National Archives can’t release classified May 13, Memali documents, says Nancy

(FMT) – The National Archives cannot release classified documents as they come under the purview of the National Security Council (MKN) and police, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri said.

Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, Nancy said this included the National Operations Council documents and those on the May 13 riots and the Memali incident.

She said the National Archives, which comes under her ministry, only keeps classified documents but they still belong to MKN and police.

“As such, the National Archives does not have the power to make the information public,” she said in a response to a question from Tan Kok Wai (PH-Cheras).

Tan had asked about the release of classified documents on the May 13, 1969 racial riots and the siege on Kampung Memali in Kedah in 1985.

The May 13 incident, considered the worst racial riots in the country’s history, erupted after the general election that year, and several hundreds were believed to have been killed.

The Memali incident in Baling, Kedah, saw a confrontation between police and supporters of religious teacher Ibrahim Libya, who resisted attempts to arrest him under the Internal Security Act. Eighteen people, including four policemen, were killed in the incident.

Tan had proposed that the National Archives make public such information after 25 years.

Nancy said the release of classified documents was not mandatory and depended on several factors, including sensitivities, national security and sovereignty.