Independance & Inter-Dependence
The fight for independence began as early as after the second World War when Sir Harold McMicheal on the orders of the British government persisted in creating the Malayan Union. This angered the Malay masses and united them into forming a political party under the auspices of Dato’ Onn Jaafar.
Every Malay then wore white cloth around his cap as a sign of mourning. It was a signal to fight for a cause - Malay rights. I am proud to report here that my grand aunt Datuk Paduka Halimahton Abdul Majid, a political activist then, organised a women’s demonstration to protest against the Malayan Union during a visit of Mr. L.D Gamons and Mr. Rees-William to Rembau in 1946, where my grand Uncle Datuk Muhammad Bin Baba was a district officer. My grand aunt later became the first woman member of parliament when she won the seat for Ulu Selangor in the Federal elections of 1955. Such was the spirit of the Malays in the early fight for our rights. But fighting for independence meant that we had to be inter-dependent.
The Malays alone could not fight without the help from all the other races. The path to independence was paved with insurmoutable difficulties. It took energy, courage and resource. A feeling of pride and love of country must be instilled in everyone. A united effort by all races and a spirit of loyalty to the nation was a must. Everyone had to unite in a common purpose and that was to fight for our independence. And this they did. Determined to win freedom for the country made sacrifices and joined Tunku Abdul
Rahman Putra in his bid to win our freedom. The rulers who feared that they would suffer the fate of the Maharajas of India and Pakistan too, agreed to support the movement. But when the alliance asked for self-determination, to be decided at polls, it was delayed by the British Government. So a showdown was decided upon and all alliance members were withdrawn from the government councils in a show of strength. This is what I mean when I say that independence would never have happened without inter-dependence. We need each and every one from every race and creed to prove our strength and when the British realised the gravity of the situation, they finally consented to the holding of elections.
As a result, the alliance party on the issue of Merdeka, swept the country and won every seat contested but one. In 1955, negotiations started and August 31st 1957 Malaya, for the first time in its history, declared its independence. Then Singapore , Sarawak and Sabah came to join us and the newly-indepedent nation of Malaysia came into being. The unity amongst the Malays,Chinese & Indians turn this country into a highly succesful nation. Their spirit of independence surged throughout the generations where even the youths of today are living the great effort made by our leaders. The nation’s youths are our future into achieving greater heights for the country and its people and to reach
that level we must never forget our roots regardless of race or religion. Never forget those who have fought for independence and given us the freedom and opportunity to do so. Inter-dependence building a Malaysian consciousness among the various peoples in this country and not to widen any gap which seem to plague us now. Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka! “I have said that the life of a nation cannot be judged by that of a man, for a man dies, but a nation must go on and on for all time. Pray to God that this will be so with Malaysia.” - Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj-
Tuan Mochtar is a writer whose books include The TeenVestigators in Formula 1 Frenzy, Melaka Mayhem & Pahang Pandemonium. As the creator of the ‘We Nurture Your Future Program, he maintains that education without recreation is no education all. He can be contacted at 21mochtar@ kym.edu.my.
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