Malaysians are no longer bound by racial and religious lines and, more importantly, are now united in these sentiments against the BN government.
What has changed since the May 13, 1969 racial riots? What would happen today if Umno thought another May 13 incident was required to retain its hold on political power?
The Internet for one. Can you imagine what would happen if racial riots were to happen again?
We have seen what has happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
This Umno government will be held accountable for every deed that it does should another incident break out – whether instigated by the Malays, Umno or by non-Malays.
All the killings and murders perpetrated by anyone will somehow be uploaded onto YouTube. Malaysians and the world will subject old every act taken by the government to scrutiny and analysis.
Umno will be under intense pressure to do the right thing by its people as any hope of using the army and police to take control of the country will be questioned.
Our people will be aware of everything that happens around them… and knowledge is power.
If you equip the people with what they need and want to know, then they will be empowered to do the necessary to ensure that their country is safe and secure from tyrants and despots that try to take advantage of chaos and mayhem to impose their will upon their own people.
The incumbent ruling party will not be able to get away with using another May 13 to impose its political will onto the people. It may well try but I doubt if it will succeed.
The lessons we should have learnt as a result of the May 13 riots have not been used to change the people of our country into a better people – nor our government into a better government.
Only the negativity of the incidents has been eagerly seized by those with vested interest and used to further their own cause.
Forty three years on, this is the sad truth about the May 13 racial riots.
The architect of evil The evil architect that ensures that this is so is the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government that will seize any opportunity to further its hold on all things Malaysians – Malays and non-Malays.
Thank God that in spite of the darkness insisted by BN, our people have evolved into light.
We are no longer bound by racial and religious lines – apart from lingering traces of fanaticism that exists in any country – and, more importantly, we are united in these sentiments against the BN government.
United enough hopefully to force political change into the way our government governs us; united enough to hold our people together even as Umno strives to divide us; and united enough to make us celebrate the differences that exist among us all, even between East and West Malaysia.
There should be no more matters to divide us all.
So when Umno tells us that the Chinese want political power, we tell Umno better the Chinese than Umno.
When Umno tells us that it needs another term in office to ensure the Malays are not left by the roadside as the other races surges past, we must tell Umno that the other races will not leave us by the roadside.
We must tell Umno that the other races will take us with them – unlike Umno that has already left the Malays by the roadside for many, many years.
And when Umno tells us that only Umno can save the Malays, then we tell Umno that only Umno has damned the Malays for the past 43 years.
However, today it is only the Malays that can save Umno… but why should we do so? Why should we save an Umno that is no longer relevant to our needs or our aspirations?
Why should we save an Umno obviously unable to save itself from its own folly and avarice?
And so if anything is to be learnt from the May 13 racial riots of 1969 it is this:
We want 1Malaysia. The Umno-led BN government does not.
We want open, responsible and accountable government. This Umno-led BN government does not.
We do not want another May 13. BN does because it is only with another May 13 that it would have an opportunity to desperately hang on to government again.
Umno, a spent force
Let us move forward from where we are at now.
We are now at that point in time when almost all things that matter in Malaysia are about to come together.
We must move positively forward towards a future without an Umno-led BN future.
The only thing stopping us is Umno itself – a spent force of political dinosaurs that now grasps at straws to try and survive Armageddon.
If Umno has not learnt from the racial riots of May 13 in 1969, it will never ever learn what we Malaysians want for our country, our people and our future.
And because it has not, it is time Pakatan Rakyat be given the opportunity to do so.
CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.