“Patriotism is the scoundrel’s last refuge,” was a statement made on the evening of 7th April 1775 by the Tory-supporting poet, Samuel Johnson. Johnson’s statement was not referring to patriotism at all. He was in face criticising the false-patriotism of John Stuart, the 3rd Earl of Bute, and his supporters. This is the statement I would like to direct to Kua Kia Soong for his attempt at screwing up the nation’s history.
In January of 1947, Lai Tek or Loi Tek or Loi Tak, the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) before Chin Peng, backed and finance the establishment of the multiracial Malayan Democratic Union (MDU) which adopted a CPM programme, and the Malay Nationalist Party (PKMM) to form part of the CPM’s United Front to oppose the British – Malay Rulers – UMNO consultations to replace the Malayan Union and call for immediate representative government based on a Republic Model. The United Front was under the banner of the Pan Malaya Council for Joint Action (PMCJA).
However, the PMCJA sounded too pro-non-Malays and Burhanuddin Helmi, co-founder of the PKMM, was forced by other left-wing Malay leaders to take the party out. He did so, and formed the Pusat Tenaga Rakyat (PUTERA) as a new vehicle to carry out left-wing Malay demand for a pro-Indonesia republic-type representative government, free of the Malay rulers’ influence. (read more about the PKMM/MNP, KMM et al here)
The CPM saw their mistake that had deprived their United Front of the illusion of Malay support, reformed the PMCJA into the All Malayan Council for Joint Action (AMCJA), wooed the PKMM’s PUTERA to rejoin a PUTERA-AMCJA coalition jointly chaired by each organisation’s President, namely Burhanuddin Helmi and Tan Cheng Lock.
Just to remind us all, it was a time when the non-Malays who formed the majority of the population of Malaya, were either immigrants or British subjects even though some were born in Malaya. Therefore, Malayan citizenship was being sought by the Malayan Democratic Union.
PUTERA-AMCJA then drafted a People’s Constitution (Perlembagaan Ra’ayat) in anticipation of, and to counter the Federation of Malaya Agreement being put together by the British, the Malay Rulers, and UMNO. The Federation Agreement was expected to restrict non-Malay citizenship to assuage right-wing and majority Malay fear of being swamped by the non-Malays who already outnumbered them. At Page 199 of his memoir, Chin Peng wrote:
“The AMCJA was not exactly a communist front but…it was firmly under our influence. It was never in Cheng Lock’s mind to become a CPM stooge. But that is what exactly happened.”
Later, the British were to dismiss the PUTERA-AMCJA pretentions of representing the people because the PKMM was confined to a small group of radical left-wing Malays, while the bulk of the Malays supported UMNO. Even the Ulamas were in UMNO until 1956 when they splintered out to form the Pan-Malayan Islamic Party (PAS).
As for the Chinese, they were divided. On this basis they convinced Cheng Lock to leave the AMCJA and talk to UMNO for citizenship and other related matters.
THE TUNKU WAS OUSTED AS PM…???
Tunku was NOT ousted by Razak. UMNO Youth and many of the younger UMNO leaders blamed the Tunku for not doing enough for the Malays, and giving too much face to the Chinese. They wanted Tunku to step down and make way for Razak.
Tun Razak, Tun Dr Ismail, Khir Johari (who is NOT the biological father of Zairil Khir Johari contrary to skewed popular belief) and the UMNO old guards, would have none of that and wanted Tunku to be given his own time to decide. Tunku saw the writing on the wall and said he would step down as soon as his nephew is installed as the Yang DiPertuan Agong (Sultan Abdul Halim, also the present Yang DiPertuan Agong) as it would not be right for an uncle to sembah his own nephew.
The Inspector-General of Police, Tun Salleh, was not the kind of man to lend himself to Tunku’s ouster. The Chief of Armed Forces Staff, General Tengku Osman Jiwa, was the IGP’s close friend and also was the Tunku’s nephew.
DID THE HOME MINISTER PURPOSELY ALLOW A FUNERAL PROCESSION AFTER THE POLICE HAD DENIED ITS PERMIT?
It was not certain why was the permit for the funeral procession of the Labour Party member denied by the police. It was either because of the pro-communists wanted it held on Elections eve, or because the organisers wanted an extended route, or whether because they did not want to be policed by the ‘red helmets’ (FRU).
An appeal was made to the concurrent Home Affairs Minister, Tun Razak who, like Tunku and the other ministers, was back in his constituency, Pekan. His concern was that no cause should be given to anybody to disturb the elections. So, he approved the permit as per the application.
But without the FRU to police, the procession really went to town. With 10,000 people in the procession, coupled with its shouted and hand-carried slogans crying blood debt will be paid with blood, it set the tone for the behaviour of the two opposition processions post-elections on the 11th and 12th of May.
As for the reported Tunku Tapes, I have not heard them, nor do I know when in the duration of Tunku’s life, were the recordings made. It could have been made in his twilight years, out of spite, much like Kua Kia Soong’s writings.