Khamis, November 15, 2007
THE REAL FIGHT FOR MERDEKA
by Azmi Sharom
Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka is more than a simple history lesson, for the struggle of the left in 1940s Malaya has a resonance today in 21st century Malaysia.
THE other day, I went to the royal gala screening of Shuhaimi Baba’s 1957 Hati Malaya. Needless to say, the affair was a glittering one; lots of beautiful people in beautiful clothes swanking around.
Not being beautiful, and dressed in a T-shirt and kung-fu shoes, I quietly sneaked into the cinema and waited for the movie to start.
Now, I would love to say I was moved by the film, that my withered little heart thumped in my chest to the beat of the Negaraku, but I can’t. It was not a bad film in the Ed Wood sense of the term, but it could have been much better.
For a story that any Malaysian with even the vaguest sense of history would know, making the story compelling is bound to be difficult. And it was a difficulty that the director and the scriptwriters could not surmount.
I gather that Shuhaimi Baba intended this film to be an awareness-raising experience for the younger generation who might not know the history of our quest for independence. I guess from that perspective she has succeeded.
However, the way it was told was very much this tale that has been drilled into our heads in the classroom and at any opportunity the powers-that-be get to remind us about how they and only they won our independence. If that is what you want, then that is what you’ll get. By all means, do buy a ticket and enjoy.
But if you want to know about the unsung heroes who fought the British and were calling for independence, then please check out Fahmi Reza’s superb Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka (http://10tahun.blogspot.com).
This is a documentary made with a budget probably smaller than that for Maya Karin’s make-up and wardrobe but with a heart bigger than Onn Jaafar’s songkok.
It tells of Malaya’s left-wing consisting of groups like Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya, Angkatan Pemuda Insaf, Angkatan Wanita Sedar, the Malayan Indian Congress (yes, that MIC) and the trade unions of the time, fighting not only the Malayan Union but also the Federation of Malaya. Fighting with the call for Merdeka.
Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka fills in an important gap in our general knowledge of Malayan history. It tells the poignant yet inspiring tale of those who battled but lost. And because history is written by the victors, their contributions and their sacrifices have been ignored for too long.
For a first time film-maker, Fahmi Reza has been able to create an absorbing and involving story by skilfully piecing together interviews with the surviving individuals of the left from that era, archival footage, and whatever supporting visuals that could be captured from present-day locations.
All backed by a soundtrack that is as fitting as it is unexpected (The Sex Pistols and The Clash for a Malaya history film? Incongruous perhaps, but it works).
It is a fascinating story culminating in the 1947 drafting of the People’s Constitution by this coalition of the left as an alternative to the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya, and a nationwide hartal (general strike) that saw significant parts of the country stop working for a day in a potent show of political dissent when the British refused to acknowledge the alternative constitution. (Who says protesting isn’t part of our nation’s make-up?)
The People’s Constitution was an amazingly progressive document that demanded independence, with equal political rights, a new nationality of “Melayu”, equal citizenship rights and an inter-ethnic council with the job of getting rid of all racially discriminating laws.
It was a truly Malayan document designed to create a nation consisting of Malayans.
The concept of a Bangsa Malaysia existed in 1947.
The hartal which scared the British into taking harsh measures like declaring an emergency and imprisoning and deporting the men and women involved was also an eye-opener.
It was embraced by the people of the country across ethnic lines and goes to show that ordinary Malaysians of the time were politically courageous and willing to accept the progressive, liberal and inclusive People’s Constitution.
Fahmi Reza’s sympathies are clear in the film. It is however not heavy-handed, and at the screening I went to, his call to the audience was for them to not take his word that this is what happened but to research it themselves.
This they should do of course, but this film remains an excellent place to start.
At the end of the day, Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka is more than a simple history lesson, for the struggle of the left in 1940s Malaya has a resonance today in 21st Century Malaysia.
Some of the scenes – like the pro-British press belittling the people’s movement and their call for equality and independence; the vicious and arrogant measures taken by the colonial masters – look all too familiar.
It all drives home the old cliché that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Perhaps that is the lesson we, old and young Malaysians, have to learn.
Sumber: Akhbar The Star, 15 Nov 2007
Berikut merupakan laporan demonstrasi anti-Federation yang keluar dalam akhbar The Malaya Tribune bertarikh 10 Februari 1947. Demonstrasi raksasa tersebut telah dianjurkan oleh Pan-Malayan Council of Joint Action (PMCJA), bertempat di Fun and Frolic Park, Penang pada 9 Februari 1947 .
Sumber: Akhbar The Malaya Tribune, 10 Feb 1947
Berikut merupakan laporan demonstrasi anti-Federation yang keluar dalam akhbar The Malaya Tribune bertarikh 7 Februari 1947. Demonstrasi tersebut telah dianjurkan oleh Malacca Peoples Constitutional Affairs Committee yang dipengerusikan oleh Tan Cheng Lock, bertempat di Padang Kelab Melaka pada 6 Februari 1947 .
Sumber: Akhbar The Malaya Tribune, 7 Feb 1947
Berikut merupakan laporan demonstrasi anti-Federation yang keluar dalam akhbar Sunday Tribune bertarikh 23 Februari 1947. Demonstrasi tersebut telah dijalankan serentak dengan majlis penubuhan Pusat Tenaga Ra'ayat (PUTERA) pada 22 Februari 1947.
Sumber: Akhbar Sunday Tribune, 23 Feb 1947
Berikut merupakan laporan demonstrasi anti-Federation yang keluar dalam akhbar The Malaya Tribune bertarikh 28 Disember 1946.
MALAYS PROTEST AGAINST FEDERATION
When the leftwing Malay Nationalist Party held their second Congress in Malacca this week, they protested against the federation plan, and over a hundred delegates from all over Malaya, staged a demonstration by conducting a mammoth procession through the town.
This picture taken during the protest-march shows men and women carrying banners one of which reads: "Zalim itu binasa" (Injustice is ruination).
Sumber: Akhbar The Malaya Tribune, 28 Dis 1946
Selasa, November 13, 2007
Isnin, November 12, 2007
Rapat umum PUTERA-AMCJA dari tahun 1947 atau 1948. Aku masih mencari tarikh, tempat dan tujuan rapat umum ini dijalankan. Buku From Malayan Union to Singapore Separation, dari mana aku ambil gambar ini tak beri apa-apa penerangan selain kapsyen pendek di bawah gambar. Yang pasti, rapat umum ini berlaku selepas 9 Disember 1947, tarikh Bendera Rakyat (bendera depan rostrum dalam gambar) dikibarkan buat pertama kali di luar ibu pejabat Malayan Democratic Union (MDU). Tentang Bendera Rakyat aku cerita lain kali.
Sumber: Buku From Malayan Union to Singapore Separation, Mohamed Noordin Sopiee, University Malaya Press, 1979
Berikut merupakan laporan demonstrasi anti-Federation yang keluar dalam akhbar The Malaya Tribune bertarikh 22 September 1947.
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.
MASS MEETING VOTES AGAINST ELECTIONS
Federation Plan Condemned
A mass meeting in Farrer Park yesterday unanimously supported the People’s Constitutional Proposals drafted by PUTERA and the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action.
The meeting, sponsored by PUTERA and the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action, was largely attended.
A resolution was passed protesting against the holding of the Singapore elections and rejecting the British Government’s latest White Paper on Malaya’s future constitution.
This, and other resolutions passed by the meeting, are to be sent to the Secretary for the Colonies, the Governor-General and the Governors of the Malayan Union and Singapore.
Representatives of nearly 90 unions, associations, and youth and women’s movements attended the meeting. Banners opposed the separation of Singapore from Malaya and condemning the White Paper.
Mr. Tan Cheng Lock, Chairman of the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action, in a speech to the crowd said:
“The Government has broken its promise and acted in defiance of public opinion.
“The Government pledged itself to give the people a constitution based upon the consent of the governed, which would provide a good beginning from which the country might advanced towards self-government.
“Instead it appears to be persisting in imposing upon the country a constitution to which the bulk of the people are definitely and strongly opposed, thus creating a widespread feeling of dissatisfaction, frustration and resentment throughout Malaya.
“We asked for bread and to our great dismay we have been given stone.”
Mr. Tan Cheng Lock added that one of the worst features of the revised constitutional scheme was that it aimed at dividing the Malayan population into antagonistic and irreconcilable groups – thus giving Government ample scope to play one group or community against another.
PUTERA and the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action represented the most progressive public-spirited and dynamic elements of the different communities in the Malayan population and they took their stand on the solid rock of the national cause of Malaya as an united whole, he said.
Mr. Philip Hoalim, chairman of the Malayan Democratic Union, said that the Constitutional Proposals drafted by PUTERA and the AMCJA directly reflected the will and desires of the most progressive and politically-conscious sections of the people of Malaya.
The proposals constituted the immediate goal of the democratic movement of Malaya.
The revised White Paper represented the views of the ruling class and the small group of privileged persons who sought to prolong their exploitation of the common people under a new guise.
“The White Paper very thoroughly reveals the author’s plan to ‘divide and rule’ the people of Malaya under the pretence of giving special privileges to the Malay community,” said Mr. Hoalim.
He added that the citizenship proposals in the White Paper were particularly revealing in this connection.
A study in faces and races was taken by a Straits Times photographer at the mass meeting at Farrer Park on Sunday, called to protest against the new constitution for the Federation of Malaya excluding Singapore.
Sumber: Akhbar The Straits Times, 22 Sept 1947
Berikut merupakan gambar dari buku teks sejarah tingkatan 3 yang menunjukkan demonstrasi anti-Malayan Union pada penghujung tahun 1945.
Sumber: Buku Teks Malaysia Dalam Sejarah 3, M. Thambirajah, Federal Publications, 1979
Ahad, November 11, 2007
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.
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".
Berikut merupakan petikan dari akhbar The Malay Mail bertarikh 27 Mei 1946.
MOVEMENT AGAINST MALAYAN UNION
What Capt. Gammans Saw On Way To Kuala Lumpur
" I have had an amazing journey up from Singapore. At every kampong from Johore Bahru to Kuala Lumpur large crowds of Malays, men, women and children, have lined the roads protesting most vigorously against the Malayan Union proposals," declared Capt. L. D. Gammans, M.P., who is on unofficial visit to Malaya, to a Press conference in the Union capital yesterday.
Capt. Gammans continued: "In some towns such as Batu Pahat and Muar there have been mass demonstrations running into thousands of people. And what has interested me the most is to find that Malay women, who in my day took no part in public affairs at all, making speeches."
Sumber: Buku Sejarah Perjuangan UMNO, Ibrahim Mahmood, Penerbitan Pustaka Antara, 1981 dan akhbar The Malay Mail, 27 Mei 1946.
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.
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
Berikut merupakan laporan bantahan orang-orang Melayu dan Raja-raja Melayu terhadap Malayan Union yang keluar dalam akhbar The Malaya Tribune bertarikh 2 April 1946. Atas desakan dari rakyat jelata, Raja-raja Melayu telah mengambil tindakan untuk memboikot majlis pertabalan Gabenor Malayan Union, Sir Edward Gent pada 1 April 1946.
Sumber: Akhbar The Malaya Tribune, 2 April 1946
Berikut merupakan laporan yang diambil dari Malayan Press Digest yang dikeluarkan oleh Press Intelligence, Kerajaan Kolonial British. Press Digest yang dikeluarkan seminggu sekali ini merumuskan berita dari akhbar dan majalah (harian, mingguan, bulanan), risalah politik dan buku yang diterbitkan di Malaya mulai 1945, selepas perang dunia kedua.
PROTEST DEMONSTRATION BY MALAYS
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”, was reported by WARTA NEGARA 4.2.1946.
Sumber: Malayan Press Digest No. 16, 10hb-16hb Feb 1946
Artikel berikut di ambil dari surat pembaca yang disiarkan dalam majalah Kenchana bilangan 6, keluaran bulan Jun 1947.
SEDIKIT RIWAYAT MERAH PUTEH
Dizaman ini dimana kapal pergerakan bangsa kita sedang mengharongi lautan perjuangan, sudah tentu sekali kapal itu berhajat kepada suatu chogan yang akan mengenalkan kepada dunia, kapal siapakah yang sedang berlayar dilautan perjuangan? Selainnya Sang Saka Merah Puteh menjadi lambang sesuatu bangsa. Sesuatu bangsa yang akan mempertahankan ketinggian saka-nya biar batang tuboh-nya rebah kebumi.
Dunia kapal pergerakan bangsa kita yang terbesar sekali ialah kapal Pertubohan Kebangsaan Melayu (UMNO) dan kapal Party Kebangsaan Melayu (MNP), sedang bertelagah atas so’al bendera. Pekemam tidak beranjak dari pegangannya bahwa bendera kebangsaan Melayu ialah Merah Puteh. Sebaleknya pula Pekembar memakai juga Merah Puteh, tetapi ditambah bulan dan keris.
Darimanakah timbulnya Sang Saka Merah Puteh dan sejak bilakah bendera ini zahir kedunia. Kerana disini tidak akan saya terangkan bendera mana yang dipakai bangsa kita, biarlah saya kembali ketajok karangan saya untok menerangkan sedikit riwayat Merah Puteh.
Sejak beberapa abad kebelakang iaitu diabad ke 17 sewaktu kerajaan Madjapahit memegang tampok pemerentahan seluroh kepulauan Indonesia, adalah lambang Madjapahit Sang Saka Merah Puteh.
Menekala kerajaan Madjapahit lenyap dari muka yang diganti dengan kerajaan Mataram turut sama menjadikan Merah Puteh chogan pemerentahannya sehingga hari rebah kerajaan Mataram ditahun 1735.
Didalam peperangan Djawa dibawah pimpinan Pangeran Diponegoro bendera Merah Puteh tetap menjadi semboyan bangsa Djawa yang menentang penjajahan Belanda.
Tanah Melayu pula Melaka lah menggunakan Merah Puteh sebagai saka bangsa. Apabila jatoh kerajaan Melaka pada tahun 1511 Merah Puteh lenyap riwayatnya dikepulauan Indonesia.
Riwayat Merah Puteh hidop semula dengan adanya Congress Indonesia Raya yang diadakan ditahun 1939 bertempat di-Djakarta. Persidangan itu memutuskan bahwa Merah Puteh adalah bendera kebangsaan Indonesia Raya.
Baharu2 ini Persidangan Partai Kebangsaan Melayu menegaskan bendera kebangsaan Melayu ialah, Sang Saka Merah Puteh.
Sesunggohnya Merah Puteh mengandong erti yang besar bagi kita. Merah berarti darah, Puteh berma’na suchi. Apa bila kesuchian mahu dipadam-kan, darah akan tertumpah sebagai pembelaan. Kini terpulanglah kepada kita semua menentukan bendera manakah yang patut dijadikan lambang perjuangan kita.
Sumber: Majalah Kenchana, Bilangan 6, Jun 1947
Jumaat, November 09, 2007
Malam Rabu, 7 November lepas aku telah berkunjung ke Wisma Bernama, KL untuk sesi wawancara di Radio24 dengan Nizal Mohammad, bercakap tentang filem 'Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka'. Berikut merupakan petikan dari wawancara itu. Klik sini kalau nak dengar 8 klip lain dari wawancara yang sama.
*Setengah jam terakhir wawancara ini tak dapat aku rakam sebab masalah teknikal (harddisk penuh).
PUTERA-AMCJA tubuhkan biro berita di London
Hari ini dalam tahun 1947, Pusat Tenaga Rakyat dan All-Malaya Council of Joint Action (PUTERA-AMCJA) telah menubuhkan sebuah biro berita di London di bawah pentadbiran wakil mereka di sana, Lim Hong Bee. Berikut merupakan artikel dari akhbar The Straits Echo bertarikh 10 November 1947 yang melaporkan penubuhan biro tersebut.
MALAYAN AFFAIRS BUREAU SET UP IN LONDON
Queen's Scholar is Director
Kuala Lumpur, Nov 9 – Putera and the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action, in a press statement, yesterday announced that a News and Information Bureau on Malayan Affairs has been set up in London under the direction of a representative of Putera and AMCJA in London, Mr. Lim Hong Bee.
The statement goes on to say: Mr. Lim Hong Bee, a Queen’s Scholar, who is now in London completing his law studies, is well known to the democratic movement in Malaya as one of the founders and first general secretary of the Malayan Democratic Union. He recently represented the people of Malaya at the International Human Rights Conference in London.
The News and Information Bureau has already set up news and information service on Malayan Affairs and is producing a regular Malayan newsletter, the first issue of which was scheduled to appear last week.
The Bureau has also distributed a large number of copies of the People’s Constitutional Proposals drafted by Putera and AMCJA to M.P.’s, progressive associations, leading English newspapers, the Colonial Office and others.
In his lates report to Putera and AMCJA, Mr. Lim Hong Bee states that letters requesting copies of the People’s Constitutional Proposals are pouring in on every hand, while those to whom copies have been given are asking for more.
Request for copies of the People’s Constitution, writes Mr. Lim Hong Bee, have also been received from European countries and from the United States.
Mr. Lim Hong Bee also says in his latest report that the success of the hartal created a powerful impression in London.
The London Times, he says, described the city of Singapore on Hartal Day as an impressive spectacle of miles of shuttered shops and empty streets.
The statement went on to say that it will be of interest to the people of Malaya as an exposure of anti-British propaganda, which is being used against Putera and AMCJA, that among those working in London are several Englishmen. They include Mr. Neill Steward, author, Major John Eyre, and his wife, Joan Eyre, Mr. S. H. Cox, Mr. John Dowding and Dr. E. Montussohi, M.D.
All of them, except Mr. Neill Steward, are well known to democrats in Malaya; as they were stationed here with the British armed services for lengthy periods during the past two years.
These British democrats studies Malayan conditions at first hand and their readiness to participate in establishing of the News and Information Bureau on Malayan Affairs in London under the direction of the Putera and AMCJA representative is very significant.
It proves that these British democrats agree that the policy of Putera and AMCJA on the Malayan constitutional issue is in the best interests not only of the people of Malaya but also of the people of Britain. It also shows that there are many Britishers who wholeheartedly support the campaign on the constitutional issue which is being directed by Putera and AMCJA as being in the best traditions of British militant democracy.
Another function of the London News and Information Bureau will be to maintain constant and close contact with M.P.’s, progressive associations, trade unions and newspapers in England in order that they may keep the truth about Malaya and Malayan condition always before the eyes of the British people.
“We, therefore request all political and other organisations, all trade unions, etc., to send us information about their activities and other relevant news in order that we may relay this information to our London representative, Mr. Lim Hong Bee, who would in particular, like to have journals statements and other publications of Malayan associations,” the statement concluded.
All documentary and other material intended for London should be addressed to the General Secretary, Putera and All-Malaya Council of Joint Action, 59 Klyne Street, Kuala Lumpur.
Sumber: Akhbar The Straits Echo, 10 Nov 1947
Khamis, November 08, 2007
Sempena Deepavali yang mulia, aku tujukan filem ini kepada John A. Thivy (MIC), Budh Singh (MIC), K. Ganapathy (PMFTU), P. Veeraseenan (Harbour Labourers' Union), P. Rajagopal (Railway Workers Union), C. V. S. Krishnamoorthy (PMFTU), R. Balan (Rubber Workers' Union), K. N. Venugopal (Estates Employees' Union), P. V. Sharma (MDU), M. Saravanamuttu (Penang MDU), G. Chitambalan (Perak MDU), J. Appadurai (Perak MDU), K. A. Chandran (MNDYL) dan semua veteran2 politik kiri yang telah banyak berjasa dan berjuang untuk membebaskan tanahair kita dari jiwa penghambaan dan penjajahan. Cita-cita rakyat untuk sebuah negara Merdeka yang lebih adil dan saksama untuk semua rakyat, akan terus kami perjuangkan sampai bila2. Selamat Hari Deepavali, kongsi itu kuasa.
For any privilege in new constitution for Malaya
INDIANS WON’T APPEAL OVER MALAYS TO BRITISH
Thivy Clarifies M.I.C. Attitude To Federation
by Tribune Staff Reporter
Kuala Lumpur, Jan. 3 – An assurance that the Indians will never appeal over the heads of the Malays to the British for any particular right or privilege in the task of establishing a constitution for Malaya, was made by Mr. J. Thivy, President of the Malayan Indian Congress, in an exclusive interview with the Tribune on his arrival here last night from a tour of India.
Mr. Thivy disclosed that the Indians were prepared to declare “unequivocally for a single citizenship” and to regard “this land the object of their undivided loyalty.” He revealed that leading politicians in India fully shared this view.
He pointed out: “The Indian struggle for freedom has always been pure in conception and unselfish in execution. India has struggled not merely for her own freedom but has always stood for the freedom of the countries of South East Asia. Therefore, wherever an Indian lives, it is his first duty to identify himself and stand for the progress and advancement of the country of his abode, without any selfish reservations. This course of action naturally applies to Indians in Malaya.”
Declaring that he had always held that the Malays should have every assurance that in any constitutional struggle, their position as the indigenous population of this country will be safeguarded, Mr. Thivy said:
“Unfortunately what has happened is that instead of the people of Malaya knowing what the Malays want, a secret conference – resulting in the Federation proposals – has been held between the British Government and certain elements of the Malay people. Out of this conference, an understanding has been born between these two parties, which cannot be considered in any way as an expression of Malay opinion and which cannot be treated as such by the non-Malay communities of Malaya.”
“The most outstanding feature of this understanding is that the Malays, deeply suspicious of the intentions of the other communities, have preferred to throw in their lot with the British, even to the extent of sacrificing their chances of one day winning complete freedom for this country.”
“This is obvious when they express fear of an “Union”, of their refusal to give the constitution the name “Malayan”, and deep anxiety not to bring in any citizenship rights. And in this fear of the other communities, they have surrendered every vestige of their sovereignty, except hollow “dignity”. The result is that all the initiative and sense of struggle and sacrifice for the sake of the country’s freedom, is lost to them. They have effected so many safeguards and have obtained rights without, however, the attendant responsibilities.”
“They have come to an understanding, but in doing so they do not recognise those elements of the Malays who still have the spirit to sacrifice, struggle and endure for the cause of the ideal of freedom and thereby fit themselves for the responsibility of government one day in the future.”
Too Much “Protection”
“It has always been the policy of the British Government to keep the Malay “backward” in comparison with the other communities, by giving him unnecessary “protection”, and thus create in him a tendency to lean heavily on them.”
“If the British are responsible for this mentality, the Indians and the Chinese are equally blameworthy. The economic exploitation of Malaya so engrossed the attention of these two communities that never for a moment in the last half century or so did they stop to notice that they were driving the Malay further into the British fold. The only difference there was between European and Asiatic exploitation was that the former was carried out more ruthlessly with the aid of governmental machinery.”
“It is fortunate that there are still large sections of the Malay people who are against the spirit and the letter of the Federation proposals. It is now incumbent on the non-Malay section of the Malayan people to assure the Malays that it is their sincere intention to come to an agreement with the Malays and the Malays alone, as to what should be the constitution of this country.”
“The best proof of this sincerity would be to conduct negotiations in such a frank and cordial manner that would gain the trust of the Malays and never make them, even for a moment, think of turning to the British for support and assistance.”
“For our part, the Indians and the Chinese should assure the Malays that never will we appeal over their heads to the British for any particular right or privilege in the task of establishing a constitution for this country.”
Sumber: Akhbar The Malaya Tribune, 3 Jan 1947
Hampir dua bulan selepas artikel ini diterbitkan, pada 22 Februari 1947, golongan kiri Melayu "who still have the spirit to sacrifice, struggle and endure for the cause of the ideal of freedom" telah bersatu untuk menubuhkan Pusat Tenaga Ra'ayat (PUTERA). Pada bulan Mac 1947, M.I.C. pada waktu itu yang bersekutu dengan organisasi2 politik kiri lain di bawah All-Malaya Council of Joint Action (AMCJA) telah mengambil langkah bergabung dengan PUTERA bagi membentuk badan politik pertama yang merealisasikan penyatuan rakyat pelbagai kaum - PUTERA-AMCJA.
Pada 10 Ogos 1947, kerjasama politik ini telah melahirkan Perlembagaan Rakyat, yang disifatkan oleh editor The Straits Times pada 23 Sept 1947 sebagai "the first political attempt to put Malayan party politics on a plane higher than that of rival racial interests, and also the first attempt to build a political bridge between the domiciled non-Malay communities and the Malay race."
Rabu, November 07, 2007
Sempena Perhimpunan Agung UMNO 2007, sudi aku berkongsi petikan dari temubual dengan Yahya Nassim bercerita tentang peristiwa sejarah yang berlaku semasa Perhimpunan Agung UMNO yang pertama di Dewan Bandaran Ipoh, Perak pada 29 dan 30 Jun 1946.
Yayha Nassim telah ditemubual untuk filem Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka, di Kajang, Selangor pada 16 Julai 2007.
Jumaat, November 02, 2007
Penjelajahan pendek filem Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka ke utara semenanjung.
Sabtu / 3 Nov 2007 / 8:00 malam
Dewan Sri Pinang, Pulau Pinang
Ahad / 4 Nov 2007 / 8:30 malam
Rumah Persatuan Penggerak Warisan Budaya (AKRAB), Alor Star, Kedah
info: 019-563 5036
Isnin / 5 Nov 2007 / 8:30 malam
Selimut Hati Kafe, Kota Bharu, Kelantan
info: 019-959 5560 / email@example.com / www.papakerma.com
Selasa / 6 Nov 2007 / 3:00 petang
Abada Bookstop (Sabasun), Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
info: 017-904 7790 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Aku akan berada di setiap lokasi untuk sesi diskusi selepas tayangan filem itu nanti. Ayuh jumpa di sana!
Fahmi Reza (pengarah dokumentari 'Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka') akan diwawancara oleh Nizal Mohammad melalui corong radio dalam program Hello...! di Radio24 (93.9FM) pada hari Rabu, 7 November 2007, dari jam 9:00 hingga 12:00 tengahmalam.
Mungkin boleh minta mereka putarkan lagu 'God Save The Queen' sebelum mula wawancara!