Coined in English 1387, the word hero comes from the Greek "ἥρως" (heros), "hero, warrior", literally "protector" or "defender" the postulated original forms of these words being *ἥρϝως, hērwōs, and *ἭρFα, Hērwā, respectively. It is also thought to be a cognate of the Latin verb servo (original meaning: to preserve whole) and of the Avestan verb haurvaiti (to keep vigil over), although the original Proto-Indoeuropean root is unclear.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the Indo-European root is *ser meaning "to protect". According to Eric Partridge in Origins, the Greek word Hērōs "is akin to" the Latin seruāre, meaning to safeguard. Partridge concludes, "The basic sense of both Hera and hero would therefore be 'protector'."
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government (for example the inhabitants of a sovereign state) irrespective of their ethnic make-up. In international relations, nation can refer to a country or sovereign state. The United Nations, for instance, speaks of how it was founded after the Second World War by “51 countries” and currently has 193 member states. Malaysia is a nation only after 1957, now 54 years old……
From the definition of “Hero” and “Nation”, the national hero is defined as the hero of a nation. If the hero is fighting for independence under colonial rule, can it be national hero? If yes, Hero for which country, as a new nation is not formed yet. The hero rightfully is only a freedom fighter, an independence fighter, or if you want to call him hero, he is an independence hero. To a student during the initial period after independence, the school history book told us Hang Tuah was our national hero. Even today the emphasis was no longer on him as national hero, I was wondering he was hero for which nation? Hero for Malacca sultanate, formed by a prince from Sri Vijaya, Sumatra, or just merely a folk hero…..
Can Lt Adnan bin Saidi, (1915 - 14 February 1942) be our national hero? He was a British Malayan soldier of the 1st Infantry Brigade which fought the Japanese in the Battle of Singapore. He is regarded by Malaysians and Singaporeans today as a hero for his actions on Bukit Chandu in Singapore. Can he be a national hero when it happened during WW2, before independence? He is fighting under colonial British Army. We cannot deny his heroic act, but is he a British hero, or Singapore hero, or Malayan/Malaysian hero? Technically he was a historical hero, not national hero, as Malaysia as a nation is not formed yet. He died fighting in Singapore(now not part of Malaysia). However he was Minangkabau, born at Sungai Ramal near Kajang, Selangor, now Malaysia, he died at Singapore, historically part of Malaya.
I do not mind Lt Adnan is our national hero, as he deserved to be a hero, he is worthy, despite he was fighting for British colonial government, he was fighting to protect his homeland, Malaya.
Similarly Lim Bo Seng (27 April 1909 - 29 June 1944), a World War II anti-Japanese resistance fighter from Sino-British guerrilla task force ,Force 136 should also be a national hero. Lim was captured by the Japanese under Marshal Ōnishi Satoru (大西覚) at a roadblock in Gopeng the next day. Lim was taken to the Kempeitai headquarters for interrogation and he refused to provide the Japanese with any information about Force 136 despite being subjected to severe torture. Instead, he protested against the ill-treatment of his comrades in prison. He fell ill with dysentery and was bedridden by the end of May 1944. Lim died in the early hours on June 29, 1944. He was later buried behind the Batu Gajah prison compound in an unmarked spot. After the Japanese surrender, Lim's wife, Gan Choo Neo, was informed of her husband's death by the priest of St. Andrew's School. Gan travelled with her eldest son to bring her husband's remains to Singapore. Lim's remains was transported in a coffin to a hill in MacRitchie Reservoir for burial with full military honours. He was a Singaporean, at that time part of Malaya, died at Batu Gajah, Malaya, now Malaysia, under Operation Zipper fighting to re-capture his homeland.
Other members of Force 136, General H.H. Tan Sri Tunku Osman Khalil Shah bin Tunku Muhammad Jiwa [Osman Jiwa],the Malay group that fought under F136 was called Tigers of Malaya of Force 136 (Harimau Malaya Force 136), included Tengku Mahmood Mahyiddeen( former student of Penang Free School,son of last Sultan of Pattani, Tengku Abdul Kadir Kamaruddeen),General (Rtd) Tun Ibrahim bin Ismail, KBE (1922–2010), who retired as a full general and chief of the Malaysian armed forces in the 1970s; Captain Tun Hussein Onn, Malaysia's 3rd Prime Minister, and many more...
Alliance of Force 136 was MPAJA or Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army, formed in 1942. On December 8, 1941, the Japanese Empire invaded Malaya. The British colonial authorities now accepted the Malayan Communist Party or MCP's standing offer of military co-operation. On 15 December, all left-wing political prisoners were released.
From 20 December the British military began to train party members in guerilla warfare at the hastily established 101st Special Training School (101st STS) in Singapore. About 165 MCP members were trained before the British defences collapsed. These fighters, scantily armed and equipped by the hard-pressed British, hurriedly dispersed and attempted to harass the occupying army.
Just before Singapore fell on 15 February 1942, the party began organise armed resistance in the state of Johore. Soon four armed groups, which became known as 'Regiments', were formed, with 101st STS trainees serving as nuclei. In March this force was dubbed the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) and began sabotage and ambushes against the Japanese. The Japanese responded with reprisals against Chinese civilians. These reprisals, coupled with increasing economic hardship, caused large numbers of Malayan Chinese to flee the cities. They became squatters at the forest margins, where they became the main source of recruits, food, and other assistance for the MPAJA. The MPAJA consolidated this support by providing protection.
The MCP also participated in the defence of Singapore; they formed the largest group in Dalforce, the volunteer army that was formed to fight alongside the regular British soldiers. After the fall of Singapore, some members of Dalforce joined MPAJA.
For information, not all members of MPAJA were communists. The MPAJA was joined by isolated Allied personnel who had been left behind in the retreat, or had escaped prisoner of war camps. One of them was Nona Baker.
Malaya 's Only English Girl Guerilla EDITED FREEDOM NEWSPAPER After living and fighting with the Chinese guerillas for three years in the jungle near Kuantan, Pahang, Miss Nona Baker, the only English girl guerilla in Malaya, has returned to civilization. She came here in 1939 to keep house for her brother, Vincent(Vincent Brice Carew Baker , 1888-1944), Mine Manager of Pahang Consolidated Tin Mines , at Sungei Lembing, north of Kuantan( The Straits Times, 7 October 1945, Page 2).
After the WW2 ended, on 12 September 1945 the British Military Administration (BMA) was installed at Kuala Lumpur. Later MPAJA reluctantly agreed to disband ...
(source: http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=84216)Just click at the picture to view the documentary movie. If you are not able to view it for reason unknown, you can still try http://pathebeta.bigeyedeers.co.uk/video/mpaja-disarms/query/wildcard or http://pathebeta.bigeyedeers.co.uk/video/mpaja-disarms-1/query/wildcard or backup.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=84216(Note: Pathé is a reputable source of info. From March 2010, British Pathé relaunched its archive as an online entertainment site, making Pathé News a service for the public as well as the broadcasting industry.In August 2011, British Pathé launched a YouTube channel)
This was extract of what reported in The Strait Time, Singapore:
G.O.C. Thanks Guerilla Army Malaya's "Maquis'* the Anti- Japanese Army was officially "de-mobbed" yesterday after three and a half years' of splendid achievements. In Johore Bahru. headquarters of the 4th Regiment, 500 of the Three -Star men paraded for the ceremony, and, while they listened to a message of thanks and congratulation from GOC , Malaya, Spitfires and Mosquitos of the RAF roared over them and dipped low in salute. The men were assembled behind Johore Law Court and the address by Lieu general Sir Frank Messervy, GOC , Malaya was read out by Brigadier JJ McCully , DSO, Commander of 4th Brigade , British 2nd Division, in Malaya. Col MC Hay, the SCAO of Johore asked the disbanded men to dedicate themselves to the task of restoring prosperity of Malaya. The 3 Star men’s own Officer Commanding, Chen Tian, and Mr Wu Tian Wang , representative of the Singapore branch of Malayan Communist Party , also urging the ex-guerillas to co-operate the administration (The Straits Times, 2 December 1945, Page 3)
Guerrillas Farewell Probably for the first time in their Incident-packed existence, men of the Three-Star Army participated m a ceremonial parade on Saturday when the Malayan "Maquis “ were officially demobbed. Brigadier JJ McCully, D.S.O Commander of the 4th Brirade. British Second Division, Malaya, reviewed the parade of Johore AJA (The Straits Times, 5 December 1945, Page 3)
GUERILLA LEADERS DECORATED BY SUPREMO Campaign Medals Awarded On the wide stone steps of Singapore's Municipal building, in which the historic surrender was signed, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, pinned the Burma Star and 1939-45 Star to the proud breasts of 16 leaders of the Malayan Resistance Movement. Three were Malay, the remaining Chinese.( The Straits Times, 7 January 1946, Page 3)One of the Malay was Che Yeop Mahidin from Pahang(The Straits Times, 6 January 1946, Page 2)
MPAJA DECORATION CEREMONY
Note: there is also Pathe Newsreels on Footage of Lord Mountbatten giving speech concerning food supply in Malaya in the youtube, consider lucky if you can view it now. Otherwise, try http://pathedev.bigeyedeers.co.uk/video/mpaja-decoration-ceremony/query/Band.
The best book on the part of history is not our school history textbook, but The Jungle is neutral, by Chapman, Freddie Spencer, published by Lyon Press(ISBN 1-59228-107-9).
The most important factor to understand the history, is to understand the political development in the international environment, it affect not only Malaya,it was all over the world, a global phenomenon....
That was the resistance during Japanese Occupation(1941-1945). They were all resistance fighters. Fighting for their land and race, whatever their political and nationalism orientations, whatever their racial backgrounds...they give their life for their land...their main agenda was to knock Japanese Imperial Army out form Malaya. Are they national heroes, it is for history to judge...
The cut off criteria is the nation formation in 1957, prior to that some argued that Malay states were independent protectorates of British empire, and not colony.
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided. The United Nations currently only requires that a sovereign state has an effective and independent government within a defined territory. According to current international law norms, states are only required to have an effective and independent system of government pursuant to a community within a defined territory.
The criteria for an independent state is power to rule e.g. an independent self-government, and power to make law. Politically, British effectively control the administration under the federal administration, legally English Law applied to all states in the federation.
The centralized Federal administration controlled the states, the government staff especially senior level staff in civilian department and military were all from Britain.
The statutory introduction of English law to the Federated Malay States comprising the states of Perak, Selangor, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan occurred in 1937 with the introduction of the Civil Law Enactment, 1937. The Unfederated Malay States, consisting the states of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor, became part of the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Civil Law (Extension) Ordinance, 1951, extended the application of the Enactment to these states.
This revealed politically who had the control....
Bukit Kepong Incident was an armed encounter which took place on February 23, 1950 between the police and the Malayan Communists in pre-independence Malaya. This conflict took place in an area surrounding the Bukit Kepong police station in Bukit Kepong. The wooden station was located on the river banks of the Muar River, about 59 km from Muar town, Johor.
It happens during Malayan Emergency(1948-1960). The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, from 1948 to 1960. The Malayan Emergency was the colonial government's term for the conflict. The MNLA termed it the Anti-British National Liberation War. The rubber plantations and tin mining industries had pushed for the use of the term "emergency" since their losses would not have been covered by Lloyd's insurers if it had been termed a "war.". It was in a war period under British Federation of Malaya.( refer to Malayan Emergency, wikipedia). The MNLA termed it the Anti-British National Liberation War. It was a war, you may call it emergency or liberation war, it is still a war.....
After the Japanese surrendered, the MPAJA came out of the jungles. It split with Force 136 and under the leadership of the Malayan Communist Party entered towns to fight for political power. Its political aim was to seek independence from British rule and established a "Malayan people's government".(Source: Infopedia, National Library Board Singapore) or some local academician called Communist Republic or Communist state. This revealed they are fighting for independence from colonial rule or British rule, as WW2 or 2nd Sino-Japanese War was over, it was no longer the war to support the China Resistance War as some local academicians and self professed historians has wrongly claimed.
The event took place in 1950, Malaya is still under British colonial rule. Before 31-8-1957 or independent of Malaya, the nation is not yet formed. The colonial rule was under Federation of Malaya (Malay: Persekutuan Tanah Melayu) is the name given to a federation of 11 states (nine Malay states and two of the British Straits Settlements, Penang and Malacca)that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation of Malaya Agreement was signed on 21 January 1948 at King House by the Malay rulers, and by Sir Edward Gent as the representative of the British government. The Agreement superseded the Agreement creating the Malayan Union, and prepared for the establishment of the Federation of Malaya on 1 February 1948. The position of the Malay rulers was also restored. The Federation became independent only on 31 August 1957. Prior to Federation of Malaya, it was Malayan Union,Due to opposition from Malay nationalists, the Union was disbanded and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which restored the symbolic positions of the rulers of the Malay states. So whatever political position prior to WW2 was all over.....a new federation was formed under the British colonial rule until 1957....
GENERAL TEMPLER INSTALLED HIGH COMMISSION OF FEDERATION OF MALAYA
(Field Marshal Sir Gerald Walter Robert Templer KG, GCB, GCMG, KBE (11 September 1898–25 October 1979) was a British military commander. He is best known for his defeat of the guerrilla rebels in Malaya between 1952 and 1954).
Within the Federation, while the Malay states were protectorates of the United Kingdom, Penang and Malacca remained British colonial territories. The federation agreement Perjanjian Persekutuan set the powers of the federal and state governments. Financial matters must be handled by the respective states. The Sultan was given full power on religious issues and Malay customs. Foreign policy and defence continued to be administered by the British government. The federation agreement was made the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya and officially declared on 1 February 1948. Within the federation, there was separation of powers of the federal and state government.
All Malay states under FMS(4 states), UFS(5 states) and Strait Settlements states(2 states), were federal states under the federation, lost their sovereign power as independent nation, but become a state in the federation of 11 states. Malay states prior to WW2 were Unfederated Malay States(Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Terengganu) and Federated Malay States of Selangor, Perak, Pahang, and Negri Sembilan. The five Unfederated Malay States lacked common institutions, and did not form a single state in international law. Under Federation of Malaya, the 11 states formed a political entity of statehood under British colonial rule.
If Federation was not colony, why against Malayan Union as the Malay states will still be independent states, and have sovereignty over the Malay states. Why sign the Federation of Malaya agreement, when you have the power not to do so? Why obtain independence from British colonial government, when Malay states were not colony? Which revealed the British have political control over the states.
A protectorate, in the British Empire, is a territory which is not formally annexed but in which, by treaty, grant or other lawful means, the Crown has power and jurisdiction. In 1880, the British government the administration of its Colonial protectorate from its Foreign Office to Colonial Office. This transfer symbolize that the colonial protectorate was removed from the sphere of international law and relegated to that of national law, thus coming with the same orbit as colony in the narrower meaning It is in the general trend that the great international treaties of the period, always listed colonies and protectorate at the same level(source: The epochs of international law, by Wilhelm Georg Grewe, Michael Byers, Walter de Gruyter, 2000 –pg 473).
MALAYA'S NEW ERA
(Sir Donald Charles MacGillivray, KCMG, MBE was the last Colonial Administrator to serve in Malaya.He served Malaya from 1954 until 1957. He chaired during his administration in British Malaya, the first Legistrative Council for the Federation of Malaya, with appointed local and European council members).
The Federation of Malaya Legislative Council held its first meeting at colonial building at British garrison camp, located 109, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur(now Malaysia Tourism Center)on 24th Feb 1948.(Note: The hall was later named Tuanku Abdul Rahman Hall on 24 Feb. 1958 after the first Prime Minister). It was opened by the British High Commissioner Sir Edward Gent. Attendees included the British Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, Lord Listowel. The membership of the Council was structured to include:
•the British High Commissioner (as President);
•3 ex-officio members (namely the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary, and the Attorney General);
•11 "State and Settlement Members" (the President of the Council of State of each Malay state, and a member elected by each of the Settlement Councils)
•11 official members; and
•34 appointed "unofficial" members.
Look at the members of the council, 34 appointed unofficial members and others were official members, who were the forces that control the council? Take note British Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, Lord Listowel was there, if Malay states and Strait Settlement were not British colony, either protectorate or crown colony, why the Minister of Colonial Affairs was there? Why not Minister of Foreign Affairs? a question to ponder.
The first federal election only in 1955. The Federal Legislative Council established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement was dissolved to make way for a General Election. This marked the first time that the people of Malaya went to the polls to elect their representatives to the Federal Legislative Council. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra was appointed the first Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya and thereby formed his first Cabinet. The self government commenced.
Federation of Malaya gained independence on 31-8-1957, it is now an independent nation.....
PROCLAMATION OF INDEPENDENCE CEREMONY - KUALA LUMPUR
Technically and logically, a Malaysian hero is the one who is a Malaysian, who contribute to well being of a nation or protect her from invasion, of an independent nation called Malaysia, are Malaysian heroes.
Tunku Abdul Rahman, being Father of Malaysia, will be our first Malaysian national hero.
Bernama TV cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, shot dead on Friday while covering a Malaysian humanitarian aid mission in famine-hit Somalia is a Malaysian national hero..
Recipients of PGB(Pingat Gagah Berani or Pahlawan Gagah Berani)are officially Malaysian national heroes....
Before 31-8-1957 or independent of Malaya, the nation is not yet formed, there is no national hero. Whoever contributes to fight for independence is called independence fighter, freedom fighter or independence hero. Only after formation of nation, we have national hero. A national hero is a Malayan/Malaysian who has been recognized as a hero for his or her role in the history of the country. However some countries may consider their independence hero as national hero after the nation gained independence from the colonial rule.
Regardless of political ideology, and the methods they used(peaceful or military),any person or institution who fight for freedom or independence from British colonial rule are freedom fighters. Nobody will participate in an independent war or political activities, risking their own life and facing the threat of imprisonment, without any justified cause. The only reason must be for the country and homeland they loved, and they see it worthy to risk their life.
For Malayan independence, there were two forces fighting for independence. One using peaceful method, by believed in election by people, another being illegal, fights jungle warfare against the colonial government. Whatever their political ideology, whatever method they use, they are freedom fighters.
Mat Kilau, Mat Janggu(or Tok Janggu), DATUK DOL SAID, RENTAP,SHARIF MASHHOR, DATU MAT SALLEH,DATUK ABDULLAH SANI RAJA KECIL(Ahmad Boestamam),DATUK ISHAK MUHAMMAD(Pak Sako),DATUK ONN JAAFAR,TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA,TUN TAN CHENG LOCK,SIR DAVID MARSHALL( a Jew),SIR HARRY LEE KUAN YEW,DATUK ERNEST THURAISINGAM,Tan Sri Datuk Amar Ong Kee Hui,Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Yong Kuet Tze .... and many who were from MNLA....are freedom fighters prior to independence...
The CPM was considered illegal party by the colonial British, as the CPM’s negotiation to register as political party was rejected by the British colonial government after the war. This is despite the history of alliance between MPAJA and Force 136, and British war government during the Pacific War and later World War 2, when they fight together against the Japanese Imperial Army during Japanese occupation. After the WW2, it was cold war era(1947-1991), the British turn their alliance away.
They cannot be national hero, the new nation is not yet form. If the party want to award for his heroic act, it is only CPM’s award. (For information, Chin Peng was awarded OBE by the British, but later withdrawn). Just ponder, are they national hero for fighting British(for whatever their agenda, personal or institutional)?
Are they national hero under definition? Are they fighting for their country?
The colonial police force was the uniform unit of colonial government, British. They are working for colonial government. They cannot be national hero or Malaysian hero, but if a heroic act was done, he is British hero, only British award will be given. For example George medal. The George Medal (GM) is the second level civil decoration of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. The medal is primarily a civilian award, but it may be awarded to military personnel for gallant conduct that is not in the face of the enemy. For example, the late Inspector (Retired) Chew Kim Chuan was given the George Medal by Her Majesty the Queen of British Empire, for gallantry to his part played in the successful operation against Communist Terrorists in the Ulu Langat Forest Reserve on the 10th December, 1956. (Note: Sybil Kathigasu - Malayan nurse who supported the resistance during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. She is the only Malayan woman to be ever awarded with the George Medal for bravery during World War II)
Just ponder, are they national hero? Are they fighting for their country?
History will recorded the heroic act of the winner, who will form the new government for the new nation. If the CPM wins the war against British, a different history will be rewritten. They will have different type of criteria to name their heroes. The new government of the new nation, however can have the liberty to recognize anyone as their national heroes.....
We also remember The Batang Kali massacre, an incident that took place in Malaya on December 12, 1948 during British military operations against native and Chinese communists in the post-World War II Malayan Emergency.The 7th Platoon, G Company, 2nd Scots Guard surrounded a rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh, Batang Kali, Selangor in Malaya and shot 24 villagers before setting fire to the village. The only adult male survivor was Chong Hong, who was in his 20s at the time. He fainted and was presumed dead by the Guardsmen. Eye witnesses include the victims' spouse and children and others including Tham Yong age 78 and Loh Ah Choy age 67. The men had been separated from the women and children for interrogation before the shooting began. The incident today is sometimes described as "Britain's My Lai massacre". It was in this campaign that Sir Gerald Templer first coined the now famous phrase "hearts and minds" as part of his strategy for victory.(source: wikipedia). A British High court ruled on Aug 31, 2011 in favour of the family members for a review of the British government’s refusal to probe the incident, where 24 unarmed rubber plantation workers in Batang Kali, were killed(http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/9/9/courts/9457983&sec=courts).
Any old folk living at the Chinese dominated rural area or new village will tell you the fear during the Emergency, the simple villagers were the sandwich between the British forces and communist forces, they were at the risk of to be killed, if they were at the wrong place at wrong time. Batang Kali massacre was one fine example.
The British finally won the war by using mainly psychological warfare....
After the independence(1957), it is easier to identify a national hero....the CPM who still fighting against an independent nation, lost their right to be independent fighter...as the nation is an independent country, as Malaya, and later Malaysia. The new government give them a new name, communist terrorist. The police force is now Royal Malaysian Police, The Malaysian Armed Forces is Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.
In 1989 the CPM finally laid down its arms On December 2 at the town of Had Yai in Southern Thailand, Chin Peng, Rashid Maidin, and Abdullah C. D. met with representatives of the Malaysian and Thailand governments. Separate peace agreements were signed between the CPM and both governments. The cold war political games was finally over for Malaysia ....
The national identity is now strong and clear....but Chin Peng, now an old man is still longing to go home..... looking back, who was the hero? and does it matter now to him? .....
Then who are the national heroes?
The ruling government or the winner will officially name their national hero for independence. They can have a long list of whoever they want, and even gazette it with honor and awards. The loser who cannot form the country, will similarly have their own heroes, but will be always in their heart, but they are not official as national heroes.
But an open government will look at historical background, and even acknowledge the person who fight for independence or contribute to the nation as hero; regardless of their political background and the method they used, provided there are no war criminal record. A nation will normally not name a national hero with war criminal background. This is national pride….
Mat Kilau and Tok Janggu will never be a hero under colonial government, he will be a criminal under the colonial law as they were fighting British colonial government; but today he is a hero for the nation as independence fighter. You can now see a chapter in the school history textbook....
If you look at our historical records, even the The Strait Time, the newspaper during the colonial period from the pre war days to post war days….you will discover that the news reported was different from what is officially being told, and what is being taught in our school history textbooks….
To a winner, his man is a hero; to a looser, his hero will become a criminals or terrorists of the winner...in modern politic, it is a winner's games...the heroes of winner is official heroes, that will be publicly acknowledged; the heroes of losers is unofficial heroes that will be forgotten through time...
Ultimately, a real national hero is for people to decide…..
The cold world ended after The USSR was declared officially dissolved on December 25, 1991. Today the communist state left only Cuba, other so called communist states are more capitalist than capitalist country, or just a single party nation. The debate of who are the national hero has no political significance anymore. The communism era is over.
What happen to our history book? If you look at the school history book today, you will realize that the books are historically blind and biased. No wonder our politician cannot recognize the national hero, because they are historically blind and do not know who are hero….
After Mat Sabu raised the issue(which was under his right of expression), many self professed historian suddenly raised their voices and views, many are historically blind, and not directly involved in Emergency era. I have the right to give my view, as my father was a jungle squad police, staying in police station in a communists active area during my childhood, family was worried about the security situation every hours of the day. My father served the police force not as national hero, but to feed the family in the 50s. The stories of the police jungle squad, the brutal act of both the British and communist were daily news. I believed, policeman or communist, as a person, they do not want the war, no body win, it was just a political games by two political ideologies(USA and Russia, and their allies)during the cold war. We need to look at both side of the stories....they are only a simple soldier, follow the order, once they have decide to join the forces, government or communist....it is regret for the families who lost their loved one, from either camps, it was a sad chapter of the nation.....
These people who served their respective armies/police were the real hero, they use their life to earn a living or to fight for their ideal to change the future, for themselves, for the family or for the perceived future country. They are the unknown heroes who will make history for their country, win or loose, no matter which side they fight for......there was no right or wrong.....
Politicians are adding salt to the old wound....they only use their big mouth for their personal political agenda.... the politician has no right to speak for them, they do not know the sad and bitter reality, only their families known.
After 54 years of independence, a nation still worry about who is their national hero, I was sad to ponder is our nation mature with confidence to go forward for another 54 years…..looking at the life cycle of a human, a 54 years old man is a mature person who had accomplished their task and on the way for retirement to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Is our country reaching the status?.....
A 54 years old nation should be able to look at our national history with open mind, good or ugly…..our people should not be misled by historian who blindly followed the agenda of the rulers, but should independently read history from all reliable sources and make their own mind, who is his national heroes.....
Note: For the readers of the blog, please take note of Racial Policies played by the colonial government, both British and Japanese in their administration of the colony, and some of the elements still remained after independence. So some of the academician, self professed historian, politician still tinkled with colonial thinking left over by their racial policies. Their mind still remained in historical past, not in a Malaysian perspective. Please look at the historical factor on the issue)
References & Suggested readings:
1. British court rules in favour of Batang Kali kin, The Star online, http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/9/9/courts/9457983&sec=courts
2. Justice sought in UK over Malaysia deaths, by Alastair Leithead, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11976821
3. Sudden awareness for need to restore Bukit Kepong cemetery, by G. Prakash and
T.K. LETCHUMY TAMBOO, The Malay Mail, http://www.mmail.com.my/content/81881-sudden-awareness-need-restore-bukit-kepong-cemetery
4. Raj Salutes Defenders of Bukit Kepong, http://www.malaysiandigest.com/component/content/article/38-health/30823-raj-salutes-defenders-of-bukit-kepong.html
5. Bukit Kepong Incident, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukit_Kepong_Incident
6. Mat Indera was not a communist’, by Tarani Palani,Free Malaysia Today, dated September 7, 2011 http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/09/07/mat-indera-was-not-a-communist/
7. Malaya’s only English girl Guerilla, Nona Baker( The Straits Times, 7 October 1945, Page 2).
8. Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA),http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_905_2004-12-23.html
9. Sybil stirs a new awakening, http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/05/24/sybil-stirs-a-new-awakening/
10. Nilai Monument – Learn the difference between resistance against Japanese and CPM , http://www.mca.org.my/en/nilai-monument-learn-the-difference-between-resistance-against-japanese-and-cpm%C2%A0/
11. Cold War, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War
12. The unsung heroes, by LOUISA LIM, http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2010/2/20/lifefocus/5670446&sec=lifefocus
13. official representatives selected for the Victory Parade In London: (The Straits Times, 18 April 1946, Page 3)
14. GUERILLA LEADERS DECORATED BY SUPREMO, The Straits Times, 8 January 1946, Page 3)
15. FORMER M. P.A.J.A. MEN DISCHARGED, The Straits Times, 19 November 1946, Page 11
16. Jungle is neutral, by Chapman, Freddie Spencer, published by Lyon Press(ISBN 1-59228-107-9).
17. The price of peace: true accounts of the Japanese occupation,edited by Choon Hon Foong, Asiapac Books Pte Ltd, 1997.(you can know some heroes in the book)