January 19, 2011


MALAYSIA’S proud experiment in constructing a multiracial society exploded in the streets of Kuala Lumpur last week. Malay mobs, wearing white headbands signifying an alliance with death, and brandishing swords and daggers, surged into Chinese areas in the capital, burning, looting and killing. In retaliation, Chinese, sometimes aided by Indians, armed themselves with pistols and shotguns and struck at Malay kampongs (villages). Huge pillars of smoke rose skyward as houses, shops and autos burned.
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May 13 more accurately ‘genocidal’ than racial riots

December 14, 2010

Written by CT Wong  (

The deputy Utusan editor-in-chief Zaini Hassan (left) had recently written that May 13 should be celebrated as ‘tarikh keramat’ — an auspicious and sacred day. He opined that May 13 is a blessing in disguise and without May 13 the Malays would not have enjoyed the benefits as what they are enjoying today.

From the Oxford Fajar bilingual dictionary, ‘keramat’ means “place or object that is (believed to be) sacred with supernatural or magical powers.” The powers refer to the special ability to cure sickness or to provide protection.

So far, May 13 has not cured the malignant sickness of racism dating from colonial times – colonialism is a form of racism. Neither do the citizens feel more protected from its relapse. What we witnessed was not supernatural powers, but authoritarian powers that destroy the very foundation of democracy – separation of powers of the executive, the judiciary and the legislative.

I find it difficult to understand how May 13 might wish to be celebrated as sacred, as spiritual. The predators become heroes and idols. Where is the sacredness? When unarmed Malaysians who were non-combatants were sacrificed by those in the deadly pursuit of power and wealth, God or gods were also sacrificed. In fact, civilisation, if not God, abandoned us during those dark days.

To the Germans who are proud of their Einstein, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud, these names are forever linked to Auschwitz in the land of Germany. To many a Malaysian, ‘Islamic’ civilisation and the ‘Malays’ are eternally linked to the May 13 genocide.

The Germans do not celebrate the Holocaust, but to create a museum right in the centre of the SS headquarters and exposing all the crimes against humanity of Hitler and the Nazi party, lest the future generations forget. In this land of Malaysia, the ethnic minorities are repeatedly reminded of “May 13 or equality!”, lest they forget.

We can always look for a silver lining in our tragedies if we want to. However, the Utusan editor seemed to find the smell of death quite sweet and fragrant. This brings me back to the times how I lived through the days of May 13.

May 13 to me

I was an adolescent living in a rather isolated Chinese-owned rubber-holding up north. Just a mile away was a formerly foreign-owned rubber estate with mostly Indian rubber tappers. And a few miles away was a Malay kampung. When the news or rumours of ‘racial riots’ in KL reached us, we were shocked not only by the killings but the way it was carried out.

On May 13, life and death depended on skin colour; the skin that protects us as a biological organism suddenly becomes a death sentence and our vaguely friendly Malay neighbour could suddenly be a murderer. Such fearful thoughts disturbed me for quite a number of days.

My family and I had been forced to move to the nearest small town to stay just in case we happened to be the victims.

As times went on, the traumatic memories and the rawness of receiving a rude shock out of the deep slumber of racial accommodation slowly faded. I moved on with my life. But, time and again, non-Malays like me are being reminded of May 13.

What is May 13 then? And why call it racial riots?

Social contract destroyed

To me, May 13 means that the Alliance government of the day failed to protect its citizens. It means that the social contract between the state and citizens was deliberately broken.

May 13 means the killing of civilians. It cannot be justified by any rules of war.

May 13 means the extension of politics by an unjust and immoral war.

The use of the phrase ‘May 13 racial riots’ is constantly being circulated and recycled in all our narratives, including that from the opposition parties. It is understandable if we use euphemistic terms to describe something awful so that we can cushion off the emotional overwhelm. But the phrases ‘racial riots’ or ‘racial clash’ or “May 13 incident” only serve the purpose of bleaching the mass atrocities, the mass murders of May 13.

Dissecting the label

The word ‘racial’ is quite a harmless term. You can use it for ‘racial harmony’ also. It does not bring out the sense of cruelty embedded in racism. When killing based on race is so ruthless, you don’t call it ‘racial’ anymore. It would be more appropriate to use ‘genocidal’ instead.

From etymology of the word, ‘geno’ refers to race and ‘cide’ refers to killing (e.g. homicide, suicide, patricide, etc).

From a definition by the United Nations, genocide refers to the destruction in part or whole of an ethnic group based on religion, ethnicity and racial identity. It does not need to be total as the Final Solution of the Nazis; neither does it need to be deaths in the magnitude of the hundreds of thousands or millions as in the Rwanda genocide.

S.A. Budd, the British High Commissioner to Malaysia in 1969 was quoted as saying “…that of 77 corpses in the morgue of the General Hospital on 14 May, at least 60 were Chinese…” (Kua Kia Soong, 2007). The demography of ethnic identities is obvious.

Gregory Stanton, the President of Genocide Watch, argued that “The motive of the killer to take the victim’s property or to politically dominate the victim’s group does not remove genocidal intent if the victim is chosen because of his ethnic, national, racial or religious group.”

The intent was clearly genocidal in the case of May 13. So, May 13 may be more accurately redefined as the May 13 genocidal mass killing, or May 13 genocidal massacre, or genocidal mass atrocity, or if we retain the ‘riots’ terminology, at least May 13 genocidal riots, lest we celebrate the historical events for the wrong reasons.

Riots as we understand it from the experience of the United States, Britain and Europe is that of an expressive act of hostility by the aggrieved and subordinate group or class. The American blacks, for example, were so marginalized economically and culturally that violence was used as a counterbalance against power inequalities. Rioting is often used defensively by the ethnic minorities to confront the authorities who are from the dominant group, in particular the police, to bring them to the negotiating table.

Riot is not usually an instrument employed by the state.

May 13 was not perpetrated by the skinheads or a Chinese secret society. It was “a planned coup d’etat by the ascendant state capitalist class against the Tunku-led aristocracy.” (Kua, 2007).

In other words, it was state-sponsored, or at least state-tolerated with deliberate and conscious planning.

Nothing sacred to celebrate

Without the green light from the top and Malay power elites, the scale and magnitude of the destruction would not be possible within a mere few days. The Malaysian official statistics of casualties as of May 21, 1969 were: “137 killed — 18 Malays, 342 injured, 109 vehicles burned, 118 buildings destroyed, 2,912 persons arrested, mostly curfew breakers.”(Kua, 2007).

TIME magazine (May 23, 1969) cited Western diplomatic sources as believing the death toll was closer to 600, with most of the victims Chinese. It also wrote that “…By the time the four days of race war and strife had run their course, the General Hospital’s morgue was so crowded that bodies were put into plastic bags and hung on hooks.”

Hence, May 13 may be re-conceptualised as the 1969 Malaysian Genocide, of which there is nothing sacred to celebrate. We, whatever our race and religion, would like to die with dignity in a spiritual or cultural sense. This desire is a human norm as only men bury our dead.

The violent deaths of May 13 were otherwise than dignified.

I could still remember those days when the adults were talking excitedly, at times with horror, under the rubber trees about the deadly slaughter happening hundreds of miles away in Kuala Lumpur.

There were the stories of the Chinese secret societies which were viewed as a nuisance in peaceful times but during May 13 becoming the protector of community. Also, I heard that there were courageous soldiers who refused to be willing executioners. The truth, be it from the perspective of the perpetrators or of the massacre survivors or the conscientious objectors, is yet to be openly told.

Ian Ward of the London Daily Telegraph reported on May 23, 1969 that “The initial stages of the government crackdown produced glaring discrimination against the Chinese.” (Kua, 2007).

Minorities vulnerable to violence

I would celebrate May 13 if an anti-genocide standby unit is formed today in the armed forces or the police forces specifically trained and dedicated to handle racist malignant conflicts.

It is risky to pray for heroes to emerge or to hope that soldiers would act professionally rather than become willing executioners in ugly and brutalizing times. On May 13, there were some heroes and some soldiers who valued professionalism. But we have a better chance of saving more lives if the prevention of massacres is taken as a professional duty of the armed forces.

Gregory Stanton in his “8 Stages of Genocide” proposed that genocide is also a cultural question. He wrote that “… A plan for genocide doesn’t need to be written out. An act of genocide may arise in a culture that considers members of another group less than human, where killing members of that group is not considered murder. This is the culture of impunity characteristic of genocidal societies.”

Those who use genocidal threats of May 13 are in fact operating in a cultural environment that condones or affirms a new moral code of behaviour: Killing is not murder.

Killing is repulsive to many a human. Once it is rationalised, the normal moral restraint is removed. Police could kill suspects when they believe or justify that they are killing crime, and not criminals, real or imagined. Or a soldier could kill old people, women or children if he believes that he is killing ideological enemies and not human beings.

And the intelligentsia would have no qualms about justifying mass murders.

Brutalizing ideology can kill

Of course gun or machete kills. But it is the justifying words of a destructive racist ideology that direct the brain to give green light to the fingers to pull the trigger. Hence, ideology kills, be it in the print or electronic media.

Being conditioned by a coercive and brutalizing ideology, the power elites rationalise unequal and oppressive treatment of the others when perceiving themselves as the victims due to historical injustices. This sows the seeds of genocide and waters its growth.

The threat of repeat of May 13 is to suppress the raising of civil rights issues. May 13 is in actual fact democide, a mass killing because of democratic demands by the ethnic minorities. Genocide is justified because democratic demands pose a threat of the loss of power of the dominant race or rather the power elites.

May 13 is state-tolerated genocidal violence deeply rooted in cultural and social conditions.

May 13 is an unjust and immoral war against the ethnic minorities asking for legitimate democratic demands. The threat of its repeat is being used to legitimise social inequalities and to deprive citizens the freedom of thought and discussion.

The intelligentsia class is often guilty of complicity in mass murders. Our own intelligentsia class urgently needs critical self-examination and self-reflection, not celebration and not bleaching of mass murders.

Kua Kia Soong, 2007, May 13 Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969, Petaling Jaya, Suaram Komunikasi.

Peristiwa 13 Mei

November 26, 2010

oleh Naim Qlate

Peristiwa 13 Mei pada tahun 1969 ialah rusuhan kaum yang berlaku dan kemuncak masalah perpaduan di Malaysia. Tragedi ini yang mengakibatkan kehilangan nyawa serta harta benda dan mempunyai kaitan yang rapat dengan “Pilihan Raya Umum 1969” merupakan satu titik hitam dalam sejarah negara Malaysia.

Isu perkauman dalam pilihan raya 1969

Semasa kempen Pilihan Raya 1969, calon-calon pilihan raya serta ahli-ahli politik dari kalangan parti pembangkang, telah membangkitkan soal-soal Bangsa Malaysia berkaitan dengan Bahasa Kebangsaan (Bahasa Melayu), kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu sebagai (Bumiputera) dan hak kerakyatan orang bukan Melayu. Hal ini telah memberi kesempatan kepada ahli-ahli politik yang ingin mendapatkan faedah dalam pilihanraya.

Pada pilihanraya umum 1969Parti Perikatan yang dianggotai oleh (UMNO-MCA-MIC) telah gagal memperolehi majoriti 2/3 diparlimen, walaupun masih berjaya membentuk kerajaan persekutuan. Hal ini disifatkan oleh parti pembangkang sebagai satu kemenangan yang besar buat mereka. Jumlah kerusi yang dimenanginya dalam Dewan Rakyat (Parlimen) telah menurun daripada 89 kerusi pada tahun 1964 kepada 66 kerusi pada tahun 1969.

Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan), Parti Tindakan Demokratik (DAP) dan Parti Progresif Rakyat (PPP) menang 25 buah kerusi dalam Dewan Rakyat manakala PAS menang 12 kerusi.

Pihak pembangkang yang memperoleh pencapaian gemilang dalam pilihanraya telah meraikan kemenangan mereka pada 11 Mei 1969. Perarakan tersebut sebenarnya tidak bermotif untuk menimbulkan isu perkauman. Malah terdapat segelintir pengikut perarakan (identiti mereka tidak dapat diketahui) telah mengeluarkan slogan-slogan sensitif berkenaan isu perkauman semasa mengadakan perarakan di jalan-jalan raya di sekitar Kuala Lumpur. Perarakan turut dijalankan pada 12 Mei 1969 di mana kaum Cina berarak menerusi kawasan Melayu, melontar penghinaan sehingga mendorong kepada kejadian tersebut.[1]. Pihak pembangkang yang sebahagian besar darinya kaum Cina dari Democratic Action Party dan Gerakan yang menang, mendapatkan permit polis bagi perarakan kemenangan melalui jalan yang ditetapkan di Kuala Lumpur. Bagaimanapun perarakan melencong dari laluan yang ditetapkan dan melalui kawasan Melayu Kampung Baru, menyorak penduduk di situ.[2] Sesetengah penunjuk perasaan membawa penyapu, kemudiannya dikatakan sebagai simbol menyapu keluar orang Melayu dari Kuala Lumpur, sementara yang lain meneriak slogan mengenai tengelamnya kapal Perikatan — the coalition’s logo.[3] Ia berlarutan hingga ke 13 Mei 1969 sebelum Parti Gerakan mengeluarkan kenyataan meminta maaf pada 13 May di atas kelakuan penyokong mereka. Menteri besar Selangor, Dato’ Harun Idris telah mengumumkan bahawa perarakan balas meraikan kemenangan UMNO akan dijalankan pada pukul 7.30 malam, 13 Mei 1969.

Pembangkang meraikan kemenangan

Peristiwa ini berlaku berikutan pengumuman keputusan Pilihanraya Umum pada 10 Mei 1969.

Dr. Tan Chee Khoon dari parti Gerakan telah menang besar di kawasan Batu, Selangor. Beliau minta kebenaran polis untuk berarak meraikan kemenangan parti tersebut di Selangor yang menyaksikan 50:50 di Selangor. Perarakan tersebut menyebabkan kesesakan jalan raya di sekitar Kuala Lumpur. Perarakan hingga ke Jalan Campbell dan Jalan Hale dan menuju ke Kampung Baru. Sedangkan di Kampung Baru, diduduki lebih 30,000 orang Melayu yang menjadi kubu UMNO, berasa terancam dengan kemenangan pihak pembangkang. Di sini letaknya rumah Menteri Besar Selangor ketika itu, Dato’ Harun Idris.

Dikatakan kaum Cina yang menang telah berarak dengan mengikat penyapu kepada kenderaan mereka sebagai lambang kemenangan mereka menyapu bersih kerusi sambil melaungkan slogan. Ada pula pendapat yang mengatakan penyapu tersebut sebagai lambang mereka akan menyapu (‘menyingkir’) orang-orang Melayu ke laut. Dalam masyarakat Melayu, penyapu mempunyai konotasi yang negatif (sial). Ada yang mencaci dan meludah dari atas lori ke arah orang Melayu di tepi-tepi jalan.

Perarakan kematian Cina

Akibat daripada rusuhan maut tersebut, kesesakan jalanraya turut berlaku.

Di Jinjang, Kepong, kematian seorang Cina akibat sakit tua diarak sepanjang jalan dengan kebenaran polis. Namun perarakan kematian bertukar menjadi perarakan kemenangan pilihan raya dengan menghina Melayu.

Pada hari Selasa 13 Mei, Yeoh Tech Chye selaku Presiden Gerakan memohon maaf di atas ketelanjuran ahli-ahlinya melakukan kebiadapan semasa perarakan. Yeoh menang besar di kawasan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Tapi permohonan maaf sudah terlambat.

Rumah Menteri Besar Selangor

UMNO telah mengadakan perarakan balas pada pagi 13 Mei 1969 yang mengakibatkan terjadinya peristiwa ini. Hal ini adalah kerana perasaan emosi yang tinggi dan kurangnya kawalan dari kedua-dua pihak. Perarakan ini tidak dirancang.

Orang Melayu berkumpul di rumah Menteri Besar Selangor di Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz di Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Dato’ Harun Idris selaku Menteri Besar Selangor ketika itu cuba mententeramkan keadaan. Rupa-rupanya, mereka yang berkumpul telah membawa senjata pedang dan parang panjang dan hanya menunggu arahan daripada Dato’ Harun Idris untuk mengamuk. [perlu rujukan]

Ketika berkumpul, cerita-cerita tentang kebiadapan ahli parti Gerakan tersebar dan meluap-luap. Jam 3.00 petang datang berita kejadian pembunuhan orang Melayu di Setapak, hanya dua kilometer dari rumah Menteri Besar Selangor. Terdapat cerita-cerita lain mengenai seorang wanita mengandung dibunuh dan kandungannya dikeluarkan dari perut dengan menggunakan besi penggantung daging babi.Sebelum menghembuskan nafas terakhir wanita tersebut sempat memasukkan semula janin yang terkeluar itu ke dalam perutnya.

4.00 petang dua penunggang motosikal Cina yang melalui Jalan Kampung Baru telah dipancung. Sebuah van membawa rokok dibakar dan pemandunya dibunuh. Pemuda-pemuda Cina yang dikatakan dari PKM dan kongsi-kongsi gelap telah bertindak balas. Mereka membunuh orang-orang Melayu di sekitar Kuala Lumpur. Rupa-rupanya orang Cina dan pemuda Cina ini lengkap dengan pelbagai senjata besi, tombak dan lembing berparang di hujung seperti dalam filem lama Cina.

Cerita-cerita seperti ini yang tidak diketahui sama ada benar atau tidak telah menyemarakkan lagi api permusuhan di antara Melayu dan Cina. Rusuhan besar terjadi. Perintah darurat dikeluarkan, semua orang tidak dibenarkan keluar dari rumah. Pasukan polis berkawal di sekitar Kuala Lumpur. Tentera dari Rejimen Renjer lebih awal dikerahkan menjaga keselamatan sekitar Kuala Lumpur.
Rejimen Renjer

Anggota FRU semasa rusuhan 13 Mei berlaku.

Pasukan FRU di keluarkan dari Kampung Baru dan askar dari Rejimen Renjer ambil alih. Malangnya pasukan ini terdiri dari orang-orang Melayu, Iban, Cina,India, Sikh, Gurkha dan lain-lain turut menembak orang-orang Melayu dan ini menyebabkan kemarahan orang MelayuRejimen Renjer dikatakan berbangsa Cina. semakin meluap-luap. Menurut laporan, ketua pasukan

Pemuda-pemuda Melayu yang mempertahankan Kampung Baru dan yang lain-lain mengamuk merasakan diri mereka terkepung antara orang Cina dengan askar Rejimen Renjer. Beberapa das turut ditujukan ke arah rumah Menteri Besar Selangor.

Askar Melayu

Akhirnya Regimen Renjer dikeluarkan dan digantikan dengan Askar Melayu. Beberapa bangunan rumah kedai di sekitar Kampung Baru, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman masih terus terbakar. Pentadbiran diambil-alih oleh Askar Melayu. Malangnya beberapa askar Askar Melayu turut masuk ke kedai-kedai emas Cina dan mengambil harta benda di sana. Malah ada askar melayu yang menembak ke atas rumah kedai orang Cina kerana kononnya mereka telah membaling botol ke arah askar melayu tersebut. Ada yang berkata askar tersebut berpakaian preman.

Ramai orang Cina dibunuh dan dicampakkan ke dalam lombong bijih timah di Sungai Klang berhampiran lorong Tiong Nam, Chow Kit. Konon ada rakaman televisyen oleh pemberita dari BBC dan Australia, beberapa pemuda Cina ditangkap, dibariskan di tepi lombong dan dibunuh. Bagaimanapun, sehingga sekarang, tiada bukti yang diedarkan mengenai rakaman ini.
Panggung Odeon

Pemuda-pemuda Cina telah bertindak mengepung Panggung Odeon, di Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur. Beberapa iklan disiarkan dalam bahasa Cina di skrin pawagam menyuruh penonton dari kalangan Cina keluar dari panggung. Penonton Melayu di panggung tersebut langsung tidak tahu membaca tulisan bahasa cina. Kesan daripada itu, pemuda-pemuda cina tersebut telah menyerbu masuk ke dalam panggung dan menyerang dan menyembelih penonton yang ada. Hampir semua penonton di dalam panggung tersebut mati di dalam keadaan yang sangat mengerikan. Ini termasuklah dua orang Askar Melayu yang tinggal di Sungai Ramal, Kajang. Manakala di pasar pula askar melayu telah menembak orang cina yang melanggar perintah berkurung dengan kereta perisai mereka. Di lebuh raya persekutuan pula, penduduk melayu Kampung Kerinchi telah membuang pasu di atas lebuhraya tersebut dan mengakibatkan kesesakan lalulintas dan kemalangan. Pemilik kereta berbangsa cina ditetak dan dibunuh. Seluruh keluarga peniaga cina yang menjual bunga berdekatan habis dibunuh. Di lapangan terbang Sungai Besi waktu itu yang merupakan lapangan terbang antarabangsa, askar melayu telah menembak orang Cina yang baru balik dari luar negeri dengan tanggapan bahawa mereka melanggar perintah berkurung.

Seorang polis bernama Rahim yang tinggal di Kuala Lumpur yang turut menonton wayang di Odeon terkena tetakan di kepala dan berpura-pura mati. Beliau masih hidup hingga sekarang. Sementara Mohd Radzi mengalami pengalaman yang sama di Pawagam Federal, Jalan Chow kit, Kuala Lumpur ketika menonton filem The Came To Rob Las Vegas arahan antonio Isasi Isasmendi. Akibat daripada tindakan sebegini, orang-orang Melayu mulai bertindak balas, dan dikatakan kepala orang Cina yang dibunuh diletakkan di atas pagar.

Abdul Rafai Alias bersama rakan-rakannya dari Semenyih yang datang ke Kuala Lumpur turut terperangkap dan terkejut dengan rusuhan kaum yang tidak disangka-sangka pada 13 Mei itu. Beliau turut melangkah-langkah mayat mereka yang telah terbunuh di atas jalan.

Khabar angin mengatakan Tentera Sabil dari Sungai Manik hendak datang ke Kampung Baru tetapi tersekat. Begitu juga dengan Tentera Selempang Merah dari Muar dan Batu Pahat tersekat dan disekat oleh polis di Balai Polis Kajang dan Cheras.

Ada 4 kiyai di sekitar Kampung Baru mengedarkan air jampi dan tangkal penebat, iaitu ilmu kebal dengan harga yang agak mahal. Sesiapa yang memakainya menjadi kebal dan boleh terbang. Apa yang pasti, Askar Melayu juga telah menyelamatkan orang Melayu di Kampung Baru ketika itu. Mungkin juga ramai yang pernah mendengar kisah parang terbang yang terbang di Kampung Cheras Baru dan penggal kepala orang Cina.

Namun rusuhan kaum tidak terjadi di Kelantan, Terengganu dan Pahang. Di Perak, Kedah, Pulau Pinang serta Perlis tiada sebarang pergaduhan. Negeri Johor dan Negeri Sembilan juga tidak terjadi apa-apa kerana telah diberi amaran oleh PKM. Cuma ada sedikit kekecohan di Melaka. Di Betong ada tembakan dilepaskan oleh PKM dan mereka memberi amaran jika askar melayu menembak orang cina, mereka akan memberi senjata api kepada orang cina.

Ada yang menyifatkan pergaduhan ini sebenarnya adalah pergaduhan “politik” Datuk Harun dengan sokongan Tun Razak yang tidak berpuas hati dengan Tunku Abdul Rahman bukannya perkauman kerana pemimpin cina Parti Perikatan seperti, Tan Siew Sin, Ong Yoke Lin telah “lari” bersama dengan Tunku Abdul Rahman ke Cameron Highlands. Sebelum peristiwa itu masyarakat Melayu dan Cina boleh hidup dalam keadaan yang harmoni. Seperti dinyatakan pergaduhan tidak belaku di negeri seperti Kelantan, Pahang dan Kedah. Jika ia merupakan isu perkauman, pastinya pada hari itu orang cina dan melayu akan berbunuhan sesama sendiri di negeri tersebut seperti di selatan thai.

Kalangan orang melayu mempunyai pandangan yang negatif terhadap kaum cina yang dilihat sebagai tidak mengenang budi dengan taraf kerakyatan yang diberikan pada mereka pasca kemerdekaan. Persepsi negatif masyarat Melayu terhadap kaum Cina juga berlaku kerana orang Cina merupakan majoriti menganggotai pasukan Bintang Tiga yang ingin menjadikan negara ini sebagai negara komunis berpaksikan negara komunis China.

Pada tahun 2007, satu buku — May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969Kua Kia Soong — telah diterbit oleh Suaram. Berdasarkan dokumen yang baru ‘declassified’ di pejabat maklumat awam London, buku tersebut mengatakan bahawa rusuhan tersebut bukannya disebabkan parti pembangkang sepertimana cerita rasmi yang diberikan, tetapi rusuhan tersebut dimulakan oleh “ascendent state capitalist class” di UMNO sebagai ‘coup d’etat’ untuk menumbangkan Tunku Abdul Rahman.[4] yang ditulis oleh akademik, bekas ahli Democratic Action Party, dan bekas ahli parlimen
Angka korban

Polis dan tentera sedang mengawal Panggung Odeon yang menjadi sasaran rusuhan.

Angka rasmi menunjukkan 196 mati, 439 cedera, 39 hilang dan 9,143 ditahan. 211 kenderaan musnah. Tapi ramai telah menganggar ramai lagi dibunuh. Sebuah thesis PhD. daripada Universiti California, Berkeley menganggar seramai 20,000 orang hilang nyawa dalam peristiwa 13 Mei. [5]

Statistik tidak rasmi jumlah kematian:

* Melayu : 86 orang

* Cina : 342 orang

* Lain-lain : 3 orang

Statistik tersebut tidak begitu tepat kerana daripada kacamata orang ramai yang menjadi saksi, mereka melihat berderet-deret lori membawa mayat yang tidak sempurna ke balai polis Jalan Travers waktu itu.

Lokasi Tunku Abdul Rahman semasa peristiwa 13 Mei

Ketika itu (13 Mei 1969), Tunku Abdul Rahman baru pulang dari Alor Star meraikan kemenangan beliau di sana.

6.45 petang Encik Mansor selaku Ketua Polis Trafik Kuala Lumpur memaklumkan kejadian pembunuhan kepada Tunku Abdul Rahman. Darurat diisytiharkan pada jam 7.00 malam 13 Mei 1969. Ada khabar angin mengatakan Tunku sedang bermain mahjung dan ada khabar menyatakan Tunku sedang menikmati hidangan arak. Dalam tulisannya, Tunku menafikan hal tersebut.

Negara diisytiharkan darurat pada malam 16 Mei 1969. Dengan pengistiharan ini, Perlembagaan Persekutuan telah digantung. Negara diperintah secara terus oleh Yang DiPertuan Agong dibawah undang-undang tentera. Dalam pada itu, Mageran telah dibentuk. Tunku Abdul Rahman telah menarik diri dari mengetuai majlis tersebut. Tempat beliau telah digantikan oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tun Abdul Razak. Berikutan itu, Parlimen juga digantung.

Sepanjang tempoh darurat, Mageran telah melakukan pelbagai tindakan untuk mencari punca dan penyelesaian agar trajedi tersebut tidak berulang. Diantara tindakan yang diambil ialah membentuk satu Rukun Negara bagi meningkatkan kefahaman rakyat pada perlembagaan negara. Turut dilakukan ialah melancarkan Dasar Ekonomi Baru untuk menghapuskan pengenalan kaum dengan satu aktiviti ekonomi dan membasmi kemiskinan tegar dan membentuk Barisan Nasional yang bersifat sebagai sebuah kerajaan perpaduan. Hampir kesemua parti yang bertanding pada 1969 telah menyertai BN kecuali DAP.

No need to commemorate May 13 riots: PM

November 17, 2010

Prime Minister Najib Razak said today it was unnecessary to commemorate the racial riots of May 13.

“We should regard it as an event in the annals of history from which we can learn from … as a demarcation for us so that it will not recur,” he said.

Najib spoke to reporters after a video conference with members of the Malaysian community and students in six countries in conjunction with Aidiladha, at the prime minister’s official residence Seri Perdana in Putrajaya.

Also present at the session were Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor and Higher Education Minister Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

Further readings

Koh Tsu Koon: No plans for May 13 memorial

November 14, 2010


Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Koh Tsu Koon said the government had no intention yet of remembering the May 13 incident as the ‘National Muhibah Day’ like Singapore which turned the worst racial riot in the republic on July 21, 1964 as Racial Harmony Day.

Koh, who is also the Gerakan president, said there was no necessity at the moment to emulate Singapore which had set July 21 as ‘Racial Harmony Day.

“I don’t think so, because in Malaysia, May 13 may be interpreted differently…that’s why we should not make any decision now, it’s not unusual because it’s implemented in Singapore,” he told reporters after launching the ‘Program Karnival 1Malaysia Tabika.


Further readings

Utusan Malaysia’s May 13 article thrashed

November 11, 2010


DAP has come out strongly against an editorial in Malay language daily Utusan Malaysia which described the 1969 May 13 racial riots as a ‘sacred day’ for Malaysia.

Jagdeep Singh Deo (DAP-Dato Keramat) said he was in “awe and disappointment” over the article as all Malaysians knew it was a ‘black day’ in history.

He demanded that the Umno-backed daily apologise to all Malaysians over the article with immediate effect.


Further reading

Speaker refuses query on Utusan’s May 13 article

November 11, 2010



Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia today rejected a question on Utusan Malaysia’s inflammatory editorial piece yesterday which called for May 13, 1969 to be recognised as an “auspicious day”.

The incident occurred after Deputy Home Minister Abu Seman Yusop had finished replying to queries from Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong) on matters related to regulation of the printing presses.

Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) then asked a supplementary question on what action has been taken against Utusan Malaysia for its racially tinged articles, particularly the editorial piece on May 13 yesterday.


Further reading

Dr M: Malays must not forget May 13 bloodletting

May 14, 2010

By Rahmah Ghazali (Free Malaysia-Today)

KUALA LUMPUR: Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad feels that the Malays should be reminded of the May 13, 1969 racial riots so that a similar episode does not recur.

Mahathir said this in reference to the controversial “Melayu Bangkit” rally, which was scheduled to be held yesterday but was postponed following strong objections from both sides of the political divide.

The former premier was supposed to have attended the rally, and talk about various issues affecting the Malays.

“I (was) not going there to stir up feelings between the different races, but to remind them that if we don’t take care of this problem of race, then we will repeat our mistake.

“But then if I go, of course I would be called a racist,” he told a press conference here.

‘Forgetting it is not a good idea’

The 84-year-old statesman also said that the tragic incident, which robbed hundreds of lives, is still fresh in his memory and he wants to use his experience to prevent such bloodletting from happening again.

“I went through May 13, so I know. I know it very deeply so I think I can help people so they don’t act in ways that will precipitate another May 13.

“But this idea that we should forget May 13 altogether is not a very good idea,” he said.

In the aftermath of the 1969 riots, Mahathir was sacked from Umno over the wide distribution of his scathing letter to the then prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.

In his letter, Mahathir had criticised Tunku’s administration as being more favourable to the Chinese.

Meanwhile, Malay pressure group president Ibrahim Ali and the “Melayu Bangkit” rally organiser Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) slammed the critics for blowing the issue out of proportion.

Gertak said that the May 13 date was chosen out of convenience, and the main agenda of the rally was racial unity, and not to create animosity between the races.

Mahathir: Tragedi 13 Mei boleh berulang

May 14, 2010

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad berkata sesiapa yang melupakan sejarah mungkin kembali mengulangi sejarah itu dan bakal berhadapan hukuman akibat kesilapan itu.

Sehubungan itu, bekas Perdana Menteri itu meminta rakyat supaya tidak melupakan tragedi 13 Mei 1969 kerana jika itu berlaku, sejarah itu boleh berulang.

“Saya fikir kalau kita lupa sejarah kita, kita akan ulangi sejarah itu. Ada pepatah terkenal menyebut mereka yang lupa pengajaran daripada sejarah akan dihukum dengan mengulangi kesalahan mereka berulang kali.

“Itu keyakinan saya,” katanya pada sidang media penghantaran bantuan kemanusiaan oleh Perdana Global Peace Organisation (PGPO) di bangunan Yayasan Al-Bukhary di Kuala Lumpur, hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika ditanya mengenai kritikan Timbalan Pengerusi Biro Publisiti MCA, Loh Seng Kok yang mendakwa persetujuan Dr Mahathir untuk menyertai Program Melayu Bangkit anjuran Institut Integriti Negeri Terengganu (IINT) bersama Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (Gertak) di Stadium Tertutup Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu, yang dibatalkan semalam, seolah-olah merestui kempen perkauman.

Program itu ditangguhkan ke satu tarikh lain atas sebab-sebab yang tidak dapat dielakkan termasuk aspek keselamatan.

Dr Mahathir berkata beliau tidak memandangnya dari sudut itu tetapi kesudiannya menyertai acara itu adalah untuk mengingatkan rakyat bahawa sekiranya isu itu tidak dikendalikan dengan cermat, tidak mustahil sejarah berdarah itu akan berulang.

“Itu saya tak taulah (dakwaan). Saya pergi ke sana bukan untuk mengadu domba antara pelbagai bangsa tapi saya mahu ingatkan mereka bahawa jika kita tidak mempedulikan masalah bangsa ini, kita akan mengulangi kesilapan kita. Jika (tidak dibatalkan), sudah tentu, saya pergi, tapi lepas itu saya akan digelar rasis,” katanya.

Dr Mahathir berkata sebagai orang yang melalui sendiri pengalaman tragedi 13 Mei itu, beliau hanya ingin berkongsi maklumat supaya mereka tidak melakukan sesuatu yang boleh memberi kesan kepada orang lain.

“Saya lalui 13 Mei ini jadi saya tahu benar. Saya fikir saya dapat membantu menyesuaikan diri agar mereka tidak bertindak terburu-buru yang boleh menyebabkan berulangnya satu lagi 13 Mei,” katanya.

Justeru itu, Dr Mahathir berharap mana-mana pihak yang mencadangkan supaya tragedi itu dilupakan, supaya kembali memperbetulkan tanggapan mereka mengenai tarikh bersejarah itu.

“Idea agar kita patut melupakan 13 Mei bukan satu idea yang baik,” katanya.

– Bernama

Recolouring May 13 history

May 14, 2010

Christine Chan (Malaysiakini)

May 13 is undeniably a black spot in Malaysian history. But some Malaysians have decided to turn things around and commemorate the event differently.

“Instead of seeing May 13 negatively, we could use this as a lesson to unite us,” said businessman Anas Zubedy who spoke yesterday on how to recolour that day.

Anas, who is known for his full page advert in The Star which reportedly cost RM 1.5 million last year, suggested to the 100-strong audience at Starbucks Bangsar Village that May 13 could be remembered by simple gestures of unity.

“We could say a simple prayer, have a unity meal, exchange gifts and most importantly parents can talk to their children about the necessity of unity,” he explained at the Live & Inspire series which feature a motivational speaker every Thursday at that venue.

Founder of the Live & Inspire series Tim Fernandez (right) concurred, saying that instead of seeing May 13 in black and white, we should recolour that memory.

“Malaysia is not proud of the incident, but we can shift to remember and appreciate the racial differences among us,” he added.

When asked if a reconciliation committee is necessary for Malaysians to live and learn, Anas said that we do not need to know the gruesome details of that day.

May 13 shrouded in mystery

“Even if a single Malaysian was killed, we should be unhappy. It is not important to know who started it as that is just immature finger pointing,” he said, adding that as long as we admit that a mistake is made, we should move on.

Anas was five on 1969 and recalled his father coming home in a hurry on that fateful day and frantically bolting up all the doors at home.

“He took a parang and kept it close to him. Of course I was too young to understand then,” he shared with the crowd comprising all races of all ages.

Growing up in a Chinese area in Penang, he said that although his was the only Malay family there, he believed that his neighbours would come to their rescue if attacked.

“I believe that only a small group of Malaysians failed while Malaysia had succeeded, because not all Malaysians were participatory to the May 13 riots,” he added.

Given the significance of the event, the audience were still blurry about what happened on that day 41 years ago.

Little is known

A member of the audience, only known as Aisha apologetically asked:

“May I know what actually happened that day?”

Another pointed out that not much details of May 13 are found in school history text books, hence she asked if it is possible to incorporate more information on the incident to educate the young.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old student Joyce Chin thought that May 13 was about “some conflicts between the Chinese and Malays”.

“I remember studying this in history but there were no details as it was considered ‘sensitive’,” she said.

Her classmate Khairy Al-Fiqry recalled his grandfather telling him about the incident in Kampung Baru where the “parangs were flying”.

“We should discuss it, so we can learn how to be better than we were before,” he added.