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May 13th 1969 Revisited

My Dad relocated my mother and me to Petaling Jaya as he had been recently transfered there in the Civil Service. I was just a little over 1 year old. My other family members had flown down to Petaling Jaya to celebrate my 1st birthday. My motor skills were still quite basic and had simple comprehension of the world around me.

Nope, this is not a story of May 13th Riots Revisited in Petaling Jaya, but a vivid perspective from a toddler who somehow could comprehend fear. It has been ingrained into my memory the times of curfew, not of the sights, but of the sounds. The sounds of knives being sharpened on steel pipes as a defensive act of homes who were targets of racial and social hatred. For those who have not live through such time, it is beyond description. For those who deny these incidents, they know not what they condone.

Imagine, a little toddler of a little over a year remembering the sounds of civil unrest. Until such time when Malaysia can come to peace honestly with such events, Malaysia will still be just another footnote in the history of civilizations.

Wonder why I can’t find any pictures of the incident in Malaysia? I’ll leave that to you to decide.

11847068However, what happened in Singapore within those days were well documented. The 1969 race riots of Singapore were the only riots encountered in post-independence Singapore as a result of the spillover of the May 13 Incident in Malaysia.

The seven days of communal riots resulted in the final toll of 4 dead and 80 wounded in Singapore. The precursor of the 1969 race riots can be traced to the May 13 Incident in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya in Malaysia. It was triggered by the results of the General Election, that were marked by Sino-Malay riots unprecedented in Malaysian history. (Picture inset is that of riot police in Singapore during those trying times)

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