Sometime in moments of quiet reflections I think about how it must have been for those of our people who were in Kuala Lumpur on that May day in 1969 – on the 13th of that May day in 1969. Reflect not as a Malay, not of the Chinese, not the Indians or of any Malaysian but reflect as to how any person caught up in those moments that forever changed our nation would have felt as they saw events unfolding before their very eyes.
I was in London then – a student without any thought of politics, race or feelings of mortality. My thoughts on that day were not for the future of our Nation but for the safety of my family back home. My late father was in the Police so I know that to all intents and purposes my family would be safe from any harm but the images I saw on the BBC of burnt cars, houses and corpses lying by the roadside of KL did made me wonder what would be the future of our people when calm and reason returned.
I remembered that as much as I wanted to watch events as it unfolded on the BBC I wanted more to be with other Malaysians and so I went to Malaysia Hall in Bryanston Square. There were a few Malaysian milling around the front of the building talking in small groups - I saw not Chinese, not Malays not Indians – I saw only groups of students talking amongst themselves. I hurried inside and went to see an Uncle of mine working in MSD – Malaysian Student Department - as I am sure he would have more to tell me. He assured me that all was well with my family, with our relatives and our friends but he said that all was not well with KL. These were racial riots and people were being killed for no other reason but race. He told me to go back to my place at Finsbury Park and wait for any more news from him – but for now he said it would be better if I focused on my studies.
Today Kampong Baru has not changed much from those days of May 13 1969 except that most of the property ringing Kampong Baru are now in the hands of Malays – a testament of the former Chinese owners who had sold their property cheaply to Malays as they no longer felt safe to stay in those areas. Apart from that nothing has physically changed within Kampong Baru. A sorry testament of what UMNO had failed to do for the Malays.
Look just beyond Kampong Baru and you will see metropolitan KL – a city that the other races build for Malaysia – the Chinese built for us – a testament to their ability to endure tremendous physical and economic challenges and still survive with vigour and character. The Indians too have their enclaves and also contributed to our nation success. Of the Malays, if you take away our government interest, there was not much to look at.
That is how it has been for our nation – back then in 1969 and now in 2012. Nothing has changed in substance for the Malays only the physical aspect that signifies personal and institutional wealth – not of the Malays en mass but of the Malays in UMNO and of Institutional wealth which the government controls not for the common good of the Malays or other Malaysian but for those within UMNO and its Coalition partners in Barisan Nasional.
May 13th has not been a lesson learnt for UMNO. May 13th has not been a lesson learnt for the Malay leaders of UMNO. All it has been for these people is the opportunity May 13th presented to them to take power and use power to satisfy their greed in amassing insane wealth.
And since then there have been many other deaths of our people while in MACC and PDRM custody. There have been many people incarcerated under the ISA and many more physically harmed at the hands of our police. There have been those whose lives have been wrecked and destroyed by the actions of this Barisan Nasional government in their maniacal pursuit of retaining power at the expense of the our civil and personal freedom. Nothing is sacred – not race, not religion not gender not age not even children have been spared death – as the death of Aminurasyid can testify – if by their death this UMNO led Barisan Nasional can send a message to the people of this nation that their power over us is absolute!
The only control they do not have over us is our thought process. Under even extreme circumstances we can still think unless the human spirit is broken through torture and physical harm. And even this they do try to do! We have seen many of those who have been released after being incarcerated under the ISA become stronger and more resolve to challenge this Barisan Nasional government right to continue to rule this nation of ours. Just as we too have become more resolved to ensure that Barisan Nasional will understand that their tenure to continue in government is in our hands.
Maybe those who died during the May 13th Racial Riots of 1969 and all those who have died since then at the hands of this Barisan Nasional government will give us cause to reflect what we need to do at this 13th general election. I lost no love ones, friends or acquaintances during May 13th 1969. Nor have I lost anyone I know at the hands of MACC, PDRM or by any other actions of this Barisan Nasional government. But I read of Teoh Beng Hock, of Sarbaini, of Kugan and of Aminursayid – all these deaths were unnecessary. All these deaths were the result of deliberate polices of this Barisan Nasional government…..and any government guilty of these atrocities do not deserve to govern any more.
So do your worst Najib…you are now like a mad dog running around with rabies in the streets of Kuala Lumpur doing harm to everyone else but yourself. And you know that when a dog goes rabid they have to be killed. …the method they use may be cruel and unnecessary….they may wound you from a distance of a 100 yards and then move in closer as you lay wounded….. and you know what the end will be ….they shoot mad dogs dead!