MOVING ON 41 YEARS AFTER 1969
5/13/2010 11:25:00 AM Lovingly unplugged by masterwordsmith
The blare of the school’s P.A. system that pierced the quiet ambiance announced that we had to pack our bags and wait for our parents to take us home. No reason was given. All I remember was that soon enough, the place was swarmed with worried-looking parents scuttling along the corridors calling out the names of their children. Innocent kids like yours truly rejoiced that school’s done and we could go home and play.
Fortunately, we lived round the corner in an extended family and by the time I reached home, I discovered that my cousins were all at home. After a shower, I went on to play tanks and guns with my cousin brothers. We never knew what was going on. Even though we wanted to ask, the sombre looks on our parents’ faces zipped our lips.
And so it went on till we heard the blare of the siren….
And trucks rolling down the streets…
People marching in the distance….
Other than those alien sounds, there was a deafening silence all around …
Deep in my heart, I knew something was terribly wrong. My greatest fears were confirmed when I heard my mother discussing food rations with her sisters after which they all came out of the kitchen to shake their fingers at the rest of us, telling us not to make any noise, not to get out of the house and not to waste food.
I remember climbing up the jambu tree in the garden and being bitten by red ants in the process – all because I wanted to see who were those soldiers marching by and my mother screaming at me followed by a spanking on my derriere by the time I climbed down the tree.
Daily, sirens would blare signalling time for people to get out of their homes to buy their food rations. Fortunately for us, we lived in the heart of town within walking distance to the market and kedai runcit.
Somewhere down the road during that period, one of my older cousins told us what had happened. With awestruck faces, we looked at each other and from thence, we were on our best behavior.
Later, when things had abated, I read about the atrocities in the newspapers that the adults kept away from us. Naturally, inquisitive me snooped around for news. A deep sense of relief overwhelmed me as we had been spared of the worst case scenario.
Sadly, others were not so lucky…
Fast forward to May 13th, 2010.
Has the nation learnt its lesson from the past?
Historically, the May 13 1960 Incident is a term for the Sino-Malay sectarian violence that broke out in Kuala Lumpur which led to the imposition of a state of national emergency. The government suspended Parliament and established the National Operations Council (NOC or Majlis Gerakan Negara, MAGERAN) to govern the country between 1969 and 1971. As a result of the riots, official statistics state that 196 people were killed but journalists and other observers have quoted much higher figures.
According to Wikipedia:
Over 2,000 were killed by rioters, police and Malaysian Army rangers, mainly in Kuala Lumpur. Many of the dead were quickly buried in unmarked graves in the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital grounds by soldiers of Malaysian Engineers.The government cited the riots as the main cause of its more aggressive affirmative action policies, such as the New Economic Policy (NEP), after 1969.
Forty-one years down the road of nation-building, are we better off or are we becoming a failed state as discussed by Stanley Koh HERE?
If you want a list of incidents where the May 13 episode has been ‘used’ by some, kindly visit THIS SITE which documents many of such incidents and reports.
I believe until and unless our leaders, pseudo-leaders, aspiring leaders and their followers have the moral and political courage to bury the ghosts of May 13, 1969 in the past forever, our nation cannot move forward progressively.
Be a real hero and acquire status, power and prestige from NOBLE acts carried out in the name of ALL RAKYAT regardless of class, creed and color. Be color-blind for the right reason and see people for who they are and facilitate social mobility via meritocracy. Moot for reconciliation and put to death any form of pluralism or sectarianism.
The authorities must be impartial and warn those who misuse May 13 for their selfish interests. They cannot show special immunity for some and zero in on others for minuscule offences as such overtures can cast aspersions on their integrity.
It has been four decades since May 13, 1969. A long passage of time indeed. From a little girl then, I am now moving into the big five. What do I dream of for my country?
I dream of a new government that:
- displays transparency in national expenditure and all decisions
- demonstrates integrity in all its institutions
- delights in accountability to the rakyat
- dares to make decisions in favor of the collective good of the rakyat
- despises any form of corruption
- dances NOT to the tune of leaders or past leaders that do not have the well-being of ALL the rakyat at heart
- delivers promises that were made in elections and by-elections
- defeats any form of enemy that seeks to create divisiveness and any form of injustice
- destroys cronyism, despotism and any form of divisiveness
- does not plunder the country’s resources and then has the audacity to deny
- etc…(please add to the list)
And I know that as long as the rakyat continue to vote the same leaders that do not do all that, we are likely to wither away..
The Sibu by-election is very crucial, especially after the HS defeat. I appeal to all Sibu voters to sound the trumpet for the beginning of change by voting for DAP. The ruthless regime HAS TO GO.
Change has to happen. It has to begin with me, with you, with all of us.
And it can only happen if we work to ensure that Pakatan Rakyat finishes their journey at Putrajaya.
Are you willing to help realize that dream? I hope so.
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