For whom the bell tolls (UPDATED with BM and Chinese Translation)

Who are the traitors here? Are the traitors those who hijrah in search of a better life like what the Prophet Muhammad did? Or are the traitors those who ignore the patriotic contribution of Malayans from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Malaysians who ‘abandon’ their country and migrate to another country are traitors, says an Umno Minister. Is he speaking on behalf of the Malaysian government, on behalf of Umno, on behalf of Barisan Nasional, on behalf of the Malay race, or on behalf of the Muslim ummah (community)?

Malays always scream, rant and rave that Islam comes first and everything else goes to the bottom of the priority list. Even the Member of Parliament for Kulim — someone from what can be considered a liberal party, PKR — says that he puts Islam first and everything else second. So let us assume that Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, being a Muslim, speaks from the Islamic perspective. I doubt he would dare declare otherwise.

Islam stipulates that if you suffer persecution, oppression, injustice, and discrimination under a dictatorial regime, then it is your duty to hijah (migrate). And hijrah is very important to Islam. Hijrah is what the Prophet Muhammad was commanded by God to do. And the day of the Prophet’s hijrah is the day the Muslim calendar begins. That is how important hijrah is to Islam.

Is this Muslim Minister from Umno whacking Prophet Muhammad and calling him a traitor?

Many Malaysians died for their country. The Indians and Chinese migrated to British Malaya between the mid-1800s to about 1920 when the British started to tighten the immigration policy and no longer brought in labourers from India and China to work the railway, public works, plantations and tin mines in Malaya.

But this did not mean that immigration came to a complete stop. The British still brought in Indians to serve in the civil service and to serve as schoolteachers. This was because the local Malays, at that time, were not so proficient in the English language compared to the Indians. So the Indians were required as government servants and teachers.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s father is one example of an English language teacher from India who came to Malaya and eventually married a Malay woman, resulting in the birth of Dr Mahathir.

Many Indian and Chinese immigrants married in Malaya, sometimes to fellow Indians and Chinese and sometimes to local Malays (that is why many Malays look more Indian and Chinese compared to their Indonesian cousins). And understandably they sired children born in Malaya. And these local born sons and daughters of the immigrants are those Malaysian Indians and Chinese of today, many who have never stepped foot in India or China since the day they were born.

Their parents and grandparents (some are third or fourth generation Malaysians while some, like the Melaka Chinese, have been ‘locals’ since 500 years ago) came to Malaya to serve the country and died in this country. And some of these ‘immigrants’ have been in the country longer than even Malays who are only second or third generation Malaysians.

The question of who came first is an arguable issue. There are Indians and Chinese who have been in Malaysia for hundreds of years and there are Malays who have been in the country less than 100 years. Nevertheless, this article is not to argue about who is more Bumiputera — the Malays, Indians or Chinese.

Everyone — Malays, Indians and Chinese alike — are sons and daughters of immigrants. It would be very difficult to dissect the three different races based on generalising. You would have to look at it on a case-to-case basis. My family came to Malaya in the mid-1700s. Tian Chua’s family came to Malaya much earlier than that. Dr Mahathir and Khir Toyo are merely second generation Malaysians although one became the Prime Minister and the other the Chief Minister of a State.

Okay, the purpose of this article is not to argue who is more Bumiputera as we can argue till the cows come home and will never reach a consensus. What I want to talk about is who has served this country and, therefore, can be considered a true patriot.

The railway, roads, bridges and buildings, right up to maybe the 1980s or so (that means for more than 100 years), were built by the Indians and Chinese (not the Malays). I still remember even as recent as the 1970s when Indians would work in the hot sun building the roads and laying the railway lines. They also worked in the estates and plantations. And the same goes for the tin mines and the construction industry, which were mainly a Chinese affair.

And many died. There were numerous cases where entire Chinese communities were wiped out by disease and war and they had to bring in fresh loads of Chinese workers from China to replace those who had died. And the living conditions of these workers were pathetic. Trust me when I say detention under the Internal Security Act in Kamunting is luxurious compared to what these Indians and Chinese had to endure.

The Malayan civil service, legal system, education system, and whatnot, depended on the English educated Indians brought in from India. It was not until the 1920s or so, when the immigration policy was tightened, that the Malays were educated enough to start filling the ranks of the civil service. Even by the time of Merdeka the country still depended on the immigrants because there were not enough educated Malays to serve the country.

And almost all these people died in this country (only some went home to die) and their Malaysian-born children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are those Indians and Chinese you see in the country today.

To sum up: this country was built by the non-Malays. What we see today is the result of the contribution by the non-Malays. Initially, Malaya’s economy depended on rubber and tin, long before we had factories and heavy industries. And it was because we had immigrant Indians and Chinese is why we saw a thriving rubber and tin industry. If not because of rubber and tin, Malaysia would be amongst the poorest countries in this world.

Then we had three wars – the Second World War, the Malayan Emergency, and the Konfrantasi with Indonesia. And not just Malayans, but many foreign ‘Mat Salleh’ (white skins), as well as Africans, Fijians, Gurkhas, Indians, Punjabis, Bengalis, and many more, died in these wars. Of course, Malays died as well. But Malays were not the only ones who died in these three wars. See the statistics in the addendum below to get an idea of those who sacrificed their lives for this country.

But is the contribution of these patriots ever remembered? The Malays scream, rant and rave that this is a Malay country. They declare that this is Tanah Melayu (Malay land). But we might not even have a country, at least not in the form that we see it now, if not for the fact that many not of Malay origin laid down their lives for this country. If the non-Malays, including the ‘Mat Salleh’, had not died for this country, Malaysia would no longer be an independent nation but just a small province of Indonesia.

When Malays talk about dying for your country, they just look at the three wars. But the death toll for these wars does not even come close to the death toll of those who died serving this country in other ways. Some died defending the country in wars. But many more died in the effort to build this country to what it is today. And many also died of mere old age after serving this country their entire life and then retired here as citizens.

But how do we repay these patriots or children and grandchildren of patriots not of Malay origin? We insult them. We threaten them. We discriminate against them. We oppress them. We persecute them. We treat them as second-class citizens. We refuse to recognise the patriotic contribution of their parents, grandparents or great grandparents in defending this country and in building this country to what it is today.

So these people feel hurt. So they feel that the sacrifices and contribution of their forefathers are not remembered and appreciated. So they decide to leave the country and go to another country that can better-appreciate their talents and skills instead of threatening and subjecting them to screams of “go back to your own country”.

Who are the traitors here? Are the traitors those who hijrah in search of a better life like what the Prophet Muhammad did? Or are the traitors those who ignore the patriotic contribution of Malayans from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s?

The Umno Ministers should be made to pass a history test before they can be appointed as Ministers. And they should also be made to pass a lie detector test every time they make a statement.

As the Malays would say: bodoh (stupid) is bad enough. Bodoh sombong (arrogantly stupid) is unforgivable. And Umno Ministers are just that — bodoh sombong.

Combatants in the Malayan Emergency

United Kingdom


New Zealand

Federation of Malaya



Various British East African colonies

Breakdown of the combatants in the Malayan Emergency

250,000 Malayan Home Guard troops

40,000 regular Commonwealth personnel

37,000 Special Constables

24,000 Federation Police

Casualties in the Malayan Emergency

Killed: 1,346 Malayan troops and police (of many races) and 519 British military personnel

Wounded: 2,406 Malayans (of many races) and British troops/police

Civilian: 2,478 killed, 810 missing (of many races including ‘Mat Salleh‘)

Malaysian-Indonesian Konfrontasi

Combatants in the Konfrontasi


United Kingdom


New Zealand

And with support from the United States

Allied Casualties

114 killed

181 wounded

Indonesian Casualties

590 killed

222 wounded

Civilian casualties

36 killed

53 wounded

4 taken prisoner

The forces that served during the Konfrontasi period to secure Malaysia’s freedom and independence

United Kingdom

Royal Navy:

40 Commando Royal Marines

42 Commando Royal Marines

Sections of Special Boat Service

Detachments of 845 Naval Air Squadron (Wessex)

Detachments of 846 Naval Air Squadron (Whirlwind)

Detachments of 848 Naval Air Squadron (Wessex)

849 NAS Fairey Gannet AEW on HMS Victorious

British Army

Squadron of Life Guards

Squadrons of 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards

Squadrons of Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars

Squadrons of 4th Royal Tank Regiment

H Squadron of 5th Royal Tank Regiment

4th Light Regiment Royal Artillery (comprising 29 (Corunna), 88 (Arracan), 97 (Lawsons Company) Light Batteries)

V Light, 132 (Bengal Rocket Troop) Medium Batteries (of 6th Light Regiment Royal Artillery)

T (Shah Sujah’s Troop) and 9 (Plassey) Light Anti Defence Batteries (of 12th Light Air Defence Regiment)

30 Light Anti Defence Battery (Roger’s Company) (of 16th Light Air Defence Regiment)

53 (Louisburg) Light Anti Defence Battery (of 22nd Light Air Defence Regiment)

11 (Sphinx) Light Anti Defence Battery (of 34th Light Air Defence Regiment)

40th Light Regiment Royal Artillery (comprising 38 (Seringapatum), 129 (Dragon), 137 (Java) Light Batteries)*

70 Light, 176 (Abu Klea) Light, 170 (Imjin) Medium Batteries (of 45th Light Regiment Royal Artillery)

8 (Alma), 7 (Sphinx), 79 (Kirkee), 145 (Maiwand), Commando Light Batteries (of 29th and 95th Commando Light Regiments, Royal Artillery)

1st Battalion, Scots Guards

Guards Independent Parachute Company

1st Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers

1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders

1st Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles

1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Highlanders

1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment

1st Battalion, Durham Light Infantry

1st Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

1st Battalion, Royal Leicestershire Regiment

1st Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

1st Green Jackets (43rd and 52nd)

2nd Green Jackets, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps

3rd Green Jackets, The Rifle Brigade

2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment

D Company, 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment

1st Battalion, Royal Hampshire Regiment

22 Special Air Service

1st and 2nd Battalions of 2nd Gurkha Rifles

1st and 2nd Battalions, 6th Gurkha Rifles;

1st and 2nd Battalions, 7th Gurkha Rifles;

1st and 2nd Battalions, 10th Gurkha Rifles;

Gurkha Independent Parachute Company

Detachments 656 Squadron Army Air Corps

Various units from Corps of Royal Engineers

Various units from the Royal Corps of Signals


Detachments 15 Squadron RAF Regiment

Detachments 34 Squadron (Beverley) stationed in Singapore

Detachments 48 Squadron (Hastings and Beverley) stationed at RAF Changi, Singapore

Detachments 209 Squadron (Pioneer and Twin Pioneer)

Detachments 52 Squadron (Valetta) stationed at RAF Butterworth, Malaya

Detachments 66 Squadron (Belvedere) stationed at RAF Seletar, Singapore

Detachments 103 Squadron (Westland Whirlwind HC 10) stationed at RAF Seletar, Singapore

Detachments 110 Squadron (Westland Sycamore then Whirlwind) stationed at RAF Seletar, Singapore

Detachments 205 Squadron (AVRO Shackleton MR Mk2) stationed at RAF Changi, Singapore

225 Squadron (Westland Whirlwind HC 2)

230 Squadron (Westland Whirlwind HC 10)

81 Squadron (Canberra PR 9) stationed at RAF Tengah, Singapore

20 Squadron (Hawker Hunter) stationed at RAF Tengah, Singapore

60 Squadron (Gloster Javelin) stationed at RAF Tengah, Singapore

64 Squadron (Gloster Javelin) stationed at RAF Tengah, Singapore

45 Squadron (Canberra) stationed at RAF Tengah, Singapore

74 Squadron (English Electric Lightning) stationed at RAF Tengah, Singapore

15 Squadron Handley Page Victor stationed in at RAF Tengah and Butterworth)


102 Field Battery Royal Australian Artillery.

3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

A and B Squadrons of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment


Malaysian Army

Squadron of Malaysian Reconnaissance Regiment

A and B Batteries (of 1st Regiment, Malaysian Artillery)

3rd Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment

5th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment

8th Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment

1st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment

Royal Federation of Malay States Police

Police Special Branch

Battalion of Police Field Force

New Zealand

1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

1st Ranger Squadron

41 Squadron (Canberra)

Detachments 41 Squadron (Bristol Freighter)


Translated into Chinese at:


Translated into BM by Tan KY:

Menurut seorang Menteri UMNO

Menurut seorang Menteri UMNO, rakyat Malaysia yang “berhijrah” ke negara lain adalah pengkhianat. Adakah beliau bercakap bagi pihak kerajaan Malaysia, atau UMNO, BN, atau kaum Melayu atau umat Islam?

Orang Melayu selalu memaki-hamun dan berpekik yang Islam adalah segala-galanya dan selebihnya tidak penting. Contoh terbaik ialah ahli parlimen Kulim, daripada parti PKR yang dianggap liberal, berkali-kali berkata bahawa beliau meletakkan Islam mendahului segala-galanya, termasuk tugas beliau sebagai ahli parlimen. Sekarang mari kita anggap bahawa Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, sebagai seorang Islam, juga bercakap daripada perspektif Islam. 

Islam berkata bahawa jika anda ditindas, didiskrimasi oleh sebuah regim yang kejam, adalah wajib untuk anda berhijrah. Hijrah merupakan konsep yang amat penting dalam Islam. Allah mengarahkan Nabi Muhammad untuk berhijrah, dan kalendar Islam bermula pada tahun hijrah. 

Sekarang renung-renungkanlah. Adakah Menteri UMNO tersebut menuduh Nabi Muhammad seorang pengkhianat? 

Ramai orang Malaysia berkorban kerana negara kita. Orang India dan Cina datang ke negara Malaya di antara tahun 1800 ke 1920. Selepas itu, British mengetatkan polisi imigrasi dan tidak lagi membawa buruh daripada India dan China untuk bekerja di landasan keretapi, ladang dan lombong di Malaya. 

Tetapi ini tidak bermakna imigrasi telah berhenti selepas itu. British masih membawa rakyat India untuk bekerja di sektor awam dan untuk bekerja sebagai guru sekolah. Ini kerana pada masa itu, Melayu tempatan kurang menguasai Bahasa Inggeris berbanding rakyat India. Oleh yang demikian, rakyat India diperlukan sebagai kakitangan awam dan guru. 

Ayah Tun Dr Mahathir ialah contoh seorang guru bahasa Inggeris yang datang dari India, dan mengahwini seorang perempuan Melayu tempatan. 

Ramai pendatang India dan China berkahwin di Malaya, setengahnya kepada rakyat senegara dan setengahnya kepada Melayu tempatan (ini sebabnya banyak Melayu hari ini mempunyai iras Cina dan India). Anak-anak mereka dilahirkan di Malaya, dan merupakan rakyat Malaysia hari ini yang berbangsa Cina dan India. Ramai di antara mereka tidak pernah menjejak kaki di India atau China dari hari mereka lahir. 

Ibu bapa mereka dan datuk-nenek mereka (ada yang merupakan generasi ketiga atau keempat di Malaysia dan setengahnya, seperti Cina di Melaka, telah berada di sini sejak 500 tahun lalu) datang ke Malaya untuk bekerja dan menghembuskan nafas terakhir di negara ini. Dan sesetengah “pendatang” ini telah berada di negara ini jauh lebih lama daripada sesetengah Melayu yang merupakan generasi kedua atau ketiga. 

Perdebatan tentang siapa yang datang dahulu adalah perkara yang tidak mudah diselesaikan. Ada Cina dan India yang telah berada di sini sejak beratus tahun dahulu, dan ada Melayu yang hanya berada di sini kurang daripada seratus tahun. Namun demikian, artikel ini bukanlah untuk betengkar mengenai siapa yang lebih layak digelar “Bumiputera” 

Semua daripada kita merupakan anak kepada pendatang. Sukar untuk kita mengkategorikan tiga bangsa ini secara umum. Ia sesuatu yang harus dilihat satu-persatu. Keluarga saya datang ke Malaya pada tahun 1700-an. Keluarga Tian Chua datang lebih awal daripada itu. Dr Mahathir dan Khir Toyo merupakan rakyat Malaysia generasi kedua walaupun seorang pernah menjadi Perdana Menteri dan seorang lagi Menteri Besar. 

Sekali lagi, artikel ini bukan untuk membincangkan siapa yang lebih Bumiputra, kerana kita boleh berdebat siang dan malam dan sehingga kucing bertanduk pun kita tidak akan mencapai kata sepakat. Apa yang saya ingin ketengahkan di  sini ialah siapa yang telah berjasa kepada negara ini dan oleh yang itu, layak digelar sebagai rakyat yang cinta negara. 

Landasan keretapi, jalan raya, jambatan dan bangunan di negara ini, sehingga ke tahun 1980-an (lebih daripada 100 tahun) dibina oleh India dan Cina (bukan Melayu). Saya masih ingat pada tahun 1970-an, saya melihat pekerja India bertungkus lumus di bawah matahari yang terik membina jalan dan landasan keretapi. Mereka turut bekerja di estet dan ladang. Sama juga bagi lombong timah dan industri bangunan, yang kebanyakannya diusahakan orang Cina. 

Dan ramai yang terkorban. Banyak kes di mana pekerja Cina maut akibat wabak penyakit dan perang dan pekerja baru terpaksa dibawa daripada China untuk menggantikan yang terkorban. Hidup mereka penuh kesengsaraan. 

Di Malaya pada masa itu, sektor awam, perundangan, pendidikan bergantung kepada rakyat India yang menerima pendidikan Inggeris (India pada masa itu di bawah naungan British). Selepas 1920-an, Melayu tempatan mula mengisi jawatan di sektor awam setelah menerima cukup pendidikan Inggeris. Walau bagaimanapun, ketika negara kita merdeka, negara masih bergantung kepada golongan pendatang kerana rakyat tempatan masih kurang yang menerima pendidikan yang cukup. 

Hampir kesemua golongan ini yang pada mulanya dibawa dari Cina dan India, anak, cucu mereka yang dilahirkan di Malaysia merupakan rakyat Cina dan India yang anda lihat di Malaysia hari ini. 

Kesimpulannya, negara ini dibina oleh yang bukan Melayu. Apa yang kita ada hari ini merupakan keringat bukan Melayu. Pada awalnya, ekonomi Malaya bergantung kepada getah dan timah, sebelum kita mempunyai industri berat dan kilang-kilang. Dan hanya kerana adanya pendatang India dan Cina kita mempunyai sektor pelombongan dan peladangan yang berjaya. Kalau bukan kerana ini, Malaysia hari ini mungkin di antara negara termiskin di dunia. 

Selain itu, kita pernah mengalami tiga perang, Perang Dunia Kedua, perang Komunis dan Konfrontasi dengan Indonesia. Bukan hanya orang Malaya, tetapi juga orang putih, orang Afrika, orang Fiji, orang Gujerat, orang India, Punjabi, Bengali dan banyak lagi, terkorban dalam peperangan ini. Tidak dinafikan, Melayu juga banyak yang terkorban. Tetapi mereka bukannya satu-satunya golongan yang terkorban. 

Pokoknya, adakah pengorbanan golongan bukan Melayu diingati hari ini? Ada Melayu hari ini yang terpekik terlolong bahawa negara ini kepunyaan mereka. Mereka kata ini Tanah Melayu. Tetapi kita mungkin tidak ada negara yang kita ada hari ini tanpa pengorbanan bukan Melayu. Jika bukan kerana mereka, kita mungkin hanya satu wilayah Indonesia hari ini. 

Apabila Melayu bercakap tentang berkorban untuk negara, mereka selalunya menumpukan kepada tiga perang ini. Tetapi angka korban bagi perang adalah kecil berbanding dengan yang terkorban kerana berkhidmat untuk negara ini dalam aspek lain. Dan ini tidak termasuk yang menignnggal dunia kerana usia tua selepas menghabiskan seluruh hidup mereka di negara ini sebagai seorang rakyat. 

Tetapi bagaimana kita membalas budi mereka, dan anak-anak dan cucu-cucu mereka yang bukan Melayu? Kita menghina mereka (pendatang!). Kita mengancam mereka (jangan cabar Melayu!). Kita mendiskriminasi terhadap mereka (hak-hak Bumiputra!). Kita menindas mereka dan menganggap mereka sebagai rakyat kelas kedua. Kita tidak menghiraukan budi datuk nenek mereka yang menghabiskan hidup berbakti untuk negara kita. 

Jadi mereka berasa terkilan. Mereka berasa bahawa pengorbanan dan bakti datuk nenek mere tidak dihargai. Jadi mereka mengambil keputusan pergi ke negara lain di mana bakat mereka lebih dihargai. Mereka meninggalkan Malaysia kerana tidak tahan dengan kecaman “baliklah ke China atau India. Ini Tanah Melayu!”.

Siapa pengkhianat di sini? Adakah pengkhianat mereka yang berhijrah mencari kehidupan yang lebih baik seperti apa yang dilakukan oleh Nabi Muhammad? Atau pengkhianat mereka yang tidak mahu mengiktiraf pengorbanan dan jasa pendatang di Malaya dari tahun 1800-an ke 1900-an? 

Menteri Umno patut mengambil ujian sejarah sebelum mereka menjadi Menteri. Mereka juga patut mengambil ujian bohong setiap kali mereka membuka mulut mereka. 

Bak kata orang Melayu: bodoh suduh cukup teruk. Bodoh sombong tidak boleh dimaafkan. Dan Menteri Umno hanya satu: bodoh sombong.