Tuesday 13 November 2007

A lesson in history

A lesson in history for our leaders... lest they forget

Prime Minister Datuk Abdullah Badawi said demonstration is not our way.

"This is not the way of Malaysia. Ours is democracy and this (the gathering) is not acceptable."

He said the demonstration was not the way to bring change.

“I hope the people will understand that this wayside democracy is not the way to effect change and will not accept this move. People are willing change in a peaceful way. Not this way.
(The Sun Nov 12)

Pak Lah was, of course, referring to the Saturday's rally/march to the palace by thousands of Malaysians. The 10-Eleven or BERSIH march was for electoral reforms - for clean and fair elections.

Film maker Fahmi Reza has reproduced pages from our own newspapers - reporting on Malaysia’s struggle for Independence in the late 1940s. These news reports show in black-and-white our forefathers’ (and mothers’) struggle in the streets against the British.


A big demonstration against the Malayan Union staged by 36,000 Kelantan Malays was reported by MAJLIS 9.2.1946. The Malays chose to call the White Paper as an “atomic bomb thrown by the British in Malaya”. SERUAN RA’AYAT 9.2.1946 gave the number of men who took part in the procession as 65,000. The demonstrators carried banners with inscriptions in English and Malay saying “British Government Betrays Trust”, “Can we trust British Government Again?”, “Allow Malays to exist in this world”, “Give us our rights”, “We want justice”, “We want peace but not at the expense of our rights”, etc.

The paper published the “declaration of oath” adopted by the Kelantan Malay officers who unanimously decided to tender their resignations, if their protest met with failure, and to employ most of their energy and ability in defense of their national status and their motherland.

Commenting on this procession the Chinese MING SENG 7.2.1946 said that the Kelantan Malays were now caught in a fever of nationalism and showed strong opposition to the White Paper. They were even prepared to stage a strike when it was necessary.

How, 2,000 Kedah Malays with banners and shouting slogans awaited the arrival of Major-General Hone in Alor Star to “offer their protest against the Malayan Union."
Reported by WARTA NEGARA 4.2.1946. (Sumber: Malayan Press Digest No. 16, 10hb-16hb) Feb 1946. (Dicatat oleh Fahmi Reza di 3:08 PM)

A section of the crowd which yesterday attended the mass meeting at Farrer Park, Singapore, to support the constitutional proposals drafted by the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action and Pusat Tenaga Ra'ayat.
(Sumber: The Straits Times, 22 Sept 1947)

Sumber: Buku Teks Malaysia Dalam Sejarah 3, M. Thambirajah, Federal Publications, 1979

Ada sesiapa yang tahu sejarah di sebalik perarakan dalam gambar ni? Sepanduk tulisan jawi dalam gambar itu tertulis slogan "Raja Dan Rakyat Patut Bersatu, UMNO Setapak, Kuala Lumpur". (Dicatat oleh Fahmi Reza di 11:12 PM)

Berikut merupakan petikan dari buku 'Sejarah Perjuangan UMNO' yang ditulis oleh Ibrahim Mahmood, salah seorang pengasas UMNO yang menurunkan tandatangan dalam Piagam UMNO pada 11 Mei 1946.

Lawatan Capt. Gammans Dan Lt. Col. Rees Williams

Di dalam bulan Mei tahun 1946, apabila tibalah masanya dua orang ahli Parlimen British iaitu Capt. L.D. Gammans (dari Parti Conservative) dan Lt. Col. Rees Williams (dari Parti Labour), melawat ke Tanah Melayu atas jemputan Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu untuk menyaksikan keadaan sebenar yang sedang berlaku di dalam kebangkitan bangsa Melayu menentang Malayan Union, ketika itu, orang-orang Melayu di mana negeri di Seluruh Tanah Melayu yang dilawati oleh kedua-dua ahli Parlimen British itu, telah keluar dengan ramainya dengan mengadakan perarakan-perarakan dan perhimpunan-perhimpunan raksasa tunjuk perasaan dengan cara masing-masing di tiap-tiap negeri itu.

Di Johor

Berpuluh ribu manusia telah berhimpun di halaman Istana Besar Johor Bahru (lihat gambar di atas) iaitu tempat pertama dilawati oleh Capt. Gammans - iaitu satu bantahan terhadap keadaan "roh dan semangat Raja-raja Melayu dan rakyat telah diceraikan daripada mereka".

(Sumber: Buku Sejarah Perjuangan UMNO, Ibrahim Mahmood, Penerbitan Pustaka Antara, 19)81

Berikut merupakan petikan dari buku 'Sejarah Perjuangan UMNO' yang ditulis oleh Ibrahim Mahmood, salah seorang pengasas UMNO yang menurunkan tandatangan dalam Piagam UMNO pada 11 Mei 1946.

Di Perak

Pada 28 haribulan Mei tahun 1946, kedua-dua Ahli Parlimen British itu pun sampai ke Kuala Kangsar.

Di sinilah Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu telah mengadakan perhimpunan raksasa orang-orang Melayu yang terbesar sekali di hadapan Keptan Gammans dan Lt. Col. Rees Williams ahli-ahli Parlimen British itu.

Perhimpunan ini telah diadakan di sebuah padang besar di bandar itu. Orang-orang Melayu dari seluruh negeri Perak, lelaki dan perempuan, tua muda dan kanak-kanak telah berkumpul berpuluh ribu banyaknya di dalam perhimpunan raksasa itu.

(Sumber: Buku Sejarah Perjuangan UMNO, Ibrahim Mahmood, Penerbitan Pustaka Antara, 1981) (Dicatat oleh Fahmi Reza di 11:10 PM)

(Sumber: The Malaya Tribune, 2 April 1946) (Dicatat oleh Fahmi Reza di 9:09 PM)

Source: Fahmi Reza:

NOTE: "Ten Years Before Merdeka" (Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka) is a documentary by Fahmi Reza which shows the struggle against British colonial rule 10 years before August 31, 1957. The documentary won the prize for the "Most Outstanding Human Rights film" in this year's Freedom Film Fest organised by KOMAS.


IBU said...

He's feeling the people pressure which puts him out of his comfort zone. And typical reaction when pushed to outside comfort zone - denial!

History will repeat itself if he continues to ignore or dismiss the people voices.

Unknown said...

Sis Maria,

Tun Dr Mahathir has stated that "Melayu mudah lupa..."

Well, let us bring Pak Lah to mind. In his own state, Penang, there were at least two big rallies (in those days such gatherings were never described as demonstrations) prior to Merdeka, one in Butterworth and his late father Datuk Haji Ahmad bin Abdullah Fahim was actively involved, and the other held at Padang Kota Lama (the padang next to Fort Cornwallis (the old fort). The rallies were held to oppose Malayan Union and to unite Malays under a single political entity.

I hope Pak Lah is not having his head in the clouds.

mekyam said...

Salam Syed Imran,

Nampaknya dalam kes Pak Lah, ini bukan lagi Melayu muda lupa. Ini kes Melayu nyanyok! :D

shar101 said...

Woooo...nasty bit of historical fact you're using, Maria.

Couldn't resist the temptation to go heavy with the 'SOPO' bit, eh sis.

Lest we forget about history...blah, blah.

Hallooo..we're talking about AAB who probably can't remember what he had for breakfast, much less whether the wild thing last night was JD or the bolster.

Anywayz, IMHO 10-Eleven will be recorded in Malaysian history as the largest non-political assembly of civil society seeking a restoration of true democracy and good governance.

And I say non-political because the recipient of the memorandum is the King. I sincerely hope he's a good referee too.

tokasid said...

Salam Tok Mommy:

I don't think Pak Lah forgot about those rallies during the pre-Merdeka days.

One thing that Pak Lah is very sure: He is very sure many Malysians esp the younger generations didn't know there were big rallies back then!
And to this, he harps that these rallies are bukan cara kita!

So this lessons is not for Pak Lah.Its for us,the rakyats.If we know our history well, we will not be fooled by BN and UMNO.

I might be wrong but I know I'm right.

Nandre The Legend said...

itu la dia...
kita kena balek kpd sejarah lama..
takkan yang dulu dibuat, bila hari nie bila kita buat camtu....
ada yang akan berkata "Saya pan tang dichabar..." amaran tu..

tapi dia tak ingat ke? macham mana org dulu2 buat semua tu untuk dapatkan satu objektif yang murni, merdekakan negara kita...

bila org buat camtu, depa kata tak bertamadun... kalau kita chakap baik2, depa tak mau dengaq... apa chara yang paling baik..?

Mr. Smith said...

We have a most dim-witted and colourless PM this country has ever seen.
He is a chameleon, a liar and a fake. He contradicts every promise and pronouncement he makes from his 'pulpit'.
When UMNO demonstrates it is accepted as our culture. When Opposition goes out for a picnic, it is illegal and against our culture.

Can he tell us what Khairy did when Condoleeza Rice was in Malaysia? Why no water canon then?

Elviza Michele said...

Kak Ton,

Why is that street demonstration isnt our way of changing things if our forefathers so bravely voiced out their grievances via street protest against the British?

We, the modern and educated generation (supposedly) must now protest in silence? Or what does he mean? What is then the correct way for us? I really need to know.

In developed countries (then again, I might be condemned for looking at other countries other than Malaysia!) street's protest is not something foreign.

Their questions will be answered and they will not, I assure you, be subjected to water cannon or tear gas.

Just my 2 cents.

G said...

Timely reminder Kak Ton. I suppose now it is the Malaysian bloggers' duty to record events honestly for posterity, since even the history books have been rewritten according to the whims of the party in power.

Mior Azhar said...

Kak Maria,
Nobody can erase history.. that's for sure. They may manipulate it but the truth... well remains a truth at the end of the day.

Thanks for the history lesson.

orang lama said...

Pn maria

Thanks for the reminder of how our forefathers had taken their fight to the street against the formation of the Malayan Union.

I believe a good education in history is essential and tells us something of where we've come from.

Understanding the past allows one to understand oneself better.

But I think it should start with our leaders.

Pak Zawi said...

Kak Ton,
When he said all those things he forgot about history. Now that you have refreshed him, he regretted for saying them. Can't blame him for forgetting history as his SIL wasn't there to remind him that he did the same thing to Condoleeza Rice with his blessing too. Orang Badawi mudah lupa.

The Eugenist said...



It's not the matter of forgetting but it is the issue of ignoring or playing plain dumb..

How can a Prime Minister come up with many bungling statements and never check his statements first?

What say you aunty?


maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Ibu: Pak Lah oh Pak Lah...cant stand the pressure.

But that's the problem if you rely on the 4th floo boys, young & without experience & sense of history.

He's aclueless PM who doesn't understand what he is talking about. Sedih & tragic. Don’t challange me, he said. He’s already been challenged by some 60,000 rakyats.

That's why he is so mad and angry. He doesn’t want to be disturbed from his sleep!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Syed Imran. Hi Pak Tuan. Pak Lah is suffering from selective memory loss. Dia buat-buat lupa.

Thanks for the visit.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

mekyam: Agree. Kes Melayu nyanyuk dan melalut.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Shar101: I agree with youlah. The 10-Eleven March will be recorded in Malaysian history as the largest non-political assembly.

Cuma Pak Dol kita ni tak mahu terima kenyataan.

Mana ada kekacaaun. {Pity him...got wrong advice given by half-past advisers).

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Tokasi & the legend: I agree with both of you. I think it is important that the younger generations have a common knowledge of their past...… otherwise they get fooled by our politicians like “this is not the Malaysian way."

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Org lama. Betul tu. A man who ignores the lessons that history teaches us is quite simply - a damn fool.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Mr smith. Right that's double standard. It has always been the practice - two sets of laws - as far as the Government is concerned. One for the common rakyats like you and I and the other for the cronies and yes, his S.I.L.

Hi&Lo said...

Kak Ton,

We must always be vigilant agst abuse of power otherwise the victory of the previous generations comes to nought. It's also our sense of duty to the future generations.

The Ancient Mariner said...

Someone, cant remember who, told me that the only time he saw Pak Lah showing leadership qualities was when he led prayers as an imam.

Come to think of it, this is probably the only job he was trained for.

bakaq a.k.a ~penarik beca said...

Terima kasih banyak-banyak Kak Ton. Benda-benda ni bukan senang nak cari. Harap ada yang dapat pelajaran baru dan jangan cakap ikut sedap ja..

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

g & mior azhar: Thank you for sharing your thought. I agree with both of you.

It's unbelieveable that news on the 10-Eleven March was not forthcoming from the mainsream media (both electronic & print).

Had it not been for the bloggers who took part in the march and blogged about it, there was no way that we could get the real “picture” of the event.

Shame to the editors of the mainstream newspapers for downplaying the event and, especially, the NSTfor blacking it out.

A journalist worth his salt will know that the gatherineg of more than 60,000 people marching to see the King to submit a memorandum for electoral reform, IS NEWS deserving a front page.

Indeed, g. bloggers have turned writers who are recording events of significance for posterity.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

zawi: Pak Lah conveniently choose to forget that kurang ajar, menantu of his led an unruly bunch of Umno youths in that demonstration against Condo Leeza on her state visit here.

I bet you he didnt have a police permit to hold that demonstration. And he got away with it.

Salt N Turmeric said...

When Tun Hussien Onn passed away, I cried. When Tun Dr Mahathir stepped down, I was afraid (because i really didn see anybody who can be as bold as he is). And now my nightmare seems to be coming true. AAB is just too 'soft' and obviously letting other ppl pijak kepala.

Is he even awake when he made that statement or any other statements for that matter? Whc brings me to this question, who do u think shud be our PM? Najib? (erk!) KJ? (pls god, no!)

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

eugenist: He is the most incompetent PM we've ever had. He is weak & doesnt have what it takes to be a leader.

Sagaladoola said...

Watch this .. Denial crisis is on....
BERSIH: Malik, Khairy, Nazri in Aljazeera Forum

Hilary Aqil said...

I had wanted to make similar discussions but yours is better. Instead, I posted a link to your page on my blog http://malaysia2moro.blogspot.com/

I hope you don't mind!

Surely, history is the proof the future needs!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

hi&lo: Yes I agree with you. We must fight (in whatever way possible) against leaders who abuse their power & position.

So plse exercise our right wisely come election time (for the sake of the country and our children).

It has been four long years and promises & pledges made have not been fulfilled.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

the ancient mariner: That's the joke that has made the round.

True, he makes a better imam leading a congregation than leading a country!

Thanks for visiitng.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

bakaq a.k.a ~penarik beca: Kekadang saya fikir para pemimpin bukan tak tahu - buat-buat tak tahu untuk justify their actions.

Hairan bin Ajaib kalau Pak Lah tidak tahu sejarah kebangkitan Nasionalisma di negara ini. Tak kan Pak Dol kita sebodoh itu.

Bagaimannya rakyat negara ini, terutama sekali, orang Melayu, bangun membantah penubuhan Malayan Union & berjaya & menubuhkan Parti Umno. They did go to the streets to demonstrate by the thousands. And that is something he should be proud of and be telling the younger generation. Dan bukan berkata "Ini bukan cara kita..." just because he feels threatened. That is the easiest way out.

That is why having knowledge of our History is so important; we need to learn of our past so that we wont be so gullible - gullible enough to swallow in what the leaders say...because we know better!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Maria,

Putting aside our 'history':-

I am probably very wrong, but I thought the essence of democracy is freedom to voice, freedom to 'berhimpun', freedom to be disatisfied, freedom to show that disatisfaction etc?

Isn't it?

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i read somewhere that you need to apply for a permit if you are in a company of more than 5 people. i could be reading the report wrongly but if that was infact the case, i truly find it ridiculous. there so many possible 'what ifs' so i'll just stop here.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

princessjournals: Farina...I have nothing much to say about the late Tun Hussein. He was PM for a short time (76-1981) - he was more of a care-taker.

Nothing memorable, except that my dad was detained for 5 1/2 year during Tun Hussein's premiership.

I was sad when Tun Dr Mahathir stepped now and I knew his successor is weak - real weakling. I admire TDM - he is indeed a visionary leader and has the guts to stand up for something he passionately believes in.

princessjournals said... " Whc brings me to this question, who do u think shud be our PM? Najib? (erk!) KJ? (pls god, no!)

My answer: NEITHER!

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

hilary aqil: You are welcome to link up my blog.

Thank you for dropping by.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

daphne ling: You're not wrong. you're damne right!

A Voice said...

Hey ... interesting pictures of history.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Maria,

Ah...Which means this statement: "Ours is democracy and this (the gathering) is not acceptable." is not exactly accurate lor...

As in, demonstration and democracy can be in the same sentence...

halimah said...

Most of the comments here show the the immaturity of the commenters who cannot rise above the belt! You gloat in your personal abuses against personalities and think you represent thinking Malaysians! How NAIVE and SIMPLISTIC your thinking and your so-called analyses are!

What Tok Mommy has painstakingly researched and given examples of are instances of effective rallies and demonstrations like the ones against British pomposity and the Malayan Union which served to deride the sovereignity of Malay Rulers and the Malays in particular.

What Bersih was trying to do supported by rebel rousers was to pit the Agong against his Prime Minister! What could be more UNBERSIH/UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

If this is the standard of argument/argumentation Malaysians are capable of, you are actually no better than all the ZAMs and NAZRIs and AABs you love to bash!