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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Malay Magna Carta

Malays under siege?

Sang Sapurba is the primordial Malay prince. The father of Malays. The original king. He is said to be descended from Alexander the great and related to King Solomon.

In order to create his line of progeny, Sang Sapurba chose to marry a princess. Each princess after having consummated the marriage would develop a fatal skin disease and die. This greatly troubled Sang Sapurba until he meets up with the character, Demang Lebar Daun. If Sang Sapurba is the primordial Malay ruler, Demang Lebar Daun must be the archetypal PM.

Like all good subjects, Demang Lebar Daun offered his beautiful daughter’s hand in marriage. The marriage however has its primordial pre-nuptial agreement. No, the agreement is not between the bride and bridegroom- but between the groom and the father in law.

Dan bila Raja itu meminta mana-mana Raja yang punya anak untuk dikahwinkannya, ramailah Raja yang memberikan anak perempuannya kepada Sang Sapurba tetapi selepas pasangan itu berhubung kelamin, dengan tidak bersebab isteri Raja itu akan terkena penyakit kulit yang berbelang-belang, sehingga sampai ke 40 orang anak Raja yang dikahwini oleh Sang Sapurba, kesemua selepas ditiduri mengidap penyakit yang sama, dan semua ditinggal atau diceraikan oleh Sang Sapurba.

Sehingga Demang Lembar Daun sanggup menyerahkan anak perempuannya yang cantik jelita untuk dikahwinkan dengan Sang Sapurba tetapi dengan bersyarat jika Sang Sapurba sanggup membuat perjanjian dengannya. Maka ditanya oleh Sang Sapurba: Apa yang dikehendaki oleh bapa ku itu?"

Maka sembah Demang Lebar Daun. 'Adapun Tuanku segala anak cucu patik sedia akan jadi hamba ke bawah Duli Yang Di Pertuan; hendaklah ia diperbaiki oleh anak cucu duli Tuanku. Dan jika ia berdosa, sebesar-besar dosanya pun, jangan difadihatkan, dinista dengan kata-kata yang jahat; jikalau besar dosanya dibunuh, itu pun jikalau berlaku pada hukum syarak'

Maka di persetujui oleh Sang Sapurba akan perjanjian itu dengan Demang Lebar Daun yang mewakili rakyat terbanyak berbangsa Melayu tetapi Sang Sapurba pula meminta satu janji dengan Demang Lebar Daun..

Maka sembah Demang Lebar Daun, 'Janji yang mana itu, Tuanku?' Maka titah Sang Sapurba, 'Hendaklah pada akhir zaman kelak anak cucu bapa hamba jangan durhaka pada anak cucu kita, jikalau ia zalim dan jahat pekerti sekalipun'

Maka sembah Demang Lebar Daun, Baiklah, Tuanku. Tetapi jikalau anak buah Tuanku dahulu mengubahkan dia, maka anak cucu patik pun mengubahkanlah'

Maka titah Sang Sapurba, 'Baiklah, kabullah hamba akan waadat (perjanjian) itu'

The conference of rulers was held recently. It came out with a communiqué. It was an unprecedented one. For it would suggest the very foundations of the state- i.e. the position of Malay rulers, religion, language and finally the social contract between the races be preserved.

It calls upon the Malays to be united to defend all these.

Is Malay unity under siege?

Now, sakmongkol may be thick in his history, but if this original contract between the ruler and his subject is read, sakmongkol’s understanding is as follows:-

Obeisance and loyalty are a two way transaction. The rulers hold their part of the bargain and the Malay rakyats hold the other part of the bargain.

Has anything occurred to render the original contract between the two parties so as to induce the conference of rulers come out with this unprecedented communiqué?

Maka sembah Demang Lebar Daun, 'Janji yang mana itu, Tuanku?' Maka titah Sang Sapurba, 'Hendaklah pada akhir zaman kelak anak cucu bapa hamba jangan durhaka pada anak cucu kita, jikalau ia zalim dan jahat pekerti sekalipun'

Maka sembah Demang Lebar Daun, Baiklah, Tuanku. Tetapi jikalau anak buah Tuanku dahulu mengubahkan dia, maka anak cucu patik pun mengubahkanlah'

Maka titah Sang Sapurba, 'Baiklah, kabullah hamba akan waadat (perjanjian) itu'

Recently we heard about the ruler of Negeri Sembilan being ordered by the court to pay RM1 million credit facility which he owed. After the mini constitutional crisis sometime ago, the rulers of Malaysia created a special court to adjudicate disputes involving Malay rulers. The idea of creating a special court is not unique and novel in Malaysia- the military has it special courts to try its officers and officer corps are bought before special military tribunals. Judges are brought before their own tribunals where they are tried before their peers.

In placing these special people before special courts, what we are doing is to honour own sense of propriety – of doing things the right way. And sakmongkol thinks, by judging the Negeri Sembilan ruler by the court of the rulers is honouring our sense of propriety and probity.

The primordial contract between the ruler sang sapurba and the rakyat/Demang Lebar Daun can also be considered as the Malay Magna Carta( the one the Brits did at Runnymede). It laid down the rules of conduct between the ruler and the ruled.

By the terms of the primordial agreement, a ruler must conduct himself with decorum and probity at all times. Sakmongkol does not think the private matter between the ruler and chartered bank constitutes a violation of this primordial charter between the ruled and ruler. He is already being made accountable for his personal conduct.

What troubles Sakmongkol is the underlying uneasy feelings that can be felt by various assaults of the institution of rulers, their rights, language, religion, Malay position – do these constitute a repudiation of the obligations of the people? And by keeping quiet or even agreeing gleefully to all these, are we giving our countenance?

While the ideas of justice and all that, are universal and are acceptable by almost everyone, isn’t it possible that all of that idealism and feelings of piousness that accompany such calls to level the playing field as it were, are nothing but smokescreen to hide out truer feelings? And the truer feeling is, we assault these institutions as a means of getting back on the Malays? In the end its just that- the humiliation on the Malays is complete once you attack the institutions that define them- monarchy, religion, culture and language. Analyse that.

Take away these, where is the Malay?


Omong 19 October 2008 at 10:16  

let's preserve and protect the endangered culture

it is in accordance with world heritage principles

Anonymous,  19 October 2008 at 13:41  

Who actually attacked the status of the Malay royalty? Wasn't it Tun Mahathir who striped them of their power?

If I remember correctly.

Crystal 19 October 2008 at 16:20  


"develop a fatal skin disease and die" ≠ "mengidap penyakit yang sama, dan semua ditinggal atau diceraikan"
it should be: "ditinggal atau diceraikan Sang Sapurba = jilted or divorced by Sang Sapurba" (who by the way must have been the carrier of some infectious STD. hahaha)

Just thought that since you are interpreting others' actions & more directly, political views, you ought to begin by reading & translating texts properly first. Those not having the privilege of understanding BM would've taken your version of the legend. Nowadays we have too many eager beavers jumping to conclusions without taking whole perspectives.

crystal sapphire

walla 19 October 2008 at 17:49  

A maths guy was walking along a pavement when the piano fell on him.

After he got up, he found that he had lost his skill of manipulating numbers. Walking unsteadily forward, a paper flew and stuck itself to his face. He took it and read the front page. It was this nationally celebrated post by one going by the strange name of sakmongkol (why? is he a thai? how did he get his mykad? and so on..). After reading it, he tried to use his maths knowledge to analyze it. He failed. But his train of thoughts choo-chooed along as follows:

The elements of monarchy, religion, culture and language are those of tradition. When we say we defend them, we are saying we defend the passed-down notions of tradition. Tradition is served by time. The more time has passed, the older the tradition, which by its very definition gains more value. For example, think Kopitiam in a mall of fusion food joints.

Yet tradition is also threatened by time. In today's time, the primary driving force happens to be economics, which in its carnal essence is about the utilization of time, for even if i have all the resources of the world, i will suffer opportunities foregone if i don't use them in minimum and at the right time. After all the world operates by one equation - the minimization of opportunity costs. For instance, computer time is transaction of bytes. One byte equals eight bits or alphabetical characters. If one language takes ten bytes to string a sentence and another language takes nine bytes to string another sentence that delivers the same meaning, then by the above equation so mentioned, the second language surpasses the first in today's time imperative. And since today's world is all about waste not increasingly scarce resources, the first language is threatened by the very thing that creates its value.

So we have tradition gaining value by time and yet threatened to be cannibalized by it.

Bimodal management is sought. The ability to manage seemingly contradicting and opposing trends happening at the same time:

A, stop time. Stop the forces that move this world. Change the world. Bring it around to a setting that allows the old traditions to be valued and enhanced without being cannibalized. Stop what those philistines call 'progress'.

B, cocoon the people. Erect the new walls of Troy. Stop all trojan horses at the gates. Start a new archery program. Aim only for the heels.

C, change tradition to suit today's time.

D, change the people.

E, all of the above.

F, none of the above.

(this question was rejected by the examination board for the recent Kemahiran Hidup PMR paper on grounds of potential flashpoint protest by stressed-out parents).

While lost in the reverie of his own thoughts, our friend bumped into someone along the pavement. A poet. To be precise, a buxomic she-poet with the eyes of normala samsuddin. And coincidentally, this poet was also reading sakmongkol's post. Hah, talk about luck!

Anyway, she saw he was reading "him" and offered her points of view on the matter:

Everything all the millions of people who have come and gone over the ages have learnt about life is just this: the appreciation of intangibles. That's why the mathematical economist can assign precise values to a thing called goodwill, she clarified.

Tradition is an intangible. It's not about what is. It's about what should be, she adds mysteriously. When we talk about monarchy, we are talking about the notion of monarchy as a uniting symbol of the spirit of a nation. When we talk about religion, we are talking about the notion of religion passed down from generation after generation of believers in an unbroken line of faith that has stood the test of time for the very strength it draws from making the leap from the seen into the unseen. When we talk about culture, we are talking about continuity not just from our nenek-moyangs but also from their nenek-moyangs so that in the very fragility of this life that we hold today in our hands, so that in the very insane wave after wave of changes that beat the shores of our senses every second of the day, we can still have safe harbor for tired and lost ships. When we talk about language, it is not of us using it today but of its voice echoing from the past to this present. Aren't they worth defending, she pleads?

Deadpan (because he has a headache and wants to run look for a seven-eleven), he answers:

But if you don't have food in your stomach, how can you have the strength to defend monarchs, practice religions, polish cultures and use languages?

Have faith in tradition, she replies. And that is my equation, she adds.


Maybe the answer is F.

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi 19 October 2008 at 21:23  


your answer is more eloquent and definitely better than my short piece. i find myself at a loss on how to respond. i have to think through this one...certainly yr formidable response deserves utmost respect.

mamasita 19 October 2008 at 21:32  

Walla..I am dazed!Terlalu high-class sampai I tak faham!So what are you?Surgeon?Scientist?Genenal Manager of a multi-national corporation?Waaaaaah!

walla 19 October 2008 at 22:00  

sakmongkol and mamasita, both of you are too kind and represent the best spirit of the Malay people which has endeared me to come here everyday.

in fact, i just came back from Amcorp Mall in the rain hoping to meet you somewhere ..heard you would be there but wasn't sure yesterday or today, or even how to recognize you.

sakmongkol, allow me to say what you've written in this post is very important; when i read it, i understood immediately the plight of the Malays but without the words that you had used so eloquently to describe it. You connected the dots.

mamasita, unfortunately i am not any one of those you've so generously ascribed to me. But i want to add that i've been helping knowledgewise the surgeons at IJN.

In fact, that's where i had also met His Highness the Sultan of Negri Sembilan as His Highness was walking to see Her Highness. A grandfatherly figure with a kindly face who acknowledged my salutations as a small subject of our Monarchs. I still think his name should not have been dragged into the courts of the commoner. The Monarchy is not just an institution in this hurry-burry world. It represents the identity and anchor of the Malays, as much the symbol of our nation.

thank you.

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi 19 October 2008 at 22:34  

dear walla,
we will be back in kl this weekend. hopefully we can call you up to meet. btw- have you got an e mail so that we can inform you ahead?
so sorry you had to brave the rain to meet up with us.
ps. we are going to kl again, for my nephew's engagement.
thank you and with warmest regards/sakmongkol and mamasita

walla 19 October 2008 at 23:00  

I cannot find your email in this blog to email you my number (;P) so i will post here one of the emails i use by which we can communicate;

Of course i shall consider it an honor to meet you and mamasita:

jsterman (at)

(change 'at' to @ )

I will be up north day after, but hope to be back by friday evening.

sakmongkol AK47 aka Mat Tomoi 19 October 2008 at 23:15  


my email is

Anonymous,  20 October 2008 at 04:44  

"related to King Solomon."

Just watched an anime and a character said behind all the justifications (in politics) lie vested interests.

Someone else famously said politics is the battle of personal interests disguised as a battle of principles.

I find this two to be quite accurate. The poor idealists battling in Keadilan for Anwar and his empire...

Anonymous,  20 October 2008 at 04:46  


Sorry but I need to say it straight.
It's high TIME Tuanku Jaafar is made to pay his debts...


Apocryphalist,  20 October 2008 at 09:33  


I came from KijangMas’ DemiNegara blog, sometimes voicing up as some insignificant “wah-wah” background chorus to the main singing vocals there. There is an immediate problem which, when sliced crosswise, goes like this: the malay society is facing a predicament never before seen in its annals, especially with the advent of technologies that crush the constraints of time and space and disseminate information on events, happenings, thoughts and ideas at the speed of whizzing photons. Misinformation and bigotry has already been disseminated to the world out there regarding us. Our race, our nation, our religion have been portrayed as doctrinaire and fiendishly partisan to the world out there by those who had caught the rein of this technology earlier, while we weren’t looking and busy with AFUNDI.

And you guys here are more interested in linguistic gymnastics and verbal diaorrhea?

Where are the malay intellectuals that are supposed to be defending the nation against these false rhetorical onslaughts? Click on the MSN network everyday on Malaysia. What do you read? News of Dissent, as though they are the main voices of the nation.

How about we spend more RESOURCES (time, effort, etc) on more meaty discussions of salient issues than in vain poetics of sentence building? Our mediocre Kalsom or vanilla Ripin comes in here, searches for info about what the fuss is all about on all this Social Contract thing and his brain gets lethargic reading all these writers attempting to outdo each other in pompous displays of gab. At least kalau dia masuk Malaysia Today he could identify with those lunatic bigotries laced with the kind of bahasa they are so familiar with, mencarut or no mencarut.

I appreciate the well-researched factuals and the historical underpinnings of events (irrespective of interpretations) in these pages. Your article on the Eurocopter insights I have used as the lone argument to dispel against the sligshots aimed at the next Prime Minister, in whatever individual capacity I could afford. And I will hope for more researched factuals like that. How about the Altantuya case? And others. You do the sleuthing and we will use them to fight those bigots out there who so conveniently fuse political corruptions with the malay gene, thereby ruffling MY feathers.

But when you guys start to slap your backs and congratulate each other on who can build the next sentence that can confuse our mediocre Kalsom and vanilla Ripin more, then there is something wrong here. Pujangga Iqbal once likened the muslims as

“seperti ombak di lautan, berbunyi hanya bila terhempas di pantai”

In the case of us linguistic malays, perhaps we also berbunyi. But at the wrong place and time. No?


msleepyhead,  20 October 2008 at 09:57  

Of late, there has been many attempts to break down the Malay race - Aceh, Jawa, Bugis, Sulu, etc.

Well, if the Chinese, with all the expanse of it motherland and various ethnicities - Han, Mongol, and hundreds of tribes, can unite under the same banner, it's no different that 'Malays' can do the same here in Malaysia.

Still, guess perception is everything in this world, and when the UMNO leaders claim that the Malay race is still behind and needs protection, economically or otherwise, while living lavish lifestyles themselves with money that seems to flock to them automatically, makes it tough for the ordinary folks to understand what the fuss it's all about.

At least in Europe, the monarchs are tourist attractions.

JiwaAmdanNegara 20 November 2011 at 21:56  

Qin (Chin) Shih Huang-De established the Qin (Chin) dynasty, then united all the then disparate yellow tribes of North East Asia into the Qin (Chin) nation by sheer military might.

Whereas, Sang Sapurba & Demang Lebar Daun established the Malay realm with an inspired gentleman's agreement between the Ruler & the rakyat.

Which approach is the more elegant? Which king-commoner understanding has still survived to this day? Now then, I rest my case.

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