201 responses »

  1. su says:

    I wasn’t born yet, but my mother was smack in the middle of Kampung Baru. Her whole neighbourhood actually gathered in a masonry house (her house and the other houses were wood houses), just so they wouldn’t get burnt.

  2. sloone says:

    All the stories I got about May 13 was from my mum, who worked as a nurse in the General Hospital Kuantan. It was quite scarry when the bodies came in, she said. Nurses had no choice, they had to attend to their victims, no matter what race or color.

  3. su says:

    About the part where race or colour didn’t matter, I think that was the case in most places, really.
    For my mum, she said the only people they were really afraid of were the police and “red head soldiers”, aka the Red Berets.
    She said just the sound of gunshots was enough to drive them up the walls in fear.

  4. ktemoc says:

    my uncle had a British friend whose (also Ar Mor) wife (a qualified nurse) participated as a voluntary worker at a KL hospital during that terrible day – she was totally traumatised, not so much by the numerous deaths but by the sad observation that many many of the victims were primary school children. Unc said the bizarre twist to May 13 was that Penang (expected to degenerate into rioting) was calm and generally unaffected

  5. kai says:

    Well, this is an interesting question. I was in Ipoh, and when I got up that morning, I saw a hawker lady (vegetable seller) rushing back to her house shouting curfew! curfew! curfew! That was about 7 am in the morning. Of course it was also announced then that all school were cancelled too…yeeepeee!

    Ipoh was not affected I believe (please correct me if this is not the case), but I knew that there were groups of Chinese in some villages wearing yellow arm bands patrolling their streets at night. Soon after May 13, I noticed troops were stationed in my village (about 900 houses plus with 95% Chinese). No one was hurt, not even those Malays living in the same village. In fact some of the Chinese neighbours were asking them if they need any help, like getting provisions for obvious reasons.

    When schools reopened, we had am assembly at the school, and the head master (Chinese) told us that only about 100 people plus died in the incident….yeah! right, we all believed you then!

    If anyone had any experience on and after that day, can you please share experience with us?

  6. oster says:

    To my Sabahan parents, May 13 is rarely even a historical event they talk about. It is the young amongst us, who’ve been through the updated education system that have grasped (or are told to grasp) the perceived gravity of the event.


  7. ghenjis khan says:

    I was in Petaling Street walking non-chalantly into traditional shops and making little conversations with the shopkeepers. I still do this after nealy 40 years.

    There is still this tea merchant selling all kinds of excellent tea leaves. There also a leather merchant. Rex Cinema was just around the corner.
    The Ampang -Pudu train line was still there!

    As God would have it, I survived, despite being the only odd person there right smack in Petaling Street when things were already rampaging, burning.

    I need then to pass through Pudu Road to Pandan Quarters where the big Angsana Trees line up the streets !

    [BTW if you were thirsty then, you need only drink from the “pili” public water taps which the good British supplied with very clean waters]

  8. becakayu says:

    That day, I went to school (primary) in the morning. Then back for lunch. Then back to school again at about 4.00pm for games. Came back at about 7.00pm. Distance from house to school was about 5km. All by walking. I remember my mother scloding me for coming back so late coz normally I would be home by 6.30pm. After dinner, did some reading, packed school bag and went to bed.

    I went to school at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kemasek, Terengganu. The mukim is now part of the petrochemical corridor of the East Coast.

  9. becakayu says:

    Can we let the ghosts of that day live in peace now? A generation of lost friendship has resulted from that incident and the policies that followed. I have lost touch with my friends from other ethnicity which have been rekindled only recently as we are reaching near-retirement age. Nearly 40 years of separation ensued as we follow the different streams. As ordinary mortals, did we have a choice then?

  10. kai says:

    I believe that we have to educate those who were born after that date or to those who were too young to remember, regardless who was to be blame for it, be the supporters of Gerakan, DAP or the supporters of UMNO and the then Government of Selangor State. It is unfortunate that such topic may reopen old wounds, but in order not to have such event to be repeated, we must let the current generations know that no one will benefit from such an unfortunate even. It is just like in any wars, there are no winners but losers.

    I saw Anwar Ibrahim on TV here asking for their supporters to be calmed and stay at home if possible following the recent March election. If only someone did that in May 10 1969, then we may not have May 13 topic to talk about today!

  11. toughmama says:

    I was only 8 and I remember my house (which is a noodle factory) was like a refugee camp for our neighbours. The whole scenerio was like war, everyone was busy doing a task, the women busy cooking and the men getting whatever weapon ready for the “attack”. There were patrolling in the night and we had different group of men taking shifts. This went on for about couple of nights and when news of casualties were reported, we moved to some incomplete low-cost flats to camp for 1 night (this is Cheras). I remember we were in school one day and were told to stayed in the school as there was some curfews around in the city. This is one sad tragedy which I’ll never forget. I’m now 47 and I really hope everyone should forget this and let the dead rest in peace.

    To be honest, the young generation will never understand the whole episode and they will never feel the fear and pain we went through…..

    I also think the facts of this sad tragey have been twisted as well.

    Anyway, after this, everyone got on with life as normal and since then, we’ve never talked about race issues and have never discriminated anyone in our life. But now………….. this race integration has been totally ruined by those goons. I feel so sorry for the younger generation.

  12. bamboo river says:

    My mom was working as a nurse in Sungai Buloh hospital , my dad was stranded in Singapore and I was with a bunch of kids staying in a childrens’ home run by foreign nuns.
    We are totally out of touch .
    It was a bad experience for my mom and dad.
    I am too young to know what is fear.
    The nuns had put their life in danger to protect the kids from harm. That is what I was told by my parent.

  13. Kaki Ayam says:

    This is what went through our family during the days of May 13.


    Recently, the doctor detected stones enveloped by the scar tissue caused by the May 13 attack. It seems that is what causing my father health to deteriorate due to constant infection….

  14. Scott Thong says:

    Susan, you could compile accounts of May 13 like these and publish a book –

    Where Were You On May 13 1969?

    True accounts of Malaysians on the fateful day that changed our nation’s destiny

  15. My2cen says:

    I was only a baby then. We just moved into a new police camp in Ulu Kinta, Perak; guess it was away from all the trouble. Growing up, my mom will always stock essential food everytime a general election is announced. And I have done the same since I moved out on my own. It has become a habit for me to stock up rice, noodle, muesli bar etc. In secondary school in Pahang, we were taught by a very racist woman teacher that the riot was provoked by some Chinese men who went out burning cinemas etc! Like I believe her lah! She went on and on about protecting Malay rights!
    I have just bought Kua Kia Soong book on May 13, maybe I’ll know the real truth now. Whatever the truth is, it’s very bad of the goverment and so-called leaders of this country to keep using the incident to scare and threaten us into supporting them. Issues should be brought up and discussed or explained so that others do not repeat a mistake of the past. This is called learning lesson. Acting everything is ok when it’s not will only cultivate an ignorant lot, and ignorant is not a bliss!!! Without critical thinking the country will surely fall behind over time. Sadly this has already happened…

  16. Joshua says:

    I only heard stories from parents and relatives. We stayed at Jln Hang Tuah or Shaw Road then at 13th floor. If anyone would just peep out and looked down on the streets, the soldiers on duty would issue warning.

    Also, my dad was at Kampung Baru. He got a call to stay put before the whole thing started. After that call, all communication lines were cut off.

  17. hutchrun says:

    Seeing the Press Reports, seems to me Badawi is still leading UMNO in celebrating May 13 victory under the guise of 62nd Anniversary celebrations at the PWTC (reported in y`day Star). That would also explain all those UMNO reports against karpal.

  18. gooeyglobs says:

    I am sick and tired having to read or listen about May 13. Is May 13 used as a yardstick to threaten a repetition? Come on guys, get out of it! The various ceremahs I attended before the recent General Election, I saw Malay youths on motor-cycles carrying DAP and PAS flags, so were the Indian youths carrying Keadilan and Pas Flags and likewise Chinese youths carrying the assorted flags of the various political parties. Never in my life had I witnessed such unprecedented changes in the mindset of such young Malaysians.

    Seeing is believing friends! Literally, I was choked with emotion to see a new dawn in Malaysian politics. Those who incite racial disunity are the trouble makers who feel that they are losing the political clout. They are dangerous individuals who will bring chaos to the country and subsequent economic collapse to the nation.

    I am a Malaysian just like anyone else who love peace and want to see our country progress but not to pre-empt for the worse. I opine that May 13 is a taboo topic to talk about, and it should be laid to rest.

    Politicians must be matured enough to nurture solidarity and show our fellow Malaysians that we can live together as ONE and staunchly follow what are enshrined in the constitutions of the country. Is it so difficult?

  19. alrawa says:

    I was 13 when May 13 happened.That’s all I want to remember.

  20. hutchrun says:

    Ignorance is bliss innit.

  21. Richard Dorall says:

    On the evening of May 13, 1969, I was playing flute duets with my (late) Malay friend, Ismail Osman, in the quarters in the back of the then court complex next to the Masjid Jamek, KL centre.

    At 7pm, I drove home to Gombak. I normally would drive down Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (Batu Road), but that evening drove via Jalan Kuching. I was fortunate in taking the alternative route, and hence avoided the mayhem taking place at that time along the road which divides the neighborhoods of Chow Kit from Kampung Baru. I heard sirens from across the Sungai Gombak, and saw some glows in the sky, but thought nothing of it, until I reached Setapak, and saw overturned cars, and mainly Chinese youths wandering the streets carrying oppostion flags.

    I wound down the screen on my Mini Minor, and yelled “Socialists! Go Home!” because I thought the “socialists” were rioting. I saw no police, and the “socialists” looked startled at me, but did not do anything.

    I made it all the way home to the 4th Mile Gombak, and only at 8pm learnt on the main RTM news that there was a curfew in force, and that there had been serious race riots in Kuala Lumpur.

    My sister, Cheryl, who had left for home earlier than I, found herself at 5:30pm sandwiched between two groups of people, Malays at the top of the hill in Setapak, and Chinese at the bottom of the hill, and the police in between, who then directed her to turn back. She had to stay with friends in Kuala Lumpur for several days, before the curfew was lifted, and she could come home to Gombak.

    In the meantime, there was an eery dead slience in Gombak. No traffic., No noise whatsoever, save my playing my flute (and piccolo) which annoyed my neighbors, Malay kampungs on two sides, and Chinese squatters immediately to the back, who told me later they were anxiously listening for any “attackers,” but all they heard was my incessant tootling away (Vivaldi and Mozart concertos, if I remember correctly).

    Later that evening, several Malay and Chinese neighbors with their families moved into the large compound of my home in Gombak to stay overnight. They reasoned since we were “neutral” (neither Malay nor Chinese) nobody would think of attacking us, nor them.

    The only “violence” I witnessed looking over the fence onto Jalan Gombak was a joint “muhibbah” raid organised by our Malay, Chinese and one Sikh neighbors who looted a Chinese provision shop.

    Various people, including foreign embassies called my house over the next few days telling us that they had heard that there was mass destruction, looting and fighting in Gombakk, and asking me to confirm the news. They were all very disappointed when I informed them that I had seen nothing of the kind, save the muhibbah looting of the provision shop.

    Oh, just one thing. Somebodies fully a week after May 13, 1969 set fire to some buildings which were a couple of hundreds of yards from my house in a mainly Malay with some Chinese kampung area. But, considering my home had Malay and Chinese kampungs on three sides (and the fourth being the Chung Hwa Secondary school), there were, remarkably, NO communal tensions between them that I can remember.

    Richard Dorall
    Gombak Resident

  22. wits0 says:

    Remembering May 13 is about facing up to the truth of the matter and learning about what went wrong and who did wrong. Otherwise it’s like saying that we need not learn from past mistakes just because someone elses’ sensitivity(aka vanity) is to be protected forever. You do not exorcise an evil spirit this way.

  23. hutchrun says:

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it – Santayana

  24. I was driving back from Alor Star to Tanjong Bungah in Penang on May 13 1969 aroung 8.30p.m.with some friends.When passing through Tanjong Bungah in Penang the Malays there put a tree trunk across the road so that the passing motorists would have to slow down or perhaps get down from the car for the Malays there to hurt them or even kill them. They of course did not know my friends were carrying pistols and some of the Malays there at the Kampung would have been killed or wounded in the process of defending ourselves.
    Knowing that being the true reason I forcibly drove passed it, still huge rocks were thrown at the us in the car. One big rock went through the wind -screen fortunately it did not do us personally a lot of damage even though it landed in the car. No doubt he undercarriage and the windscreen were badly damaged from going though the tree trunk and with the huge rock thrown at us.
    A couple of days later when the curfew was lifted I went to the Police Station, which just happened to be located opposite where the tree trunk was placed, to lodge a report of the incident. In the process and in passing I asked the Malay Sergent at the station who was taking down my report why did they allow the trunk to be placed there ,especially when they would have seen it and the police should have done something about it. To my horror I was told if I was to repeat that question I would be arrested. What did I do wrong-and is this Malaysian Police justice ? Did the police do something about it ? Of course soon after I immigrated to live in another country instead of staying with the racists.
    Till to day I still cannot comprehend what did I do wrong in asking the logical question and that was and I hope is not the situation today with the Malaysian Police and if there is someone out there who can give me an answer I shall be indeed most much obliged. May be that is the reason why they should have more Malays in the Police Force to begin with.

  25. yingyang says:

    Goh Hock Guan’s unprecedented election victory and the ensuing parade that fateful day left us with undiminishable memories that ultimately altered the political landscape of M’sia. GHG was our town & country planning lecturer at KL Tech, Jalan Gurney, but we never at anytime suspected that he could be that catalyst for change.

    It was very fortunate that we were back in Sarawak on vacation on that fateful day, but we could visualize all the carnage that must have resulted and kept asking ourselves how it was ever possible. There never was any incident of a racial nature in college as the very muti-racial population was very harmonious.

    It was equally fortunate that the Chinese & Indians did not retalite in any large measures or the fatalities would have been many folds. They basically sucked it in and moved on. However, it appears that they have sort of almost reached the end of the road today and hopefully, amother May 13 is not on their agenda.

  26. lebaijanggut says:

    I wasn’t born yet that time. But what I know and was told, that Kedai A Liang and another couple of chinese shop and family in my kampong at Gunong Semanggol was still there from before the Merdeka. It is still there until now. In fact, the 13th May tragedy didn’t even heard to them untill it is announced in the media.

    If you asked the people, they will say ” Ini selupa adik abang laa.. apa mau gaduh.. “.. Still, kedai A Liang is the best place to shop in Semanggol.

  27. dodgy inc says:

    This came to light recently.

    My uncle told me that he was a personal fren of Datuk Harun(may 13 Perpetrator), sort of drinking buddy and so forth. On the night before May 13, Datuk Harun asked my uncle to stay put at home for whatever events happening outside his house, while Harun took steps to send his wife to stay with an Indian family.

    This event was in fact a premeditated murder and high treasons. The gang of 4 involved were Tun Razak, Datuk Harun, Datuk Ghazali(Mahathir brother-in-law) and Mahathir himself.

  28. kwai lan says:

    Me ? in a nice town called Kota Bharu, state of Kelantan..peaceful n serene…unaffected…

  29. terrence says:

    gooeyglobs, don’t be naive! Many UMNO members have been trying to stir up racial shit in the last 2 months for the sole purpose of inciting violence. They know that they cannot win back voters to regain loss grounds during the 12th general elections. They would be overjoyed if there was just one violent incident. UMNO will declare an ’emergency’ and lock up 82 ‘troublemakers’ under the ISA.

    Haven’t you been listening to TV3’s prime news? Are you ignorant of what they have been saying in the Utusan?

  30. birdbrain says:

    I saw an Indian man being shot from behind in Imbi area!

  31. Maniam K says:

    Malaysia can never be purged of the ghost of ‘May 13’ because the perpetraters of this violent day are still alive and well, ie. the ‘United Malay National Organisation’.

  32. Robert Teh says:

    On the eve of May 13, I was at a cinema in Butterworth, enjoying a 9 pm screening of a super-hero movie called ” The Dynamo Man” (or something close to that). I was in Form 2 and the movie was more like a wrestling match on TV, popularized by the likes of Hulk Hogen in the 70s.

    Midway through the movie, my dad came searching for me inside the cinema – he wasn’t the only parent searching for their loved ones that evening. I was asked to leave in the middle of all the excitement on the screen – Mr. Dynamo thrashing his opponent (wrestling-style) – and could not understand why my dad would not let me finish watching the movie!

    When we got home, he told me that he had received news that Chinese people watching a movie in KL earlier that evening were hacked and chopped to death when they left the cinema after the movie was over. It was safer for me to be home as they expected a curfew to be imposed anytime soon.

    At home our eyes were fixed on the small black and white TV screen all the time, waiting for some news or govt announcement. I remember, we all cried (even in my Form 2 years) when we watched our beloved Tuanku Abdul Rahman, announced that he has resigned as Prime Minister and has handed over the stewardship of the Govt to Tun Abdul Razak as Head of Emergency Operations. Tuanku, like many of us, cried on national telivision as he read out his statement.

    The next morning, we woke up to a curfew and during the hours we were allowed to be outside, my dad would rushed to the grocery store to stock up on food supplies. He was working in the Dentistry at the Royal Australian Air Force Base in Butterworth, and he too did not get to go to work that day. Our neighbours, (both left and right) living in a row of single-storey houses, were Malays but we had always got on extremely well and our relations were always very close and family-like. When someone cooked something for an afternoon snack, everyone got to enjoy it together.

    The day and days that followed, after May 13, I’m proud to say that in my neighbourhood, everything seemed normal – we still sat outside our homes and chat, joked and played. We even ventured out to the open field opposite our house, to sit under the tress and while away the lazy afternoons – us, boys of different races, at a time when there were grown-ups, elsewhere, engaging in senseless killings, in the name of race and religion. Us, boys were definitely color-blind – it was the politicians that had turned our beloved nation into such carnage.

    Till today, that memory of Tuanku crying over national TV remained vivid in my mind and when he passed away many years later, that same day he passed away, I was also in the cinema, watching “Ghost”. I cried because the movie was sad and touching, but I cried mainly because I would come to miss my beloved Tuanku, a father to me and many Malaysians whom had loved him so dearly, even though we had never really knew him personally.

  33. Anonymous says:

    May 13 is not a dirty word. It is historical fact and it is simplistic to blame it on race. Much has to do with political forces at work at that time. Politics is never clean, anywhere on Earth. It was simply a tragic day in Malaysian history.

    The value of history is not to creat more hatred in the future generations. Rather, it is a solid reminder to us all how a peaceful society can plunge very quickly into war if racial issues are exploited by a few politicians. We must be on guard to prevent these opportunists from making hostage of the citizens.

    Most of my family members hided in the jungle while older men stayed back to protect the house with home-made weapons. We lived in a southern state. it was simply war-like atmosphere.

    My wife (yet to know her then) and her family seeked protection from police station, they lived in kampung baru.

    We should never allow another May 13 in Malaysia. It is not a sensitive issue once we have to courage to face it, talk about it with open mind and seek wisdom from lesson learnt to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

  34. […] “Where were you on May 13, 1969?” Posted on 11:03, May 13th, 2008 by Lilian Susan Loone asked this question. So, here’s my […]

  35. Ramesh says:

    I was 2 years old in KL on May 13 1969, and my mom was 8 months pregnant with my younger brother. My father was stuck at work at the ‘Lever Brothers’ factory in KL for days as a curfew was in force and my mother had to risk her life and limb to walk to the nearest sundry shop to buy milk for us.

    She crossed paths with a ‘big’ malay man on a bicycle. He stared at her ‘with bloodshot red eyes’. She freaked out and walked hurriedly home. She always believed that he did not kill her because she was pregnant. I am now in my 40s and she never lets us forget this incident by constantly bringing it up.

  36. someone says:

    haven process yet …

  37. kittykat46 says:

    I was just a baby then. We were the only Chinese family in a rural Malay community. A long way from KL. Not a ripple.

    When I was a student overseas, I read a lot of archive accounts written in the foreign newspapers at the time. A lot matches the stories which have been floating around, but denied by the authorities.

    The death toll was much more than the official numbers, and some of it contributed by members of the Armed Forces who went out of control.

    A deep wound in the country’s history, which continues to bleed.

  38. Lallang exile says:

    Hi Mr Dorall,

    Nice to read your post and glad to know you are well. I am your ex-student from the English Department of MU in the mid Eighties. How and where is your sister Cheryll?

    I was in a new village in Ipoh and stayed at my grandpa’s shop facing the main road. I remember very clearly when I peered through the gaps in the front of the shop (remember those mobile planks used to board up the shopfront at night?), soldiers were marching through the otherwise peaceful main street. We had two Malay kampungs flanking us, but I had never sensed any danger from them and most of the Pak Ciks and Mak Ciks were friends with our family and neighbours who bought us goodies during Raya.

    In fact, the Hainanese kopitiam next to our shop was very popular with the Malays from the two kampungs, who mingled freely with the Chinese farmers during breakfast and teatime. I also remember vividly the curtain screen provided by Nam Kung to let his hunger-challeged Muslim patrons snack in private during Puasa Time.

    Ipoh was very peaceful, and I was too young to understand what was taking place despite hearing my parents and neighbours talking excitedly about people being killed.

    When the curfews were lifted, everyone was relieved as they could go on making a living again, and in no time the hustle and bustle next door resumed with earnest as the villagers downed their teh and kopi-oh with their kaya toast.

    I remember my mother complaining that the the village market – frequented by all three races – had nothing much to offer in the wake of the riots.

    I also remember that a host of private GPs in Ipoh town left – including my doctor – after the incident and my mother had trouble looking for new doctors for me, who was constantly down with fever.

    The implication of the whole event dawned on me much later when our syllabus was changed to Malay from English and my Indian teacher explained to us that we were embarking on a “new economic policy.” When I read Lee Kuan Yew’s first biography in secondary school, I felt very moved at the part when he described how he wept for the Chinese “left behind” and losing their rights (granted by the British during Independance) after May 13.

    Kai, which village are you from in Ipoh?


  39. lilian says:

    I need a whole post to recall, so I blogged it. The link is in my URL. I was five then.

  40. kai says:

    Hi Robert Teh,

    I was told that many people were actually gunned down outside the cinemas at night. This came from friends who were (and still are) living in KL (OUG Garden). Perhaps some KL readers can confirm this.

    Please keep your experiences coming. This is just part of a healing process.

    I was also told by a friend in Seremban that there was a Chinese man gathering his raw materials almost on a daily basis from the jungle. As he had been doing that for many years, when May 13 came, he though those kampongs that he normally have to go through would be safe; after all he almost knew them well. How wrong was he? He was almost cut into 2 pieces when he decided to walk past the kampong one day.

    Please note and to those Malay friends that I am not placing blame on you. I understand that some Chinese in Ipoh were also talking about attacking some surround malay kampongs too. How true was this I don’t know, however Ipoh was generally very peaceful. I am just telling from what I heard. In time of crises, especially involving race and colour, some people tend to act foolishly. It is pity that those people in high position would capitalise this opportunity for their own advantage.

    I was also been told that the Singapore government stopped many Malaysian Chinese from crossing the causeway back to KL to prevent from getting out of control.

    To be frank, we are all to be blamed regardless of whether you are Chinese or Malay, by allow this May 13 to happen in the first place.

    If only the police would reject the application for a rally walk by Gerakan and DAP supporters;
    Or to restrict them from entering Kampong Baru….or……


  41. kai says:

    Hi Lallang exile

    Kampong Simee.

    I was sweet 14 then, was a loner and still is (my 3 kids hardly say hello to me hehehe!). I am now in Australia. Just went back in April for Qingming. Woow, the foods were great!! Durians was not so good, but the weather was still hot and humid!!

  42. jay says:

    not born yet …. but why discuss something which is no more relevant today? May 13 should just be forgotten and we should start remembering ‘good times’ instead as we deserve that … like March 8 for example …

  43. dodgy inc says:

    I guest we were lucky in the northern state of kedah.

    Some one yelled out curfew, everyone wasn’t even stunt and walk home slowly. No life wasted, no chance to see blood and bullet flyng around.

  44. Harrison says:

    I was far from been born yet. In fact, I don thin my mom knows my dad yet.
    There was one account by a distance relative that a woman in her bulging tummy which was expected to deliver soon, was slashed to death and the fetus was been sadistically mauled to death.

  45. hutchrun says:

    Malacca was relatively quiet. Though after that on my radio, on which I was able to pick up on police frequency, there was some burning.
    There were some problems in Negeri Sembilan though.

  46. xiaoyao2 says:

    There are those who hold views that May 13 is irrelevant today.

    May 13 is as relevant today as it was in 1969.

    A parallel will be Japanese’s failure to own up to its recent wartime past.
    To the extent the younger Japanese generations who were borned after WWII believe their country was not really in the wrong, they simply lost the war.

    History of tragic events are not meant to stir up hatred amongst people in future generations. In fact only with the right perspective of history can a society deals with itself and moves forward with a stronger base for peaceful future.

    In fact they should be a May 13 Memorial Day. If we are able to do this, it shows the society has matured and is determined that it will not happen again.

  47. Robert Teh says:

    May 13, 1969 was a great national tragedy – it will take a long time, a few lifetimes perhaps, before we Malaysians can get really healed of this dreadful truma.

    That day, May 13, will live on and will not go away easily in our psyche, as till this very day, we have politicians (of both Malay and Chinese) still using this ugly and senseless event, to frighten the population, each time they demand change for a better Malaysia. Malaysia, after May 13, is never the same again – we have somehow become more racially-conscious, when previously we were color-blind.

    A few days after May 13, my favorite uncle who was affected by horrid stories he heard from people around him, succummed to his “madness” – in those days, they said he “kena masuk hantu”. He was living in a Malay Kampung, with my grandparents who were operating a sundry shop. Most of their customers were Malays (I used to stay there in my primary school days) and my grandfather knew everyone of his customers by name – Malays, Indians, Sikhs and of course, Chinese. It was a peaceful kampung, and there wasn’t ever a single incident or fght that happened due to racial conflict – it was always personal in nature and there was no mention they he was a Malay, Chinese or Indian.

    But things changed after May 13. My grandmother was worried about my uncle who had suddenly became paraniod each time he sees a Malay passing by the shop, even guys he grew up with, all those years living in the kampung! He kept muttering that “Malays are coming with parangs to chop us, we must run away and live elsewhere!”. Of course, the real situation in the kampung was far from that he had imagined. My grandmother then decided to send him to live with an aunt in Penang (Jalan Perak, opposite Padang Brown or Padang Dato Keramat, as it is now called). That was her mistake!

    That very night (or early morning hours) during curfew, he broke loose from the house where my aunt was sound asleep and wandered in the dark towards Jalan Dato Keramat. The police found him in the morning, dead with deep cuts on his head, slashed with a parang, on the floors of the now-gone, Star Cinema. For months that year, the floor of the Cinema was stained with his blood.

    When his body was brought back for burial in Butterworth, we all cried but we were never bitter with the Malays in general. During his burial, as they were laying his coffin into the ground, everyone wept as he was such a favorite and lovable chap. I noticed a lone figure stood by the edge of the burial plot, a young Malay man, weeping for the loss of a dear friend. This man, a Malay, had been brave enough to send his dear friend on his final journey, even risking his personal safety, by being amongst grieving Chinese relatives and friends, who knew the circumstances surrounding my uncle’s death. Someone from the group carrying out the burial, remarked that we should hack this lone Malay and bury him together with my uncle. Of course, everyone told him off and reprimanded him!

    Had my uncle stayed back at his kampung, and not ventured out into an unfamiliar surrounding, he might have been alive today, in his sixties and all.

    I thus dedicate this day May 13, 2008 to his memory.

  48. Edi神 says:

    lets forget may13 and move forward

  49. hutchrun says:

    There are those who hold views that May 13 is irrelevant today.
    May 13 is as relevant today as it was in 1969. – xiaoyao2

    Very well said. Because of the BN`s refusal to conduct a White paper on that, we had Najib`s antics leading to `Operation Lallang` and more recently we had Kg. Medan.

  50. hutchrun says:

    Najib has moved forward since then.

  51. Lallang exile says:


    Wow, i remember the taste of the wonderful nasi lemak from the market in Kampung Simee that my classmate bought for us on a regular basis.

    Ipoh and its surrounding kampungs and new villages in the 60s were like pages out of a black and white P. Ramlee movie, right? The women – Malay and Chinese – were especially good looking and I remember the intricately embroidered, transparent kebayas worn by both my grandma and the Malay ladies around town. The tudong was not seen then.

    We used to walk round Ipoh town after school once a week after saving our pocket money for treats at the old town – do you know the char kway teow at the old theatre(since pulled down) and the ice kacang plus the popiah plus the satay plus the chicken hor fun, plus all the good old cinemas which we frequented at 0.30 to 50 cents for an afternoon show.

    Like you, Kai, I am away from home and country, and yearn for the food and memories of a wonderful and peaceful childhood in Ipoh where words like “hatred” and “racism” did not exist.

    Let’s raise our glasses for an era lost and how things were before May 13 1969.

  52. wits0 says:

    “There are those who hold views that May 13 is irrelevant today.
    May 13 is as relevant today as it was in 1969. – xiaoyao2”

    True, as Hutch said, no White Paper. Not long after the event, the Tengku wrote a short book on it, followed by another by the NOC. Both agreed that the majority of the nons’ deaths were by gunshots, meaning that the so-called security forces(iow, the RMR) caused most of the deaths, apparently a massacre of innocent nons. They did fire indiscrimately into houses in Jln. Raja Laut. I was there. The Sarawak Rangers were professional, not the RMR.

    For many years afterwards even ex-servicemen not belonging to the RMR do not have a good opinion of it. Now they go and guard the English Queen!

    How can the event be laid to rest without revealing who actually organised it? Instead it is use by umno and its lapdogs to intimidate voters. Chew Mei Fun, e.g., recently, deserved to be thoroughly trashed by Tony Pua for one reason of doing this very bit of lapdog threatening.

  53. v.g.perumal says:

    I was in form 4,ssaspj,living in Petaling Jaya. Did not see any fight or a drop of blood,had a good 2 extra weeks holiday,lazy officials and teachers cancelled all extra curricular activities.
    We made good pocket money selling coconuts,kankong,and stale bread, but we Malays ,Chinese,Indians and others were on the lookout for the unknown enemy all the time and he never came. Today I tell my children nothing about this joke of May 13 1969….. but I tell them more about WOODSTOCK….PEACE BROTHER.

  54. kai says:

    Hi Lallang exile

    You are not in Australia too are you? If you are just tell me your post code. I have been here since 1987, or should I say, I have been away from home more that I spend my early part of my life in Malaysia. Of course I am still a Malaysian, still holding the little red passport, which we all now have to renew them in Canberra. How inconvenience?

    I know there are plenty of excellent food stalls in Ipoh, but during my recent visit I only sampled those in Ipoh garden. Yummy!!

    For those who commented that May 13 is in the past and should be a topic to discuss, I can only ask you to think if this happened to a member of your family, a loved ones or even someone you know and I can guaranteed you that you will have at least 3 pages of comments to write. Please have some respect to those who were affected by this unfortunate sad chapter of Malaysian history. No one is prefect! This topic is to talk about ‘Where were you on 13 May 1969’.

  55. v.g.perumal says:

    Sorry, the ghost of May 13 cannot be used to raign in matured Malaysians any more as shown by the recent elections. I hope good sense will prevail and certain people will not use this as an excuse to plunder the country.It will not work. Let’s move on….and on.

  56. rajan says:

    MAY 13 *** lived in sentul railway quarters,lorong lima, opposite the la salle school.and mbs school.This area had a very mixed population.On that evening after having played footbal,while sitting under the angsana tree beside the field and curi 2 smoking away and talking about girls,at around 7pm,we heard that there was fighting going on betwwen chinese and malays at chow kit and surrounding areas. All my friends decided to cycle our way to see what was happening in chow kit, about 3KM away thro short cut,upon reaching HBKL, we saw smoke from jln. raja muda, and a few bodies along the way. the bodies were all chinese, mostly women and kids in school uniforms.WE CABUT, but were conered by a MAD crowd with head banners weilding parangs, sharpened iron rods, 4×4 ,chankul sticks with nails spikees,. Luckily Our group were made up of indians,malays ,chinese and eurosians, we took care of each other by
    standing up and pleading on each others behalf. Th
    We raced home . By then the chinese were putting up defences around sentul toddy shop areas with the help of a few malays and indians around the labour lines along jln sentul union flats area. On reaching home, we were actually scared to death but our neighbourhood , malays ,chinese ,indians dll, put up a homeguard patrol. All gangs like 101,08,24,etc joined up . All youths were armed with weapons we can lay our hands on, including catapults with ball bearing.THIS GROUP was made up of malays,chinese,indians .NO RACE, NO COLOUR, NO POLITICS just the need to defend ourselves. Thats when we were taught to make “COCKTAIL” haha
    CURFEW was declared. The polis were biased ,closing an eye type of thing. In those days ,families used to buy a months provision monthly, so food was ok but Fags were on urgent demand. Thats when papaya, jambu, or any other leave transform itself into tobacco. Hahaha.WE used to play badminton on the roads, when the sound of a polis jeep is heard, we cabut, only to reapper and continue. one malay resident had a relative who was in the army, who supplied sardines, other canned foodstuffs. Promptly that malay neigbour ,hamzah, contributed to all neighbours.
    I had no TV ,only a few had mahhh, we used to go to hamzahs house to watch, SIR FRANCIS DRAKE,COMBAT, all those good flims.
    WHO the BLOODY FUCK SAYS MALAYS ,CHINESE, INDIANS HATED EACHOTHER. We lived through the darkest and dangerous of times, there was no hatered towards one another.THOSE FUCKING POLITICAL WORMS created this haterd.BLODDY MOTHERFUCKERS.
    My friends call eachother names with no malice.
    The malays will call me “dei pundek panakotai, i call them dei matukari masak ke valiyankati,the chinese call me oiii keling mahu main bola ke, i say doi puki cina koi makan tahi babi lah, mari main bola,pangil lain babi.WHATS SO BIG about friendly kachau.The ceylonese will call the tamilians, hey mochakotai, tamilians will call the ceylonese panakotai, BUT nobody nobody takes it to heart. YOU JUST TRY IT NOW. THOSE good times are gone for good. It can reappear with the disappearence of MIC,MCA,umno. Pray to god ,the future politicians dont use race, creed andcolour to score points. Only bastards will stoop this low as to demolish the HAPPY TIMES. Those days it was happy hours all hours, happy times all times but now look at the SOBs now.Doing the one up antics . I can go on and on ,but whats the use, it makes my heart sick with all these shallow politics going on and on .To this day, all my friends visit eachothers homes and our kids mix well together. No colour bar .In fact there were a few mixed marriages between our kids .So where is malaysia of today heading to?????????????

  57. David says:

    I was 13 years old and was studying in Kampung Kerinchi back then.
    Luckily some malay folks around that area came and warned us a day earlier before the massacre started.

  58. […] UPDATE 13 MAY 2008 (yes, another year in the future): Susan Looner collects real accounts of people who witnessed May 13’s incident. […]

  59. batman says:

    I’ve been away from M’sia longer than I can remember, but the memory of that fateful event lingers on. And it amazes me to see many of you who were not manufactured then are aware of what your parents experienced. You can at least offer sympathy to those who were directly affected. 39 years is a long time, you can forgive but will be hard to forget. Just pray that there’ll never be a repeat.

  60. Lallang exile says:

    Dear Kai,

    No, not as lucky as you to live down under………staying in a polluted city, but just as scenic as Ipoh with food to match. You know wherelah.

    For those who say we forget May 13, please read the list below:

    1) The steady, systemic erosion of rights of non Malays or non-bumiputras occured after May 13 when the Tunku handed over to Razak.
    In fact the word “bumiputra” was bandied about and used by the Gang of Four to separate Malaysians into bumi and non-bumi.

    2) The steady decline in standards of our education system – primary, secondary and tertiary – all occured after May 13. Our standard of English was one of the best in Asia, and of course the Uniiversity of Malaya was miles away in ranking from where it is now.

    3) The value of the ringgit – once on par with the Singapore dollar – is now worth less than half of what it was.

    4) Malaysia’s resources – petroleum in particular – was plundered by the politicians through Petronas instead of going into a development or investment fund like Singapore’s Temasek.

    5) The introduction of road toll – unheard of in Asia – started after May 13. Before that Malaysia had the best road system comparable to Japan at the disposal of all motorists who paid road tax.

    6) The introduction of the quota system in local universitiy entrance exams. Many, many Malaysians were deprived of their right to university education and thousands of talented Malaysians lost to other countries as a result.

    7) The introduction of the compulsory credit pass in Malay for Form Five (MCE) exam in order to enter Form Six in Government School. This hateful policy put the nail in the coffin for many of my classmates’ education. Some scored a string of distinctions, but were forced to start working after Form Five as their parents could not afford to send them to a private school or overseas.

    8) Qouta system introduced in Government service. Before that, the government ministries and departments recruited based on merit, not bumi or non-bumi.

    9) The deterioration of standards of vital government services like the
    public hospitals and secondary health care. Before May 13, everybody who was seriously sick or involved in an accident went to the public hospital. In Ipoh for example, the Ipoh General Hospital provided excellent service of a high standard. Now, private hospitals like Tai Pak Sha are doing a roaring business because of the poor quality in govt hospitals.

    10) I need not elaborate on the judiciary

    11) I need not elaborate on MAS, (compare it today to SIA, its twin sister).

    I could think of more, but in a gist, life was better for everyone before May 13 because the Government was fair and delivered services to the people.

    Most of all, people lived in harmony and respect. Before hate politics and keris brandishing became a norm……………………..

  61. Nudibranch says:

    Social Enlightenment

    Disharmony is a result of individual groups of people insisting that other groups change in some way. These groups can be races, religions or other organizations of individuals with common ideas. In all cases, disharmony requires the division of populations into groups.
    There can be great value in sharing experiences with others who appreciate similar ideas and activities. The maintenance of various cultural expressions also provides for a diversity of experience which can be enjoyed by all. The problems arise when groups of people create artificial separations from the rest of humanity. For example, when individuals of a particular race actively develop specialized language usage, custom handshakes, uniform styles of dress, etc., they encourage “racism” by holding their group separate from everyone else. An enlightened society involves recognizing and reinforcing those things we have in common while simultaneously celebrating the diversity of every individual. We must be able to communicate with each other, which means sharing a common language in addition to any native language we might speak.
    The means for discerning truth is reason. Reason — one plus one — is the same for everyone, everywhere on the planet. Beliefs and emotions do not share this common factor. Reason then, is the only means of reaching agreement.
    Reason tells us that whenever more than one individual is involved in some situation, the only way to keep everyone happy is for things to be fair. Fairness does not mean all things are the same for everyone. We were not born with equal abilities and motivations. Some people can run faster or jump higher than others, and some will want to work harder to achieve more. So fairness doesn’t mean everyone must have the same things, but that no one is forced to have less than someone else. In order for everyone to have the same, fair chance, opportunity must be incorporated into an enlightened social system.
    Cooperation is not possible if people are “forced to cooperate.” Force automatically generates resistance (every extreme implies the opposite). Peace, therefore, is not possible without freedom. Reason, fairness, opportunity and freedom must, therefore, be the fundamental principles of an enlightened, socioeconomic system.
    Laws governing individual behavior should be so simple and easy to understand they can be written on a single piece of paper in large type. “Do not force others to participate against their will,” is essentially the only law necessary as far as individuals are concerned.

    Social enlightenment is not simply a matter of bringing spiritual awareness to the masses. The political and economic system we live within must be capable of nourishing individual spiritual development. Our beliefs about the society we live in help to form the society we experience, and we should all begin by believing there is hope.
    To bring enlightenment to our society is to create an environment where our own, personal, spiritual development can be nurtured in an atmosphere of peace, tolerance and prosperity for all. Be selfish. Choose to live in such a world for your own benefit.
    One man can not change the world alone,
    but one idea, shared by enough people,
    will have already changed the world.

    By Koda

  62. Jessica says:

    I was four years old in Ipoh. I could not remember what happened on the exact day but could remember the heightened tensions and fear from the adults around. I remembered being in my grandma’s house which was situated in a village where the front part of the village was populated by Chinese and the back part of it by Malays. The Chinese men gathered together to work out a form of “neighbourhood security” where they agreed to come out to help defend each other if anyone was attacked, with a system of ‘alarm’ made out of rattling tin cans/banging pots?. The ‘excitement’ of seeing the adults preparing and sharpening home made weapons still remained in my mind without understanding the full implications of what was happening. There were people regaling the horrors of what was happening in KL and other places, of pregnant women being raped and killed with their foetus torn out from their bodies etc…..Thank god nothing untoward happened.

    My parents brought me back to our own home in Canning which was upstairs to a provision shop below. I remembered my mum lowering a basket down and asking the neighbours to stock up on the essential groceries for us (very lucky & convenient) during the curfew.

    From then on, whenever May 13 is around the corner, the family would stock up, and the incident is always spoken in hush-hush tone. There was nothing in our history books and it was only much later I get to read about the whole incident and the implications on the history and direction of our nation. Many people were traumatised and migrated from the country after this bout. And of course, the quotas and the implementation of having a credit for BM denied many a place in the local uni’s and forced them to look elsewhere. Another wave was after the Operation Lalang event when the country was viewed to have degenerated. I remembered reading in Lee Kuan Yew’s autobiography that he brought the issue of the troubling Malaysian brain drain issue to the Malaysian leaders, and the answer he received was that it’s good to be rid of these potential troublemakers! That’s why our country is where it is now.

  63. […] Susan Loone’s blog has a host of comments with readers’ experiences of May 13th 1969. […]

  64. padman says:

    I was palying badminton with my freshie teacher friends in Batu Kikir, a little town with thatched roof wooden shop houses. People mostly Chinese shop keepers and their kin were seen dashing into the police station nearby. Many others mostly women and their kids were rushing to the bus stop on seeing the Union bus arriving. The bus was onits way to Bahau, a chinatown. I and my friends learnt that people are killing each other in Kuala Lumpur. The word had spread. The Union bus was on its way to Bahau. More chinese residents were rushing into the poice station, each carrying their worldly belongings. All the shops were closed. It was getting dark . Iand my friends took refuge at a government house facing the main road to see the drama. It was getting dark . The door of our house was closed. We were were peepin through the windows to see what ensued. Just then sombody banged on the door. The main occupants of the house opened the door on recognising the person. It was the village bidan. She was breathless. She had just seen the village head AH Fong, killed about a kilometer away, while she was returning home from her work. She fell from her bicycle on seeing the commotion and ran a kilometer into the house where we were squating. She narrated to us that Ah Fong’s car was stopped , he and occupants were chopped with parangs and the car was set on fire.
    A peugeot 304 taxi on its way to Bahau was also shot at by the villagers but the taxi driver dashed through the blockade and the people of Bahau were alerted of the situation. (I learnt of this much later). The Union bus on its way to Bahau, saw the car in flames. The driver (a Malay) stopped the bus immediately, managed a U-turn . The bus which was on its way to Bahau, fully laden with chinese passengers was suddenly speeding towards Kuala Pilah. Soon lorriyloads of police arrived . A curfew was imposed. We had to stay in the government house beside the main road that night. we couldnt sleep that night. We heard something serious was happening in K.L. Throughout the night police were seen ferrying people in the outskirts of Batu Kikir into the Police station. I was there. I saw a bit of May 13 in Batu Kikir. (The hottest spot in Negri Sembilan I was told).

  65. TTS says:

    I was 9 years then living in Jelutong, Penang. Though my parents did tell me the curfew was on, we are not supposed to go out. Being a boy, showhow I ran out and played marble guli with my childhood friends outside his house. Suddenly, we saw Ang Tou Ping around us and everybody ran helter skelter, I was too scared and did not run fast enough (I think my legs became lembih at that time) and was caught by one of the Ang Tou Ping! I remember I was VERY SCARED, I cried and cried and plead the Ang Tou Ping to release me. That time, there were nobody around me except Ang Tou Pings as everyone already hiding in their wooden houses. After gabbing my little hand for about half an hour, I was let go (maybe he hate me crying), the Ang Tou Ping (supposed came from Sarawak) released me and I ran home like Forest Gum, this particular scene had printed in my mind and an episode in my life which I do not think I can forget (the Ang Tou Ping caught me!)

  66. Peter Yew says:

    I was at the 5th Residential College, Universitiy of Malaya to rag some freshies when news broke. Had to stay with friends for a week before curfew was lifted. Ate thinned down porridge at college canteen due to food rationing. Did not feel any threat as campus was quite secured but I saw glows of burning fire over the hills towards Bangsar and Kg Kerinchi areas. Quite frightening to see the tranquil peace we took for granted so easily destroyed. Malaysian must work harder to avoid such a tragedy.

  67. ladyRP says:

    born n bred in ipoh. only thing i remember then was my dad being escorted to his work place. now i know better

  68. Richard Dorall says:

    Dear Lalang Exile,

    If you were an ex-student in the English Department, UM, you would have been taught by my COUSIN, Edward Dorall, who is now retired and living in a condominium in Penang looking towards the Indian Ocean. You are NOT the first English Department student to mistake me (teaching in the Geography Department, UM) for my cousin Edward (English Department, UM). This happened because we look alike, shared offices in the same block, and most first year English students probably could not have imagined that there could possibly beTWO Doralls teaching in the UM.

    Some English Department freshies would mistakenly come to MY room for their tutorials, and I would NOT hesitate to regale them with insights into Shakespeare and the other gems of English literature, all from the “geographical perspective.” My cousin would scold these students for missing his classes, and they would insist that they had in fact met with their tutor/lecturer! My cousin, Edward, only slowly became aware that something was amiss when he started getting strange “geographical” answers to his literature questions, and only then did he realise that I had been “teaching” HIS students all manners wierdness.

    My sister Cheryl has been working for the past 15 years in London with the Commonwealth Secretariat, and is now retired there.

    By the way, although my sister spent all her time with her friends in the English Department, UM (1968-1971) she actually graduated with a BA in GEOGRAPHY.

    Richard Dorall
    University of Malaya

  69. Lallang exile says:

    Dear Peter,

    I was in 5th too, only in the Eighties when the country was mired in deep recession out of mismanagement plus bad luck (collapse of tin and rubber prices).

    Back then, even the swimming pool next to the college was not repaired for the years I was in 5th. And, I remember the loads of bread offered to us.

    There was this beautiful Malay college mate being rapped for performing a hot dance to the tune of “Gloria”. That lady, incidentally, had royal ties but were shot down by the tudong gang. It could not have happened in your time, right?

    Haven’t been back to 5th since graduating. Heard that the buffer area facing Bangsar hills are all sold off now.

    Cheers, fellow collegian.

  70. bamboo river says:

    To those who thought May 13 1969 should be forgotten, not discussed , please listen here.
    I had mentioned in Susan’s Blog about a year ago in FSZ 1 and I am going to say it again.

    If you visit Sungai Buloh Leprosy Center, drive straight to a newly built memorial park after you see a Hindu Temple and asked the people there about an old graveyard .
    There situated a mass grave from the May13 tragedy.There is 100 tombstones marked with numbers with a few with the victims’ name on it.
    I was informed that there is actually more than 100 victims in the mass grave that is beyond recognition. (Chopped in many pieces) by the inmates of the center. Lorry loads of dead bodies was transported in after the tragedy.

    Go there and FEEL the atmosphere.See if you think May13 1969 is just another tragedy that should be forgotten.
    I know because I had visited that site .

  71. ASR says:

    I was about 13+ then and living in sentul pasar just next to the shivan temple in jalan tanah lapan. i was studying at the methodist boys school.what happened to my family happened a bit later on june 28.
    my sister was engaged to a relative called thambirajah.thambirajah and his friends used to gather at a house in jalan 14.they had shared and bought a t.v.and all the bachelor boys used to gather at this friends house to watch the programmes. on june 28, thambirajah came to his friends house to watch a very famous programme called “the saint”.It was this programme that probably saved his life.on that day some houses in the mining area nearby had caught fire.thambirajah wanted to go back home as he lived just before the mining area in jalan 16, but his friends convinced him to go after the saint programme.when he went to his house later, he found the front door broken down.he rushed in and found his grandmother dead.his mother was still alive.he went out and managed to stop an army jeep and took his mother to gh first.on the way she told him that about six malay men with headbands had smashed the door and hacked the grandmother with parangs, she pleaded with them not to do it as they were old women, but she received no mercy from them.thambirajah sent her to the gh and returned to take his grandmother to gh, and when he reached the gh he was told that his mother had died.i went to the funeral next day behind the shivan temple and there were so many indian and chinese people watching the funeral.some one took photogarphs of the bodies and i had a look at the photos much later and was tramautised by it for many years to come.my father took the whole family back to india where, thambirajah married my sister.he later returned to singapore where he lives with my sister and his three children.i also returned to malaysia and later got married and have two kids who are in uni now.my mother, brothers and sisters all live in india till today.the memories of may 13 are still etched in my mind.

  72. viji says:

    Good thinking to rekindle old thoughts. Thank you. Could you do the same for Woodstock 1969..Many of today’s youth do not know anything about this turning point in Mankind’s History.Let’ hear from the ones who were at Yus’ Hog Farm,and all the others who wanted to be there.I know a Malay man who named his daughter Faith,in rememberence of the event. There was so much love and peace,and fourty years on, this is exactly what we are looking for….except that the war has moved from Vietnam to elsewhere.Have we really changed or will we ever.

  73. What was basically a political matter
    Unfortunately turned into a racial issue
    Still leaves behind its ghosts to fetter
    Causing us to make wet the facial tissue

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 130508
    Tue. 13th May 2008.

  74. Lea Cruz says:

    May 13 seemed like a Myth to me. Always heard older people talked about it. Never thought that it was somehow connected to my dream which haunted me years after years and woke up in cold sweat!!!

    The same dream, over and over,years after years. In my dream, I was a little girl ( 2 yrs old, only found out recently). I was in a cinema watching a movie with my elder sisters, suddenly I could see people were running away in fear including my 2 elder sisters. And I was left behind. The next thing was…I was standing alone outside of my parents’ shop but the shop was closed and locked. I was so afraid, my heart was pumping fast, crying and shouting “mama, mama”, kept on banging the metal door but no one could hear me………This dream haunted me for many years after years. I never mentioned it to anyone.

    Last year I went back to Malaysia to celebrate chinese new year with my parents and siblings. After our reunion dinner, out of the blue, my eldest sister told us about her experience in the cinema incident during the May 13. Suddenly it reminded me of my dream, a bit of similarity. I told them about my dream. My mother was so shocked and she said how could you remembered that when you were only 2 yrs old? I told her that it was my nighmare of years after years. Then she and my sisters told me about that incident in full detail and the reason behind it.

    Since that CNY reunion dinner, I never dream of it again. That nightmare had disapeared for good.

  75. Edi神 says:

    Have your guys ever think of revenge?

    Let’s pack with china and killed those Malays like what they did to our forefathers.

    We can have the land to our and send those still living malays to Northen State!

    That would be a perfect ending to this sad story!

  76. simon wee says:

    I salute you for this initiative.

  77. Philip L. H. LIM says:

    gosh, there are so many 40 plus bloggers here! & I thought I am dinosaur.

    I was 3 then, & didn’t understood curfew then, & played marble & swing outside my house in mainly chinese village in Air Itam then. My grandma demanded that I stayed in.

    With so many others get to rekindle old friends here too, I wonder if I can get a msg from that sweet little girl apa-nama itu from the same kampung too?

  78. kai says:

    Hi EDI

    We are not talking about having revenge here nor do we want to see one either. We are not here to discuss who is right or who is wrong. I am a bit disappointed with your comment to be honest. Have a read of the heading of this forum again. It simply asks ‘Where were you on 13 May, 1969’.

    If you have a story to tell, please feel free to share with us. More killings can only bring more hatred and suffering to the people of all races.


  79. Ong Ting Ting says:

    I was 9 years old staying in Kg. Raja Uda in Port Klang. Across my house is were Pandamaran is. Pandamaran is a Chinese new village. Kg. Raja Uda is a almost 100 % Malay kampung and we live there cultivating a vegetable farm.

    I was in school in the afternoon session when my mother came on a bicycle to fetch me home. There were rumours of Chinese killing Malays and vice versa.

    Being in a kampong we could not do anything but hide ourselves in an attap house. We were visited by the FRUs with machine guns and no Malays bothered us. Many came to buy vegetables though when curfew were lifted.

    Daily for almost a week, there were curfews imposed and there were breaks when many people came to our vegetable farm to buy vegies. Business was brisk.

    In Kampong Raja Uda, we were known by almost all the Malays staying there and no one bothered us. My great grand parents were there even before the Japanese occupation.

    The Malay villagers used to tell us that if the earth can have tears, they would have shed tears because of the way we toil the land day in and day out. Our vegies were never stolen once. Some came and ask and we always gave out free.

    I think May 13 is trouble created by the politicians and my father used to tell me that one guy call Harun/Haron??? started it. I might be wrong here..

    Anyway I read the red book by Lim…??? and gave me a true insight into the whole thing.

    BTW, the land we used to farm is now owned by JAIS and a big mosque is being planned.

  80. wits0 says:

    Indeed, Kai, we’re not talking for revenge but ACCOUNTABILITY and umno will never admit anything because it has a Neanderthal psyche that says it can do no wrong! Before even calling it just a national tragedy instead of a planned massacre, the culpability must be openly revealed.

    This is impossible with umno, truth is its enemy.

  81. Lallang exile says:

    Dear Mr Richard D,

    Oops……..now I remember that it was Edward Dorall who taught me and not you. See how fast the mind degenerates. Your writing is hilarious and elegant at the same time – worthy of an English major if not better. You should write your memories down and compile them into a book,

    Really, my days in MU were a haze where I skipped many lectures and hardly attended the tutorials – hence the second lower. I suppose you would say that I chilled out there after years of studying hard under my parents’ watchful eyes in Ipoh.

    Anyway, nice to know that Cheryll is still in London. Besides the weather, she probably can’t stand the political state of affairs back home. And I din’t know that she had majored in Geography instead of English Literature.

    Please send my warmest regards to your cousin Edward. I miss the campus and Fifth College and those fun days and people in the English Department adn the Arts Faculty. Most of the lectureres must have retired by now.


  82. hutchrun says:

    Edi must have got off the wrong side of the bed today.

  83. ah Long says:

    What did we learn from May 13th???

    I think we all agree that it must never happen again. Any politician who plays the May 13th card should be charged with sedition, locked up and the key throw away.

    Second thing that most people forget, lots of the Chinese deaths in KL were caused by the army. Namely the Malay regiment!!!! The soldiers were seen shooting at the Chinese population. There were reports that the police force (which at that time had a large Chinese component) returned fire at the soldiers but their fire power were no match for the army.

    Also the Malays regiment stood by and allow Malays to break the curfew and go on wild rampages but shot any Chinese that broke the curfew. The Government stood by and did nothing to stop that for days.

    The rioting and killing only stopped when they finally had enough blood shed and the Malay Regiment was pulled out and the Sarawak Rangers called in to stop the killing.

    According to reports coming out of the hospitals and make shift morgues the number of Chinese deaths far out numbered the Malays. One horror story was, at the outbreak of the riots, the soldiers locked all the doors to a chinese cinema and when upstairs and fired into the audience downstairs killing numerous Chinese movie goers.

    To all those who advocate racial violence – you too will rot in hell together with the murderers of Altantuya.

  84. Richard Dorall says:

    Lallang Exile,

    When I next meet Edward Dorall, I shall be sure to tell him that Imperata cylindrica sends him best best wishes. Let’s see if he knows what (who?) Imperata cylindrica is!!!

    Richard Dorall
    Imperata topografia

  85. kai says:

    Hi Ah Long

    I see that you know your history well.

    I too heard for the deployment of army from Sarawak too, even though I was not in KL at that time. The reason they did that was that the armies from Sarawak were either Malay or Chinese and has no legion to either of the races (I believe mostly Christians or some other religions too). It was this action that finally stopped the killing.

  86. wits0 says:

    The Sarawak Rangers were recalled because they stopped the rampage but upon complaints from the Harun Idris crowd, were withdrawn after about the third day and replaced with the RMR – and the random killing continued well into the second week when an Indian colony in Sentul were pridefully attacked, an Indian child was reported to have both hands cut off. This was deliberate revenge killing, not a riot.

  87. ah Long says:

    Kai & Witso….I am only recounting history from memory, sp I am not going to dispute the actually sequence of events. But being in the fianace business this is another story I can tell you all. I was told this by the older surviving gang members.

    In the Pudu area where I operate, during the start of the riots, just before the impose 24 hour curfew, the gangsters went from house to house and shop to shop collecting protection money.

    The Chinese gangs date back to the early days of the Straits settlement when the Chinese immigrants formed gangs to protect the Chinese community against the others and to fight amongst themselves from different clans.

    Gangs like the “Tiger General” and the “18 Immortals” were well known and had large memberships.

    And to their credit, the gangsters did come out during the subsequent fighting to defend their territory. Many of them died in the process. Parangs were no match for guns.

    My parents told me the only good thing that came out of the May 13th riots was that the Pudu area was very peaceful after the riots because so many of the gangster got killed !!!!

    There was a lot less extortions in the lane ways around the cinemas and the glutton street area. There was less protection money collections and Crime rates dropped significantly after the riots.

    If there is going to be another May 13th lets kill the corrupt arseholes and there will be less crime in the corridoors of power. Lets learn from the past.

    And according to RPK the Royal Malay Regiment now takes orders from the Agong and not the PM and his cronies. I don’t know how true this is. I quote RPK only.

  88. demon says:

    Was in form 3 then.Took part in the fight!Almost arrested by the police.Regret?No way!

  89. Lea Cruz says:

    Hi, Edi

    It was ANGER that hit you hard. It is understandable. But then please don’t degrading yourself to act like that. I could see that you are a person full of compassion. God Bless You Always and cheer!!

  90. wits0 says:

    Ah Long, yes, KL was very gang infested in the late sixties. Almost everywhere you go, you better not carry much cash. You could get waylaid at almost every street. Better not even to wear a wristwatch. Among other things, this was the reason why I never liked my brief sojourn there. But to attribute this as a gain from 513 is rather overdone when comparing the harm caused by 513 and its unaccountability.

    Question is, why did the gomen allow this crime infested state to exists before 513 in KL. It is a shock for people like me who wnt there from Penang which was completely peaceful and safe?

    The irony was that KL was only cleared of such trash for a short time. Today it’s back to square 1 and worse.

  91. Hitam Had says:

    As I was overseas, I had to rely on first hand accounts of relatives who had escaped tragedy by the skin of their teeth. The stories are very similar to the ones here, and more. My first awareness of the riots was watching what looked like my grandfather’s house burning being shown on BBC news! ( yes it was looted and burnt down after my relatives were evacuated to the stadium).

    Some time ago, I also read YM RPK’s personal account of his experience during that period in M-T , are the articles still there?


  92. Jed Yoong says:

    Nice one. At least one other blogger remembered the massacre.
    Why are other bloggers quiet about this — ppl like RPK, Rocky, Nuraina, etc.
    I tot they were fighting for truth?

  93. ktteokt says:

    I was 15 when May 13 took place. Being a photography craze, I was in the darkroom in my school printing photographs when the incident happened. I was there until 1730 and when I reached home, I received news that mass killings of Chinese had taken place in Chow Kit. Curfew followed the next few days, full curfew in the first two days and only on the third day was the curfew lifted for two hours.

    The place where I stayed was peaceful, except for FRU force personnel walking up and down the streets. I experienced my first taste of “tear gas” when on the third morning, I was awaken by this “pungent” gas which came in through my window and I could not help but “cried”.

  94. […] Loone asks, “Where were you on 13 May 1969?” Lots of good eye-witness accounts there. Bookmark It Subscribe to comments Comment | Trackback |  Share […]

  95. IndependenceKid says:

    I was 12, still remember vividly the going ons…didnt really impact me then, but as the years catch on…..HOW COULD THE GOVT LET THAT HAPPEN>>>? Lived in B’fields KL. (Everyone knew of Harun Hj Idris…may he and his generations rot in HELL.. sorry..but to think he was partly or fully responsible…beyond words)1st floor of a double storey shophouse. Opposite was a chinese village, 500 mtrs away a malay kpg. Peeping from the slightly ajar indows my mother n me would watch the the ‘360’ gang members preparing for the worst..swords, parangs, samurais, spears, pipes lined the road below covered with cardboards in anticipation of an onslaught………that never came (Praise the Lord). But every once in awhile a commotion would arise…lot of yelling shouting, the men would grab the weapons and adrenalin rushing(ours)….false alarm. we had very little food left so meals were meagre amounts…till my brother who was an airforce officer came in a military truck and gave us some food(which we shared with the neighbours)…this(military truck) however caused anxiety to the gang members..”ping lai lohhh”. My dad managed to talk to some of them and assure them he had just brought foodtuffs(due to stories that soldiers were KILLING CHINESE & INDIAN CITIZENS IN COLD BLOOD)…”its all coming back to me now”……more…..maybe….

  96. flyer168 says:

    Dear Susan,

    Great work there. Yes, you could compile this into a Great Book for the young Malaysians.

    Btw, can you give me your email address as I would like to send you some articles on this subject.


  97. ah Long says:

    I also got hear the martial art school in Chin Woo stadium went down to Petaling st and fought a pitch battle with the other side.

    Unfortunately they didn’t have a Bruce Lee or Chan Jang, I hear many were killed.

    I am glad someone also can confirm my story that for once in their lives the gangster did something useful.

  98. wits0 says:

    Yes, Ah Long, they did something useful too. They fed displaced and shocked refugees from other hotter areas around Jln. Raja Laut, namely like Princess Road etc., who lost their homes, including yours truly, who were burnt out from his residence there…and shot at for looking out by a RMR personnel with his FN SLR. He tooked slow careful aim and I ducked faster. The 7.62 mm bullet impacted a foot above on the wall and shattered.

  99. dodgy inc says:

    Who was the UMNO Youth Leader on the May 13, 1969?
    Who bathed the Keris with Chinese Blood and got away scot free?
    From whose ideas the New Economy Policy came from?

    Answer: Mahathir, Mahathir, Mahathir the Great Evil-Doer.

  100. dodgy inc says:

    Who was the UMNO Youth Leader on the May 13, 1969?
    Who bathed the Keris with Chinese Blood and got away scot free?
    From whose ideas the New Economy Policy came from?

    Answer: Mahathir, Mahathir, Mahathir the Great Evil-Doer

  101. anthjoe says:

    I was 12 years old. Rather than remembering May 13, 1969 I very well remember May 12, 1969. I was traveling to KL in “kereta sewa” with my father from an estate in Port Dickson. The driver an my dad were talking about the election results the day earlier. A lot was discussed but I still can recall the victory of Dr. Soorian in Port Dickson defeating Alliance candidate Mahima Singh. Mahima Singh, according to my father commented that a Guinness (stout) can buy Indian votes in PD. So may dad mentioned that the Indians thought him and the MIC a lesson they won’t forget. (How wrong was my father?) Just before the PRU12, another MIC candidate in the same estate reportedly told the Indian voters (alleged supporters of Hindraf) “if you don’t like me vote me out”. The voters obliged happily did just that.

    Going back to 1969, when I reached KL I saw lot of posters were marked with cow dung and we saw some sort of celebration. (people waving flags – I remember the Gerakan flags) We actually went to bring back my sister who was 7 months pregnant. (The Indians custom is to do “valaikappu” when the daughter is seven month pregnant)

    We brought her back. My brother in law decided come back after a day or two. That is what made never to forget May 13. After the riot broke out, he went missing. He was staying in Ayer Panas, Setapak. Can you imagine the worries among the family members. I wasn’t that sad because the schools declared holiday. But eventually everything turned out to be ok as my bro-in-law became a refuge in the Merdeka Stadium and returned home much later.

  102. Allan says:

    Mukhriz Mahathir (BN-Jerlun) said there was no attempt to hide the facts behind the May 13 incident. He said the tragedy should be seen as a “blessing”.
    He was referring to New Economic Policy, an affirmative action policy which favoured the bumiputera, that was introduced as a result of the May 13 incident.
    “So the good that came out from such tragedy has been something that we have enjoyed even until now,” argued Mukhriz.

    A “BLESSING??? Lot of brothers and sisters were killed??? By the death of them you got the NEP???

  103. Harrison says:

    With just a few tantalizing words, Susan managed to garner at least 100 commenteries and accounts (1st hand or hearsay) and counting. This topic is indeed the topic of today.

  104. janicelim says:

    I wasn’t in Malaysia that very day. Just left for Australia 2 weeks earlier and heard of the tragic event on the news there. Somehow the only memory I have for that day is that a senior of my high school met her untimely death then and she happened to be the wife of a well-known sportsman of the country. However, i can’t recall their names. None of my relatives or friends ever talked to me about this tragedy or maybe I never asked for more details, just wanting to forget the unpleasant past. Sounded indeed selfish on my part!

  105. ayer itam boy says:

    I was 14 then in Penang. I studied in a Chinese school and had known only one Malay school mate who might remotely be called a friend then. On that fateful day, my family and I first heard news of racial riots in KL over the radio at around 8pm. We were stunned. As we lived in a Chinese area with some Malay kampongs nearby, we were worried that we might be attacked that night. We saw Malay folks walking by our house daily but we seldom interact. The racial split was already evident then. I vividly remember the tense atmosphere in my home that night. We all sat around the family room listening to news of curfew and bloodshed over the radio till early morning. I had with me a boy scout dagger, resolving that I would fight to save my family if any attack came. I fell asleep clutching that knife. I woke up in the morning and were immensely relieved that all was peace and quiet… After a couple days of curfew, we were allowed to go the market to shop for daily necessities for a few hours. Eventually life seemed back to normal. About one month later, we received a letter from our relative who lived at Chow Kit Road in KL. We were told of heavy blood toll there. Our relative vowed that one day the blood debt would be avenged with blood.

    I studed hard in school but for some reasons I had no interest in Malay. I failed my MSC at form 5 because I failed Malay despite getting 6 distinctions in other subjects. I left for Singapore and then UK to continue my education. I worked in the UK and now HK but never in Malaysia. I gave up my Malaysian citizenship quite happily in 1986. I visited Malaysia regularly in the last 30 years as a foreigner. I felt strange as an alien in the land I was born and raised but I was immensely happy that I did not have to withstand the idiocy of racial discrimination, both overt and covert, over the years.

  106. Black says:

    I was not born yet at that time. But from the story that i got from my father, who went to Federal Cinema near Chow Kit Road, it was scary. He saw how one pregnant woman who been slashed at her stomach infront of his eyes.

    According to my grandpa who are from Kampung Baru, he can see how politicians from both parties, government and opposition manipulate the people to start the Racial Clashed.

    The racial politics should be stop as soon as possible. Fuck politicians who scarifies the life of the people because of their politics no matter from which party they came from!!!

  107. Pilahguy says:

    I was in our sundry shop in Kuala Pilah. Our worker received a rare phone call from KL saying a relative’s child got his hand blown off by soldier during curfew. It immediately raised the tension we feel about the situation. I was studying at Taylor’s college at Pantai. It was lucky we have a holiday timing which is different from national school. After the holiday I went back to the college, saw few houses near the school were burnt down. I must say I am lucky to be alive!

  108. ANg Kong says:

    if all the postings stick to the topic, i think it will be a top seller if these are published in a printed book.

    the only story i heard fr my ah kong is that he was hiding in a camouflaged hole in the ground with the banana leaves laid over wooden planks on top. He said he even heard ppl walked over it chanting.

  109. Shai-Hulud says:

    “So the good that came out from such tragedy has been something that we have enjoyed even until now,” argued Mukhriz.

    Unfortunately “the good that came out from such tragedy” is tainted with the blood of innocents. How does it taste today?

  110. I was a teenager in Penang at that time. Some uniformed men were patrolling our street and overzealously fired a grenade (tear-gas) into our house probably triggered by our being too noisy during the curfew. That was my first taste of tear-gas experience.

  111. tan says:

    Anwar attacked over US links, plans to become PM

    PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and his plan to become prime minister came under attack in the Dewan Rakyat today.

    In his debate on the royal address, Mukhriz Mahathir (BN-Jerlun) put the spotlight on Anwar’s involvement with organisations and individuals who figured prominently in the US military campaigns.

    Citing an April 28, 2008 write-up in Time Magazine by former US deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz, Mukhriz asked why one of the chief strategists of the US war against Iraq was describing Anwar in such glowing terms.

    “Why should Anwar be in cahoots with this murderer of more than one million Iraqis?” he asked.

    Wolfowitz, who also headed the World Bank, is the same person whose girlfriend Shaha Ali Reza Anwar had been appointed to the neo-conservative NGO Foundation of the Future, Mukhriz alleged.

    Reza’s transfer had caused ripples when it was found that the transfer – arranged at Wolfowitz’s behest – would raise Reza’s salary by 36 percent, from US$133,000 (RM452,000) to US$193,590 (RM659,000).

    Anwar has previously refuted the allegation that he was involved in Reza’s appointment to Foundation of the Future, saying she was assigned to the organisation before he became its chairperson.

    Mukhriz, however, went on to question the nature and background of Foundation of the Future, claiming that among its sources of funds is the US State Department.

  112. man lee says:

    Looks like the UMNOputras are at it again! Maybe Mukhriz benefitted from the policies his father has implemented under the guise of NEP – that is why he thinks something good came out of May 13.

  113. janicelim says:

    Only somebody so privileged like Mukhriz Mahathir can think that May 13 was a blessing. With so many deaths and destruction, how can the tragedy be a blessing?

  114. daniel says:

    “So the good that came out from such tragedy has been something that we have enjoyed even until now,” Mukhriz said about the May 13 tragedy. You stupid UMNOputra! You and your father’s cronies swindled money, use bumi policy to your advantage, and that is why you can say that May 13 is a tragey that brings out good that we can enjoy until now …

  115. ang lee says:

    Mukhriz is so brainless!!!!!! How can May 13 tragedy be a blessing!!!!!!!!!

  116. shin says:

    My family’s house was burnt down, and all Mukhriz can say that it is a tragedy that has brought prosperity to the country. I wonder whether he knew any victims of the May 13 tragedy and the suffering that the we, the poor, had to endure because of the tragedy. Please think before you speak Mukhriz!!!

  117. wits0 says:

    One of Mahathir’s sons was reported to have embroiled himself in running supplies by 4WD to his side in the Indonesian Ambon/Maluku religious conflict. I suppose he was seeking similar blessings too.

  118. daniel says:

    So many deaths during May 13 and the scars that remained for many years to come, how can Mukhriz even say that good things came out from May 13.

  119. shin says:

    Stupid Mukhriz … he probably didn’t have the time to consult anybody, so he made good things came out from May 13. His advisors forgot to tell him what is May 13 la …..

  120. shin says:

    Daddy only gave instructions what to say in Parliament and stupid reporters asked me about May 13 … daddy help, what should i say ..

  121. sloone says:

    Dear Everyone,
    I thank you for taking the time to response to this post of mine. I believe sharing these stories are important as it is part of our history and social make up. It’s no use to sweep them under the carpet and pretend these things didn’t happen. I only know, from the stories I hear from my parents, everyone suffered, and this tragedy is not only suffered by one or two race(s).

    Before we can ever arrive at the truth and reconciliation, we need to speak about it.

    I think these personal stories are so much more important than all the crap that is being said by politicians, year in and year out, about the issue. In fact, they insult those whose blood has been spilled during those dark and bloody days.

    Do you think we should really compile them in a book? You can write to me at susanloone@gmail.com to tell me what you think.

    Thank you once again for sharing a difficult and painful part of your memories and thoughts with me.

  122. ktteokt says:

    Enjoying at the expense of others’ lives and suffering is all these UMNO nuts can think of. So selfish! And how can we allow such selfish people to lead the nation? They only care for their own pockets without giving a damn for the people! Let’s vote these hopeless idiots out in GE13, let the people speak their voice!!!!!!

  123. […] Getting over May 13 Susan had this very interesting question on her blog where she opened the floor to comments. Basically like a forum for us to share our memories. She posed the question: Where were you on 13 May 1969? […]

  124. EddieTheHead says:

    Don’t remember anything about the incident. Was 3 years old and living in an rubber estate in Kedah. But years later when I entered Sekolah Menengah Sains (that cauldron of Malay/Islam xenophobia), May 13 was some sort of celebration.

    The teachers would reminds us that “Kita boleh potong cina lagi, kalau kita mau” and it was there we learned the phrase “Seluar Katok” (for the shorts that chinaman wear). But the “katok” part means “to hit”, “to chop up” or “to kill”.

    May 13 was used against the chinese a lot of the times, so much so, even today, I feel a chill on my spine. I realise its a method to instill fear, like what the tutsis did to the hutus, or was it the other way round?

  125. clearwater says:

    I was 19 years old during May 13. Till today I cannot speak about the ‘incident’. The trauma remains, as do the remembered sights and stories. I verily believe there was a conspiracy by certain politicians to create turmoil in Kuala Lumpur. I left the country in 1970 not intending to ever come back, but return I did, after 8 long difficult years. Notwithstanding academic and career success, loneliness and alienation in a strange land are not ideal companions. That is why we must fight for truth and justice in this birth land of ours, so that the corrupt and the greedy cannot rule. So that our children will have a future. So that enlightenment reigns. So that there will never be a repeat of May 13.

  126. Lallang exile says:


    You had a really close shave then, didn’t you, being in the eye of the storm. I urge you to write in detail your experiences and how the whole episode affected you and your family/friends in Sue’s upcoming book. Thank God you survived, and WITsO, you must tell your whole story.

    Like the Nanjing Massacre prior to WW2, the Japanese have yet to apologise. But the Japanese emperor went to Hu Jintao’s hotel THREE times and personally sent him off during the Chinese premier’s recent trip. In Malaysia, we have the likes of Mukhriz gloating over the crimes and spoils of what his dad and his gang did during 513. Is Malaysia trapped in some time warp?

    In a nutshell, I think what the Razak /Harun/Mahathir gang did was to place Malaysia on a disastrous path – besides the massacre – after May 13 1969. Decent people like the Tunku were shut up, while wily and selfish non-Malay cohorts cooperated to create what we have now.

    Ayer Itam’s song is sung all round the world by Malaysians forsaken and let down by their country, or rather their country’s leaders.

    I say kudos to Sue for daring to bring this up since there is not much one could read about the incident in or outside Malaysia. The eye-witness accounts could even be made into a documentary, i.e. Sue could talke to the people involved.


    I don’t understand the Latin(?) words. Will look it up later.

    Cheers, everyone, i really enjoyed this post.

  127. Anonymous says:

    I wasn’t born yet, but my parents were smack dab in the middle of KL. I was told that both sides generally formed a border with armed men patrolling, slashing anyone who crosses the line. The Chinese side held the line up until the army came to ‘control’ the situation. My uncle was shot in the leg by them (and thankfully survived) but others were not so lucky. One such, was a neighbour who was killed, and his wife was tearfully asking everyone if they saw her husband. Noone had the heart to tell her the truth until the riots were all over. They were finally moved to Merdeka Stadium and stayed there for awhile.

  128. ah long says:

    Susan’s book will be ban for sure and the author jailed for sedition.

    There was a book written last year from research done on documents that have been de-classified. The book has been banned from sales in Malaysia.

    Google Kua Kia Soong to read an extract.

  129. Bunda says:

    My aunt was with some friends watching a movie at the old Rex cinema in the Chinatown area of Petaling Street. When all hell broke loose, the Triads began to flood the cinema and began to separate the crowd into Malays and non-Malays.

    My aunt is Chinese, but she looks like a Malay. This is due to the fact that my family in the past few hundred years have intermarried with Malays (we are Peranakan). And, she was wearing the baju kebaya at that time, which was quite normal for Nyonya girls her age then (early twenties).

    When the Triads picked her out and put her among the Malay crowd, the only way she could save her own skin was speaking to them in Cantonese and Mandarin. Even then, they were not convinced, until the vehement and dogged arguments by her boyfriend and his friends to her defense.

    After some time, they decided to let my aunt and her friends depart. They don’t know what happened to the Malays, which numbered about a dozen or so people, but we can guess their gruesome fate.

    My aunt and her friends then spent a harrowing night in KL, before travelling to PJ the next day. After things had cooled down, my aunt migrated to New Zealand and never stepped into Malaysia again, even for the funeral of my grandmother. That was how traumatized she was by the entire episode. To her, Malaysia is the epitome of hell reborn on this planet, although many Rwandans would disagree with her.

  130. bamboo river says:

    Well, ah long ,
    They can ban the book/books but they can’t ban us from talking,discussing,sharing the ugly and painful episode where many life is lost and limbs decapitated.
    As long there are people who do not want this tragedy to ever happen again, then we must speak up and prevent this tragic incident.

    You can erase the writings on the paper but you can’t erase the memories in the mind.

  131. kai says:

    As a kid, I always wondered what happened to 513. I even once tried to search for a copy of the Far East Economics Reviews whilst I was studying overseas. They were banned from selling in Malaysia following 513 (I think!)

    Please keep on posting your experience (sorry to reopen your old wounds) or someone else story you know about. I didn’t know the triads were so active until now. Thanks for the info guys.

  132. ah long says:


    According to recent declassified documents there was approx 600-700 triad members arrested.

    Given that it was a “take no prisoner” situation, how many actually died is anyones guess.

    And the official declassified documents also quoted many eye witness accounts that members of the Malay Regiment were seen indiscrminately firing into Chinese shophouses.

    And it is confirmed in the same documents that the Malay Regiment was biased and there was practically no curfew in the Malay areas and Malay hooligans were allowed to roam free looting and organising attacks on the others.

    On the other hand, the chinese areas were under a strict 24 hour curfew and curfew breakers were shot !!!!

  133. kittykat46 says:

    Just to correct a point of fact.

    Dr. Kua Kia Soong’s May 13 book is NOT banned in Malaysia, was never banned.

    Walk into any MPH or Popular Bookshop and you can buy a copy.

    Also available for on-line purchase through Kinibooks, anywhere in the world, including Malaysia.

  134. wits0 says:

    Ah Long, “The Malay Regiment was biased and there was practically no curfew in the Malay areas and Malay hooligans were allowed to roam free looting and organising attacks on the others.”

    True, that’s exactly why the memory of 513 could not be exorcised with this breakdown of law and order and its denial.

    I saw the police ran away from the few vanguard rioters in their land rover as the main body advanced towards the cinema without making any attempt to stop them whatsoever….all this while(around 8pm) the radio was blaring out the message not to listen to rumour and stay calm! The leader of the mob was led by a batik clan, yang berhormat looking one firing a pistol in the air and shouting, “allahu akhbar!” And they tried breaking into the shop houses and setting fire to them, the last block of shophouses (in what was called Princess Road) opposite the lane leading to the hospital quarters.

    Although the horror of the cinema is also true, 513 was much worsened by the aforesaid when the so called “security forces”, aka RMR made it far worse afterwards. Police reports were made afterwards wrt the allegation that some of the original “commando” rioters were trained in Port Dickson and Morib and brought in by Harun and ilks by chartered KTM trains.

  135. Anonymous says:

    Yes, my family witnessed as much, that some members of the Malay Regiment were indiscriminately firing at Chinese and only when the non-mainland forces were sent in (i.e. Sabah and Sarawak) was there some semblance of sanity.

  136. lemon says:

    If i were there when LIM KIT SIANG UNRINATING on the Malaysian flag outside of Harun Idris’ house, while some other chinese showed their private parts in front of the malay ppl there, I would have spit on their faces and slap them back to Singapore.

    Huge banners showing the malays are swept out from Kuala Lumpur were so not necessary but that was what the DAP leaders and their supporters did just after the opposition won the 1969 elections.

    The Malays in Kg Baru were unnecessarily provoked into rioting coz a huge group of chauvinistic chinese were so arrogant at that time. Now why hasn’t KIT SIANG APOLOGISE for his act 39 years ago?

  137. Damocles says:

    :Susan’s book will be ban for sure and the author jailed for sedition.

    There was a book written last year from research done on documents that have been de-classified. The book has been banned from sales in Malaysia.

    Google Kua Kia Soong to read an extract.” – Ah Long

    Frankly, that book was very tame.
    It did contain a few anecdotes from people who went through May 13.
    Those recounted here were much more than those that were publiched in the book.

  138. rajan says:

    Yes i do agree with a few of the articles mentioning the atrocities of the polis and army during that dark fateful day the 13 may 1969. They closed one eye to the killing fields of chow kit, jln. yap ah shak/jln doraisamy {heritage row} till today you can see for yourselves the burnt out shop houses and possibly the bullet holes on the facade of the buildings. There are a few shop houses in jln raja muda that got torched. Whenever i passby these buildings MAY13 comes to mind and the murders that went with it.The FRU was mildly neutral .Then they brought in the sarawak rangers, mostly ibans looking like grhukas and they kept the peace.If not for the rangers, god knows what would be the end result. A well known photography shop “Great Wall” at the junction of jln. muda was burnt out, and no one knows what happened to the occupants of it, for taking photos of the nightmare.
    Some say it was datuk harun idris who organisesd the massacre while others say it was ordered by the dpm then, BUT having started from the MBs house is enough to conclude what needs to be concluded.
    Now, to my mind, JUSTICE must be served. To bring to book whoever it was who created the darkest day in the annals of malaysia.Those who participated must be in the early 50s to early 70s.It can be very easy to track them down if there is a will or is it better not to let the shit the fan.
    It was preplanned. Where did they get that number of weapons in one go.Official figures say its about 196 deaths, my god ,thats the figure on one LORONG or road. At the bus stop ,Sri jaya terminal ,along the begining of jln.muda, at least a thousand people can be seen during that point in time.Those days there was not much people with cars unlike now, main mode of transport was by bus, cycle, motocycles.U even have bullock carts instead of mini lorries like now.Jln TAR was at that time a two way street with bus stops on both sides of the road. A huge crowd will be there during 5.30 to 9pm.
    Figures figures ? ? The sentul pasar dalam incident was caused by neighbours squabbles before the 13 betwwen malay and indians, reasons range from chicken dropping to cat sitting up, dogs howling, children screaming,{no car parking problems]hehe but 13 was the excuse to get even. At the initial point of clashes, only chinese were targeted and after the sentul pasar incident, it became a free for all- malay- chinese. then malay -indians. Most killings was around kg. baru,
    keramat ,jln muda chow kit up to federal cinema, .Along jln batu 1, not much up north. People were just suspicious of anyone, but did not resort to killing. The little indian girl had both her arms cut off .Till today she can be seen at the sentul pasar market on sundays mornings and her most of her family got snuffed. She escaped because of a malay man who asked the goons to stop it on the little girl. .I think she adapted herself to the
    ITS Very very painful to see the carnage, the bodies in pieces,some alive and moanng, Its a nightmare malaysia can do without.In short my balls shrank at the sight. It took me a few months to sleep.
    If it happens in these times, MAY GOD FORBID, all races will suffer.Malays,chinese ,indians dll, ALL WILL SUFFER .
    To those SOBs and BASTARDs inciting a clone of may 13, mostly politicians, Remember MAY 13 IS NOT A WORD, ITS NIGHTMARE OF THE WORST KIND. U not seen it you bastard, or you will never want a repeat of it. Of late an EX-MB currently some Minister was talking about it, To him i say, Put your children in front of the action, THen YOU TALK YOU MORON.
    The people with chopped out limbs, dont want VIPs to visit them in hospitals with apples and oranges, JUST FIND SOME OTHER WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF RELEVENT or GET OUT OF RACIAL POLITICS.
    HIDUP PR the only way to go. I voted for PAS[adun] PKR{parlimen} even though some people who had gone through the nightmare advisedme to vote BN. Till i die, i will never vote BN, original or modified. Enough is enough.
    I Hope MPs from SABAH and SARAWAK WILL DO THE MOST WISEST THING THEY EVER CAN DO FOR ALL MALAYSIANS. MCA and MIC, What the fuck are you idiots waiting for.
    Quote” MCA, MIC ,PPP, GERAKAN ARE BEGGERS.” Begging for your PERKS is OK by me BUT dont PAWN the future of MALAYSIANS. YOU HEAR ME SOBs

  139. wits0 says:

    The victory parade was noisy but LKS urinating….who’ll buy that? Being provoked, anyway, does not and never justify well planned and organised murder, riot and mayhem. The first to be killed according to a Malay witness was an innocent Chinese teaboy outside Harun’s residence and two occupants of a van that stopped out of curiosity to watch the going ons – according to the late MGG Pillai, presumably between 4 and 5 pm.

  140. su says:

    I saw Damocles quote on what ah long said about the Kua Kia Soong book on May 13 being banned, and was thinking..”WHAT??”

    Came here and saw that kittykat46 said that it was never banned, and the book can be found at any MPH bookstore.

    Phew. Glad to know that there’s still SOME sense in Malaysia.

  141. wits0 says:

    Su, two weeks after may 13, I passed the vicinity of Kg Baru and saw entire line of houses previously occupied by Chinese entirely burnt and destroyed and they looked like be part masonry ones too. It looked like a war zone.

  142. hutchrun says:

    Lemon selling lemons. I wouldn`t buy.

  143. hutchrun says:

    Do any of you know the REAL story behind May 13 — how is started, why it was started, and who started it? If not, then let me take you down memory lane.

    Contrary to what the (local) history books try to tell us, May 13 was NOT about Malay and Chinese rivalry. It may have eventually ended that way, but that definitely was not how it started out. May 13 was basically a Malay political struggle with racialism used as a camouflage.

    To understand May 13, we need to go back to the pre-Merdeka days to see how independence was achieved and how the first leaders of independent Malaya were groomed to take over running the country.

    Part2: http://www.freeanwar.net/jan2003/article080103.htm

    Part3: http://www.freeanwar.net/jan2003/article300103.htm

  144. semiotic says:

    On that day, at about 5.30PM, my sister and I arrived at Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur to watch a movie at the Rex theatre. We noticed a small crowd and commotion on the street around one of the shophouses, thought nothing of it and decided to park the car by the side of the road instead of in the Rex car park. I cannot remember the name of the movie, only that Paul Newman and his wife, Joanne Woodward were the stars. We went into the theatre at about 6.00PM. While watching the trailers and the movie, I noticed there were frequent projections on the screen asking for so and so to leave the theatre. At about 7.30PM, I had a bad feeling something was not right, heard some noise from outside, turned around and saw many empty seats behind us which were formerly filled. I told my sister that we should leave immediately. She was reluctant but agreed to leave when I pointed out that many people had left. While we were going out, the doorman asked why we were leaving. Once outside, the whole street was completely deserted and we ran to the car, quickly started it and shot off down the road. I was driving and as we turned a corner, I heard somebody shouting at us. We did not stop and shot through several red traffic lights instead until we arrived at Jalan Pudu where several big guys with makeshift weapons stood in the middle of the road, stopped and asked us where we were going. We told them we were going home to Cheras and they allowed us through with the warning to be careful. We arrived where my sister was staying at 8.00PM, stepped into the house just in time to see the declaration of curfew on the television. We were so lucky that we were able to leave in time, otherwise we could have been stranded in the theatre for a week or so. I stayed with my sister for 2 weeks before going back to Petaling Jaya. Was it frightening? My legs were shaking when I was driving that fateful evening, desperately hoping to get back home safely. That was 39 years ago when I was 21 and it was surrealistic.

  145. ironic_law says:

    I had no any experience of May 13.. My parent had none neither but my grandparents had and they do explain what is going on. But ironically their story are in contrast with each other. Some says it was Malay against Indian, some says it was Malay against Chinese so I just put it simple le it was Malays against everyone to say, KETUANAN MELAYU mah I think the slogan was about hehe (OK stop making fun of it, it was a tragedy so sorry to all those I upsets).

    Why was the parody and misconstrued event in the story? Why was the younger generations like me, can’t actually know or understands the real historical fact of the event? Can’t we just treat it like Japanese occupation/Communist insurgents (all were gracefully recorded by the British colonial who went to great measure to record everything) when we learn our SEJARAH during our preschool years (until now Japan are still haunted by their past IMPERIALISM hehe)? Was the event was considered so tarnished and bleakest point in our country history? WHY… WHY.. WHY.. The answer is until now UMNO still doesn’t want to let the public know about it.. They just thought that we just close the chapter and move along. Then WHY we had to learn HISTORY then? For all the RAKYAT information until now in the SEJARAH book, May 13 event are not being taught to the younger generations.. For god sake it had been 3 decades and still some cannot EXORCISED the ghost of May 13.. The Rakyat had proven it in GE12 that they are not afraid of May 13 GHOST, it was just another DARK chapter in our country HISTORY (that formed ISA and subsequently OSA under Mahathirism). Mentioning of it doesn’t mean it was SEDITIOUS or one wannabe (too bad some politician like to used it as their last ARSENAL hehe).. It was HISTORICAL FACT that need to be acknowledged, so why some still harbors fear, phobia and EXTREME taboo to just listen to other mentioning the word “MAY 13” ? (For most RAKYAT information it was May 14 le where ALL HELL BREAK LOOSE not May 13).

    Based on the reply in this blog, which I can see is almost overwhelmingly proves that each of the people who posted their own chapter had gone through the HELL and are moving along with it quite CIVILIZED manner (Many still considered Tunku Abdul Rahman had done his best and many too does not hail Tun Abdul Razak as a noble successor towards Tunku’s premiership.. As 1 resigned gracefully another climb into power by utilizing the other weakest point, this METHOD has been used OVER and OVER and OVER by many BN leader till today). So why was BN leader unable to cope with us the RAKYAT then? Too embroiled in their “KETUANAN MELAYU” concept I think hehehe

  146. teja says:

    Salah seorang anggota kerja rakan setugas aruah abah saya yang berbangsa tionghua telah menembak dirinya sendiri atas alasan yang tidak diketahui setelah menghantar isteri dan anaknya ke kampung.Waktu itu saya berusia sekitar 6 tahun dan masih upaya diingati kereta-kereta peronda polis yang berpegawaikan orang inggeris berkhemah dan berkawal di sepanjang jalan akibat pengistiharan darurat.Masih mencari jejak kisah sebenar yang berlaku dan mengapa ia terjadi memandangkan hubungan di antara aruah abah dan rakannya yang menembak dirinya sendiri itu amat erat hingga balu mendiang juga kenalan baik emak saya.Mereka adalah rakan setugas sebagai anggota polis pengiring Al-Marhum salah seorang Sultan yang terkenal dengan sifat sederhana hingga dikasihi oleh rakyat negerinya khususnya penduduk kampung di salah sebuah pulau yang terabai dari arus pembangunan.

    Sejarah dan satera memiliki nilai mendidik seandainya disingkap alasan sebenar berlakunya peristiwa 13 May 1969.

  147. wits0 says:

    Rajan, about the Great Wall Photo shop that was burnt. it could be the very one where I witness a man trapped alone on sky roof, surrounded and silhouetted by flame on the floors below that night at about 9pm. I don’t think he survived. That night, from roof of a multi storey apartment building in Jlm. Raja Laut, the whole scene on Batu Road in the vicinity of that Burning Photo Shop was like that of a war zone with big fires and smoke reddening the nearby skyline.

    Overturned cars were burning in Batu Road. Sounds of intermittent rifle gunfire and softer chatter of submachine guns were heard. The burning didn’t stop, but increased meaning that the rioters were allowed to carry on and the gunfire was in their favour.

    Sometime around 3 – 4 am the murderous (so called) security force marched down the narrow alley of the flat where I have taken refuge and fired several shots into the crowded residential flats. The sound of their boots sounded like a dozen or more. Some one was hit by the ricochetting bullets and there was nothing much to be done. Ambulance service was hardly functioning then, what to expect? Hell sort of broken loose.

  148. Shai-Hulud says:

    Wasn’t Yasmin Ahmad planning to make a movie on May 13?

  149. rakyat says:

    The perpetrators of May 13 were UMNO extremists who refused to accept the results of the 1969 general election where Alliance lost lost its 2/3 majority in parliament, the Penang state govt and kelantan, and deadlocked with opposition in Selangor and Perak. Razak was the brains behind May 13 so that he could topple Tunku. Razak schemed with Harun Idris, Mahathir and Razali, Mahathir’s brother in law. It was Razak who allowed the Labour party funeral procession on May 9 to work up Malay feelings. Of course Gerakan and DAP also played into Razak;s hands by holding noisy victory processions in KL to provoke Malays further. UMNO was afraid that if democracy was allowed to continue after opposition credible performance in 1969 elections Alliance might lose federal govt. Harun and Razali mobilized Malay youths from Pemuda Tahan Lasak to assemble at Harun’s house where 6,000 parangs were hidden in the drains nearby for use.

    On the night of May 13, Malay youths with headbands and carrying parangs came out of Kampong Bahru on a rampage and killed Chinese and Indians, set fire to Chinese houses and burnt Chinese cars. Then Chinese retaliated through gangsters and killed Malays. The fight was almost equally matched when Malay soldiers armed with guns came out and started shooting the Chinese.

    Razak and UMNO made use of May 13 riots to declare emergency where they suspended democracy, blamed riots on opposition and then came up with all kinds of racist laws like NEP…what we see today is nearly 40 years of ketuanan Melayu which has left the country badly divided, and UMNO cronyism which has bankrupted the country.

    Now that the first step had been made to dismantle UMNO’s legacy and may 13 when the people voted in 82 opposition Mps,let us hope this momentum will be sustained until the next GE where the people will kick out UMNO. Better still if Anwar can induce defections from Sabah BN to topple UMNO straight away. We can then have a truth commission to investigate May 13 and put on trial all those who have been responsible. I understand most of them like Razak, Harun and Razali have died, but Mahathir is still alive. Let’s hope he will be found guilty. Only will the souls of all those innocent people who died on May 13 be at peace.

  150. Anonymous says:

    Yes, and even if the ambulance services were working well, I doubt they would drive into the heart of the chaos. My mother had to carry my uncle (who was shot) to the nearest hospital. On her way back, she bumped into some soldiers, and thank god, one of the soldiers pitied her and escorted her home. God knows what would have happened to her if the soldier was one of the mindless brutes or did not bother helping her.

  151. NCH says:

    i just couldn’t believe the notion that razak was capable of ordering thousands of ppl to be massacred just in the name of gaining power. You guys are nuts for believing such propaganda. and i’m chinese anyways. too fantasical and not logical at all! and why are we still talking about may 13th anyway?? the title of this article is – When will we stop talking about may 13? U guys are not honoring the dead by opening up old wounds. Just let it go so that the ones who had unfortunately lost their loved ones will continue on in peace. you guys are disrespectful of the dead and the living! before you are quick to reply this, we were living in shaw road(jalan hang tuah). i lost my elder brother coz he was at the wrong place at the wrong time (he was 20) and my neighbour’s (malay) younger sister was raped that day. she killed herself 2 months later. She was 15. goodbye.

  152. wits0 says:

    NCH: “you guys are disrespectful of the dead ..”

    On the contrary, we wish to do justice to them by seeking for the truth as to who orchestrated the whole horror. Why are you afraid of others talking about it? Because you believe differently and conclude differently? Are these enough reason to suggests “disrespect” on our part?

  153. dodgy inc says:

    On the May 12, 1963, my uncle received a call from Harun Idris telling him not to get out of his house on the May 13,1969.

    Incidentally, at that time, my uncle wasn’t even in KL or in the vicinity of Selangor state when the killing sprees were about to commence.
    One must ask himself how does Harun Idris know beforehand what will happen to the entire nation the May 13,1969 if he is not planning something?

    It has never being the intention of the Gang of 4
    (Razak,Harun,Ghazali,Mahathir) to kill so many Chinese until the turn of events when the KL chineses’ gangsters retaliated with full force.

  154. hutchrun says:

    So what if NCH is Chinese. In the 2nd World War there were chinese Jap collaborators too. More recently Lim Keng yaik admitted that he was a beggar with other MCA beggars in the BN Govt. That could only come about after the `69 situation. And his own brother`s he vrevels in his `disrespect` of in denying Razak`s involvement.
    I have it on high authority that Razak, inter alia, was involved. If NCH can lie on that, then the rest is a lie too.

  155. hutchrun says:

    Marina Yusuff, Raja Petra and many other Malays have pointed fingers at UMNO for the problems. And this NCH wants us to believe otherwise. Possibly he`s an UMNO interloper here.

  156. bamboo river says:

    If we people are to show disrespect to the dead. Then we will not have All Souls Day, Cheng Beng and ANZAC will not have annual sojourn to Malaysia to remember their dead comrades during WW2.

    Common lah NCH, tell me does your heart really have no whatsoever memories of your passed loved ones?
    Does your heart not one bit felt that your loved ones died in vain on that tragic day?

    We are here to share experiences and support those whom had lost their loved ones . NOT to create ILL FEELINGS or REVENGE to our Malaysian brothers and sisters.
    If we can as Witso mentioned earlier, we would want to have accountability and justice (which I think will NOT happen).
    Just becos we lost our loved ones and some had harrowing experiences, by talking and speaking up will definitely relieve the pain and suffering hold up inside them.
    We do not blame our malay brothers and sisters, we want everyone to understand and make this as a lesson for our future generations to learn and respect each other.

    Have a heart for those who had commented here same as we share your pain losing your loved ones who had died on May 13 1969.

  157. hutchrun says:

    He doesn`t seem to have any pain, so how can I empathize with him.

  158. dodgy inc says:

    NCH, Malays need to know the truth; Chinese need to know the truth; Indian need to know the truth. Why can’t we continue working together to seek the truth?

    NCH, you must have something to hide. If not, speak out.

  159. NCH says:

    it’s okay hutchrun. no need to empathise. you do not know the feeling of losing a sibling prematurely. i have no problems of remembering or honoring the dead. but some of the comments above were disrespectful and crude to say the least. hence, my previous comments. thank you.

  160. hutchrun says:

    “you do not know the feeling of losing a sibling prematurely” – NCH

    There you go again simply shooting off. How would you know about me?

  161. Hitam Had says:

    Why no comments on the 2007 sports personality award given on 13/5/08.


  162. kai says:

    Hi NCH

    First of all, I am sorry to learn of your unfortunately experience. No one wants to talk about their past especially when it involved a loved one. I am also sorry to learn about that Malay girl living next door too.

    Why are we opening up old wounds? Should we keep quite and just forget about it? My simple answer to you is NO! Why no?

    First of all, we must educate the current generations what kind of tragedy those KL-ians had gone through during and after 513. If we do not talk about it then there is a possibility that history may (god forbids) one day repeat itself again;

    Secondary, by keeping it quite which means that we are also letting those murderers who maybe still alive unpunished. Unfortunately, we can’t do much about it now nor the Government has any intention to undo the wrong!

    You said and I quote “i just couldn’t believe the notion that razak was capable of ordering thousands of ppl to be massacred just in the name of gaining power”

    Hmmmmm, you have a lot to learn in politics. Remember Nazi Germany? What did Hitler do before he invaded Poland? Did the Polish army attacked first?

  163. EddieTheHead says:

    Are we desecrating the dead when we talk about how they died? I agree thats its infinitely better to talk about how they lived rather than how they met their demise. But we also must realise that we live today because of the knowledge we gain knowing how humans die!

    If we did not “desecrate” those bodies and questioned the death of so many millions before us, we wouldn’t live past 40! A full 40 to 50 percent writing in this blog wouldn’t have made it past 12 months of life!

    So there is absolutely nothing wrong questioning the death and the manner of death of people. If even in their life they were deaf and dumb, in death they transform into our teachers. They tells how not to live our lives (don’t smoke, don’t eat too much ice cream, cut down on meat, don’t drink tap water, etc. etc.)

    Its clear to me, those who died on that fateful day, would have wanted us to find out how they died, and who was responsible. In fact, I can hear their screams…

  164. su says:

    I’m sure it must have hurt for some of the commentors here to remember what they’ve been through, especially if they lost someone.

    But the truth is what is going to set us free from the May 13 shackles. All of us deserve to know the truth of what had truly happened, if not for us to move on, then for giving due respect to those who died during the incident.

    Wounds in bandages never truly heal.

  165. Chan Sow Lin says:

    Hey Toughmama

    Its a small world ( nostalgic)

    I used to Live near the noodle factory, I believe they built flats nearby.
    Took the train every day to Sultan Street and walked to VI ( I was in form four then)

    May 13 was a bad chapter in the nation’s hustory, history will repeat itself if you dont resolve the root causes head on.

  166. wits0 says:

    NCH, May 13 is an traumatic affair for many even if they didn’t lose anyone from their family. There are indelible imprints in our mind. One on mine on May 15 is that of Chinese girl prone and on head traction in the CCU(Cardiac Care Unit) because the orthopaedic ward was swamped. She had a bullet in her head. Probably an indoor victim of a ricochetted bullet from the “security forces”. A direct shot would have blown apart one’s head.

    The whole hospital stank to heavenward from the mortuary on that 3rd day and it took nearly a forthnight for that stench to completely clear. There must be insistence for accountability in order to exorcise the dead and atonement by truth.

  167. rajan says:

    I did not witness the “great wall”fire , i heard it from a sentul police officer who is,now gone to be with the lord. He stayed at the shop house next to la salle school and used to have his regular pint at the “Anor coffee shop next to mido cinema . He told us that most of the officers were trying to stop the clashes but were ordered back to the station.He also was very depressed to see so many bodies.The bodies were taken to sungai buloh hospital and sprayed with TAR and buried in mass graves by occupants of the hospital.DISFIGURED ,gory and brutal slaying of so many to satisfy the needs of so few.
    I really will never want this to happen again.One just cant sleep after seeing the mutlilated bodies, worst of ones who are gasping for air and crying out for help. I can still visualise the first few bodies i saw .
    Hate to even remember it and get so damn angry even thinking about it.
    I rather KILL the one who talks of starting another may 13 than see the results of one. Some Bastards never learn, and these are the bastards who did not witness the happenings. For them its like what you see in a movie all made up. THE SCREAMS are VERY REAL, the PAIN VERY REAL, SLOW DEATH is VERY REAL,BLEED TO DEATH is VERY REAL,LIMBS DANGLING ABOUT IS VERY REAL.
    Whoever talks about starting another may13 should be given a sample. GET ONE OF THEIR OWN, do the slashing and then VOTE .
    VERY VERY BRUTAL man its a CURSE to even witness it.
    I get really get very angry talking about it.
    Sorry !

  168. NCH says:

    “He doesn`t seem to have any pain, so how can I empathize with him” – Hutchrun

    There you go again simply shooting off. How would you know about me?

  169. ironic_law says:

    Hi NCH,

    Closed the chapter then the GHOST will be EXORCISED ehh.. Sorry for your DARK experience but you had done a terrible wrong about the CLOSING of May 13.

    Nobody like to mention about BAD EXPERIENCE of their lives but it was HISTORY and our FUTURE GENERATION had to know the TRUTH, they had the RIGHT to do so and it was our job as parents to tell them about the TRUTH. Else I also would know that it was May 13 that Tunku had to resign from his post. I may not considers him as “my” BAPA MALAYSIA but I do acknowledge him as the person who led our country to MERDEKA and he is our 1st prime minister and before everything starts to settle peacefully as BANGSA MALAYSIA, Tun Abdul Razak, masterminded such an evil scheme to dethroned Tunku at whose expense then? None other than the innocent live of us the RAKYAT..

    So it was SEJARAH, it was our country HISTORY and why can’t we publicly TALK about it.. NCH, on that very day it was not solely you were the only person SUFFERS le, others too suffer but should we as the younger generations of 1969 descendants continue to LOCK ourselves with this TABOO then?? And continue letting those BN goons plunders with our RAKYAT coffers with NEP and oppressing our RIGHTs with ISA? For GOD sake it has been 39 years, for 39 YEAR we had been FORSAKEN by those BN goons, so do you still wanna continue to be FORSAKEN? Even better why not invite your offsprings to FORSAKEN along with you then?

  170. bamboo river says:

    Dear Rajan, your accounts about the burial of the dead bodies confirmed my story on the mass grave in Sungai Buloh hospital. The mass grave is about the size of a badminton court.

    ironic_law, you are right about our future generations should learn and understand the black episode of
    May 13 1969.
    Unfortunately, there will be no way the tragic day be told openly or documented just like the movie “Hotel Rwanda”
    Watching that movie made me wonder if we Malaysians are united in one voice to prevent this from ever happen again.
    Innocents are killed and maimed .
    May God bless those who perished no matter which race/ethnic they are.

  171. Lallang exile says:


    The 513 incident was declassified in London recently. please read them if you could get hold of a copy.

    Like the Nanjing Massacre where thousands were slayed on order of the Japanese army, the 513 incident cannot be put under wraps any more.

    Like many commentators pointed out, the dead are also entitled to their rights. In this case, a discussioin of how they were killed brings justice to those who died.

    Indeed, thousands died (all races) because the Razak/Harun gang wanted to seize power from the Tunku. It was a coup de tat that made use of the ordinary rakyat’s blood.

    AND, the road into a divisive, disastrous journey for the next forty years for Malaysia was embarked upon after 513 as we all know.

    The ingredients of Operation Lallang – the keris brandishing, the seditious statements spewed by Umnoputras, the circulation of a hate letter, etc – were used to invoke 513, instilling fear into people who spoke up.

    NCH, please read up more and try to understand the implications as well besides emotional empathy with the dead.

  172. Lallang exile says:

    On this vein, I would like to add that after the recent poll victory by the opposition, Mahathir and Mukhriz – via their supporters like Rocky – had urged people to march to the Palace in KL. You could look up Rocky’s blog.

    It was fortunate that no such march took place in the end. God did not allow M to make use of the rakyat once more for his own agenda.

  173. PHUA KL says:

    Thank you all for sharing your stories.
    It must have been difficult to do so.
    Some of the stories were very moving indeed.

    I was a primary school student in Kuantan then.
    Glad to say that the town was peacful (as far as I know).

  174. Penang says:

    NCH may be one of those who participated in the massacre, back in 13th, May, 1969.

    Only God knows.

  175. dodgy inc says:

    I just asked a business acquaintance of mine today, an old man in his late 60 who lives all his entire life in KL. Where were him on the May 13, 1969?

    He remained in KL and totally unaffected. He received warning from Malay’s friend days prior to May 13 and was reminded not to ask any question.

    MALAYS, CHINESE and INDIAN are not the enemies. It was Politicians the Enemy of the States:

    Razak, Harun, Razali and Mahathir are the Evil Gang of 4.

  176. BobSam says:

    Given that I was too young at that time, I looked for close family friends who were alive at that time. One elderly Chinese gentleman who was part of the Home Guards before that told me that in Kajang, opposite the Kajang High School, there were a bunch of young men sharpening parangs, and other swords on 512. When he asked them what they were doin, they mentioned Datuk Harun, the boss wanted them to come to his home on 513. They went in 4 cars. Two weeks later, they returned in army trucks (with the RMR insignia on them).
    TDM watered down a law we had, where no military truck (armed) can go thru’ the city center.

    It is the duty of every Malaysian, to ensure that this horrow never repeats.

  177. BobSam says:

    In addition, on 514, 2 busloads of young men with red bands around their foreheads were stopped by the Kajang Police. The OCPD at that time, a Magnus, had the busses turned around. This Chinese Gentlemen that I had mentioned earlier, being a member of the Home Guards, told the people in the bus, that if they tried to come back thru the town, the busses wil be driven to Sg.Chua, a predominantly Chinese new town and left there for those who llive there to deal with them. The 2 busloads turned around and went straight back to Johor, where they had originated.

  178. ktteokt says:

    BN always believed in the “What you don’t see can’t hurt you” concept!

  179. hutchrun says:

    `The OCPD at that time, a Magnus,…` – BobSam

    It was Magness who later died in a car accident. His brother Michael was well known in the music industry, also another bro Joseph (Joey) in the Air Force.
    Father was a headmaster in Klang.

  180. wits0 says:

    Actually, the BN is fully perverted and afraid of the truth.

  181. You should be a crackpot to ask such a silly unwanted question

  182. dodgy inc says:

    Safe Malaysia says :”You should be a crackpot to ask such a silly unwanted question”

    Then “Safe Malaysia” is more stupid to read and post an entry here.

  183. wits0 says:

    Dodgy Inc: “..It was Politicians the Enemy of the States:

    Razak, Harun, Razali and Mahathir are the Evil Gang of 4.”

    The peoples’ sin and error was in continuously rewarding them with unbridled power since then. The people seems to be awakening and the process is quickening. Hard times are sobering.

  184. kai says:

    Safe Malaysia Says:
    May 16, 2008 at 10:11 pm
    You should be a crackpot to ask such a silly unwanted question

    Hey, Safe Malaysia (sure is not ‘Sad Malaysia?)

    Have you got something to hide? Want to share with us?

  185. bamboo river says:

    Crackpots with their insanities INTACT. Better then broken pots.
    That is the problem with some Malaysians, can critisize the foreign countries. But failed to see the problems we are having right in front of our doorstep.

    Cannot accept the truth ahhh?
    “May The Truth Save Us All”

  186. kai says:

    For those who were opposing to the posting of this topic.

    Let me tell you what I saw on telly yesterday.

    A program called The Tank Man was shown on telly yesterday. If you remember June 3, 1989 where thousands of Chinese students and civilians were massacred in China by the army? I am sure you do, after all I understand many dinosaur are here.

    The program was basically to find out what happen to the Tank Man (the man single handed stand in front of those 4 tanks asking them to turn back and stop killing their own people). Who was that Tank Man? Was he still alive or was he caught and executed? In the program, they also interviewed some Beijing Uni students who are around 18-20 years old. Photo of the Tank Man standing in front of the tanks were show to them. They were all asked what do they see. None of them can identify the incident nor can they explain what was it all about. One student thinks that the picture was merely a piece of photographic art. How sad!

    Censorship on internet in China with the help of Yahoo and Google are so effective that the generation after 63 are hardly known to them. At least in Malaysia our stupid BN politicians very now and then reminded us of the past horror experience by way of threat and fear.

    To those who are still opposing to this 13/05/1069, is this what you want? Pretending 513 didn’t happen and we all live happily after. Learn from the past so that such cruel event will never to be happened in the future.

    I will NEVER forget 513 as long as I live even I was not affected.

  187. goldfinger says:

    Is 513 about political power and money? Did the 2nd in command wanted to take over but lack support? other than his 3 faithful buddies? Do they have to stage a show just to dissolve Parliament, create NEP, create ISA, OSA? So whats in it for these 4 people? R, M, G, M benefited? All died except one, M. Or did they all really died? Remember they have children. Is 513 a planned event that is played out until today? Was M becoming No.1 an elected game? or was he destined to get it after supporting R? So how? Was R’s brother in law-H brought in to temporary sit there so that it could be passed to M later? Did R ordered that M take care of of his children when he comes to power? Or did H also ordered M to take care of his children (the youth head now [H2])? Is B our no.1 now also just a temporary position holder? making way for R’s son- N? And thereafter pass over to H’s son H2? Why is there a switch of portfolios between B and N? Why that post for N? Who is N’s brother? N2.What does N2 do? Who controls the printing of currency? BNM? Who runs BNM? Is she related to them? What can the trio do? Can tax kill us? Think deep! Think real deep! Who will suffer? When the economy suffers, EVERYONE will suffer! Unfortunately everyone want a piece of the pie. WAKE UP! Vote wisely.

  188. orang kampung says:

    In 1969 there is no NEP and according to NOC report 70% of Div 1 officers were Non Malays.Frankly, I dont understand that the Non Malays then despite were given citizenship in 1957 were questioning the special rights of the Malays as enshrined in the constitution.

    The riots were started by the Chinese. After wininng additional seats,a procession held by Gerakan and DAP insulted the Malays and these uncalled insults made the Malays very angry. The following counter procession held by the angry Malays resulted with the riots.. .

    To know more about this; Please visit http://www.jebatmustdie.com. The author debunked Dr Kua’s book on the same subject.

  189. wits0 says:

    JMD’s attempt at spinning it is quite obvious. Yuck!

    See the readers comments at MT.

  190. The consumers about, Divine Love a?Of both This, ?schedules? wherein the.Oven will do, for real people.Online shop for Hotel Apartment Kuala Lumpur, the objects nose you receiving your.Measures will be, annual property tax.,

  191. Charlie says:

    All I remember was I was watching High Chaparell a Cowboy movie at that time when my brother came in and said “Nobody goes out, we have Curfew” then he turned to my mum and asked her whether everyone was home and said to call everyone back home” That was the first day I learnt that word CURFEW.

  192. Charlie says:

    We lived along the Klang Port Klang main road which was very busy. I remember it was so quiet and when we heard a vehicle we all ran to the window to see what was happening. I saw an army truck pull in front of the main road. I saw the side of the truck with legs of people sticking out.
    We heard a motorbike slowing down and heard shouts. I saw 4 police get off a jeep and point rifles at the biker. Then he slowly took out a piece of paper and showed it to one of the policemen. They then let him go.
    Thank God, I thought we were about to see a killing right before our eyes.

  193. PETER CHIN says:

    THANK YOU FOR STARTING THIS AMAZING BLOG ON THE MAY 13 1969 INCIDENT. Like many of you, I WAS THERE!! I was a teenager, looking at dead bodies floating by Klang River!!! More than 30 years later, I am now in the process of writing a book on the INNER MAY 13 LESSONS, a Malaysian publisher has already expressed serious interest. It s has been a powerful metaphor for my whole life, and I have recently come to terms with it. I am released. The duality the event created for my life has been resolved finally. I am presently a successful author, teacher, director and founder of my own School of Tai Chi Chi Kung in Devon, UK. I have written two books on this subject that I love, Tai Chi Chi Kung and the Tai Chi Form Story, check it out in Amazon under my name Peter Chin Kean Choy. You are welcome to send me the lessons you learnt from the May 13 event and how it changed your life, any of your stories written in my book will have your name or if you prefer, without reference to your name. You are welcome to write to me directly at Peterchin2@btinternet.com

  194. walter quinn ho says:

    I was just a little boy when this riot happened. I didn’t know what was exactly happening at that time. But all i could remember that when i just became a 10 years old boy after my birthday,my mum started to tell me what excaltly happened back then. Hence, from that time on , i learnt it was known as the incident of May 13th 1969. Sometimes, me and my brothers and sisters heard the stories about it from my parents friends who were there
    when the riot broke out. The stories told by them made us scared . My father always say that he too, had a narrow escape from it. This is because he had been working in Kuala
    Lumpur for many years, and he saw Kuala Lumpur as his home. After married my mother, he decided to go looking for a house in Kuala Lumpur. But then his boss wanted to transfer him to Seremban. And my father was reluctantly to move there, knowing that he was going to miss Kuala Lumpur so baldly. It was the end of the year of 1967, nearly
    1 and half year before the riot broke out.

  195. walterquinnho says:

    Has anyone got the photographs of the clash of this riot? If so, please show them on the net. I am looking forward to that, thank you very much.

  196. walterquinnho says:

    It is said that some good Malay who lived in the villages of Kampong Bahru and Kampung Datuk Keramat, went to the nearby Chinese shops area on 11th and 12th of May, to disclose the plot of the planned ahead riot to the Chinese. Sadly, the Chinese didn’t believe them, but sneering at them by calling the news as crazy rubbish.

  197. Victor Lee says:

    Hi, I am Victor Lee, close friend of Walter-Quinn’s parents. I am glad to find this blog
    which I think is very useful, and thank you for that, Susan. Also I would like to thank
    Walter-Quinn for telling me about this blog as well as kindly letting me use his internet
    account to write my comment on this subject. I myself is one of the survivals in this
    May 13 incident. I still got this vivid memory whenever I look back, and recall. It’s a kind of big,mass riot full of bloodshed, furious violence and hatred( between Malay and Chinese, in particular). And I always see it too as a genocide. It took me a long time to get myself able to put this memory of this tragedy aside, and feel OK and safe to talk
    to the Malay.


  198. walterquinnho says:

    Of what I read 1, or 2 of those responded comments by the others. It’s saying something about Lim Kit Siang and Lee Kuang Yew were the one who are responsible for causing
    the riot on 13th May 1969. It is exactly a terrible wrongly accuse. I have read some books
    about these 2 politicians of where were them and what were they doing individually before and after the May13. According to one of the books about Lee Kuan Yew who
    was the Singapore prime minister back then, he was paying a visit to US and by chance
    he and some of his cabinet chose to stay there for a short while because the Yalu
    University invited him to visit them. This was about 2,or 3 weeks long before the May13.
    And about Lim Kit Siang, he wasn’t the general secretary of DAP yet in that year but an infamous writer and editor in a DAP newspapers, was joining with the other DAP members in the streets of Malacca City(Melaka) to say thank you to the crowds for voting them. 2 days before the May 13 incident. And Lim himself told the media there that he and the other DAP members never thought they can win enormously in the general
    election. On 13th May 1969, he and the other DAP members flew to Sabah to set up the
    DAP branches there. They received the news about the big riot broke out in KL nearly
    half an hour later or so when they were still in Sabah. So please don’t jump on the conclusion so quick before you can proof it.

  199. David Wong says:

    You are lucky,Walter that you were not at K.L.on that day.And you
    are to thank your dad for he made a right decision in the last minute
    to move from that place to Seremban.Otherwise you would have been a
    goner by now,for there were a lot of children get killed in that
    bloody riot.

  200. walter quinn ho says:

    I myself believe that it is a kind of planed ahead plot that
    happened on 13th May 1969.This was because there were some people
    who were there saw those Malay mobs who carried out the killing
    seemed acting with plan.

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