Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Rao of Malaysia

Seminar Melayu Rao Malaysia, 25th July 2009 at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Tanjong Malim.

Some luminaries who attended, some admittedly, 'posthumously', some in spirit, some 'in body sans spirit':

Mat Kilau. Rashid Mydin. Tok Gajah. Ghazali Shafei. Tun Hamdan Sheihk Tahir. Tun Ahmad Sarji. Tun Ismail Mohamad Ali. Tan Sri Salehuddin Mohamad. Datuk Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin. Tan Sri Muhammad bin Muhammad Taib. Baharuddin'Anjang Akhi'.Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz. Datuk Siti Zaharah Sulaiman. Datuk Ahmad Razali Mohamad Ali. Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali. Dato' Mohamad Khalil. Dr Mujahid Haji Yusof Rawa. Dato' Nik Mohmad Nik Salleh.Haji Yusof Rawa.Datin Zam. Datin Maria. Jeneral Tan Sri Hashim Mohamad Ali. Dato' Hussamuddin Yaacob. U Wei Haji Shaari. Hajjah Ailington Isahak. Sarah Yaacob. Amy Mastura Shuhaimi. Mansoor Wan Abdullah. Ilani Isahak. Mazuin Hamzah. Akil Hayy. Salamiah Hassan. Tok Jeleha Raub......etc and etc.........558 in all.

Sutan Amir Kaharudin Budiman[17??-17??].Haji Jalaluddin Sutan Amir Kaharudin. Imam Haji Abdullah bin Hj Jalaluddin[1840-1905]. Hjh Wan Esah binti Abdullah. Wan Abdullah ibnu Hjh Wan Esah[1920-1961]. Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah..........

At the closing end of the seminar many issues had to be left in limbo for next year's deliberation, as we finally had to "agree to disagree".Notably Mat Kilau of Pahang supported by Tok Gajah were getting too hot under the collar, with Rashid Mydin on the other side of the argument mainly, always playing the 'Devil's advocate' role, almost going berserk. Tun Ismail, unexpectedly was philosophical and pensive, especially when the issue of the failure of NEP was brought up. Probably because his brother in law [ you know who ]was the chap in power most of that time. Hj Yusof Rawa, true to his ulama upbringing, was in his element, always quoting the Quran and relevant hadiths off the cuff, giving an Islamic overview of the impasse. King Ghaz was the saviour of the day, and it was due to his consumate skill as a diplomate that the robust, almost physical, discussion finally 'melted' down to the motion of 'agreeing to disagree' ,at least for the time being. Otherwise it could have gone very physical. Mat Kilau was seen to raised his keris several time. Sutan Amir Kaharudin Budiman, in his Sumatran-Kelantanese linggo, brandishing his 'kapok kecik'...........

The motion that caused the most dissension was " that this House view the current political and economic climate in Malaysia as critical to the Ummah and that the current government or future government must take effective measures immediately, judicial or extra judicial, in 'secret' or openly, to remedy this impasse". The commotion that followed was beyond the expectation of the organisers.

I was just there as an observer amongst all these giants of their time. 'Too small' to contribute.From my 'small man' viewpoint though, it warmed the heart to see that some, if not all, still subscribed to the age old motto of our ancestors:

"Bio mati di terkam harimo dari hidop di kejo anjing".

Reminiscent of more than two centuries of Dutch atrocities and inhuman plunder in Kepulawan Melayu Sumatera and Jawa. The 'bloody' Spanish, in Kepulawan Melayu Mindanoa. The Siamese in Patani, past and present.The British was no better: at the height of their collective plunder of Malaya and the Malay island of Singapura, they were bringing in around 50,000 immigrant labourers daily from China and India.

That could have been the meeting that was.................

No my friends, Back in 2009 Malaysia, we can no longer blame the 'British' nor 'Dutch' neither the 'Portugese' for our present predicaments.Blame ourselves.We have been too 'soft' despite being 60 %. Too 'gentlemen' to people who could not appreciate our hospitality. Too tolerant. Fifty years post merdeka we still subject our young people to 'three school system' running parallel..... Just the other day I met a young lady. aproduct of our school system or lack of system, not able to comprehend the lingua franca of this Nusantara.... Sixty percent owning less than 10 per cent.......We are 'beggars' and apologists in our own country....infact we are getting too much softer by the days!

There you are , the rallying cry of the Rao under the Dutch, "Bio mati di terkam harimo dari hidop di kejo anjing" seem to be more pertinent now than ever before.

[ Related topics:]
The Rao of Kelantan, Tuesday 17th February, 2009, under 'Personalities section'.
The Malay Dilemma, Sunday 30th November, 2008, under 'Politics/Current Affairs'
Vernacular Schools, December 4th, 2008, under 'Politics/Current Affairs'.


Anonymous said...

Orang Rawa laksana harimau, pantang di cabar terus melenting, darah pahlawan memangnya tak lemau,tunggu kau kafir ke cetas keting! aha! Camna Dr NIk? Jum kita seraaaang!

RahmatHarounHashim said...

Question Dr Nik, Orang Rawa ini berasal dari Batu Bara, Sumatra ke?

Pearls & Gem said...

Was surprised to learn that Mat Kilau, Tok Gajah were Rao. Even King Ghaz. I thot he was Abo.

Rashid Mydin might have been a commie but in his old age in Yala ,where he subsequently 'passed on',he was noted to pray the obligatory 5 a day and taught his children muqaddam.May his soul be amongst the blessed...he was probably more ,anti British , than an ideological Commie.

Pasal 'cetas' kenting tu Fiz, let them wallow in ignorance and arrogance. Kita look after our 'souls' and be good example cukup.You can bring a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink.

In this age of info explosion there is no more excuse on the basis of ignorance..

On the political front NTR has a lot of thinking to do .... beyond the confine of the Box..If Unity Gomen is not politically expedient,What about Non unity Gomen? jangan kacau Kelantan,Kedah and Terengganu... give back the billions the Federal Gomen owe the Kelantan people[ Thank you Dr M for being small minded 10 years ago]....abolish MACC and set up an ACA which is answerable to Parliament if one is serious about corruption.

Or is this like asking the leopard to change it's spots??

Pearls & Gem said...

Rachmat,It was formerly known as Pagar Ruyung. The seat of govt which governed a substantive area, including the present Negeri Sembilan.
Geographically now the Rao used to be somewhere between Bukit Tinggi and Padang. With the onslought from the Dutch, they dispersed away to all the Malay diaspora, up to Patani

Anonymous said...

sorry to interrupt Dr Nik, but the rawa people are dintinct from the minangkabau in the dialect they speak.My old folks are basically from negri sembilan, but we do get in contact with the normal rawa folks. Ordinary people, friendly, a bit different..nothing much.after all it is just history.we are now well to do so we have time to ponder and count the goods and bads.During my father's lifetime my brother used to ask him whether we should look for his (my fathers') halfbrothers and cousins in Sumatera.his answer was no since he was scared of the other relatives taking advantage of us (his children) financially. That speaks for itself.

Orang rawa melawan belanda,
gagah bunyinya tidak terkira,
apa yang tertera indah bunyinya,
mungkin tak seindah bila bertemu muka!

Pearls & Gem said...

Yes,definitely they are distinct even though both are matrilineal in practice.

The oversea Chinese do better than those who stayed back. Similarly same with Rao.Those who stayed back get clobbered badly by the Dutch because they fought the occupation.

One would not cross the ocean to slit peoples throats in Sri Menanti in the 17 hundred if you are not tough in body,mind and soul.Even at the request of your monarch!

Mat Kilau, Rashid Mydin, Sutan Amir Kaharudin and Tok Gajah did not think like the ordinary Ahmad ,Ali or Ibrahim.

For Sutan Amir to sampan up the Nenggiri and down the tiger infested forest towards Chetok,Pasir Mas,via Sungei Kelantan a journey of more than 300 miles thru dense forest and small tributaries,he had to be 'half mad' by the standard of that time.Open up a village out of no where and criss cross between Raub and Kampong Chetok servicing 1st and 2nd family....

Yes,Like in present day Bukit Tinggi for the Rao is tough.Life in Indonesia ,especially Sumatera is tough for the ordinary people.
Nonetheless all of us are judged by individualised 'KPI': TAQWA. Not what we have or what we have not. Thank GOd

Passion and madness made the world go round, though.

Anonymous said...

well, got what you mean dr Nik.let us pray we do better in our time and be judged positively by allah almighty!

Pearls & Gem said...

Poverty does has it's blessing ..double edge really.I observe in my workers in Slow Temiang, it rubs them the other way round.. they dont pray,no time and energy for ilm or search for ilm which in a way could provide them the 'fuel' to energise their iman...pityful really...dah lah miskin di dunia,miskin juga di akhirat.

Years back when I was in my Year 2 vacation at med School in MU,I was helping the late Prof Dr Dahlan Aman of UKM doing some socioecenomic research at Pantai Perupok Bachok to earn some pocket money. Being from KB town ,and a town boy ,even though very poor by Town Standard [ I can afford 'underwear only in the U!], I expected village folks in a fishing village in Perupok to be religious, more than the town people. But our findings was otherwise.There were a high degree of divorce amongst the fishermen, high degree of 'wife swapping',a lot of 'funny' and active sex going on in the dark of the nights involving different partnrs etc etc.Tolak campur tolak campur ,'relative poverty' cannot be equated to increased piety.

I think it is still back to ilm,ilm and ilm.And in most circumstances the search for ilm is conducive only when your 'stomachs' are no,longer always hungry.From there I could understand the axiom:Poverty is next to kufur.Unless one is quite special and get above all that

And that brought me back to individuals like Mat Kilau or even my predecessor Sutan Amir kaharuddin...I mean why should a young man leave home and family that was Raub and sampan his way thru oblivion and danger and land up in distant Chetok...I know precisely how dangerous it could have been because 13 years back I had white water rafted with my then 10 year old son along with some friends from Merapoh along the Nenggeri right down to Gua Musang and those 3 night we slept on the narrow river banks,I peeed in my trousers many times:the smell of fresh tiger urine was every where!

Young Sutan Amir Kaharudin Budiman might have a restless spirit aiming to go to Patani perhaps,looking for ilm.Patani in the 17 hundred was a centre learning ,of ilm ,Islam or ilm kebatinan ! Maybe.End up hitched in Chetok,Pasir Mas... But perhaps he did finallyget to Patani because later in life he was called Lebai Diman.

That ultimate KPI, Taqwa.Would it be easier to acheive if you are a 'Prince' , a PM or an average commoner, poor perhaps?
I would guess it is easier to reach it when you are relatively 'poor' , not as poor as my worker though.
The relative poor travels light.The Prince is laddened with excess baggage, most not his own, but still 'answerable'.I mean guys like you and me do not get asked questions like this :Your Excellency Mr PM Sir, during the substantive period between so and so years when your were numero uno what have you done to change the direction of your government to align with that as recommended by THe Most High ??

Our question would just be:Why you did not teach your sons and daughters to live like Mukminin and mukminat?...Even that is mighty difficult to answer!

Sorry Anon, what a digression!I am in a philosophical mood tonight.