ACCOUNTS OF HISTORY

1. Today is the anniversary of the May 13 incident of Malaysia. The incident refers to the Sino-Malay sectarian violence in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which reportedly began on 13 May 1969.

2. In a multiracial country like Malaysia, it is sad that such things happened. It should never happen again, and younger generations today should learn from it, and realize how precious and important is racial harmony. Not only for Malaysians to learn, but also for citizens of other multiracial countries.

3. To learn, one must look back at history. But in Malaysia, on the May 13 incident, there seems to be two versions of history.

4. The first group of people, would always insist that the incident was caused and instigated by the DAP, and its leader Lim Kit Siang. This group of people would label DAP as a Chinese chauvinistic, and a racist party. This charge that DAP and Kit Siang instigated and caused the May 13 incident, would almost always appear during election campaigns. See this article for the latest example.

5. The second group would deny that the May 13 incident was instigated and caused by Kit Siang or even the DAP. It was showed that on the day of the incident, Kit Siang was not in West Malaysia – where the incident took place – but was in East Malaysia to help campaign for an independent candidate.

6. Kit Siang had recounted this many times in his blog, in various interviews, and also in the video documentary titled “A Malaysian Dream – Life and Times of Lim Kit Siang”, which can be found on YouTube. (I had earlier shared the clips here.)

7. Of course, despite many clarifications and explanations by Kit Siang, the first group would always insist DAP and Kit Siang were to be blamed. And readers should perhaps wonder if being insistent that Kit Siang and the “Chinese chauvinist, and racist” DAP were to be blamed, despite multiple denials, do these first group of people believe in racial harmony? Or that in reality, their persistent allegations act to inflame and raise unhealthy sentiments, which multiracial countries often cannot afford to have?

8. The case of the second group was strengthened by the recounts given by former UMNO member Tamrin Ghafar (son of former deputy prime minister Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba), who had cleared Kit Siang while on the stump of the Election 2013 campaign trail, saying that UMNO itself was behind the riot.

9. Ghafar said he was told by former home minister, the late Tun Ghazali Shafie, that the May 13 riots were likely the result of an internal UMNO coup against founding prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. Read what Ghafar said here.

10. People have heard from Kit Siang himself, and even 3rd party sources such as Ghafar. But people do not seem to hear much from the first group on rebutting the testimonies of Kit Siang, the DAP and Ghafar. And yet, this first group of people continue to propagate their version of history.

11. Obviously, for people seeking to prevent a repeat of May 13, and to preserve racial harmony by looking at history, they have been done a grave injustice by this first group of people, who by their continuous allegations, keep muddying the water, for purpose only they themselves are fully aware of.

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