Sunday, February 24, 2008
The "Makam Tuanku Tambusai"
If one cares to look at the signboard after the entering the toll plaza in Seremban, there's a writing which shows "Makam Tuanku Tambusai" amongst the others, on the left hand side of the road leading to the town. The grave site or "makam" of Tuanku Tambusai is situated on a low hill in Rasah about 3 kilometres from the town centre on the way to Port Dickson. Due to the road diversions and the flyovers built near the side road to the "makam", the location is little known, except by visiting groups from our neighbouring country, Indonesia. When the "makam" was officially upgraded with funds contributed by the Provincial government of Riau in Sumatra, and topped up by the Negri Sembilan State government in 2002, it was a pride especially to the descendants of which I am one of them, because he was declared a "National hero" by the Indonesian government in 1996. But today the 'makam' is in a sorry state due to vandals who stole some of the iron-mongery and the marble is blackened by dirt because there's no one who's responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of the 'makam'. Tuanku Tambusai as he was well known in Indonesia was one of the leaders who fought the colonial invaders during the Padri Wars in 1838 and his contemporaries were Imam Bonjol and Tuanku Rao. His real name is Muhamad Saleh and he was brought up by his father who was the the Chief Kadhi during the rule of the Sultanate of Riau in the 1800's. Today on the 25 February 2008, the Negri Museum invited 10 of our family association members to an event organised by the museum, where a talk on historical events was delivered. I could not make it because only yesterday I was in Seremban paying my last respects to a relative. When I was told that the presenter still talked about our family tree which contains inaccuracies, it just got me upset. It was fortunate that I wasn't there, otherwise I would have just walked out, because I thought this matter had long been settled when there was a written as well as an oral representation was made to the Museum to correct that mistake. It looks like we have to remind them again of the mistake and rectify the error on the family tree of Fakeh Muhamad Saleh or better known as Tuanku Tambusai.