KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will work with its political foes in Barisan Nasional (BN) and do all it can to prevent a repeat of the bloody racial clashes of May 1969, Lim Kit Siang has pledged.
But the political veteran, whose enemies have blamed him for instigating the 1969 riots, also demanded the same cooperation from the ruling pact.
He expressed fear that the repeated mentions of the May 13 incident by BN leaders may contain a subtle threat to voters that the tragedy would reoccur should Umno lose power.
Lim (picture) pointed to the latest May 13 reference made by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday and asked the Umno deputy president if he had meant to assure Malaysians that a similar clash would not repeat or warn them otherwise.
“I confess I am concerned at the way Muhyiddin raised the spectre of May 13, which had been used in the past decades to create fear among voters as part of the scare tactics to force voters to vote for Umno and BN,” the Ipoh Timor MP in his speech text from a ceramah last night.
According to news reports yesterday, Muhyiddin had called on the country’s youths to stand united in order to avoid a another bloody racial clash like the 1969 riots, which is said to have claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 Malaysians.
“We don’t want May 13 repeated,” the deputy prime minister had said.
But Lim said Malaysia’s political and social landscape have changed significantly since the clash, pointing to the birth of Pakatan Rakyat (PR), a coalition of three parties – DAP, PKR and PAS – which he said promotes multiracialism.
“So could there be another May 13 in the next general election? My answer would be a strong ‘No’,” he said.
“On behalf of DAP and PR, let me officially respond by declaring that we also do not want a repeat of the May 13 tragedy and we pledge to do all we can to prevent any such recurrence.
“DAP and PR offer to co-operate and work closely with Umno and BN to ensure that there will be no repeat of May 13 in the next general election,” he said.
With such cooperation, the DAP adviser pointed out, Malaysians could then rest assured that a similar tragedy would not recur.
But he urged a personal commitment from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that a peaceful transition would be ensured should PR wrest federal power in the coming polls.
“Tell the world that Malaysia has become a normal democracy and even en route to become… ‘the best democracy in the world’,” he said, borrowing a quote from the Umno president.
‘We will not allow a repeat of May 13’
|7:50AM Jul 22, 2012|
YOURSAY ‘Issuing a veiled threat on the possibility of a recurrence of May 13 is tantamount to encouraging a repeat performance if things don’t go their way.’
Is Muhyiddin sincere about avoiding a May 13?
Voice: The May 13 tragedy happened in 1969. That was more than 40 years ago. During the four decades, BN has repeated non-stop that the government has done much to foster unity among the races and has claimed to the whole world that Malaysia is a role model for racial unity and integrity.
Now that 40 years have passed, why are they still worried about the May 13 tragedy happening again? Why are they so insecure about what their own government has built all these years?
Why does the same government lack confidence about national unity when the people themselves do not seem worried about the tragedy ever happening again?
Why does the same government still harp on the issue again and again, when the old generation has slowly forgotten it and the young generation is not even interested to know about it?
Times have changed and so has the world’s political landscape, economy, communications, technology, ideologies and so forth. Do not live on past glory or tragedy, BN.
Shanandoah: Please don’t threaten Malaysians with another May 13 should BN lose the elections.
DPM Muhyiddin Yassin, your statements are dangerous. You are calling on Malays to unite. Please tell us, against whom and for what are you asking the Malays to unite?
The Malays are in four different camps, and they know what is going on in Umno Baru – stealing, robbing, raping and even murdering innocent people.
Timothy: When Muhyiddin declared, “We don’t want May 13 repeated,” what he meant was, we don’t want to have to repeat May 13. This is a subtle warning to young voters.
But after 43 years, Malaysians are much more prepared. Together we shall drown those sponsored thugs should they try. We shall protect one another as brothers and sisters as shown during the three Bersih rallies.
Yes, May 13 will not repeat because all peace-loving Malaysians will not allow it to happen.
Ksn: The DPM brought up May 13 because Umno is in panic and clueless as to what to do to hold on to power so that they can inflict more abuses on Malaysians and Malaysia.
He knows very well like other leaders do, that the people, at least the majority of the voters including the Malays, have lost confidence in them and their incompetent and corrupt leadership, and that their end is imminent, come elections.
So he tries May 13, ‘ketuanan Melayu’, etc. But he forgets our people, the Malays included, have matured beyond all those undesirable aspects of our lives that should be forgotten for Malaysia’s future and peaceful progress.
Loyal Malaysian: Spot on, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang. Let’s see if PM Najib Razak and DPM Muhyiddin are real leaders of a democratic nation, or troublemakers unwilling to face the spectre of a pending electoral defeat.
Judging by their actions so far, I believe the civil society already knows the answer.
2ctsworth: When these two uncouth and uncivilised BN leaders choke in their throats on being asked to declare an honourable transition of power should the need arise, what can we expect?
Above that, issuing a veiled threat on the possibility of a recurrence of May 13 is tantamount to encouraging a repeat performance if things don’t go their way. This goes to show the National Harmony Act is just that – an act.
Sayonara: Please uncover the truth and motive of the BN. They first accuse Pakatan Rakyat for being infiltrated by terrorists and communists, and keep reminding everyone of May 13 to spook the citizens.
This is their plot to announce a state emergency if Pakatan manages to win GE13.
The May 13 movie will be released in the run-up to GE13 and BN will no doubt employ their parasites to create havoc if Pakatan wins.
Clever Voter: Citizens are left with a dilemma where a vote for opposition is a vote for the rightful change, but a vote for BN is a vote to give in to intimidation, threat and bribe.
The more that opposition gain confidence, the more insecure the ruling parties are. With state instruments all within their control, expect to experience state propaganda, lies and even harassment.
Sadly, they may get what they want, whether with or without citizens’ approval or support. A political watershed will take place, but not after much damage to the economic and social fabrics has been done.
After all, we never had a two-party state before, and this is to be resisted at all cost.
Starr: If Muhyiddin is concerned about a recurrence of May 13 incidence in the aftermath of GE13, then it is incumbent upon him to impress his boss, Najib, together with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim to give a public pledge to respect the outcome of the general election, regardless of who’s the victor, and not to resort to extraordinary measures to wrest control of Putrajaya.
Paul Warren: Why does anyone even bother to mention May 13? May 13 as an adjective, or a reference point to Malaysians, infers violence between two opposing races within a community. More specifically, between the Malays and the Chinese.
It’s like as if there has always, and will always be, enmity between these two races. That if the Malay ruling class does not get what it wants, it automatically means the cause of that would be the Chinese. And that the rebuttal would be an automatic violent act.
What Muhyiddin and Umno leaders do not say every time they use this May 13 reference is that any such violence would be prompted by Umno Malays.
But the fact is everyone has forgotten May 13. Or they just don’t care for it any more as the dynamics that prompted May 13 are not present any more.