Orang Melayu – Old ties that bind

The one week of state funeral was best remembered by the passing of a political giant of an era and the outpouring of sadness by people at home and those abroad. Many foreign leaders were here on their personal capacity or representing their respective govts to pay their last respect to the man lying in state. While everyone was immersed in the solemn and somber mood of the moment, a sense of warmth permeated the air in an unusual way that many would have missed, gone unnoticed and forgotten.

The spirit and graciousness of the Orang Melayu of the region was at its best. The Sultan of Brunei and several members of his family were here, including many govt officials not reported, to show their respect to a man whose relationship with the palace were built over two generations as family friends. The bond was strong and lasting and valued by both families and people.

From the south, the Sukarnos, the Suhartos and the Yudhoyonos were all here. And so were the Jokowis and many present and past govt officials. They remembered the deeds of the man that was in the midst of interstate rivalry and friendship. They remembered him dearly and fondly as a good friend.

More remarkable were the leaders and royalties from the north. The love hate relationship between Malaysia and Singapore, between LKY and their leaders, the quarrels and bickering and at times personal acrimonies were set aside. With the passing of the man, the hatchet was buried, but more. The warmth relationship cultivated over the decades surfaced. At the end of the day, they were all like kampong boys growing up together, playing together and fighting over everything. But they were still childhood friends of the same kampong.

The Agung was here and so were the royalties. And the newly crowned Sultan of Johore was here, one day after his coronation, putting aside his busy schedule to show his respect to the man with many ups and downs in the relationship between the two states. Najib was here and so were Daim and many old friends and political foes.

The one that was dearly missed was Mahathir. The Malaysians expected him to come, no matter how bitter he fought with LKY, it was the man that he knew and worked with, like him or not was a separate matter. Mahathir missed the chance to show the world how big a man he could be. Abdul Samad, a very senior Malaysian politician of the same vintage was seen on Malaysian news chastising Mahathir for his lack of graciousness. He even reprimanded him for his slowness in coming out with his eulogy for LKY. There are times when personal rivalry should give way, take a back seat, to allow the warmth of human relationship to triumph.

The Orang Melayu of the region were extremely gracious and warmth and added a great sense of dignity to the occasion, to bid farewell to a kampong boy they knew a life time. Without the politicking and agitating, the Orang Melayu could make great friends that would last a life time.

The passing of the man they called friend and at times loved to hate marked a new chapter in the relationship of the people in the region. Hopefully the new leaders and future leaders could pick up a few goodness in being friends and political foes and graciousness while locked in political differences and rivalry. There is a man behind all the politicking, and there is friendship to be made and cherished, in the spirit of the Orang Melayu.

PS: There were signs of regret in Mahathir for the things he did to the man and he came close to saying sorry for the riots when Singapore was in Malaysia. There was an admission of guilt for the incident, a kind of telling the man, ok we did it. Let bygones be bygones. He must have deemed it necessary to set the record straight and close the chapter of finger pointing on who caused the riots.


Anonymous said...

So who is the person Dr M said he knew who came in to instigate the riots ? Could it have been Lim yew hock , the mysterious man?

Anonymous said...

He not only missed the chance to
show the world how big a man he
can be, but in fact he missed the
chance to say a BIG THANK YOU to
our founding PM.

It was only through the various
extremely difficult issues
between the two countries fought
between him and our founding PM
that brought out the BEST in him.


Anonymous said...

The master and the difficult student.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

@ RB:

>> More remarkable were the leaders and royalties from the north. The love hate relationship between Malaysia and Singapore, between LKY and their leaders, the quarrels and bickering and at times personal acrimonies were set aside.

Actually the agong and his gang of sultans are no friends to the govt federales in Putrjaya.

It is reasonable to assume they have good relations with LKY, as they undoubtedly use Singapore as a base for their finances.

The Sultanate of Brunei has been doing business in and with Singapore from father and grandfather's time of the current Bolkiah.

The Bolkiah brothers own a lot of shit in Singapore, plus lord knows how much money they've funneled thru Singapore banks.

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend"

Mahathir is an avowed enemy of the agong-sultan system of Malay royalty.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is this idea of how big a man is or is not when he comes or does not come to visit a dead person and his surviving family members?

Well, how big a man was LKY or how big a man is LHL when JBJ died? Anyway, did you read LHL's (as PM of Singapore) condolence letter on demise of JBJ?

b said...

Not many people outside SEA knows about LKY. More people knows about Mandela than LKY. I think PAP should sack the pr office for doing such a bad job in LKY publicity.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi b, I think the press has overplayed the value of Mandela. With due respect, he was rhe perfect slave that would not hit back after years of oppression. That is what he is valued for by the West and the western media. Someone they could whipped, imprisoned and kicked around and at the end of the day smiled and said never mind.

LKY not known outside SEA? Like him or loathe him, he is a giant in his own right. 40 years ago, as a young man in UK, LKY was there to make a speech. The whole of Britain was glued to the TV like Singaporeans watching their Channel 8 drama serials.

Anonymous said...

mahathir father is a full-blooded indian, a malayalee from the kerala, india. his father was mohamad iskandar kutty. so technically mahathir is not orang melayu and is without their graciousness. the orang melayu who paid their respects did so because all their ill-gotten gains are parked in singapore and the lee family has promised them that all their dirty money will be protected from prying eyes. it is safer than switzerland.

Anonymous said...

pinoy president never come?

Anonymous said...

LKY never regarded Mahatir as his equal; M is more junior than LKY. M expects LKY to treat him as LKY's equal; an unrealistic over-expectation, bec first he must get Msia to become 1st world just to be on the same planet as Singapore. M continues to hammer the truly Melayu Prime Ministers like Badawi and Najib his successors bcos he sees Orang Melayu no up. Why the Malays continue to support the man who consider them (Orang Melayu) as inferior is puzzling and stupid. Maybe, M is right eh?