"Education aims at independence of judgement. Propaganda offers ready-made opinion for the unthinking herd."

Assalamu'alaikum wbt dan salam sejahtera. Terima kasih kepada para pembaca yang masih setia mengikuti blog ini!
~ MOHAB (Blog layout versi 1 September 2014 - 17.07.2014 - 19 Ramadhan 1435)

Sabtu, Mei 24, 2008

Munshi Abdullah dan The First Malay Dilemma.

[Malay Dilemma yang terbit pada tahun 1970 itu bukanlah yang pertama. Sebenarnya sebelum itu sudah pun ada kisah Malay Dilemma ini - penulisnya si budak munsyi, juga penterjemah bibble Inggeris ke dalam bahasa Melayu yang pertama. Apa kata si budak munshi ini mengenai Melayu. Kita lihat sedikit biography si budak ini dan sedutan dari karangannya mengenai Melayu yang kononnya yang dia kenali...persoalan pertama mamat ni Melayu ke?]

updated: 25.05.08

Sedikit latar belakang.

Munshi Abdullah a.k.a Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir (b. 1797, Kampong Pali, Malacca - d. October 1854, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), son of Sheikh Abdul Kadir d. 1820 Malacca). He wrote the critically acclaimed "Hikayat Abdullah" which in Malay means the "Story of Abdullah". He was the first local to give a written account of everyday life in Malaya, published in 1849. For his early literary contributions, he was given the name, "The Father of Modern Malay Literature."

Father : Sheikh Abdul-Kadir (d. 1820)
Mother : a Malacca-born half-Indian, Selama (
d. 1826). She was the second wife of Abdul Kadir and they were married in 1785.
Siblings : Abdullah's first four elder brothers all died in infancy. Abdullah was the fifth son, but the first to have survived.

Children : Abdullah had four children from his marriage in 1815 to an unnamed woman (d. 17 May 1840). Towards the end of 1836 his favorite and only daughter died at the age of eight.

[Nota Penulis: Antara ciri2 yang menunjukkan ada sejarah yang tersembunyi adalah apabila watak atau kisah yang boleh menggugat itu dipadamkan dengan cara diatas - 'unnamed woman'. Bagaimana seorang yang mendapat gelaran Bapa Persuratan Melayu Moden tidak memberi nama isterinya sendiri,dan bagaimana dia boleh menulis sebuah hikayat sedangkan sejarah diri sendiri mahu disembunyikan?]

Stamford Raffles

In December 1810, Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Malacca and hired young Abdullah as interpreter to communicate with the native rulers in their language. Abdullah, the youngest employee, was one of the scribes and copyists preserving Malay literature and manuscripts, in the office. In his later book, "Hikayat Abdulah", Abdullah's diary accounts are the only eye-witness records of preparations for the British "1811 Java Invasion" expedition. Raffles had suggested taking him along but his mother refused to part with her only child. They were to meet nine years later in Singapore. He had a very high regard for Sir Stamford Raffles.

Missionary connection
In 1815, Reverend William Milne (
b. 1785 - d. 27May 1822 Malacca), a 'London Missionary Society' missionary arrived and started free Bible classes for local children which Abdullah attended, just to learn English. Rev. Milne soon discovered Abdullah's proficiency in Malay, and made him his teacher. Other Western missionaries followed, and Abdullah was kept busy teaching them Malay and translating the Gospels. Another missionary who arrived in September 1815, was a German, Rev. Claudius Henry Thomsen who became Abdullah's lifelong friend. He and Thomsen translated parts of the bible into Malay, and produced lots of other printed material. On 11 November 1818, Abdullah witnessed the foundation-stone laying of the Anglo-Chinese College building by the ex-Resident of Malacca, Major William Farquhar (later Resident of Singapore 1819-1823). Rev. Thomsen left for Singapore on 11 May 1822.

Sometime after June 1819, Abdullah came to Singapore to make a living as an interpreter. He taught Malay to Indian soldiers, British and American missionaries, and on occasion, was private secretary to Raffles. Some of the leading merchants like Edward Boustead and the Armstrong Brothers learnt Malay from Abdullah.

In the late 1830s he met assisted Rev. Benjamin Peach Keasberry in his school and Mission Press, and helped Rev. Keasberry to print a large number of books. Abdullah was engaged to assist him in polishing his Malay linguistic skills, and under Keasberry's guidance and encouragement, wrote his own life story. In 1840, he began writing the "Hikayat Abdullah" and continued writing his memoirs until September 1846.


Munshi Abdullah's Malay Dilemma.

When I had finished the first volume of this book, for some little time I gave myself up to thought because I felt that the period of my lifetime had witnessed so many wonderful changes and new things which our grand-parents had never seen. Such events provided me with much food for meditation.

I viewed with particular disfavour the lives led by the Malays and the circumstances of those with whom I had been acquainted. I had observed their conduct, behaviour and habits from my youth up to, the present time and had found that, as time went on, so far from becoming more intelligent they became more and more stupid. 

I considered the matter carefully in my mind and came to the conclusion that there were several reasons for this state of affairs, but that the main one was the inhumanity and the repressive tyranny of the Malay rulers, especially towards their own subjects. The point had been reached at which their hearts had become like soil which no longer receives its nourishment, and wherein therefore nothing at all can grow. Industry, intelligence and learning cannot flourish among them and they are simply like trees in the jungle falling which ever way the wind blows. I noticed that they were always railed by men of other races, small fry whose only value is to provide food for the big fry. 

...Another factor is the inability of the Malay rulers to look after their children when young. They allow them to do anything they like, give in to their every wish, and pay no attention to instructing them in the humanities, in modesty or a sense of shame, or in the elements of culture and courteous behaviour. All they do is to find small girls as playmates for their children when they are young and as their mistresses when they are older

They give then a keris, and the people of the country stand wholesome respect and awe of the rulers' children, not daring to refuse them anything. Fathers compete with their children in gambling and cock-fighting, giving them money if they require it. If the father smokes opium so does his child, and the older the child grows the more scandalous does his behaviour become. 

...Many are the places and lands which have been destroyed by the depredations of the young scions of the ruling house, whose rapacious hands can no longer be tolerated by the people. Other races, the English, the Indians, the Arabs or the Chinese, do not conduct themselves or behave in the manner I have described. Only the Malays. Among all these other races the ruler's children are expected to be well educated and very intelligent. 

...I am indeed amazed. If our rulers themselves are ignorant and uneducated how can they rule their people and administer their countries? And if they are wicked how can they expect to make their people good? If the Malay rulers do not keep their own children under control but allow them to prey upon the common people, how can they themselves exercise their authority over the people?  [Lagi]

[Nota Penulis: Tulisan diatas penuh dengan penghinaan dan prejudis yang melampau terhadap bangsa yang diberi nama melayu (khusus buat melayu - bukan etnik arab, china, boyan, acheh, banjar, bugis, siam dan lain2. Hanya untuk the Malays- melayu)

Baik, jika dilihat semula dari tahun kelahiran si budak munshi ni 1797 - masa itu konsep Malay Race telah pun disentuh oleh Johann Friedrich Blumenbach pada 1795 (1752-1840). Kedatangan si Stamford Raffles pada tahun 1810 ke semenanjung Melaka adalah untuk mengembangkan British Empire. Disinilah sibudak munshi itu berjaya mendapat kerja - penterjemah.  Budak ini opportunis dan amat menyanjungi si Raffle. 

Dalam tahun2 berikutnya si Raffle mencetuskan idea besar atau konsep 'the Malay Race - bangsa berasaskan bahasa. Sibudak munshi semasa itu telah pun bekerja sebagai agen penyambung lidah propaganda raffle - dia adalah setiausaha peribadi Raffle.

Satu kemuyskilan penulis, dalam pada Raffle sibuk2 membikin istilah melayu, sempat pula si budak munshi ini menulis kisah dilema melayu - mana si budak munshi ni dapat istilah bangsa melayu itu sedangkan Raffle baru sahaja memberi idea.."Raffles formed a vision of Malays as a language-based 'nation', in line with the views of the English Romantic movement at the time, and in 1809 sent a literary essay on the topic to the Asiatic Society".

Kata Raffle:

"I cannot but consider the Malayu nation as one people, speaking one language, though spread over so wide a space, preserving their character and customs, in all the maritime states lying between Sulu Seas and the Southern Oceans." - Stamford Raffles, 'On the Malayu Nation', Asiatic Researches, 12 (1816): 103

Jadi kata2 sibudak munshi:

"I had observed their conduct, behaviour and habits from my youth up to, the present time and had found that, as time went on, so far from becoming more intelligent they became more and more stupid" 

Datang dari mana pulak ? Siapa yang dia 'observed' selama ini? Melayu ke? Bangsa Melayu belum ada masa tu...konsep bangsa melayu ni mula dipertegaskan pada zaman stamford raffle je. (Sibudak munshi lahir : 1797, jumpa Raffel 1810 - masa umur dia 13 tahun, konsep melayu raffle 1816, masa tu sibudak munshi 19 tahun- jadi melayu mana yang dia 'observe' masa tu? atau dia mengada-ngadakan cerita ? kalau kita ambik 1809 sebagi tarikh essay raffle, lagi la sibudak ni belum jumpa si raffle lagi) 

Kalau begitu tidak salah jika penulis katakan disamping menjadi penipu, si budak munshi ini juga adalah barua stamford raffle dalam menulis dan mencanang istilah melayu itu ke merata2 tempat. Sehinggakan dia diberi gelaran 'Bapa Persuratan Melayu Moden' pengiktirafan oleh British. Suka betul bila tuan dia bagi pangkat! 

(Lagi persoalan: sebelum ini tak kan tiada sorang pun disemenanjung ini yang pandai menulis dan membaca? Sila refer balik kisah para Ulama Nusantara - sudah banyak kitab2 yang bagus2 kandungannya sudah ditulis sebelum tarikh sibudak munshi ini pandai membaca. Dan tulisan mereka menjadi rujukan umat2 Islam disini. Kenapa tidak di angkat mereka ini sebagai Pelopor Penulisan Melayu Moden? Mudah sahaja - kerana tulisan2 para ulama itu mendekatkan umat2 disini dengan Islam - Bristish anti Islam!

Kita mesti ingat, tulisan Jawi adalah berasaskan tulisan Arab - Al-Quran. Jika kita kata orang2 semenanjung ini buta huruf, maka kita menafikan kebolehan mereka membaca Al-Quran! Secara tidak langsung memutuskan pertalian umat2 disini dengan hukum2 dan pengetahuan bersumber Al-Quran dan Sunnah Rasul S.A.W.)

Si budak munshi ini lah juga melalui karangan2nya seperti di atas membayangkan dan mengkaitkan bangsa melayu ciptaan Raffle dengan berbagai perangai negatif dan tidak masuk akal. Penulisannya memberi kesan mendalam kepada perkembangan minda bangsa melayu yang baru lahir itu. Ok, cuba kita kata anak kita bodoh, baghal, lembab, pemalas, kaki judi, kaki betina, kaki tidur...lama2 memang dia akan jadi begitulah. 

Masalahnya mahu ke sibudak munshi ini mengaku melayu? Masa dia lahir dulu dia bangsa apa? Bangsa Melayu belum wujud lagi...nampak? Tiada satu pun yang membuktikan si budak munshi ni berbangsa melayu. Dia pun tak mahu digelar melayu gamaknya - sebab melayu itu bahasa!

Jika kita 'refer' balik pada manuskrip Undang-Undang Kedah 220 Hijrah, apa yang dapat kita pastikan, syariat Islam telah pun berjalan dibawah jajahan takluk Kedah. Jadi jikalau Undang2 Kedah itu berbahasa Melayu maka boleh kita andaikan sipengamal dan pemerintahnya (Sultan dan Raja Daerah) juga adalah Melayu, asasnya syariat Islam dan sunnah Rasul S.A.W, susun atur masyarakatnya sudah ada, ketamadunannya maju. Oleh itu apa beza Melayu Kedah dengan Melayu Melaka tempat sibudak munshi ini mengarok?

(update 120608: secara makronya, didalam tahun2 yang sama (1843) Marhum Melaka atau Ahmad Tajudin sedang berlindung di Melaka kerana takut dikerjakan Syed Alang Panglima Bukit Gantang kerana membocor rahsia Kota Meang Kuang kepada Thai 1821. Jadi kena sangatla 3 abdul ni stampot rafel+sibudak munshi + marhum melaka - bekumpul setempat di Melaka pada waktu dan tujuan yang sama - memutar belit sejarah!)

Jadi dimana kita hendak letakkan cerita The Malay Dilemma dan tafsir melayu yang dikatakan oleh sibudak munshi ini? Siapa sebenarnya yang dia maksudkan? Oleh itu, adakah masih kita ingin letakkan Melayu itu sebagai rumpun semua bangsa di nusantara ini, dengan meletakkan etnik2 lain seperti boyan, acheh, bugis, jawa, siam, arab, kerinci, minang dibawah tafsir melayu? Lepas itu diinjak2 maruahnya oleh dengan tuduhan2 tidak berasas. Adilkah itu? Kalau rumpun bahasa mungkin boleh diterima, tetapi semestinya bukan rumpun bangsa. 

Orang2 politik kita sering mengambil kisah budak munshi ini sebagai modal politik mereka - "mari kita buktikan bahawa melayu itu bangsa berdaulat, bukan bangsa pemalas seperti yang dichop oleh penjajah Inggeris...bersatulah melayu".  Bila kita kata begitu maka kita sebenarnya mengiyakan cerita sibudak munshi ini dan bersetuju dengan konsep bangsa melayu ciptaan si raffle!

Sebenarnya tiada apa yang hendak dibuktikan. Ikatan sebenarnya bukanlah bangsa melayu itu, ikatan sebenarnya adalah agama kita. Agama yang telah meletakkan asas ketamadunan bangsa dan peradaban mulia. Tanpa ikatan rumpun melayu atau konsep ketuanan melayu kita sebenarnya lebih bebas dan boleh lebih maju daripada apa yang kita ada sekarang. Sejarah itu dihapuskan dan kisahnya dinafikan oleh British dan sekutunya.

Kita hari ini resah apabila konsep ketuanan yang dicipta oleh Inggeris itu dicabar - ketahuilah konsep itu baru sahaja diadakan oleh British (Lord Reid) semasa mula hendak merdeka, dan konsep itu adalah sangat lemah dan palsu. Kita hari ini 'dituankan' oleh British dinegara ini hanya dengan konsep. Selagi kita menerima ketuanan bersifat konsep itu, selagi itulah kita akan sentiasa rasa 'insecure' dinegara sendiri.

Secara adat dan praktikalnya, 'tuan yang sebenar-benar tuan tidak perlu takut dengan hambanya'...dia boleh perbuat apa sahaja dikawasannya, nak cium cempedak-nangka, nak gali lubang, tanam pisang,  tidak perlu minta 'permission' dari sesiapa, ini cium keris (yang tidak tahu mana asalnya) pun nak minta maaf, ketuanan jenis apa itu?? 

(Sebenar pejuang tidak akan berundur langkah - berpantang maut sebelum ajal - malah mengundur tidak sekali. Ini baru kena sergah dah melutut minta ampun, harap keris je panjang, pejuang bangsa apa ini? Sia-sia Tok Janggut syahid tergantung! Bagi malu seluruh orang silat di Malaya-Nusantara ini! Kalau ada yang tidak malu, penulis tidak tahu nak cakap apa lagi...mesti pengampu besar lah tu. Baik buang sahaja keris dari logo tu...dulu masa nak buh keris masa nak buat 'sang saka', beria-ia sangat mengundi...sekarang apa dah jadi?)

Oleh itu para pembaca sekalian...jika masih mahu kekalkan identiti dan ketuanan melayu, seperti yang telah di baghal-baghalkan oleh penjajah Inggeris dan barua mereka, maka sudilah menerima dan menelan apa sahaja kata2 sibudak munshi dan stamford raffle seterusnya disambung pula oleh Frank Swettenham, simulut manis. Kerana konsep bangsa Melayu ini dicipta tujuannya memang untuk diperlekehkan. 

Jika ditanya, bangsa melayu sejati itu asalnya mana? Daerahnya mana? Maka percayalah tiada seorang pun yang boleh menjawab dengan tegas...jika ada penulis ingin sekali berjumpa dan merakam sejarahnya! (sila lihat melayuonline.com kalau tidak percaya - awasi cerita dongeng rakyat!)

Maka dengan itu, bermuafakatlah wahai pemimpin2 dan cerdik pandai 'melayu' sekalian, pertahankanlah konsep Bangsa Melayu itu, pertahankanlah juga idea stamford raffle dan baruanya si budak munshi! Selagi konsep melayu itu ditegakkan selagi itulah  Melayu dalam Dilemma, sampai bila-bila. 

Selamat maju jaya.]

Sumber: Singapore Infopedia - Singapore National Library (accessed 23.05.08)

The Malays : Sabrizain (accessed 23.05.08)

Abdullah Abdul Kadir, Munshi. (1969). The Hikayat Abdullah: The autobiography of Abdullah Abdul Kadir, 1797-1854 (pp. 1, 5-26, 31-40, 48-56, 73-75, 103-111, 121, 309). Singapore: Oxford University Press. 

(Call no.: R SING 959.51032 ABD) 

Buckley, C. B. (1984). An anecdotal history of old times in Singapore: 1819-1867 (pp. 28-29, 321, 354, 557). Singapore: Oxford University Press.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 BUC)


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