Those in power will do ANYTHING it takes to remain in power. This is a basic Machiavellian truism. Exceptions to the rule occur, of course, but all too rarely. It takes a Prince Siddhartha to turn one’s back on the false and treacherous allure of earthly power and embark on a personal quest for truth and enlightenment.
Or perhaps a prince like Tunku Abdul Rahman who resigned a sad and broken man after May 13 rather than battle those within Umno who wanted him out.
Shortly before his death, the Tunku confided – in a series of intimate interviews with K. Das, former bureau chief of the Far Eastern Economic Review, who was working on the Tunku’s official biography – that what happened on May 13, 1969, was really the implementation of a contingency plan to prevent the political opposition (in this instance the DAP and PAS) from forming a parliamentary majority after the 1969 general election. The Tengku actually named FIVE individuals who were the key conspirators.*
Strategies had been laid long before the general election to spark off “racial riots” – in the event of a poor showing for the ruling party in the polls – that would precipitate the declaration of a state of national emergency (temporary martial law and the hasty formation of the National Operations Council) – and the nullification of the 1969 election results. The loss of a few hundred lives was deemed a necessary sacrifice to ensure Umno’s continued dominance and the political survival of the Alliance (now the Barisan Nasional).
The plan obviously worked. By declaring it a “sensitive” issue, the May 13 plot effectively acquired the status of a national taboo, thereby protecting its perpetrators from a royal commission of inquiry and charges of criminal treason. 35 years down the line, not one of the five key conspirators has ever been exposed and charged with complicity in this deadly and repugnant sandiwara.
This sort of strategem is actually standard practice – and since “winners” rewrite history as they please – it often takes ages before such skeletons are excavated from the dusty remains of political cupboards, centuries later.
Take the infamous Gulf of Tonkin “incident” which led directly to America’s invasion of Vietnam… or the JFK assassination of November 22, 1963: the whole thing is still shrouded in mystery and much discussed amongst “conspiracy theorists.” Despite the Freedom of Information Act in America, and a slew of well-researched books on the subject, the general public still unthinkingly accepts that JFK’s assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald. Same thing with RFK (Robert F. Kennedy) and MLK (Martin Luther King).
Then there was the story (planted by PR firm Hill & Knowlton) about Saddam Hussein’s troops snatching infants from their incubators in Kuwait, which swung public opinion in favor of Emperor Bush I’s 1991 Operation Desert Storm. And now we have September 11, 2001 as America’s very own “May 13.”
Race riots, my foot. May 13 was really just “Plan B”: a carefully orchestrated mengamuk.
Yup, it’s Chicken Run all over!
* One of the five May 13 conspirators is still alive and plotting – and among the others, some of their offspring are still active in politics. So I won’t name any of them without proper legal backing or documentary evidence. However, I can drop a heavy hint: two of them subsequently became prime ministers. How did I come by this info? I collaborated with K. Das in 1986 on a book of political quotes and we had a few good conversations over the years.
Vernon Emuang forwarded this Malaysiakini essay by Sim Kwang Yang:It would seem to be a clear case of sedition when a political butterfly dressed up in hornet’s armour tried to revive the ghost of May 13 in the recent Umno general assembly, to the thunderous applause of all those present.
Speeches during Umno general assemblies are more likely to be carefully orchestrated representations of their mainstream thinking, rather than the spontaneous cut and thrust of creative ideas. So we – who are excluded from the inner sanctum of Umno faithful – have to assume that their perennial call to arms is an integral part of Umno ideology. After all, May 13 was the cornerstone upon which the grand superstructure of the NEP had been erected for the past 35 years.
Why do I say that? The documentary evidence that has emerged since 1969 clearly reveals that May 13 was also an Umno sandiwara masterminded by a handful of conspirators in a hurry to seize power from Tunku Abdul Rahman. Never mind if their plot required the blood sacrifice of hundreds of innocent lives. Remember, the police field forces contributed by transporting truckloads of Umno berserkers across statelines to create havoc in the urban areas, knowing full well the local Malays wouldn’t suddenly turn violent against Chinese and Indian neighbors they had known for generations.
And who was the ringleader of the coup d’etat in May 1969? The father of the current defence minister, no less. Let’s not assume the Malaysian people are stupid enough to be fooled twice with the same evil tactic.
Monday, August 20, 2007
From his residence in Penang, 1972:
“It was clear to me as well as the police that in the highly charged political atmosphere after the police were forced to kill a Chinese political party worker on May 4th, 1969, something was bound to happen to threaten law and order because of the resentment towards the Government by the KL Chinese on the eve of the general election. This was confirmed at this man’s funeral on the 9th May when the government faced the most hostile crowd it had ever seen.
Therefore, when the opposition parties applied for a police permit for a procession to celebrate their success in the results of the general election, I was adamant against it because the police were convinced that this would lead to trouble.
I informed Tun Razak (pictured right) about this and he seemed to agree. Now, without my knowledge and actually “behind my back,” there were certain political leaders in high positions who were working to force me to step down as a PM. I don’t want to go into details but if they had come to me and said so I would gladly have retired gracefully.
Unfortunately, they were apparently scheming and trying to decide on the best way to force me to resign. The occasion came when the question of the police permit was to be approved.
Tun Razak and Harun Idris, the MB of the state of Selangor, now felt that permission should be given knowing fully well that there was a likelihood of trouble. I suppose they felt that when this happened they could then demand my resignation.
To this day I find it very hard to believe that Razak, whom I had known for so many years, would agree to work against me in this way. Actually, he was in my house as I was preparing to return to Kedah and I overhead him speaking to Harun over the phone saying that he would be willing to approve the permit when I left. I really could not believe what I was hearing and preferred to think it was about some other permit. In any case, as the Deputy Prime Minister in my absence from KL, he would be the Acting PM and would override my objection. Accordingly, when I was in my home in Kedah, I heard over the radio that the permit had been approved.
It seems as though the expected trouble was anticipated and planned for by Harun (shown left) and his UMNO Youth. After the humiliating insults hurled by the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, and after the seeming loss of Malay political power to them, they were clearly ready for some retaliatory action. After meeting in large numbers at Harun’s official residence in Jalan Raja Muda near Kampong Bahru and hearing inflammatory speeches by Harun and other leaders, they prepared themselves by tying ribbon strips on their foreheads and set out to kill Chinese. The first hapless victims were two of them in a van opposite Harun’s house who were innocently watching the large gathering. Little did they know that they would be killed on the spot.
The rest is history. I am sorry but I must end this discussion now because it really pains me as the Father of Merdeka to have to relive those terrible moments. I have often wondered why God made me live long enough to have witnessed my beloved Malays and Chinese citizens killing each other.”
[From Raja Petra Kamarudin’s blog, Malaysia Today]
Sunday, July 1, 2007
I finally got hold of Dr Kua Kia Soong’s latest book, May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969. More to the point, I read it all the way through with interest, and it was an exercise that set off quite an elongated train of thought. When the violence erupted 38 years ago I was living in the quiet southern town of Batu Pahat where nothing untoward happened, although I remember people were tense and uneasy, and the streets were unusually deserted. My severely pregnant wife was almost due then and I would take her for a spin around town every evening – and not once did I sense we were in any danger whatsoever. Our first daughter, Moonlake, was delivered at home on May 28, in the same house where I had been born and – believe it or not – by the same midwife who had delivered me 19 years earlier!
In other words, I had a lot else on my mind at the time. Local politics and vague reports of mayhem in the faraway capital and a few other towns didn’t seem as significant as becoming a father for the first time. The news reports were muted, to say the least, and rumors flew around – but I don’t recall paying any attention to them. The general feeling, however, was that some folks are bad losers. Politics seemed to me just like a poker game played by a bunch of testosteronal types and, just like it always happens in the Hollywood westerns, some unshaven cowhand will start a gunfight when down on his luck at the saloon.
I didn’t believe for a moment in May 1969 that the “race riots” had flared up spontaneously – and declassified documents unearthed by Dr Kua from the Public Records Office in London among other sources clearly testify to that. Well, thanks, Kua! What you’ve done carries profound significance. It’s on more or less the same scale of importance as having some reputable scholar dig up long-buried evidence that, after 44 years, finally resolves the JFK murder mystery and names everyone involved in the plot. Bye-bye, Lone Shooter Lee Harvey Oswald theory. Boo, Warren Commission! What sort of punishment would befit folks who would go to such lengths to snuff three members of the Kennedy clan? Remember what happened to John F. Kennedy, Jr – just as he was on the verge of announcing his presidential candidacy?
By the same token, I’m closely monitoring the unstoppable build up of grassroots support for the 9/11 Truth Movement. Ironically, the people who really ought to know better have mostly turned out to be aggressive deniers of what’s plain as day to anyone with unclouded eyes and unclogged nostrils – why do they find it so goddam hard to acknowledge that all governments are perfectly capable of doing unthinkable things just to stay in power? Of course, the blame always has to be pinned on some useful bogeyman like the Communists or the Terrorists. Haven’t they read Machiavelli? Actually, I’ve never even SEEN that oft-quoted handbook on how to win elections and influence history – but we all know what “Machiavellian” means, right? Machiavellian… Orwellian… Cartesian… Antaresian…. nah, doesn’t quite do the trick, that last one!
Just consider this: why would the Roman Church, say, be so rattled by the popularity of a Dan Brown potboiler that it would get into damage control mode and begin to debunk instead of debate the distinct possibility that Yeshua (better known as Jesus the Christ) and Myriam of Mygdala (better known as Mary Magdalene) were a royal couple descended from a very ancient and revered bloodline? The answer is obvious: it would shatter the very foundations of a 2,000-year-old belief system and totally undermine the moral authority of the Pope – and, by extension, the entire Vatican. And when the faithful realize that the Church they have supported all these generations has actually been actively engaged in destroying, or at least suppressing, inconvenient truths – and that it is, in fact, the dreaded “Anti-Christ” incarnate… well, there goes another House of Cards, so what?
For a start, history would have to reconsider herstory. Because the central tenet of Patriarchy is that the female is subjugate to the male. Women would finally have a say in matters economic and geopolitical – and that would spell the end of a cruel and ruinous era of constant warfare ruled by “naughty boys with dangerous toys.” In short, humanity would enjoy the very real option of envisioning Heaven on Earth – instead of in the Afterlife!
May 13 and 9/11 have one common feature: they were cunningly and ruthlessly crafted public traumas designed to concuss, confuse, and confound the masses – and, while the voters were in temporary shock, they would be robbed of any control over their own future. That’s right, folks: the name of the REAL game is “Hand over all your power!”
Dr Kua’s straight-talking book confirms for many of us that May 13 was, in actuality, a coup d’état wherein a core group of ambitious Malay bureaucrats and politicos had conspired to seize control of the country using the pretext of a national emergency – and thereafter, in the absence of parliamentary opposition, bulldoze constitutional changes that would legislatively install an ethnocentric doctrine of “Malay dominance” in perpetuity – even if nobody has ever successfully determined what defines a Malay. Couldn’t be the songkok and the kain pelekat, surely, or a penchant for sambal belacan? The fear that such racial violence could erupt again anytime the non-Malays begin to assert themselves beyond certain boundaries has been effectively used to ensure that the incumbent government keeps getting re-elected with its two-thirds majority (which, for the first time, it had lost in the 1969 general election, hence the resort to the atavistic politics of blood-in-the-streets).
If Umno wants to trigger another ‘May 13’ will they have the numbers? Will the military support another ‘May 13’ like it did in 1969? The scenario in 1969 was very different from the scenario today and, as the Malays would say, “Takkan pisang berbuah dua kali”. In English this could probably translate to ‘lightning does not strike twice in the same place’.
Umno has just come out with a new ruling for its branch meetings. The branches are required to have a quorum of 25% of its registered members to convene a meeting. Most branches have not been able to hold their meetings because they can’t get this quorum of 25%. That is all that is required, 25% of its registered members, but it can’t even get that.
And why is this? Is it because the members are not interested in the AGM? Not really. This year is election year and everyone is very interested. In fact, many branch AGMs have ended in fisticuffs, chair throwing and acid attacks because of the intense fighting at these branch AGMs. They are more than interested. They are concerned. But they can’t fulfil this 25% of registered members to make up a quorum because they just don’t have the members. The so-called registered members do not exist. Umno does not have the three million members it claims to have. It does not even have one million members. That is the reality and that is why they can’t even fulfil the 25% members quorum requirement.
In 1969, when you talk about the opposition, that would mean the non-Malays, and when you talk about the ruling party, that would mean the Malays. But that was 40 years ago. 40 years ago when you divide the country politically you invariably also divide the country racially. So, 40 years ago, it was very easy to divide the country by race when you divide the country by its politics.
Today, there are more Malays in the opposition then there are in the ruling party. Umno garnered only 51% of the Malay votes on 8 March 2008. In the Permatang Pauh by-election, 70% of the voters were Malays. About 78% of the non-Malay voters, who represent 30% of the total voters, voted for Anwar. But Anwar won two out of three votes or 66.6%. This means 76%-77% of the votes came from the Malays.
No, ‘May 13 Version 2’ can’t happen. The Malays do not feel that the non-Malays have taken over this country and have relegated them to second-class citizens. The Malays in Penang love their Chinese Chief Minister just like the Indians and Chinese in Perak love their PAS Menteri Besar. Malays in white skull caps wear DAP T-shirts. Indian-Hindu activists wear PAS T-shirts while screaming “Makkal Sakhti” followed by “Allah Akbar”.
“What about the army?” many concerned non-Malays ask. “Would they not be a cause for concern?” The nine Rulers are the Colonels-in-Chief of the Navy, Air Force, Infantry, Commandoes, Artillery, Malay Regiment, Engineering Corps, etc., while His Majesty the Agong is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. No, the military will not take to the streets and murder innocent civilians unless their Commanders tell them to do so. And the nine Rulers and His Majesty the Agong are not about to give that order under any circumstances.
Nevertheless, while Umno may not have the three million members it claims to have and while the military is not about to go on a rampage, we must not discount the possibility that certain irresponsible people who are frustrated that they are no longer in power may attempt to trigger race riots. And Anwar must guard against this. And if it is necessary to delay the takeover a couple more weeks or so just to ensure that these elements can be dealt with before they start their evil deeds then so be it. A delay of one month is no big deal if this can guarantee peace and stability.
This is all Malaysians ask from Anwar and nothing more than that. Guard against anything untoward happening. Only when the coast is clear should you make your move. There should be no bloodshed and loss of life. And ask the Malays in the opposition to come out in defence of their non-Malay brothers and sisters and warn the Umno Malays, in no uncertain terms, that they take to the streets at the risk of facing fellow Malays from the opposition who will defend their non-Malay brethren to the last drop of their blood. I, for one, am ready to stand by my Chinese and Indian comrades. So let Umno be warned.