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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yes, Najib, let’s not forget my family’s contribution to Merdeka

I have a legitimate right to say my piece and comment on what is wrong with Malaysia. After all, my grandfather was one of the founding fathers of an independent Malaya. Malaysia would not be what it is today if not for my family as well. And if Malaysia has deviated from what the founding fathers had planned for the country, then it is my duty to speak up and oppose this deviation.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

PM: Don’t forget sacrifices of past leaders

Their sacrifices in freeing Malaysia from the colonialists must be remembered, says Najib.

(Bernama) -- Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak today reminded the people not to forget the sacrifices of past leaders in freeing Malaysia from the colonialists.

He said that while Muslims were celebrating Aidilfitri, which entered its second day today, they should never forget the achievements of leaders who won the nation its independence.

“In the joy of Aidilfitri, I hope we do not forget the struggles of our forefathers in fighting for the country’s independence. Happy 54th Merdeka Day,” he said in a Twitter feed.

This year’s National Day, carrying the slogan “1Malaysia: Successful Transformation, Prosperous People”, is slightly different in that it will be celebrated simultaneously with Malaysia Day on Sept 16.

Yesterday, at the Aidilfitri open house of the prime minister and cabinet ministers at Seri Perdana in Putrajaya, Najib cut a cake in a symbolic gesture to mark National Day.

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Najib Tun Razak and the Umno leaders always talk about how Umno ‘struggled’ and ‘sacrificed’ to gain independence for Malaysia. On this day, Merdeka Day, they want us to remember those people who sacrificed and struggled for their country.

Actually, the Umno people were not the only ones who made Malaysia into what it is today. Many non-Umno people also contributed. In fact, they led the struggle for Merdeka. They were at the frontline of the fight for Merdeka.

My grandfather, Raja Sir Tun Uda, was one such man of many.

I have a legitimate right to say my piece and comment on what is wrong with Malaysia. After all, my grandfather was one of the founding fathers of an independent Malaya. Malaysia would not be what it is today if not for my family as well. And if Malaysia has deviated from what the founding fathers had planned for the country, then it is my duty to speak up and oppose this deviation.

I am not a treasonous Malaysian, as what Umno accuses me to be. I am a loyal Malaysian, maybe even a patriot. I am just continuing the tradition established by my family in ensuring that Malaysia remains a just country that respects the equality and freedom of its citizens.

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This is what Wikipedia said about Raja Sir Tun Uda:

Raja Uda was a member of the Selangor royal family, being a distant cousin of Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah and a direct descendant of the first Sultan of Selangor. He married Sultan Hisamuddin's sister, Tengku Badariah binti Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah.

Raja Uda joined the colonial government service in 1910 at age 16. In 1939, he was appointed the Secretary to the British Resident of Selangor. He was Menteri Besar of Selangor twice, from 1949 to 1953, and again from 1954 to 1955. In between, Raja Uda served as Malayan High Commissioner in the United Kingdom.

Raja Uda was involved in negotiations with the British to establish the Member System (see note 1 below) in the 1950s.

In 1951, Raja Uda was appointed a CMG and appointed a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1953, entitling him to the style "Sir," since the Federation of Malaya was then a realm of the British Empire. Following the first ever general election in 1955, Raja Uda was appointed Speaker of the Federal Legislative Council (see note 2 below).

On August 31, 1957, the day of independence, Raja Uda was appointed the first Governor of the state of Penang and served for ten years.

The Federal Legislative Council (also known simply as the Legislative Council) was the legislative body of the Federation of Malaya and the predecessor of the Malaysian Parliament. It was formed in 1948 after the abolition of the Malayan Union and the formation of the Federation, as part of the United Kingdom's promise to grant self-rule to the Malayans. The council convened in Kuala Lumpur.

The council was composed of representatives from the Malay, the Chinese and the Indian communities. Initially, all representatives were appointed by the British High Commissioner for Malaya.

In 1955, a general election was held for the first time. 52 seats were contested, with the majority party earning the right to appoint seven more. In the election, the Alliance Party contested all 52 seats and won 51, while the Pan-Malayan Islamic Party won the remaining seat.

NOTES:

(1) The Member System, modeled on the cabinet system, was created by British authorities in Malaysia to provide self-governance. Like the Communities Liaison Committee, it drew on members of different communities, and was later described as setting a precedent for the power-sharing multiracial Malayan and Malaysian cabinets post-independence.

(2) The Federal Legislative Council passed the Malayan Constitution (later, the Malaysian Constitution) on August 15, 1957. Malaya gained independence on August 31, 1957.

Raja Sir Tun Uda was the Menteri Besar of Selangor from 1949 to 1953 and again from 1954 to 1955. In between that he was the Malayan High Commissioner to the UK. He was never an Umno member (or even a politician) and his appointment as MB was not a political appointment.

Raja Sir Tun Uda, the First Governor of Penang, and his family (my uncles and aunty).

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