The Raja-raja Melayu and Sun Tzu’s Art of War

By the way, I have a suspicion that prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob may also be a student of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Just a suspicion, mind you, if you know what I mean.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Sun Tzu’s book on the Art of War makes interesting reading and helps you see things clearly when you think you are facing a mental block and am not sure what to do because your adversaries appear overwhelming.

I have posted below some of the more interesting quotes from Sun Tzu’s Art of War. There are many more, of course, and what I posted below are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Around 40 years ago (the year when Anwar Ibrahim abandoned PAS and joined Umno), he and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad set in motion their agenda to abolish the monarchy (the Raja-Raja Melayu) and turn Malaysia into a republic like Indonesia and Philippines (or like India, Mahathir’s and Anwar’s homeland).

And we know this not because we are guessing but because certain pro-monarchy people had penetrated Mahathir’s and Anwar’s inner circle back in 1982 when Anwar joined Umno and contested the post of Umno Youth Leader.

The problem is the Malays are feudalistic. In fact, the very reason Umno was created in 1946 was to defend Malaysia’s feudal system and oppose the British plan to turn Malaysia into a pseudo-republic called the Malayan Union. (Shshshsh…most Umno people do not know this — they think Umno was formed to fight for Merdeka)

However, Mahathir’s and Anwar’s first attack (1st Constitutional Crisis) on the monarchy failed. So they had to retreat, lie low, and launch a second attack (2nd Constitutional Crisis) a couple of years later. Even then the second attack (2nd Constitutional Crisis) achieved very little and was more window-dressing than substance (mere bells and whistles).

Mahathir launched what he called Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) in 1991 just before he launched the second attack (2nd Constitutional Crisis) on the Raja-Raja Melayu. The plan was, by 30 years’ time, meaning by 2021, the monarchy would no longer exist, and Malaysia would be a republic.

Malaysia’s monarchy was living on borrowed time. By 2021, or by the end of Wawasan 2020, there would no longer be any Raja-Raja Melayu. In short, the sons of the Raja-Raja Melayu of the 1980s would not inherit the throne.

Today, 30 years later, the Raja-Raja Melayu of the 1980s are gone. Those currently on the throne are the successors. And the fact they succeeded the throne that was supposed to be abolished by 2021 did not happen by accident. It happened because the Raja-Raja Melayu studied Sun Tzu’s book on the Art of War.

And how did the Raja-Raja Melayu manage to save the throne that was supposed to not exist any longer today? Well, if you do not understand how, and still need to ask, then you are too dumb for me to waste my time on you.

Okaylah, let me give you a hint. Who are the greatest threats to the Raja-Raja Melayu? The politicians, right? And, today, are the politicians not badly divided, weak, and fighting each other, inter-party and intra-party? And if you are still puzzled, go play in the corner by yourself.

By the way, I have a suspicion that prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob may also be a student of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. Just a suspicion, mind you, if you know what I mean.

Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

All warfare is based on deception.

To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

(Sun Tzu on the Art of War).