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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Malaysia's History - Do not distort the past!

Can anyone deny that Malaysia today is where it is due to the joint efforts of the forefathers of today's Malays, Chinese and Indians, plus other minorities such as the Sikhs, Ceylonese, Eurasians, Armenians, Europeans, etc?

Events that took place in the years before cannot be simply deleted from the pages of our history books and edited to suit our ideals as to what, who, why, which and other reasons that those events took place as they did!

Since the advent of the camera, however primitive it must have been before, these samples of pictorial records show how the 3 main different ethnicities lived and worked together to improve the quality of life for all Malayans until we finally achieved Independence from the British Colonialists.

Click on the pictures for a bigger view.

Times were hard back then but through a spirit of 'live and let live' our forefathers painstakingly carved out a decent place for all to live and co-exist with one another all these years , no matter that we are so different in our features and personalities. That's the beauty of the spirit of Muhibbah that has grown so deeply into the very fibres of our Malaysian society.

To those who have a hidden agenda to wreak havoc on our present ethnic relations between the various races, please reconsider and think whether it is worth to destroy the fragile peace we have today by distorting the past and do as some countries did in trying to rewrite History!

The school textbooks must be prepared properly giving due mention to all those who sacrificed their lifes and record their noble deeds for the sake of the advancement of this nation.

The distortions must be corrected and justice must be seen to be served by destroying any of those history books which do not have the right records on print.

This distortion must be checked and corrected immediately for the sake of a stable future and continued spirit of co-operation amongst us.

Our forefathers sacrifices and contributions to this dynamic nation will surely be lost in the annals of time if attempts to delete them from being permanently recorded in our schools history books as solid proof that they too contributed their part in nation building are left unchecked!

The May 13 riots of 1969 serve as a strong reminder of how things can go seriously wrong if religious and racial sentiments are allowed to be stoked and people goaded into breaking out into similar riots and public disturbances as before!

Nip the problems in the bud and if possible have good relationships within the various ethnicities of this nation within the norms of a multi racial, multi religious country.

Religious aspects and nuances should best be kept on a very clear line just like stacking the fragile chicken eggs in the tray.

Each existing within their own private boundaries and separated by a small space of cardboard but all existing together in one tray!

That symbolism reflects Malaysia, our home and abode on this Earth!

The Minister of Higher Education should surely appreciate our reminders about this and he should get this slip up corrected as soon as possible.

Some folks always ask the Chinese or the Indian Malaysians to 'return' to their ancestral lands whenever any disagreements crop up and sensitive issues are being played out by those who love agitating and creating mayhem amongst us!

Can we ever go live in those foreign lands? China will never accept the Malaysian Chinese to 'return' home for they themselves are already up to their noses coping with their almost 2 billion citizens and the same goes to India!

We are all Malaysians. We may disagree and quarrel amongst ourselves over matters such as religion, racial, bumi quota, this and that! That is part and parcel of life!

We even have our differences amongst our family members and at times can't stand the sight of them when we can't come to a settlement. Can we sever our ties with our relatives?

We can't, right? So, is the reality with us Malaysians, a rainbow of colors and attitudes! As long as we accord each other the rightful respect and consideration, I believe we can all just survive these testing times by remaining rational and settle our differences amicably!

Worse come to worse , just switch on your 'ignore mode' and just move ahead with our individual lifes! It will soon die down or just pass us by.

Life is a series of adjustments, people. We try and solve what we can , if we can, we get it settled.
If we can't, just let it pass. No point in brooding over matters beyond our control or power.

Let History be our judge for even Allah the Almighty swears by Time in the Surah Wal Asr.

A simple translation of the surah is as follows:
1. By Time,
2. Verily all human beings are in loss,
3. Except those who have achieved ‘Faith’, have per­formed Righteous deeds, and have emphasized to each other the teaching of ‘Truth’ and (the value of) ‘Patience’ (perseverance and constancy).

Appreciate our forefathers and our nation's heroes and heroines. Remember them by preserving their life stories in our History books as a heritage and treasure for the present and future generations of our lands.

Without yesterday, there will be no today and absolutely nothing much to look forward tomorrow! Think about it.

May peace reign in our nation forever . Ameen.


KTemoc said...

Brother MG58, as always, you're a man of fairness, sincerity and courage. I salute you for your Malaysian-ness. Ah hniah, lu see chin chneah hoe ay larng!

Billy said...

Brother MG58, may I say this is one gem of an article. If it is OK with you, I have copied and pasted this article and emailed it to many of my friends. You should be on the panel to sort out the text book mess that we are now in. Once again, my heartfelt thanks for a brilliant article. As a fellow Malaysian, I applaud you for your stand.

ali allah ditta said...

Memang betul kata sdr. bahawa kita jangan"distort the past." Tapi kadangkala,terlintas juga difikiran apakah yang disejarahkan itu benar2 fakta sejarah?

Masa saya di sekolah dulu,guru sejarah saya telah mengajar saya bahawa orang yang pertama menjumpai Pulau Pinang ialah Francis Light.Tapi adakah itu benar?

Mungkin dari kacamata sejarahwan Barat itu betul,tapi sedar atau tidak sebelum tibanya Francis Light di Penang,sudah ada ramai penduduk terdiri dari orang Melayu,Cina,India & Mamak yang berada di pulau itu.

Kadang2 terfikir pula saya benarkah Francis Light yang menjumpai Pulau Pinang ini? atau mungkin some guys seperti Othuman Koya Kutty,Syed Alaudin Bajunid,Choy Chun Lin atau Arunathambi Chettiar?



mahaguru58 said...

Brother Ktemoc,
Kam sia aa tai lor. I am just voicing out the obvious.

Malaysia today won't be where it is without the blood, sweat and tears of all those who braved the oceans and the seas to come seek their fortune on this blessed land.

The 'Golden Chersonese' is truly golden in it's creation by God. Our nation is safe from the volcanic ring of fire , sheltered from the elements of typhoons, hurricanes, drought, earthquakes,etc except for slight mishaps due to human slip ups, greed and carelessness.

Worse come to worse we have had a tsunami brush Penang and parts of Kedah on a lesser scale than the total devastation that destroyed major parts of Acheh in Indonesia, beaches of Thailand, India and Sri Lanka!

The ones responsible for publishing that Ethnic Relations book in UPM were criminally careless and ought to be reprimanded and corrected by the relevant Ministry.

As I type this, I know that the NST has reported about the offending textbook being ordered to be removed from circulation and PM Abdullah Badawi headlined with his comments stating what I and the majority of Malaysians have been saying.

I applaud the PM for living up to our expectations on this matter.

Malaysia is unlike other countries in the world except maybe for our neighbour south of Johore, the Republic of Singapore who are having the same ethnic variety as we have albeit on a much more smaller scale!

Whilst the Middle East is erupting into mayhem, tourists from around the world flock to our lands.

I just came back from having dinner with my missus in Suria KLCC.

Every third person I see is from the Middle East, most with families in tow and all looking mighty pleased to be able to holiday here in relative safety and comfort.

Compared to the tragedy taking place over there in Lebanon where the Sheriff of the World's offspring is hellbent in having their way amidst a sea of powerless, spiritless Arabian sea of humanity, Malaysia must truly look like heaven on Earth to the visiting tourists and travellers.

But some of our so called academicians simply ask for public ridicule to be amongst their achievements in coming up with racist venom , disguised as academic publications with a skewed viewpoint that this land is only populated by a particular ethnicity and the history of our nation can be edited, altered and presented as they please!

I and I believe the majority of rational thinking fellow citizens beg to differ from those 'learned authors' bristling with PhD's and other decorative glorifications bestowed upon them for having 'mastered' certain criterias of academic achievements.

Funny, isn't it?

Professors, Lecturers and 'educated' people can sometimes get so lost in their self created 'utopia's and delusions of grandeur that they come up with such distorted 'historical' textbooks meant to be used by the nation's future leaders who are currently studying in the institutions of higher learning!

Is this due to lack of monitoring by the National Archives Department which I think must be the ones to vet such publications for it concerns 'historical' facts?

I know that our nation is still considered quite 'young' when compared with much more established nations in the world but surely, these 'academicians' can't be so stupid as to try to rewrite History?

I do hope that in the future , no one should ever be allowed to publish such 'hurtful' materials without the approval of the relevant ministries and the History textbooks must be revised to clear any similar distortions or 'missing' data that involves historical personalities and figures from the various ethnicities contributions be reinstated once and for all to be appreciated by this nation's people for all times!

Instead of wasting so much money in holding concerts, this and that as the main attractions during Merdeka, the country would benefit much better if we could have the historical luminaries from all races and walks of life who have been 'forgotten' be given their due commemoration and place of honor in the national news media through all the main television channels.

Let 31st August 2006 be different from all the previous Independence celebrations in the true sense of the word.

PM Abdullah Badawi will surely be 'remembered' in history if he can 'right' the wrongs done to our past heroes and heroines of this blessed nation.

Only then will the present population and our future generations realise that what they are enjoying today in terms of this nation's development and economic success is but the fruits of the struggles and sacrifices of all those people who are no longer around!

RTM must rebroadcast Hari Ini Dalam Sejarah and the other channels should also come up with their own programs that showcase the 'missing personalities' and 'forgotten heroes' of this wonderful nation.

Only by giving them their dues and rightful places in our nation's History books and archives will this nation be blessed and continue to prosper with the blessings of its people!


Brother Ali,
Thanks for the question. I will try to search for the relevant data...if it has not been deleted by our 'smart ones' ! :P

That's another interesting topic worth blogging!

Francis Light was no hero. He duped the Sultan of Kedah and didn't keep to his word in protecting the State of Kedah from the Siamese attacks!

We do however need to acknowledge that Francis Light did bring development to 'Pulo Pinang' way back in 1786.

The island was already inhabited by traders from all over the world.

The difference was that the British were instrumental in turning 'Pulo Pinang' from a pirate infested island into what it became after the British East India Company procured the island and part of the Perai mainland from the Sultan of Kedah through deceit and false promises.

History is just that. We can't and shouldn't try to alter it.

Please allow me some time to do a study on my home island! :)

Brother Billy,
You may copy the posting and distribute it as you wish. It's just my personal viewpoints as a fellow Malaysian.

Malaysia will certainly not be where it is if there was only the Malays or the Orang Asli's inhabiting this peninsular and that of Sabah and Sarawak!

A fellow blogger who always rants and raves about returning this lnd to the Orang Asli's forgets that if not for the Malays, Chinese, Indians and other ethnicities contributions, most probably our Aborigines will still be living a lifestyle that will be according to the prehistoric conditions.

Is that what he hopes for. I don't want to name him. You can figure him out if you visit the comments column in Malaysia Today!

If not for the Chinese, the tin mines of Taiping and Kuala Lumpur would not have generated the immense wealth that was pilfered away by the British back home to England and the spillovers used to develop this nation's economy and main cities and towns.

If not for the contributions of the millions of Indians, the nation's primary produce of rubber and other agricultural produce of yesteryears would not have made this nation, the world's largest producer of rubber at one time ago.

The nation's excellent network of roads and highways would not have come into being if not for the Indians who toiled under the British supervision in cutting through thick jungles and laying the foundations of the peninsular's railway tracks, splendid Macadamised roads spanning the entire length of the Malayan peninsular!

The hill stations famous throughout this nation like Penang Hill, Fraser's Hill, Cameron Highlands, etcetera would not have been built if not for those wily, sun burnt Indian coolies who sacrificed their lifes and toiled under impossible conditions to build and lay the fine roads that we take for granted today!

History teaches us about yesterday.

Without appreciating and preserving our past, our faith's , our family's lineage and ancestral origins would just disappear and be a figment of our imaginations!

Can we afford to do that?

What would those fellow who wrote that distorted book feel if their future generation were to deny that they ever existed?

Would they be pleased? Ponder.

As for your suggestion that dear ol' me be part of the Textbook Team, I am humbled to be thought of so highly but the reality is that I am just a simple kampong guy from East Jelutong, Penang who has yet to wear a 'mortar board' on my head to 'qualify' being with such 'illuminaries'.

I am where I am today based on my long years of graduating from the 'University of Life' or better known as 'The School of Hard Knocks'! :P

I always tell people that I am a Jack of All Trades and 'Master' of some...but that is all due to none but my own ego! :))

It's my pleasure to have this space and platform to share my views and thoughts on matters that I feel strongly about as a rightful citizen of this nation, while still alive here on Earth.

When my time comes, this writings in this blog will be all that remains as proof of my existence unless 'someone' chooses to rub me off from the face of this internet!

Let us just say our piece here. We are this nation's bloggers and as such we can play our part in 'reminding' the authorities whenever something's not right by writing about it here.

That should be enough for now. :)