Monday, September 15, 2014

IN 1919 AND AT THE AGE OF SIXTEEN YEARS, TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN SAILS TO CAMBRIDGE IN ENGLAND TO STUDY. AND AT THE AGE OF FIFTY-FOUR, HE CAUSES THE ENGLISH TO LEAVE MALAYA

– WITHOUT SPILLING A SINGLE DROP OF BLOOD (TANPA MENITIS SETITK DARAH.) 
By Mansor Puteh 



It is not easy to be a national leader, much less to be the Father of Independence of the country. 

At a very young age, and having attended several schools in Kedah, Penang and Bangkok, Tunku Abdul Rahman finally got a scholarship from the Kedah state government to further his studies in a private school in Little Stukeley, Cambridgeshire, not far from the town of Cambridge where there is a prestigious university in
England – the University of Cambridge. 

Many feared for the Tunku who at such a young age, only sixteen years at that time in 1919 could bear to sail across the vast Indian and Atlantic Oceans to finally arrive in England a month or so later, to begin his studies England and in English, which was not really a foreign language to him at the time since he had studied in English language schools in Malaya and also Bangkok. 

He was able to speak and write in English, but did not have much opportunity to use the language on a daily basis because he was being surrounded by children his age who speak the Malay language and in the Kedah dialect where his father was ruling as its Sultan. 

The Black Boy, was a nickname given to Tunku as a child had now gone to study in a White  Country. 

Pak Tam, is a name still being used to describe him by close relatives till today. 

Pak Tam, or Uncle Black or Tunku Abdul Rahman had finally become a man who the country could depend on in its hour of need. 

He was not sent by his father Sultan Abdul Hamid, when he was the Sultan of Kedah then to further his studies at just any school and university in the Arab world, because they knew that Malaya was occupied by the British; so was not suitable for Tunku the ‘Black Boy’ or Uncle Tam (Pak Tam) to be sent to Cairo, Egypt, or Amman, Jordan. 

His father, Sultan Abdul Hamid of Kedah preferred his son to go to England. 

And he did not want him to go to just any place in England to study, but in Cambridge, where there was the oldest university in the country called the University of Cambridge which had produced many graduates who became prime minister and senior officials of the British government. 

And it is here where the Sultan felt it proper and more appropriate to send Tunku at. 

The Old Rectory in Little Stukeley where Tunku studied from private tutors. And here was where Tunku lived with other English children  from distinguished families of his age. 

There were also a number of non-English students who studied with Tunku then, who came from foreign countries, but not one of them who eventually became like prominent like Tunku, who would later liberate Malaya from British colonial rule. 

Near Little Stukeley was a racecourse. And it was here where Tunku also became interested in horse-racing as a sport. 

When Tunku was finally able to study at the St. Catherine’s College at Cambridge University, he rented a room at 11 Grange Road near the campus. 

And by coincidence near the rented house there was a football field. This was where Tunku became interested in this sports and was able to count as his friends the others in the club who comprised mostly of students at Cambridge University, although they were at the different colleges and who did not eventually become prominent political leaders of their own countries like Tunku did. 

Tunku enrolled at Cambridge University in 1922 for four years to finally graduate from it with his degree in law. 

During his time at the university, it was unfortunate that Tunku had to personally experience various types of racial discrimination particularly from the university dormitory administrators who thought he was not fit to board in the dorms. 

Tunku complained to the Kedah state government who sent the Resident of Kedah then to Cambridge to explain the administrative officer of the dormitory that Tunku was a prince from Kedah in Malaya. 

The
officer was shocked at the revelation coming from a fellow senior officer of the colonial government in Malaya, so he finally agreed to offer Tunku a place in the dormitory. 

However, Tunku said he could not accept the offer because he said, he would be leaving the university now that he would be graduating from it soon.


So he continued to stay in the room he had been renting at Grange Road, where he could continue to enjoy the freedom and luxurious lifestyle he had enjoyed since arriving at Cambridge, driving an expensive car and riding the most modern motorcycle there were with the car that he bought in a car show, which is the university vice-chancellor or any dean or senior university could not afford to buy because the prices were too exorbitant for their wages and lifestyle. 

So the Black Boy or ‘Budak Hitam’ finally felt 'angry' spells as a young man living very far away from his family and close friends, the village boys who he was unduly closed to; but the anger he felt then were nicely stored in his mind and philosophy which he would draw on until he became a senior officer of a nationalist party in Malaya called the United Malay National Organization or Umno in short, where Tunku remembered the humiliation and discrimination he had to endure in England studying at Cambridge. 

Tunku told me in a recorded interview I did at home in Bukit Tunku in Kuala Lumpur in 1989, that this personal bitter experience remained in him for so long, and it was what had made him want to ‘kick the British out of Malaya’, given the chance, although he did not mean it literally, but diplomatically as his later actions proved when he was negotiating with the British to wrest Malaya or Tanah Melayu from the British. 

However, the Tunku did not use physical action or force to do that, he preferred to be subtle and in the English style and using fine diplomatic skills he had acquired while studying and living in England especially at Cambridge where he was introduced to the English ways and who could manage to delve deeper into their thinking and displaying the royal attributes he had had growing up in the palaces, which even the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, who has now reached the age of 90 years, who would said he often found it difficult to fully digest and understand the thinking of Tunku. 

Without Tunku, Malaya would be reeled with confusion whose leadership roles might have been fractured between the Melayu themselves as much as it would be between the non-Melayu, who all had gone through phases that saw hardship and pains as well as anger, so Tunku had to engage his diplomatic skills to engage the Melayu and the other races to unity behind a single banner that the British had wanted him to do to be able to negotiate with them at the table instead of in the fields using arms and spouting angry words. 

But fortunately Tunku managed to do this, and we must feel especially proud of that because he had achieved Independence or Merdeka for Malaya or Persekutuan Tanah Melayu 'without spilling even a single drop of blood' or 'tanpa menitis setitik darah.’ 

Mahatma Gandhi, India's independence fighter, also studied law in England, like Tunku did, but the way he gained independence for his country's caused hundreds of thousands of Indians to be killed with the country ending up being split into India and Pakistan, and then to the three countries, namely India, Pakistan and 
Bangladesh. 

So when all Malaysians celebrate the 57th Independence or Merdeka Day it would be good and proper for all of them to remember Tunku Abdul Rahman’s, ingenuity, charm and leadership which had now allowed the country to be in peace with its people enjoying greater prosperity and harmony…

Thursday, September 11, 2014

ASTRO MERDEKA COMMERCIAL PROFILING A REGULAR BLOOD DONOR WHO COMMUTES IN A BUS TO THE NATIONAL BLOOD CENTER…

AND THE DISABLED WHO ARE JUST NUMBERS.
By Mansor Puteh


I donated blood for the 416th time yesterday, 19 August, and was shown a clip for the Astro Merdeka Commercial by a staff at the National Blood Center on her cell phone which features one of the regular blood donors, who was shown taking the bus to the blood center. He is someone who had just donated over 200 times over twenty years at least.
         
But what was not right is how the producers decided to have him take the bus to go there to donate. What were they trying to show?

The climax however is too melodramatic and worse, which makes the character to be too self-important. It is too stagey to be real.

Why would anyone who has received blood from an anonymous donor confront any particular donor despite him having done so regularly for more than two hundred times?

There is no justification for that to happen unless if the story says that the particular donor had come to the aid of the blood recipient, and who survived a risky surgery that he wanted to meet with the person who had saved his life.

No regular blood donor has ever done that as no such occasion had availed itself to any regular donor or recipient that I know of, ever. The scene can only come out from the less than fertile mind of the scriptwriter who thought it would be such an emotional experience to those who watch the clip over and over through the Merdeka Month over the Astro stations.

Maybe we should all consider the donor and recipient to be representative of all donors and recipients.

Can the producers come up with an entirely different plot for their Merdeka Commercial? They can. There are so many other ways that they can do that, if they think hard enough and come up with a more natural and convincing story that can touch the viewers even more.  

In fact, during the World Blood Donors’ Day on 16 June, none of those who had received blood from them had ever attended the function held at the blood center with so few of the regular donors attending it.

For a person who had donated blood so many times, surely, he would have been doing it since Form Six which should also mean that by now he should be a successful person and who can afford to own at least a simple compact car, so he can be shown to go to the blood center driving one.

But the producers may have other plans; which is to show how most of the regular blood donors comprise of people of all races, although I have yet to see a Punjabi man or woman doing it, and mostly those with average educational levels.

I could hardly see anyone with a university degree coming to donate blood, much less one who had studied abroad, except for me.

The National Blood Center does not care for the academic as well as professional backgrounds of the donors; they never ask the questions which can give them a better profile of the donors, so that they can target their blood donation campaigns to attract different groups of people mostly students, who would later become regular blood donors with some who can become very successful in their own chosen fields.

But the blood center does not seem to be interested to know just a bit more about the donors as does the ministry concerned which registers the disabled which does not need similar information. To the officers in this ministry, a disabled person is no different than the other.

So no wonder the ministry has not managed to attract the different groups of the disabled to get them involved in their activities. They prefer to highlight those with clear and obvious physical disabilities and deformities than those with unseen disabilities especially those with prostheses.

And from my observation having donated blood more than forty years, I noticed that there are no or almost no professionals who do that.

Worse, but not surprisingly, most of those vocal and high-profile NGO leaders and other well-meaning individuals who often called for the general public to do good to the society are also not seen to donate blood, an exercise or hobby or activity that they should have started to do since they were still in secondary school which I did when I first donated blood when I was in Form Six studying at a private school in Jalan Barat, Petaling Jaya.

There is certainly no one in politics in the government or opposition who donates blood regularly, from what I can see. And so few of those holding senior positions in the armed forces who donate blood.

I also found it amusing how a lesser-known Islamic religious leader (or preacher?) who would appear on a talk show on television to explain to the viewers the virtues for Muslims to donate blood, and recite the verses which support such effort, yet, for a person who is in the fifties, he had not yet even once donated blood to score merits.

Whereas those who come to the blood center in Kuala Lumpur and anywhere in the country does so without ever proclaiming that they were doing it to score merit points for the Hereafter; they just do it because they feel good doing it, and do not care who finally gets their blood who they do not get to see and know personally since the blood donors and receivers are mostly anonymous persons unless one donates to a specific person needing blood for surgery.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, our Bapa Kemerdekaan was proud to say and repeat how he managed to wrest Merdeka or Independence from the British 'without spilling a single drop of blood...’  


Sunday, September 7, 2014

AMERICAN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA CAME TO MALAYSIA, BUT HE DID NOT SEE MUCH OR CONQUER ANYTHING.

…HOPEFULLY MANY MALAYSIANS MAY SOON GET TO VISIT AMERICA WITHOUT A VISA SOON AN ISSUE WHICH CONCERNS MOSTLY THOSE WHO HAD PROBLEMS OF NOT BEING ABLE TO ENTER THE COUNTRY BECAUSE OF THE TIGHT VISA REGULATIONS IMPOSED BY THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AFTER 911.
By Mansor Puteh


Going to America may not be much of an issue to many including the many Malaysians who had the good fortune to study anywhere in the country and being able to get visas that were valid for life, as in my case.

However, after 911 the duration was shortened to ten years, and with a fee of more than three hundred ringgit.

Many Malaysians were not able to get the visas, because they were seen to be suspicious characters, and they are mostly the Chinese-Malaysians who are considered to be high-risks candidates for the visas, because some of them had been known to have reneged on their pledge to return to Malaysia after their brief sojourn in America.

Some of their brethren had been caught by the authorities in Japan and United Kingdom for overstaying, which had caused tremendous hardship to the other Malaysians who are Melayu who did not have such traits and behaviors.

Going to Japan was as easy as going to America before. But not after some Chinese-Malaysians were caught working in restaurants and deported. Some of them claimed to have been cheated by agencies. Can anyone believe that?

American President Barack Obama made a hasty three-day visit to Malaysia, but he did not get to see or do much that he had missed to make a year earlier when his leadership was trusted in some domestic issue that needed his attention.  

It was a low-key visit. No hugging with anyone, a gesture he tried to show but which the Malaysian prime minister, Najib avoided. And no exchange of presents either.

It was so low-key that he did not bother to bring along his family, and also the representatives from the press from America who should have known better not to do so and spend so much to get so little.

The American press knew it was a low-key visit which was not mean to achieve much.

Barack also did not do much on his visit to the other two countries.

The highlight of his visit was perhaps the welcome ceremony held at the Parliament and state dinner given by the King.

But mostly, he was only fit to attend gatherings with children to pose with them, and he had to speak in English in a slow fashion, lest those who were there could not follow him and his American-style of speaking in English and especially for their penchant for using their local slang and other expressions.

It was also to match the speed in which most Malaysians speak in English and the speed of their thinking and intellect.

No wonder, Barack’s first visit to Malaysia which is described as a historic one yet, it was not reported in the media in America; otherwise, it would have also been reported by the media here, which was thrilled that they could quote, Khairy Jamaluddin who said, ‘Selamat datang’ or ‘Welcome’ when greeting Barack as he stepped on Malaysian soil for the first time for which Barack was said to have uttered, ‘Terima kasih’ or ‘Thank you’ in Melayu or Bahasa Indonesia.    

The Malaysian ambassador rushed to return to the country to wait for Barack at the steps of the stairs of Air Force One to greet him.

But the American ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, Joe Yun was nowhere to be seen. He would definitely not want to rush back to Washington DC to greet Malaysian prime minister if he ever visits Washington DC or anywhere in America.

Joe Yun has other things to do. The Malaysian ambassador in Washington DC does not seem to have much else to do.

And despite having lived and studied at a university in Pennsylvania, he would still not know what else that he can do to bring about better relations between the peoples of Malaysia and America, much like his earlier predecessor, Jamaluddin Jarjis who remarked how ‘he knew the thinking of the Americans.’

Yet, after his two-year stint, he is still remembered for having won the baju Melayu to present his credentials to Barack at the Oval Office.

Jamaluddin like Awang Adek, the current Malaysian ambassador, may have lived and studied in America, but they had left the country a while ago, and when they were there they had not been known to be active in student politics or in the Malaysian students associations.

And after immersing themselves in Malaysian politics, they had grown to appreciate how not to be innovative and also brilliant, so that they are not seen to want to step on the toes of those who had caused them to be where they were.

The two are now basically in semi-retirement having spent their early adult lives in active politics, so they can just do whatever they want, being in and out of parliament and getting the post of the ambassador of Malaysia in America, which may be the first choice amongst former politicians and other technocrats and sometimes police officers.

The current Malaysian ambassador to France is a former inspector-general of police and the one in Jakarta is someone who turned coat to support the government after being on the other side of the fence.

Malaysians relations with those in the countries have not been affected with the appointment of the said personalities simply because they are not qualified to do anything because being the ambassadors to foreign countries do not encourage them to do much, just for the same reasons the ambassadors of other countries in Malaysia are also not able to do much for their own countries for the same reason they are also not qualified to be able to do so.  

One is led to wonder why make the trip to Malaysia which did not achieve anything spectacular.


American taxpayers have spent so much to bring all the paraphernalia of the tight security nets to ensure the personal safety of their presents, yet, nothing interesting happened. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

MUSLIMS SUFFER LIVING UNDER BUDDHIST, ZIONIST AND CHRISTIAN RULE.

…BUDDHISTS, CHRISTIANS AND JEWS ARE GIVEN
PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT LIVING UNDER MUSLIM RULE.
By Mansor Puteh




‘Buddhism teaches it’s inherent a lot of things that are good, but their believers, do something else… But there’s no need to blame the religion but its so-called believers who are not doing the religion a favor. Blame should be on the Myanmar regime and some Rakhine Buddhists.’ This is a quote from someone who did not wish to be identified.
          Buddhists and Zionists are lucky; they are not charged for being militant or terrorists. But Muslims are not so lucky; they are charged so, blatantly and crudely by the Pseudo-Christian westerners whose ancestors had done a lot of damage to their religion by invading countries across the world.
          Yet, they were never charged for being militant or terrorists that they were. They were accorded the title of the Discoverers of those countries! The truth is that they were the Destroyers of those countries that they had pillaged and colonized and forcing their religion on the others.  
          Aung San Suu Kyi, is no freedom fighter of Myanmar – or Burma according to her. The only reason she was given the Nobel Prize for Peace was for the western countries to confront the Myanmar regime, using her, and the stature of her late father, Aung Sang.
          It is a Buddhist regime. It is ruthless not only to the other Myanmars, but mostly to the Muslims whose land they had seized control and want to displace.
They are the Rohingyas, who had a state of their own sitting between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
          Yet, the Rohingyas who are Muslims were forced to flee their land. Many found temporary shelter in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh.
          Some have managed to flee Myanmar or Rohingya to come to Malaysia where they eke a living doing a host of things, living as refugees and protected by the United Nations (UNHCR).
          So few have been relocated to America, Sweden or New Zealand.
          It is ironic how the UN prefers to relocate Myanmars who are Buddhist or Christians over the Rohingyas who are Muslims.
          One can easily distinguish the Rohingyas to the Myanmars; one are Muslims, the other Buddhists.
          In fact, most of the Buddhists and also Hindus and Christians from Myanmar who fled from the country did not wish to go to neighboring Thailand but to Malaysia, when they know that it is a Muslim country.
          The reason is that they know they would be safe living and working in Malaysia because it is a Muslim country.
          They can’t even go to Singapore who only welcomes better educated and financially stable, those who wanted to leave their own countries for economic and other reasons.
          Malaysia is a Muslim country and they know they will be accorded with dignity and respect.
          Some of them have lived in Malaysia for decades, so they know their ways. And if they have a choice they would rather remain in Malaysia then to return to Myanmar, at this time, when the country is said to be more democratic, with the freeing of their ‘freedom fighter’ Aung Sang Suu Kyi.
          She is no freedom fighter. She is just a vocal woman who had family ties to the earlier government of the country with her father who was said to be a freedom fighter. Yes, he was a freedom fighter. And he died because of that.
          The truth is the Buddhist regimes and countries of Myanmar are not doing Buddhism a favor. No wonder many young Buddhists are not practicing Buddhists, but mere token Buddhists. They would revert to other religions particularly Islam when they get the chance to do it.
They see how their government and military are treating the hapless Rohinygas in their own country who have been prosecuted by them and also by the Rakhine people who are Buddhist.
          The reason for this mistreatment by the Myanmar regime on the Rohingyas is because they claimed the Rohingyas are not Myanmars. And they are sitting on land that they do not own.
They wanted to expel the Rohingyas to Bangladesh.
          But they are not from Bangladesh. Rohinygas do not speak Urdu or Bengali like the Bangladeshis do.
          They may practice Islam, but they are living in their own state which had been annexed by Myanmar.
          The recent attack by the Rakhine Buddhists on the Rohingyas has caused scores of Rohingyas dead, and their houses and masjid burnt.
          This happened with the collusion of the military who are Buddhists.
          Yet, all this continues to happen while the Buddhist elders and leaders look elsewhere, looking at their own salvation, begging in the streets for alms and food.
          The Rohingyas cannot depend on the support of the Buddhist elders and leaders. They cannot depend on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and even the United Nations (UN) which have not been known to be supportive of the plight of the Muslims.
          The UN is just an extension of America, and America doesn’t care with the so-called ethnic strive in Myanmar.
          And no one knows what the OIC is cooperating with fellow Muslim countries on. Each Muslim country which is a member of the OIC has their own personal economic agenda; they do not have the time to entertain the problems of the Rohingyas.
          This is despite the fact that they are compelled to help fellow Muslims who are in dire straits.
          Yes, Malaysia has offered temporary shelter to some Rohingyas, but this is not enough. What it can do is to take up the matter with the OIC and the UN, even if this world body is useless to the cause of Islam, but at least the matter concerning the Rohingyas is debated, which can draw some attention to their plight.
          But this is not done.
          Malaysia is only willing to offer some Rohingyas a place to stay at.
          It is too bad, Muslims cannot depend on the charity of the Buddhists, Christians and Catholics, who all have common goals.
          The Buddhists and people of other faiths in Malaysia are given preferential treatment. They were allowed all sorts of facilities, with some of them who have become so brash that they seem to want to create their own colonies in Malaysia, by demanding the unimaginable.
          They are mostly the Chinese who demand such things, which their brethren in other countries especially in the west where they like to go to for resettlement; yet, in these countries they are not able to gain much, but to fully assimilate with the local population, speaking in English and did not dare to demand land or money to build their vernacular schools.
          But the Muslims are also at fault; they are too charitable and accommodative by even neglecting their own kind.
          Muslims must change their attitude and treat those who do not deserve any respect accordingly.
          When this happens, the Muslims will be given respect.
          Some few hundred Rohingyas living as refugees in Malaysia organized a protest in front of the Myanmar embassy on 3 August, 2012, but they failed to hand the memorandum of protest to their officials.
This is how crass the Buddhists of Myanmar are; they who blatantly disregard the true teachings of Buddha, and who went on a rampage to disparage innocent souls simply because they are Muslims, whose land they want to seize control of.



Saturday, August 30, 2014

CHINATOWNS AND LITTLE INDIAS – STARK REMINDERS OF WHERE THE ANCESTORS OF THE CHINESE AND INDIANS IN MALAYSIA HAD COME FROM.

…THEY ARE BAD FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN A STATE OF DENIAL.
By Mansor Puteh



SOME OF THE MALAYSIA ALSO HAVE (OR HAD…) ANCESTORS TOO WHO HAD COME FROM CHINA AND INDIA AS THE MANY OTHER MELAYU IN THE COUNTRY.

So relating this is also about describing our family and racial background.

But alas our backgrounds are grounded by facts and not of fantasy for our later ancestors had come to accept the fact that we cannot bring the whole of china and India with them and have to live as Melayu and Muslims.

The Chinatown area along Jalan Petaling had to be quickly designated because the Chinese community thought if this was not done soon, chances are it might lose that identity as more and more Chinese who used to trade there had left the area leaving it to the ‘new immigrants’ from Bangladesh.

If this trend does not stop, chances are the ‘Chinatown’ might become ‘Bangla City’ in Brick Lane in London.

But the fuss about wanting to call certain areas in the major cities and towns in Malaysia as Chinatown or Little India is quite a shocking exposition by these communities as much as it is in other countries, especially in London and the few major cities in America such as New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

On the one hand, they frown from being called descendants of immigrants from China and India, yet what they are doing is to do exactly the same.

No wonder they are constantly in the state of denial of not wanting to accept facts and of history and not knowing where they are now, that they are not in China or India but elsewhere.

There is a Slavery Museum at Albert Dock in Liverpool. When can we have an Immigrants Museum in Malaysia or anywhere in Southeast Asia or ‘Nanyang’? (More about this will be written in a separate essay as it deserves special attention.)

Many Melayu who are now successful liked to relate to everybody how he was once selling cookies or ‘goreng pisang’ all over the village and walking bare-footed, just to show how far he has gone up the ladder of success.

But how come the Chinese and Indians do not have the same sentiments?

Even if there are many of them who are wealthy, but they never want to describe how poor their ancestors or even parents were and how desperate they were when they were forced to leave South China or the remote village in Tamil Nadu, to come to Tanah Melayu.

They are guilty. They do not want to tell everybody how the Melayu who are charitable had resulted in their ancestors from possible death by saving them, by nursing their lost pride and lost villages in their ancestral lands.

And they had come to Tanah Melayu to be saved and be able to prosper.

Some of them had gone to other countries, but they were not many of them. That’s why they are not allowed to form any associations or exert their ethnic backgrounds and be absorbed into the society.

Yes, for the sake of history, we need to build this museum or Chinese Immigration to Nanyang so that future generations are aware of it.

Many have forgotten about this episode, so no wonder, some of them are aghast of it and are reacting to it in a violent manner.

Ironically, they still want to remind everybody that their ancestors had come from those countries.

This explains why they want to see where else in the whole country to call the areas where there are sizeable Chinese and Indian communities as Chinatowns and Little Indias.

There is a trick in this; in that if there are areas which are designated as such, then this can ensure that those areas become permanent settlements for these communities and cannot be touched.

Their community leaders can start to demand that they are redeveloped and their demands cannot stop with new demands being made especially during the elections.

And if there is a small temple somewhere, it can be enlarged until it becomes a complex and a self-contained city, such as what is happening in Batu Caves now.

The Hindu temple in Batu Caves was not like it is now. It was not even a temple in the first place.

This was a place described in a Filem Negara documentary as a sanctuary for wildlife.

In the caves were some Hindu deities.

It attracted a lot of visitors to this area because of this, and not because it was a Hindu temple. Even the Hindus did not flock there until much later.

And the Taipusam celebrations were held there only much later.

When did the mass celebrations of Taipusam at the Batu Caves start? When did the small deities in the caves cause the whole area to become a Hindu complex? And when was the tall statue of one of the Hindu deities constructed?

They were all of recent origins, and were not in existence since ancient times.

All the Hindu temples that were constructed in ancient times when the whole of the land was Hindu, and all the Melayu were Hindus had been demolished when the Melayu reverted to Islam en masse.

Only traces of them could still be found especially in the Bujang Valley in Kedah.

And for historical reasons, they are being excavated not by Hindus but by Muslim researchers and scholars.

The reason is probably to show to the whole world and especially to the Hindus in Malaysia that Malaysia was once a Hindu state. But not anymore. And this is what’s left of their ancient pre-Islamic past.

But alas, it was not a glorious past, but of despair and how the Melayu were thus saved by Islam.

I remember when I was in primary school in Melaka, in one of the history classes, the teacher discussed the reasons why the Melayu reverted and willingly embraced Islam. The reasons given if related today would sound very offensive to the Hindus.

They are the same sorts of reasons any Hindu who reverts to Islam would say, although he may not want to do so publicly. Some of them who had left the other faiths, including Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism and Buddhism or even Hindus have written about it in their books and also the internet.

But for the Melayu in ancient Malaysia, they had other more unique reasons for wanting to do so one of which was their distaste for idol-worshipping which Islam forbids.

The Hindu temple in Batu Caves seemed to have grown in size when more and more deities were placed there when no-one was watching until the whole place became exclusively for the Hindus.

This is how the early history of this temple can be described. It was a cave far away from the city center and some Hindus placed some deities and it became a temple. Now it is a complex.

This whole place will be claimed by the Hindus as their most sacred place, just because no-one cared to look after this once wildlife sanctuary for birds, until it was claimed by some Hindus as their temple.

And the Chinatowns and Little Indias that we see in Kuala Lumpur and in other cities and towns cannot be a very good way for the Chinese and Indians to preserve their identity, as it also exposes their true identity which they want to deny at all costs.

They just cannot be like the British whose historians like to describe how their explorers had ‘founded’ a certain city or country when there were in existence a long time before the first Englishman ever set foot on it.

And for the same reason why the Chinese who came to Tanah Melayu cannot be described as the people who had developed Kuala Lumpur and the other cities and towns in the country, simply they were already there and were developing with time.

What the historians and researchers and other scholars should say is how they had made these cities and towns a mess with their presence.


So in place of claiming cities and towns, all that they can do now is to call some areas in these urban dwellings Chinatown or Little India? 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

‘SENDIRI MASUK BAKUL, SENDIRI ANGKAT’ - THE STAR'S MODERATES NOT RECOGNIZED AS SUCH BY THE MELAYU-SPEAKING MELAYU IN THE COUNTRY.

...AND WHAT IS SO GOOD IN BEING A MODERATE IF ONE IS MODERATELY EVIL? AND WHAT'S SO BAD BEING AN EXTREMIST, IF ONE IS EXTREMELY KIND?
By Mansor Puteh


The Star has lined up a list of Malaysians, and fortunately, the majority of which are Melayu, that should reflect the racial composition of the population of the country.

If this was not done, the credibility of the Star would come to question.

But there are many other questions that the Star needs to ask itself, some of which are on why are those Melayu who are not Melayu-speaking and writing been given such acholades and why the Star which is an urban English-oriented Chinese and some non-Chinese, giving the recognition that the paper had given due credit?

And why are the majority of the Malaysians who live in the rural areas and away from Lembah Kelang, not saying so?

The few people who were solicited for their views on the idea of moderation cannot represent the majority of the population of the country.

Their views are as bigoted as those by the others who they charge for being bigoted, and ironically they are the Melayu NGOs whose only aim is to ensure that the Perlembagaan Negara or National Constitution is not trampled upon, for which many of the others do not see fit to entertain its core values.

Utusan had played a pivotal role in ensuring that the country gained independence or Merdeka in the ways that truly benefit the whole country - meaning the Melayu country, while the other papers did not do so, and have not shown any inclination to support the main trust of the formation of the country, by first sidlining the use of Bahasa Melayu.

The very least that the Star could do is to have a special column on the learning of the national language, which the other 'chauvinist' Mandarin and Tamil newspapers have also neglected to do, at a time when the use of English in Malaysia is fast fading and losing glamor.

The 'chauvinist' Mandarin and Tamil newspapers have never projected the successes and contributions of the Chinese and Indians in the arts especially those in the film and music industry.

I have not seen any story on Andre Goh in any Chinese newspaper or magazine or the Alleycats in any Tamil newspaper or magazine. They prefer to highlight those from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China and also India.

These can be described as non- or un-Malaysian publications much like the Star which only provides at the most one to two percent coverage on anything concerning the Melayu, other than those who are involved in criminal activities.

None of them had ever highlighted the virtues of non-Melayu (read Chinese and Indian involvement in criminal activities that happen every day and so blatantly and so openly - like the pasting of illegal stickers and stealing of metal objects especially road signs and manholes.

And even the Chinese-dominated so-called anti-crimes organizations and other vocal Chinese and Indian NGOs have also not highlighted the failures of the vernacular Mandarin and Tamil school education which has caused many Chinese and Indian (read Tamil) kids to go astray and had to seek employment in the 'Sektor Jenayah', since they could not be absorbed in the Sektor Awam and Sektor Swasta or Government Sector and Private Sector.

Yet, there are many of them who could find employment opening stalls and operating small trading businesses in the pasar malam and everywhere including food stalls and anywhere they can find a place to peddle their goods.

It is a good thing that these Chinese and Tamil kids can speak some Melayu, or else they are not able to communicate with the Melayu majority consumers who patronize their small trading businesses. 

If the Melayu consumers boycot these small trading businesses operated by the Chinese and Tamil school dropouts and more so the major establishments in the many shopping malls and complexes, the economy of the Chinese especially will collapse in a few months.

In fact, this is already happening as we can see the view from Zoo Negara to Dataran Merdeka passing through Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman which used to be a Chinese-majority area that is now a Melayu-majority one.

In fact, much of Kuala Lumpur and the major cities and towns including the small towns throughout the country are seeing the surge of Melayu from all sides, with the Chinese now being enclosed in the many tall highrise apartment buildings and Chinadowns and Little Indias which do not reflect the true and magnificent history of immigrating to Malaysia or Tanah Melayu more than one hundred years ago.

And having read and studied what the nine Melayu personalities had written I could come to the conclusion that they are not moderates, but confused Melayu, whose views could only be published in newspapers controlled by the non-Melayu who had cultivated them all these years to 'force' them to speak in tones which the average Melayu do not understand, and who refuse to understand.

They have all neglected to write on these and other matters, preferring those that can ensure that their pieces are okayed by the Star for publication. They know by now what they can write and get published and what they cannot write for the Star.

All of them do not have impressive academic credentials, or who had been given due recognition by the well-meaning Melayu groups in the country, where most of them would find themselves to be odd sitting in. There are many other Melayu who have better and more impressive academic and professional backgrounds than them-lah!

This is how Melayu they are. This is how in-touched with reality they are and can ever be.

And the way from the way they write, proves that they are bent on forcing their views on the others, which makes them to be and sound like bigots that they find difficulty not being able to hide.

The problem with most or all of them is that they seem to think too highly of themselves and especially their views. This is a big problem for bigots but not for moderates.

And I don't think their columns and views are widely read by the real and true moderates in the country.

I can say that their views are mostly second-hand American-style views and the expressions they used are mostly those that had been used by other more vocal Americans of the 1960s who find it thrilling to look at everything in their society to be different, when it was not necessary to do so.

Those who think they know better about the Melayu and Islam, must think that the millions of the Melayu and Muslims in the country to be wrong.

The National Union of Journalist (NUJ) for which I am or should also still be a member should have a survey to see which paper has contributed the most in nation-building and had helped in the struggle to fight for Merdeka.

Even the NUJ has not been vocal in trying to improve the lot of the journalists and editors in the country to help develop and improve the state of Malaysian journalism, one of which is to force those who want to become journalists to have at least an undergraduate degree from any reputable university and those wanting to be appointed editors to have a master's degree.

Malaysian journalism does not seem to have the best qualified people who can write and write with conviction and who have been given international recognition for what they have written all this while.

Some of them have only managed to get their essays and reports out but they are not given any attention outside of the country, whereas filmmakers are asked to seek international recognition, the same is not asked of the journalists and editors.

And lastly, what's so good being a moderate anyway if one is moderately evil? And what's so bad in being an extremist anyway, if one is extremely kind?



Friday, August 22, 2014

NEW YORK CITY THEN AND NOW… AND THE GLOWING CRESCENT OVER THE CITY AND AMERICA. – PART II.

By Mansor Puteh



5.       Columbia University or the Big C.:

My first stop after getting the SIM card and cell phone is to go to Columbia University. I took the Number 1 local subway train which stops at every station. I did not care, as I had the time to spare, before I was to catch the late night Greyhound bus to Boston and on to Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Washington DC and back to New York City on 15 April for my flight back to Kuala Lumpur two days later.

I noticed a changed scene in the coaches. There were now more non-Whites too, with many Muslims from many countries especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

I went to the bookstore and bought a college tee-shirt as a souvenir.

I then went to Dodge Hall and sat on the concrete stool outside to look at the building. I did not want to enter the Hall to go to the Film Division. I thought I would do that on my return from my trip around America.

Surprisingly this time there were many students sitting on the steps of the Low Library building and walking on the College Walk, as the sun was up despite the weather not so warm.

I met a female student from Saudi Arabia who did not seem to know what to do. Or maybe she was waiting for her next lecture to start. She helped me snap some shots of me holding the college tee-shirt, and could practice the English she was learning with me. Surprisingly, she did not look Arabic but Melayu.

After a while I went to the front of the Butler Library to sit there where I got some students from South Korea to shoot photos of me holding the tee-shirt.

I then pulled the luggage and went to Earl Hall where I remembered sitting in the lobby many times and going to the room where the Muslim Students Association of Columbia was. The door of the room was closed, so I could not introduce myself to whoever is in charge of the association now.

Beside the room is the office of the Jewish Students Association of Columbia.

I remembered how some of us Muslims from different countries prayed on the corridor outside of the office of the associations, with one of us calling the azan, and suddenly there was a commotion with some American students rushing down the stairs at the other end to check on the noise they were hearing.

They then saw the four of us praying on the corridor and left us alone to finish the prayers.

But this time, in 2014, most American students and the others, know more about Islam, and this is largely due to the flawed foreign policies of their country which had caused this to happen.

It is therefore ironic how the American government had actually educated the majority of its non-Muslim citizens on Islam and how to appreciate it more enough to see how the religion is the fasting religion in the country.

And the number of Muslims in America was a mere 100,000 in the 1970s, but today it is between six to eight million.

There were so few masjid in New York City in the 1970s, but there are about five hundred of them now.

There are Muslims everywhere including half a Muslim in the White House, who is a first-generation immigrant from Kenya.  

Even there are now men from Bangladesh who are selling nuts outside of the main entrance of the university where I decided to buy a packet, half of which I gave to the young American woman sitting in the station at Ditmars, begging for food and coins.

I said to her, ‘Take care’, and she said, ‘I will.’

I would say the same thing too to America. But I do not know if America will say as what she had said, the female White derelict who would rather wait there for hours than to find employment even to sell nuts or offer free newspapers to anyone who wants them. 

6.       Chinatown.:

I went to Chinatown stopping at the Canal Street station and was accosted by more Bangladeshi men who were working in the many souvenir stores, including a Chinese woman who said she was from Kuala Lumpur who spoke with me in Mandarin. I tried to speak in Hokkien and she said she understood.

And when I asked where she was from, she said, ‘Kuala Lumpur.’ I then spoke in Melayu and she could speak the language. So I took it that she was genuinely from the city and Malaysia. She gave me some discounts for six souvenir tee-shirts I bought to give to some people back in Malaysia.

Most of the Chinese men and women working in the stores did not seem to be able to speak in English that much or well; they are mostly from China or Taiwan who had just arrived to work there.

7.       Astoria, Queens.:

I lived for a few months in Astoria in the borough of Queens.

I liked this area. It was quiet and secluded.

There were some other Malaysian students and their families who were also living there, with some in apartments in a building owned by a long-time resident from Malaysia, who also operated a upholstery store further down the road near the bus stop.

Now the apartment has been sold to someone with the Malaysian having left the city and country to return to Malaysia.

And his store is now a convenience store operated by Bangladeshis with one of them who said he had worked nine years in Pulau Pinang, but he could not speak much Melayu.

He said his Chinese employer spoke English with him, but his English is still not so fluent or good. The problem being the Chinese man had spoken with him in his own version of English, which is pidgin English which is basically the translation to English from Chinese.

I returned to the apartment building where I used to live at with some friends and stood outside of it for a while taking photos and sending SMS to some friends who had also lived in the building and who are now back in Malaysia. It was three in the morning in Malaysia and three in the afternoon here, because the time difference between Malaysia and New York City is twelve hours with Malaysia ahead.

Many of the stores in Astoria where I used to go to buy food or stationery are now owned by Muslims with the convenience store now operated by some Bangladeshis or Pakistanis.

And there are a Pakistani restaurant called Rotti Dotti and the Astoria Islamic Center as well as the Bosniak (Bosnia) Islamic Center.

At the bus stop where I had to go to catch the bus, I would be standing in a small crowd of passengers who were mostly Muslims, with so few White folks who are now starting to look odd even in Astoria.

I decided to rent a room of someone’s apartment at the road near the place where I used to live at called 14 Place, for old time’s sake.

It snowed a bit when I was there two days with the temperature sometimes hitting zero Celsius and some wind chill factor causing my fingers to go numb.   

8.       One World Trade Center.:

The city authorities did not call the new erected tower, Freedom Tower after all, but One World Trade Center, which I could see even when I was being driven in the bus from Kennedy Airport to the Port Authority Terminal.

I visited this Center and joined the hundreds or thousands of visitors most of whom were foreign tourists to see the former sites of the North and South Towers of the former World Trade Center which came down on 11 September, 2001.

At the site or on the foundations of the two towers are now gaping holes which has water constantly flowing into it, with the names of the victims of the crash of the two towers inscribed on black marble.

I took many photos of the place and on my return trip to America and did some sketches, but forgot to do one at or of the Center. So there is yet another reason for me to return here.

I stopped by a stall on the sidewalk near the Center and bought a halal burger from a man who came from Cairo, Egypt.

The North and South Towers of the former World Trade Center came down in 2001, and the rise has risen but with a lot of new and exciting surprises, some of which I have described above.