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Monday, September 12, 2011

Malaya was never a colony: Umno makes a fool of itself and the country

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:45 PM | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Anyone following the Umno vs Mat Sabu debacle may be a little confused as to why the PAS leader glorified the Communists as reported byUtusan Daily, whom he is  about to sue for twisting his words.
Contrary to the historical perception shaped by 5 decades of BN hegemony, the Communists did play a role as freedom fighters in the country against the British Occupation. This debacle has caused a furore among army and police veterans whose forefathers had fought against the Communists and British Rule, and who have little or no knowledge of what actually transpired.
Mat Sabu’s good intentions were grossly misquoted by the mainstream media and sad to say, some distinguished professors aligned to the BN too saw fit to support their politicians rather than the facts as they were.
In a joint statement, the president of Teras Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, and Shura president Abdul Ghani Samsudin slammed the National Professors' Council and historian Zainal Kling for claiming that leftist fighters were not freedom fighters, accusing Kling of distorting historical facts. They also stressed that the British had banned many Malay movements such as PKMM, API, Awas and Hizbul Muslimin as communist movements. “The idea of labelling hardline Malay movements as communists comes from the British and their sympathisers,” said Azmi.

“How dare they group the ulama who resisted and fought against the British, like Tok Janggut , Abdur Rahman Limbong, Tok Guru Hussin Dol as communists just because the British had labelled them as insurgents?”
Meanwhile, PAS president Hadi Awang has ridiculed the views of Zainal Kling, who claimed that Malaysia had never been colonized. Hadi said such “polemics” were being raised to “fool the rakyat” and shift public attention away from the many problems within the notorious and corrupt electoral system.
He also condemned the portrayal that only Umno fought for the Malays, and not the others including the Communists.” We hope that the Malays do not get fooled by these 60-year-old issues.
So far, of all the history benders Zainal Kling would probably win the top award. The Sultan Idris Teaching University (UPSI) head of history claimed that it was untrue that Malaya had been colonized by the British, who only gave us their “protection”. He also claimed that only Singapore, Malacca and Penang were British colonies.
Needless to say, his comments came as thunderbolt to the nation. Most Malaysians are now torn between exasperation at Umno and how to rid the country of such Umno-stirred farces, which have only brought shame to the nation in the eyes of the civil world.
As PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan sarcastically pointed out, why then has Malaysia been celebrating Merdeka annually over the past half century. Isn't this ridiculous? Isn't it the height of the surreal and the unbelievable? Does it not make Mr Beans of all Malaysia's past prime ministers, who were from Umno, including the current Najib Razak?
Let’s take a very brief walk down Malaysia’s history to ascertain for ourselves whether Zainal Kling’s version of history is true:.
Ancient Malaysia:
8000BC the arrival of Stone Age hunter –gatherers and Stone Age Farmers who practiced slash and burn agriculture
1000BC: metal-using farmers and fishermen arrived in Malaysia with tools from bronze and iron and settled along the coasts and rivers.
200-300AD: Kedah had a civilization that traded heavily with India. Most were Buddhists or Hinduists.
700-1300AD: Srivijaya Kingdom dominated much of Malaysia especially along the coasts of Java and Borneo who also traded much with India and China.
1400AD: Parameswara a former leader of Temasek(now Singapore) founded Malacca which became a great port. Its wealth grew from trade between Arab, Chinese and Indian ships. Parameswara became a Muslim and Islam spread to much of Malaysia.
1541-1641: Portuguese conquered Malacca and occupied it for 150years. The remnants can still be seen like the A Famosa and the St Paul’s Church. While at the time Johore grew to be a powerful trading state and opposed the Portuguese.
1641: with the help of Johore the Dutch conquered Malacca and occupied if for nearly 200years. In 1786: Francis Light occupied Penang and founded Georgetown.
1800: the British took Province Wellesley. In 1819: Stamford Raffles established a British trading post in Singapore.
1824: the Dutch surrendered Malacca to the British in exchange for Sumatra.
1841-1963: Sarawak was under British control under Raja James Brooke. Tin trading was established between Malaysia and the British. Since 1874 the British assumed political control of Malaysia with influence over the states of Selangor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo which became British protectorates. In early 1900’s the British influence extended to Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Johore in 1914, which came under British rule. Tin and Rubber were the major industries which attracted more Chinese and Indians labourers.
1930: the Malayan Communist Party was formed
1941-1943: the Japanese invaded and occupied Malaya.
1946: UMNO was formed
1948: the Federation of Malaya was formed. The communists started to attack European Estate Managers. In 1949, the attacks declined after the British offered Independence. Insurgency continued but did not pose any serious threat until the early 70’s when the Communist Party was disbanded.
1957: Malaya became independent on. The first prime minister of Malaysia was Tunku Abdul Rahman.
1963: Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah joined Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia. However in 1965 Singapore became a separate state.
Making a Mr Bean of all the Umno presidents
So from 1824 until 1963 the British had a firm hold on Malaya and Sarawak Borneo. Their forays into the interior and up to the East Coast states show that the British were firm occupiers until our independence in1957. Unless Zainal has a further 'interpretation' that Malaysia was never colonized, it is time for him to back it up with proof.
As the head of History at UPSI, it is rather disconcerting for him to deny that the British Occupation of Malaysia, which lasted for well over 130 years did not happen. If he can't back up his words, he should resign because the tear to his credibility and professionalis can never be erased. The same to Umno.
The time has really come for the Umno leadership to evaluate where they have taken the nation to the extent that even Merdeka Day is now questioned. Most of the blame has to go to Najib, who has promoted this form of silly and irresponsible politicking. Even in the recent Bersih crackdown, he suddenly arrested the 6 PSM leaders for 'rekindling' Communism.
It is time for all political parties to remember, a political leader such as a PM must not only be popular and able to lead the people. He must also have some brains, otherwise, he would be vulnerable to all sorts of the wildest and dumbest shenanigans and advice. Worst still, the whole nation is held ransom because of his inability to be sensible.
Punish UMNO
Just remember, Umno has been proudest of the joyous shouts of Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka! These have echoed through the years since our August 31, 1957. But if Kling and the Najib administration is right, then sad say, Tunku was the first Mr Bean for hollering on an empty premise. He was followed by other fools - Abdul Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Badawi and the 'beaniest' of them all - Najib Razak!
Sincerely, a revamp is necessary to ensure our History books are accurate and that our children are not studying rubbish. It is also extremely worrying that Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin has said the history syllabus for schools will be revised following "new findings" on the nation's past. "We can dig deep into history and we can start not from 1400 but from the very beginning," Khalid told reporters on Friday.
It is also high time to stop taking advantage all the police, army veterans and the rural folk, who may not have learnt history in depth. This is a form of buyllying. These folk are our fathers, uncles, grandads, aunties, moms and so on.To take advantage of their simplicity just to get their votes is downright immoral and for this alone, Umno should be banned. 

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