Tuesday, 31 July 2007

May 13th As Tunku Saw It

30/07: Raja Petra seditious? Hogwash!


Raja Petra Kamarudin

How much of what Raja Petra revealed is true? Is it really Tunku’s account that he posted in Malaysia Today? Would he have the audacity to falsify or rewrite certain parts of Tunku’s account for his own agenda? It would seem that that would be the biggest sacrilege that he would have committed against a venerated leader and a gentleman prince who was the Father of Independence.

If what he has posted is what Tunku actually said, then it is not only profoundly sad but also highly disturbing that certain leaders in the government of that time had a hand in perpetrating the May 13 incident. Tunku Abdul Rahman related how certain leaders had maneuvered and orchestrated the tense situation so that the May 13 incident would inexorably run its course of bloody mayhem and riots and force Tunku to relinquish his post as the Prime Minister.

Such Machiavellian methods employed by these leaders to achieve their ends would encourage those in power today to resort to the same strategies to manipulate the masses to achieve their political objectives. Knowing what Tunku had said would help us to be more vigilant against leaders who attempt to repeat history.

Reproduced from 'No Holds Barred' is Tunku’s account on the May 13 incident:

The May 13 incident as personally related by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the First Prime Minister of Malaya/Malaysia and Bapa Merdeka.

At his residence in Penang, 1972

“It was clear to me as well as the police that in the highly charged political atmosphere after the police were forced to kill a Chinese political party worker on May 4th, 1969, something was bound to happen to threaten law and order because of the resentment towards the Government by the KL Chinese on the eve of the general election. This was confirmed at this man’s funeral on the 9th May when the government faced the most hostile crowd it had ever seen.

Therefore, when the opposition parties applied for a police permit for a procession to celebrate their success in the results of the general election, I was adamant against it because the police were convinced that this would lead to trouble. I informed Tun Razak about this and he seemed to agree.

Now, without my knowledge and actually “behind my back”, there were certain political leaders in high positions who were working to force me to step down as a PM. I don’t want to go into details but if they had come to me and said so I would gladly have retired gracefully.

Unfortunately, they were apparently scheming and trying to decide on the best way to force me to resign. The occasion came when the question of the police permit was to be approved.

Tun Razak and Harun Idris, the MB of the state of Selangor, now felt that permission should be given knowing fully well that there was a likelihood of trouble. I suppose they felt that when this happened they could then demand my resignation.

To this day I find it very hard to believe that Razak, whom I had known for so many years, would agree to work against me in this way. Actually, he was in my house as I was preparing to return to Kedah and I overhead him speaking to Harun over the phone saying that he would be willing to approve the permit when I left. I really could not believe what I was hearing and preferred to think it was about some other permit. In any case, as the Deputy Prime Minister in my absence from KL, he would be the Acting PM and would override my objection. Accordingly, when I was in my home in Kedah, I heard over the radio that the permit had been approved.

It seems as though the expected trouble was anticipated and planned for by Harun and his UMNO Youth. After the humiliating insults hurled by the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, and after the seeming loss of Malay political power to them, they were clearly ready for some retaliatory action. After meeting in large numbers at Harun’s official residence in Jalan Raja Muda near Kampong Bahru and hearing inflammatory speeches by Harun and other leaders, they prepared themselves by tying ribbon strips on their foreheads and set out to kill Chinese. The first hapless victims were two of them in a van opposite Harun’s house who were innocently watching the large gathering. Little did they know that they would be killed on the spot.

The rest is history. I am sorry but I must end this discussion now because it really pains me as the Father of Merdeka to have to relive those terrible moments. I have often wondered why God made me live long enough to have witnessed my beloved Malays and Chinese citizens killing each other.”

No Holds Barred: Raja Petra seditious? Hogwash!:

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