Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Black Dot 13 May 1969, "513" Racial Riot Revisited

13 May 1969, a Black Dot in Malaysian History.

Malaysian Chinese and Malays clashed on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and several towns in Peninsula Malaysia.

I should have posted these links two days ago on 13 May 2007 in remembrance of this tragic event. One should never forget history, as one would be bound to repeat them.

In light of cases in recent years where Members of Parliaments in Malaysia have a tendency to play with racial cards to trump up support, maybe it is time for us to reflect on 'possible consequences' of doing so.

Sadly, some politicians are immature and not professional by using such risky approach. As a Malaysian citizen, we should be reminded not to fall into these culprits' trap and jeopardise the security and harmony of our nation.

Malaysia Unplug blog has some international magazine 1969 archives on 13 May
Far Eastern Economic Review's 1969 reports:
Link: http://malaysianunplug.blogspot.com/2007/05/far-eastern-economic-review-s-reports.html

Time Magazine 1969 reports:
Link: http://malaysianunplug.blogspot.com/2007/05/time-magazines-report-on-malaysia-in.html

I was not born yet when this tragedy happened. There were not much of mention in history books. The fact that this event matters is because national policies such as NEP and education are built around it.

I do not have much knowledge about this incident. What I can be sure is, whenever sour notes (such as economic downturn) hit the nation, "13 May 1969" also known as "the 513 incident" would be talked about. When the economic pie shrinks, the non-bumiputras would blame the NEP as being unjust. Accordingly, Bumiputras will claim that the non-bumiputras are refusing to share the economy.

Initially, all parties agreed to NEP to reduce poverty in the nation. These days, public saw it as an opportunity for the elite ruling parties to 'enrich the filthy rich', causing much resentment. The Malay politicians, particularly from UMNO would then invoke and remind the Chinese about "513" as a result for the complaints.

Badruddin Amiruldin, the infamous UMNO MP from Jerai brandished a book on the May 13 Incident during an UMNO General Assembly and exclaimed, "if it (NEP) were disturbed, these hornets will strike and destroy the country".

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badruddin_Amiruldin

One thing attributes to the other. Commonly, the Malays blame the Chinese and the Opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Chinese blame UMNO for 'choreographing' the event. Sad to say, with the minimal lack of evidence, everything is hearsay and one-sided assumptions.

With that in mind, it is good that Raja Petra Kamaruddin of Malaysia Today shared his experience and views on that tragedy.
Link: http://malaysia-today.net/blog2006/holds.php?itemid=3737

I would like to bring the attention to an excerpt from his article:
" But don’t blame the Chinese. Don’t blame the Malays. Don’t blame the Indians either. Blame all three; the Malays, Chinese and Indians. All are to be faulted. All must be blamed. And blame the gangs and secret societies for enforcing this segregation and territorial wars. And blame the government for losing control of the streets to the gangs and secret societies. "

Perhaps, whenever "Civil War" happens, everyone involved should be blamed.

Dr Kua Kia Soong has written a new book, "May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969 (Suaram: Kuala Lumpur, 2007)". The book was launched at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (SCAH) on Sunday morning (coincidentally, Mother's Day is on 13 May 2007). Some speakers were present at the event: Dr Syed Husin Ali, Dr S. Nagarajan and Ms. Beth Yaph.

Link: http://malaysianunplug.blogspot.com/2007/05/may-13-dr-kua-kia-soongs-latest-book.html

His version of the event is based on declassfied documents. It was said that DAP was not the cause of the riot. May 13 was purportedly a successful coup attempt against our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman by people within his party. Sad to say, the victims and pawns were the commoners.

Rustam Sani attended the book launch.
Link: http://malaysia-today.net/blog2006/index.php?itemid=4634

The book will be sold in major bookstores all over Malaysia soon. I would get a copy of it. I would advise anyone I know to read it.

Like what I have said previously, one that does not learn from history, would be bound to repeat the mistakes. My prayers to the solemnly departed in "513". May God bless us and not allow such tragedy to ever happen again in Malaysia.


Anonymous said...

i think it's true. ever race is to blame for what happened that day.

Anonymous said...

You are trying to tell others that if I kill u because you are richer than me, please blem both of us?

Sagaladoola said...

anonymous march 12 2008,

That is a very stupid thing to say. May 13 did not just happen because someone is richer than the other. It was made to be seen that way. Did you read the linked articles on this page before commenting? Did you read the May 13 book written by Dr. Kua Kia Soong. I am sorry to say that you are so shallow

Goodness gracious.

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell, i think everyone needs to be blamed but i don't understand this, how come the bumis in their country, whether Malaysia and Indonesia are still doing so poorly despite their country's effort to raise their standard and their lot in life? Despite being unfair to non-bumis, what have the bumis done for themselves, aside from blaming the Chinese for being richer then they are?

The only country where the bumis are doing well is Singapore where everything is done on a fairer basis and everyone share the success and failure together as a nation.

Bumis should reflect on this and think, how come in most of the regional countries, they are still the poorest even though they have the most priviledges?

Just because people are richer than the bumis, they deserve to die? I don't see any logic in that.

Then if some bumis are rich especially through corruption, do they deserve to die too?

Anonymous said...

I tried to register to your rss feed, but had a error appending it to google right ascension