May 13: Official Version Vs Declassified Documents Version
What was never revealed was Tunku’s statement from his residence in Penang, 1972, what Asiaweek’s M.G.G Pillai had alleged in the 17 February 1978 issue of that magazine and Tunku’s interview with Asiaweek, published on 10 May 1985.
May 13, 1969 – Truth & Reconciliation
[Posted Oct 1, 2008]
Reading the Malaysiakini report dated Oct 12, 07 entitled ‘Malay capitalists’ not behind May 13′ I can’t help but wonder how the powers-that-be took great pains to rebut the allegations and accusations that the riots were planned by Malay capitalists as concluded by Suaram’s director Dr Kua Kia Soong’s in his bookMay 13 – Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969.
In fact the Utusan Group has republished first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s book, May 13: Before and After and its obvious that the publication of this book was to dispel Dr. Kua’s conclusions.
However this book ‘Before and After’ was written by Tunku shortly after the May 13 incident and what was never reveal was Tunku’s statement from his residence in Penang, 1972, what Asiaweek’s M.G.G Pillai had alleged in the 17 February 1978 issue of that magazine and Tunku’s interview with Asiaweek, published on 10 May 1985.
The writer wishes to present all three articles here, one by Malaysiakini at attempts to potray Tunku’s book ‘Before and After’ as official facts and excerpts from an article written by Fan Yew Teng, former DAP Acting SG entitled ‘Some UMNO Myths Young Malaysians Should Know About’ and Tunku’s statement in 1972 for readers to make an informed conclusion.
‘Malay capitalists’ not behind May 13′
Oct 12, 07
Utusan Group has republished first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s May 13: Before and After book to rebut the allegations and accusations that the riots were planned by Malay capitalists.
It is obvious that the publication of this book was to dispel conclusions found in Suaram director Dr Kua Kia Soong’s May 13 – Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969.
In his book, Kua (right) said the May 13 incident was a coup d’etat against Tunku by Malay capitalists surfacing that at time to grab power from the old aristocrats to execute a new Malay agenda.
He drew his conclusions based on a three-month research into various sets of foreign dispatches and confidential reports from that time – which were declassified recently by the Public Records Office in London after 30 years.
However, the official version by the government states that the riots were caused by predominantly Chinese opposition supporters who provoked the Alliance party by celebrating their election victory by parading on the streets.
The reason for the republication of Tunku’s book was noted clearly in the foreword written by academician Prof Dr Nik Anuar Nik Mahmud who is based in the history, politics and strategy department under Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s social science and humanities faculty.
He said the republication was timely “in light of recent attempts by parties who were trying to twist the facts and cause confusion over the bloody May 13 riots.”
‘Cause of the tragedy’
He wrote: “In mid-May, a book about May 13 was published. However, the approach used clearly rejected the belief that the riots were caused by the socio-economic imbalances between the races in the country.
“Instead, the writer presented a new thesis that the Malay capitalists let by Tun Abdul Razak tried to topple Tunku as the cause of the riots.”
However, Nik Anuar did not expressly acknowledge that the aforesaid book was the book written by Kua but the references were clear.
The academician elaborated that despite it being difficult to discover the real motive for that book, there is a current trend to besmirch the country’s past leaders including, Abdul Razak, Harun Idris, Mohamad Ghazali Shafie and security officers.
He said the approach was clearly prejudiced – and if not refuted – would lend credence to the Malay capitalist takeover claim.
Hence, Nik Anuar said the publication of Tunku’s book would satiate all allegations against national leaders especially those directed at Abdul Razak.
In the 195-page book, Tunku summarised that the racial riot was the work of extremists and communists.
According to him, these two group of people have been attempting to start riots even before independence.
Tunku said they started tensions in the economic boycott (Hartal) in 1967, the death by hanging incident (1968), elections boycott (1969), corpse parade (May 9, 1969) and the victory march by opposition parties on May 12, 1969 causing racial tensions and riots.
Based on this, Nik Anuar ruled out the role of the Malay capitalists because Tunku has never viewed the incident as a move to seize power.
He did note that Tunku (left) admitted that the bloody incident was due to a few Umno members who were not happy that he remained as PM..
“But their dissatisfaction did not cause the riots itself. This has been explained by Tunku in Chapters 15 and 16 of the book,” Nik Anuar stated.
He added that Tunku’s book should be read and studied by the people especially the youths “so that they would not be caught in the accusations of parties trying to twist facts and defame leaders that have sacrificed for their race, religion and country.”
“Tunku’s book is based on documents procured from the Royal Malaysian Police. This different from the book published before this that are based on diplomatic and foreign journalist sources that are not reliable,” Nik Anuar wrote.