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Thread: History: Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka - Harta 1947

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    History: Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka - Harta 1947

    A very important aspect of our history that was blanked out by the Ruling Class. Relearn it!

    Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Over and over, we see historical evidence of UMNO being a British stooge who sold Malayans down the drain in order to secure power from the British. Their great success is in being able to lie and convince the Malays that UMNO is their saviour.

    How did we get Merdeka?

    Merdeka ! 31 August . How did we get the Merdeka ? Was it a gift from the British or was it a struggle for independence and liberations. Who played an important part in this. Below is an article written by Dr. Kumar on the t-shirts found in the PSM bas

    T shirts found on the PSM bus? – Dr. Jeyakumar

    All the friends I have met since the sudden termination of my EO detention have been very clear – the EO6 were set up by the Police and the BN government to frighten the Malaysian public away from participating in the Bersih rally. These friends feel that it was ridiculous and totally unacceptable to charge that the EO6 and the PSM were threats to Public Order and National Security. But after several minutes of expressing their dismay and disgust at the gross misuse of police powers, and reaffirming their commitment to vote wisely in the coming PRU13, several friends have asked, “so whats the story about the t shirts? Did the police plant that also?”

    No, the nine T shirts – there were five with Suriani’s picture, two with Abdullah CD’s picture and one each with Rashid Maidin’s and Chin Peng’s – were not planted by anyone, they were ours. These nine cheap-cotton T shirts were in a carton of about 30 T shirts (the remainder were on anti-privatisation and anti-neoliberalism themes) that were left over from our PSM congress in Sg Siput on 3/6/2011. The carton containing these items was loaded on to the bus along with the pamphlets that we required for the “Udalah” campaign. They would have stayed unnoticed in the luggage compartment of the bus for the entire duration of our “Udahlah tu ... Bersaralah “ campaign if not given front-page prominence in several national dailies by our friendly men in blue.

    It was never our intention to sell these T shirts to the public or indeed even to wear them during the course of the campaign – it simply would not have been relevant to the message of our campaign! In fact most of us in the bus only became aware of the T shirts after the police arrested us and searched the bus.

    But why have those T shirts in the first place??

    That is a reasonable question, and there is a reasonable answer for it, if you would bear with me as I briefly recount some history .

    CPM was part of independence struggle

    The PSM is the political expression of all the grassroots work that several activist organisations were doing in the early 1990’s among plantation workers, urban pioneers (squatters), vegetable farmers on government land, and other groups marginalised by profit centred development. The inspiration to form the the PSM had nothing to do with the Malayan Communist Party.

    However after forming the PSM, and realising that our political analysis and program can only be termed “socialist”, it became incumbent on us to understand the history of the other left and progressive groups that have been active in Malaya and Malaysia – the AMCJA-PUTERA coalition, the MCP itself, the Labour Party and the Parti Rakyat Malaya. Our reading of history from sources such as Michael Stenson, K Das, Said Zahari, Colin Abraham, and others brought us to the realisation that the BN Government’s depiction of the MCP leaders as well as other leftist leaders as bloodthirsty, inhuman villains wasn’t quite objective. Let me cite a few historical facts -

    (i) Following WWII, all the left leaning groups partook in open politics, asking for early Independence. They were part of the AMCJA-PUTERA coalition. Rashid Maidin and Abdullah CD were in unions affiliated to the PMFTU (Pan Malaysian Federation of Trade Unions) which was a major component of the AMCJA. The AMCJA-PUTERA coalition came up with the ‘Peoples Constitution’ in Feb 1947 which the British ignored. This group organised the Hartal of August 1947. A Hartal is a nonviolent General Strike where not only workers do not go to work, but businesses do not open and schoolchildren do not go to school. The August 1947 Hartal brought all economic activity to a halt for a day, but it did not result in the commencement of negotiations with the Colonial Government that the AMCJA-PUTERA Coalition was hoping to bring about. All this goes to show that the initial intention of this coalition was not armed struggle but political mobilization utilising legitimate democratic avenues.

    (ii) It is also historical fact that the Colonial regime reacted harshly against the AMCJA-PUTERA coalition long before the start of the armed rebellion in June 1948. Some examples

    - Ahmad Boestaman, the charismatic leader of API (Angkatan Pemuda Insaf), a component of Putera, was arrested in 1947 and detained for 8 years.

    - A new Trade Union ordinance was passed in 1947 and this led to the de-registration of 85% of the component unions constituting the PMFTU. They were all required to register. However when they attempted to register, they were turned down and thus rendered “illegal”. The PMFTU itself could not get registered.

    - The ‘thondar padai’ (anti-toddy activists) faced harsh aggression. Beatings by the colonial police actually led to deaths among anti-toddy activists picketing at toddy shops in Kedah (see account in Colin Abraham’s book, ‘Their Finest Hour’).

    - Estate union activists planning for May Day were attacked by the police – their chairman was shot dead (see Colin Abraham)
    Communists sought participation in free elections

    This was the backdrop against which the MCP made the decision to switch to an armed struggle in Jun 1948. A strong argument can be made that the MCP was pushed by the colonial regime to take the course they did!

    The 3rd historical fact that one has to look at carefully is the Baling Talks in 1955. Chin Peng and Rashid Maidin were prepared to lay down arms at that time for the guarantee that they could participate in the democratic process in Malaya. Tunku and especially David Marshall took a hard line position –‘surrender and submit to preventive detention. We will decide when you can participate.’ It is now clear that the British had indicated in no uncertain terms to Tunku that Independence would only be granted if the MCP was kept out of the political process! Malaya remained an important source of wealth for Britain even after Independence! The MCP finally got what it asked for in 1955 – withdraw with dignity - in 1989!

    The jungle war could have come to an end when the country won Independence. But the British wanted the Malayan Communist Party kept out of the political process, and the Alliance Government went along with that game plan. If one is to be strictly objective, all the injuries and deaths arising from the jungle war from 1955 onwards cannot be attributed entirely to Chin Peng and the MCP. The Alliance through Tunku and the British also played a vital role in perpetuating the jungle war that everyone knew the MCP could not win.

    It is on the basis of these analyses of our nation’s history that the PSM perceives the MCP leaders as “Pejuang Merdeka’ or Freedom Fighters. They took on the most powerful colonial power of that time. They were commited to the building of an independent and just society in Malaysia. So, even though PSM itself rejects the ‘Armed Struggle’ option as a route to political power, we consider the leaders of the MCP as Independence Fighters.

    Focus is on helping Malaysia's underclass

    However, although our perception of the MCP and its leaders is quite different from BN propaganda, the PSM does not consider the rehabilitation of the name and image of the MCP as one of PSM’s priorities. Yes, history has to be re-assessed and, yes, the struggles of the past have to be accurately understood, but some of the wounds left by the armed rebellion are still raw and there are far more important things to do with/for the Malaysian Marhein here and now – the ordinary people of Malaysia are being pressured by neoliberal policies that holds down wages while increasing the costs of all necessities. There are many estate communities and urban pioneer communities which are being threatened with eviction. And there is a need to oust Umno/BN and install the Pakatan Rakyat in Putra Jaya – this will take the political process forward for this nation! These are the issues that the PSM has been focussing on.

    The PSM CC has not been procuring T shirts with the pictures of MCP leaders. However, when several such T shirts along with other items were sold at the PSM Congress – a closed function for PSM members and specially invited supporters – the CC did not see it necessary to stop the sales of these T shirts and other leftist items. The purchase and sale of such T shirts does not contravene any law, and in any case, the memoirs and biographies of many MCP leaders are available in many bookshops in our major towns. Thats how the unsold T shirts eventually came to be on the bus -- and just because of that several of us got to experience detention without trial!

    However, we always thought -- and indeed we still maintain -- that we were well within the law, and that we had nothing to fear from having in our possession these or any other T-shirts. Now, however, we have learnt through direct experience -- and the public, too, has seen -- that desperate men in positions of power in this country of ours today can lie and slander and grossly misuse the formidable power that they hold in order to create fear and confusion. It would be criminal to let them stay on in office any longer!

    And so, we say again:

    “Udalah tu ... Bersaralah! “

    Dr. Jeyakumar is PSM Central Committee Member as well as PSM’s member of parliament. He and five others were detained for 28 days under the Emergency Ordinance in July.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    A snippet of 1946 by RPK.

    History is not always the best judge


    Friday, 13 September 2013 Super Admin

    Many years down the road the Islamists will talk about the attempted ‘Christianisation’ of Sabah and how the PBS government of Sabah led by Pairin Kitingan tried to erode the power of Islam and the Muslims in Sabah (plus plotted for Sabah to leave Malaysia -- which was why his brother was detained under the Internal Security Act).
    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Some people said today that history would judge Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. They were referring to his testimony at the RCI that is investigating the Sabah illegal immigrants issue.

    That is what I am worried about. And my worry is that history is not always the best judge and in most cases it is the victor and not the vanquished that write history.

    Hence is history a reliable judge?

    History is not always about the event. Most times it is about the interpretation of the event. While we may not disagree that the event did happen that does not mean we will also agree as to the interpretation of the event.

    Let’s take the history of Umno and Merdeka as one example. Those who talk about the history of Umno talk about Umno being created to oppose the Malayan Union in 1946 and then to fight for Merdeka thereafter.

    Umno veterans I talked to 20 or 30 years ago, many who have since died, gave me a slightly different interpretation of Umno’s history. It may be true that Umno came into being because of the Malayan Union. However, in the beginning, Umno only opposed the Malayan Union and did not really fight for Merdeka.

    You need to research the many different opinions and views as to the events of the 1940s and 1950s to understand the big picture. Umno was a party of mainly the ‘upper class’ Malays. These Malays were what we would call ‘orang istana’ or courtiers. In short, they were feudal Malays.

    People ask me as to why I say that those who opposed the Malayan Union were upper class Malays. Well, just look at the photographs of the Umno demonstration in front of the Majestic Hotel in 1946 and see how these people were dressed. In those days, more than 60 years ago, only the ‘orang kebanyakan’ (elite) dressed in that manner. The masses dressed very differently.

    It was the socialist and republican Malays who spearheaded the fight for Merdeka. And, of course, these Malays were anti-colonialists, the direct opposite of the feudal Malays who, because of their feudalistic tendencies, had no problems with colonialism just as long as the rulers had a place in the bigger scheme of things (and this was why they opposed the Malayan Union: because the power and position of the rulers would be eroded).

    When the British realised that Malaya was in danger of going the militant route, especially with Chin Peng and the Communist Party of Malaya being fiercely anti-British and anti-Colonialism, the British decided to work with the less-militant Umno. It was safer to negotiate Merdeka with Umno than risk Merdeka being taken by force like in Indonesia, Philippines, etc., where Merdeka also meant nationalising foreign or colonial interests.

    Britain was almost bankrupted by the war, and with 30% of Britain’s economy dependent on Malaya, it could not afford a bloody Merdeka followed by nationalising of British interests in Malaya. Hence it was in the British interest to ‘sort out’ Merdeka with Umno than allow the communists, socialists, republicans, etc., to grab power by force.

    No doubt Umno’s version of its history and its opposition to the Malayan Union and Merdeka, etc., are not entirely wrong. But it is a more complex story and not as straightforward as we are being led to believe. The ‘main plot’ may be correct but there are still many ‘sub-plots’ that people do not talk about. And history is not just about the main plot.

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