HOW A MALAY MAN WAS ‘SMUGGLED’ OUT OF SENTUL DURING THE MAY 13 RIOTS.
Story and photo: S.T. Rajagopal.
During the May 13 riots in 1969, there was tension in Sentul, just like in other areas but there was not a single incident as the various races lived in harmony.
However, we were worried of outsiders entering our area and creating problems. To ensure everyone is safe,the residents banded together and took various precautions.
In my village, Kampung MBS, there was one Malay man, a LLN worker, who lived in fear although we assured him he was very safe.
Seeing him restless, the villagers decided to get him out of Sentul to a safer area. He wanted to go to Segambut in Kuala Lumpur.
To go to Segambut, the villagers had to pass many non-Malay areas and this worried them.
Finally, the villagers decided to dress him up like an Indian women.
The ladies in the village dressed him up beautifully in colourful saree with one end of the saree over his head. Of course they applied make up on his face. Since he had dark complexion, he resembled an Indian lady.
Some villagers took him out of Sentul and he reached his relatives house in Segambut safely.
After the curfew ended and the situation returned to normal, he decided to stay in Segambut permanently. I visited him in the early 70s. He was a happy man.
Thanks to the villagers who bravely “smuggled” the man out of Sentul.
There were many such cases in many parts of Kuala Lumpur where many helped to shelter one another. God Bless them all.
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