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Thursday, January 11, 2007

 

Mat Kilau

"see, who would have thought I too will live to see this country's independence" Mat Kilau to his son in-law, Abu Bakar.
This is an interesting piece of analysis by Bernama on Mat Kilau. I personally think that more academic research should be done about him. The special thing about him is that, he is the only one our many national heroes in late 19th century of the likes of Dato Bahaman and Tok Gajah that lived to witness our nation's independence.
KUANTAN, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- Out of the many Malay warriors of Pahang who stood up against the British in the late 1880s, only one lived to witness with his very own eyes the nation's independence. It's no more than Mat Kilau, the son of a local chieftain Imam Perang Rasu (a.k.a Tok Gajah), one of the Malay warriors who rebelled between 1880s and 1890s when the colonial masters extended their rule to Pahang.
..Moreover, Mat Kilau even had the opportunity to shout the magical word "merdeka" on 31 August 1957, something that his contemporaries like Datuk Bahaman, Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong and Tok Janggut or the earlier ones like Datuk Maharaja Lela and Dol Said did not live to see.
..Mat Kilau's obscurity, much to anyone's surprise, is equally legendary. The feared warrior went into oblivion for more than half a century as he was on the run after the British put a prize on his head and branded him as among those who betrayed the sultan."

Despite all this, it took him 12 years after independence to actually made a public declaration about who he really is;

"He waited almost 12 years after merdeka to come out in the open that he is
Mat Kilau as he feared that the sultan hasn't forgiven him," he said.

But,

"..Unfortunately 10 days after the confirmation, Mat Kilau died on 16 August 1970 at his home in Kampung Batu 5. He is said to have died at the age of 122 based on his estimated birth year of 1847.He was buried with full honours befitting a national hero at his birthplace of Kampung Masjid Pulau Tawar, Jerantut."

wikipedia: Mat Kilau

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