31 May 2009
History all the way
A few of my readers complain that I am too history eccentric and they said it sometimes too mind-numbing for their reading.
A few asked me how old I was, when those happenings happened, and a few more asked me what have those histories have got to do with our current modern lives.
There are many ways of answering these questions, but I am too unknowledgeable to answer them in philosophical behavior as I am not a scholarly person. Remember I have never been to Oxford or Cambridge University like some had.
I am not at all able to put up nice and impressive definition to this big terminology but I know it is important constituent of modern and civilized being and nations.
If I am not wrong, oxford dictionary defines "history" as a study of past human events.
How one could decide of the future if there is no history to that? How do we go about charting the nation’s paths for the future without basing it on its history? Everything has be history attached tightly to it.
A large number of Malaysians are not welcoming Chin Peng to spend his residue of his life in this country because of his history.
But a lot of us forget history that Japan takes the US as her main partner in many areas and scope of bilateral relationship despite of deadly atomic bombs detonated by the Americans in the 2nd World War on Hiroshima that made Japan a bankrupt.
We are not happy that Singapore is changing her history by denying the existence of Sang Nila Utama in history. They taught their school children that Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819…and we can see what history meant to them.
A bit of knowledge in history, old and recent one would make one forms good or bad impressions on individuals and it all depends on one’s perception in that person and that again depends on what angle one looks at him.
It is history that makes me form a strong stand that the current environment is not sustainable if nothing is done towards improving it. Malaysians are praying hard that the leaders of today would do things in sanity for our good history of tomorrow.
And history again proves to us all that sacrifices from leaders of the past were consequential to our lives of today and the future. That is nothing more and nothing less history to us now.
The interpretation of history in place is again be taken differently by individuals who sees things from different angle.
History of Mahathir administration is very colorful and many people think that was a very good history to many, but to persons like me and a lot others take it differently as I believe his politics and going for speedy physical development have brought Malaysian to become materially eccentric.
That leads to massive corruption in the government as a rush in building physical development had contribute in parallel the fertility of corrupt practices both by politicians and the government servants.
That is weaknesses to many and equally many others think he did the right thing.
Tengku Razaleigh (TR) has his own weaknesses for being too gentleman in facing his political contemporaries who had strong political killer instinct with no element of gentleman ship.
Time Magazine used to write on TR and one of the magazine’s comment was, “had this prince was a little bit less gentleman he would have become the Prime Minister long time ago”…and that is again a writing of history.
However TR again can create another history if he can be the real person to make up all the distortion in the Malaysian administration and politics to a real peacefulness of life in this great but improperly managed country.
The world goes to war because of history. The Muslims in particular the Palestinians and her neighborhood feel disparaged with United Nation for forming an Israeli state in their homeland in 1948 after the Jews were ostracized in Europe.
19 years after Israel went to war with the surrounding neighbors and succeeded in expanding her territories and subsequently brings unending disputes over their territories until today.
Conversely the Jews recount ancient history to justify and legitimize their existence in the region as a sovereign state. They claim that the whole regions of the northern Africa and the Mediterranean were all theirs historically.
In fact to the Jews all prophets except for Muhammad s.a.w were from them and they feel they are superior to any other races in the world. In crude actuality the Jews unify among their small community because of history that they went through.
The US goes to war purely because of history. The Americans are the world super power and they know and history tells them that all Super Powers never last.
The Portuguese was a Super Power, followed by the French and the Dutch as well as the British which had colonies around the globe, and their existence as Super Power is only known to historians.
In short, what we do today will be history once we wake up the following morning.
Space and time do not permit me to write this article longer than this point, and I hope this short write-up of mine can answer the questions put to me by some readers of my blog.
Everybody! Let us enjoy our weekend with our family and friends to the fullest because what we enjoy today may become history tomorrow.
We must bear in mind that death is always peeping in. We may just close our eyes unpredictably if God wishes and it is all at his liberty.
Than our lives in this world would become history to the next world. Whether we go to heaven or hell then, it all depends again on our life historical conduct.
So it is history all the way.
Posted by Aspan Alias at 17:55
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I agree history is an important constituents of life as you have written.
But can those history mean anything to the present leaders as a corrupt leader will not care about history.
these leaders only know how to create history but they don't appreciate history of their own leaders.
TDM's history is enough to make us mad and cross.
Adullah's history is enogh to turn us cazy
Najib's history will make us dead with eyes open.
Kalau lah cikgu saya terangkan history macam you terangkan tentu saya ambil history dulu.
cakap ni pasal politik, saya ini dah macam orang mati pucuk. tapi bila dengar you cakap pasal TR macam minum tongkat ali bertenaga balik.Minta TR buat sesuatu yang bukan 'gentlemen' agar orang ramai yang mati pucuk macam saya segar semula hehehe.selamat berjuang hidup semangat umno lama.
Do not be sad if BN looses bro.
Its not the fault of the people.
Its the fault of their leaders.
History is always written / Re-written by the "Victors"....
The truth about 1962 merger referendum?
I beg to differ, Mr Maidin
I REFER to the letter "Lee Siew Choh trying to rewrite record, reverse history" (ST, June 7), by Mr Mohamed Maidin Packer Mohd, Parliamentary Secretary (Education).
God forbid. I do no such thing. I do not have the incentive nor the facilities to do such a gigantic job.
Rewriting, reversing history is usually the work of rulers and powers-that-be. They have the incentives and the facilities to cover up past misdeeds which they do not want posterity to know about.
Private individuals can at best hope to prevent gross distortions and cover-ups of powers-that-be so that posterity may have a true perspective of how events developed and thus avoid having a lopsided view of history.
I have written in response to the Government's emphasis on the need for factual, documented history in order to better educate our people about events in the past.
And since I played not an insignificant part in trying to prevent the People's Action Party from railroading the referendum through the people of Singapore against their will, it is my hope that my writing will contribute towards a more balanced view of the history of the period. This will help the people in learning the truth.
Let me now answer Mr Maidin point by point. PAP shift from yes/no referendum to three alternatives.
Mr Maidin refers to the PAP Government accepting Mr Lim Yew Hock of the Singapore People's Alliance's counter-proposal in his amendment to my amendment, in the debate on the Referendum Bill suggesting that three questions be posed, offering Alternatives A, B and C. This was merely a debating procedure to defeat the amendment by the Barisan Sosialis in the debate, probably in collusion with the PAP.
It was well known that Mr Lim Yew Hock's Singapore People's Alliance was the Singapore mouth-piece of the Alliance government in Kuala Lumpur. And the latter was then actively promoting Malaysia and the PAP's merger proposals, which had been negotiated secretly between them.
History will, however, remember that in 1961, when challenged by the opposition, the PAP had said that the merger proposals would be put to the people in a yes/no referendum. It may well be asked: How was it that the PAP shifted from that position to that of a referendum with three alternatives, A, B and C?
Many people will remember that at that period of Singapore's history, the PAP was politically down in the dumps. It had lost the by-election in Hong Lim and then the by-election in Anson. There was disunity in the party, and it had lost the confidence of the people. If a general election was held then, many people doubted if the PAP would be able to retain five or six seats in the Legislative Assembly.
It had put out the White Paper on merger in order that it might cling to office. But it also soon realised that, as a result of strenuous opposition from the Barisan and other opposition parties, the White Paper's proposals had become highly unpopular.
Hence the most ingenious scheme, to put three unacceptable merger alternatives before the people, in order to manoeuvre them into supporting the merger proposals (that is, Alternative A), which the Barisan had exposed as a merger which would turn Singapore citizens into second-class citizens.
Inadvertent admission of correctness of Barisan's position. Now Mr Maidin says: "Before the Referendum, Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Dr Goh Keng Swee got Tunku Abdul Rahman to agree that all citizens of Singapore would become citizens of Malaysia automatically", and that "in a radio forum with Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Marshall agreed that this meant there was no difference between Singapore citizens and other Malaysian citizens, and that thus Mr Marshall demolished Barisan's position". Mr Marshall did not demolish Barisan's position.
There had been a great deal of twists and turns on the citizenship issue, but what the PAP really got from the Tunku was "Common Malaysian Nationality" with its attendant restrictions on voting rights and rights to stand for election throughout the country.
Interestingly, the fact that the PAP had to get the Tunku to agree to some citizenship change belatedly, (in spite of his repeated rejection of Common Malaysian Citizenship for Singapore citizens) shows: The White Paper proposals would bring Singapore citizens a form of citizenship inferior to the Common Malaysian citizenship (and which the Barisan had called "second-class citizenship") .
The acknowledgement that Malaysian citizenship could be obtained automatically, and that the Barisan position that Singapore citizens become Malaysian citizens automatically was not impossible, and indeed very correct.
Inadvertent admission that despite the PAP distortion of the Barisan position, there would be no loss of citizenship at all for the people of Singapore in a complete merger.
The truth of the matter about citizenship (and other matters) is that it all depended on negotiation and agreement between the two sides. Because of its weak political position, the PAP had failed to get the best for Singapore in its secret negotiation with the Federation.
Alternative B. Mr Maidin also refers to the Tunku's letter and what Dr Goh said in a radio forum on Sept 21, 1961. I agree that at the time I had no answer to what Dr Goh said. But there was no such thing as automatic disenfranchisement of Singapore citizens. What Dr Goh said was only a PAP interpretation of the Barisan position. Mr David Marshall was emphatic on this point. And the PAP interpretation had no legal standing. We learnt from reliable sources, subsequently, that the Federation Constitution had certain specific articles which could make Singapore citizens into Federation citizens. Perhaps Mr Maidin could confirm this by consulting the Federation Constitution.
But all this talk about citizenship is taking the discussion away from the main issue -- namely, the dishonest Referendum. Alternative C.
Mr Maidin states that the Cobbold Commission Report was published on Aug 1, 1962.
But we must remember that the Borneo Territories included not only Sarawak and British North Borneo (Sabah) but also Brunei.
The people of Singapore never knew what the terms for the Borneo Territories really were.
All we knew was that Brunei opted not to join Malaysia. It is now an independent state. All this shows that the terms of merger were most unacceptable.
Thus, how could the voters of Singapore be asked to vote on the unknown Alternative C? Were not voters in the Singapore Referendum asked to vote for a pig in the poke?
As is well known, the Committee of 17 was dominated by the US and Britain, whose representatives, with the help of the representatives of India, did their utmost to block or delay the petition from the Singapore opposition on the matter of the Referendum from being heard.
It was just lucky for the Singapore opposition that representatives from the then Soviet Union and Poland were there to prevent total denial of justice pore petitioners.
Their being communist countries had no bearing on the straightforward issue of justice for peoples of dependent countries (Singapore was, after all, a colony) in their struggle for self-determination.
The Committee heard Mr Marshall, and I learnt from Mr Marshall Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Marshall himself that he answered and demolished every point raised by Mr Lee.
Representatives of the UN Committee then asked pertinent questions which even the US and British representatives could not ignore. Singapore Government then not truly independent.
Mr Maidin states that the Committee decided not to take any action on the petition. This was not unexpected in view of the strong influence wielded by the US and British representatives.
But he also adds: "In other words, it respected and upheld the actions of the freely elected Government of Singapore."
I am too grateful that you write about history which is beyond the touch of my knowledge and that is a real hit on the actual history for all of us should know.
Thanks again for your narrative of events that add to my personal input of some important of my historical knowledge.
If there is a way and mean, I suggest Aspanaliasnet should organize a forum on important history of our country.
It is interesting to note that flyer168 has some and I am sure many more have a lot.
aspanaliasnet wpuld then becomes more educational for the interested readers of history.
This is just a suggestion if there is of any good to the people.
You are making some differences Aspan and I appreciate your sincere move.
You've written quite a bit about the unwritten hisory of NEP and Tengku Razaleigh's role under Tun Abdul Razak in the implimentation of NEP.
And, you've written how previous administrations have astrayed from the objective and long term plans laid out by Tun Abdul Razak.
In Dato Arif Sabri's latest blog posting entitled 'Thinking about our Economy', he expressed a position that the NEP is now a stumbling block in moving the country forward.
You, Arif, and myself would likely have a common agreement that the NEP had its problems in its impliementation be it due to abuses or leakage or other reasons.
It is safe to assume that you believe that NEP and its objective was good, but was not properly done. Thus learning from history, the mistakes should be rectified.
Could it be rectified if Dato Arif felt it has past its sell by due date?
Could we learn something from history to rectify NEP in order for all Malaysians to benefit from dual-objective of NEP and move the nation forward?
aspan, the most important thing is what is you write is history not story.
our country still had hope with a lot of the rakyat are aware how BN had treated us. Your eaxmple of chin peng with the japanese is spot on. but again BN try hard to make this into another racial issue.
I would like to share some notes with you. Correct me if I am wrong. Mahathir hated S'pore so much personally that he is dragging the country along with his ego.
Take the Iskandar Development Region. Why do we need to beg all those middle east investors when our country is full of investors being forced out of the country. Take Genting and YTL as example. They had spend more than 10 billion in S'pore. Imagine if the government implement the following. I give you this 5000 acres on lease and you developed it together with the government. Imagine the 10 billion effect on the economy of this country.
Whatever decision the government made is on political reason and not business reason. So many business decision they made is only for the benefit of a few of them.
Good day sir
Thank you for your suggestion.
Maybe some good samaritan can help Aspan to set up another link to his Blogsite.
Aspan's Blog has always been "As I PERSONALLY saw it in the "Corridors of Power" & not many today would have the "Honour" to match his "Honesty & Sincerity" in sharing his "True Experience"....
Without FEAR or FAVOUR.
My sincere commendations to you Bro Aspan.
We have not known our real history, that is why we make and commit mistakes all the time.
Once our decision is wrong we should refer to history for the correction.
Aspan, you write it simple but brings in a lot of meaningful lessons.
If you have to polish the kiasu Singapore-is-always right, at least get your facts right.
Iskandar Development Region(IDR)was
initiated by Abdullah to facilitate perhaps the Kiasu's land hungry appetite for expansion. Could it be for future Greater Singapore in the making.
I believe, Mahathir was not involved. ZB
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