From this condition it is that none of the Malay rajas ever expose their Malay subjects to disgrace or shame; they never bind them, nor hang them, nor give them opprobrious language; for whenever a raja exposes his subjects to disgrace, it is the certain token of the destruction of his country; hence also it is, that none of the Malay race ever engage in rebellion, or turn their faces from their own rajas, even though their conduct be bad, and their proceedings tyrannical.
— Malay Annals: Translated from the Malay Language. Trans. John Leyden. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Ormg and Brown, 1821. 26 – 27.
How do we reconcile this with the Singaporean present, when we are so far removed from the past?