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May 13 Report

May 13 Report

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Published by rama175
The truth behind May 13 and what happened.
The truth behind May 13 and what happened.

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Published by: rama175 on Jan 08, 2010
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07/29/2010

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TRAGEDY
A
REPORT
THE
NATIONALOPERATIONSCOUNCIL
KUALA LUMPUR
~TH
CTOBER,
1969
 
May 13,
1969
will go down in our history as a dayof national tragedy. On that day the very foundationof this Nation was shaken by racial disturbances whoseviolence far surpassed any we had known. It was onlythe firm and prompt action of the Government, togetherwith the loyal support of the Armed Forces and thePolice, which quickly brought the situation undercontrol. Had it not been for the immediate preventivemeasures, there is no doubt that the whole countrywould have been plunged into a holocaust.For some of us the tragedy has a direct and personalmeaning. But the significance of that day does not,and should not be allowed to, escape any one of us.
On
that day we were jolted into
a
sharp realisationthat the racial problem in this country is a serious oneand measures taken in the past to cope with it havenot woved adeauate.Friction had always existed at the edges of thevarious communities, but we continued to live in thehope that the heat generated would not reach anexplosive level. This faith in the good sense of everyMalaysian, and our belief in the virtues of unfettereddemocratic processes, characterised the conduct of ouraffairs since Merdeka. We assumed that those whochose to participate in public life would understandthe delicate realities of our society and consequentlyrecognise the need for
a
certain degree
of
restraint and
 
maturity in their activities. It does not take much torealise that there are forces existing in our midst-theCommunist agents, the secret societies, the communalextremists-who are out to disrupt our way of life fortheir own ends.
I
was deeply saddened, therefore, to see the turn ofevents preceding the last General Elections. All thedestructive forces were out: candidates courting supporton racial lines with reckless abandon; Communistagents in the Labour Party turning a funeral into anarrogant Maoist slogan-shouting demonstration; andsecret society members working with quiet but deadlyefficiency in generating fear, inciting racial feelings anddistributing weapons. These three ingredients made anexplosive combination, and the Government sought toseparate them and did everything possible to avertbloodshed.During the campaign a number of Oppositioncandidates attacked the Constitution in racialist terms.They twisted and misrepresented certain provisions inthe Constitution, principally Articles
152
and
153.
Theyagitated for the removal of Article
153
which providessafeguards for the special position of the Malays. Thiscaused grave misapprehensions among the Malays.Malay extremist candidates, on the other hand.campaigned on the most far-out and impracticableproposals--of having a purely Malay Government-ignoring the multi-racial realities
of
our society andthereby caused much worry among the non-Malays.The General Elections went
off
smoothly and theGovernment was returned with
a
comfortable majority.The Opposition parties were returned with
a
few addi-tional seats. This unexpected success on their partunfortunately made some of them lose all sense ofproporticm, and their members and supporters wenton a rampage of insults and obscenities. What startedas political activity was allowed to deteriorate intorace-bai ing.This Report lays out the facts on the disturbanceswhich broke out on May
13.
It outlines the historicalbackground of the mood of the people on that day;it relates the day of tragedy and the role played by theArmed Forces and the Police in quelling the distur-bances and returning the country under the
firm
controlof the Government; and, finally, it points to the direc-tion that the Nation should take.The lesson of the recent disturbances is clear. ThisNation cannot afford to perpetuate a system that per-mits anybody to say or do things which would setone race against another.
If
the events
of
May
13
are not to occur again,
if
this Naticm
is
to survive,we must make sure that subjects which are likely toengender racial tensions are not exploited by irres-ponsible opportunists. We can only guarantee
this
byplacing such subjects beyond the reach of racedemagogues, the Cmunists and other subversives.We need, therefore, to construct a political frameworkwhich is realistic and takes full account of the social

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