Isnin, Disember 31, 2007

"I shall help to create a new Malaysia"

Sempena menyambut tahun baru ni, izinkan aku berkongsi sepucuk surat yang ditulis oleh seorang "new Malayan" kepada akhbar The Malaya Tribune sempena tahun baru 1947, 61 tahun yang lalu. Beliau menulis tentang perjuangan demokrasi yang bakal ditempuhi oleh rakyat Malaya pada waktu itu... -- "I therefore commend a New Year resolution to every man and woman. Let this resolution be I shall help to create a New Malaysia."

Selamat Tahun Baru 2008.


Sir, - A political struggle is on in Malaya, and within the next few months the future of all people in Malaya will be decided. I therefore commend a New Year resolution to every man and woman. Let this resolution be “I shall help to create a New Malaya.”

Let this resolution be taken and carried out before it is too late. We were late once in Malaya and paid for it with suffering in the vice-like grip of the Japanese occupation. Before we join in the struggle let us understand the nature of the struggle.

The Sultans and the Malay aristocrats dominate a party known as UMNO which also received the support of people who we may call the Malay Feudalists. The Sultans and the aristocrats have now agreed to a plan whereby the nominal sovereignty of the Sultans remains while the real sovereignty goes to the British Administration. This willingness of the Sultans to stand in the shadow of the British Administration can only be owing to fear of possible Malay republicanism which will mean curtailing of the Sultans’ personal privileges. As for the Malay Feudalists, they have looked forward to an enhancement of the sovereignty of the Malay Sultans in the belief that that was bound up with the protection of the Malay peoples. However by the Federation Plan though the other communities are kept down, the position of the Malays is by no means improved since the real sovereignty in Malaya is in the hands of the British Administration. This must be very disappointing to the aspirations of the Malay Feudalists. Even before the Federation Plan was out there was a reported drop in the membership of the UMNO owing no doubt to the resignation of disappointed Malay Feudalists who saw which way the wind was blowing.

There is another powerful Malay party the M.N.P. [Malay Nationalist Party or Party Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya, PKMM] which although it has expressed no republican views, is watched with suspicion by the Sultans. While the Malay Feudalists want to preserve the rights of the Malay people by enhancing the sovereignty of the Sultans, the M.N.P. although it has never objected to the nominal sovereignty of the Sultans has, however, always insisted upon the real sovereignty of the Malay People. In its attitude towards the domiciled communities the M.N.P., unlike the Malay Feudalists is not in the least panicky. The M.N.P. is sure that there is no danger of the Malays being swamped by the other communities, the real danger being from the imperialist quarters. That the M.N.P. is right is proved by the Federation Plan where there is a complete denial of the rights of the Malay People and the appropriation of real sovereignty into the hands of the British.

The M.N.P. and the other communities have now joined in a common struggle and have formed the Council of Joint Action. That the other communities have been able to join the M.N.P. in a common struggle is because in the first place they recognise that Malay nationalism is not a threat to their interests but that it is only just and proper that Malay problem should be given great consideration. Since the democratic rights of the Malay masses and the domiciled masses are being threatened, there is common cause between them. While the domiciled masses challenge Imperialism, they have never challenged the nominal sovereignty of the Sultans. The positive object of the domiciled communities is to seek a measure of self-government in Malaya, and this is again common cause between them and the M.N.P.

As for the British Administration, is has adopted the divide and rule policy in spite of repeated promises of self-government and while playing to Malay fears of being swamped by other communities it has adroitly snatched the real sovereignty. This is contrary to Whitehall’s promise.

- “A NEW MALAYAN” (Singapore)

Sumber: Akhbar The Malaya Tribune, 6 Jan 1947

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