The Conspiracy Behind May 13, 1969….

September 26, 2008 at 2:48 pm Leave a comment

I believe most of you have heard of the May 13 incident, which is the Malaysian Riots of 1969.
However, have you really know the real story of this incident?

The official version of the 13th May 1969 riots puts the blame on the provocation by opposition parties after they had made significant gains in the 1969 general elections. However, there is little evidence to support this allegation.


The Alliance Racial Formula
The Alliance formula at Independence contained contradictions which exacerbated ethnic tensions right up to the general elections of 1969. The British colonial power had backed UMNO’s demands for Malay “special privileges” while the anti-colonial nationalist movement was forced into a defensive position on Non-Malay’s citizenship and cultural rights.

The post-colonial economy also provided the conditions for the rise of the state capitalist class which used Malay-centrism as its ideology to rally support among the Malay masses. During this period, social inequality was maintained and continued to be interpreted in communal terms.

The 1969 General Elections
The Malaysian 3rd General Election was held at the 13th of May 1969.

The opposition parties made an electoral pact not to split the votes even though they were at opposite ends of their respective communalist propaganda. The results of the 1969 General Elections shook the status quo, for it completely demolished the Alliance edifice that had stood unchallenged since Independence. UMNO lost 17 parliamentary seats mainly to Parti Islam, and won only 51; MCA won only 13 seats, conceding 20 to the opposition;
while MIC won only two out of the three allocated to the party.

At the state level, the results were even more surprising; Kelantan was again lost to Parti Islam; the Alliance was beaten in Penang and Perak; the seats were evenly distributed in the capital state of Selangor; while the Alliance managed only 13 out of 24 in Terengganu. The worst defeat was suffered by MCA, whose candidates won only in constituencies with a strong Malay representation.

There were certainly widespread discontent among the workers, farmers, middle classes as well as urban setters. The state’s racially discriminatory policies only served to create further divisions among the people and the 1969 election result clearly reflected this growing polarisation.

Record of The Riots
The declassified documents from the Public Record Office and foreign correspondents’ dispatches show that there was a plan in place to assemble young Malay hoodlums from all over Selangor at the residence of the Selangor’s Menteri Besar’s residence and that mischief was afoot. Once the rioting had started, the security forces did not keep order impartially but stood by while these hoodlums were allowed to burn and kill indiscriminately. Troops also fired indiscriminately into Chinese shop-houses and were partial in making arrest. Consequently, the casualties were preponderantly Chinese.

These documents also show that Razak was in complete control from the start of the riots and with emergency in place, had a free hand in planning the post-1969 political makeup with the backing of armed forces.

The worst racial rioting the country had ever experienced flared up in Kuala Lumpur on the evening of May 13, and within days, the official number of dead stood at 137, with more than 300 injured, hundreds of houses gutted and scores of vehicles burnt.

The actual figure of fatalities has been a matter of dispute but from the various sources garnered from the documents at the Public Record Office, London, we can see that the official statistics were grossly understated and the ethnic distribution of casualties disguised.

Foreign Assessments of The Regime Change
Documents declassified at the Public Record Office, London after the thirty-year secrecy rule also contain confidential memoranda written by the respective British High Commission officers in the West and East Malaysia, the British Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as the Ministry of Overseas Development.

They contain information gathered in the course of diplomatic meetings; private intelligence gathering by embassy staff; reports by British embassy personnel in other capitals around the world, notably Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Australia, New Zealand; choices selections of media coverage of the Malaysian riots of 1969.

Through a study on these documents, we get to know not only the reality behind the strongly censored official version of the events but also how the Malaysian riots were perceived by the officials in different capitals around the world. Together they build up a picture of disapproval by regional and other foreign capitals of the racial discrimination and slaughter of ethnic Chinese in the May 1969 events. The Indonesian regime was the only exception; indeed, we learn from the records that General Suharto was the only foreign leader to have sent a congratulatory note to the new Malaysian regime over the May 1969 affair.

In the BHC in Kuala Lumpur, the suspension of the Sarawak state elections was regretted since it was clear that this was part of the plan by the new regime in Kuala Lumpur to gain control political development in East Malaysia. We look at further documents showing how the arms lobby in Britain and Australia tried to justify giving military equipment to a country ruled by emergency decree and practicing racial discrimination. In the end, British pragmatism dictated that supporting the dominant Malay ruling party in Malaysia would serve British interest better. Dissenting British volunteers in the Volunteer Service Organisation (VSO) were given a tongue lashing for their “ignorance of racial favouritism in any racially mixed community”.

The Thai press could clearly see through the racially discriminatory policies of the Malaysian regime and they were sure that the rioters of May 1969 had acted with a purpose. The views of Premier Lee Kuan Yew are always note worthy. In the records, we find that he still had hopes that the Tunku would continue to play a father figure role in the new set-up, but Razak had gone down in his esteem by playing the role of “an evil genius”. The Chinese government in Beijing was more cautious since they probably did not want to create more anti-Chinese feelings in the region after the events of 1965 in Indonesia.

The New Malay Ruling Class
It is clear that the riots of May 1969 had led to the ascendant of the state capitalist class which controlled the National Operations Council. It was also evident that the old aristocratic class under the Tunku had been eclipsed by the new Malay elite under the leadership of Razak.

This new Malay ruling class largely maintained the Alliance formula but enlarged it to incorporate more opposition parties. However, the predominance of UNMO within its larger coalition was unmistakable. The racial bloodbath and the state of emergency under military rule was intended to serve as a deterrent to any challenge to UMNO’s dominance of the post-1969 Malaysian political landscape.

The climate of terror and repression allowed the new regime to introduce and implement discriminatory Malay-centric economic, educational and cultural policies. These policies have been crucial in winning over the Malay masses to support the new Malay ruling class. At the same time, these discriminatory policies have been instrumental in facilitating the accumulation of capital by the new Malay capitalist class.

Toward National Reconciliation
Nearly forty years after this regrettable May 13 incident in Malaysia, little effort has been made by the authorities to work towards national reconciliation. The National Operation Council did not hold any open inquiry into the incident and the causes of the post-election disturbances.

The Alliance government rejected as unfounded and malicious the accounts of foreign correspondents as to the nature of the bloodbath which occurred even though its own statistics by race on deaths and arrests support those accounts generally.

Since then, UMNO leaders have periodically used the May 13 incident as a threat to would-be dissidents who try to argue for civil rights and even to deter any attempts by voters to vote for the Opposition. We also have witnessed several episodes since 1969 where mobs orchestrated by UMNO have defied the law to harass and threaten Malaysians who question the denial of their civil rights. The connivance of the police and security forces was particularly suspect in the APCET II episode in 1996 and the Kampung Medan incident in 2001.

UMNO leaders have since insisted that Malaysians must agree not to discuss publicly “subjects already enshrined in the Constitution”, and indicated that these forbidden subjects include race, religion, language and the status of the sultans and their families.

The UMNO general assembly in November 2006 has been no exception to a practice in these assemblies where veiled threats are issued and keris (Malay daggers) are unsheathed. In the assembly, a delegate even egged on the UMNO Youth leader (who happened to be also a government minister) by asking when he was going to use the unsheathed keris, a clear incitement to violence.

Declassified Documents

Documents declassified at the Public Record Office, London after the thirty-year secrecy rule also contain confidential memoranda written by the respective British High Commission officers in the West and East Malaysia, the British Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as the Ministry of Overseas Development.

They contain information gathered in the course of diplomatic meetings; private intelligence gathering by embassy staff; reports by British embassy personnel in other capitals around the world, notably Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Australia, New Zealand; choices selections of media coverage of the Malaysian riots of 1969.

Through a study on these documents, we get to know not only the reality behind the strongly censored official version of the events but also how the Malaysian riots were perceived by the officials in different capitals around the world. Together they build up a picture of disapproval by regional and other foreign capitals of the racial discrimination and slaughter of ethnic Chinese in the May 1969 events. The Indonesian regime was the only exception; indeed, we learn from the records that General Suharto was the only foreign leader to have sent a congratulatory note to the new Malaysian regime over the May 1969 affair.

In the BHC in Kuala Lumpur, the suspension of the Sarawak state elections was regretted since it was clear that this was part of the plan by the new regime in Kuala Lumpur to gain control political development in East Malaysia. We look at further documents showing how the arms lobby in Britain and Australia tried to justify giving military equipment to a country ruled by emergency decree and practicing racial discrimination. In the end, British pragmatism dictated that supporting the dominant Malay ruling party in Malaysia would serve British interest better. Dissenting British volunteers in the Volunteer Service Organisation (VSO) were given a tongue lashing for their “ignorance of racial favouritism in any racially mixed community”.

The Thai press could clearly see through the racially discriminatory policies of the Malaysian regime and they were sure that the rioters of May 1969 had acted with a purpose. The views of Premier Lee Kuan Yew are always note worthy. In the records, we find that he still had hopes that the Tunku would continue to play a father figure role in the new set-up, but Razak had gone down in his esteem by playing the role of “an evil genius”. The Chinese government in Beijing was more cautious since they probably did not want to create more anti-Chinese feelings in the region after the events of 1965 in Indonesia.

This entry was posted on February 25, 2008 at 10:37 pm and is filed under May 13th.
 

 

From: Earth Explode Blog

Entry filed under: Conspiracy Theory, Facts on May 13. Tags: .

The Race Riots of May 13th 1969 Not Quite What It Says On The Cover

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