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In the recent years, it is evident that the nation's history which was the basis for the development of our nation's civilisation is increasingly disregarded. Historical knowledge and literacy is not considered as intellectual assets which generate profit nor having any commercial values. Therefore it is not a priority and is regarded only as general knowledge.
However, whether we realise or not, history education is an important asset, and is able to form strong national identity and create a more organised and directed citizen and country. History is also very important in building the spirit of patriotism which is eroding among the younger generation. Thus, most of us forgot that our country was colonised for 446 years (1511-1957), which is indeed a very long duration.
We also tend to forget about the misery and bitter struggles of our forefathers because we did not experience it ourselves. In retrospect, definitely many of our children are not familiar with the illustrious names such as Mat Kilau, Tok Janggut, Dato' Bahaman, Abdul Rahman Limbong, Dol Said, Rentap and many others because each day they are exposed to various imaginary/futuristic heroes such as Spiderman or Superman who are more fantasizing and enthralling.
For the knowledge and benefit of the present generation it is necessary to reflect the good deeds and struggle of our forefathers such as Mat Kilau who was one of the most prominent freedom fighters in the state of Pahang. He was renowned for his bravery and strength in launching resistance movements against the British who intervened in the state of Pahang administrative matters from 1891 to 1895. Mat Kilau objected the implementation of the Resident System which reduced the power of the sultan in administrative matters, marginalising the roles of local chieftains and for compromising in the wellbeing of the village people.
In the beginning of his resistance, Mat Kilau instructed his followers to cut off the telegraph lines to hamper and disconnect communication links between the British administrative officials. However, these acts were detected by the British and they tried to persuade Mat Kilau to cooperate with them, but this offer was rejected outright by Mat Kilau.
Mat Kilau's refusal to cooperate was used as an excuse by the British to arrest him. Thus operations to arrest Mat Kilau and his followers were launched..
Mat Kilau's struggles and leadership qualities can be testified from his dedication and willingness to persistently fight the British although he faced very difficult challenges. He realised that the Sultan who was under the influence and command of the British will not possibly provide support to his resistance efforts. In addition, there were also several local chieftains and village people who were on the British side providing information and participated in operations to hunt him down and his followers.