Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Today is the installation of our new King. It baffles many foreigners about the rotation that is implemented in choosing a king every 5 years among the Malay Sultans, Raja and Di Yang Pertuan. Malaya being such a small country has to contend with 9 hereditary rulers. Some of the Ruler has dubious beginning. The oldest of these State Rulers are the States of Kedah, Perak Kelantan and Terengannu. The others were form surprisingly during the late 19th Century. Basically in the 1870's. In the 1500's part of Malaya and Sumatera were under the Malacca Empire. While Kedah Kelantan and Terenggannu were vassal states or protectorate of the Siamese Kingdom. During that time the Siamese were much involve with their war with Burma thus these states were left independent most of the time. In the 1300's to the mid 1600's there was a Malay Kingdom in Kampuchea. This Champa Kingdom hold sways over most of the northern and east malay States before the Siamese Kingdom stamp their influences. Thus the food and the culture there were highly influence by Buddhism and Hinduism. Perak which basically was the first Malay state to receive a British Resident thus making it a potectorate of the British in 1874, was an old Sultanate that trace herself back to the Malaccan Sultanate. Its First Sultan, Sultan Muzzafar Shah 1, was the son of Sultan Mahmud the last Sultan of Malacca which was overthrow by the portugese in 1511. Sultan Mahmud would die in Kampar, Sumatera in 1528. A vain and pretentious Man who love his woman more than his subject unlike his father Sultan Alludin Riayat Shah who was said to be poison for his independent streak. He manage to create two sultanates, one of Johor which later under his Grandson Sultan Mahmud 2 would later die leaving no heirs. Like his Grandfather and whom her carry the name he was also cruel, fear that he would be murdered like his Dad by his wives, who wanted their sons to inherit the title he forbades his wives from giving birth. Those who are unlucky to get pregnant would be send to the gallows. He would later be murdered by his General, Laksamana Bentan because of the cruel murder of his General's wife for eating a piece of Jackfruit from the King's Orchard meant for the King. The wife then was pregnant. The other Sultanate was Perak which exist until this day. Sultan Mahmud before he dies bequested most of the Royal Regalia to Sultan Muzzafar and now part of the Royal Regalia of the State. That is why the Sultanate of Perak is full with mystical air and during the Sultan's installation or other Malay ceremonies of significant beside pomp and pageantry there is an air of mysticism in the celebration. It is the only Sultanate, that the Sultan is the Sultan of both Jinns and Man, thus the celebration is full of Malayness as it once was a long time ago. There is the court Pawang or Shaman or magician as Merlin was in the time of Arthur who would advice the Kings on matters of the spirit world and the Regalia which is said to be bless by the spirits, yet with islamisation now, these things were not respected. I have always maintain that that culture gave us our identity it is not our faith but it is part of us without it we are not malay. The Malays still don't understand the meaning of culture it is not just the way eat, your food it is also perhaps, your believe, not faith which to me is different than believe. You can believe in ghost, is astrology as long as those do not marginalise your faith. In China for example the Chinese Muslim celebrate Chin Beng or All Souls Day but instead of burning papers effigies like what Taoism proscribe they offer Muslim prayers to the dead ancestors. The have been Muslim earlier than the Malays were, yet the Malays when I try to tell them to assimilate these culture as the Chinese did, they will, as though they are the fountain of knowledge, would say these Chinese were wrong for you can't pray to your Ancestors who were infidels but they forgot when Muhammad Uncle die he did ask God to ease his Uncle's punishement in the hereafter although his Uncle Abu Talib never converted to his belief. Do not quote the Quran on this, the point was Muhammad did offer prayers, for the Quran should not be taken out of the context but should be read by knowing the facts. The Malays have deep reverence to the Ulamaks as though they are infallible but they forgot that in Islam and the beauty of it, because it is highly personalised. When you pray, you are talking to him personally, there is no priest, no go between, it is you with God. They love to qoute the Islamic Empires of bygone days but they forget that these Islamic Empire never curtail Ijtihad i.e. the Ummah rights to form opinion. The Great Caliph Al Ma'moon of the Abassid Empire was a rationalist a Muktazillah, who try his best to impose this believe on his people, he even put Ulamak in jail such as Ibn Hanbal who was against these sort of rational thinking and later on these Traditionalist or Ahlu Al Hadiths won. The Conservative has won and thus set the rot of the Muslim intelectual growth. This happen slowly coupled with their famous feud with the Syiah amd Muktazilah they start brandishing anyone who is not part of the Alhul hadiths as heretics, this includes sufis, which to them are blasphemous to the religion that they advocate. Muslims now, all over the muslim world have to conform to strict ideas, ijtihad which means the ability to make sound judgement yourself were made redundant. Now just like the Iman of Syiah, and like the priest pf the rpman catholic empire, which they despise, the behaviour of these zealots are the same. The need to control and regurtitate what they seem to want and think seem to consume their daily affair, yet, it seems funny, that the enlightened muslims intelectuals are now residing in the west and America, whom they regard as the big Satan but need this freedom of unhindered and unobstruction that is only available with the Big Satan but not their own countries. I call them cowards, who talks but afraid to sacrifice their freedom to stay in their own countries. They sometime prefer to criticise the Big Satan yet you drink it's milk to survive, what hyprocrisy?! Sorry, to digress but since the British came to advice the Malay Sultanate on how to administer her state in 1874, and since the first Darbar(the meeting of the Malay rulers) in 1896, it has been declared that the Sultan , Raja and di Yang diPertuan Negeri, are the Guardian of the Malay Customs and Religion. It is to them that holds the key to Malay Culture and the preservation of the Malay Arts. It is to them that we should seek our salvation and protection for I know if the Malay totally lost it's culture perhaps the Malay that I know would end. I am not a Royalist but am a Malay.


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