National Anthem : Negaraku
HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
There were two sources in record regarding the origin of the National Anthem. One is where the song is originally the royal anthem of Perak, which also happens to be a popular song in its time called Terang Bulan. According to Tuan Haji Mustafa Albakri, Keeper of the Malay Kings’s Great Seal, the song was heard for the first time as Perak’s national song for the first time in 1901 during the coronation of King Edward VII in England.
Sultan Idris Murshidul’adzam Shah (Marhum Rahmatullah) reigned as the Sultan of Perak from 1887 to 1916. Prior to the event of the coronation of King Edward VII in 1901, Sultan Idris had gone over to England as a representative of the Malay Kings of the union of Malay states. Upon arrival at the Southampton Harbour, a protocol officer from the foreign colonial office had inquired on royal anthem for Perak. It had been a custom in England to play an accompanying anthem on the arrival of a king or the head of a state.
At the time, Perak did not have a national hymn to its name. Despite this fact, Raja Harun bin Sultan Abdullah, personal secretary to the Sultan as well as an accomplished musician did not want to lose face. He had informed the protocol officer that Perak indeed had its own anthem, but they have failed to bring the music score with them. However, he assured the officer that he can play the song from memory.
Upon hearing the explanation, the protocol officer allowed Raja Harun bin Sultan Abdullah to perform the anthem to accompany the arrival of Sultan Idris. Raja Harun then played the anthem, which is in fact the song Terang Bulan, a popular Malay folksong of that time. And thus it was for the time Terang Bulan was played in England for the first time and it had instaneously been recognized as Perak’s official anthem until it was later adapted as the Malaysian National Anthem.
Another source was cited by Raja Kamarulzaman, son of Raja Mansur who was an escort to Sultan Idris, that Terang Bulan was first adapted as the national anthem of Perak in 1888 when Sultan Idris visited London for the coronation of Queen Victoria, a year after he was crowned as a King. Upon arrival of the royal convoy in London, representatives of Queen Victoria had requested for the music scores of the royal anthem of Perak from Raja Mansur. According to the official third protocol practice, a royal or national anthem will be played as soon as the King steps into the coronation hall. To avoid embarrassment, Raja Mansur had informed the Queen’s representative that they had failed to bring the music scores with them, but if they can provide them a musician that can compose a musical piece by ear, he will then play the music by whistling, so that said musician will be able to dictate the music score.
The song that Raja Mansur whistles was a very popular song, well loved by the people of Perak. And thus the national anthem of Perak was officially played for the very time during the Crowning Ceremony of Queen Victoria in London, and the song played is Terang Bulan. Former Director of National Archive, Tuan Haji Mubin Sheppard had made a research regarding the origin of this song. He had cited sources from 2 royal sisters, Raja Aminah binti Almarhum Sultan Abdullah dan Raja Halijah binti Almarhum Sultan Abdullah as well as from Raja Kamarulzaman.
According to the two sisters, the first time they heard this song (now known as ‘Negaraku’) was at Mahe, Seychelles Isles, where their father (former Sultan of Perak, Sultan Abdullah) had remained in exile. The song was a very popular song in the island and was often played by the French Marching Band as part of their many ensemble and concert pieces for the people of the island. It was believed that the melody of the song was composed by a French musician named Pierre Jean de Beranger, who was born in France in 1780 and died in 1857.
Raja Kamarulzaman said that the song was introduced by a performer from Indonesia who was doing a show in Singapore. In a short time, the song became very popular in Singapore and was named Terang Bulan. Despite being the national anthem for Perak, this song was still played in events as entertainment. The song remained as Perak’s national anthem until it was adapted as the national anthem of Malaysia with the name ‘Negaraku’.
THE NEGARAKU SONG
By the year 1956, every state in Tanah Melayu had its own national anthem. But there had no definitive song which speaks for the whole nation. At the time, Malaya was on the brink of independence and it was only fitting that she should her own national hymn. It must also be kept in mind that the song should have a patriotic theme that would represent the whole country. Tunku Abdul Rahman who was the Chief Minister, also Minister of Internal Affairs had decided that a national anthem would be written before independence. Following this decision a committee was formed to find ways in obtaining a suitable national anthem for the soon to be independent Malaya.
Y.T.M. Tunku Abdul Rahman suggested that a national anthem songwriting competition is held. This suggestion is taken into good stride and immediately put into effect. The competition was not limited to the locals but also the whole world. The result was that 514 songs were accepted from all over the world. To choose the song that would represent the country and its people, a committee had been formed to make an informed and judicious decision.
The Committee line-up was made up of:
1. Y.T.M. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj
2. Tuan Haji Mustafa Albakri, Keeper of the Seal of Malay Kings.
3. Dato’ Abdul Razak Hussein, Education Minister
4. Encik Ya’akob Latiff, Information Director
5. Encik D.S.P. Croft, Music Director, Federal Police Band.
6. Kapt. Lenthall, Music Director, Malay Soldier
7. Encik A.T. Read, Radio Broadcast Director.
This committee had done their duty to the utmost. They have analyzed each song that was received. However it was unanimously decided that out of 514 songs, there wasn’t a single one that really stood out. Therefore they had thought that perhaps a better way would be to invite several world famous composers to compose a melody fit for an anthem.
Those who were invited specially for this purpose were:
1. Benjamin Britten
2. Sir William Walton
3. Carlo Menetti dan
4. Zubir Said
They have composed and created several songs to be scrutinized by a judging panel that was formed especially for this purpose. The judging panel had decided that the songs they reviewed were of high quality but there had not been a single song that is suitable enough to be used as national anthems.
Despite the competition and song contributions from several world famous song composer, there had not been a truly satisfactory result. Therefore the Committee had made the decision to review all available anthems from each state instead. The reason behind this decision was to determine which of these songs would be truly fitting to be used as a national anthem. After assessment of each state anthem, it was generally decided that Perak State Hymn was the best and most fitting to be used as a national anthem. Therefore the song was finally used as Malaya’s National Anthem, and later, the National Anthem of Malaysian. The lyrics were written together with the judging panel, where Y.T.M Tunku Abdul Rahman was said to have made a huge contribution.
TANAH TUMPAHNYA DARAHKU
RAKYAT HIDUP BERSATU DAN MAJU
RAHMAT BAHAGIA TUHAN KURNIAKAN
RAJA KITA SELAMAT BERTAKHTA
RAHMAT BAHAGIA TUHAN KURNIAKAN
RAJA KITA SELAMAT BERTAKHTA
EXECUTIVE AUTHORITYExecutive Authority is the administration authority, allocated under Subject 39 of the Malaysian Constitution to the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, but it is managed by the Cabinet of Ministers, led by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet Ministers are directly responsible to the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Every executive action by the Federal Government is channeled from the Royal Authority, be it directly or vice versa. However, according to the principals of a Parliamentary Democracy ruling, the Prime Minister is the Executive Leader.
JUDICIAL AUTHORITYJudicial Authority is held by the Higher Courts (which covers Federal Court, Special Court, Appeal Court, High Court of Malaya, High Court of Sabah and Sarawak); and Lower Courts (Session Court, Magistrate Court, Syariah Court, Juvenile Court, Chief Court and Inner State Court) as allocated by the federal law. Head Judge of the country is the Judicial Leader. The Federal Court has the authority to approve law written by the Parliament, or by Badan Perundangan Negeri.
BYLAW AUTHORITYThe Bylaw Authority, the power to make the law on Federal Government level is placed in the Parliament, led by Yang di-Pertuan Agong and consisted of Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat. On State level, this authority is held by Badan Perundangan Negeri of each state, which is chosen every five years. Among the laws and allocations created by the Parliament include the functions of ministers, conventions with foreign countries, the rate of taxes and approval of the country’s budget.
The Parliament, which acts as the Supreme Law for Malaysia, serves to write up the commandments in which is to be implemented within the country. The parliament has the power to approve the law on Federal level, to make changes to current existing law, to review the government, to approve spending of national funds and new taxes. It is the grounds for debate and discussion, as well a channel for the public to voice themselves in current issues.
The Malaysian Parliament is made up of 3 components:
•Yang di-Pertuan Agong
The State Manifesto/ National Principles/ Rukun Negara are a pledge of allegiance based on a set of philosophy and national ideology which is used as a guiding hand in the effort to build and nurture the country and people of Malaysia. It was announced on 31st August 1970 by the 4th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and read as follows:
“Where as our country, Malaysia nurtures the ambitions of: achieving a perfect unity amongst the whole of her society; preserving a democratic way of life; creating a just society where the prosperity of the country can be enjoyed together in a fair and equitable manner; guaranteeing a liberal approach towards her rich and varied cultural traditions; and building a progressive society that will make use of science and modern technology.
We, as the people of Malaysia pledge our united efforts to attain these ends guided by these principles
• Belief in God
• Loyalty to the King and Country
• Supremacy of the Constitution
• The Rule of Law
• Courtesy and Morality
The Different Faces of Malaysia
It is undeniable that the people of Malaysia, made up of different races and ethnic groups live with one another in harmony and peace. Despite the differences in culture, each race is free to live with one another and perform their daily practices without disruptions.
This is evident in time of festivities, when they would visit one another in order to celebrate. For example, during the festival of Chinese New Year, the Malays and Indians would visit friends and neighbors who are Chinese to rejoice in the event. As people of Malaysia, we should be thankful for the harmony within the nation. It may also be said that the cities in Malaysia reflect a healthy image for the country from the aspect of relationship between the different races.
This flower, also known as the “Queen of Tropical Flowers” is part of the Malyacea family which consists of 300 species of plants.
The variety of hibiscus in terms of color, shape and size has been adapted as symbol of the various races, religions and cultures in this beloved nation.
A dark blue portion on the left which coincides with the 5th red stripe symbolizes unity amongst the people of Malaysia. The crescent moon, visible against the dark blue signifies the Islam religion as the official religion of the country. The star with 14 points represents harmony and unity of 13 states and a federal government. The colour yellow on the crescent moon and star is a royal colour of the venerable Kings of the country, which are considered head of the religion and respective states (excluding Sabah, Sarawak and Pulau Pinang).
The 4th Prime Minister of Malaysian, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad had chosen the name ‘Jalur Gemilang’ for the Malaysian flag in conjunction with the 40th Independence Day celebration, on the 31’st August 1997.
Constitution of the Federated States of Malaysia
Federal Constitution are the highest and absolute written law which is to be referred to in the administration of the country. This constitution divides the power of administration according to Democracy with Parliament Government system. This constitution may be altered with majority support of at least 2/3 of the Parliament.
In Malaysia, part of a person’s rights is written within the Federal Constitution. Among others, this constitution ensures the freedom to live, the freedom to move, voice out, assemble and form organizations, to have religion as well as the rights to education. Each citizen would have to know their own rights as is written in the Federal Constitution.