Kedah’s Kassim Ahmad : Modern Day Hang Jebat

July 1, 2015

Kedah’s Kassim Ahmad : Modern Day Hang Jebat

by Shahril

Malay scholar and public intellectual Kassim Ahmad may have unwittingly cast himself into the role of Hang Jebat by his latest blog post.

kassim-ahmadAt 80+ he remains a fighter and seeker of Truth

In his 1964 dissertation, Perwatakan dalam Hikayat Hang Tuah, Kassim had dared to challenge traditional Malay thinking by contending that Hang Jebat, not Hang Tuah, was the true Malay hero for his earnestness in defending honour and principles, even if it meant turning against the Sultan.

Fast forward 51 years to last weekend, and we find Kassim challenging Malay thinking once again. The occasion this time was a press conference last Friday following a meeting of the UMNO Supreme Council. Party President Najib Razak told the gathered press that the 59-member council had decided to postpone UMNO’s general assembly and elections by another 18 months and that the decision complied with the party’s constitution.

The purpose, Najib said, was to enable the party “to focus on service to the rakyat, to reduce tensions within the party and to prepare for the 14th general elections.”

“The question UMNO members and the rakyat ought to ask,” Kassim writes, “is whether the reasons are valid. Will the general assembly prevent service to the people? Will it really be an obstacle in the party’s preparations for the next general election?”

“I think otherwise,” he says. “The general assembly will cure everything.” It will, he suggests, provide government leaders with a platform to brief delegates. It will also provide the delegates the opportunity to reprimand party elders and propose moves that the party should take.

“All this will only serve to improve service to the people and strengthen UMNO to face the next general election,” Kassim adds.

Kassim thinks that deferring the general assembly will only increase criticism of Najib’s administration.“It seems that Najib and the Supreme Council are afraid to face the delegates,” he says. “They appear intent on hiding certain weaknesses.”

“Yet, truth emboldens us while wrongs raise fears,” he says, adding that the UMNO leaders must be brave enough to receive constructive admonishment and suggestions from party delegates, claiming that it will strengthen the party and bring it greater victories in the future.

Malay folklore tells the tale of the covenant struck between Sang Sapurba, of royal descent, and local chief Demang Lebar Daun, who abdicated his throne in favour of the former.

Agreeing that his descendants shall henceforth be the subjects of Sang Sapurba and his descendants, Demang Lebar Daun made one request – that his descendants be treated well by their new rulers.

“If they offend,” Demang Lebar Daun was supposed to have said, “they shall not, however grave their offence, be disgraced or reviled with evil words. If their offence is grave, let them be put to death, if that is in accordance with the divine law.”

Sang Sapurba agreed. “In turn, your descendants shall never, until the end of time, be disloyal to my descendants, even if my descendants oppress them and commit evil.”

The pact was agreed to, but with the provision that if either side departed from the terms, so would the other.

Fast forward now to the age of Hang Tuah. Perhaps it was Sultan Mansur Shah who broke the pact when he sentenced the loyal Hang Tuah to death.

Raja adil raja disembah, raja zalim raja disanggah (A just king is a king to venerate, a despotic king is a king to repudiate),” Jebat bellowed as he ran amuck.

And so it is told that the Sultan, on learning that Tuah was still alive, summoned him and ordered the killing of Jebat. Tuah, ever loyal to the Sultan, obliged. Jebat, despite his loyalty to his comrade, would succumb. defines “democracy” as “a government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.”

Kassim Ahmad knows this. To him supreme power in UMNO lies with its delegates. Which is probably why he questioned the decision of the body which by name is supreme – the Supreme Council of UMNO – to cast aside the general assembly.

To him also, council members would have been like Tuah, showing misplaced loyalty to their leaders at a time when the people whom they were elected to serve had genuine concerns that needed to be addressed.

Who else then to play Jebat, anti-hero to the masses but defender of the honour and principles of true democracy? Stand proud, Pak Kassim. Hopefully, you will not stand alone.

UMNO tangguh Perhimunan Agung kerana Perdana Menteri Najib takut menghadapi kenyataan

Oleh: Kassim Ahmad

27 Jun, 2015

Dalam satu kenyataan semalam, Presiden UMNO Najib mengumumkan Majlis Tertinngi (MT) UMNO telah menangguh Perhimpunan Agung Tahunannya sehingga 18 bulan untuk menumpu kepada perkhidmatan kepada rakyat, mengurangkan ketegangan dalam parti serta membuat persediaan untuk mengahadapi pilihanraya umum ke-14.

Soalan yang perlu ditimbulkan oleh ahli UMNO dan rakyat, adakah Perhimpunan Agung menghalang perkara-pekarang yang disebut oleh Najib sebagai alasan penangguhan? Betulkah Perhimpunan Agung akan menghalang perkhidmatan kepada rakyat? Betulkah Perhimpunan Agung akan menghalang persediaan untuk menhadapi pilihanraya umum akan datang? Saya fikir sebaliknya. Perhimpunan Agung akan membaiki semua itu.

Najib the Bugus Warrior Bugis Ayam

Dalam Perhimpunan Agung, Presiden UMNO dan Perdana Menteri bersama-sama menteri-menteri lain boleh memberi taklimat kepada para wakil dan seterusnya kepada rakyat . Para wakil boleh menegur, bertanya dan memberi cadangan kepada ahli-ahli MT dan Jemaah Menteri. Ini semua akan membolehkan ahli-ahli MT dan Jemaah Menteri memberi perkhidmatan yang lebih baik kepada rakyat serta memperkuatkan UMNO untuk menghadapi pilihanraya umum akan datang.>

Sebaliknya, penangguhan akan menimbulkan banyak masalah dan menambah kritikan rakyat kepada kepimpinan Najib, seperti yang telah disuarakan oleh bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr. Mahathir.

Kita nampak Najib dan MT takut hendah menghadapi para wakil. Ada kelemahan-kelemahan yang hendak mereka sembnyikan dari para wakil dan rakyat. Tetapi, seperti kata pepatah, berani kerana benar, takut kerana salah. Kita nasihatkan beranilah berdepan dengan para wakil, sampaikan taklimat tentang keadaan Kerajann dan parti, terima teguran mereka yang membina dan cadangan mereka yang baik. Ini akan memperteguhan parti dan akan membawa parti mencapai kemenangan yang lebih besar di masa hadapan.

Saya membuat kritikan ini kerana saya sayang kepada UMNO. Saya juga ahli UMNO sejak 1986. Saya ahli, tetapi saya bukan pakturut. Tuhan Sendiri mengarah saya menyerukan kebaikan dan melarang kejahatan. Persis inilah yang saya kena lakukan. Saya harap Najib dan Majlis Tertinggi UMNO akan dengar kritikan saya.

KASSIM AHMAD seorang penulis bebas Malaysia. Lama web beliau


13 thoughts on “Kedah’s Kassim Ahmad : Modern Day Hang Jebat

  1. The whole world knows that postponing Umno B GA is to save his skin and to manipulate his way out of many scandals. Shame shame.
    Spot on UMNO leaders know that but they all have been bought.–Din Merican

  2. Its either Tuah or Jebat, they are both Malay character. Some Malays didnt even bother about their existence, and their character. They don’ believe in them either. Some fools declared they were of chinese hybrid. Really ? What about the “Silat” – chinese ? What about the famous Malays that could control the Jinn ? Nabi Sulaiman’s mukjizat, was no stranger to Jinn, Ants, Bees, Birds and Animals.

    In Islam we call “Fitrah Manusia” Against the ‘fitrah’ you’re no longer consider a ‘manusia’ . As in Solat, there are the “hukum Qauli and Fi’li” – Wajib. Without it or one of it, your solat is just a waste !

    And this time I agree with Pak Kassim. PM Najib must be brave and face the Umno members for the yearly PAU . This is the platform for the Malays, to express concerns and their problems. Its the fitrah. Its the Tuah and Jebat. Its the soul of Qauli and Fi’li. Its the common Malays. Its the common mankind in Islam, when doing the Haj ! No status for the period.

    Let it be Pahlawan Bugis, Tuah or Jebat. The Malays must once again, rise and back to the “FITRAH”. Most Malays have lost the SOUL, that have been traded to the world – “Rabbana Atinaa Fidunyaa Hassanah, Walfil Akhirati Hasanatau Wa Khina AzabanNar ”

    Modern days are of no meaning, if being secular or liberal or capitalist or communist, rejecting Islam The only One God Allah SWT and Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Innalillah wainna ilahirojiuun.

  3. Macbeth was hero and villain.

    Tuah and Jebat are faces on the same coin.

    The deeper meaning here or at least my interpretation of it, is that contemplating that coin in their hands, will Malays choose obedience or rebellion, the former for Malay unity the latter for Malay emancipation.

    Or will it be left chance or circumstance ?

    Individually or collectively, the narrative of the Malays continues but our future will be determined by this choice.

    All our stories tell greater truths but the journey is the discovery of those truths.

  4. Obedience or rebellion, Conrad?
    I think in a sense, given what was said in the first part of above – it’s blind loyalty versus sense of natural justice. Submission runs deep into the psyche of UMNOb – especially when it’s sweetened with honey and cash.

    Ability to do the ‘right thing’ is inversely proportional to the number of curves on their keris. The more belok, the more cowardly they become. That’s why the executioner’s keris is a straight blade used to pierce the subclavian artery and heart – just above the clavicle (collarbone).

    Forget about Hang this and that, i prefer a katana anyday:

  5. And Lady Macbeth…………wakakakakaka

    Lupus will tell you a bible stroy about jezebel, Ahab and Naboth’s vineyard

    Okay, Jezebel was far more beautiful than Rosmah

  6. ” Buat baik berpada-pada, buat jahat, jahat sekali ” – according to anonymous, that;s the latent or hidden meaning in the allegorical episode of Hang Tuah/Hang Jebat , to mean : there are limitations in life concerning human affairs, to not take advantage if kindness is showered ……

  7. Y’know, here’s the thing, when CLF writes something (and most everyone on this board), its an articulate counter view , opinion or just something interesting that brings a different perspective.

    But when this DAP apparatchik looes47 writes, it’s just nonsense if we are lucky, but more often misrepresentations or fabrications .

    So what if Kassim Ahmad said this, unlike your DAP masters and you, I have no problem with views that don’t conform with mine.

    Now I guess the usual DAP apparatchik MO, has turned to stalking.

    In the words of Sgt Elias (Platoon) , “…take a break. You don’t have to be a prick every day of you life, you know.”

  8. Conrad,
    See the simiiarities between Nixon and heheheheh……your beloved leader……Conrad, the sitgma of being Anwar’s myrmiddon will stick with you forever and ever

    Guys and Gals,
    If Kassim Ahmad is considered as Hang Jebat, Hunter S Thompson is the KING of Hang Jebat personified. Ask Hishamuddin Rais. Watch where the buffalo roam.

    I would prefer to be Hisham Rais apparatchik rather than RPK or Tian apparatchik

  9. looes47, of course you would prefer to be an apparatchik for Rais but that would mean serving a cause greater than your DAP masters who can’t really hold on to principles.

    I get that the DAP mandarins are worried because their agenda with PAS to hoodwink right thinking Malaysians through apparatchiks like you back fired in a spectacular way, much the same way the whole green movement and the Lynas issue were compromised by the DAP and their apparatchik Wong Tack, which left folks scratching their heads as to what happened.

    And trust me, my poor DAP apparatchik, Rais would have nothing to do with the likes of you. In fact I’d wager his lads , would die laughing if they thought someone like you was up for their cause. But keep dreaming.

  10. “Now I guess the usual DAP apparatchik MO, has turned to stalking.”

    Methinks, it fits the description of a Troll.
    Stalking trolls are like Tolkien’s version of Orcs’ – monomaniacal Gothic goblins.
    Just ignore the beast – as i’ve been doing all these years. They have their uses, although it may not be apparent now.

    Some folks here comment at the Consciousness level 0-1. Others at level 2.
    Let’s go at level 3. To each his own – as long as your self-awareness and the “I” remains intact. Din has always been a very fair and patient bloghost.
    Thanks, CLF. Some of the commenters must learn to think and write clearly. Overall, the standard is okay. I take time to edit and check grammar, tenses, typos and use of bad language. I am always conscious of the fact that the blog is read in 206 countries around the world. What we write tells others who we are.–Din Merican

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