Saturday, November 17, 2007

May 13 nightmare still haunting us

“Don’t test the Malays, they know amok”

- Mohamad Rahmat (former UMNO leader)

“Datuk Hisham has unsheathed his keris, waved his keris, kissed his keris. We want to ask Datuk Hisham: when is he going to use it?”

- Hashim Suboh (UMNO Perlis delegate)

I read the Malaysiakini report of Ahmad Mustapha Hassan’s recollection of what he witnessed on May 13 1969 outside the Selangor MB’s residence in KL.

Author Mustapha said:
"Suddenly I saw this parang coming out from the bamboo fence at (then Selangor Menteri Besar) Harun Idris’ house, the (Chinese) boy was killed and thrown into the drain ...”

“That really traumatised me. My God! It happened right in front of me.”

Mustapha said the Chinese boy, who was working at a coffee shop near Harun’s residence, was going around delivering drinks to people, mainly Umno Youth members, who had gathered at the house for a planned rally that day. Little was he to realise he was just about to die at the hands of probably one of those he was serving coffee to.

Mustapha said:
“He was just a youngster, a teenager. For no reason, he was killed.”

No, Mustapha, there was a reason - it’s called racial hatred, sparked by provocations and instigations by politicians. As the saying goes, when old men err, young men die.

Just 3 months ago, based on a Malaysiakini news report I blogged Ku Li warned of May 13 again, where I quoted Jonathan Glover, the Director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics at King’s College London, on what he wrote in his book titled ‘Humanity – a Moral History of the 20th Century’ - (ISBN 0-224-05240-3 published by Jonathan Cape, London).

I mentioned that the synopsis on the book’s jacket says “It is about the psychology which made possible Hiroshima, the Nazi genocide, the Gulag, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and many other atrocities …..... also examines tribalism: how people in Rwanda and in the former Yugoslavia, people who once lived together became trapped into mutual fear and hatred … .”

On the Rwanda tragedy, his concluding sentence was: The human responses were overwhelmed in the killers by tribal hatred, but this emotion was itself a product of conscious political manipulation.”

'... a product of conscious political manipulation ...' well!

Then, for the Yugoslav internal conflict, Glover again said: “Tribal conflict rarely just ‘break out’. Hostility is enflamed by the nationalist rhetoric of politicians. Other groups then feel threatened and react with their own defensive nationalism. People are pushed into the trap by politicians. Then, in psychologically deeper ways, the rival groups become mutually trapped by their responses to each other. This is how Yugoslavia fell apart.”

But back to Mustapha's recollection - personally I don’t see the need for such graphic recollection. We know that there were more people killed than the 196 officially reported. We know that there were weapons cached in the MB’s residence. We know the reason behind the tragedy.

... but ...

It’s already nearly 40 years since that terrible date. What value is there in recalling such a graphic, terrible and cruel picture.

The Real Cause of the May 13 Riots
May 13th - Best Forgotten!
New Fact on May 13 Revealed!
UMNO Y-leader warns of KL as new May 13 war zone!
May 13 - fascists' dream come true
May 13 & endemic rot within UMNO
Ku Li warned of May 13 again


  1. We really could have forgot about May 13th a long time ago, except that some UMNO politicians periodically like to remind the others about it.

    And everytime, it seems like they are speaking on behalf of all Malays, like all Malays are normally docile but deadly when provoked.

    So how do you bury this ghost?

  2. Someone I know witnessed May 13 as a young teen & recorded what he saw & how he felt in poem. He said he saw Chinese being hacked. He lived in one of the flashpoints.

    He has never shown this scrap of writing to anyone. Imagine, locking up the trauma for close to 40 years.

    He only made the confession (about his jottings) when we were talking about Dr Kua’s book. He will not let me see it, much less allow me to share it with a wider audience.

    His reply: “I don’t want to get into trouble. You think I’m like you, ah?”

    As long as May 13 is locked up as a skeleton in the closet, people like him will always be rattled by a fear of they know not what. Why should divulging an eyewitness account get anyone into trouble 38 years after the fact?

    So do you see why, as long as Truth does not out, believing May 13 is something best forgotten will shackle the spirit?

    Better to remember & learn rather than bury & never having closure.

    'Truth above all else.' Then we deal with it, as honestly as we can.

  3. Truth deliberately buried is truth denied.

  4. How the people and country treat others and history, determine they are 1st class world citizen or 3rd class peons.

  5. Don't underestimate the Chinese. They will not shed tears until they see their own coffins in front of them. And when this happens again(another May 13) you know what will happen. Remember history, countries and regimes with all the resources and huge human force can also be defeated by lesser forces. NAPOLEAN BONAPARTE? ADOLF HITLER? SADDAM HUSSEIN?


  6. The truth and true justice will always emerge and win.
    Evil lies, half truth, veiled threats, double speak, and racial warmongering will always fail.
    History has proven this time and time again.
    The Malaysian family must not be afraid, the man in the street has no racial or religious prejudices, it is the wicked politicians in BN who agitate and incite racial and religious strife.
    Come on all freethinking noble Malaysians, break free from the shackles of BN, and put Malaysia on the road to greatness and equality in everything.
    The wealth belongs to all the people.

  7. There is a saying 'You can't teach old dog new tricks'. My associates usually replied me with 'Good tricks, not afraid to re-use'. Hahaha...that is beside the point. The point, I am trying to make, is BN and UMNO need the Chinese more than before. Not for the love but for the money. All these keris stuff and M13 reminder are old tricks which may not be useful in this modern age. The charade may bring laughter and cheer to the UMNO floor but outside of it, it is a no-brainer issue. For one, if May13 re-occur, PAS will seize the opportunity to defend the Chinese lives (not for love, of course) and turn the River of Babylon (Money) backwards toward them. Then, UMNO and MCA will be in big trouble. Now, did Oxford professors teach such street smart lesson to our bright and arrogant politicians? w9

  8. ya lor, ameno like to remind us... aiyo... no other things to talk about ka? most of us were born after 1969 anyway, (at least half the popul'n), so what that heck?

  9. What Mustapha has shared shows that the chinese were not prepared to pepetrate any violence against the Malays or any one during or about the May 13 period.

    If indeed the Chinese had intention to attack the Malays the Chinese would all have been warned and will be prepared to fight and not be mere innocent victims.

    All these shows that this May 13 is a premeditated murder/genocide planned by some politicians especially Harun Idris who must surely burn in HELL for all the innocent blood he has shed and how these innocents blood had cried out to heaven for retribution.

  10. The 10 November Demonstration debunks and reduces to nought UMNO's favourite threat of another May 13. The 10 November Demonstration brought some fundamentalist Muslims together with pork eating Chinese and beer drinking Indians and we were united as one without fearing one another and lending a hand to help one another.

    We were all united in our anger at and despise for UMNO and BN. There was no sign of any Malay with the propensity to run amok to bathe their kerises with Chinese blood.

    Now the usual UMNO bogey of another May 13 bluff has been called. The most profitable and useful threat UMNO has had for almost 40 years has been neutred. UMNO feels bare and naked without the shroud of another May 13. If UMmembers' blood before they can bathe it in Chinese blood.

    NO tries to start anoter May 13 there is the possibility that their kerises may have to be first soaked in Malay/Muslim/PAS Wow..UMNO's grip is slipping isn't it?

  11. Remember the recent fiasco at the Cheras DAP's public forum about the umno's excesses & arrogances around that area's governmental allocations?

    The newspaper photographer was punched in the face by a umno thug while covering the forum.

    The hatreds were there & being orchestrated & demonstrated for the world to see by the umno elites!

    The sad thing is always those ignoramus malay being USED by the elites to championed their goals ( a mamak in this case?)

    The heartland malays are ignorance but can never be violence. The fear of god & sense of justice prevent them from running AMOK even in the face of being provoked by these umno elite agitators. This was the chief reason why during the May13 1969 Blackday, nothing much happened in the heartland.

    Those ignoramus malays in the city were/are different kind of fishes. Greed has replaced all things sensible within their culture. Thus they're easily manipulated by those elite umno agitators as the case above indicated.

    Two fronts to restore the sensibility of democratic foundation of our nation as envisioned by the founding fathers;

    1) allow free access of the TRUE infos to the rural heartland malays about the true issues surrounding the country

    2) containment of the urban ignoramus umno malays for playing to the choirs of the umno elites.

    (2) is the major problem of the two!

  12. "It’s already nearly 40 years since that terrible date. What value is there in recalling such a graphic, terrible and cruel picture."

    WHAT VALUE? What a disgusting and puerile question!
    KayTee, sometimes I feel like your astute mind has gone to your arse!

    The value is simply this: that the perpetrators of the evil will come to own their evil deeds and make public and collective repentance - like the Germans publicly acknowledged their horrendous wickedness towards the Jews (I know KT 'despise' the Israelis/Jews, he just doesn't hate them) in the Holocaust.

    The Chinese are not as wise. They should make many films of the Nanking Massacre to remind the world and the blood thirsty Japanese for the hundred of thousands of Chinese massacred. The Japanese still deny their despicable and abominable wickedness in the Nanking Massacre.

    The Chinese can take a cue from the Jews.

  13. an eye for an eye, and soon the world will be blind ;-)

  14. KTemoc said...
    an eye for an eye, and soon the world will be blind ;-)

    An eye for an eye? How obtuse can you be! Who's asking for it?

    Justice must be seen to be done.

    No, a man who deprived another man his eye MUST BE BROUGHT TO OWN HIS DESPICABLE WICKEDNESS. That is the least true justice demand. Historical fact cannot and must not be denied.

  15. This is important simply because it is the first public revelation by somebody who was in the corridors of power. This is not a ‘I heard / I was told / there was talk’ type of admission but an eye-witness account. It’s another account of what many have heard/known - that the bloodshed started at/outside the home of the then MB.

    So far no one has come out and said he is wrong about this least of all the organizations that made police reports against another blogger for his comments on AlJazeera. These same organizations should file police reports against the author for ‘inciting racial sentiments’.