Wall of Shame

May 13, 1969 has also been used as a boogeyman by politicians particularly when General Elections are around the corner. Why is the May 13 spectre so menacing to the Malaysian psyche. This blog aims to bare the truth so that future generations will not be influenced by unscrupulous fear-mongering politicians out for votes. Indeed we must make a stand that anybody that threatens with May 13 must be regarded as anti-national, regardless of race and religion.

In the MARCH 8, 2008 General Elections, a group of civil society groups and concerned citizens of diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds, stressed that

all Malaysians have the right to choose their representatives and the government in a free, fair and clean election. No individual politician or political party should resort to threats or intimidation to influence the voter’s decision. It further adds,

“The May 13 ethnic riot in 1969 was a dark chapter in Malaysia’s political history where political violence and manipulation overshadowed the democratic process as well as the voice of the people. Invoking the bitter memories of this tragic incident for political gain is a huge insult to those who died, the surviving victims and their families. This veiled threat of May 13 recurring, to the rakyat is shameless and unbecoming of a responsible political leader.”

In line with this philosophy, the politicians who persistently play the racial card and raise the May 13 spectre will be inducted and (dis) honoured into this infamous Wall of Shame.


One oft-cited instance of this is a rally held by UMNO Youth shortly before Ops Lalang in 1987, where the then UMNO Youth Chief Najib Razak threatened to bathe a keris (dagger) with Chinese blood. At the same rally, banners were hoisted carrying phrases such as “revoke the citizenship of those who opposed the Malay rulers”, “May 13 has begun” (referring to the May 13 racial riots in 1969), and “soak it (the keris) with Chinese blood”. (Wikipedia)

At the 2004 AGM, party Deputy Permanent Chairman Badruddin Amiruldin waved a book on the May 13 riots while warning non-Malays not to stir a “hornets’ nest” and cautioning, “Let no one from the other races ever question the rights of Malays on this land.”

Umno information chief Muhammad Muhd Taib on Aug 13, 2007 was quoted as saying, “Do we want the situation to come to the level that is more explosive than May 13?” during a press conference, after the Kelana Jaya Umno division meeting.

Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, MCA MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, as reported in the China Press on January 21, 2008 (Monday), has conveyed this fear-mongering message to the public: “If there is insufficient Chinese representation in the Barisan Nasional, it is not a good thing, the Chinese community cannot afford another May 13 incident.”

Penang Umno secretary Azhar Ibrahim is standing by his call for the Sin Chew reporter who filed the Ahmad Ismail story to “be shot” should a May 13-type racial riot breaks out. Azhar told malaysiakini today “the journalist deserved to be shot if her article causes another May 13″. (Sept 6, 2008)

On Sept. 8, 2008, senior Umno leader Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has insinuated that a repeat of the May 13 racial riots almost 40 years ago could happen again if Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi does not step down soon. Without being specific, the former Selangor menteri besar said drastic steps must be taken to ensure Umno remained relevant.

In a Jakim forum held on January 28, 2010,  more than 800 civil servants were told by panelists that Christians were to be blamed for the “Allah” row and that another “May 13” could be on the cards. Zamihan Mat Zin from the Institut Latihan Islam Malaysia went as far as suggesting that a repeat of the May 13 racial riots was possible if the Christians, which to him practised extremism in the matter, did not back down. (M Insider)

March 27, 2010 – Perkasa chief, Datuk Ibrahim Ali, blamed DAP as a factor behind the May 13 riots, adding that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s patronage of the movement has pushed him back to being an ultra.The former premier opened the Malay rights movement’s inaugural congress today, where Ibrahim accused DAP and its “Malaysian Malaysia” slogan of being among the causes of the 1969 race riots. (M.Insider)

May 6, 2010,  UMNO’s Azhar Ibrahim in the Penang state legislative assembly warned that there would be a repeat of the May 13 riots if the people lost confidence in the authorities. Commenting on the public criticism over the police shooting of teenager Aminulrasyid Amzah, Azhar said that the army can take over from the police if the later does not enjoy public support. Azhar also accused CM Lim Guan Eng of being anti-Malay and anti-Islamic for his attacks against Umno and Prime Minister Najib Razak. “This is an insult to the Malays, don’t you think that there will be no Malay gangsters, or the Barisan Tiga silat group, who will come here and teach those who utter these words a lesson?” he threatened. (Malaysiakini)

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