Articles, Opinions & Views: Malayalees - and Mahathir's roots

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In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Malayalees - and Mahathir's roots
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I got this via e-mail, which in other words say that Mahathir is actually a Malayalee or a Mamak, his name should be Mahathir s/o Iskandar Kutty, so he is no Malay-edit. Thanks to The Star newspaper and its feature The Penang Story for the information. Malayalees are a southern Indian people from the Indian province of Kerala, west of Tamil Nadu. They are perhaps India's most multi-religious community, and possess the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Malayalees, and Tamils, have long traded with Malaysia's kingdoms of Kedah and Johor. Some ancient Malayalee and Tamil traders even married into Kedah and Johor royalty. Malayalees, together with Tamils and Arabs, were instrumental in bringing Islam to Malaysia. After all, Kerala was India's first Muslim province.

European colonialists, however, played a key role in boosting Malayalee migration to Malaysia. When the Portuguese conquered Melaka in 1511, they were joined by soldiers recruited from Kerala. Some of Penang's earliest Muslim teachers or Ulama from the Indian community were undoubtedly Malayalees and they included Fakir Melana whose tomb is in Datuk Keramat, George Town. Syed Mustapha Idris or Datuk Koya was a respected religious teacher from the Malayalee community. He was also a much-loved humanitarian who helped the poor and sick, regardless of race or faith.

Narayana Pillai was an important Malayalee community leader and businessman in George Town. He migrated to Singapore shortly after the British acquired the island from the Sultan of Johor, and became an important contractor there. Malayalee and Tamil Muslims frequently intermarried and thus, it is uncommon to find a purely Malayalee Muslim or purely Tamil Muslim in the island, and Malaysia, today. Abdul Kadir Merican, a respected Indian Muslim leader of Tamil-Malayalee ancestry, established one of George Town's most beloved mosques, the Kapitan Kling Mosque, named in his memory.

Kadir, who married a Kedah princess, was the patriarch of Malaysia's illustrious Merican family which included as its members Malaysian Frank Sinatra Datuk Ahmad Daud, his actress and singer daughter Fauziah Ahmad Daud (Malaysia's Jodie Foster and female Simon Cowell), First Lady of Malaysian Theatre Datuk Faridah Merican, Health Ministry Director-General Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican and composer Datuk Ahmad Merican. Another famous Malayalee contractor was Ibrahim Kaka who built the George Town police headquarters in Penang Road.

He also built houses in Cheeseman Road, Hussain Road and Taylor Road, as well as the Penang UMNO headquarters in Zainal Abidin Road (formerly Jewish Road). The UMNO headquarters was officiated by Malaysia's first Prime Minister and ardent Penang fan Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra. The Malayalees of Penang were known as daring construction workers. They played a key role in the completion of the Penang Hill railway in George Town, as well as the city's Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple and Kebun Nyor Methodist Church. Kaka 's contemporaries in the construction business included V. K. Ismail, T. A. Omar and B. Ismail.

P. K. Nambyar, a Malayalee from George Town, became the first president of the Malaysian Indian Association, formed in Taiping, Perak, in 1906. He was Malaysia's first Indian lawyer. He also founded the Penang Indian Association. Nambyar Road in George Town is named after him. Nambyar's son Dr N. K. Menon was actively involved in the Indian National Army formed by Subhas Chandra Bose of Bengal, to fight for India's independence. Menon also served in the George Town Municipal Council and headed the British Medical Association of Malaysia.

Nambyar's son-in-law N. Raghavan, who also led the Penang Indian Association, was a prominent lawyer, and a founder of the Central Indian Association of Malaysia (CIAM) headed by Datuk Ernest Emmanuel Clough Thuraisingam.

Perhaps, the most famous Malayalee to land in George Town was Iskandar Kutty, a merchant who married a Johor-Riau wife Siti Hawa Iskandar. They became the proud parents of Alor Star's top public school Sultan Abdul Hamid College's founder-principal and Kedah's royal educator Datuk Mohamad Iskandar. Mohamad was the school teacher of Tunku Abdul Rahman. He and his wife Datin Wan Tempawan Wan Hanafi from the Kedah Bendahara's (Prime Minister's) clan, were the proud parents of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's Father of Modernisation and fourth Prime Minister.

And contrary to popular belief, pulled tea or teh tarik and roti canai or Tamil unleavened bread are Malayalee dishes, not Tamil ones.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 7:53 AM  
  • At 12:25 AM, Blogger HLMS said…

    Agreed that Teh tarik is from Kerala because people in Tamil Nadu do not Tarik the tea but drink it hot. It is only in Kerala people drink it warm after they pull the tea. Roti Canai got it's name from corrupted Roti Chennai for Parota. Just like what we call roti Arab. The house design in Malaysia is 100% similar to the ones in Kerala.

  • At 12:27 AM, Blogger HLMS said…

    Kunnyali Marican is a famous Malabar warrior

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