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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An anecdote from Malay Sketches

On a case of adultery and elopement:

"Raja Sleman... procured a small boat and a messenger, and he indited a letter to Raja Iskander, informing him he had carried away the Raja Maimunah, but that he had not gone far, having only reached the place he named. He added that he would wait there for one night and one day against the coming of any who might wish to try and take the lady from him, and that after that time he should continue his journey to the coast and thence to his own country.

Raja Iskander received this missive whilst yet undecided what course to take in the untoward disaster that had befallen him. The letter did not greatly help him to arrive at a decision, and he was still discussing with his chiefs who should have the honour of pursing and punishing the abductor when the twenty-four hours expired.

Neither Iskander nor any of his people ever started on that quest, and Raja Sleman carried Maimunah in safety to his own country...

The people are so impregnanted with vice that they seek for no excuses to palliate his conduct, and have no condemnation for this ruthless destroyer of Iskander's happy home. But they are Muhammadans, and seldom allow themselves the luxury of burning moral convictions. I have never seen a missionary proselytising amongst the Malays, but many years ago I was told that a Christian missionary came to Malaya full of zeal and confident of success. He began with a man who seemed an earnest, truthful person, anxious to learn, a promising subject. The missionary told him the story of the Immaculate Conception. The Malay listened to the end, showing great interest in the miraculous narrative of the Blessed Virgin ; then he said, "If that had happened to my wife, I should have killed her.""

--- A Malay Romance in Malay Sketches (1903) / Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham
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