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So, did you guess who I was?


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Here are some of the clues I threw in:

#1: Esperanto Schmesperanto
  • "my brother the Regent" : royal blood
  • went to England to study Law
  • got into Cambridge

#2a: Swampy Boonies
  • playboy reputation while at Cambridge

#2b: Heartsick in the Heartland
  • "tragic misadventure" resulting in death of wife

NOTE: I resisted putting in the wife's name, thought that would be too Googleable too soon. But I soon realised I was being *way* too obtuse, so I started adding in proper names.

#2c: I'm feeling ...
  • lived in Kuala Nerang (his son, born a month before his wife's death, was named Ahmad Nerang.)
  • wife buried in the royal graveyard in Langgar, near Alor Star. So, he's royalty from the state of Kedah.

#3a: Okay so it's gotta be like 3 in the morning...
  • "my father, the Sultan"

#3b: I think I know what it was all about...
  • Reconfirming that my character is situated on the other (west) side of the Malay Peninsular, relatively close to Penang. If you didn't know about Alor Star being the capital of Kedah, then you'd wonder if his father is the Sultan of Perlis or Kedah.

#3c: Daring to (act on a) Dream!
  • the kidnapping of his father the Sultan
  • moving of residents into longhouses

#3d: I was right, you were wrong
  • "seventh son and twentieth child"

#4: To Do List: February 1957
  • Preparing for Malaya's independance from the British. There's only one name that comes to mind. For those with any exposure to Malaysian history lah :p

So, who was I?

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra
the first Prime Minister of Malay(si)a.


Participating in this “marketing campaign” was definitely fun, but more importantly, it helped me learn a lot about the man we call Bapak Malaysia (the father of Malaysia). I knew “in theory” that he had contributed a lot to the nation, but, with history taught the way it was when I was in school, if there had been details about Tunku the man, well, unfortunately they went in one ear and out the other.

But – no matter what – the archive footage of him at what would be later named Stadium Merdeka, raising his right hand, and in a voice filled with emotion, proclaiming “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!” never fails to give me the shivers.

Why did I choose to feature him?

    Actually I wanted to try out the Legend of Mahsuri angle, but I was advised that it was probably not the best of choices, seeing as we were supposed to have real people in mind, and legends were, well, kinda suspect. But while doing initial research for Mahsuri, I found out that it was Tunku, during his time as District Officer for Langkawi, who had sought and compiled the tales surrounding the legend, and that it was he who looked for her grave (I think having a grave means the stories are real!), and once discovered, upgraded it to the marble tomb one sees today. It got me wondering about what Tunku was doing before he helped push for independence from the British.


And for the record, I really didn't mean to stump anyone! But at the same time I had my doubts if anyone out there would identify him, just because it's not like Malaysian history is studied by non-Malaysians, ya know?

So I set out more to educate & share with readers on what had jumped out at ME while I had researched* the subject: the "tragic misadventure" with quinine; the sentence of "death by being shot in your office this afternoon" issued by his own brother: they all painted a picture that would NEVER be found in any history textbook!

    * researched, heheeheee: apart from a glance at the wikipedia entry, my source material was Tan Sri Dato’ Mubin Sheppard’s TUNKU A Pictorial Biography. Glad my mother had it in her collection! :-D


To find out who everyone else was: check out this link (will update with "newer/proper" link once it's ready)

Many thanx to everyone who dropped by, read, commented, etc over the past week. Y'all come on back now, ya hear? :-D

Oh, and after all is said and done: please do check out The Lost Blogs *official* website; you can also place an order for the book there, or try amazon.com.

Comments

  1. I did not guess. Learning something new never hurt anyone . . . In fact it is pretty cool. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done, lynne. Good to learn about modern Malaysia's history. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lynne, I would have never guessed since I know next to nothing about Malaysian history. But now I can definitely say I know more than I did! :) But even so all your entries were so intriguing, beautifully written, and really had my mind trying to work it out. :) Thank you for sharing this bit of world history with us and educating our minds! :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Dear legitimate commenters: all comments are welcome! My sincere apologies for making you go through the word verification hurdle, tho.

Dear spammers: please don't bother... I'm just gonna delete any spam that squeaks through word verification anyway, so why not save us both the trouble, eh?

Thanks!
*lynne*

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