Thursday, April 9, 2015


By Mansor Puteh

Singapore is a land that was stolen by the British and given to the Chinese after they brought in enough of the coolies to overwhelm the Melayu who up to the 1800s were in the majority.

The Melayu could still be in the majority if the British had not brought in the Chinese and also Indians from their respective countries, but more Melayu from the neighboring islands and Indonesia.

There should be no pride for Lee Kuan Yew to have been hailed as the founder of modern-day Singapore, a country which was not his but the Melayu.

Not many Singaporeans especially the non-Melayu there who know about the history of the country.

The country only acknowledges that Singapore was originally a Melayu island, when they showed some of them early in the parade to mark their National Day on 6 August followed by floats showing the Chinese coolies arriving to Singapore.

The first Sultan of Singapore, Sultan Hussain Shah a.k.a. Tengku Long was brought in from his exile by Stamford Raffles who installed him as sultan in the  padang, which is the field in front of the former parliament building of Singapore.

Raffles promised Sultan Hussain many things, but when he left office to return to London in England, his successor William Farquhar reneged on those promises.

This led Sultan Hussain Shah to sulk and flee from Singapore to go to Melaka to live there in exile where he later died.

Sultan Hussain Shah was buried in the cemetery at the Masjid Trengkerah in Melaka where it is looked after till today, a strong testament of how the Melayu ruler had been cheated by the British and especially Farquhar who did not know better.

And Raffles had only wanted to apply to establish a ‘trading post’ by getting Sultan Hussain Shah installed as Sultan of Singapore, and not a state.

So at no time was Singapore a sovereign state. It was never one. It was a mere trading post.

But why was Farquhar not recognized by the Republic of Singapore today for having given the country to them?

They would rather honor Raffles instead who did not do much to cause the island of Temasek and later Singapura or Singapore to become a state and under British rule for so long.

So not many Singaporeans, young or old who knows about Farquhar and what he had done to create this republic. They only know Raffles who was said for a long time to have ‘founded Singapore’.

But Singapore had been founded by many others, and Parameswara too had gone there to rule it for two years before he fled north to go to Ujong Tanah or Johor Bahru and further north to few places until he founded Melaka to be what it is today.

So how could Raffles have founded Singapore? So how could Kuan Yew have managed to become its founding father?

Rightly, Singapore still belongs to the Sultanate of Johor.

There are still some tracts of land in Singapore today which are said to be part of Johor which the Singapore government cannot wrest control and develop it; they had to allow the grass to be grown there.

They would pay any amount if Johor offers it to them for a price. But Johor is not about to do that and they will never do that.

Only the Malaysian government had caved in by offering the tract of land where the railway line connecting Johor Baru to the Tanjong Pagar railway station and the station building itself, in exchange with a parcel of land in south Singapore for development.

Malaysia ought to have known better and said it could only deal with this matter if the Causeway linking Johor Baru to Singapore is demolished to make way for a proper bridge.

But they did not do that so the land was given to Singapore in exchange for a parcel of land in the south of the country and the Causeway is still cause for consternation.

Some in Singapore said it would not or could never be demolished as long as Lee Kuan Yew was alive.

So may be there is still a very good chance that it could be demolished now that he has passed away.

Anyway one looks at it, the Causeway is an eyesore and also an environmental hazard.  

Singapore was quick to demolish the former Utusan Melayu office in Cecil Road to make way for the building of new structures, despite its importance to the early development of the country where Kuan Yew could practice his legal training when he became its legal officer.

But Singapore was slow in looking at the Causeway to want to demolish it.

In the meantime, Singapore has also not given any attention to the mausoleum of their first sultan, Sultan Hussain Shah, now buried in Melaka.

They were quick to gain control of the palace of the sultan in Kampung Gelam by evicting his descendants by offering some compensation and rebuilding the palace into a museum.

The Masjid Sultan which sits near the palace was renovated and an extension was added, which was officially opened by the then prime minister, Goh Chok Tong.

Here, at this masjid, the azan call to prayer is sounded in a low tone which could only be heard within the masjid compounds and not in the whole area which is a Melayu-Muslim enclave, the only one that is left in the country.

At Masjid Trengkerah, in Melaka the remains of Sultan Hussain Shah are able to hear the azan being shouted out loudly five times a day.   

So this is a gist of what or how a mere trading post that Raffles had intended to establish could later become a British colony and now a Chinese republic, thanks largely to Farquhar….

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