May 13, 2009

13 May 1969 "40 Years of Remembrance" - A Dark Spot of Malaysia

I don't agree when Malaysians try to avoid talking about 13 May. I don't also agree with some parties in Malaysia try to resemble this event blaming other without any proof of facts. This very dark spot should be remembered as this will always reminds us how all of us are humans. Where this country of ours are so fragile & if we don't learn to learn to live with each other god knows what will happen.

This Article today is no more than extraction 'not so detailed' info on the events that I've extracted from Government & Politics [1940-2006].

Events leading to 13 May 1969.

A bitter election campaign was fought by various political parties prior to the general election of 10 May 1969. Party leaders stoked racial & religious sentiments in order to win support. Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) accused the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) of selling the rights of the Malays to the chinese, while Democratic Action Party (DAP) accused MCA of giving in to UMNO. The DAP promoted the concept of 'Malaysian Malaysia' which would deprive the Malays of their special rights under the Constitution. Both the DAP & the People's Progressive Party objected to Malay as the national language & proposed multi-lingualism in its stead.

Senior Alliance politicians, including PM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, accused the People's Action Party of Singapore of involvement in the campaign, as it had done during the 1964 general election campaign. The run-up to the election was marred by two deaths; that of an UMNO election agent, who was killed by a group f armed Chinese youths in Penang & that of a member of the Labour Party of Malaya (LPM) who was killed in Kepong, Selangor.

There was a contrast in the handling of these two deaths. The UMNO worker was buried without publicity, while the LPM member was honoured at a parade on 9 May when some 3000 LPM members marched from Kuala Lumpur to Kepong, violating regulations & trying to provoke incidents with the police. Participants sang Communists songs, waved red flags, & called upon the people to boycott the general election.

Amidst this tension, the general election was held on 10 May 1969. Election day itself passed incident; the results the following day showed that the opposition had tied with the Alliance for control of the Selangor state legislature.

On 12 May, thousands of Chinese marched through KL & parading through the predominantly Malay areas of Kampung Baru & Kampung Pandan, they hurled insults of a racial nature.

The events of 13 May.

Members of UMNO youth gathered in KL at the residence of Selangor MB, Dato' Harun bin Hji Idris,on 13 May & demanded that they too should hold a victory celebration; at the national level the Alliance had gained the majority by cooperating with the sole independent candidate.

While the UMNO Youth members were gathered in the compound of the MB residence, two cars containing a number of Chinese suddenly drew up. The Chinese asked the gathering to disperse, saying that the residence now belonged to the opposition leader. Meanwhile, news arrived that Chinese groups had attacked Malays in Setapak. This triggered a wave of violence resulting in loss of life & property.

Declaration of Emergency

Many people in KL were caught in the midst of the racial violence. Dozens were injured & even killed; houses were burnt, & lorries & cars wrecked. The violence was largely limited to KL, although isolated skirmishes occurred in Melaka, Perak & Penang. The government ordered an immediate round the clock curfew throughout the state of Selangor (which at the time included KL). Security forces took control of the situation; 2000 Malay Regiment soldiers & 3600 police officers were deployed. Over 300 Chinese families were moved to refugee centres at the Merdeka Stadium & the Tiong Nam Settlement.

On 14 May 1969, a state of emergency was declared throughout the country, & on 16 May the National Operations Council (NOC) was established by proclamation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong & headed by Tun Abdul Razak. With Parliament suspended, the NOC became the supreme decision-making body for the next 18 months. State & District Operations Councils took over state & local government.

The NOC implemented security measures to restore law & order in the country, including the establishment of an unarmed Vigilante Corps, a territorial army, & police force battalions. The restoration of order in the country, although not immediately accomplished, was gradually achieved. Curfew continued in most parts of the country, but were gradually scaled back. Peace was restored in the affected areas within 2 months. In February 1971 parliamentary rule was re-established.

Official Reasons - NOC Report

' The eruption of violence on May 13 was the result of an interplay of forces... These include a generation gap & differences in interpretation of the constitutional structure by the different races in the country..., the incitement, intemperate statements & provocative behaviour of certain racialist party members & supporters during the recent General Election; the part played by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) & secret societies in inciting racial feelings & suspicion; and the anxious, & later desperate, mood of the Malays with a background of Sino-Malay distrust, and recently, just after the General Election, as a result of racial insults & threats to their future survival in their own country'

- Government & Politics [1940-2006)

Must read this book as well for knowledge ;
- May 13 Before & After by Tunku Abdul Rahman
- The May 13 Tragedy by NOC

Never believe this book (try to twist the fact) but u can read it for fun.
- May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969 by DAP member Dr Kua Kia Soong

Must read blog regarding the issue (especially the Author of Declassified Doc)
- Jebat Must Die - 13 May The Correct view
Bro JMD - Thanks for the article

Other Perspektif :-
History is there for a reason. For people to relate back what went wrong & make it a lesson learned. So that we don't repeat the same mistake all over again. Some said history normally repeat itself after 40-50 years. We just pray those days wont come. Let us remembrance this Dark Spot of History close in one hearth & never repeat the same mistake again. Together as one as One Malaysia...


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