Monday, May 07, 2007


what happened on may 13th 1969 ?

on may 13th 1969 malaysia witnessed the first ugly race riot when the DAP which was then to all purposes a very chauvinistic chinese party won big in the general election in some majority chinese towns and in their euphoria threatened to chase away the malays out of 'their' chinese areas especially in a few parts of KL..and blood was spilt and a few hundred or according to some thousands of innocent people were killed on both sides ....that is how i understand the matter but i like many others don't really know exactly what actually happended that triggered the whole situation as malaysia then and even now is not exactly a land of writers and i've never come across any book interesting enough for me to read about this sad event...and i've never come across anybody who had a first had experience of this event ... until yesterday , when i met this man who was then a fourteen yr old boy living in kl....

his story is this. on thirteenth of may 1969, a cousin of his went for interview for a job in KL and later spent the day wandering around the city and went to a movie at Federal movie theatre in chow kit. What movie was not told to me but apparently the movie goers include both non malays presumably chinese and malays so was certainly not a malay movie as then and now no chinese in their right mind ever go and see a malay movie...

what the movie goers didn't know was that at that time the riot has boiled to a frenzied pitch with bands of chinese parading around town in agressive manner with all manner of small weapons raised high and shouting insults and declaring that they will chase the malays out of town and some people have been killed and a few were hanged on the overpass along jalan tunku ab rahman and a band of chinese came and stationed themselves at the theatre waiting for the film to finish and when the movie goers filed out they sorted out the malays and non malays... they let the chinese go and whacked the malays with parangs. Realizing what happened the place was in chaos in a matter of minutes and the malays panicked and scampered every which way and his cousin managed to find a way out but seeing this the chinese went after him and he was hit with a parang on the arm as he tried to parry the hit to his face but kept running away until he came to DBP building and fell on to the ground and the chinese came over, raised high the parang and as thing sometime happened, he was saved in the nick of time by a a traffic policeman on a bike who happened to pass by and the chinese then scampered away...

that was how i was told anyway and i'd love to hear any first hand experience of this fateful day or comments why the killings happened.... i am no closer to understanding why such thing could possibly ever happened in kl but not in other areas where chinese are also in considerable number. i always have this view... malays are one of the most peaceful people on earth... by thier nature, the malays are very docile people, laidback and yes, inherently 'lazy'...they rather sleep or run away when things get bad in most situations but when they are pressed to the wall their mind short circuited and they can ran the case of thirteenth may 1969, the chinese rather forgotten this little detail and in the euphoria of winning the majority in KL they became mad and did unforgivable things which short circuited the malay minds and hence the mayhem...

You are right. The Malays are very docile. Their tolerance and receptiveness, are very high. And yet they resorted to violence, as a medium of expression.


The DAP were simply too much. Bad enough they won, do they have to parade all around town and insult the Malays? How does anyone feel if for three days people go around town with chanting, "Melayu balik kampung, tanam jagung!"? On top of that, some of these DAP biggots paraded into Dato' Harun's official residence in Kampung Bahru and piss at the flagpole!

Ingredients for disaster, isn't it?

Thats what few hundred people lost their lives all about!

my theory is when things get mixed up with bad politics bad things always happen, here or anywhere else.
the causes of things are often very complex ..

greenbottle, i've heard this story too and was told that the cinema was the one at the end of bukit bintang (heard this in a lecture in 1984 when i first arrived in the country and was on my orientation course)
Yah, the cinema in the version I heard was Federal in Chow Kit. What's more, two of my aunts were supposed to have gone for a movie there that afternoon, and dressed in sarong kebayas! Were supposed to, but didn't.

And Chow Kit was where it all began, so Federal is probably the correct cinema, and not either Pavilion or Cathay, the two cinemas at the end of Bukit Bintang.

thanks for dropping by and the confirmation about the cinema place.

sad event and a lesson to us all.
It's a Chinese who start it first. It's a countermeasure for Malay when they feel they been threaten and had been massacred by a damn chinese bastard.How bout someone raid into your house and assault you. Do you still sit down and relax.It's not a short circuit minded you moron. It's a countermeasure. Why there's no one kill your parents before so they wont get son of a bitch like you're. You admit it. If malaysia wasn't good enough for you. back to mainland and thus you'll know, how fortunate you are. How ungrateful.
I never knew so many racist people around!!! and you call yourselves what Malaysians. You are all bigots too.. saying all these things about Chinese when they are also Malaysians as you are. I am not Chinese but I feel that it's time Malays dont see this as their country but shared between all the races.
I believe many cinemas were the target of this ruthless and cowardly men.Basically they ordered everyone out of the cinemas and then started hacking the cinemagoers ,who were mainly young women!
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