Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tunku The Compassionate

A very good article on the Tunku by By PRABHAKARAN S. NAIR Feb 15 The Star

Last Sunday, the birthday of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra passed unnoticed in the midst of dramatic political developments. The commemoration of Tunku’s birth could have provided a perfect occasion for Malaysians to reflect on our ideals and aspirations as a nation made up of people of different races, cultures and religions.

THE birth of Tunku is a story of compassion that Menjelara, his mother, never tired of recounting. According to various sources, the story is that before Tunku was born, his father (the Sultan of Kedah) had sentenced the Keeper of the Royal Seal to death, and ordered that the right thumb of his wife and that of all his children be severed. This was punishment for deceitfully misusing the royal seal to sell state land for personal gain.

The Keeper’s wife was in a state of great sorrow, unable to imagine the pain and suffering that her innocent children would have to undergo. She ran to Menjelara, the Sultan’s favoured wife, and pleaded in tears for her innocent children to be spared the ordeal.

Being a loving mother herself, Menjelara could feel her pain and sorrow, and promised to speak to the Sultan. But she knew she could not directly ask him or intervene in his prerogative.

Menjelara thought of an idea. She lied to the Sultan that she was pregnant, and expressed her fear that if he proceeded with the punishment, their unborn child might be born without a thumb, or perhaps without a limb.

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