Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The return of a nobleman

I saw this interesting documentary about the exhumation of the long-gone Ngah Ibrahim, the Menteri Besar of Larut in the 1800s. Sorry, my history is quite poor but i still can remember some of those warriors against the penjajah-penjajah Inggeris in the various states in Malaya. Ngah Ibrahim's is not a very famous man in general history coz I dont recall seeing his name anywhere in my Sejarah books. The only Ngah Ibrahim that I heard of is from Kota Ngah Ibrahim, which is situated somewhere in Taiping. Which I've not been to although I grew up in Taiping.

Here is history re-visited.

Nah Ibrahim was one of those kampung fighters who were behind the murder of JWW Birch, the first English resident in Perak who had incurred the wrath of the locals for interfering with local customs and religion etc etc. In other words, tak ikut standard la...so the people and the sultan then (Sultan Abdullah) wanted him out but he just wouldnt budge. Desparate, they took the law into their own hands and killed Birch one fine morning while he was bathing in the Pasir Salak River. It was a bloody bath indeed.

Anyway, the murderers were sentenced to death, Ngah Ibrahim, Laksamana Wan smthg smthg and Sultan Ibrahim were banished to Seychelles. Woohoo, what a wonderful island to be banished to. Beautiful beaches, fishing everyday, stress-free life....OKOK, back to where I got distracted. Few years later, Sultan Abdullah was allowed to return to Perak and he died there. The poor Ngah Ibrahim and Laksamana Wan were allowed to go to Singapore but not back to Perak. And...they died a silent death there. Wan's grave was found in a mass gravehole with 4 other people while Ngah's grave took an additional 2 years to find because it was located in a secondary jungle where people dont normally go. Such a sad ending for two high ranked officers.

To cut the story short, their bodies were exhumed and they were given a hero's homecoming procession from the navy base to their respective graveyards, one in KK and another at, well, Kota Ngah Ibrahim.

End of history lesson. This documentary caught my attention because I am from Perak and Ngah Ibrahim+gang are also from Perak. And all the stories of JWW Birch, Maharajalela etc etc always give me the back-to-the-past feeling. It's hard to describe that feeling but having grown up in a town where colonial buildings seem to be quite a common thing makes all the stories seem even more real. I'm proud of the heritage of Perak.

If I am super rich, perhaps I would buy one of those colonial bungalows in Taiping.

1 comment:

s1nn3r said...

one man freedom fighter is another man terrorist. for me those malays never bring anything to the country. it is the british which rules msia that really civilise us.