(Freemalaysiakini) - Details of the May 13 riots, such as that depicted in Tanda Putera, should be provided to all Malaysians as a precautionary tale to avoid future racial unrest, said former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“It depends, people have many perceptions. But I think that we should tell the rakyat what really happened on May 13 so that it becomes a lesson to all of us,” Mahathir told reporters today.
“Because as a multiracial country, if we are not careful, our country may become unstable because of constant racial riots.”
He said this when asked to respond if the cabinet decision to suspend the screening of the film and selective screening of the movie, was a wise move.
Funded by National Film Development Corporation and the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), the film depicts the trials and tribulations faced by second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein following the May 13 riots.
Mahathir’s character was depicted penning a letter condemning then-premier Tunku Abdul Rahman and was subsequently sacked from Umno.
The first portion of the film deals with the riots. Although Malays and Chinese were depicted causing harm to each other, the latter was depicted as the antagonist more often.
Mahathir was speaking to reporters after speaking at a dialogue session on the feasibility of a two-party system, organised by the Universiti Malaya Alumni Association .
‘Wait for Najib to be ready’
Asked if it was also wise for Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak to continue delaying polls, he said it is all up to the PM.
“Well, it all depends upon the PM and his assessment if he thinks he is ready,” Mahathir said.
Pressed if he thinks it is wise for BN wait for automatic dissolution, he again said it is up to the PM’s judgment.
“It must be because the PM thinks it is good.”
Last October, Mahathir had warned that further delays to polling would allow more time for Pakatan Rakyat to prepare.
Quizzed on former deputy army chief Abdul Ghafir Abdul Hamid’s allegations yesterday that the Malaysian military intelligence division had been abused for political operations, he replied, “What had he done (when he was in office), is it that just because of that he cannot fulfill other tasks?
“It looks like he is not a general but more like an opposition part (supporter),” he said.
Abdul Ghafir had claimed that the misuse of military intelligence units had weakened its function, such as detecting foreign threats like the armed intrusion in Lahad Datu, Sabah.