Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WHO IS A HERO AND WHO ISN'T

I have been asked by some readers to comment on the recent statement made by PAS Deputy President Mat Sabu concerning the attack on the Bukit Kepong police station by communist terrorist that killed 25 policemen back in 1950; seven years prior to independence.

Mat Sabu was alleged to have said that the policemen that lost their lives were not heroes, but it was one religious teacher named Muhammad Indera (subsequently sentenced to death by hanging at Taiping prison on 30th Jan 1953) who corroborated with the terrorist was the acclaimed hero. Mat Sabu also alleged that UMNO founder Dato Onn Jaafar and Tunku Abdul Rahman (the nation’s first Prime Minister) were British officers then, insinuating that both were not ‘the fighters for independence’ as history had depicted them to be.

Interestingly, Muhammad Indera who hailed from Batu Pahat, Johor is acclaimed a Malay freedom fighter (not necessarily a hero) who fought against British colonialism, and is documented as such by Yayasan Warisan Johor; an agency of the Johor government. Also, no mention of heroism was made of the 200 odd terrorist that attacked the police station on that fateful night. I would call them simply murderers and nothing less.

The statement by Mat Sabu has caused a media frenzy in the mainstream media as well as the alternative media for almost a week now (don’t know when it is going to cease), and the public has been continuously fed with comments, arguments and statements coming from politicians from both the political divide, even from a retired senior military officer to historians, retired members of the security forces and even from family members of the dead policemen. UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin too does not want to be left out in the fray over this issue and has offered to challenge Mat Sabu in a debate that I know will not materialize.

I may disappoint my readers if I say that I am sick and tired at reading all the comments, arguments and statements made by various people concerning what Mat Sabu is alleged to have said. It is this media frenzy that sickens me for I think there are much more critical issues affecting our nation and its people that require urgent attention. An issue as to who is more a hero, and who is a lesser hero is of little significant to me. I see that there is no winner or loser over this issue, nor does a debate bring about any meaningful gain to the ordinary people. If indeed there is a serious historical error in the case of the Bukit Kepong incident, I think our historians would be the best people to consult and to comment. Certainly, Mat Sabu, Khairy Jamaluddin, Mahuyiddin Yasin or some obscured retired officers of the security forces are not the competent authority to make statements on the incident; and I included.

Now talking about heroes, Malaysians have a funny way of determining who is a hero and who isn't. For members of the security forces, they have certain procedures and guidelines to follow before one can be considered for a gallantry award. Today, there are many recipients of such an award and they are not called heroes; certainly not national heroes. It is merely recognition of an act of bravery in the face of the enemy or adversity, and by this simple definition, even Muhammad Indera cannot be called a hero; rather he was merely a freedom fighter against a colonial power. And in this regards, Mat Sabu and all others are wrong if they were to claim that Muhammad Indera was a Malay hero.

Now, what about the fallen Bernama cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor who was shot dead in Somalia and was pronounced an instant National Hero by the government recently. Will Noramfaizul be considered for a gallantry award this Merdeka Day? Or will he just be remembered for having lost his life for some 'unjustifiable reason'? I just want to leave the answering to my dear readers.


CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

20 comments:

Ellese A said...

All I know is that if anyone is against our independence of 57 our constitution and form of government, he cannot be a hero. Those who fought pre 57 for independence and continue post 57 also cannot be our heroes just like al qaedah who cannot be heroes in the eye of islam even though they fought under their misguided sense of islam.

Ellese A said...

This is how those affected by Bukit kepong feel:

She is jamilah daughter of Allahyarham Kop. Abu Bakar: when mat sabu went to see her

“Tak payah datang, saya tak mahu berjumpanya. Ia amat keterlaluan hingga menyebabkan luka lama berdarah kembali. Macam mana saya boleh terima kedatangan orang yang menafikan pengorbanan dan perjuangan bapa dan rakan-rakannya mempertahankan maruah bangsa dan negara hingga sanggup mengorbankan nyawa sendiri, sedangkan dia (Mohamad) boleh pula mengagungkan komunis.

“Kata-katanya tidak boleh dimaafkan. Saya ketika itu berusia empat tahun, menyaksikan sendiri arwah bapa berusia 29 tahun, cedera parah terkena tembakan di badan. Saya juga melihat ibu, Fatimah Ya’aba, mengambil alih mengangkat senjata sehingga dia terbunuh ketika berbalas tembakan dengan komunis. Adik lelaki saya berusia dua tahun juga mati tertembak.

“Kenyataannya (Mohamad) seperti mengungkit kembali sejarah hitam yang terpalit dalam hidup saya selama ini. Saya tidak mahu ia dikenang lagi kerana ia membuat saya tertekan,” katanya yang kini berusia 65 tahun ketika ditemui selepas menolak hasrat rombongan pemimpin PAS untuk berkunjung ke rumahnya, di Persiaran Barli, Bandar Baru Uda.

EAGLE said...

Dato
It is about revealing the truth. Come out clean base on the scenario and the real intention and not simply concocting story and make it a history. Then the country and her population will know the truth.
If the family of the Bt Kepong defender feel bad then what about the family of Mat Indera?
Get down to the truth and interpret base on facts and see what is the end state? implication on politics especially in term of nation building rather than trying to play politics making people confuse as though the silent majority are dumb!
Can we rely on our historians? So far they have failed or else the current issue who is hero and who isn't can be answered the next day after Mat Sabu speech.
The deputy president of PAS had thrown a challenged, why be afraid and show the nation with the truth unless we have something to hide.
Siapa yang terkorban dan siapa yang berkorban pun kita tak tahu - sicko!
Macam lah cerita Hang Tuah dan Hang Jebat akhir nya menjadi Hang sebat menyebat dan Hang Penipu! What a nation to live!

Sjn Mat D Coy said...

Nak komen orang puteh awak tak pandai..maklumlah Sarjan Pencen.. cuma apa yang boleh saya fikirkan secara rasional ialah, sebelum sesuatu kenyataan dibuat, Mat Sabu perlu nilai dulu bakal kata-katanya, samada akan mengguris perasaan orang lain atau tidak..

Mungkin betui, yg depe lawan ialah penjajah Inggeris..tapi masalahnya dalam insiden Bukit kepong tak ada sorang pon Mat Salleh kat dalam kem tu... semuanya MELAYU, apasal geng KOMUNIS tembak mati semua MELAYU kat situ termasuk kanak-kanak..itukah yang dikatakan menentang Inggeris..kalau betui nak tentang Inggeris, pegi le lawan kat opis depe..

Satu lagi..kenapa lepas MERDEKA komunis masih lagi nak pegang senjata, Tanah Melayu dah MERDEKA, anak bangsa sendiri yang mentadbir negara, bukannya Mat Salleh..

Tak nafi ideologi Mat Salleh masih terbawa..cuma persoalannya adakah ideologi yang KOMUNIS bawa selepas MERDEKA itu ideologi TANAH MELAYU..tentu-tentunya ideologi tu ideologi Kau Min Tang dan Kesatuan Soviet Russia...jadi apa bezanya..

Sebab tu saya katakan tadi, bercakap, menulis, bercerita gunakan akal yang waras, jangan guriskan perasaan orang lain..

Leithaisor said...

The comments posted by "Ellese A", though unsubstatiated and backed by named sources, are believeable.

I can understand how Cpl. Abu Bakar's daughter Jamilah may have felt about Mat Sabu, and the pain felt again after all these years. Plus the pain from her father being labelled as being on the said of the "penjajah" British.

But history should be about the truth, the complete, unvarnished truth. Without meaning to be callous, emotions blocks objectivity.

Political expediency will more than likely twist and spin facts, sometimes by omission, suppression or downplaying of certain portions, sometimes by fabrication of outright lies.

And need I say that the Malaysian mainstream media has been guilty of some major worngdoing? Even out school textbooks have been mangled and distorted.

Incidentally on the matter of members of security forces and gallantry awards, there was a report in the Borneo Post yesterday about how even SP and PGB holders have not been accorded their due recognition in terms of protocol.

The report quoted Capt (Rtd) Mohd Johari Ibrahim thus:

(begin quote)
"By right, SP ranks number No. 1, well above those that carry the title Tun.
For example, even former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) ranks
fourth and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah ranks No. 5 in the government
protocol list.

"Unfortunately, Warrant Officer One (WOI) Rtd Temenggong Kanang Langkau, the
sole surviving SP recipient in the country and a Sarawakian, most of the
time has not been receiving the honour he rightly deserves," he said.

Johari said, by right, Kanang should be seated at the same table with the
head of states at any federal or state function but as it is now he would
sometimes be asked to sit together with commoners.
(end quote)

Full report at:
Officer bemoans lack of respect for recipients of gallantry awards
http://www.theborneopost.com/2011/09/06/officer-bemoans-lack-of-respect-for-recipients-of-gallantry-awards/

Timely words. Those who faced death for the sake of the nation should indeed be accorded their due recognition.

WaliMuar said...

phillUMNO gunakan media dia untuk alih isu dan tumpuan raayat dari persediaan mereka untuk menipu lagi didalam PRU 13.Isu yang dibangkitkan Bersih 2.0 itu lebih besar implikasinya kepada raayat jelata daripada isu Bukit Kepong yang berlaku sebelum Merdeka 1957 dan UMNO masa tu masih pakai cawat sebab baru berumur 4 tahun.Dokumen dan rekod menunjukkan bahawa semasa kejadian bukan UMNO yang perentah Malaya tetapi BMA (British Military Administration).UMNO saja mainkan isu ini nak jatuhkan PAS,Mat Sabu,dan PKR.....mereka sebenarnya cemas ngan kebolehan Mat Sabu menggerakkan massa berhimpun.UMNO saja nak tompang tui kejadian Bukit Kepong kononnya UMNO lah hero......ptuih.......

nick said...

Dato'

I totally understand the sentiment and the feeling of our thousands of patriots/soldiers regarding the emergency and the tragedy that is the insurgency war of PKM. It is their right to feel hate and anger towards those "Komunis" they fought for so long and I for one do not begrudge them any wrong doing. As a Malaysian citizen I'm totally grateful for their sacrifice and struggle because if not for them we won't have "democracy and peace".

BUT I'm however livid at UMNO for using the issue as a propaganda material to discredit it's rival. The spectre of communism was used to paint a picture of treachery and disloyalty against their political enemy when they themselves clearly knew that the issue was never about communism or about PAS (or the opposition) supporting communism. To me this is very rich coming from a malaysian political party (UMNO) who themselves has formal and cordial relationship with the so called "evil and traitorous" communist in the form of CPC. Incidentally UMNO never misses to invite delegate from mainland china to it's PAU and even went as far as approving the permit for the party's (CPC) newspaper publication in Malaysian (when even the legitimate opposition party in Malaysian themselves CAN'T acquire any!!!).

If the member of our arm forces and their respective relatives are angry and felt betrayed by Mat Sabu "alleged" treachery, I think they should be much more angrier and disgraced by the antic of UMNO for having cordial and formal relationship with CPC (who was the protector and supplier of arms for PKM). UMNO in fact has betrayed the Malaysian people especially those who were personally effected by the emergency and the war. UMNO in a word has betrayed and even worse has desecrated the memory and the sacrifices of our soldiers and citizens. And they dare to accuse others of treachery and disloyalty??? UMNO has clearly in this incident shown themselves to be a treacherous and malignant entity that does not deserve any trust or loyalty from all Malaysian.

My question to those UMNO members and loyalist out there: Who is the lover of communist and betrayer of the people and country? Someone who ONLY mention the name of a Malay who was a "communist" or a political party who has a FORMAL TIES and RELATIONSHIP (an MOU was signed in Beijing to formalize the relationship and a youth leader exchange programme is planned by both party) but keep accusing other people as lover of communism??? Which is which or which is worse???


Nick.

pronto said...

First issue we have two version of celebration ie for Merdeka and Malaysia day. We are still at the cross road whether we are 47 years old as claimed by Sabahan/Sarawakian and 54 years old as claimed by West Malaysian. Second issue we have is YB Mat Sabu about Bukit Kepong. Now Hang Tuah is going to be another issue. We are half a century old yet we still have a distorted history as claimed by some readers and also politicians. History in our country is written by whoever in power. Where are we heading and what is going to happen to the young distorted generation is a big question mark?

9w2msg said...

Saya tak ada nak komen tentang Mat Sabu, May Indera, Kominis, Bukit Kepong dan sebagainya. Segala-galanya telah tertulis dan boleh mendapat faktanya di mana-mana. Tinggal pada persepsi dan pertimbangan masing-masing untuk menilai mana yang benar atau tidak.

Cuma saya nak hi-litekan satu cadangan dari sebuah parti supaya wartawan yang terkorban di Somalia baru ini di beri SP.. What a joke.. Beratus2 lagi pahlawan negara yang terkorban semasa mempertahankan negara bertempur dengan PKM semasa era pra dan selepas merdeka, takde pun mana2 parti yang bersuara untuk cadagan seperti itu. Belom kira lagi bekas2 prejurit yang cedera, cacat, hidup merempat selepas habis bertugas. Yang wartawan tu pergi ke Somalia cuma nak buat coverage untuk sebuah cabang parti politik, bukan sebagai anggota keselamatan pun. Tak boleh fikir ke mereka itu? Semua nak dapat political milage, kepentinagn sendiri dari suatu isu.

Susah la negara nak maju macam ni.. 2020 pun tinggal 9 tahun sahaja lagi.. Semua sibuk nak berpolitik saja... Bosan betul dengan keadaan seperti ini...

bob villa said...

For you dato, to be clear about the alleged statement remark . see for your self " Dan sediri Fikir".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItcuiUCw4qY&feature=player_embedded

And please call a spade a spade,don't give a politician's answer. it demeans your status as an officer who have to put your men in harm way to carry out your duty entrusted upon you, as leader of man.

Dato, have you loss any of your men to "comunist terrorist/bandits /freedom fighter"?.
If you to meet any of the family member, which of the above accurate describe the Killers... or you tell the they were killed by some idea of a Freedom fighter.
Draw a line in the sand and decide which side of the line your on!!
this the lest you can expect from a former defender of the nation. DEFEND.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItcuiUCw4qY&feature=player_embedded

AnnoyinglyAnonymous-LemanPulut said...

Congratulations,Dato.

Your magnum opus "Making a hero out of our own stupidity" has now been published as an official viewpoint of the Lim Kit Siang blog. Congrats again due to the fact out of the hundreds of thousands of retired Askar Melayu Diraja soldiers and officers who were responsible to halt the DAP's march towards a "malai masuk hutan" nation on 13th may 1969, you are pehaps one of the very few who could instill pride and elations in Lim Kit Siang and his cohorts. No wonder his applauder minions in this blog of yours have depleted of words to sing praises to you, Tuan General.

Now knowing Lim Kit Siang's penchant for anything original and substantiated, I doubt that the article was posted without your consent. If that be the case, Tuan General, may I suggest that you register yourself very early to become DAP's few malay blogger or malay personality who are registered as a party member? Who knows, they might want to field you in on the upcoming PRU.

YB DAP Tuan General dari Wangsamaju - it has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Think what asset you will be then, towards the abolishment of article 153!

A fighter in service, a warrior out of service. Tell me: who could top THAT!?

Corporal (R) Leman Pulut

WaliMuar said...

Leman Pulut,gi la baca Perlembagaan Malaysia tuh ingat mudah ke nak pinda Artikel 153 tuh.Nih sedap cakap mulut aje nih.Pindaan Perlembagaan memerlukan sokongan 2/3 Dewan.Cuba engko gi kira berapa ekor Melayu ade kat Parlimen tuh.......

bob villa said...

Dato , congragulation your aritcal made it to the big league , DAP supremo, Lim kit Siang approve the article .
Like i say your article is a politician wet dream , a politician answer par excellence to skirt the issue.
Bye Jove ,well done.

bob villa said...

http://panggungopera.blogspot.com/2011/09/mesti-baca-pengalaman-akhir-dr-rahman.html

try this perspective for size.

Hussin said...

Sallam Dato',
As usual, a very good read from you. As I had expected, it attracted some very passionate responses.

I believe everyone is entitled to his or her opinion but I do not think we are ready to discard our preconceived ideas, beliefs and prejudices in making our stand. That is why we will continue to be subjected to arguments that do not seem logical if genuinely viewed from a neutral standpoint. That is also why people will resort to making personal derogatory comments.
I guess we still have a long way to go.

komando said...

HISTORY - Please folks remember this..who ever writes history he will write it the way he saw it, with emotions and anger maybe at that particular point of time!

If the Victor writes it would be different from the vanquish..just look at how the Yankees depicted the RED INDIANS, JAPANESE, GERMANS, VIETCONGS...& Iraq

So there is not much different in this country, the real stories may never be known or told!
Some hide it for their own purpose and reasons!

Just like May the 13th 1969,
the Memali Incident & the Al Maunah in Jenalik, Perak
and Kampung Medan incidents!

Who wants the truth to be TOLD - for it will HURT a lot of souls living and dead.

The truth always HURTS!

komando said...

Folks and it is because of this incidents, that this country will forever be divided!

The majority of the Malays were policemen & soldiers and the Chinese were Majority in the Communists!

How can they ever overcome the hatred, mistrust and deep rooted anger and vengence after more than 50 odd years ago, the scars are still very clear and painfull!

When can the hatchet be buried for good once & for all?

It is left to be seen, I have said many times the trust is still not 100%!

Ellese A said...

Those who still enamored mat indera, get your facts and values rights. Let me simplify the facts and issues.

Did mat indera attack the police at Bukit kepong? Yes.

Was he alone? Of course not. Then with whom? The communists.

What was his role? The leader of the attack.

Was there indiscriminate killing? Yes. They even killed women children and burn them.

Were the women and children collateral damage? No. They used wife and children as pawn of surrender. Then execute them.

Is this justifiable under any law in the world? No. It's a crime. Full stop.

Then why people glorify them? Coz of sick mind who are extremely partisan to support mat sabu.

But they were fighting the british? Yes. Are they not a feedom fighter for our country? No. They had different objective. They want communism. That’s why they’re against our independence of 57. They never believe in even our existence. They went on to kill many civilians. Only sick partisan mind who cannot distinguish this right or wrong will support them.

ommo said...

Ellese you say one thing but Mat Indera relatives says another. I believe Mat Indera was an anti colonialist fighter with leftist leaning. Until all the proper facts are laid out we should let the matter rest because Johor state acknowledge him as a fighter so let it be. There more serious matters like disgracing public figures thru public media with or without facts, disregarding the constitutional state laws, a slanted judicial courts, corruption unabated, not providing basic amenities to many village and FELDA areas, Racialist ugly remarks and action not curtailed and bad governance not acted upon in many cases, MSM giving a very slanted and misleading info to the public which in the long can damage our integrity and ability to pick better leaders to lead the country.

komando said...

Ellese - another job well done after firing all your ideas in Rights to Write at Dr Raffick now you are here at Pak Chads space....

Dear Folks be careful this is a scorpion, do not know if it is a he, she or shim type!

Tell that to the Yankee also - how many they have killed in Japan, Germany, Vietnam, Iraq, Korea & maybe next is Iran.

HIS - STORY THAT'S why it is called that way, who writes it! HIS OWN stories!

What do you know about fighting & killing by the way?
Ellese- less you have been to a war, conflict and turmoil?

ARM chair commentators are a plentiful - they think they know alot ( bullshit )!