Thursday, September 08, 2011
Revisiting history...And the traitor was UMNO as they sold out all the legitimate freedom fighters to the British, forcing Mat Indera into the jungle. Read here http://malaysiakini.com/news/175128. However, the Malay Rulers themselves are also guilty of selling out this country to the British. Take the story how the British under Captain Francis Light got possession of Penang from the Sultan of Kedah.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about how the British got hold of Penang from Kedah. Originally part of the Malay sultanate of Kedah, Penang was ceded to the British East India Company in 1786 by the Sultan of Kedah, in exchange for military protection from Siamese and Burmese armies who were threatening Kedah. The story here is that Kedah was a Siamese Protectorate just like how Malacca was a Chinese Protectorate. Kedah at that time was not colonized by Siam. In return for Protection, the Sultan of Kedah was suppose to pay Ufti Bunga Mas (Tribute) to the King of Siam. As Siam was busy fighting the Burmese, Kedah conveniently stop sending the annual Tribute. When the Siamese - Burmese War ended, Kedah was requested to continue sending the Tribute. At that time there was a power struggle in Kedah because the Sultan had not chosen a 'anak gahara' or heir whose mother is of a royal bloodline as the Sultan had many wives and children as he like all the other Malay Rulers were polygamists. This led to the Kedah Royal household to revolt 'Derhaka' against the Sultan by enlisting the mercenary Raja Haji from Selangor to topple the Sultan who eventually fled to Kangar. It was at this time Francis Light, who being a shrewed businessman offered to get back the Throne for the Sultan in exchange for Penang. It was the Sultan's greed that made him give Penang to the British on a silver platter. Not a single shot was fired by the British to get Penang.
The Sultan's successor later renegaded his promise to continuing paying the Tribute to the Siamese King. When the Sultan of Kedah was summoned to Bangkok to report to the Siamese King, he refused to do so. The Kedah Sultan thought that the British would defend Kedah if the Siamese attacked. Unbeknownst to the Sultan, Light had acted without the approval of the East India Company when he promised military protection. When the Company failed to aid Kedah when it was attacked by Thai (and it was known as "Koh Mak" while under Siamese rule until 1785.), the Sultan tried to retake the island in 1790. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the Sultan was forced to cede the island to the Company for an honorarium of 6,000 Spanish dollars per annum. This was later increased to 10,000 dollars, with Province Wellesley (Seberang Prai) being added to Penang in 1800. An annual honorarium of 18,800 ringgit continues to be paid by the Penang State Government to the Sultan of Kedah.
Where on Earth can a defeated aggressor get such a handsome compensation? There was no 'tipu muslihat' (deceit) nor 'campur tangan' (intervention) by the British in the colonization of Malaya even though Malaysian history textbooks claim so. It was the sheer greed, treachery and stupidity of the Malay Rulers that handed Penang and the rest of the Malay Peninsular to the British with the British not having to come with guns blazing like the Spaniards, French, Dutch and Portuguese to control the Malay Peninsular. And today, history repeats itself as the BN/Umno Regime is doing the same by giving citizenship's and voting rights to foreigners.
On 11 August 1786, Captain Francis Light, known as the founder of Penang, hoisted the Union Jack thereby taking formal possession of Penang and renamed it Prince of Wales Island (name used until after 1867) in honour of the heir to the British throne. Penang was the first British possession in the Malay States and Southeast Asia.
The location of the island at the opening of the Straits of Malacca attracted the British East India Company to use the island as a natural harbour and anchorage for their trading ships, and as a naval base to counter growing French ambitions in the region. The settlement on the north-eastern tip of the island was named George Town after King George III of the United Kingdom.