MAY 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969

Gloriously ripped from Kinibooks (from

This is the first credible account of the May 13, 1969 racial riots in Malaysia, using documents recently declassified at the Public Records Office, London, after the lapse of the 30-year secrecy rule.

These documents provide the only available confidential observations and memoranda by British and other foreign embassy operatives based on their intelligence and contacts with local officials and politicians. They include dispatches by correspondents which were then banned in Malaysia.

A social scientist, Kua Kia Soong provides a fresh political analysis of this “May 13 incident”. In his view, the riots were by no means a spontaneous outburst of violence between Malays and Chinese but rather a planned coup d’etat by the ascendant state capitalist class against the Tunku-led aristocracy. He discusses the contradictions of the post-Independencec Alliance racial formula and traces the rise of this new Malay capitalist class which has ruled Malaysia since 1969.

These documents clearly show who were responsible for the violence and pose the question why the security forces allowed the violence to go on. With this publication, it is hoped that the frequently raised “spectre of May 13” by the Barisan Nasional government will be forever put to rest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Kua Kia Soong is a director and founding member of human rights organisation, Suaram. He was a Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya (1990-95), a former political detainee during Operasi Lalang (1987-89) and former lecturer at the National University of Singapore (1978-79).

I read it already. It is a GOOD read. Mind you… the ONLY problem is that it READS like a thesis. Which in fact, it is. Kinda. But it does provide solid evidences for the reader to be assured of the validity of its assertions. I do not have any problems with the fact that the whole document relies heavily on the observations of the British correspondence. In fact, it would be a case of “many perspectives lending more weight to the argument”. So there. Go read it already. Have ordered 6 since! 🙂

It gives a very good background to the vague and inaccurate ‘facts’ taught to us in our secondary education. Surprisingly, this would help explain much of the current predicament that we Malaysians are facing. I won’t go into it. I hate going deep into political speculation, although it is mandatory for us to take sides, in the end.

Just read it (my second plea). Yea… creative people would read this 🙂 Wonder how many of my students are reading my blog and lurking (chickens!)… hahahahah… give a shout out in the comment box already. 🙂


15 thoughts on “MAY 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969

  1. I’m not surprised to read that the May 13 may be a planned event in order to create a propaganda for certain party. It has already been that way up to this very day. There’s a conspiracy theory saying that the government is ‘dumbing down’ Malaysians, especially the poor people in order to control them.

    1. Newspaper and TV, the only two sources of information for less-advanced people are fully controlled by the government. That means it is always all-praise and no-criticism of the government. I have came across many scandal exposing articles which only appear on internet blogs but never once appear on our newspaper or TV before.

    2. For those who follow the political environment in Malaysia closely, deep down, we know that NEP is a failure. It does very little to help the poor Bumiputeras but rather, it only serves to enrich the cronies and whoever who has relations. Basically, the rich is getting richer. However, politicians manage to spin the thingy (with the controlled media adding the weight) by persuading Malaysians that the NEP is for the people. Of course, it will always sound convincing to people who have little grasp of the real truth.

    3. Internet is the only channel for transparency, because it is where the government has traditionally no control over it.
    However, as we know, the broadband penetration in Malaysia have been going very slowly. Many areas in Malaysia, including in some part of Klang Valley, do not have broadband coverage yet. Also, today we are still stuck with 1MBps connection, which is the best we could find since 3-4 years ago, where as in Singapore, 25MBps is already available (residential). I wonder … just wondering, whether is this one of the government’s plot (to keep Malaysian dumb) or is this just sheer laziness/’unambitiousness’ of the Telekom people.

    4. Despite all the feedbacks, Malaysian education system have never improved and is still adopting the same system 50 years ago. Most people think that the kwailo are intellectually more superior than the Malaysians, but i never agree. I think one of the major factor is due to kwailos being trained and encouraged to question and to be curious in their education system. Where as in Malaysia, we are expected to accept everything right in front of our face. That’s why it is never easy to find creative talents in Malaysia. All the creative juices are being flushed down to the drain in the schooling days. Bravo.

    5. I read an article in Jeffooi’s blog few weeks on DAP’s Tony Pua questioning the government policy of hiring employees (for public sector). There are 1.1 million civil servant right now, which i can safely assume, more than 80% of them are bumiputeras. And as we know, every time when it is near the general election, the government will create some effort to please these people. Just like recently, the government has increased their wage by up to 35%, no? Let’s look at ‘zy’s model’ below.

    Government hire high-quantity, low-quality graduates and never improve them -> ‘park’ them in office -> when near election, make them happy (pay raise) -> civil servant vote for Barisan Nasional -> the cycle continues every 5 years.

    So looking in one way, it is some sort of a ‘legal’ way to ‘buy’ election votes for the government.
    And this model will be the spiral of success for Barisan Nasional (more towards UMNO actually) but it will be the spiral of failure for Malaysia in long term.

    I hope the OSA won’t come after you for my comments. haha.

    • what a load of rubbish. the goverment has no control over the internet? you must be smoking some really heavy stuff. the internet is extremely tightly controlled from the top down to the very bottom. i just posted some information on wikipedia a few minutes ago, and within a minute an establishment trolls deleted what i had written. all of the major websites are controlled by the american oligarchy, wordpress, blogspot, and facebook. if they find something they dont like, it will be gone very quickly.

  2. BTW, i noticed that your blog stats hits have gone up from 800+ to 1200 in few days. Where did you advertise your blog? 😛

  3. Yes… I hope ISA doesn’t come after me too But no worries girl, I’ll scan through your comment to make it “OSA-free” (when I have the time… I’m current still at work ).
    And yes… it is not a few days… it’s just today… hahaha… courtesy of Malaysiakini.

  4. ehem…who on earth in your list of suspicion would have articulate and well-formed writings?

    you now la huh which list of suspicion i’m refering to…(ehem, the one you told me, adrian and HS in L1-6 last week).

    erm…don’t think so la, sir….

  5. Then who wor? Actually, I have limited it to potentially 3 persons. I’m pretty sure it’s from the ethics class. If not, there is two more. But I believe it is in the CMI class. 🙂

  6. Um, how to prove you wrong … so far, i have not met any Malaysian ladies who have a vast knowledge on creation v evolution. So … it is definitely not a girl’s area of interest. 😀

    My primary area of interests are always philosophy, science and intellectual stuffs. Therefore, naturally i’m quite sharp in these areas. So, if you are trying to ‘find & catch’ me by referring to all the business assignments (marketing, management) then i think it will be difficult – because i always write a typical B or C rated thesis/assignment. (seriously, i don’t know what it takes to score an A for business ) And you have only taught me once … 5 semesters ago in MPO class. 🙂

  7. Ah… then it is you. Guess you threw me off the loop by the ‘being in my class’ thing. Like I said, would be down to two persons that is out of the class. I think you’re the one who is posting on the webspace forums also.

    Actually, you’re quite wrong on the creation vs. evolution being a guy thing. JY is a girl and she’s quite into it too. 🙂

  8. I hope the “JY” is not referring to me…
    If it is, then I have to say… only on creation, not evolution or any other than creation:p

    I have no interest on things that are not true, despite how great the theory may be. Why…?/ And why not? When Truth is right in front of your eyes.

    Choose for yourselves ~

    p/s: Oops, I hope I won’t get stoned for this :p

  9. hi there! where did you order the book? i’d like to order it as well. i read somewhere that it has been banned by government, so i’m not sure where could i find it. please advise. thanks

  10. Aida: Hi there! It is NOT banned by the government. In fact you can just go to any mainstream bookstore and get it for RM20 (standard price). However, if you wish to order it online, the best places are either or MPH Online or (you may check it) Kinokuniya. The first one is the best in my opinion. 🙂

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