Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Negaraku - What Malaysiakini should enlighten us.

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(press play to listen to Terang Bulan)

There still exists ignorance, confusions and doubts as to the origin of our national anthem, Negaraku. There is no shame in admitting that Negaraku originates from Terang Bulan. However, by trying to deny the rakyat the rights to know the truth, speculations do more harm than good.

Mamula Moon or Terang Bulan? It is all written in 'The Authorized Biography of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj'.

Excerpts from the book 'TUNKU: HIS LIFE AND TIMES' by Mubin Sheppard.
Page 106 & 107

Only six months remained before the date which had been adopted for the proclamation of independence. Other accessories of self-government, which were above politics and outside the range of Constitutional proposals, still awaited attention. Tunku possessed rare talents and interests which were of the greatest value to the country at this time. He had been surrounded by royal pageantry since his birth. He knew, by instinct, that Malaya must have a national anthem, Orders and Decorations, Regalia for the elected Ruler, and a form of ceremony for that ruler's installation. There was no central arena where independence could be proclaimed: it must be constructed. Tunku arranged for an announcement to be published, inviting musicians both at home and abroad to compose a national anthem for an independent Malaya. Tunku set up a committee to help him judge the entries, which numbered over seventy and included one by the world-famous British composer, Benjamin Britten. The choice, on musical merit, was scarcely open to debate, but after the first meeting of his committee, Tunku decided that the music of the national anthem of Malaya must be Malay. When they next met to listen to a short list of Malay compositions, Tunku recalled an old melody, once familiar all over the peninsula called Terang Bulan until and even after it had been adopted by Sultan Idris of Perak as his state anthem, in 1888. It had long been forgotten, but Tunku asked the Inspector-General of Police to arrange for the tune to be orchestrated and played by the Police band, and the committee listened spellbound, beside the parade ground at the Police Depot. The quest had ended: Tunku renamed the old tune Negara-ku or My Country, and adopted it as the national anthem of Malaya.

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