|The British claimed Maarof, who formed the first Malay bank in Malaysia, commited suicide|
They should re-open Encik Maarof's murder file. The first time I learned about the tragic story of Maarof Zakaria, the man behind Jalan Maarof, which today is not merely a road in Bangsar but an icon of the Federal capital of Kuala Lumpr, was courtesy of the journalist and author Rusdi Mustapha, who had a column in The Business Times back in the Nineties when I was its Editor. If I remember correctly, Datuk Rusdi used his pen name Seri Menanti when he wrote that article.
Interest in the murder that took place in Dec 1948 was revived when Maarof's son, the veteran Malay actor Mustafa Maarof, died early this week at the age of 79. The anonyous blogger Pasquale described Maarof as one of the original Malay nationalists who "for his entire life until he the day he was murdered he championed and advocated for the Malay economic freedom" (Maarof Zakaria was my father's childhood friend, Dec 16). The photograph above is courtesy of his hard-hitting blog Barking Magpie.
Unfortunately, in spite of many enlightened Malay nationalist like Maarof, Pak Sako, Mustapha Hussin, the Malays then and now are still disunited and easily manipulated, to a point now that they might be losing control of their political domination. Or eventually, if they are still disunited, they may even lose the country.
Pasquale hits harder still with regards to the current state of Malay politics in his latest posting Push comes to shove.
From Tun M's outspoken daughter and her "liberal" friends to a reclusive former Finance Minister who allegedly used his position to amass fortune, "half-breed" newsmen who became rich because of Anwar Ibrahim, and "countless" ex Cabinet ministers who wanted concessions and projects, few are spared his tirade.
"These ingrates thought Najib can be easily bullied."
Me, I believe Encik Maarof didn't die in vain. Not all Malays have forgotten. In fact, we think they should re-open the file and find his murderers, even if they too are six feet under.