The Peninsular part of Malaya, the Federation of Malaya, or Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, gained independence from the British in 1957. Despite the then on-going armed insurgency by the Chinese-based Parti Komunis Malaya(PKM), the UMNO-led government of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu was seen as capable to bring peace, stability and prosperity to the newly independent nation.
Early success story of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu had persuaded the British, who were then, still the colonial masters of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak, to bring the three entities into the more stable Malaya. Singapore was then still seen incapable of fighting off the onslaught of communism. Sabah was being claimed by the Philipines to be part of their territory. Sarawak on the other hand was a subject of territorial claim by Indonesia.
Those were believed to be the main reason for the formation of Malaysia, the merger of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak with the already stable Malaya. Otherwise, only almighty God knows what would have happened to those three colonies. Singapore could have become part of the communist China. Sabah could have been reclaimed by the Sulu Sultanate part of the Philipines. Sarawak could have been swallowed by the Indonesia part of Borneo.
Malaysia was officially formed on 16th September 1963, on today date, 52 years ago.
The history of formation of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, which became the ‘senior component’ of Malaysia can not be detached from the history of formation of United Malays National Organisation(UMNO) to fight the Malayan Union, the role of UMNO in fighting for independence, and the challenges faced by the UMNO-led government in defending the independence…from the armed insurgency by the Chinese-led communists.
The same story of Malay-led Government and Chinese-led opposition seemed to repeat itself in the run-up to the double celebrations of Independence Day on 31st August and the Malaysia Day on 16th September. The DAP/Chinese-led rally which was called Bersih4.0 on the eve of independence day was seen by many as utterly inappropriate and signified serious lack of respect for the auspicious date. Worst still, the Bersih4.0 rally revealed scenes of Chinese young girls stamping their feet on pictures of top two Malay leaders, PM Najib Tun Razak, and DS Hj Hadi Awang the President of PAS.
The RED SHIRT rally is to remind all Malaysians the pivotal role of UMNO-led Malays in the country’s struggle for independence of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu and the formation of Malaysia. Its nothing about ‘ketuanan Melayu’ or ‘Malays supremacy’ or racism. The Malays only demand DUE RESPECT by their fellow Malaysians.
If we see things from this point of view, its not too difficult to agree that the RED SHIRTS rally is consistent with the spirit of the earlier struggles led by the Malays, towards achieving the independence of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu and the formation of Malaysia.
Happy RED GATHERING and HAPPY MALAYSIA DAY for all.