By Syed Akbar Ali
By Syed Akbar Ali
This is a short story. It has significance to what is going on in our country.
Ho Chi Minh was the great Vietnamese freedom fighter, liberator, statesman and hero of the oppressed peoples. Ho Chi Minh died in 1969, when I was nine years old. Also known as 'Uncle Ho', his birth name was Nguyen Sinh Cung. Ho Chi Minh who was of Chinese ancestry translates to 'He Who Enlightens'.
At that time the
Till today I cannot figure out how attap huts in Vietnam were a threat to the security and vital interests of the ‘Yewnited States of Americky’ That is one evil and adulterous generation (Matthew 14:6-8) which is still dancing around the fire in the Yewnited States.
At that time the Americans successfully brainwashed all of us into believing that the Vietnamese were bad people led by an ugly monster called Ho Chi Minh. So like the simple,
The French colonials started taking control of
Under French colonial rule Vietnamese were prohibited from travelling outside their districts without identity papers. Freedom of expression and organisation were restricted. Land was alienated to French companies and the number of landless peasants grew. So people like Ho Chi Minh started fighting back.
Fastforward (because this is a short story), Ho Chi Minh kicked the butt of the French in
Way before that on 2 September 1945, half a million Vietnamese people gathered in
One of the first things that Ho Chi Minh did as the leader of a free and independent
Not only Ho Chi Minh but in many newly independent countries (usually non British Commonwealth) an independent people refused to recognize treaties and agreements which the colonials had forced them to sign at the point of a gun or without the consent of the people. So whatever the French colonial power had signed on behalf of
Why? Apa pasal? Because those treaties were NOT signed by a free and independent people.
I wanted to Blog about this because just a few days ago I was having breakfast with some friends who started quoting the terms of the Pangkor Treaty (! ! !) to support their side of the argument about the Perak issues.
At the time of our
For example, Stamford Raffles found disgruntled seafarers from the Riau Islands, played politics with the Dutch and got “a” Sultan to rent space on Temasek Island to the British East India Company (NOT TO THE BRITISH SOVEREIGN GOVERNMENT OK).
Raffles did not work for the British Government but he worked for the British East India Company, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Stamford Raffles was just like an earlier version of a Somali pirate. And at the time of our “
Then later this slick little piece of piracy by Raffles was ‘formalised’ by the British Sovereign through the Colonial Office.
And many people think that Stamford Raffles braved the seas, sailed out here from
First of all Raffles was already chilling his heels in
Then in 1818 Raffles became “lieutenant governor of Bencoolen” fighting the Dutch who were trying to grab the whole of
In 1818 Raffles sailed hurriedly from Bencoolen to
But more importantly why did Raffles suddenly panic in 1818? He was the East India Company’s “secretary” in
In 1818 the Dutch occupied Riau. The
This was the cause of Raffles panic.
And coincidentally, Raffles was in
On January 28, 1819, Raffles and Farquhar anchored near the mouth of the
The following day, the two men went ashore on
( I hope you can see me laughing here – what in heaven’s name is ”granted provisional permission” – did the Speaker of the Temasek Assembly meet under a tree too, on the uninhabited, exotic, wild and mysterious Temasek island?)
Well the kiasu Raffles, began immediately to unload Bengali sepoys, set up tents and hoist the British flag. The first British meal prepared on “wild, exotic, undiscovered, uninhabited” Temasek was probably chappati and fried ikan kembong supplied by the ever friendly local Malays.
Raffles then told Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman to send for “Hussein” in Riau, who (not having much else to do ) arrived within a few days. Then the next event that happened was a classic example of British piracy which makes the pirates in present day
“Acknowledging Hussein” as the rightful Sultan of Johore, on February 6, 1819 Raffles signed a treaty with him and the temenggong confirming the right of the British East India Company to establish a trading post in return for an annual rent (in Spanish dollars, the common currency of the region at the time) of Sp$5,000 to Hussein and Sp$3,000 to the temenggong.
Read carefully. The annual rent was for “a” trading post. Not for the whole island.
Fastforward to 1857. After the Indian Mutiny of that year, the British Government took over the assets of the British East India Company, including
The “as long as there are moon and stars in the sky” type Water Supply Agreements and such (signed in the early 20th century) are just carryovers of British piracy.
Fastforward to 1963. “
Fastforward to 1965 :
Back to Ho Chi Minh. ALL treaties and agreements forced upon us under the force of Colonial guns and cannons have no moral standing. We should have just repudiated them.
As an independent nation we must create space and opportunity for all under the realm. But we must do it in our own fashion to suit our people.
Pangkor Treaty ? ? Did they smoke pipes too ? Selagi ada bulan dan bintang . . .