‘Tanda Putera’ urination scene is fake, says ex-top cop
Film Director shamelessly and maliciously manipulated scene which could cause unnecessary tension.
BY JOSEPH SIPALAN SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — A former senior police intelligence officer panned today the urination scene in controversial film “Tanda Putera” as a complete fabrication, while also denying that the communists had engineered the deadly May 13 riots in 1969.
Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng, who was an officer with the police Special Branch at the time of the riots, clarified that the communists had little interest in sowing division along racial lines as the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) was “essentially a non-racial party”.
“I can also confirm with you, as I was on duty at the time, that the urination incident never happened,” he told The Malay Mail Online, referring to a scene of an ethnic Chinese man urinating on a flagpole at the then-Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence as depicted in the local film directed by horror maestro Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba.
Yuen criticised Shuhaimi for including the scene in the film, saying that it was something that should have been researched properly to avoid sparking unnecessary tension.
“The director should have called me. It was during my time. This is a very specific incident and it should have been researched properly… now it is only causing so much confusion and this is not good for the country,” he said.
Yuen had earlier posted a response to a blog posting by DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, rebutting a report by The Sun daily that quoted the Gelang Patah MP as claiming that the communists had helped the opposition win seats in the 1969 polls.
In his response, Yuen said no single political party at the time, save for the Socialist Front and Labour Party, should be identified as being in any way communist.
He added that it would be misleading to blame the communists for orchestrating the 1969 riots.
“They might prompt riots but not racial riots because they are essentially a non-racial party. If they could have it their way they would have preferred continuing success of their open and legal struggle,” Yuen wrote.
Lim had earlier posted a rebuttal to the news report quoting Yuen as claiming that the communists had helped the opposition, arguing that the communists had called for a boycott of the polls and wanted to see the opposition fare badly.
“The facts were the exact opposite, as the communists were calling for a boycott of the 1969 general election and the Opposition parties which participated in the 1969 general election were condemned by the communists as “stooges” and “puppets” of the Alliance for going against their call to the people to reject the ballot box and democratic process and to take to street protests and extra-constitutional struggle,” Lim wrote in his blog post.
Recounting his version of events, Yuen pinned the blame for the May 13 riots on “stupid Chinese and some Indian hooligans” who taunted the Malay community while celebrating the opposition’s unprecedented sweep of 54 parliamentary seats.
“Communal ultras could only made (sic) things even more (sic) worse by capitalising on already explosive emotions,” he said.
Pro-establishment parties and groups have been targeting Lim for allegedly being a key instigator in the racial riots, especially after “Tanda Putera” opened in cinemas during the Merdeka Day weekend in late August.
Lim had been identified by his accusers as the man who urinated on the flagpole as depicted in the movie, a charge that he has staunchly denied.
Shuhaimi, who had initially defended the film as “historically accurate”, later denied that she made a documentary and admitted to using artistic license to produce her interpretation of incidents leading to the deadly racial riot.
Ex-top cop Yuen Yuet Leng confirmed that the May 13, 1969 “urination” incident at the Selangor MB’s residence was totally fictional as he never heard of it although he was based in KL during the riots
I thank former top police officer, Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng for his two postings on my blog statement yesterday: “Yuen Yuet Leng is wrong – as the 1969 general election result was a greater blow to the MCP although it was a set back for the Alliance”
I had expressed my disagreement with a Sun report on Monday headlined “’Communists helped opposition win seats’ in 1969” quoting Yuen as saying that “the communists had helped opposition parties, including the DAP, to win a substantial number of seats in the 1969 election”.
I had said that Yuen’s claim that the communists helped the opposition to win seats in the 1969 general election was news to me, as it run counter to what happened in the run-up to the 1969 general election and studies whether books or articles by scholars of the 1969 general election.
This was because the communists had called for a boycott of the 1969 general election and the Opposition parties which had participated in the 1969 general election were attacked and condemned as “stooges” and “puppets” of the Alliance for going against their call to “shatter the parliamentary path” and to opt for the “mass struggle”.
But the communists failed in their campaign calling on the voters to boycott the 1969 general election, as the voter turnout reached some 72% – though less than the 79% voter turnout in the 1964 and 73% in the 1959 General Election, it was still higher than the 70% voter turnout in the 1986 and 71% voter turnout in the 1999 General Election.
This was why I lamented both in my writings while in detention under the Internal Security Act in 1969 and in my speeches immediately after my release in 1970 that the country had missed a great opportunity to promote the cause of democracy in Malaysia.
For instance, in my speech in Penang on November 22, 1970 on the occasion of my release from detention, I said
• “the general election of May 10, 1969 was the high-water mark of democracy in Malaysia” which was “crushed ruthlessly by the violence and bloodshed” of May 13, 1969 riots.
• That while the Alliance party suffered grievous electoral set-backs, the greatest losers of the May 10 general election were those forces which had actively campaigned for a boycott of general election, on the grounds that “democracy in Malaysia was a farce and trickery on the people”.
• That May 10, 1969 was a declaration by the people of Malaysia that they preferred the democratic process to undemocratic methods of political struggle, that they preferred the road of reason in Parliament and the State Assemblies to the road of force and violence to bring about the social, economic and political changes they desire.
Yueh and I (he in the Special Branch and I in the DAP) may not see eye-to-eye on all that happened 44 years ago as we have very different perspectives about the political scene in 1969, but we do not doubt each other’s integrity and patriotism.
It is therefore most disgusting, distasteful and outrageous that some UMNO/BN propagandist and cybertroopers have jumped on the Sun report on Yuen’s comments to virtually insinuate that I am a communist!
Let Malaysians learn from the tragedies of the past, like the May 13, 1969 racial riots, not to point an accusatory finger such as to pinpoint the culprits as 44 years have elapsed but for the country to learn the truth about the past so as the better to build a united, harmonious, just and prosperous Malaysia for all Malaysians.
Recently, a lot of lies and falsehoods have been told about the May 13, 1969 riots, as accusing me of provoking the riots with anti-Malay slogans in the street processions in Kuala Lumpur after the May 10, 1969 general election when I was never in Kuala Lumpur at all, and the lies about the outrageous “urination” incident.
I asked the former Special Branch deputy director over the phone just now whether he had ever heard about the “urination” incident at the flagpole of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence as Yuan was on duty in Kuala Lumpur in the dark days of the May 13, 1969, and in his autobiography, “Nation Before Self”, Yuen had declared: “I was proud to be a policeman on May 13, 1969”.
Yuen not only confirmed that the May 13, 1969 “urination” incident at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence was totally fictional, he rightly remarked that if there was any such a person who committed such an outrageous act, he would not have left the Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence alive!
Tan Sri Yueh’s two comments on my blog are:
1. by strong eoiTS Yuen Yuet Leng on Thursday, 12 September 2013 – 12:54 am
From: yuen yuet leng [mailto:email@example.com ]
Sent: Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 4:26 PM
Subject: Your article
While I appreciate your article in general summarised well what I wanted to be known to the nation on what were greater truths I have to make clarifications. Information I imparted are in deliberate interest of objective nation and so that nation gets the right tutoring message and feel strongly why May 13 incidents should not ever be allowed to happen again either because of too much insensitivities or too much sensitivities on any side. The major redeeming factor in 1969 was the courage of non-racial Malaysians who were still there to put to shame the worse of their respective communities who rampaged, hurt or killed. This best of Malaysians dared to risk their lives in saving or sheltering fellow Malaysians of another ethnic community.
The 43 frenzied rioters or looters or organised counter forces were shot by both police and the army mainly after Tun Razak had authorised such action when imperative during the first 48-72 hours of devilish racism and counter-action. Thus was the security situation effectively contained. A couple of days later an attempt was made to aggravate the situation in Kuala Lumpur by ultras to create similar incidents in Penang island and the mainland in the north. This was pre-empted by very good Special Branch intelligence. CPO Penang was directed to put on a very, very tight curfew enforced by the police and ranger army units Nothing could move not even UMNO.
Many Malaysians think that the communist struggle which started with the 1st Emergency in 1948, ended in 1960. Only the armed struggle did. From 1961 the communists had commenced on the new phase of “open and legal struggle” which was the secret subversion or penetration of legal political and other organisations either from within or outside, known or unknown or both at the same time. Most notably affected and within were the Socialist Front and the Labour party. In fact after May 69 a number of these communist or pro-communist elements who had evaded arrests, fled across the Thai border to join the CPM, were trained militarily and came back as members of the new CPM Assault units , Some were killed in in 1971 in a combined police/SB/army in the Kulim area and in which I was involved. They were positively identified as committee members of political parties.
Communist known or unknown support cannot be said to be the one and only reason which made the “victory” of Opposition parties.. It was however of supporting assistance. I do not agree that any single and particular political party, other than the more active Socialist Front and Labour Party should be identified in discriminating or partisan manner. It must however not be misconstrued also, as some tend to think, that the communists was behind or prompted the 1969 racial riots. They might prompt riots but not racial riots because they are essentially a non-racial party. If they could have it their way they would have preferred continuing success of their open and legal struggle.
However, it was chauvinistic Chinese overjoy made worse and even more hurtful and “unbearable” by stupid Chinese and some Indian hooligans broke the camel’s back of Malay tolerance, and which had already been dented so sensitively earlier by the shocking loss of electoral seats and stoked communal survival anxieties in the future. Communal ultras could only made things even more worse by capitalising on already explosive emotions.
A very sad Director of the Special Branch, Tan Sri Rahman Hashim came to my division located well away from Bukit Aman a couple of days after May 13. Very disheartened, he told us he had failed in his job and intended to tender his resignation. We told him we would all resign with him if he did. That would be disastrous for the nation. First of all we should get the intelligence to restore sanity, peace and order. Soon after we obtained the vital intelligence was received by our intelligence network in the north that some radical ultras were planning to escalate the security situation in Kuala Lumpur by starting another situation in Penang and the mainland. This was pre-empted by a very tight curfew in the areas for a number of days which was enforced forcefully by the police and army ranger units. I suggest that you get a copy of my book , “Nation Before Self” (MPH) which you saw yesterday. (Pages 157-181)
Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng
2. by strong eoiTS Yuen Yuet Leng on Thursday, 12 September 2013 – 2:19 pm
This was in context of Tanda Putera as I felt better research would have not result in so much fuss over its production and showing. Subjective media interest crafter another story. I spoke for the nation I believed in and still do as I saw it first hand and professionally. All are privileged to not agree. The truth hurts all round. That is why history is hard not to be subjective
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