A by-election has ignited a heated historical and cultural debate.
UMNO accused Mohd Nizar of going against the will of the Sultan, and is the traitor of the Malay community.
And Anwar refuted that Nizar was actually Tun Perak, a loyal official of great wisdom.
whether Nizar is a traitor or a loyal official, the issue will nevertheless have a major bearing on the outcome of the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election, while putting the value system of the Malay society to real test.
Let’s take a ride back in history to the Melaka Sultanate.
The Melaka Sultan believed in the slanderous remarks against Hang Tuah, that he had an intimate relationship with one of the maids in the palace, and wanted to put him to death.
Prime minister Tun Peark held Hang Tuah in very high esteem because of the latter’s talents. He didn’t want to put Hang Tuah to death, but was not bold enough to openly defy the order of the Sultan. So he secretly kept Hang Tuah in Ulu Melaka.
Later, Hang Tuah’s buddy Hang Jebat wanted to take revenge against the killing of Hang Tuah and stormed the palace, defeating the guards and advancing towards the Sultan.
At that critical moment, Tun Perak called in Hang Tuah; and after a tough fight, Hang Tuah killed Hang Jebat and saved the life of the Sultan as well as the Melaka Sultanate.
Until today, the Malay community is still mentally struggling in the intricate relationship between Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat.
Calling itself the guardian of the Malay society, UMNO rigidly adheres to the orthodox historical viepoints, insisting that the Sultan must never be offended and that Hang Tuah was the national hero.
Recent political developments in the country have brought UMNO closer to the royalty, vowing to defend the 3Rs–Race, Religion and Royalty.
Under the framework of such a three-in-one mindset, UMNO wants to exercise its dominance over the thinking of the Malay society.
Nizar defied the Sultan’s decision, and that has sunken him deeply into the “traitor” quagmire.
Anwar, meanwhile, is well versed in history, and undersands the game of historical debates. Nizar needs Anwar to deliver him out of the siege.
Anwar did not compare Nizar with Hang Jebat, for Hang Jebat’s image was too radical to be accepted by the conservative Malay society.
He instead brought up Tun Perak as a portrait of Nizar. Tun Perak defied the order of Melaka Sultan by not putting Hang Tuah to death, and that was done for the well-being of the Sultan as well as the Melaka Sultanate.
He was not a traitor, but a truly wise and loyal official.
The Sultan could have oversights sometimes, and as a loyal official, one must never abide by all the Sultan’s orders blindly.
We must be able to adapt ourselve and act conscientiously for the well-being of the entire nation. (By TAY TIAN YAN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)