Exactly 40 years ago a great tragedy occurred in Kuala Lumpur where many people were killed or injured. This tragedy came to be known as the May 13, 1969 incident. Today the very mention of May 13 still bring shudders and strike fear in the hearts of many Malaysians.
Generally, the subject of May 13 is a social taboo in Malaysia, at least in public discourse. It is the tacit understanding of reasonable citizens that the topic is too sensitive for public discussion, especially among mixed company thus perpetuating the fears and myths.
It is with this unhealthy closeting of truths that a blogger decided to create a blog which aims to bring out ‘TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION’ and a proper closure to the tragic incident. After all reconciliation always starts with the TRUTH.
This initiators of this blog believes that every Malaysian particularly those born post-May 13, 1969 should be given every opportunity to learn the truth about the tragic May 13 incident. As a visitor to Malaysiakini commented,
“How are we to achieve excellence if we do not allow the freedom to probe and research? Without this freedom to probe and research, we will always be a mediocre nation and a mediocre people. “
The South Africans under their first ANC government thought so. Once the native Africans came to power after a bloody and protracted struggle, they did not persecute their white minority population as Robert Mugabe did in Zimbabwe. Instead, the first ANC government established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, confronted their ugly past face to face, and wrestled their infamous national demon to the ground. ” – Sim Kwang Yang in “Unmasking the Hornets”, Malaysiakini
The initiators of this blog invites all Malaysians to confront their ugly past face to face, and wrestled their infamous national demon to the ground. And nothing short of an national inquiry and the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission could this past demon be overcome.
This blog also invites any eyewitness accounts of the May 13 incident to come forward and published their stories here for future generations to know. Its time for the tragedy to be demystified.
NO MORE SECRECY. NO MORE CENSORSHIP.
LET THE TRUTH BE TOLD.
January 24, 2014
Will we ever be rid of the spectre of May 13? The riots and killings associated with that date happened 45 years ago, when many of us had not even been born. And yet the ghosts from that tragic time have kept coming back to haunt us, most noticeably when Umno’s interests are threatened. They haunted us during the run-up to the last general election, when popular sentiment seemed to favour the opposition. And they were back again recently, when some people felt slighted by criticism directed at the Prime Minister, who is Umno’s president.
The disturbing thing about the banner displayed during the Jan 18 Umno protest in Penang is that it was a direct threat of bloodshed against non-Malays—and over an issue that had nothing to do with race. And no significant figure from Putrajaya immediately condemned it as a threat to national security. That is even more disturbing. Will the world pity us or laugh at us if this country is brought to ruin over a vegetable?
In recent years, there have been several calls for a royal inquiry aimed at discovering the truth behind May 13. The government has ignored these calls. But neither have political activists or the blogging public given the idea much support, perhaps because of disappointment with the conduct and findings of past inquiries into other matters of public interest.
Those inquiries came about after much public pressure, but the trouble was the commissioners who conducted them were appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, who cannot be expected to be impartial since he also heads a political party with vested interests in the issues inquired into.
It wouldn’t take much argument to convince anyone—at least anyone worried that we are coming close to another bloody episode of our history—that an inquiry into the causes and aftermath of May 13 is more worthy of a royal commission of inquiry than the issue of whether a lawyer corruptly influenced judicial decisions. But for the inquiry to be credible and effective in establishing the authoritative truth,civil society must be involved in the appointment of the people conducting it.
It’s time to let the ghosts of May 13 rest.
JANUARY 23, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: JANUARY 23, 2014 09:43 AM
Putrajaya must end attempts by groups conspiring to create conditions for another May 13, says a veteran oppositionleader, who questioned why this was not addressed in yesterday’s cabinet meeting.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang (pic) said Pakatan Rakyat had offered an olive branch to Barisan Nasional to discuss these issues and asked if the Najib administration was prepared to accept the overture.
“If the BN and PR coalitions are united to ensure that there would not be another May 13, who in Malaysia could conspire and create the conditions for another May 13?” he asked.
Lim said the first stage of those who wanted racial problems were the speeches and threats made by Umno leaders before the 13th general election, specifically warnings that there would be racial riots if Umno was defeated and the Malays lose political power.
“This is a fallacy for the Malays will never lose political power even if Umno is defeated as the coalition of PKR, PAS and DAP will ensure there will be no loss of Malay political power,” Lim said in a statement today.
He also said it was wrong to equate Umno rule with Malay power, as it was the “Umno Baruputras” who stood to benefit under the Umno Baru rule and not Malays in general.
Lim pointed out the second stage of May 13 threats was staged by Penang Umno and their allies over the “kangkung” furore, with the use of slogans and banners to incite racial and religious hatred.
“These May 13 conspirators are hoping to destabilise the situation with the public losing confidence because of the double standards of the police and the authorities.
Lim gave the example of PKR Machang Bubuk assemblyman Lee Khai Loon, who has been called by police to have his statement recorded this afternoon.
“But Umno Kepala Batas MP Reezal Merican Naina Merican and Umno state secretary and Bukit Mertajam chief Musa Sheikh Fadzir are treated with kid gloves by the police although guilty of the most seditious offence in inciting racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension.”
Lim questioned if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the cabinet would continue to issue “blank cheques” to Umno and its allies to destabilise the country with talk of another May 13.
“Are peace-loving Malaysians going to be cowed and intimidated by the traitors out to destroy a plural society with their continued incitement of racial and religious hatred, just to realise their objective of creating another May 13?
“These are questions awaiting urgent answers.” – January 23, 2014.
JANUARY 20, 2014
Tindakan sekumpulan penyokong Umno mengadakan demontrasi mempertahankan Najib yang telah “dikangkungkan” sejak lebih seminggu lalu, bukanlah sesuatu yang luar biasa. Adalah menjadi hak dan kebebasan mereka untuk berbuat demikian, lebih-lebih lagi ia merupakan tindak balas terhadap apa yang telah menimpa Najib sendiri.
Apa yang luar biasa ialah mengaitkan perhimpunan itu dengan unsur-unsur perkauman dan tragedi 13 Mei 1969. Walaupun kejadian bagaimana Najib “dikangkungkan” tiada langsung berunsur perkauman, sebaliknya adalah respons menyeluruh melibatkan semua bangsa yang rasa tidak tidak puas hati dengan peningkatan harga barang yang gagal dikawal oleh kerajaan sejak kebelakangan ini, tetapi membawa sepanduk dan kata-kata yang berkaitan dengan provokasi 13 Mei jelas merupakan sesuatu yang malang.
Nampaknya, mereka yang cuba mempertahan dan membela Najib telah gagal memahami isu yang sebenarnya. Isunya ialah berkaitan kenaikan harga barang dan peningkatan kos sara hidup dan tindakan menyuapkan replika Najib dengan kangkung juga sama sekali tidak berunsur perkauman walaupun ia dilakukan oleh seorang wakil rakyat berbangsa Cina.
Kalau mahu dikatakan ia penghinaan pula, tentulah perbuatan melakukan aksi tarian punggung dan menghantar kek berbentuk najis kepada Lim Guan Eng, lebih jauh merupakan penghinaan dan tidak bertamadunnya dalam melakukan serangan politik.
Oleh itu, dalam menyerang balas tindakan yang berunsur politik ini, lebih-lebih lagi sebagaimana yang selalu ditekankan oleh Khairy Jamaluddin bahawa hujah mestilah dilawan dengan hujah, membawa elemen perkauman dan mengungkit peristiwa berdarah 13 Mei adalah langkah ke belakang dan tidak bijak.
Bagaimana Najib “dikangkungkan” seharusnya dilawan dengan hujah lebih baik dan bernas. Kebangkitan hampir seluruh rakyat daripada segenap bangsa dalam isu kangkung ini menunjukkan rakyat mahukan jawapan dan penyelesaian dalam menangani kenaikan kos sara hidup.
Jawapan yang ditunggu oleh rakyat ialah bagaimana kerajaan seharusnya menggunakan kuasanya sebagai kerajaan dalam perkara ini dan bukannya menyalahkan pihak lain seperti orang tengah dan sebagainya.
Dengan menyalahkan orang tengah semata-mata sebagaimana kata Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor hanyalah menunjukkan betapa lemah dan tidak bermayanya kerajaan dalam mengurus sesuatu isu dan ini lebih membeti insprasi agar kerajaan yang ada ditukar kepada kerajaan yang lebih tahu menggunakan kuasanya.
Berhimpun dan berdemo tidak menjadi kesalahan dan ia mungkin salah satu cara meluahkan perasaan tetapi serangan yang dilakukan mestilah bijak. Mengancam dengan peritiwa 13 Mei dalam isu kangkung dan kenaikan harga barang ini langsung tidak mencerminkan kematangan dan persembahan hujah yang baik dalam politik.
Setelah lebih 40 tahun berlalu, peristiwa 13 Mei sepatutnya semakin dilupakan dan bukan sering diingati serta dijadikan alat provokasi terhadap kaum lain.
Terus-menerus membangkitkan peristiwa 13 Mei bukan saja merenggangkan lagi hubungan antara kaum, bahkan meretakkan hubungan sesama komponen BN sendiri. Masyarakat bukan Melayu pula akan terus menjauhi Umno, BN dan kerajaan selagi peristiwa 13 Mei ini sering diungkit dan dijadikan alat provokasi politik.
Generasi muda pula tentulah lebih tidak senang dengan ancaman 13 Mei ini kerana ia adalah sketsa sedih yang tidak mahu dikenang lagi oleh mereka.
Orang Melayu pula tidak seharusnya berbangga dengan 13 Mei itu. Ini kerana 13 Mei bukanlah cerita kejayaan yang perlu dibangga-banggakan, sebaliknya ia juga menampakkan sisi kegagalan sebagai sebuah bangsa. Untuk terus berjaya, kita seharusnya sentiasa melihat ke hadapan dan bukannya sering menoleh-noleh ke belakang ketika sedang berlari.
Oleh kerana sentimen dan provokasi 13 Mei ini dibangkitkan di Pulau Pinang, adalah dijangkakan selagi irama peristiwa berdarah 13 Mei terus dibangkitkan, harapan BN untuk terus menawan negeri itu kekal dalam “pelukan mimpi”. – shahbudindotcom, 20 Januari, 2014.
Kangkung ‘insult’ brings out a tardy but bloodthirsty Umno
JANUARY 19, 2014
Among banners at the Umno gathering yesterday were one which read ‘Because of DAP’s leaders mouth, May 13, 1969 happened… Want some more?’ – January 19, 2014.The script might be off by days but Penang Umno finally protested yesterday over PKR assemblyman Lee Khai Loon for organising a kangkung flash mob against Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak last week.
And what an overreaction it was. It had to be the late, late show by Penang Umno which decided to go over the top and raise the threat of May 13 and bloodshed over the adverse reaction to their national leader’s remarks.
But does Umno need to always raise that threat of bloodshed? Does it think it can always ignore the law and hold a protest without any action from the police, unlike other groups?
How is it that 600 Umno members or supporters can take to the streets of Seberang Jaya with provocative banners, including one asking if the state’s ruling coalition wanted another May 13, without any police action?
The banners yesterday read: “Because of DAP’s leaders mouth, May 13, 1969 happened… Want some more?”, “Insulting the PM is like insulting the Malays”, “Penang Malays survive by eating kangkung”, “ABCD – Asal Bukan Cina DAP” and “DAP is the enemy of Islam”, and reflect Umno members’ penchant to overreact.
But hasn’t Umno always claimed innocence on the question of who caused the 1969 riots? Yet the swiftness in which they rely on it as their weapon suggests some affection to that black mark in Malaysian history.
Umno members protesting against the ‘insults’ on their party president in Seberang Jaya, yesterday. – January 19, 2014.The May 13 riots happened 45 years ago and should be kept in the past. It should not be the bogeyman that anyone should use to shut up debate or quell dissent.
Raising the spectre of May 13 would only strengthen the case that Umno had a hand in it and will always use it to blackmail Malaysians into accepting its rule, rather than deciding freely which government should run the country.
The reality is that Penang Umno is way too late in defending the Prime Minister now, or venting their anger at the Machang Bubuk assemblyman for organising the flash mob.
And suggesting bloodshed makes the protest even more farcical.
Umno members must realise people are just poking fun at their president, and arguing back does not require anyone spilling blood. That is surely too late, too much and too silly a response to the antics of the PKR politician and his cohorts.
Penang Umno secretary Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir and Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya are right in saying it has undermined and damaged their leader, but does it mean retribution must be by blood?
Is that all they can think about instead of an intelligent debate over the issues of the day? Or is this the quality of Umno members these days?
Umno does not need mob mentality or throwaway remarks about kangkung prices if it wants to keep its popularity among the people or take on its political foes. Doing so only suggests the Malay nationalist party is in decline and bereft of ideas and intelligence.
Or maybe that is the Umno of today, stuck in a rut of zero sum games where May 13 is the be all and end all solution for all its woes. – January 19, 2014.
Now, Penang pro-Umno mob descend on DAP rep’s service centre
JANUARY 19, 2014
A man said to have engaged in a war of words with the pro-Umno mob being assaulted by protesters who gathered at DAP MP Lee Khai Loon’s service centre in Bukit Mertajam, this morning. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 19, 2014.Umno members today burnt a mannequin bearing a mugshot of Machang Bubuk assemblyman Lee Khai Loon, spitting and stepping on it in front of his service centre, for his role in a flash mob last week deriding Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s now famous ‘kangkung’ speech.
The mob of about 300 gathered at Lee’s service centre in Alma, Bukit Mertajam, bearing handwritten placards condemning him. One man was even seen mooning at Lee’s portrait.
Some of the placards were pasted on the shutters of an unused shoplot nearby, and the crowd vented their anger against DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang and his son Lim Guan Eng, the Penang Chief Minister.
The protest comes a day after Penang Umno members protested yesterday in Seberang Jaya with slogans threatening another May 13-style riot, and marched about 1 kilometre towards the Sunway Carnival Mall with banners.
Today’s protest was also joined by leaders of several pro-Umno organisations including Penang Malay Congress, Penang Pekida and Perkasa.
They made fiery speeches to defend Najib, whose kangkung (water spinach) analogy has been recently at the centre of cyberspace humour.
Lee had earlier led a flash mob where an effigy of Najib was stuffed with the vegetable. – January 19, 2014.
- However, we are not free yet. We are not free from the baggage of racial mistrust, religious dogmatism and intellectual corruption.We sell our souls for position as we attempt to sell our country’s future for instant gratification. We have been and continue to be smothered by what seems constant scandals and racial, political and religious grandstanding.
The latest issue being the new movie funded by the government called ‘Tanda Putra’. A pretty mediocre to bad attempt at portraying the period surrounding the racial riots of May 13th 1969. Tun Dr. Ismail would not have been pleased.
Suhaimi Baba was given RM4.8 million grant to produce and shoot the movie and yet she had committed such an stupid and IDIOTIC mistake? Should the government request for a return of the grant?
BY IDA LIMSEPTEMBER 13, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — The producer of controversial film “Tanda Putera” today apologised to DAP’s Lim Kit Siang over a photograph with a caption accusing him of urinating at the flagpole of a Selangor Mentri Besar’s house on May 13, 1969, the day of the racial riots.
Pesona Pictures said the photograph, which depicts Lim as being manhandled with the controversial note, was posted on its Facebook page earlier last year due to an oversight.
It clarified that there was no truth in the caption which said “Lim Kit Siang had urinated at the foot of the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor MB Harun Idris’ house”.
“We, Messrs Pesona Pictures Sdn Bhd, unreservedly apologise to Mr Lim Kit Siang for the embarrassment caused by the aforementioned publication which is devoid of truth,” Pesona said in a letter posted today on the official Facebook page of Tanda Putera.
Pesona denied that the company had intentionally published the photograph and the caption, explaining that it had originated from a blog link in a subscriber’s comment on the Facebook page.
“The photograph and its accompanying caption made its way onto our official Facebook account Tanda Putera via a subscriber’s comment attaching a link to another blog. One of the administrators of our Facebook account opened the link provided and found the impugned photograph and its caption. Innocently believing the same to be in some manner relevant to the movie Tanda Putera, he proceeded to copy and save them onto the Facebook’s photo album.
Creating animosity between races by sensationalizing FALSEHOODS!
The Malay Mail Online
September 11, 2013
SEPT 11 — You would think I set fire to the flag and declared my allegiance to North Korea, judging from the vitriol I got for my “Tanda Putera” review.
Someone even said that I shouldn’t have been so hard on the film since it was “a local film.”
So if it is a local film, I shouldn’t expect it to have a coherent script?
So if it is a local film, I shouldn’t hope the actors are more than decorative furnishings that speak?
So if it is a local film, I should fully expect it to be bad and be pleasantly surprised if it does not suck
If a film is about any of our historical leaders, painting them in a beatific light then I have to like it before even watching it?
I swear we live in a nation populated by brainwashed sheep. Where when you point out the wolves, the sheep will bite you in retaliation.
My hate for “Tanda Putera” was also, supposedly, a sign of my “not getting laid enough.” It is bad enough that is a hateful, sexist remark but the person who said it was a woman.
I may not agree with what many people say about many things (or even about me) but opinions are what they are, opinions.
But it is not an “opinion” to say that a person’s opinion of something is directly correlated to what goes on in the bedroom.
So are you saying that the decisions of noted celibates like the Pope, the Dalai Lama and other religious figures are motivated by their lacking a sex life?
Dear Malaysians: you can have 20 orgasms a day and still find “Tanda Putera” lacking.