Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rekindling The "Hidup Melayu" Spirit

Hantu Laut

After the Second World War the British returned to Malaya with a new agenda, a radical post war political changes. To bring the whole of the Federated Malay States, the Non-Federated Malay States and the Strait Settlements of Penang and Malacca (excluding Singapore) directly under British rule.

Sir Harold McMichael, on the orders of the British Government persisted on creating a Malayan Union with a view of promoting common citizenship and one administration for the three differing types of government in existence then.

The British,with royal assent of all the rulers after being threatened by the British, bulldozed the so-called Union without considering the feeling and position of the Malay masses.Malay injured pride and opposition rose under the late Datuk Sir Onn Jaafar who fought vigorously against the Malayan Union.

Out of this crisis, a new baby was born.

UMNO, a Malay political party was formed on May 11 1946 to fight the Malayan Union.Malays, from every states and settlements condemned the Union and wore white cloth around their hats as a sign of mourning, in fact it was a signal to live or die for the cause.To fight for Malay rights and restore its dignity.The battle cry then was 'Hidup Melayu' resonating throughout the land called 'Tanah Melayu' as the Malays called it then and Federation of Malaya as the British eventually named it.

Sensing trouble and not wanting to repeat the bloody debacle they had in India the British give way to the demand. UMNO practically threw out the Union and a revised Constitution was subsequently drawn up giving legal sovereignty back to the Sultans with the British taking advisory role through its British Residents.

The opposition against the Malayan Union was solely by the Malays.The migrants races were not involved then.

The late Tengku and later Tun Mahathir Mohammed reminded the sultans that they were the ones who surrendered the royal sovereignty to the British without even a whimper of a fight.It was UMNO that fought, tooth and nail, to demolish the Union and restore sovereignty back to the sultans.

During the period of communist insurrection UMNO's nationalist movement was overshadowed by the communists cry for independence of Malaya.The communist armed struggle was to free Malaya of imperialist rule and turn it into a communist state aligned to communist China.It was not Chin Peng intention to free Malaya as a democratic entity.His armed struggle continued until after independence.The notion by some Malaysians that he was a freedom fighter to free the masses from imperialist rule is pure hogwash.Any armed struggle against a democratically elected government is considered a rebellion.The Baling Treaty was a mistake it should have not included him free from prosecution.Chin Peng should have been hung or given life imprisonment for treason.It's water under the bridge now.Let him live peacefully in exile.

Suspicious of British intention the Malays were beginning to get restless. A number of Malays turned to Indonesia in the hope of getting help to free Malaya through a union with Indonesia.Some even went over to Indonesia and hatched plans for the take-over of Malaya.None of the plans ever materialised.

Meanwhile, Onn Jaafar was losing his grip on UMNO.The intellectuals in the party were against his idea of a multi-racial party and his misty idea of independence.An Independent Malaya with control of foreign affairs still in the hands of the British.The Malays rejected the half-baked proposal.There could only be one answer, either stay as British subjects or fight for true independence.Onn left UMNO and formed a new party called Independence of Malaya Party.With the departure of Onn UMNO was in disarray, no money, no spirit and like a ship without rudder.With Jaafar gone the party needs a new leader.

In 1951 the Malay spirit was again rekindled by those loyal to the cause of the Malays and independence.It was decided to reform the party. Tengku Abdul Rahman took over the helm and moved the headquarters from Johor to Telok Ayer Tawar, Province Wellesley and ran the party from there for the next 9 months. The "Hidup Melayu" gave way to a new battle cry "Merdeka" and it changed from cause of the Malays to cause of independence.

This time the situation called for a united effort of all the races particularly the Chinese and Indians who formed significant portion of the population.It was not an easy task as UMNO was seen as a racialist Malay party and seen as a party opposed to other races.The qualification of citizenship for the Chinese and Indians was a dicey issue and the Tengku has three difficult tasks to attend to.Getting the Malays to make some sacrifices on the question of citizenship for the migrant races, to convince the Chinese and Indians that they have a permanent place in the new nation and to convince the rulers to accept an independent nation.

What happened to rulers in India and Indonesia got the rulers worried that they may lose their powers under an independent state.Tengku eventually succeeded on all fronts and an alliance was formed with the Chinese and Indians.Demand for independence was made.The British was pussyfooting.They played the delaying game.The Alliance decided to have a showdown with the British, withdrawing all their members from all the Councils as a show of unity and strength.This was when I Malaya truly exists.

The British realising the seriousness of the situation gave in.Elections was held and the Alliance Party swept every seats contested except one.

On 31 August 1957 Malaya was declared an independent nation.Six years later a new nation was born.The formation of Malaysia comprising Malaya, Sabah,Sarawak and Singapore.In 1965, Singapore left or rather kicked out to become an independent nation.

For over half a century Malaysia have not had change of government.It has been ruled by the same group of people.

On 8 March 2008, for the first time in over 50 years, Malaysians have bared their chests and delivered nasty blow to the uninterrupted reign of the BN government.The results of that elections have shown the people's frustration and opposition to the way the government have been turned into personal fiefdom of the powers that be and the institutionalised corruptions therein. The oppositions won in 5 states and denied the BN government of its two-thirds majority in Parliament.

In less than 2 years the political scenario has changed. The euphoria has turned to dismay for the oppositions.Defections and departure of its lawmakers particularly from PKR has thrown the coalition into turmoil and uncertainty.More are expected to leave which will eventually give the BN its two-thirds majority.Much of the dissatisfactions were due to Anwar.The other coalition members, PAS and DAP do not have such problems.

Recent developments are worrying the oppositions.A political shift in the Malay hinterland.A return to the days of the Malayan Union..... the spirit of "Hidup Melayu" has been rekindled by the constant barrage of abomination of the Malays by the oppositions.People like Lim Kit Siang has in many ways helped to rekindle the
"Hidup Melayu" spirit.

The recent assembly of 76 Malay NGOs to form one consultative council to defend Malay rights and Islam is the first step to a bigger and more intensive revival of the "Hidup Melayu" spirit that was last heard six decades ago....the objection against the Malayan Union.

This time the spirit is not only against the erosion of Malay rights under the constitution but serious matters of religion.The predominantly Muslim Malays felt sacrilegious attack on Islam when the Catholic Church insisted on the use of Allah. Right or wrong, that's what many Malays believe in.

An aggressive campaign would soon be underway to woo young Malay voters and sow the spirit of "Hidup Melayu" in them.PKR will lose more of its Malay lawmakers due to disillusionment with Anwar Ibrahim and the desire to join and strengthen the Malay cause.

Have we matured politically? Going by the political antics from both sides we certainly have not.

Malaysia is just not ready for political oneness no matter what the opposition Pakatan Rakyat claimed.They, themselves, are spitting images of the BN, a coalition based on the same racial line.

With daily rhetoric from people like Lim Kit Siang, driving the wedge between the Malays and non-Malays deeper and deeper, how could there be racial harmony.In Sabah, he again played the dangerous game, stirring racial sentiments among the KDM community.

The opposition can shout otherwise but race politics and the deterioting race relations in Malaysia and the rise of "Hidup Melayu" are much contributed by the oppositions.

Has Malaysia come of age?

No! We have not.Don't kid yourself.The very same people who talked about bringing the various races together are doing exactly the opposite, causing bigger rift among the races.

The next elections will see a major shift of the Malay votes back to UMNO.It would be the Malays on one side with the Indians and the Chinese and Anwar Ibrahim on the other side.

Notes:Some references are taken from the late Tunku Abdul Rahman's Viewpoints


SM said...


Like I said many a time, the Utusan needs writers like you!
Anyway, you blame LKS for his daily rhetoric that divides the Malays & Non-Malays & yet you do not say anything about the daily rantings of the Utusan that spews racial hatred between the Races & calls the Malays bsaically tells the Malays to take up arms & "get rid" of the Non-Malays (I'm bing mild here)? you also said many a time it's your blog & you can say what you want & support whom you want.
Next, the migrant races (as you put it) also include a lot of Malays today as most of them have come from Indonesia (e.g. Khir Toyol's father) & India (Mahatir's father).
Don't kid yourself...the 76 Malay NGO's are just ultraracist opportunists (supported by UMNO of course) who spew Ketuanan Melayu (how do they support Ketuanan Melayu when they do not have the "Testicular" power to compete against the other races?!) & say they want to protect Islam (as if Islam has anything to do with these type of Racists? The "Allah" issue was a convenient one can still show that the Quran & Hadith has said anything against Non-Muslims using the word Allah!).
Again you kid yourself, the Malays will go back to supporting UMNO? It's not a matter of DSAI. Not everything is a DSAI issue bah! You guys who hate him have a very unhealthy fixation on him!
It's a matter of continuing to support a Corrupted & Racist Regime! We will see in the next GE.
You offer a very big dis-service towards the majority of Malays in Malaysia who are generally of a better quality than you think. Just because they don't rant & rave like the UMNO-putras & these 76 NGOs don't mean they support UMNO!

Hantu Laut said...

First,I don't read Utusan Melayu and I am not going to write something based on hearsay.I read Lim Kit Siang's blog and I based my opinion on many of the articles he posted on his blog.I don't read Malaysia Today anymore because it completely bottled in lopsidedness.I still read the MSM and hosts of other local and international newpapers and magazines.

Unlike you, I do, from time to time criticise UMNO's stand if I find they were wrong on the issue but your deafening silence on such articles is bewildering.You were absence from my recent article supporting Razaleigh on the oil royalty payment to Kelantan or, maybe, you are too busy and didn't notice it.

One should not be offended if we are called migrant race.Those are facts.

I am a product of a migrant race but I have now become inextricable part of this nation and no one can deny me that privilege.I have no more connection with where my grandfather came from, this is my land, where I was born, live and would die for.

I don't think the Malays are any more racist than say the Chinese and Indians.I think you mistaken political renderings as racism.

The same way that you dislike Najib and UMNO, it would also be my privilege not to like Anwar and Lim Kit Siang.

I am giving you the history of this nation and history usually has a funny way of repeating itself.

It's certainly enlightening to know that the Malays supporting the oppositions are of better quality than those not supporting them.

I wonder which barometer you used to come to such conclusion.

Anonymous said...


Before PR coming into the picture, the Nation has been splitting apart
due to the blatant divide and rule policies formulated by BN. The shamefully lopsided treatments against the so called "pendatang" races has been in force ever since do not know when, so please spare us the rhetorics of blaming PR parties like a rabid dog spewing salivas !

SM said...


"Based on Hearsay"? Well then maybe you should read the Utusan & confirm if it really is "hearsay". Or maybe you don't want to have to confirm what we all know about the Utusan (UMNO controlled).
I apologise, I admit I have been pretty busy lately & may have missed some of your articles.
I do critize the PR & DSAI (you may need to go back to some of your articles last year to see my comments) now & again (I don't blindly support them).
You mistake my comments concerning Malays. I did not say that the Malays who support the Opposition have better quality.
However, I did say that the majority of Malays are of a better quality (the reason I say this is because in the closing part of your article you seem to "pit" the Indians, Chinese & DSAI against the Malays & UMNO [I reject that idea]). I think the Malays will support whoever they think is fair & uncorrupted (well the majority anyway). Malaysia does not have to rekindle the "hidup melayu spirit" (especially since UMNO is such a champion of the Malays!). Why do yuo think our late & great Tunku & Onn Jaffar left UMNO (these were men of "far-sight" & saw the necessity of eradicating race from politics)?
We don't need more "Race" based NGOs or parties. If Najib was so "honest" about his 1-Malaysia concept he would outrightly reject any of these rase based parties "suddenly" (you know that UMNO supports them behind the scenes) sprouting all over the place!

Rusila Abdul Razak said...

Dear HL,
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on a factually simple yet insightful analysis of our country's recent history. Thank you and shabas!
My input here is to address the posting by SM. SM, please be informed that the QURAN is a not a book of reference that one uses to prepare academic theses. It is more than just a book. It appeals to the soul of one who reads it. It gives the reader multiple levels of understanding of the words of ALLAH, of how one should live here on this earth according to the dos and don'ts laid down by ALLAH.If you are not a Muslim you cannot understand nor are you expected to appreciate the meaning of "hidayat".
In any case please refer to Surah Al Ikhlas which at the most basic level means:- In the Name of ALLAH, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
Say (O Muhammad pbuh): "He is ALLAH (the) One."
"ALLAH-us-Samad = ALLAH the Self-Sufficient Master,He neither eats nor drinks"
"He begets none nor was He begotten"
"And there is none co-equal or comparable unto him."

So, the word ALLAH to us Muslims just cannot be used like any word in any dictionary nor in any ancient non-monotheistic manuscript.The Kitab Injil of the era of Nabi Isa is monotheistic.In Kitab Injil ALLAH is ALLAH. The version of the Bible which came into existence 300 or so years after the death of Nabi Isa which preaches the concept of Trinity cannot be said to be monotheistic.
Even if you, SM, do not agree with me, all I ask is please respect my sensitivity regarding my ALLAH. Thats all I'm asking as a fellow Malaysian.

eddy said...

Yet another note worthy posting on current political issues Bro, you are on a roll I see.Syabas Bro.

I think the new MPM or Majlis Perunding NGO Melayu is not more racist then say SUQIU or even Hindraf in fact I would say that MPM is not about taking rights away from other people but rather defending what little rights left that the Malays/Bumiputras have under our Perlembagaan. If that is racist so be it, what is worse is somebody who is racist denies he is racist and calling other people who are only defending their constitutional rights as racist instead.

I agree that after the March 2008 election, the results which even surprised DAP,PKR and PAS and UMNO/BN too, our cultural and religious differences have been much accentuated by foolhardy and reckless rhetorics and writings by Pakatan leaders in their bid to preserve what they like to term their "winning streak" momentum to the next GE 13.

These rhetorics have unfortunately untied much of the careful and hard work in the last 52 years of the BN Government which tried very much to balance the cultural differences and economic imbalances while forging the road to progress for our Malaysia. Something that PM Najib is trying hard to retie using his 1 Malaysia, Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapaian diutamakan slogan. I think its heading for success and its no coincidence that after little under a year 3 PKR MPs have already left that party. Even though defacto head of Pakatan, Mr Lim Kit Siang termed it as a cleansing process, but really? MPs are clean as a whistle in PR, but the moment they leave they are dirty as hell? Something is wrong in this script.

Because of the unbridled and no hold barred and the insensitivity of the rhetorics of the Opposition. maybe we are now heading towards being a multiracist country instead of a multiracial one, where everybody indulge in racism but everybody deny of its existence. This has brought about a reaction from the Malays/Bumis in the form of the consolidation of the Malay NGOs under one umbrella to act as pressure group to protect the rights of the Malays/Bumis under the perlembagaan. Previously there was no need for such umbrella group as the BN have things under control politically as they have support of majority Malays/Bumis, Chinese and Indians.

The last election showed what the Chinese and Indians can accomplish politically if they band their votes for the opposition when the Malay votes are split. This time round the UMNO/BN cannot take things for granted and in the worse case scenario if the racism that we still deny happening and bearing in mind that the MCA and MIC seats in 2008 were won on mostly malay majority areas then do not be surprised that BN will go all out for the Malay/Bumis and Indian votes while giving up on Chinese support which looks likely going for the Opposition. Politics unlike commerce or economy is a very brutal game where only the strong and the cunning and the most brutal will survive and win for keeps. Winner takes all. the loser will have to pick up the the dismembered parts later.

SM said...


I do not intend to insult you or any Malaysian Muslim concerning the issue of the use of the word ALLAH.
The Catholics were allowed to use the word ALLAH for decades in Malaysia (by the past administrations) as long as they "towed" the line...i.e. for internal use, not to preach to Muslims, etc, etc (you know the drill). Suddenly it was "banned"?! Christians ALL over the world use it. Why not in Malaysia?
Respect & sensitivity is a two way street. Please respect & be sensitive towards me too, who wishs to use the word ALLAH too. That too is all I'm asking form my fellow Malaysians.

mohamed said...

"bearing in mind that the MCA and MIC seats in 2008 were won on mostly malay majority areas".

Caught the Malays by surprise in the last GE. Some may consider this as betrayal of the pact.

The grass root Malays had over the years silently resented supporting the non-malays in their own majority areas.

I dont think the goverment is stupid enough again to field non-malay in the these areas in the next GE.

PERKASA is not yet a political party. If it must I am sure it will field its candidates in these Malay majority areas. This will ensure Malays areas are represented by the Malays, much like the chinese areas represented by the Chinese.

You will never see areas with chinese majority vote for Malay candidate.