Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Sultans and Rulers need to play their role effectively in our society

If we look into the history of Malaysia, we will realize how the Sultans and Rulers gave up on the nation and their people. How they cared more for their own lavish existence and not the people's well-being. There were countless examples and incidences in regards to this matter.

The Malayan Union

Suggested by the British in October 1945, it only took a few months for the plan to gather support from our Sultans and Rulers to be officially launched in 1946. Harold MacMichael managed to obtain their approvals. Some say through threats, some say through negotiations. The rulers who opposed the plan will be replaced. Yet, evidently it was rather easy for the rulers to signed their political powers and people off in exchange to security and to avoid dethronement.

This period of time was crucial as it depicted the strength of the people's unity. Through mass demonstration, the Malays mobilised in numbers and succeeded to restore the Sultans and Rulers back to their rightful place. As once said by Dato' Onn Jaafar, the founding father of UMNO, "Rakyat jelata Melayu di Semenanjung Tanah Melayu ini telah mengangkat dan meletakkan balik Raja-raja itu ke atas takhta kerajaan baginda-baginda itu dengan jasa yang tidak menumpahkan darah walau setitik pun."

Indeed, as easy as it was for the Sultans and Rulers to sign off their power to receive pension, it was rather a mounting task which the people took to give power back to them. To function as the symbol of religion, unity and strength of the people. A great service done by the people ought not to be forgotten by any of the Sultans and Rulers.

Quarrelsome Nobilities

We can observe this in the History text book. Anyone who studied history lessons for SPM must be familiar with the Pangkor Treaty 1874. It was conspicuous on how in the treaty, Sultan Abdullah had easily signed off his political power in order to be claimed as the rightful Sultan of Perak. Historically, the treaty led to Perak receiving the its first resident. If only the Tengkus and nobles at that time know how to govern properly and put people's interest as their top priority, the British would not have any opening to interfere in the state's administration.

Similar incidents happened in other states. Let's take a look at the Kelang War. It happened due to dispute between Raja Mahdi and Raja Abdullah. When Kelang's ruler Raja Sulaiman died, the Sultan of Selangor at that time decided to give the right to rule Kelang over to his son-in-law, Raja Abdullah. Being the son of Raja Sulaiman, Raja Mahdi fought to claim his right over the land rich in tin. This dispute due to greed, injustice and unwise decision led to years of war and thus resulting to the British's interference to install a resident as requested by the Sultan.

It was always the case where the Sultans and Rulers pleading to the British to support their claim as the ruler in exchange to the British installing a resident to govern the state. As a result, they control the economy and administration. The Sultans and Rulers who were receptive to the British were given pensions and security to live lavishly. Those who were not, were chased out from their seat of power. We can read about such stories if we care enough to search for them.

A reality, not to be forgotten

The reality is not to be forgotten. Although the people has to always remember their allegiance to the Sultans and Rulers, the Sultans and Rulers too need to remember their place in the society. It was them who invited the British into the Malay Peninsular due to various inadmissible reasons. Yet, it was the people who took them back to be restored to where they were. It was a reality not to be forgotten by any, especially by the Sultans and Rulers.

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