Monday, August 20, 2007

The Tunku on how "May 13" began

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

From 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 (pictured right) 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 (shown left) 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.”

[From Raja Petra Kamarudin's blog, Malaysia Today]


Kalamari said...

It is sad to note how the struggle for power always leads to more conflict. It is even sadder still to know that after so many years, people have not learnt to listen.

Starmandala said...

Dear Kalamari, I post this information not to make you sad; simply to make you aware. As we become more aware of the real story behind each official story, we begin to awake to the sober truth that we can no longer unquestioningly obey external authority. Indeed, the only true authority ultimately resides within us as individuals. And thus do we unsubscribe from the reflex conditioning that makes the masses governable by a small handful; thus do we reclaim our sovereignty and regain our freedom from the Machine.

Tunku Halim said...

I keep thinking that there should be a memorial for that tragic day.

Kalamari said...

Antares, thanks. The truth does bring things into a better light that we may see clearer the situations that govern us. Hopefully more people will become aware and learn the truth rather than listen to the words of the few.

Tunku Halim: A memorial will only serve as much when people can readily accept the truth without judging others.

Unknown said...


Regarding the proposed biography of Tunku by K. Das that never seen the light of day ... Don't you think it's time for such a book to be published, and let the people know the truth of Razak overthrowing Tunku and using May 13 as the cover?

I dunno who K. Das is, but would you kindly enquire Mr. Das to see if he would get the book out in the near future?

Thank you !

Starmandala said...

Appreciate your comment but I'm afraid the official biography of the Tunku by K. Das will never be published. In the process of drafting the biography, Das became the target of devious attacks instigated by his arch enemy, Dr M, of whom he had been extremely critical when he was the Malaysian bureau chief of the Far Eastern Economic Review. How Mahathir broke Das's spirit is a story that has never been told, but I will tell some of it here. Das had taken an overdraft to send his daughter Indra to law school, hoping to repay it by publishing a series of best-sellers. K. Das made some money with his pot-boiler, 'The Musa Dilemma' and was optimistic about establishing his own publishing firm, called K. Das Ink. However, after co-authoring 'May Day for Justice' (with Tun Salleh Abas) Das found that no major distributor dared pick up his books. He was overjoyed when a Mamak distributor came to his rescue and took every copy of one of his books - but his joy was shortlived, as he later discovered the guy was a crook. The crunch came when Das received a letter from his bank demanding instant settlement of his overdraft. The bank refused to negotiate and Das was declared a bankrupt (I believe the amount he owed was around RM12,000). Mahathir was fond of using his influence over the banks to ruin his political detractors. He did the same thing to Marina Yusoff whose financing was abruptly withdrawn midway through a major building project. Anyway, Das's passport was confiscated and he wasn't allowed to visit his Austrian partner even when she was ill in Vienna. Under these oppressive circumstances, Das had to move to a smaller apartment in Brickfields where he hoped to finish Tunku's biography. However, a freak fire in the apartment destroyed his first draft, along with some precious tape recordings. Soon after that, Das developed a brain tumor and was hospitalized. I saw him several weeks before he died and he was glowing with a tangible aura of tranquility. "I've made my peace with everybody," he whispered. "Even Mahathir!" He described a vivid dream in which he met Lord Yama, patron deity of the Unseen Realms, riding on a black buffalo and wrote a powerful poem about his own mortality. This poem was read aloud at Das's funeral by one of his beautiful daughters, the famous actress Jo Kukathas. I believe the surviving tape recordings from the numerous conversations Tunku had with Das are now in the archives of Dr Kua Kia Soong. Perhaps Dr Kua will be the one to write Tunku's story. His 2007 book -'MAY 13' - may have been a prelude to something monumental to come. And the day will dawn when Sreekant Pillai, son of the late M.G.G. Pillai will tell the story of how Mahathir destroyed his father by using his corrupt control of the judiciary to bankrupt the ace journalist. Now is the time of reckoning for many in Umno who aided and abetted the wicked and corrupt regime of Dr M.

Greg Lopez said...

There is Karma - they will all have to pay, someday.

MING said...

Everyone has been scheduled to meet THE MAKER who will "dish" out the appropriate form of punishment. Thus reincarnation (am a Buddhist) will be determined then. OR MI TOR FATT!

Anonymous said...

Which ever direction one turns, one seems to be looking at the same object of mass destruction ... MM!!
Once I asked a very honorable judge:
"Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?"
His reply: "Yes, that of a fast on-coming train!"
Sad - so very, very sad.

Azlina said...

That train MUST be stopped!!!
It's NEVER too late!!
DON'T give up!
Pull the brakes. Blast the train...
People power - with Allah's help!