Thursday, January 28, 2010

Okay, now my version of history (UPDATED with BM Translation)

Okay, now my version of history (UPDATED with BM Translation)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

So, with due respect to Dr Mahathir, it was actually the other way around. Umno was the one that split the Malays. And now Umno grumbles that the opposition is splitting the Malays? And, worse still, Umno split the Malays to serve the British interest and as a British ‘running dog’.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dr M blames PAS, PKR for dividing Malays

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed delivered a history lesson on Malay unity today and blamed PAS and PKR for dividing the community because of what he claimed was their greed for power.

He also described PAS and PKR among many other Malay-based political parties as Umno splinter groups responsible for disrupting unity among Malays.

Speaking at the National Library today at a special “Bicara Perdana” talk, he said that it was a historical fact that the first political party which was united and fought against the British for Malay rights was Umno.

He added that it was the unity of the Malays in backing Umno that made the British pull out and abandon their plans for a Malayan Union at the end of World War Two.

The former PM pointed out that it was the Umno ulamas, who had split from the Malay nationalist party in the 1950s to form PAS.

This was because they were “dissatisfied” when they were not given positions within the state and federal legislatures, according to Dr. Mahathir.

“PAS, in the beginning, were ulamas from Umno. They were upset that they were not chosen in the legislative and state legislative assembly...more educated and English-speaking Malay leaders were chosen and they were not happy with this.

“If you get selected, you become a YB, and then you got paid RM300,” he said.

The former premier said that these ulamas went into seclusion, then formed a new party so that they could “contest” to become candidates.

“The split between the Malays started just because they wanted positions. That was when PAS was formed.

“Later on the same thing happened with Keadilan, as well as the now-defunct Semangat 46...all these were splinter groups from Umno.”

Dr Mahathir also defended the social contract, the so-called unwritten agreement between the Malays and the non-Malays during independence, by affirming that without the agreement, Malaysia would not have been formed.

“If there was no social contract, the terms and conditions of allowing citizenship to non-Malays would have not taken place. One million outsiders were given citizenships at the time.”


Mustapha Hussain: Malay Nationalism Before UMNO


KMM: The Young Malay Union (1938)

Dr Burhanuddin Al Helmi

Dr Burhanuddin, a colossal name in Malay left politics, was not a KMM member. KMM only contacted him a week after the fall of Singapore. Ibrahim Yaakub and I interviewed him before suggesting that the Japanese Military Administration employ him as Advisor on Malay Customs and Religion. Dr Burhanuddin accepted the post graciously. Had he declined, KMM would have brought in Ustaz Abu Bakar Al Baqir, founder of the religious institute, Madrasah Maahad Il Ihya Assharif in Gunung Semanggul, Perak.

Dr Burhanuddin worked in Singapore initially, but when the Japanese Military Administration for Sumatra and Malaya was incorporated, and its HQ moved to Taiping, Perak, so did Dr Burhanuddin. We should commend Haniff bin Sulaiman, a faithful Taiping KMM member for introducing Dr Burhanuddin to the public in Perak through talks and religious sermons. That made it easy for the Malay Nationalist Party (MNP), the successor of KMM, to gain a foothold in Perak, when Dr Burhanuddin founded it in 1945.

Dr Burhanuddin was a remarkable religious figure, who combined the logic of science and Islam most effectively. Before World War II, he was a schoolteacher in Singapore and dabbled in politics from a distance. He had written many protest letters to the press on the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, and was once arrested and detained in a Police lock up. Although not a KMM member, he was very influenced by it.

Ahmad Boestamam

According to a statement given to me dated 12 November 1975, Ahmad Boestamam, another great name in Malay left politics, joined KMM a couple of months before the Japanese invasion. He took over the post of Assistant Secretary from Abdullah Kamil, who had left Kuala Lumpur. Boestamam stated that although he was a member of the daily Majlis editorial board, led by Ibrahim Yaakub in Kuala Lumpur, he was never once invited by Ibrahim Yaakub to join KMM, although two other editorial board members (Abdul Samad Ahmad and Mohamad Salehuddin) were.

National List of KMM Members Whom I Knew

Kuala Lumpur

Abdul Samad bin Ahmad, Majlis, Kuala Lumpur

Mohamad Salehuddin, Majlis, Kuala Lumpur

Ahmad Boestamam @ Abdullah Thani, Majlis, Kuala Lumpur

Mohd. Yassin bin Salleh, Malay schoolteacher, Kuala Lumpur

Hamzah bin Alang, businessman, Kampung Baru, Selangor

Abdul Rahman Tambi, clerk, Kampung Baru, Selangor

Mustaffa Yunus, barber, Kajang Selangor

Saidi Hashim, book store owner, Kajang, Selangor

Ahmad, Agricultural Department, Cheras, Selangor

Hashim bin Mat Dali, Pucung, Selangor

Ahmad bin Mohd. Amin, Agricultural Department, Selangor

Johar bin Kerong, Agricultural Department, Selangor

Rais bin Abdul Karim, Agricultural Department, Selangor

Abdul Rauf, Agricultural Department Selangor,

Hamzah Sanusi, Kuala Selangor


Tuan Haji Ariffin, Kuala Kangsar

Zainal Abidin bin Kassim, Technical School student, Kuala Lumpur (son of ‘Rich Man Kassim’ in Tapah Road)

Mohd. Nor bin Abdul Shukur, Ipoh

Mohd. Mustaffa bin Ali @ Majid, Ipoh

Aminuddin, Ipoh

Isa bin Sulaiman, Agricutural School graduate and Malay schoolteacher, Perak

Pak Cik Ahmad, self employed, Taiping

Haniff bin Sulaiman, insurance agent, Taiping

Mohd. Judin, Agricultural Department, Kuala Kangsar

Junid Mahmud, Malay schoolteacher, Tapah Road

Tuan Haji Mohd. Yusuf, Batu Gajah

Ahmad Shafik, Gunung Semanggul

Abdullah Che Dat or Abdullah C.D., Clifford English School, Kuala Kangsar (the youngest KMM member at 17)

Abdul Rahman Rahim

Mohd. Hanafiah Abdul Rahman


Mohammad bin Baginda Besar, smallholder, Bentong

Yahaya bin Hussain, Agricultural Department (my brother)

Kamarulzaman bin Teh, Agricultural Department, Bentong

Negeri Sembilan

Jaafar Sidek

Achih bin Haji Masud

Thaharuddin Ahmad

Zubir Salam


Putih Badri bin Chek Mat, Al Mashoor schoolteacher

Abu Bakar Mohd Noor, Kelawai

Ustaz Abdul Majid


Mohammad Ariff


Mohd. Isa Mahmud

Ibrahim Endut

Abdul Hamid Abdul


Abdul Majid bin Haji Mohammad

Ibrahim Tahir

Wan Daud Ahmad (Datuk)


Haji Abdul Hamid Fadzil Tahir

Ilias Karim

Musa, Agricultural Department, Muar


Abdul Kadir Adabi, writer

Ibrahim Mustaffa, journalist

Endnotes To Chapter 18

British Police Officer J. Birch, who once served in Bagan Serai, Perak was sent to arrest me in Taiping, but the Japanese military’s speedy advance forced Birch to retreat. He diverted to Teluk Anson (now Teluk Intan), hoping to arrest Raja Yahaya, a Police Officer absent without leave, but Birch was unlucky to be in the Japanese way. He was killed.

Translated by Insun Mustapha

Edited by Jomo K. S.


Okay, you have read Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s lecture on history, which I republished above. Now, compare Dr Mahathir’s version of history to mine. And, to support my version, I offer you just a very small extract from Mustapha Hussain’s book, Malay Nationalism Before Umno.

If you were to read the entire book (which I have), you will discover that the Malays united to fight for independence from Britain long before the Second Word War and long before Umno was born in 1946.

Then the British ‘created’ Umno. And I have also written about this, about ten years or so ago, which was published in Harakah, when I interviewed an ‘old boy’ of MCKK, Datuk Andika, who died a couple of years ago in Kuala Terengganu at the age of 100.

Datuk Andika related how he was encouraged and financed by the British to set up the first Umno branch in the state of Terengganu, which was in Dungun.

The British allowed Umno to campaign for Merdeka the length and breadth of Malaya. But when the KMM people did the same, the British detained them without trial.

In short, the Malays were already united long ago. And they were united against the British. But along came the British who created Umno. And the purpose of creating Umno was to split the Malays and kill KMM.

It was actually a very clever strategy. The British in fact did the same in the Ottoman Empire, if you were to study the history of Lawrence of Arabia. The British invented this marvelous strategy called ‘divide and rule’. And it worked all over the British Empire.

So, with due respect to Dr Mahathir, it was actually the other way around. Umno was the one that split the Malays. And, worse still, Umno split the Malays to serve British interests and as a British ‘running dog’. And now Umno grumbles that the opposition is splitting the Malays?

And let Royal History Professor Khoo Kay Khim prove me wrong.

Translated into BM at:

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