Malaysiakini Letter

Don't butcher history to create your own 'truths'

Truth-Seeker  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I refer to the Malaysiakini article After the apology over the keris .

In the article, Azly Rahman states: ‘I had this question: what if Parameswara the assassin-prince - who was watching with thrill a mouse deer kick a Rottweiler into the Straits of Malacca - had sat under a durian tree and the fruit fell. What if it hit his head and he had to be taken back to Palembang to be hospitalised for concussion?

‘Would Malacca have been ‘founded’; would ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ have become an issue; and would the keris have been wielded at the Umno general assembly? I do not know. ’

It is no secret that Parameswara was an Indian and a Hindu prince until he married a Pasai princess and converted to Islam and adopted the Persian name Iskandar Shah. There seemed to be no problem telling the truth as I just expressed it during my school days. The school text-books were quite clear on this - but not today, I'm told.

Once again the ‘insecure’ Umno-led BN government had to wipe out any references to this famous Melaka prince as being Hindu and belonging to the powerful Hindu empire Sri Vijaya. So all of a sudden our museums, school text-books etc. all refer to Parameswara as a Malay prince. Umno's lying, mind you, is not confined to the mainstream newspapers.

You cannot change your race even if you convert and I'm appalled that Azly Rahman has joined this bandwagon in inferring that Parameswara could have been responsible for Umno's proud heritage of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. If this is what it is based on, there is no ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. The lineage of Melaka Sultans are Indians, not Malays.

It is one thing for Umno to lie but for a columnist not to research his facts, it is disgraceful.

As Hitler's public relations manager, Goebbels, once said, ‘If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth’. This is probably what the ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ proponents are trying to do.

This is probably also why the lost city found deep in the jungles of Johor a few years ago and made headlines in the mainstream newspapers in 2005, suddenly disappeared from the news.

After all, this was an extremely important archeological find that pointed to one of the greatest empires in history, the Raja Cholan empire that ruled from the Maldives through India, Sri Lanka and right down to South East Asia.

Again I reiterate, this is Raja-raja Cholan, the Indian/Hindu kings and not Raja Chulan, a Malay king.

Frankly, it should not even matter to those of us who love history, like me. What race ruled or did not rule is besides the point. What is important is not butchering history to create your own truths. Those of us who are not racists are angry that we are forced to sound like one in defending the truth.

I don't even want to go near the subject raised about Hang Tuah being Chinese. Again, it should not matter. I'm sure the Chinese and Indians are not going to gloat and wave their staffs or swords and say: ‘See, all of you minuscule people, he is from my race’. This sort of pettiness comes only from small minds. What is important is to tell the truth as it is.

I end with questions from one baffled blogger: ‘Why is the study of Hang Tuah taken out from our school history text books? Even if Hang Tuah’s a different race altogether, what significance does it do to our history?’ Precisely.

So my question is, if this finding about Hang Tuah being Chinese is flawed, then why the disappearance from our text-books?

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