10 Years Before Merdeka

20 Nov 2007 | Current Affairs, History, Video | by | 9 Komen

(This is just the first part. For the full list click here. To download, click here. )I have actually heard about Fahmi Redza’s documentary on the AMCJA-PUTERA fight for an independent Malaya for quite some time, but never found time to watch it until last week. First, over lunch ‘Abidin expressed how it was a good piece of work. Coming from someone who is not exactly an AMCJA-PUTERA admirer is certainly something. Then the next day, Azmi Sharom compared watching 10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka with 1957 Hati Malaya in the Star.

It’s a good documentary. For people who have never bothered to read on the other side of history, it’s a must watch, as veteran members of AMCJA-PUTERA gave their account of the experience leading up to the massive Hartal of 1947.

As Azmi Sharom wrote:

The People’s Constitution was an amazingly progressive document that demanded independence, with equal political rights, a new nationality of “Melayu”, equal citizenship rights and an inter-ethnic council with the job of getting rid of all racially discriminating laws.

It was a truly Malayan document designed to create a nation consisting of Malayans.

The concept of a Bangsa Malaysia existed in 1947.

The hartal which scared the British into taking harsh measures like declaring an emergency and imprisoning and deporting the men and women involved was also an eye-opener.

It was embraced by the people of the country across ethnic lines and goes to show that ordinary Malaysians of the time were politically courageous and willing to accept the progressive, liberal and inclusive People’s Constitution…

At the end of the day, Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka is more than a simple history lesson, for the struggle of the left in 1940s Malaya has a resonance today in 21st Century Malaysia.

Some of the scenes – like the pro-British press belittling the people’s movement and their call for equality and independence; the vicious and arrogant measures taken by the colonial masters – look all too familiar.

AMCJA-PUTERA predated the UMNO-MCA-MIC Alliance (more intriguingly, MIC was a member while Tun Tan Cheng Lock, the later MCA president was heading the Malayan Democratic Union, a leading AMCJA component party). This was the first multiracial coalition in the country, and the Hartal of 1947 which was organised in protest to the Federation of Malaya Constitution involved millions of Malayans of all races. AMCJA-PUTERA proposed the People’s Constitution instead, but the British ignored it.

No wonder the British were unnerved and decided to suppress the coalition. At that time, UMNO (which contrary to their current members’ version of history, also took part in Anti Malayan Union demonstrations) could only muster Hidup Melayu as its slogan, whereas PUTERA had called for Merdeka.

As a bonus, the tracks for the movie is really impressive – from the Sex Pistols to the Clash to the Ramones. Not forgetting, Black’s Dr. Burhanuddin Al Helmy which I first heard at the Youth 4 Change Young Voters Carnival. Watching it, I can’t help but feel tiny compared to all the giants of the past. They faced not only the local cynics but also a superpower. They were poorer and did not have the Internet or handphones. Yet they dared to dream of a free Malaya.

  • http://sebolku.blogspot.com/ Hasbullah Pit

    Saya tak tengok lagi hati malaya pasal takut terkeliru tentang fakta sejarah.

    tapi abang saya suruh tengok pasal dia nak tanya soalan.

    Dulu, dalam filem leftenan Adnan, Ibrahim Yaacob seolah2 dilabel sebagai pembelot kerana pro jepun, walhal dialah yang memangkinkan nasionalisme yang ada pada PKMM.

  • Pingback: Tiada Dalam Buku Teks Sejarah « hardyweb:perjalanan hidupku™()

  • fahmi azzahari

    Thank you so much for introducing the movie. Simple comments, the director is a genius and the movie is far much better than learning history subjects during our primary and secondary school! This superb piece of work needs more promotion. I’ve just send it to my yahoogroups (2ndary & tertiary level). O Yes!

  • http://romantis.wordpress.com rastom

    Dengan izin sdr Nik Nazmi
    Ibrahim Yaacob(IBHY) ada juga disebut di dalam biografi Mustafa Hussein sebaga “berubah haluan” di saat saat terakhir perjuangan seolah olah seperti seorang mole yang mengsabotaj PKMM dari dalam.

  • http://sebolku.blogspot.com Hasbullah Pit

    Rastom membuatkan saya keliru.

    Bukankah Ibrahim Yaacob itu KMM dan dia tak sertai PKMM?

  • http://10tahun.blogspot.com fahmi reza


    selepas pendudukan Jepun, Ibrahim Yaakub telah berhijrah ke Indonesia untuk meneruskan perjuangannya untuk Melayu Raya/Indonesia Raya di sana.

    masa darurat, PKMM cuba untuk mendaftar sebagai parti yang sah, tetapi penjajah British telah ditolak pendaftarannya. maka PKMM telah dibubarkan pada 10 Mei 1950. lepas pembubaran tu, Dr. Burhanuddin Helmi telah memberikan mandat kepada Ibrahim Yaakub untuk meneruskan cabang PKMM di Indonesia.

  • Razhan Zain

    Semua persoalan mengenai KMM, PKMM, dan Ibrahim Yakub terjawab secara jelas di dalam buku biografi Mustafa Hussien, mantan naib pengerusi KMM. saya tak puas baca buku beliau walaupun dah berpuluh kali baca. Jelas semua yang terdapat di dalam buku Sejarah di sekolah sekarang adalah menyeleweng daripada fakta sebenar. MP PR patut syorkan penilaian semula kepada buku2 ini.

  • Razhan Zain

    Jelas bahawa Ibrahim Yaakub (bukan KMM) adalah talibarut Jepun. Hanya IBY dan beberapa teman rapat beliau tahu tentang pendaratan Jepun di Malaya. Selepas Jepun kalah beliau dan anak bininya lari meninggalkan Malaya dan rakan-rakan sepejuangannya di penjara-penjara seluruh Malaya tanpa ada rasa belas kasihan. Begitu juga dengan duit berjuta-juta pemberian Jepun habis dibawa bersama untuk membina perusahaan di Tanah Jawa. Mustafa Hussien adalah hero sebenar KMM.

  • Razhan Zain

    tapi adakah benar Dr. Burhanuddin Helmy adalah British intelligent? sapa ada jawapan?

Beli Buku Saya

Mendepani Zaman Moving Forward
Beli Buku Saya: Mendepani Zaman - Melayu untuk Abad ke-21 RM24.90 dari Kinibooks
Buy My Book: Moving Forward - Malays for the 21st Century RM24.90 from Kinibooks