Thursday, July 8, 2010

MUSTAPHA HUSSAIN

Currently I am in the middle of completing a short documentary on the above mentioned person. If you don't know him, it's okay. Not many knew of him unless they've read or bought his memoirs entitled MALAY NATIONALISM BEFORE UMNO.Even people in his own hometown of Matang where I went yesterday to interview his 80-plus year old brother Osman, no one knew who he was. Not even the staff of the Matang Museum where another national hero was once imprisoned, hanged and buried - Ngah Ibrahim. The museum is only 100 meters away from the house of Mustapha's birth and his old house.
Mustapha Hussain, who passed away in 1986, is one person who all Malaysians, especially the Malays, should know about. Who he was, and what he did in the struggle for our country's independance. Some say his leftist views was his bane but I disagree.
Ibrahim Yaakob, who I believe was a traitor to Malaya, is somehow more revered and given more space in our history books than Mustapha Hussain.
Ibrahim, for local history buffs, is one of the founder members of the first Malay 'political' group Kesatuan Melayu Muda (which was a front for the real meaning of the group - Kesatuan Malaya Merdeka). Mustapha was the vice-president.
Ibrahim was also the proponent of Indonesiaraya or Melayuraya - a country that was supposed to include Malaya, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore.
He left Malaya after the war, became a banker and politician in Indonesia under the pseudonym Iskander Kamel and was given a hero's burial there.
Like Mustapha, who stayed on in Malaya, never agreed to many of Ibrahim's ideas. Mustapha is deemed a threat to security, imprisoned by the British after the war, barred from teaching and lived a simple life.
Unknown to many, he was actually an UMNO member during the early days of the party. When Onn Jaafar resigned as president, his friends invited Mustapha to compete for the post. Without money and influence, Mustapha knew it would be a tough battle. Surprisingly, he lost the election to Tunku Abdul Rahman by ONE vote.
To his dying day, according to his family, his love for the country and its peoples never abated. He cared more for the poor and the disadvantaged.
For all his efforts, he only received the AMP medal from the Perak Sultan in the 80s for his heroic role in saving the lives of 400 Malays from Changi prison at the beginning of the war.
After interviewing his family, especially his brother Osman in Matang, I wrote the following in his memory.

ODE TO A HERO

They were not Kings nor Princes

Nor were they Lords nor Masters,

They were Malays,

Simple folks

Teachers, Farmers, Mechanics, Labourers.

Since time immemorial,

They look up to the people seated up high,

Caste is caste, and caste is acceptable once.

Our land, our Tanah Melayu,

Rich in minerals and tin,

And rubber.

The new Masters brought in

and invited the others, at 40 sen a day,

To work, to toil and be exploited,

for the rich to share its riches.

The teachers, the farmers, the mechanics, the labourers,

They just look on.

See their land as chess pieces,

Sacrificed to others for gold and opium

For cash and riches.

The "lazy Malays" kept on smiling,

with only rice on their plates

and some salt and some vegetables.

They were happy.

The rich play with the rich

And the whites play the rich

And the rich play out the people.

The rising sun threw the rays over the Tanah Melayu,

The Union Jack ran away

Tail between its legs.

The rising sun opened the eyes of some.

They now see the white invincibility a myth.

They realise that maybe,

Somehow maybe

The time has come

For them to rule the land of their forefathers.

The riches to returned to them.

The land theirs once again.

The land lost to others, may it be white, yellow, black or pink,

But the rising sun rose to soon,

And then began to set,

Leaving a bloody trail.

And with the setting sun,

Three stars rose,

With lead bullets and steel blades,

They rose to challenge the Union Jack.

It was a confusing time,

But for a few souls who wanted all these to end,

Who wanted Tanah Melayu to be what it should be,

Some resorted to the three stars,

Some resorted to take it to the people.

Some resorted to sleeping with the enemy.

The Kings and Princes kept quiet.

As long as their positions were respected,

As long as their dynasties were protected,

And the Union Jack kept them happy.

And they were pleased.

They also assume the masses respect them.

They know that there will be no Jebats amongst them.

Orang Melayu pantang menderhaka!

Malays, who were once prevented from gaining knowledge,

Or even to receive full education began to read.

Trotsky, Nehru, Bose, Hitler.

Tale of Two Cities, Three Musketeers and many others.

Some went left, others went right.

A few went Red.

But the ideals are one.

Merdeka Merdeka Merdeka.

And Mustapha was one of them.

A teacher. A simple man. A family man.

And a man with a plan.

He maybe left, but then again isn’t everyone’s heart is on the left?

Being anti British he was deemed a threat.

His friends were incarcerated. Somehow, he escaped.

It was then that the rising sun came.

He and friends were released.

The rising sun left, and they were incarcerated again.

This time he cannot escape.

Without a trial, he was thrown in prison in Batu Gajah.

When released, he was not allowed to teach,

He lost his job and struggled with his family.

His family that loved him

As a father, a husband and a true Malayan.

One wonders why we praise Tok Janggut, Mat Salleh,

Tok Naning, Ngah Ibrahim, Bahaman, Tok Gajah, Maharajalela,

Dato Sagor for being anti-British,

and yet

Those who took the same stance in the 40s and 50s

are considered enemies of Malaya.

Enemies of the state.

Enemies of the people.

Enemies of history.

Unless you sleep with the enemy, you are the enemy.

It really doesn’t matter that you and your friends were the first to rise,

and sowed the seeds of Merdeka.

It doesn’t matter that it was you and your friends who first shouted

Merdeka Merdeka Merdeka!

It was you who had family members

die in the war fighting for freedom.

A brother who remained missing after the war.

Another slain by the three red stars.

No one sheds tears for them any more.

No one sheds tears for you.

To the victor, a new history.

Power and riches beyond imagination.

To the vanquished, a small plot of land

A cold slab. For the lucky few, a footnote.

But for those who know the truth,

We salute you.

We shed tears for your bravery,

For your sacrifice,

for your struggle.

We know our true heroes.

We know our fellow men.

Sleep well our true Wira Merdeka.

Where there’s injustice,

there will always be another you.

We agree with those who knew you

And called you Bayu.

Today, from now on, I too call you Bayu.

Bapa Melayu.

5 comments:

fadliahmad said...

Kalau kau yang buat dokumentari "Bayu Merdeka" di Saluran Astro Awani pada bulan merdeka lepas salut aku untuk kau.Sungguh aku menangis dengan kisah Mustapha Hussein yang diceritakan,

Kisah Mustapha Hussein yang disisihkan oleh Ibrahim Yaakob selepas Jepun mengambil kuasa di Malaya.Juga pengorbanan Mustapha Hussein dalam tuntutan kemerdekaan Malaya dari British tapi bila British berjaya diusir keluar dia tiba-tiba jadi yang tersisih.Dan ramai orang mengangkat Ibrahim Yaakob selaku pejuang sedang dia menyisihkan Mustapha Hussein.


Sejarah memang kadangkala merakamkan kisah yang menang sahaja.Yang kalah akan tersisih dan disisih.

Banyak-banyak terima kasih atas dokumentari itu kalau betul kau yang buat.

anwardi said...

Terimakasih. Sayangnya walaupun saya yang buat dokumentari Bayu Merdeka saya rasa banyak lagi cerita perjuangan kemerdekaan yang tidak dirakamkan. Ya MH merupakan tokoh kemerdekaan yang patut disanjungi tetapi ramai lagi yang tersisih. Cerita Bayu Merdeka juga tidak sempurna, banyak lagi aspek perjuangan MH yang tidak boleh dipaparkan dalam slot 30 minit. Insyallah, pembikin dokumentari lain dapat meneruskan perakaman sejarah tanah air yang sebenar tanpa segan tanpa waswas. Terima kasih atas komen saudara, tetapi mungkin terimakasih juga patut diberikan kepada keluarga MH yang turut menjayakan dokumentari tersebut. TK.

sallehuddin said...

Tahniah atas kejayaan awal menerbitkan "Bayu Merdeka". Saya masih terus mengadakan sesi sembang warisan dengan Pak Cik Osman dan beliau turut teruja dengan hasil seni tuan.
Dengan pengumunan terkini tentang matapelajaran Sejarah di PWTC maka saya yakin usaha kita akan membantu menyedarkan rakyat dan pemimpin tentang pentingnya PENGHAYATAN SEJARAH.
Saya disarankan oleh Pak Chik Osman untuk bertemu tuan dan InsyaAllah ada kesempatan kita boleh bertemu berkongsi pengalaman untuk merealisasikan PROOGRAM ADAPTASI BUKU yang sedang saya usahakan

BaitiBadarudin said...

Salam Sdr Anwardi,
Saya sedang menyusun bahan untuk blog saya dan jenuh mencari bahan tentang ra'ayat trading di ipoh pada awal 1950an.
Arwah bapa saya sering menyebut tentang sumbangan ayah sdr kpd penerbitan sykt tersebut tapi saya tak jumpa maklumat dalam talian.
Jika sdr tahu serba sedikit, sila maklumkan.
Terima kasih.

Ramanathan said...

Thank you for writing about Mustapha Hussain and working on the documentary.
I have just discovered Mustapha Hussain, and I am inspired by him.
I am also shocked that he is so little known.
I have written 4 blog posts about him, and will probably write several more. This is the first: http://write2rest.blogspot.com/2011/05/mustapha-man-who-was-nearly-president.html
How can I view your documentary?