Monday, May 21, 2007

Digging-up the ghost of May 13, 1969

Many comments have been posted on the so-called new 'revelations' sourced from Britain by Dr Kua Kia Soong in the publication of his book, "May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian riots of 1969”.

Many of the comments merit deeper analysis and thoughts while some are so shallow and blinkered -- perhaps, posted based on immature observations and reactions by those who were too young when the events on that fateful day unfolded.

While saying that the book should not be banned as it will only push it underground on the internet, etc., I seriously believe that one way to dispel the allegations by the author based on some "de-classified" documents and British intelligence sources, is to come out with the Malaysian side to the story.

I believe many apolitical Malaysians not driven by raw and unbridled communal sentiments who lived through those turbulent times do not want it to be remembered anymore. It is not about blame. It is about lessons learned. For the level-headed they will consider the unsung heroes who went out of their way to shelter non-Malays at the height of the riots and vice versa, as well as the un-tiring work of all communities to patch the torn fabric of multi-racial Malaysia in the aftermath of the incident.

If we want to dig out such black marks in the past, maybe we should look further than that...we may want to look at the turbulent times during the opening up of Selangor's tin fields hundreds of years ago, among other things.

With reference to this perhaps someone would want to do some research on the incident that caused the alleged decimation of the Malay population of Selangor. This was mentioned by Tun Haniff Omar in his observations published in The Star as well as his web log: http://pointofviewtunhanifomar.blogspot.com/ .

Excerpt: "...Sir Frank Swettenham wrote that in that struggle to control the tin fields, Selangor’s Malay population was decimated and years later, when they were building Kuala Lumpur’s first rows of shops, they were unearthing numerous skeletons of victims of that war...."

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