After years of waiting, we finally got to see the first of six Second Generation Patrol Vessel (SGPV), also known as Malaysian LCS.
The photo once again proven that Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) planners are cheeky fellows. When the LCS were described as patrol vessels, this had created a notion that these are small PV that our navy still operates.
Similarly, the same happened when NGPV were described as NGPV.
I don't have the exact measurement, but some comments pointed that the SGPV are likely to be larger than the Lekiu class frigate, which points to the fact our Gowind are likely to be in frigate configuration rather than corvette.
The unveiling of the photos also coincide to the class being named as Maharaja Lela class, with the first ship named as KD Maharaja Lela (pennant number 2501).
|Names of ships under Maharaja Lela class. Note the whole class will be named for warriors who fought against British colonial powers.|
This is said to be interesting as this would be the first time names of national heroes who fought against the British are given to RMN ships (Faris J pointed out that that honour should go to Laksamana Mohd Amin who was involved in the same incident and was exiled to Seychelles too. He later died in Singapore, before being reinterred to Perak Royal Mausoleum.)
|Reinterrement of Laksamana Mohd Amin - credit Merahsilu blogspot|
|Arrival of casket containing the remains of Laksamana Muhd Amin. Note the remains were carried back to Malaysia on Laksamana class vessel named after him. Source - The Star.|
Personally, seeing the SGPV taking shape has a very nostalgic and deep meaning to me as I had strongly defended these ships against undue criticism. Some politicians took to manipulate issues surrounding the procurement of these ships by comparing them against ships of other classes, and even a piece of Cold War era relic built in 1965.
|BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a Cold War era Hamilton class cutter in the service of Philippines Navy|
Naming the ship as KD Maharaja Lela is very significant, as he was technically the first Malay aristocrat that fought against the British Residency system. (Though Dato' Dol Said of Naning did fought earlier, his was against the British who temporarily took control of Naning from the Dutch).
|Sketch of Dato' Dol Said, probably sketched after his exile to Singapore. Source - Tokoh Sejarah Malaysia blog|
The killing of JWW Birch by Si Putum (some varied the spelling as Seputum), a Dato Maharaja Lela's follower led to the their hanging (those hanged were Dato Maharaja Lela, Dato' Sagor, Pandak Lam and Si Putum). This also resulted in Sultan Abdullah to be exiled to Seychelles.
|JWW Birch, the first Resident of Perak. Source Wikipedia|
It was the descendents of Sultan Abdullah's court that wrote the tune that would be known as Mamula Moon, Terang Boelan, and later to be adopted as the state anthem for Perak. And from there, the National Anthem of Malaysia.
Interestingly, it was also Sultan Abdullah's descendent who returned to Malaya that managed to convince the Raja-raja Melati to petition to the British to support the formation of Malay Regiment, which in turn was the nucleus to the formation of Malaysian Armed Forces.
And interestingly, as part of Perak Royal Family, they represent the last of the Royal bloodline from Parameswara of Palembang.
These are not coincidence. The SGPV will signify the rise of Royal Malaysian Navy to reclaim its rightful place in the waters of Southeast Asia, with the full blessing from His Majesty the King. Daulat Tuanku!