Thursday, 28 June 2012

Straits Settlements (SS)

The Straits Settlements (SS) refer to the 3 states which do not have Malay sultans - Penang, Malacca and Singapore. Actually the SS is a misnomer; the 3 states had Malay sultans. Penang was a part of Kedah (old spelling Quedah) and was thus under the Kedah Sultanate. Malacca was under the Malacca Sultanate which was over thrown by the Portuguese. Singapore had Sultan Hussain Muazzam Shah. What happened to them and the 3 sultanates? We have continued with the British system and legacy and even after Merdeka, we have not restored the 3 sultans for the 3 Malay states. I think we should since the lands are still Malay lands, and Malay lands have sultans. India had Indians sultans but lost them. Britain still maintains its white kings and queens. China had Chinese emperors and empresses but lost them. So, we too need to maintain our Malay sultans and sultanahs. 

Back to the SS, what did we have? I went to Penang Museum to see what they had under SS. This is what they have - pinggan-mangkuk kaca warna putih. Fine bone China with SS marked on the back. Have you seen them? What are they for?  They are very pretty.

The British had a lovely time here in Malaya. They dined and lived as if it was paradise, like in the movie Bali High. That is the picture I get when I read about the British people in Malaya. Even the hotels at the time were merely for them, including the swimming pools. Our lives and theirs were totally different and nothing we see today comes close to how the white masters lived here at that time. Our forefathers must have felt so bad.

SS dinnerware, Penang Museum