Saturday, 31 August 2019

Lest We Forget - Merdeka 2019

Let us learn from that reminder.

In the Beginning : REMEMBER THIS.


The Ceremony



The Installation of the Yang di Pertuan Agong



1.  Malays originate from the ooze and slime of the Semenanjung.  They did not arrive as missionaries, traders, foreign workers, soldiers of fortune, carpet-baggers, economic migrants, refugees from war and poverty, convicts discarded from other regimes, adventurer-capitalists, colonisers and colonialists.     When Ptolemy described the land of the Golden Chersonese (Avrea Chersonesvs), around 150 A.D., our ancestors were certainly well established within it!

2.  The Semenanjung (once) had a beautiful landscape before it was exploited and ravaged by 'economic development'.

Figure 1: A coastal village.

Figure 2 :  Padi fields where Malays had to work hard, surprise! surprise!

Figure 3 : Malays lived amongst coconut palms.  Coconut (and fish and rice) were essential to their simple diet.  Despite this seemingly easy life they also kept their kampung compounds clean and they were never short of space for their settlements.

Figure 4 :  But they were not simply kampung yokels dependent only on the bounties from land and sea.  Above is a Malay Eating House - the beginning of the Malay warong - a venture into food-capitalism?  Maybe KFC and McDonalds, Nasi Kandar and the Kopitiams  began this way! 

They lived surrounded by a naturally beautiful landscape.

Figure 5 : Gunung Bubu from Krian.

Figure 6 :The Larut Plain and Estuary from the Hills

Figure 7 : Morning Mists - Gunung Tahan

Figure 8 : A river landscape tarnished by tin workings, a common blight affecting Perak, Selangor and Negri Sembilan.

The images from Figures 1, and 3 to 8 were taken from  Illustrated Guide to the Federated Malay States edited by Cuthbert Woodville Harrison,  Malayan Civil Service.  It was published by The Malay States Information Agency , London, 1923.  The Colour Illustrations were done  by Mrs H. C. Barnard.

The spouse bought this book in Auckland, New Zealand for NZ$15 in the late 1980s.  It was (relatively) cheap because it was missing a map.

Figure 2 is the cover of .....

If anyone, anywhere wishes to 'make  use' of these illustrations, PLEASE acknowledge and give credit to the author and publisher of both books. Thank you.

It's a matter of Copyright and BUDI.

Mana kemudi patah di kerat
Berapa luas biduk kelana.
Binasa budi padah melarat
Kerana emas sanggup di hina.

Finally,  for hundreds of years, the Malays have been threatened, attacked, invaded, persuaded, cajoled and 'administrated' into parting with their sovereignty, independence and their land to serve the commercial ambitions of others.

After 1957, the Malays especially those of my father's generation and older, believed they now have the freedom and choice to repair the imbalances and losses.

But  their peers, their children and grandchildren have become the proverbial pagar makan padi.

Corruption, cronyism, nepotism have taken over and in the process the Malays are scratching each other's eyes out for bigger and bigger slices of booty.   They pledged, hocked, pawned, peddled, marketed, mortgaged  and auctioned the Tanah Pusaka  to the highest bidder and their middle men and agents - though all too often we still get shortchanged.

My Abah used to say this of the British ; "they will cut the ground from under your feet and make you thank them for it."  Nowadays, the Malays are collaborating with the ground cutters (today, they are more multi-cultural) in the name of Merdeka, Liberte, Egalite  and Fraternite.  

Si Kacang Melayu dah lupakan Kulit.


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