Thursday, 11 April 2013

Why was Malacca chosen for announcement of Merdeka?

Some students asked me in class, why the Malayan independence was announced first in Malacca before Tunku cried Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on 31 August 1957. I could not find a good answer until tonight. I will share some stuff here which you can gather from Baharam's blog and other places.

  1. Malacca was one of 3 Straits Settlements, and without a sultan
  2. The Kesatuan Melayu Muda Melaka (KMMM, established in 1937 in Malacca) was active in pushing and promoting reform for the Malays
  3. KMM led to the formation of KMS (Kesatuan Melayu Singapura); people from KMM moved to Singapore to help establish KMS; KMM learned from KMS's experience as KMS fared better - KMS obtained a Malay settlement (Kampung Melayu) under Eunos
  4. KMM was highly influential and had better educated men; Prof W.R. Roff referred to them as the Malay intelligensia. They were a better lot and were proactive
  5. The Malacca Malays were united and stuck together for their own good; their battlecry was "Bersatu kita teguh, bercerai kita roboh"
  6. Malacca was the seat of the famed Malacca Sultanate, the biggest and most widespread Malay kingdom that had the biggest influence on Malay civilisation
  7. Malacca was famous as Serambi Makkah as it was the centre of religious learning
  8. Malacca was the centre of Malay and world trade, and will always be (insyaAllah)
  9. Malacca was an international city

Malacca's Currency Prior to 1511

Malacca used its own currency before it fell to the Portuguese on 11 July 1511. There is evidence that Malacca used coins with Jawi scripts. The reigning sultan was Sultan Ahmad bin Sultan Mahmud. Sultan Ahmad's name was inscribed in Jawi on the coins used in Malacca. On one side of the coins was inscribed his name, Ahmad bin Mahmud, and the reverse side was inscribed his honour, with the words, Al Sultan Al Adil. These words therefore show that the reigning sultan was a just ruler. So the Portuguese had come to attack a just ruler whose kingdom was trading fine and freely. Why then did the Portuguese launched an attack on Malacca, and captured it altogether? Why did the Portuguese destroy the very trade that kept Malacca going as the biggest and most well-known and safe trading haven? Why destroy Malacca's peaceful trade?

Beneath The Bedpan

I wrote the story 'Beneath the bedpan' long ago. It was the first post I wrote that attracted many readers who were USM lecturers at our medical school. Then I wrote short stories for kids, which were translated into other languages (including Russian) by mothers for their children. Some were good stories, others were just plain story-telling. The one that many readers enjoyed was entitled '12 Golden pins'.

Many don't know that I don't have lights in my office when I type posts in my blogs. I type with just the light coming from the computer monitor. So you will see many typo errors because I can't see the keyboard myself. If I have time or remember, I will do the corrections. Otherwise they remain in my posts. I can type in dimmed light from my experience playing the piano and the piano keys have to be memorised. So my typing is just like when I was playing my piano, only that I played my piano with my eyes closed!

The repair boys have arrived, and I told them my room was flooded from upstairs. Sure enough, it short-circuit my ceiling lights and that's why I don't have lights.

Just like the other days, today too, I don't have lights in my office and I'm typing with just the lights from the computer monitor. I should have lights by noon, or next week, hopefully. I will come back and type later as it is quite straining on the eyes working in the dark.

My office was leaking for 2 weeks and I had 2 big rubbish dump of gunk from upstairs, the surgical ward. It seems, the 'new nurses' didn't know where to dump plaster of Paris (POP) after use and they simply dumped the leftover into the sink and over time, the POP built up in the plastic drainage pipes over my head. Of course, back pressure built up and the pipes burst at the joints, and I had the gunk and slurry from ages, down in my office, on  my research materials, on my teaching materials, on my carpets and sofa, on my fridge and magnets, etc. Everything in my room was drenched with gunk from upstairs. I can't say much because we already have ISO in place, so to speak. But what is ISO good for when I come to office and get a flooded office with gunk from upstairs? I can still work and produce books and papers even though I have one of the worst offices in a medical school. I think we have to simply survive this challenge in this age and keep writing our lousy workplace stories.

I'm going out to get some fresh air. The gunk and everything else stink in my office. It's nauseating but that's life here. Well, I will have survived and worked here for 30 years come 28 June 2013.