Category Archives: ASEAN

Neighbouring Malay and Thai royalties

Despite the Burney Treaty of 1826, the British gradually spread its influence in the northern Malay states. During the reign of HM King Chulalongkorn the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 was signed. Hearing it from a Thai perspective was both interesting and insightful. It was seen as Siam signing away its land to a foreign power, in the aim of achieving a greater goal of protecting its hinterland proper in the Chao Phraya basin. On the other hand, the Malaysian discourse states that it was an audacious, unilateral decision between the British and Siamese without consulting the sultans of the northern Malay states, whose subjects would be at the mercy of the agreement. The will of the people was thought to be inconsequential. With a quick flourish of the pen, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu changed overlords from the Siamese to the British.  They were then incorporated into the Unfederated Malay States (Negeri-negeri Melayu Tak Bersekutu).

British Malaya territories

British Malaya territories, consisting of the Straits Settlements and the Malay sultanates (sans Brunei), as depicted on the Malayan currency of the time

Since the Malay states formally came together Persekutuan Tanah Melayu (Federation of Malaya) , and subsequently Malaysia, the relationship between the rulers of the Malay states and Thailand have normalised. The 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong HM Tuanku Abdul Halim was due to embark on a state visit to Thailand  last week on the invitation of HM King Bhumibol, but unfortunately  it had to be cancelled due to His Majesty’s poor health.

Coincidentally, all of the most recent Yang di-Pertuan Agongs of Malaysia,  as shown above, were from the northern Malay states, apart from Selangor.

HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and HM King Bhumibol

HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and HM King Bhumibol

Outwith of Malaysia, there is one other country which has a Malay sultan as its ruler, namely Brunei which  has the official state ideology of Melayu Islam Beraja (Malay Islamic Monarchy). Thailand, comparably, holds on to the trinity of country(ชาติ), religion(ศาสนา) and king(พระมหากษัตริย์), as pillars of its society.

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Kisah dua beradik nelayan Melayu-Cham Kemboja

Yusuf dan Ismail

Allahyarham Yusuf dan Ismail

 

Diceritakan oleh ibu mereka, Kong Sarifas

Kedua-dua anak saya berpelajaran. Mereka boleh membaca dan menulis bahasa Khmer, Cham (bahasa orang Islam di Kemboja), Arab dan Melayu. Ismail juga menuntut ilmu sakti, dia belajar bagaimana untuk mengghaibkan diri dan mengubah arah tujuhala peluru.

Kami tinggal di Kampung Khleang Sbek di daerah Kandal sewaktu pemerintahan rejim Lon Nol. Menjelang tahun 1973, pertempuran makin meruncing di situ maka kami berpindah ke Chraing Chamreh. Tapi setelah beberapa lama, suami saya menyesal kehilangan rumah beliau, lalu membawa Yusuf dan Ismael, serta anak perempuan saya Mari balik ke Khleang Sbek supaya mereka boleh menangkap ikan; beliau berkata tiada apa yang boleh dibuatnya di Chraing Chamreh. Kemudiannya saya mengajak mereka datang balik. Suami berkata beliau dan anak-anak laki kami takkan kembali,  tapi saya boleh membawa Mari pulang. Kami sampai di Chraing Chamreh petang itu. Keesokan paginya kesemua jalan ditutup dan saya tidak pernah  tengok suami dan anak-anak laki saya lagi.

Orang kampung beritahu yang mereka ada nampak dua orang pemuda yang kulitnya macam orang Vietnam; mereka sedang cuba mencari ibu mereka. Seorang lelaki berkata yang beliau ternampak mereka diangkut oleh orang Angkar untuk dibunuh. Orang kata salah seorang daripada mereka berambut kerinting, dan yang lagi seorang berambut lurus. Mendengar cerita ni, hati saya hancur berkecai. Saya tahu yang ianya anak-anak lelaki saya.

 

Kisah ini dipetik daripada catatan di Muzium Tuol Sleng (S-21), Phnom Penh, Kemboja. Lawatan pada bulan September 2012.

Saya terfikir, sewaktu segala kejadian kejam sebegini berlaku di Kemboja, adakah rakyat negara-negara jiran benar-benar tahu kejadian sebenar atau mengambil peduli? Terbit rasa syukur  menjadi rakyat negara yang aman. Juga timbul rasa kagum dan hormat atas keperibadian masyarakat Kemboja yang telah melalui pahit maung sebegini tidak terlalu lama dahulu.