Son of Patani: ‘Diary’ of the King who was usurped from the throne

Son of Patani: ‘Diary’ of the King who was usurped from the throne

Datin Dr Fadillah Merican wrote various family stories of the last King of Patani in the manuscript Son of Patani.

FADILLAH painstakingly wrote down her mother’s words one by one in a notebook she kept for the past 10 years.

In the notebook, the various stories of her family that were conveyed orally, are now re-recorded, as one of the efforts to remember the family’s history.

In fact, this is one of the main hobbies of this former English literature lecturer since she retired. From a hobby, it turned into a commitment.

“I want to make sure that Nenda Raja’s life story is known to all family members and not limited to writing in history books only,” explained Datin Dr Fadillah Merican, author of the book Son of Patani .

“I also want readers to know what was going through the mind of my Nenda Raja when he retreated from Patani to Kelantan after 21 years of losing the throne.

“Let them decide for themselves whether his majesty’s action to step down is a right action or the opposite, “explained Fadillah, who is also the great-grandson of the last King of Patani, Tengku Abdul Kadir Kamaruddin Tengku Sulaiman.

“Actually, I started thinking about starting this project after retirement, however the process of getting information was done in an uncertain manner. I only started writing more consistently when I reached the age of 70,” explained the 76-year-old woman.

“At that time, I became more and more interested in getting to know more deeply this figure named Tengku Abdul Kadir. For that I collected as much information about him from all his relatives,” explained the former Associate Professor in the field of English.

However, the person who contributed the most information to the creation of this manuscript was his own mother, Tan Sri Tengku Noor Zakiah, who heard a lot of information about him through his mother, Tengku Besar Zabedah, the eldest daughter of Tengku Abdul Kadir.

Tengku Abdul Kadir is one of the important figures in the history of Patani.

The books that have been written by historians often imagine him as an influential, knowledgeable and highly charismatic figure.

The history books also remember him as a person who resolutely fought the threat of Siam until he was imprisoned by Siam.

Many historical records including his Majesty’s letters to Frank Swetthenham who at that time held the position of Governor of the Straits Settlements are now used as important evidence in the study of Patani history. His interaction with Swetthenham is also written in this memoir.

Siam defeated Patani in 1786 and thereafter appointed the sons of the local king to govern the state, while at the same time being empowered to continue the traditional way of administration.

“However, the deceased never considered Patani as a vassal state to Siam. Although there was a gift of gold flowers to the King of Siam, it was not considered a tribute, on the contrary, only a gift. In fact, Siam also returned the gift by giving a chest filled with various valuable items,” explained Fadillah again.

Siam finally ended its rule over Patani in 1902 when Tengku Abdul Kadir was forced to abdicate while incarcerated in Pitsanulok Prison.

The retreat of Tengku Abdul Kadir to Kelantan does not mean that he never rose up against the Siamese colonialism, however, some of his attempts to resist failed to bear fruit.

“My aunt has also questioned many times whether His Majesty’s action to withdraw was the right action. Whatever his actions, I know that until the end of his life, the country and the people of Patani will always be in his thoughts,” said Fadillah optimistically.

The copy of Son of Patani is different from the history books or memoirs of Tengku Abdul Kadir.

This biography is written in the format of a diary, as if it were written by him.

“It is also my own process to remember him, maybe in other words make my own version of his life.

“I am also careful not to make him a figure who is too big, brave and decisive. I need to get the relatives to understand some of his actions,” explained Fadillah.

Tengku Abdul Kadir died in 1933 at the age of 56 in Kelantan.

His death brings with it all the memories of the glory of a superior sultanate in the archipelago.

Although it has been 90 years since the last Malay King of Patani passed away, the issue of Patani and the self-determination of the people of Patani, Yala and Narathiwat is still a major dispute, leading to armed unrest, making the Southern region of Thailand one of the hottest regions in Southeast Asia.

However, talks between the rebels and the Thai government are showing progress, albeit slowly.

A Twitter screenshot believed to belong to the National Revolutionary Front (BRN), which is one of the most influential separatist groups in Southern Thailand.

For some readers, Son of Patani may be just a memoir of a king who lost his throne, but some may see this manuscript as a clear reminder of the old wounds that are still bleeding in Malay society, especially those in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. .

The fact is, the Patani issue is still one of the most challenging and sensitive issues in the region.

“My intention in writing this book is as a gift to as many descendants of Tengku Abdul Kadir as possible so that his descendants can recognize his personality as a committed and responsible leader.

“This book also reveals another side of him as a loving father, concerned about religion and an efficient entrepreneur,” said Fadillah voicing her hope.

His late majesty was also knowledgeable about international affairs and had studied English and learned about global developments at that time through the guests who came to meet.

“Finally, I hope Tengku Abdul Kadir will be seen as someone who tries as much as possible to protect the people and fight for his country and the fact that Patani is always in his mind,” explained Fadillah.

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