immigration to this land as shown by the author of the controversial book Abdullah Hussain.
Translation by CPI
By K Pragalath
A writer of Indian ethnicity has urged National Laureate Datuk Abdullah Hussain not to involve himself in the current controversy over the book ‘Interlok’. Uthaya Sankar SB, the Kavyan Writers Group president, said this was because the novel under discussion is the student’s edition edited by Ruziati Abdul Rani and Baharin Aiyob, and first published in 2010.
‘Interlok’, the student’s edition used as a Literature component for the Bahasa Malaysia Form 5 subject, contains factual errors. This is the view of Uthaya presented during his briefing on the book here in Shah Alam today (Jan 16).
One factual error already known to the public is the mention of the Pariah and Brahma (sic) castes -- which don’t exist.
“Kamus Dewan (dictionary published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka) defines ‘caste’ as the classification of people according to categories, that is, Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra.” According to Uthaya, the name ‘Brahma’ on the other hand refers to a god in the Hindu religion.
Discussing the characterisation of the protagonist Maniam’s family, Uthaya said the novel was unclear in stating whether Maniam is a Tamil, Malayali or Telugu although the story begins in Kerala, India. [CPI note: Tamil immigrants who form the majority were from the state of Tamil Nadu] 
Furthermore, the name ‘Maniam’ is not a Malayali name.
According to Uthaya, Malabar and Kerala were referred to in the novel as two separate places whereas Malabar is actually the old name for Kerala state.
The author Abdullah Hussain’s explanation of the Kathakali dance is also incorrect as he had said the dancers used masks when in fact they use ‘make-up’.
Abdullah places Kerala geographically as a state “a little to the north of Tamil Nadu” when the atlas shows that Kerala lies to the north of Andhra Pradesh. Kerala is also pictured as filled with paddy fields when it is better known for its coconut trees.
Uthaya listed other reasons why Indians emigrated other than because of the caste system. Among them, job opportunities, the raising of quit rent and British pressure on the local industry that was in competition with its own textile industry.
The book also pictures the Indian community in Penang as being 50 percent Malayali and the remaining half Tamil and Telugu when in fact 80 percent of the Indians at that time were Tamils.
Uthaya told his audience at the Shah Alam library (where the briefing was held) that the chapter on Maniam’s family failed to portray a correct Indian ‘worldview’ with a corresponding appreciation of Indian culture.
The character of Malini calls her husband Maniam by his personal name whereas women of that period would never do that (as it’s not the culture to do so).
Uthaya was also curious as to why Malini calls her father Perumal ‘papa’ and not ‘appa’ (the Indian term). Other misses on cultural nuances include when the character of Mariama is said to be ‘single’ (membujang) after the death of her husband when the more appropriate word is ‘widow’(balu).
In the book Maniam is said to have come alone to Tanah Melayu in 1910 even though the Pengajian Malaysia (Malaysian Studies) states that the inflow of free labour was stymied in 1859 because the travel fare was too expensive.
When the character Suppiah prostrated, it was misrepresented as kowtowing to the white man when the act is usually done only as a mark of respect to one’s parents to obtain their blessing.
Uthaya also questioned Abdullah’s description of using skulls as a form of traditional medicine practice.
“Why are the Malay NGOs protesting (in defence of the book)? It (the book) is misleading (hence the reason for the Indians objecting to its use as an exam text).”
Uthaya also commented on Abdullah’s claim that he (Abdullah) was a follower of Gandhi’s teaching.
“Gandhi referred to them (the untouchables) as ‘Harijan’ which means Children of God (unlike Abdullah who termed them as ‘pariah’).
As a response to the Gapena resolution [CPI note: Gapena head Ismail Hussain is brother to ‘Interlok’ author Abdullah Hussain] which declared that the Malay literary body will not permit the book to be altered “even in one word”, Uthaya pointed out that there are several sentences found in the special edition but missing from the student’s edition. He cited as a contrary example the poem ‘Gagak Hitam’ by National Laureate A. Samad Said where the poem was not only translated into English but had one line amended.
Uthaya also responded to an Utusan columnist concerning the (lack of) protest against a book (similarly touching on caste) by Mulk Raj Anand titled ‘Untouchables’.
Uthaya countered that Mulk’s book did not draw any protest because it is not a component of the English Literature syllabus in Malaysia.
Another writer Lim Swee Tin who spoke at the same briefing session was of the opinion that it would be better if Abdullah Hussein himself himself made the necessary changes to the text in the interest of the students. Lim said this was the better approach as a writer is usually very particular about his work being changed.
The article above titled ‘Fakta Interlok edisi murid banyak mengelirukan’ was first published in Free Malaysia Today on Jan 16, 2011 and translated from Malay by CPI with permission from the writer and the news portal.


Comments (3)

  • dian  - hidden agenda vs stupidity
    the depp minister and his errand boys operate out of stupidity. an hidden agenda is improbable.
    if you give a monkey a garland of flowers.....thats what they are doing to malaysia! we are made to look stupid.
  • Eric  - Christians Under Siege: The Challenge of Religious

    Conflicts and killings from Africa to Southeast Asia have brought into sharp relief the significant threat to religious minorities in some Muslim societies. While constitutionally entitled in many countries to equality of citizenship and religious freedom, religious minorities in the Muslim world increasingly fear the erosion of their rights -- and with good reason. Interreligious and inter-communal tensions have flared up not only in Egypt and Malaysia but also in Sudan, Nigeria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan. hristians-under-siege-th_b_814309.html?ref=tw
  • kanda
    The Interlok novel is the prescribed novel for students in Zone B viz. Kuala Lumpur, selangor, Negri Sembilan and Putra Jaya. The first three states are populated by substantial number of Indians/Tamils compared to other regions/zones.
    Now you know why the novel is being thrust upon the poor indian students viz to keep them in line and put them in their place and to be constantly reminded that they are "pendatang".

Empayar Melaka satu kampung yang dibangakan?

Malacca is a glorified kampung fiction
Written by John Doe   
Monday, 24 January 2011 13:49
Students in Malaysia are forced to study Malaccan history. They are told that Parameswara is the first Sultan of ‘Malaya’. They are also told that Malacca was a great empire. However, there is no evidence of Malacca today. In fact, there is only and plenty of evidence of the Dutch, the Portuguese, and Bukit Cina.
I previously presented empirical evidence of the Chinese arriving in ‘Malaysia’ since the 5th century. Some argued that the evidence only pertained to East Malaysia [Borneo].
Well, today we shall look at the peninsula. Let us examine why Malacca is touted as a tourist site. Malacca was supposedly founded in 1403, and 1403 is often earmarked as the Adam and Eve of Malaysia. Just like I showed how Brunei already had 900 years of kings and sultans before the ‘first Sultan’ of Brunei, let us look at one of the Sultans who was on the throne before Paramesawara. His name is Malik ul Salih. 
Few people have even heard of Beruas. Even Malaysians who live in Beruas do not know the significance of the land which they stay. Paramesawara is supposedly the first Muslim king of Malaya. If he truly was, then there should be no pre-first Muslim ‘king of Malaya’, right? The name to remember is Malik ul Salih. He is Acehnese. He dreamt of the Prophet Muhammad, and decided to convert to Islam. He then moved to Beruas.
Here is another pendatang from Sumatera, who did pretty much the same thing as Parameswara, although Malik ul Salih did not murder any Temasik king, unlike his fellow pendatang from Palembang Parameswara. He also set up a Sultanate in Beruas, but he is completely and conveniently forgotten.
The year that Malik ul Salih died in Beruas was 1267. Here is a confirmed Muslim pendatang Sultan from Sumatera who died 136 years before Parameswara stamped his own Malayan visa. 
Is the omission of Beruas from mainline history because there is nothing to show for this Beruas kingdom? That’s a very lame excuse, because there is similarly nothing from the Malaccan Sultanate to show for either.
Yet there are four Acehnese royal graves in Beruas (photo). They are close to the school, and not far from the Beruas Museum. So it appears that evidence of these Muslim Sultans is swept aside. Why?
What if the Perak line was from the Beruas line, and not from the Malaccan line? Who’s to know?
Surprisingly, this is also what you will see. Hidden behind a small fence is this – tagged as Batu Aceh.
And for some strange reason, the government of Indonesia refuses to recognise or acknowledge the existence of the Samudera-Pasai kingdom. Here’s a picture of Sultan Malikus Salih’s gravestone. What is the conspiracy? Why are some royal bloodlines systematically erased from history? Were these Sultans Shi’ite Muslims and could this be the reason their histories are erased?
What was the unwritten pact between Malaya and Indonesia which denies the Samudera- Pasai kingdom its very existence? Pick up a copy of the history atlas of Indonesia, and you will see that Pasai does not exist. I find this so extremely strange as there is ‘Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai’.
I find Malaysia’s choice of showcasing Ketuanan Belanda and Ketuanan Portugis, Ketuanan Bukit Cina and Ketuanan Perigi Hang Li Poh simply fascinating. Where is the Ketuanan Parameswara? Why is there no evidence of Ketuanan any Sultan of Malacca? How can Malaysians be taught supposed history for which no evidence exists?
Are Malaysians that stupid to believe that Malacca was this fantastically great empire which had its EVERY single historical and archaeological trace removed? What did the Portuguese do when they came to Malacca? Vacuum the place of trace evidence?
Let me offer you the most plausible reason to the choice of Malacca as the centerpiece of Ketuanan Melayu history; and I’ll do this by taking you to Thailand for an analogy.
The Thais insist that Sukhothai is the first Thai kingdom. They will tell you that it is clearly 700-plus years old. And right next door is the kingdom of Lanna, which is of the same time-frame, i.e. also from the 13th century. Yet, the present day Thais do not select Lanna as the original Thai kingdom. They also do not pick Lamphun, Lamphang, Lan Xiang, or Chen La. And prior to those, the Chiang Saen and Heokam kingdoms. And I would ask you why?
Why not pick any of those older kingdoms? The only reason the Thais to choose Sukhothai is exactly the same reason as the one selected by Brunei. Despite tangible empirical evidence for much earlier kingdoms and Sultanates, they chose the ones they did, because, and ONLY because, the present Kings are from that lineage. Nothing more and nothing less.
Brunei also has its pre-‘Adamic’ line of Sultans or kings. And so did Thailand and its history.
However, in the case of Malaysia, this brings additional problems. Some Sultans migrated to Malaya from Pattani, and some are Bugis from Sulawesi. Raja Lumu (Sultan Sallehuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Daeng Chelak; 1705-1778) was the first Sultan of Selangor. He was the son of Daeng Chelak. He took on the title of Sultan Sallehuddin of Selangor in 1742. Look at the year again very, very, very carefully.
Raja Lumu was here a mere 35 years before the British arrived. Only 35 years! That is not very long indeed. This also means that the first Sultan of Selangor came 78 years after the Dutch arrived!!! If the Sultan of Selangor was a Bumiputera, then surely the Dutch should be Bumiputera as well. Surely the Dutch and Portuguese descendents should be granted Bumiputera status and allowed to buy houses and Amanah Saham Nasional at discounted prices.
Well actually, the Portuguese in Malacca are in fact Bumiputera, so let’s see who else arrived before the Portuguese? The Babas and Nyonyas! Strangely, the Babas and Nyonyas are NOT Bumiputera. This is advertently stranger than strange. How can the Chinese who arrived earlier than the historical Sultan of Selangor by 339 years not be Bumiputera?
The Babas and the Nyonyas have been outright cheated.
I know a Kerala boy who became Prime Minister. Well, I’ll only clue you in on the year 1963 when it was decided that arriving to Malaya early does not necessarily qualify one to be a Bumiputera. The first and original inhabitants of Malaya since 60,000 years ago also got stripped of any putative Bumiputera status. The Orang Asli are on paper not Bumiputera. This is shameful.
I’m so glad that History is now a compulsory SPM subject, because I, John Doe, will do everything possible to make sure that all Malaysians are educated on real history. Not the retarded version which Umno teaches in schools but the one which actually happened, and is well recorded by respectable sources and unbiased resources from the world over.
This is my pledge to Malaysians.

Buddhist Beruas-artefacts found near Ipoh and Jalong respectively.
The Batu Bersurat Terengganu is at least 300 years older than Malacca. Civilization in Kedah is much older and Lembah Bujang kingdom will attest to this. Unfortunately, it was a Hindu Kingdom, and therefore, sidelined.
So back to Malacca for now. Why is Malacca important? Or rather, is Malacca even important? Or is it only important as a tourist site? What about Buddhist Kota Gelanggi? What happened to Muslim Beruas? And what about Hindu Lembah Bujang?
And Tioman. What happened in Tioman? It was used as a stopover by the Chinese even before the Prophet Muhammad was born. Why shut this information out? I’m still curious to learn the location of the Chi-Tu Kingdom, which was a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom somewhere in Kelantan. Or the female ‘Sultans’ of Kelantan, probably a legacy from their previous Cham matrilineal days. (The Kelantanese migrated from Vietnam, for those who do not know) while the Kelantanese royalty are intertwined with the Thai-Pattani line.
And whatever happened to ‘New China’ as called by the Kadazans for ‘CheenaBalu’? The tallest mountain in Southeast Asia is earmarked as ‘New China’. This happened 300 years before the first ‘Tanah Melayu’ appeared anywhere on record.
Where do the records of Malacca lie? They are all in the Portuguese records. And why? Because the Portuguese made Malacca great. It was a simple fishing village before that.
Let me illustrate this a little further. Anyone who has been to Lake Toba in Sumatera will readily tell you that every 800 metres or so lies a tomb of a great King. They are not of the same royal Line. Everybody wanted to be king. In fact, if you are ready to believe that a kingdom can consist of less than 100 people, then you will worship this ‘king’. But back in those days, all kings were Gods. And all women wanted to mate with the God-Kings and produce godlets (a word like piglets).
Being the king’s mate meant that the women had slightly better food, and a nice house to stay in. Perpetuate the lie long enough, and the entire descendants would continue worshipping these God-Kings.
A typical and traditional Batak Home.
Sejarah Melayu’ was originally titled ‘Asal-Usul Raja-Raja’. It was written in 1623. This was 200 years after Parameswara ‘swam’ across bay to reach Malacca. How could anyone have known what it was like 200 years ago in those days of 1623? Two hundred years between 1623 and 1403 equates to at least six generations. You have problems remembering what you ate six days ago, let alone 200 years. 
What the writer of ‘Asal-Usul Raja-Raja’ tried to do was justify the royal lineage and concocted that the Malacca kings were descendants of Alexander the Great and a West Indian princess.
Assuming the writer is correct, Alexander was a Greek. And if a Greek and an Indian had gotten married, their offspring would look somewhat Middle-Eastern. The writer obviously did not have the benefit of using DNA to prove or disprove his own claim because he made his assertion in 1623. However, today, we know that Austronesians are a blend of Mongoloids and Dravidoids. In short, Malays are basically Chindians. None look like Shah Rukh Khan.
So in conclusion, Malacca had to be glorified while its Babas and the Nyonyas had to be buggered. In short, Malacca is not the oldest: It is not the first Sultanate, not the first local civilization of Muslims, and there’s certainly no trace evidence of the Ketuanan Malacca today other than one physical coinage (see my previous article).
The Hang Tuah, Hang Kesturi, Hang Lekir, Hang Lekiu and Hang Jebat graves could be any Hindu person’s grave. Yet no other Muslim graves of note, and certainly no Sultan’s grave were ever found to substantiate the Malacca story of glory. If not, then I pose my parting question to you again: What exactly is Malacca?
Glorified kampung fiction?

Comments (14)
  • baba wind
    if you note that Hang Li Po and the other Hangs might come from the Han era from china during that age. They might be chinese, just a thought someone mentioned to us.
    baba wind
  • Zul Fakri  - Penyatuan Banga Malaysia
    Penulisan si John nampak hebat tetapi hakikat nya ia nya cetik. Olahan dari seorang yang cuba menangguk di air keroh. Cuba mengenakan UMNO, aku tidak peduli dengan parti itu, tetapi olahan sejarah yang sempit yang cuba memesong fakta yang mudah sangat ketara sekali. Fakta nya ialah Tanah Melayu sebahagian dari Nusantara sejagat merangkumi Ache, Riau, Jawa, Bugis, Sulu, Manila, Patani dan Campa. Bahasa jiwa bangsa, walaupun berbagai suku dan bahasa di seluruh Nusantara disatukan dengan Bahasa Melayu. Jika orang Pelembang datang ke Melaka dia pendatang tapi bukan orang asing kerana dia berbahasa Melayu. Itu lah hebat nya Melayu. Baik Cheng Ho yang Islam datang membina mesjid di Nusantara, ia tetap pendatang asing ke Alam Melayu. Apa juga yang datang baik dari Arab atau India, mereka semua pendatang asing ke Alam Melayu, bagi orang tempatan mereka orang asing kerana perlu belajar utuk berbahasa Melayu. Semua yang datang diterima dengan baik oleh masyarakat tempatan, mereka akhirnya petah bercakap Melayu. Tiada masaalah semua hidup aman dan damai berzaman zaman seperti baba dan nonya. Kini ada bangsa seperti penulis ini yang cuba menangguk di air keroh menunjuk lagak pandai, memperkecilkan peradaban bangsa di Tanah Melayu. Nusantara memang menjadi tarikan peradaban dunia, Hindu dan Budha meninggalkan binaan yang utuh di Yokjakarta, juga di Campa tetapi kesan yang tidak dapat dipisah dari kebanyakan jiwa peribumi Nusantara ialah roh Islam melainkan sebahagian di Manila. Nusantara berpecah dengan kawasan politik akibat dari bangsa penjajah barat. Bangsa asing menambil kesempatan atas kelemahan peribumi ini adalah satu kenyataan. Mujur lah Tanah Melayu bersatu dengan Sarawak dan Sabah menjadi Malaysia. Orang yang bernama seperti John Doe ini cuba mengambil kesempatan keduniaan, dia berjaya di Singapura, ia juga melaga laga kita dengan isu bumiputra, tetapi faktanya ialah bumiputera ialah peribumi alam ini yang bangsa nya di satukan dengan bahasa Melayu dan akan terus menyatukan penduduk peri bumi Nusantara dan akan bersatu melangkau daerah politik dan suku kaum. Hanya pendatang yang asing tidak dapat menerima satu bangsa Malaysia yang berbahasa Melayu, masih mahu dirikan sekolah bahasa asing yang menghalang penyatuan bangsa Malaysia.
  • Jonathan  - Great Work!
    John Doe..please continue using your pseudonym...for fear they will end up hounding you like RPK. WE need you here to expose this shenanigans...
    There has to be a distinction between the murderous Sultanate Malays like Parameswara, Tengku Kudin and Daim Zainuddin , etc who all made their money by levying a toll and piracy and ...the rest of the Malays who dont....
    How do you make that distinction....UMNO and non UMNO???
  • steve
    The Hang Tuah, Hang Kesturi, Hang Lekir, Hang Lekiu and Hang Jebat graves could be any Hindu person’s grave.It is possible or maybe they have been creameted according to Hindu rites.If you look at the Balinese(decendents of Majaphit empire)till today they either creamete or bury their dead.
    I also believe the present Portuguese community in Malacca were actually decendents of the Portuguese/Dutch solders and the local Malay women.Since they did not bring their womenfolk or mayby a few they must have married the locals at that time.Well you can look at the apperance of the portuguese community in malacca are similar to the Malays rather than the European.Maybe the present day syariah law cannot be enforced under the colonial rule.
  • tony
    it's all about monopoly.
  • Hadi Khalid  - intelectual findings
    if you stand by your "intellectual findings" and "historical evidence"..why use a pseudonym??
  • Harry Wotsit
    nice piece of fiction. it's good to read.
  • najib manaukau  - najib manaukau
    All these stories about how courageous the early Malays were, are only stories and you can write anything you want when you write stories.
  • raje  - Chinny Chin Chiin
    The long prevailing idea goes that Dravidians had migrated to Yunan in China and interbred with locals.The hybrids(Polynesians) were driven away by northern Han Chinese. Most migrated to Southeast Asia and multiplied n r of the same stock. But it remains a hypothesis n not proven.
    Oh n by the way the Dravidians themselves had supposedly originated from the Indus plains (of the Mohenjodaro n Harappa fame) n had been driven by the Aryans and most had settled in southern India.But that remains unproven as well.
    More! Before the Dravidians took up residence in the Indus plains, they were supposed to have originated from Sumeria (of the Tigris Euphrates fame). Similar temple architecture n religious practices (read procession of deities, chariots)as in southern india r claimed to hv existed in Babylon. But it is unproven.
    Where hailed they b4 that? Africa probably.
    Damn! Go back a few ten thousand years more n even the Nordics wr from thr. We r all the same arent we?
  • Serious Shepherd  - Selat Melaka
    I am not really into the 'official' version of history (like Sulalatus Salatin is translated as Sejarah Melayu, despite its obvious meaning as Salsilah Sultan2, nampak sangat we learn history from the orang puteh who renamed the book as Malay Annals), but I would like to know why the longest strait in the world is named after this 'kampung fiction', and not the long volcanic island, or the kingdom north of the long volcanic island.
    "What did the Portuguese do when they came to Malacca? Vacuum the place of trace evidence?"
    Probably.Maybe the evidence lies beneath St. Paul's Hill or under St. John's fort. I don't know about the Portuguese but we know how the Dutch razed Baiturrahman Mosque in Acheh in 1873 (at least they have the manner to decide to reconstruct the mosque a few years later).
    Malacca was probably not even an empire. Same goes with Hong Kong and Singapore today.

Apa yang tiada dalam sejarah Melayu

Malay history: What’s missing from the textbooks
Written by John Doe   
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 18:07

Brunei has always been known to be one of the earliest Muslim Kingdoms in Southeast Asia. They pride themselves in this fact. All their neighbors pride themselves in this too, and of course, since it is fact, it is irrefutable. Right?
Good. Let’s quickly look at some FACTS then:
It is taught in school textbooks that Pateh Berbai, the brother of Awang Semaun and Awang Alak Betatar, discovered Brunei. Awang Alak Betatar subsequently became Brunei’s first Sultan and was known as Sultan Muhammad Shah. Awang Semaun and Awang Alak Betatar were the famous heroes in Brunei during that time.
Sultan Muhammad Shah was the first Sultan of Brunei. He ruled Brunei from 1363 to 1402. He was the first Muslim ruler of Brunei as a result of his conversion to Islam in 1363 for his marriage to a Johorean-Temasik princess. Prior to conversion to Islam, he was known as Awang Alak Betatar.
He sent a mission to China in 1371 by which his name is recorded in Ming historical record as Mo-ha-mo-sha. Sultan Muhammad Shah died in 1402. Sultan Muhammad Shah was the first Sultan of Brunei. He ruled Brunei from 1363 to 1402. He married the daughter of Iskander, a Johorean-Temasik princess introduced by Bal-Paki, her brother-in-law to be.
So far so good... Oh Really?
Read the above again very carefully !! Sultan Muhammad Shah married a Johorean-Temasik princess in 1363. Now, for all those products of Biro Tata Negara (BTN) out there, what year was Malacca formed? 1403. So, there was a Johor king already in 1363? Are you going to argue with Ketuanan Brunei on this? (By the way, he’s more Melayu than YOU!) Also for those who insist that Penang be handed over to Kedah, read the following again and again …
The Johor ruler was under the Thais. The entire Peninsular belonged to the Thais! The ‘king’ of Singapore (Temasik), whom Parameswara of the Malaccan Sultanate murdered in cold blood was in fact the brother-in-Law of the ‘King’ of Pattani, who was under Ayodthaya rule. For those who do not know, Ayodthaya is in Thailand. And that, my friend was already well established before 1363.
Next, Kota Gelanggi was also another Thai City, (yet to be publicized). And why not? Because it is a Thai Buddhist kingdom. Yes, it’s along the Johor River. All I’m allowed to say at this point is that Kota Gelanggi is REALLY along the Johor River. Expose Kota Gelanggi, and you will find its 30ft Buddha statues and its many Buddhist Temples, in all it's glory.
So, for Penang to go back to Kedah, ALL of the peninsula needs to go back to the Thais. Sarawak needs to go back to Brunei, Brunei needs to go back to Majapahit, Sabah needs to go back to the Philippines, and Parameswara needs to go back to Palembang, leaving the Orang Asli in charge all over again. (I find it ludicrous that the Orang Asli are disqualified as ‘Bumiputera’ although they have been here since 60,000 years ago)
Next, the year 1363 is of great significance. Why? That was the year that the first Sultan of Brunei converted to Islam. And he immediately became the Ruler of Brunei? What was he before that? A fisherman? A carpenter? A farmer? What was Awang Alak Betatar in 1362? And what happened the following year when he became a Sultan? Is becoming a Muslim enough to justify becoming a Sultan? Was he the first person in Brunei to convert to Islam?
Let's scroll back time by 100 years; the year is now 1264. A full hundred years BEFORE Awang Alak Betatar converted to Islam, and declared himself a Sultan. A trip to Bandar Seri Begawan is not complete unless one visits the Muslim graves at Rangas. Chuck your ‘pantang’ out the window if you want to enjoy this first-hand, and in real life. Amongst these tombstones is the one of a Chinese Muslim by the name of Pu Kung Chih-mu. He was buried there in 1264. He was a Muslim, buried in a Muslim grave! This is more than a hundred years earlier, before the ascension of Awang Alak Betatar as the ‘first’ Sultan of Brunei. Not only that, he is not the only Chinese Muslim there. I cross-checked against the Brunei Museum Journal of 1993, and found that this has been so well documented!! In fact, this grave had already been found since 1973. Whole communities of Chinese Muslims had already been living in Kampong Batu well before the 12th Century. It is clearly recorded in the 1973 Brunei Museum Journal, and was visited by professors from Japan and China. Pictures are on page 3, 4, 6, 8 and 12. Some are even in colour.
So, here's another nugget for BTN un-educators. The Chinese brought Islam to this region in 1264. Wait! That's not even correct. It was even earlier, because, this Muslim Chinese died in 1264. He had lived a full life in Brunei before he died. And before anyone even thinks of contesting this, let me draw your attention to yet another well-established fact, and let’s see how early the Chinese arrived.
According to records – as in the ‘Notes on the Malay Archipelago and Malacca Compiled from Chinese Sources’ by WP Groeneveldt in 1880 – a Chinese Islamic trader arrived in Brunei in the 10th century. His name was P’u-lu-shieh. He was both a trader and a diplomat. SQ Fatimi writing in the Sociological Research Institute in Singapore in 1963 under an article entitled ‘Islam Comes to Malaysia’, P'u-lu-shieh name is akin to Abu al-Layth.
The Brunei King at that time was named ‘Hiang-ta’. The arrival of the diplomat-trader from China was greeted with great ceremony. If this is so, Islam actually arrived in Brunei in the year of 977.
If this is the year 977, and the Sultan’s name in the year 977 is Hiang-Ta, then how can Awang Alak Betatar be the ‘first’ Sultan of Brunei in 1363? For those with very bad logic (or timeline problems), the year 977 is 406 years older than 1363. And in the year 977, the Chinese were already sending Muslim ambassadors to Brunei. The real question should be, thus, who exactly was that ‘Hiang Ta’ who ruled Brunei in the year 977? An Iban? A Kadazan or a Chinese?
It gets even better. The MOST interesting thing was that the Brunei king’s delegation to China to return the emperor’s greetings was also headed by another Muslim official by the name of P’u A-li (Abu Ali).
Based on this fact alone, Abu Ali must have held an important position in the Brunei government if he was tasked to be Brunei’s ambassador in those days. This is again, irrefutable proof that there was already a government, with a King, and some members of his royal court were Muslims. Again, this is proof that Islam had already reached Brunei before the year 977. This is 75 years into the beginning of the Soong Dynasty, and only severely retarded people will say that Abu Ali was an Arab because of his name.
And by the way, Malacca was not to have been discovered for another 400 years. Is there a prawn under the stone? You can bet your bottom dollar (because Ringgit is worthless toilet paper) that whenever John Doe writes, there is. 
A number of European historians claimed that Brunei was still not a Muslim nation until the 15th century. However, the Ming Shih, Book 325, a Chinese reference book noted that the King of Brunei in 1370 was Ma-ho-mo-sa. Some say that this should be read as Mahmud Shah. In fact, local Brunei historians prefer to take this to refer to Muhammad Shah, the first Sultan of Brunei.
Robert Nicholl, a former Brunei Museum curator argued in another paper entitled ‘Notes on Some Controversial Issues in Brunei History’ in 1980 that the name Ma-ho-mo-sa could be pronounced as Maha Moksha which means ‘Great Eternity’. ‘Maha Mokhsa’ would make it a Buddhist name. Nicholl goes on to argue that even the Brunei Sultan who died in Nanjing in 1408 was not a Muslim. (History books always detail that the Sultan of Brunei went to China, but few will state that he died there),
Another historian Paul Pelliot said Ma-na-jo-kia-nai-nai was reconstituted as Maharajah Gyana (nai). But the closest title would have been Maharaja Karna. However Brunei historians have insisted that the King was Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan, who would have been the second Sultan of Brunei.
Nicholl further argued that Sultan Muhammad Shah converted to Islam as late as the 16th century and not during the 14th century as is widely known. However according to Brunei historians, Sultan Muhammad Shah converted to Islam in 1363 and that he ruled until 1402. After which time, it was Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan, who died in China who ascended the throne. That was when Sultan Ahmad reigned in Brunei beginning 1406.
And why did I bring up this detail? Simple !! Read the top all over again:

  • Sultan Muhammad Shah married a Johorean-Temasik Princess in 1363.
  • And that Kota Gelanggi and the entire peninsular Malaya belonged to the Thais. And if this is true and correct, then both the Sultan of Brunei and his wife, would have been Buddhists.
  • In fact, the entire peninsular Malaya had been Buddhist and/or Hindu ever since the second century when Lembah Bujang was built. And since this is the year 1363, all of Brunei and Borneo was also under the rule of King Hayam Wuruk, who was King of the Majapahit empire. And what religion did they have? (I’ll give you a hint... they built the Borobudor. And for those who claim that Borobudor is a mosque in disguise, please learn to recognize temple architecture.)

Borrobudor in all its splendour.
Oh, and even more important is this:

“Sultan Abdul Majid Hassan whose proper name is Zein Ul-Abidin, frequented the near distant islands, that He called ‘Solook’ (Sulu) from 1402 to 1424. Marrying the daughter (Parmursuli) of the Sulu Tomaoi (chief) Baginda” – it means he had a Filipino wife.

Also important to note, that since this is 1363, Parameswara had not yet swum across Pirate-Bay to reach Temasik yet. Hence, the need to locate the earlier kingdoms which pre-date ‘His Royal Pendatangness’.
During the reign of Wikramawardhana, the series of Ming armada naval expeditions led by Admiral Hajji Mahmud Shams (aka Zheng He), a Muslim Chinese admiral, arrived in Java for several times, spanning the period from 1405 to 1433. By 1430, Zheng He’s expeditions has established Muslim Chinese and Arab communities in northern ports of Java, and thus Islam began to gain foothold on Java’s northern coast. “Admiral Hajji Mahmud Shams (aka Zheng He) was so frustrated when he first arrived in Java, because he could not find a single halal restaurant there”, so wrote Mah Huan, his scribe, thus deciding to spread Islam to the “barbarians” as Chinese records would write.
Also interesting to note is the following:
“In late Yuan Dynasty, China became chaotic, people who lived along the coastal area of Fujian, under the leadership of Ong Sum Ping’s siblings, escaped to eastern Kalimantan — they landed at the river mouth. When they were exhausted, facing a shipping crisis, someone lost their arms. After that, the Kadazans named it as Sungai Kinabatangan — the place where the Chinese lost their arms.
Ong Sum Ping and his sister, and the Chinese people developed the area of Sungai Kinabatangan, and they increased their influences there. With the increase of his prosperity, the natives named him Raja, or King. The Chinese named him as ‘Chung Ping’ - meaning the General. We can clearly see that Ong Sum Ping controlled Eastern Kalimantan.
This is Ong Sum Ping Rd in Brunei.
(Part 2 will appear tomorrow)

Kenneth Hall, Maritime trade and state development in early Southeast Asia, citing Wang Gungwu, 'The Nanhai trade: a study of the early history of Chinese trade in the South China Sea', JMBRAS 31, 2 (1958): 33,  citing Paul Wheatley, The Golden Khersonese, studies in the historical geography of the Malay peninsula before 1500, Kuala Lumpur, 1961, and other secondary sources;
Yoshiaki Ishizawa, 'Chinese chronicles of C1st-5th century AD Funan', 
Yoshiaki Ishizawa, 'Chinese chronicles of C1st-5th century AD Funan', citing Wan Zhen, Nanzhou yuwuzhi.
Louise Levathes, When China Ruled the seas, citing the Liang Shu (History of the Liang dynasty) and (i) Paul Shao, Asiatic Influence in Precolumbian art, Ames, Iowa State Univ 1976,  and (ii) David H.Kelley, 'Nine lords of the night', Studies in the Archaeology of Mexico and Guatemala, 16, Berkeley, Univ of California Dept of Anthropology, Oct 1972 & 'Calendar animals and deities', Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 16, Albuqerque, Univ of New Mexico, 1960.
Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclop√¶dia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Ongkili, James P. "Ancient Chinese Trading Links." East Malaysia and Brunei. Ed. Wendy Hutton. Tuttle Publishing, 2001.
Saunders, Graham. A History of Brunei. London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2002.
Wright, Leigh. "Brunei: An Historical Relic." Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Vol. 17 (1977).
"Background Note: Brunei Darussalam". U.S. State Department. Retrieved 2008-12-16., citing vol.231 of The Great Chinese Encyclopedia, compiled by court historians of the Wang emperors from 502 to 556 AD (other refs give the editor's name as Ma Tuan-Lin);
Prof V.G.Nair, Buddhist mission visits America before Columbus,, citing hearsay of an 1100 page diary in the Chinese imperial archives of which only 75 pages of partial excerpts seen; 
Kenneth L. Feder, Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology, p113-4, citing Frost, F, 1982, 
The Palos Verdes Chinese anchor mystery, Archaeology, Jan/Feb 23-27, 
quoted regarding irrelevance of these anchors.
J.V.G.Mills, introduction, to Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan; John Carswell, Blue & White, p.87; Louise Levathes, When China ruled the seas; Ma Huan, Ying-yai Sheng Lan. Inscription in Galle

Comments (25)
  • Parameswara Syah  - Look at the word by it's true meaning.
    Good day, folks.
    Please, I would remind you to look at the Malaysian history on it's core. When the Malays claim that they are the people of the land, I'm very sure that their claim is right.
    The Malays are not just in Malaysia only. We have to get rid of the Malay definition in the Federal Constitution in order to study the history without any bias at all. The Malays are living in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Southern Thailand and other regions of the South East Asia for a very long time. According to the historians and archeologists of UKM, the Malays in South East Asia or to be exact, Malaysian Peninsula can be dated to about 40 000 years ago.
    Why the Orang Laut received Parameswara nicely even though he was migrating from Palembang? Because he was a Malay. The Srivijaya Empire was the Malay Empire.
    "...his name is Jayaviravarman.He is an emerald from sky,ascending the throne of The Kings of Mala.His name full of prosperity,from the blessed bloodline of the emperor of the sea,the great court of Srivijaya..."
    (notes for Inscription of Prasat Trapan Run,Cambodia)
    Kota Gelanggi belongs to the Original Siamese which means the Malays and the Mon people. There is no such thing as the City belongs to the Thais. The Thais are in fact the youngest people that migrated from the north aka Indochina. All of the historians knows this very well. Even the Siamese scriptures and history notes doesn't tell us that they have the hegemony power all over the Malaysian Peninsula. It's because they don't have the power to fight against the Srivijaya Empire. To conquer the Malaysian Peninsula means they have to defeat the Srivijaya Empire... which belongs to the Malays. In that era, there is no such thing as Malaysia and Indonesia. The Malays on both modern nations were free to go anywhere within the Srivijaya Empire. Ayuthaya was established in 1363. They could rarely go until Pattani, which was only conquered by the Siamese soldiers in 1771. They never went deep until Johore because the Malays have the most powerful maritime Empire in South East Asian at that time. Just name it... the Srivijaya Empire, the Malay Malacca Sultanate, the Johore sultanate who helped established the Malay Moro/Sulu Sultanate, the Malay Pattani sultanate which was depicted in the Queen of Langkasuka film.
    Ma-Ha-Mo-Sa stated by Robert Nicholls could be Maha Moksya. Most Malay rulers before the coming of Islam, did embraced Hinduism and Buddhism. In fact, the Srivijaya Empire itself was the centre of education in Sanskrit, Hinduism and Buddhism theology as stated by I-Ching, the Chinese traveler who learned the religion with the Malay Rishi (Mahaguru). Again, don't just stand on the provision in the Federal Constitution when you're talking about the Malays. Lots of the Malay rulers in the ancient era bear the name of Seri Maharaja, Maha Moksya, Mahawangsa, Seriwangsa and the big guys in the keraton and istana bear the title of Seri Bupati, gusti Adipati, Senapati and others. Most of the titles and names are originated from the Sanskrit and the Malay language itself. So there's nothing to be debated about.
    I-ching wrote in his journal,
    "...tiba dan menginap selama 6 bulan.Mempelajari tatabahasa Sanskrit di sini.Sang raja memberikan daku bantuan dan menghantar daku ke negeri yang bernama Moloyu...."
    What is Moloyu? The historians concluded that Moloyu is actually the Malays. Moloyu = Malayu = Melayu = Malays.
    Brunei sultanate never talked about giving back Sarawak to them because they know the bloodlines of the powerful kingdom still runs in the blood of most of the sultans in Malaysia today. Brunei itself was under the hegemony of the Srivijaya Empire at one time. And who has the bloodline of the Srivijaya kings nowadays? He is the Sultan of Perak. Srivijaya Empire = Malay malacca sultanate = johor, Perak and Pahang sultanate = Perak sultanate nowadays, due to the last Srivijaya-Palembang blood sultan being killed or died.
    And, the Malays won't be so greedy to ask for other Malay's belongings. Sarawak is a part of Malaysia. So does Sabah, de facto and de jure. Sulu sultanates are no more. And Brunei is satisfied with his nation, although it's a bit smaller than malaysia. This is not another big problem to be debated about. The Philippines have no right over Sabah, since the Sulu sultanate are no more. They killed their own Sultanate and now they have to pay the big price for that.
    Islam have been brought early to Malaysia by the chinese? The Malays don't even care about the statements. In fact, the Malays are very pleased since they have gotten Islam early, either by the Arabs, the Indians or the Chinese. Most of the chinese muslims even adapt the Malays customs and traditions in their life... they even feel proud of it. Another useless point to be debated about, I'm so sorry.
    And let me correct one major mistakes in your writings. the Borobudur temple was made by the Srivijaya Empire. Not the Madjapahit Empire. All historians know this very well.
    In summary, the Malays have been living in the Malayan peninsula, Sabah, brunei and sarawak for ages, assimilating and cooperating with the natives to build a lot of big empires. So, there is no point about debating whether the Malays are the indigenous race of malaysia or not. They live here for a long time since before Langkasuka (Pattani), Kataha (Kedah tua), Seri Gelanggi, Sri-Dharmaraja (tambralingga), Srivijaya, and even the Malay Malacca sultanate. In fact, the Malays are the main engineer in building those empires, regardless of what today's definition tells us about them. the malaysian Malay, the Indonesian malay, the brunei malays or others. Nations and modern borders can be counted in studying ancient history since there are no such thing as Indonesia, Brunei or Malaysia in that era. All were united under one word which is in malay and was established by the Malays themselves. The Nusantara.
    Lastly, the design of Masjid Tengkera in Melaka is not based on the chinese Pagoda. It was based on the Champa-Malay design in Segenting Kra (in Malay - Sekangkang Kera). Just look at Masjid Agung Demak, designed by wali Songo who was connected to the history of Champa-Kelantan and Masjid kampung Laut in Kelantan. All of them bears the same design and shapes.
    About 'Kunlun', I-Ching stated in his journal about the appearance of the 'Kunlun' people. Tanned-skin, not wearing any footwear, curly hair and wearing sarong. The qoutation of Sui Dinasty also stated the same.
    "...the people of Linyi (Champa) possessed dark skin and curly hair, and that after first Sui Emperor Yangdi conquered Southern Chen Dynasty in AD 589, Linyi sent in tributes. Linyi stopped tributes till Sui armies, led by General Liu Fang, attacked them in AD 604. (Sui Emperor, in addition to attacking Linyi, had invaded Ryukyu.) According to "History of Sui Dynasty", further to the southwest of Linyi (Champa) would be a statelet called Zhenla (Chang-la or Chenla), a vassal of Funan. Zhenla (Chang-la) male population were recorded to be small in size but dark in skin, but some females were said to have lighter skin. Chang-la people all had curly hair. To the west of Zhenla (Chang-la) would be a statelet called Zhu-jiang, and to the south Che-qu. Numerous statelets existed further, with rulers carrying Indian names. It is no strange to see this phenomenon when we examined the history of southeast Asia as a whole to find that Indian influence had spread across the whole area much before the Chinese poked their nose in the same area,.."
    They are nobody but the Malays. The Malays bear the same appearances as stated in both journals and quotations. So, we can't just say the Malays are also 'Bangsa Pendatang' because the malays are indeed the indigenous race of the land along with the natives. Both of them cooperated and worked together to build empires.
    Thank you, and please study history before you start debating about it. Even a bit lack of knowledge will make people especially the historians laugh at you.
    1 - Sejarah Melayu, Tun Seri Lanang
    2 - Sulalatus Salitin
    3 - I-Ching journals
    4 - history of sui dinasty
    5 - Prasat Tapan run
    6 - Ancient Srivijaya prasasti and ancient scriptures including La galigo scripture.

    p/s - I'm just a normal man who love history. I'm a neutral one when it comes to politic and stuffs. When people mis-use the history for wrong purposes, I feel offended since it is just wrongful and a disgusting act to do.
  • Elloi  - Pu Kung Chih-mu
    Looking at the photo of the tombstone "Pu Kung Chih-mu", there is 1 more Chinese character on top of "Pu" which was not translated.
    And, for the record, "Chih-mu" means the "tomb of".
    So, "Pu Kung Chih-mu" means the tomb of Pu Kung.
  • anonymouse
    I too don't understand the point of this article. to prove that Islam was brought to Malaysia by the chinese, during Zheng He's (Cheng Ho) voyage? I've read this theory thru the book 1421..
    frankly, i think we're confusing the fact that Malays are muslims, but not all muslims are malays.
    Anyway since this article is writen by a john doe, which is a generic name that people give themselves to remain anonymous. I just wonder what the true intention of this article is...
    anyway if your true intention is to open the public's eye about things, why not do a research and bring forward some examples of the other races contributions to Malaysia, at the very least, that would leave a positive feeling....
  • anonynouse
    Oh,Oh, you have opened a Pandora's Box!!
    Those Islamic nazis in BTN and Malaysian gomen,read UMNO, are gonna hunt you down and destroy all the evidence now....gOD HELP US
  • svm
    Whether you came yesterday, today or tomorrow you are still an immigrant.
    Grow up boy?.
  • OneBorneo  - re:
    Upai Semaring wrote:
    "Awang Alak Betatar subsequently became Brunei’s first Sultan and was known as Sultan Muhammad Shah. Awang Semaun and Awang Alak Betatar were the famous heroes in Brunei during that time".
    Do you really know who are this two person-Awang Semaun and Awang Alak Betatar? I should reveal it here! I totally agree with the writer that they are the most famous heroes in LAWAS (SARAWAK) and Brunei during that time. He name is actually UPAI SEMARING! A famous tribe of the LUN BAWANG and KELABIT. Lun Bawang and Kelabit is actually from the same stock. The real history about this tribe in Brunei Muzeum being 'REMOVED'many years ago.
    the lunbawang, and probably the kelabit too shared alot of cultural similarities with the natives of taiwan. i onces saw a documentary about a tribe in interior china that shared cultural similarities with the bidayuh people like the bronze accessories they wear on their legs and necks and also the colour and texture of their fabrics. all this tracing of historical roots will lead back to one starting point - the tower of babel in the book of Genesis of the bible.
  • bea  - Difficult to follow
    I found this article quite difficult to follow, without a clear aim/thesis, and could have been better structured. For starters, an introduction to the issue being debated for us who are unfamiliar with the subject would not go amiss.
    In addition, perhaps I have missed the point or should accept that the tone of the piece is par for Malaysian writing when it comes to race and religion, but what is the benefit of using phrases like "and only severely retarded people will say"?
  • Sam Paya  - Kota Gekanggi - Johore (Capital of Sriviya Empire)
    Well, Folks!
    Looks like Johore was once the center of the Srivijaya Empire and Malaysians were once Buddhists!
    Kota Gelanggi is an archaeological site reported in 2005 as potentially the first capital of the ancient Malay Empire of Srivijaya ca. 650-900 and one of the oldest pre-Islamic Malay Kingdoms on the Malay Peninsula. The site's existence was announced dramatically as a 'discovery' by the Malaysian Press on 3 February 2005.
    The reported site of this ancient city is in the dense jungles of the southern Malaysian state of Johor Darul Takzim, near a forest reserve currently managed as a water catchment area, the Linggiu Dam, by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) of Singapore. This description locates the site somewhere within a 140 square kilometre are of the forest reserve surrounding Sungai Madek and Sungai Lenggiu.

    But Singapore is sitting on top of it! They have rights to the water supply source there!
    Fantastic! Bloody old Singa! :-)
    Do I have a problem my ancestors were Buddhists or Hindus? Nah! I thank them for what I am now! A rounded Muslim ! :-)
  • anominus
    if parameswara was indonesian and brought along orang laut wit him (according to malaysian history books) and peninsula was filled with orang asli, from which cave did the melatu pop out from? how the heck are they the owner of malaysia?
  • MatSom  - Malay history: What’s missing from the textbooks
    We wish John Doe would state his real name as the article has quite a bibliography accessible only to historians or scholars or students of history.
    What is important is we should try to know ourselves better, then live with it.
    There is some faint suggestions the the early British colonialists mentioned here "could" have been interested in allowing the confusion, and might have even done what scholars dont do.
    The Region, we're in was a theatre of imperialism. There were the Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British and all of them were after conquests and for the trade and some to spread religion. As China was a great nation then, before seclusion, the Europeans colonialists might have tried anyway to win - even falsifying history, perhaps.
    Sensible Malaysians would not be perturbed that their ancstors were Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims or Christians and would even pay high respects to those before them.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nasib Melayu Singapura

Melayu Singapura kecewa dengan Kuan Yew — Razak Rashid Ghows

January 29, 2011
29 JAN — Kenyataan bekas Perdana Menteri Singapura, Lee Kuan Yew bahawa orang Melayu tidak harus terlalu berpegang kuat kepada ajaran Islam bagi membolehkan pelan integrasi masyarakat dilaksanakan dengan sempurna, dalam bukunya Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going, dikecam hebat oleh pelbagai pihak di Singapura dan negara serantau termasuk Malaysia.
Antaranya, termasuk Persatuan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura (PKMS) yang mahu pihak berkuasa di republik berkenaan mengambil tindakan undang-undang kerana kandungan buku itu yang menghasut.
PKMS dalam satu kenyataan yang di e-mel kelmarin, berkata mereka sudah menghantar surat kepada Presiden Singapura, S R Nathan untuk menyatakan kekecewaan dan meminta pihak berkuasa mengambil tindakan terhadap Kuan Yew.
Surat itu ditanda tangani oleh Presiden PKMS, Ali Asjadi dan Setiausaha Agungnya, Mohamed Nazem Suki.
“Kami berpegang pada Perlembagaan Singapura dalam perjuangan sejak kemerdekaan. Andainya kami tidak menggunakan penyelesaian diplomatik bagi mengatasi perbezaan pendapat di negara ini, Singapura sudah tentunya tidak akan menjadi seperti keadaannya sekarang.
“Keadaan kepelbagaian di Singapura adalah unik, yang bukannya dicapai dengan secara kebetulan, kerana setiap bangsa dan agama bersetuju dengan prinsip pembangunan negara,” kata Nazem.
PKMS berpendapat kenyataan Kuan Yew menyimpang daripada keadaan sebenar dan menghasut perpecahan kaum dan agama. “Selama ini Kuan Yew mempertahankan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA), tetapi nampaknya beliau sendiri melanggar akta itu dengan secara terbuka dan tidak dihormati”.
Pertubuhan berkenaan juga mempersoalkan pihak berkuasa Singapura kerana membenarkan penerbitan buku itu yang mengandungi elemen tertentu yang ternyata bercanggah dengan undang-undang. PKMS, tegas Nazem, ingin meminta penjelasan daripada pihak perundangan Singapura mengenainya.
“Kami turut terbabit dalam pembangunan negara dan berintegrasi dengan masyarakat dan mencapainya. Tetapi kini kami mempersoalkan kenapa Kuan Yew mempertikaikan sebuah agama saja? Apakah niatnya untuk merendahkan mana-mana kaum atau agama?
Mohamed Nazem berkata, negara berkenaan mempunyai sebuah Pertubuhan Antara Agama Singapura (IRO) bagi menggalakkan perpaduan.
“Di manakah sokongan Kuan Yew terhadap IRO dan semua pertubuhan sosial masyarakat yang menggalakkan harmoni, keamanan dan pemahaman?” tanyanya.
Pergerakan Pemuda PKMS pula mendesak Kuan Yew supaya memohon maaf kepada masyarakat Islam Singapura dan dunia. “Kami juga menuntut agar buku ‘Hard Truth’ itu diharamkan,” kata Ketuanya, Azhar Ali.
Pergerakan Pemuda PKMS turut menghantar surat kepada Pengerusi dan Mufti Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) bagi meminta mereka menasihati Presiden dan Perdana Menteri Singapura supaya melarang penerbitan buku berkenaan.
Di Malaysia, Ahli Parlimen Kulim-Bandar Baharu, Zulkifli Noordin mempersoalkan ‘apakah Kuan Yew mahukan orang Melayu meninggalkan sebahagian daripada ajaran Islam untuk diterima sepenuhnya oleh masyarakat Singapura?’
Masyarakat Melayu Islam di Singapura bukannya melaksanakan hukum perundangan Islam seperti hudud, qisas dan takzir, tidak juga mereka cuba mendaulatkan sebuah negara Islam.
“Perlembagaan mereka sekular seperti masyarakat lain. Mereka duduk di rumah pangsa macam orang lain. Anak mereka ke sekolah sekular macam orang lain. Mereka tidak pegang jawatan tinggi dalam mana-mana agensi kritikal, jadi apa maksud Kuan Yew masyarakat Melayu Singapura perlu meninggalkan sebahagian ajaran Islam untuk berintegrasi dengan masyarakat lain di Singapura", tanya Zulkifli dalam blognya.
Kuan Yew nampaknya seolah-olah tidak peduli sama ada kenyataannya boleh membuat orang Melayu terasa kecil hati ataupun marah. Ikut suka hatinya saja hendak menyatakan sesuatu.
Dalam menyuarakan pandangan mengenai orang Melayu mahupun negara lain terutama Malaysia, Kuan Yew memang tidak mempunyai finesse atau berhemah tinggi.
Sikapnya lebih menjurus kepada Islamofobia, kata Ketua Kluster Politik, Keselamatan dan Hal Ehwal Antarabangsa, Majlis Profesor Negara, Prof Dr Mohamed Mustapa Ishak.
“Walaupun Kuan Yew duduk di rantau yang dikelilingi negara Islam, dia masih dibelenggu dengan Islamofobia, seperti orang Amerika yang tidak tahu apa-apa pasal Islam.
Katanya, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed sendiri pun memperjuangkan sikap kesederhanaan ini tetapi bukan dalam erti kata mengurangkan amalan agama Islam.
Dewan Pemuda Masjid Malaysia berkata Kuan Yew menunjukkan belangnya yang sebenar apabila menimbulkan pandangan berbaur diskriminasi dan prejudis terhadap agama Islam serta hubungan dengan negara jiran, khususnya Malaysia dan Indonesia.
Ketua Umumnya, Dr Muhammad Nawar Ariffin berkata Pemuda Masjid kesal dengan sikap Kuan Yew merendahkan kesucian agama Islam dengan menganggapnya sebagai penghalang proses integrasi dan pembangunan negara.
Dengan terluahnya pandangan berkenaan, justeru adalah wajar Kuan Yew henti mengeluarkan kenyataan yang boleh menyinggung perasaan orang lain, agar beliau tidak akan terus dianggap sebagai seorang pemimpin “yang sudah melalut” kerana faktor usia yang lanjut. — Berita Harian
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