The Righteous Man

Reading RPK’s latest article in Malaysia Today of the title “Musa Hassan’s failing fishing expedition” reminds me of a story in history during the period of the Warring States, the period of chaos and upheaval leading to the founding of the Qin Dynasty of Shih Huang Ti (The First Emperor).

The state of Wei was ruled by Marquis Wen (Lord Wen) who was a wise and virtuous ruler of the state and had decided to attack the neighboring state of Zhongshan who was ruled by an immoral and corrupt tyrant.

Lord Wen of Wei appointed General Le Yang as Commander in Chief to lead the attack to rid Zhongshan of the corrupt and immoral ruler despite the knowledge that General Le Yang had a son who is an official in the state of Zhongshan.

When General Le Yang army arrived at the state of Zhongshan the ruler tied up Le Yang’s son and pushed him to the front line in warning the General to withdraw otherwise his son will be cooked and made into soup for the General.

General Le Yang instead led an all out attack on the city and the ruler had Le Yang’s son cooked and the soup was send to General Le Yang with further warning that his son’s wife and children will be next if he does not withdraw. General Le Yang was unperturbed, he took the bowl of soup and drank it on the spot and said to the envoy: “Thank your King for the soup. The day that we capture your city we will have a pot ready for him too.” The envoy panic and returned conveying the General’s message to the ruler and the frightened ruler knowing that the fall of the city is inevitable than hanged himself.