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THE REAL STORY OF MAY 13
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Born in Surrey, England, 27th September 1950, Raja Petra was educated at the Alice Smith School.
At the age of 13 he went to further his studies at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar, completing his
education at the Victoria Institution. Raja Petra Kamarudin used to own a motorcycle dealership
and rice distributor. He has been fascinated with motorcycles since he was young.
On April 14, 1973, at the age of 23 years old, he married Marina Lee binti Abdullah who was then
18 years old. Marina Lee Abdullah, of Siamese-Chinese extraction, is a book publisher. Raja Petra
and Marina have five children (Raja Suraya 1974, Raja Azman 1977, Raja Shahril 1978, Raja
Azmir 1983 and Raja Sara 1988) and two grandchildren.
Raja Petra is a member of the Selangor royal family. He is the nephew of the late Sultan Salahuddin
Abdul Aziz Shah, the eleventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia and the seventh Sultan
of Selangor. His mother, Che' Bariya Kamarudin (née Barbara Mabel Parnell) is Welsh.
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RPK detained by ISA.
Justifications on the use of ISA.
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THE REAL STORY OF MAY 13 (PART 1)
They say those who forget history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. In light of the
recent sabre-rattling by those in Umno and the warning by the Armed Forces Chief,
Malaysia Today feels compelled to republish an old article by Raja Petra
Kamarudin that was published in Harakah on 24 September 1999.
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NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
This is Part One of an article I wrote almost nine years ago, which was published in
Harakah, the official media organ of the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS). History is
not something that should remain buried. History is something that should be a lesson
to all or us so that we do not repeat the mistakes made by those before us.
In 1968, Umno fanned racial sentiments in a bid to 'unite' the
Malays under its banner. Umno realised that the Malays were
abandoning it in droves and it needed an issue to reunite the
Malays. Further to that, the Prime Minister was being blamed
for what Umno perceived as a loss of Malay support and the
Young Turks in Umno wanted to also use this issue to
pressure the Prime Minister into resigning.
Twenty years later, in 1988, Umno again went into turmoil with the emergence of
Team A and Team B, which eventually split into Umno Baru and Semangat 46. Again,
just like twenty years before that, the Malays had become disillusioned with the
Umno leadership and there was a danger that Umno would suffer the same fate it did
in 1969 if the general election was called.
The Umno leadership very cleverly got the Umno Youth
and MCA Youth leaders to raise racial issues and bring the
country to the brink of another ‘May 13’. This was when
that infamous gathering at the TPCA padang in Kampong
Baru was held and when Najib Tun Razak, the Umno
Youth Leader, raised the keris and threatened to bathe it in
Of course, this second ‘May 13’ never happened. What did
happen instead was that Operasi Lalang was launched and
more than 100 opposition leaders and activists were detained under the Internal
Security Act. Najib and the MCA Youth Leader, Lee Kim Sai, however, were spared
detention, although they were the two main players in the whole episode.
The ploy did not quite succeed though. In the 1990 general election, half the Malays
swung to the opposition and Umno lost most of the Malay heartland to Semangat 46
Twenty years on and history is, again, being repeated. It appears like every twenty
years Umno takes the country to the brink of a race riot in its effort to 'unite' the
Malays and to ensure that it does not lose Malay support. And the 8 March 2008
general election, as well as the recent Permatang Pauh by-election, is proof that Umno
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has lost Malay support.
“The current situation is a repeat of 1969,” said Umno in its brainstorming session
held at the Umno headquarters to conduct a post-mortem of the election results.
“Therefore, a 1969 ‘solution’ will also be required.”
This is very dangerous talk indeed. And Umno has been doing nothing but talking
dangerously since March 2008, as evident in the recent episode in Penang. Maybe the
culprit has since been punished. Yesterday, Umno’s Supreme Council decided to
suspend Ahmad Ismail for a period of three years. But the damage has already been
done and the suspension can’t turn back the clock. Racial sentiments have already
been fanned and Malaysia, again, is being pushed to the brink of a race riot.
Malays, Chinese and Indians need to know how May 13 started. They must be made
aware of what May 13 was really all about. They must be made to realise that the
current sabre-rattling is nothing but the same ploy that Umno used back in 1968 and
1988 whenever it felt that it was losing Malay support. May 13 was not about race
although it is being touted as so. May 13 was about ‘reuniting’ the Malays and about
ousting the Prime Minister from office.
To forget history would be to repeat its mistakes. Let us not be taken in by Umno’s
shadow-play (wayang kulit). They know they are rapidly losing power and they want
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to retain power through foul means by raising the spectre of May 13. Malaysians need
to be matured and clever enough to reject this ploy. Umno can try, but whether it can
succeed will all depend on whether we get suckered into this very dangerous race
Let me take you down memory lane and recap what I wrote nine years ago so that we
may learn from this dark history and not repeat what went wrong. As follows is what I
wrote in Harakah on 24 September 1999.
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A REPORTER’S ACCOUNT OF AN INTERVIEW WITH TUNKU ABDUL
RAHMAN ON THE 13 MAY INCIDENT
The following statement is a factual account of the above-mentioned event given to
me by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman (first Prime
Minister of Malaysia) during an interview at his
residence in Penang in 1972. I requested to discuss the
above incident and was surprised when the appointment
was given within three days.
His Secretary, a Chinese gentleman, allotted me one
hour and advised me not to go into too much detail as
this would tire the Tunku unnecessarily. In fact, the
interview lasted three and a half hours. Because of the
very surprising details provided to me, I think it would
be best to report in a first-hand manner based on my
notes written immediately after the interview.
“It was clear to me as well as the police that in the highly charged political
atmosphere after the police were forced to kill a Chinese political party worker on
May 4th, 1969, something was bound to happen to threaten law and order because of
the resentment towards the Government by the KL Chinese on the eve of the general
election. This was confirmed at this man’s funeral on the 9th May when the
government faced the most hostile crowd it had ever seen.
Therefore, when the opposition parties applied for a police permit for a procession to
celebrate their success in the results of the general election, I was adamant against it
because the police were convinced that this would lead to trouble. I informed Tun
Razak about this and he seemed to agree.
Now, without my knowledge and actually “behind my back”, there were certain
political leaders in high positions who were working to force me to step down as a
PM. I don’t want to go into details but if they had come to me and said so I would
gladly have retired gracefully.
Unfortunately, they were apparently scheming and trying to decide on the best way to
force me to resign. The occasion came when the question of the police permit was to
Tun Razak and Harun Idris, the MB of the state of Selangor, now felt that permission
should be given, knowing fully well that there was a likelihood of trouble. I suppose
they felt that when this happened they could then demand my resignation.
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To this day I find it very hard to believe that Razak, whom I had known for so many
years, would agree to work against me in this way. Actually he was in my house, as I
was preparing to return to Kedah, and I overhead him speaking to Harun over the
phone saying that he would be willing to approve the permit when I left. I really could
not believe what I was hearing and preferred to think it was about some other
permit. In any case, as the Deputy Prime Minister, in my absence from KL, he would
be the Acting PM and would override my objection.
Accordingly, when I was in my home in Kedah, I heard over the radio that the permit
had been approved.
It seems as though the expected trouble was anticipated and planned for by Harun
and his UMNO Youth. After the humiliating insults hurled by
the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, and after the seeming
loss of Malay political power to them, they were clearly ready
for some retaliatory action.
After meeting in large numbers at Harun’s official residence in
Jalan Raja Muda near Kampong Bahru, and hearing
inflammatory speeches by Harun and other leaders, they
prepared themselves by tying ribbon strips on their foreheads
and set out to kill Chinese. The first hapless victims were two of them in a van
opposite Harun’s house who were innocently watching the large gathering. Little did
they know that they would be killed on the spot.
The rest is history. I am sorry but I must end this discussion
now because it really pains me as the Father of Merdeka to
have to relive those terrible moments. I have often wondered
why God made me live long enough to have witnessed my
beloved Malays and Chinese citizens killing each other.”
This was a conspiracy at the highest level and nothing short
of a power struggle, with the ‘Young Turks’ then forming
the pressure group. To achieve their ends, they very cleverly
used race to make the Malays rise and push the Tengku aside.
Today, they are doing it again. This is dangerous politics. It may backfire and, instead,
it may make the Malays rise against the non-Malays, like what happened in 1969 -- a
fire raging out of control with no fire extinguisher in sight.
We must never allow our country to be turned into a racial battlefield again. Let
politics be issues concerning policies, civil rights, good governance and justice. Let us
not allow anyone to bring race and religion into our politics lest we suffer the fate of
many countries around us where mass murders of entire families are made in the
name of ‘bangsa’ and ‘agama’.
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THE REAL STORY OF MAY 13 (PART 2)
They say those who forget history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. In light of the
recent sabre-rattling by those in Umno and the warning by the Armed Forces Chief,
Malaysia Today feels compelled to republish an old article by Raja Petra
Kamarudin that was published in Harakah on 24 September 1999.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
UMNO is at it again! They are going round the country saying that keADILan and
PAS have allowed the National Mosque to be used by non-Muslims to attack Muslims.
UMNO politicians and Pusat Islam officials have likened the non-Muslims to
“unclean” people because of their pork-eating and liquor-drinking; so they should not
have been allowed into the mosque.
people have not
noticed the daily
busloads of foreign
tourists visiting the
National Mosque as
part of their itinerary?
Have these foreign
whether they eat pork
or drink liquor before
being allowed into
the mosque? I bet not!
UMNO adopted this very dangerous strategy once, 30 years ago, back in 1969, which
resulted in the infamous May 13 racial riots. Now they are doing it again. It was a
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very narrow-minded and short-sighted strategy then. It still is now -- maybe even
more so now seeing that we have entered the borderless cyber age and are about to
enter a new millennium.
Race and religion should no longer
be used to separate Malaysians in
the divide-and-rule policy of the
Barisan Nasional government. The
Malays, Chinese and Indians must
protest strongly and reject this
outdated racial politics that is
extremely dangerous and can
disrupt the peace and stability of
this multi-racial, multi-religious
country of ours. UMNO is saying
one thing to the Malays, and the opposite to the non-Malays. This is the height of
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.
The British knew that, one day, they would have to grant independence to Malaya.
India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and many countries around this region had already
gained independence from their colonial masters. In 1946, the independence
movement in Malaya had also started, giving birth to the first Malay political party,
UMNO. It was a matter of time before the British would have to give in to the
demands of the Malays.
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The British thought that the best way to grant independence to Malaya, yet still have
some control over their old colony, would be to groom the leaders who would take
over and educate them the British way so that they would soon become more English
than the Englishman.
In the mid 1940s, the British doors were thrown open to the Malays and the first batch
of Malays was brought over to England to receive an English education. These were
mostly the sons of the elite and royalty -- Tengku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, and
many more future leaders of Malaya. Tengku Rahman was definitely given special
treatment by the British to the extent he was the only student in Cambridge history
ever allowed to own a car on campus (everyone else rode bicycles). He drove a MG
sports car and spent his years enjoying the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Eventually these young graduates of an English education were brought back to
Malaya and given government posts as part of their training to one day take over the
reins of power. As an example Tengku became a District Officer in Kedah, a post
normally reserved for the
Needless to say, these
English educated Malays
enjoyed all the trappings
of England including
cricket, rugby, tea-at-four,
so on, not to mention a
day at the dog races.
Eventually, Merdeka was
won and, in 1957, the
local Malays took over
running the government.
But it was merely a
changing of the skin
colour. The management
style remained the same. It was Merdeka without losing the English influence. In fact,
as mentioned earlier, the Malays of this era tended to be more English than even the
It was now twelve years after Merdeka and the quot;young Turksquot; in UMNO were getting
restless and wanted a change of leadership. These young Turks such as Hussein Onn
and Dr Mahathir Mohamad had no sentimental attachments to the British, as they
were educated in India and Singapore respectively. They were also angry that Tengku
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Abdul Rahman surrounded himself with Chinese businessman.
Mahathir made this point very clear in his letter to the Tengku which goes as follows:
quot;You have become so powerful, both by virtue of your office and by popular acclaim,
that UMNO has become subservient to you. UMNO is being held together, not
because the members share your ideas on politics, but through a system of patronage
and disguised coercion based on Government rather than party authority.
A feeling of power normally grips those who wield patronage, a feeling that they can
mould and shape people and opinions any way they please. The leaders of UMNO,
the senior partners of the Alliance Government, have succumbed to this disease and,
believing that they no longer need to heed the opinions of their supporters, they
disregard them at every turn.
Laws have been hurriedly passed without prior
consultation with the representatives who have had
to quot;sellquot; these laws to the people. Tax innovations
have been made and discarded with complete
disregard for the disrupting effect on the public. In
the main, Parliamentary sittings are regarded as a
pleasant formality which afford members an
opportunity to be heard and quoted, but which have
absolutely no effect on the course of the Government. The sittings are a concession to
a superfluous democratic practice. Off and on, this strength is used to change the
constitution. The manner, the frequency, and the trivial reasons for altering the
constitution have reduced this supreme law of the nation to a useless scrap of paper.
Your Ministers and the Cabinet are vested with this decision-making authority. It is
obvious that only the most capable and experienced should be made Ministers and be
in the Cabinet. But independent Malaysia has chosen to treat membership of the
Cabinet as a reward for loyalty to party chiefs and acceptability to the Prime Minister.
Once appointed, no amount of dereliction of duty could affect the position of a
Minister. On the other hand, even if the Minister performs well, failure to remain on
good terms with the Prime Minister means removal from the Ministry.
Your Government of mediocre people is bereft of ideas, is unable to understand the
limits of their authority, and is generally unable to rule. All the while, however, your
Government is busy on devices to perpetuate itself. These devices are so transparent
and so lacking in subtlety that they achieve just the opposite effect.
May I remind you, Merdeka has brought power and wealth to the new Malay elite.
Politics is found to be the panacea. It provides a shortcut to everything. It makes
possible the attainment of positions of immense power. These Malays are in a position
to acquire riches.
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At first, this might seem grossly unfair. These few Malays - for they are still only a
very few - have waxed riches not because of themselves, but because of the policy of
a Government supported by a huge majority of poor Malays. It would seem that the
efforts of the poor Malays have gone to enrich a select few of their own people. The
poor Malays themselves have not gained one iota. With the existence of the few rich
Malays, at least the poor Malays can say that their fate is not entirely to serve the rich
non-Malays. From their point of view of racial ego, and this ego is still strong, the
unseemly existence of Malay tycoons is essential.
The various races in Malaysia are
differentiated not merely by
ethnic origin, but also by many
other characteristics. These
characteristics are important. How
these characteristics develop is
another matter, but when races
compete in a given field, these
characteristics play an extremely
important role. The Jews, for
example are not merely
hook-nosed, but understand
The possession of these characteristics means little until different races come into
contact with each other. Jewish stinginess and financial wizardry gained them the
commercial control of Europe and provoked an anti-Semitism, which waxed and
waned throughout Europe through the ages.
The first thing that comes to mind is that the vast majorities of Malays are feudalistic
and wish to remain so. A revolution, which starts off by preaching the destruction of
the established monarchical order, will therefore fail. It will not win the support of the
majority of orthodox Malays. In any case, the monarch has done no real harm to the
Malays or to anyone else. The maintenance of the system is no doubt costly, but being
separated from power, the ruler cannot constitute a tyranny. Besides, a Malaysia
without rulers would mean the complete eclipse of the Malays. It is the rulers who
have in the past furnished and continued to present the Malay character of Malaysia.
Remove them, and the last vestige of traditional Malaysia would disappear. It is
essential therefore that the monarchy remains.
To take on an adversary when it seems to be beyond one's capacity is courageous. To
calculate and assess one's chances first is to exhibit cowardice. Time and again this
inability or unwillingness to measure the odds against them has led to defeat and
disaster for the Malays. The courageous or brave Malay is usually foolhardy, and
because he is likely to do things without thinking of the consequences, the average
Malay treats him with fear and respect. The ordinary man knows that it is not
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worthwhile to incur his displeasure and that it is safer to let him have his own way.
The ordinary man therefore represents the other extreme when principle is easily set
aside for the sake of safety.
Even feudalism can be beneficial if it facilitates changes. The political Rajas of today
can, therefore, institute change if they themselves are willing to change. Such a
change would spread rapidly. If the indications are that there should be a change in
the value system and ethical code, then the leaders can lead the way with the certainty
that they will be followed by the masses. In a feudal society, if the leaders fail, then
there is little hope for the masses.quot;
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THE REAL STORY OF MAY 13 (PART 3)
They say those who forget history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. In light of the recent
sabre-rattling by those in Umno and the warning by the Armed Forces Chief, Malaysia
Today feels compelled to republish an old article by Raja Petra Kamarudin that was
published in Harakah on 24 September 1999.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The move to push Tunku Abdul Rahman aside had started. They needed something to trigger
off some form of resentment against the government. They needed the Malays to rise, and
what better platform to exploit than a racial platform?
Prior to that, 11 Chinese prisoners were sentenced to
death for killing a Malay prison warden in Pudu Jail.
This was subsequently turned into a Malay-Chinese
The Malays wanted the 11 Chinese punished. The
Chinese wanted their death sentence commuted. And
demonstrations were held in the Chinese dominated
areas around Kuala Lumpur to pressure the government
to pardon the 11. In one large demonstration outside
Pudu Jail, the riot police had to be called in the break up
the demonstration with teargas. That was my first
experience with teargas, and I was only 19 then.
The government had no choice but to back down,
thereby angering the Malays.
In another incident, some Chinese demonstrated in front of the United States Information
Service (USIS) office and one demonstrator was shot dead by a panicking Malay policeman
-- interpreted as another Malay-Chinese thing.
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The Chinese wanted a funeral procession but the police would not grant them permission as
they knew it would attract a huge crowd and the funeral would be turned into a
demonstration instead. Tun Razak, however, told the police to grant them permission and
ordered the police off the streets. The resulting quot;giantquot; parade built up tensions further.
The May 1969 General Elections were held soon after and the Alliance Party won only 40%
of the votes resulting in it losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament. It also lost a couple of
states to the opposition plus its two-thirds majority in
The opposition parties held quot;victory paradesquot; which
turned into a mud-slinging and name-calling session. The
Malays were now really angry and decided to hold a
victory parade of their own. Dato Harun, the then Chief
Minister of Selangor, was given the task of managing
On May 13, the entire cabinet withdrew to Frazers Hill while the Malays prepared for trouble.
People in the top echelon of the government and commerce were tipped off to get out of
town or go home early and, by 3.00pm, the
city was quite deserted of the elite except
for the unknowing rakyat.
That same evening, racial riots exploded.
Parliament was dissolved, thereby saving
the Alliance government that no longer
had a majority in Parliament, and power
was transferred to Deputy Prime Minister
Tun Abdul Razak under the National
Operations Council (NOC).
The Tunku was now powerless.
Mahathir then increased his attacks on the Tunku using race as his platform. He also called
for MCA's expulsion from the Alliance to quot;punishquot; the Chinese. Instead, Dr Mahathir was
expelled from Umno as the Utusan Malaysia newspaper report of 6 June 1969 reveals:
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KUALA LUMPUR 5 June - Some leading members of UMNO's Supreme Council have
voiced their support for the decision by MCA leadership to exclude themselves from
the Cabinet. Among them are Tan Sri Syed Jaafar Albar, Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad
and Syed Nasir bin Ismail.
In a meeting with Utusan Malaysia,
Tan Sri Syed Jaafar emphasised his
disapproval of efforts made to ask
MCA to re-enter the Cabinet.
quot;I do not agree with the way some
Chinese chambers of commerce have
stated their confidence and support
of Tun Tan Siew Sin and their asking
him to reconsider MCA's decision to withdraw from the Cabinet,quot; he said.
According to him, the problem now was not the question of
confidence towards Tun Tan Siew Sin as the MCA leader,
but whether the Chinese supported the present policies of
quot;This is the matter that should be considered by these people who are making a big
fuss about giving their support to Tun Tan Siew Sin today,quot; he added.
Tan Sri Jaafar Albar also stated that the support given to Tun Tan Siew Sin by the
Chinese Chambers of Commerce was not sufficient because support had to come from
the majority of the Chinese population.
He stated that discussions about MCA's inclusion in the Cabinet should not be
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confined to the newspapers or to MCA alone because UMNO, as the backbone of the
Alliance party, had not decided yet if MCA and MIC should be included in the
Cabinet or if the Alliance should remain as it was then.
He said: quot;It is not only the duty of MCA to discuss this matter as if it is its own
peculiar problem, but it should be the responsibility of all the Alliance leaders from
the UMNO, MCA, and MIC.quot;
However, he did not want to give his final
views before the party met to discuss the
Mahathir, who supported Tan Sri Syed
Jaafar's statement, stressed that MCA
leaders had to adhere to their earlier
decision of not wanting to be included in the
He said that he agreed with the view of MCA leaders that they could not actually
represent the people they claimed to represent.
According to Mahathir, the support given to Tun Tan Siew Sin by
the Chinese chambers of commerce and other Chinese
organisations could not be taken as support from the Chinese
community as a whole to MCA because those organisations did
not represent the desires of the Chinese community as a whole.
quot;If MCA wants to know whether they have the support of the Chinese, they have to
wait for the next general election. Since this will take quite some time, it is no longer
necessary for MCA to remain in the Cabinet,quot; he emphasised.
Mahathir also said that MIC's position in the Cabinet should also be reconsidered.
Syed Nasir stressed that on the whole, the relationship between UMNO, MCA and
MIC had to be reviewed to take in the changes which had taken place after the
quot;The people have expressed their needs and desires, and there is little point in
pretending that the policies of the Alliance party are the best acceptable to them,quot; he
In a Press Statement released by UMNO's Secretary General, Senu Abdul Rahman,
reported by the Utusan Melayu newspaper on 6 June 1969, it said:
Page: 19 / 32
quot;Mahathir Mohamad ceases to be a member of the UMNO Supreme Council with
effect from today, 12 July 1969.
This decision was taken following the wide distribution to the public of Mahathir's
letter to Tunku Abdul Rahman, President of UMNO Malaysia.
Letters containing important matters should first be discussed by UMNO's Supreme
Council, especially in view of the present situation in the country.
The action taken by Mahathir is seen to be in breach of the party's etiquette and is
capable of damaging party solidarity and the government which the party supports.quot;
Mahathir replied to this in his letter to the Tengku
dated 17th June 1969.
quot;Your opinions were based on stories you heard from
people who surround you, and who tell you only what
they think you like to hear or should hear. Permit me to
tell you what the position, the thoughts and the opinions
of the people are really, so that you can understand my
motive for making that press statement.
You yourself told me that you have prevented a riot by
commuting the death sentence of the 11 subversive
Chinese. In truth this very action sparked the riots of 13
May, which resulted in the deaths of many, many more.
Your 'give and take' policy gives the Chinese everything
they ask for. The climax was the commuting of the death
sentence, which made the majority of the Malays angry.
The Chinese on the other hand regarded you and the
Alliance government as cowards and weaklings who
could be pushed around.
That was why the Chinese and the Indians behaved
outrageously toward the Malays on 12th May. If you
had been spit in the face, called dirty names and shown obscene gestures and private
parts, then you could understand how the Malays felt. The Malays whom you thought
would never rebel went berserk, and they hate you for giving too much face. The
responsibility of the deaths of these people, Muslim or Infidels, rests on the shoulders
of the leader who holds views based on wrong assumptions.
I regret writing this letter, but I have to convey to you the feelings of the Malays. In
Page: 20 / 32
truth the Malays whether they are UMNO or PMIP supporters really hate you,
especially those who had lost homes, children and relatives, because of your 'give and
They said you wanted to be known only as 'The Happy Prime Minister' even though
others are suffering. They said that although the country was in a state of emergency
you were engrossed playing poker with your Chinese friends. Even the policemen said
that you were using official cars and police escorts to contact your poker gang.
Lately, another disturbing factor came to light. The Malays in the Civil Service, from
Permanent Secretary downwards, Army Officers and the Malays in the Police Force
have lost faith and respect for you. I know that the majority of them voted for the
PMIP through mail ballots....
I wish to convey what the people really think, that is that it is high time you resign as
our Prime Minister and UMNO leader.
I am fully aware of the powers you still hold and I remember too well the fate of AZIZ
ISHAK. But I would be irresponsible if I do not explain what I have said earlier. Even
if I am jailed, I have to say what I have already said.
Once more I wish to repeat that the statement I made [on the continued exclusion of
the MCA from the Cabinet] is to prevent the Malays from hating the Government
more and to stop the Chinese from abusing the dignity of the Malays. A bigger riot
will occur if this is allowed. The military itself will be beyond control.
I pray to God it will open your heart to accept the truth bitter though it may be.quot;
Soon after, the Tengku stepped aside and Tun Razak
took over as Prime Minister. The opposition parties
were invited to join the government and the Alliance
gave way to the Barisan Nasional giving the
government back their two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Later on, of course, PAS left the BN to stay on as an
------End of THE REAL STORY OF MAY 13 ARTICLES----
Page: 21 / 32
RPK Lost Freedom
56 days 2 hours 10mins
(12Sep2008 1310 to 07Nov2008 1520)
Malaysia blogger arrested for posting anti-government comments
• Rowan Walker and agencies
• Friday September 12 2008 17:53 BST
Malaysia's most prominent political blogger was arrested today at his home for
posting anti-government comments on the Malaysia Today website.
Raja Petra Kamarudin, the British-born founder and editor of the site, could be
detained indefinitely without trial under an emergency law brought in after a series of
attacks on senior political figures.
quot;They came here and arrested him under the internal security act (ISA) for inciting
hate in his articles on Islam,quot; his wife, Marina Le Abdullah, told foreign press
A statement on Malaysia Today said police quot;ransacked RPK's bedroom and took
away some documents and CDsquot;.
Hours later, police made a second arrest. Tan Hoon Cheng, a Chinese reporter, was
detained under the ISA in connection with comments in the Sin Chew Daily, where he
Page: 22 / 32
reported that a member of the ruling party had referred to ethnic Chinese as
The Malaysian home minister, Syed Hamid Albar, said authorities had been forced to
act because Raja Petra had written numerous allegedly offensive pieces, including one
that was claimed to ridicule Islam. quot;We have called and advised him many times
about his statements, but he still continues writing in a way that could pose a threat,quot;
the minister told the national Bernama news agency.
Two weeks ago, authorities blocked the Malaysia Today website, in a move that was
met with outrage from journalists and bloggers worldwide. Raja Petra continued to
publish online via an alternative link.
On September 6, he predicted his arrest, saying he had been told by friends that he
would be detained under the ISA if he persisted. His arrest came a day after the
Malaysia Today block was lifted.
Articles calling for the release of Raja Petra and condemning the ISA have appeared
on the site. Amnesty International urged the Malaysian government to revoke the ISA,
under which more than 60 people are being held.
quot;The Malaysian government is using this law as a repressive measure to control
dissent,quot; said Donna Guest, the organisation's deputy Asia-Pacific director. quot;It should
be revoked immediately, and Raja Petra, along with those others currently being held
in indefinite detention, should be either charged with an offence and brought to fair
trial or released immediately.quot;
One blogger called for peaceful demonstrations and quot;planned vigilsquot; to be held on
September 15 in a show of support.
In May, Raja Petra was charged with sedition for allegedly implying that the deputy
prime minister was involved in the killing of a Mongolian woman. His trial is due to
begin in October.
There is increasing political tension in Malaysia, with threats by the leader of the
country's resurgent opposition, Anwar Ibrahim, to take power by September 16 -
Malaysia's national day.
In March, the ruling National Front party, led by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, lost its
two-thirds majority as opposition parties made big gains in parliamentary elections.
Abdullah has been in power since 2003.
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TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 23 2008
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — A prominent political blogger was jailed for two years under a
strict security law that can keep him in prison indefinitely, a lawyer said today.
Online commentator Raja Petra Kamarudin, known for his anti-government views, was
already in police custody and was served a detention order last night, said his lawyer Malik
Page: 24 / 32
Raja Petra freed
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MALAYSIA TODAY INTERVIEWS THE HOME MINISTER
Posted by admin
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 17:31
Today, Malaysia Today interviews the Home Minister to get his take on a range of issues that have been
the bone of contention with most Malaysians. This article is of course just a satire and any similarities
with persons still alive, already dead, or about to die is purely coincidental.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Malaysia Today: YB, thank you for agreeing to an interview with Malaysia Today’s No Holds Barred column.
Yang Berhormat: Thank you for inviting me. It is very seldom that the alternative media would interview a
member of the Cabinet so that we can set the record straight and correct the lies and wrong perception about the
government, which are spread by the alternative media. Normally, the alternative media just reports rumours
without obtaining the government’s side of the story. I congratulate the alternative media for becoming more
mature in giving the government space to inform the public of the truth.
But before we start, I would like to offer my condolence to the Indian government on the recent tragedy in
Mumbai. I thank God that Malaysia does not suffer such acts of terrorism, primarily because we have the Internal
Security Act, which allows us to detain terrorist before they can cause any harm to society. This shows that the
Internal Security Act has been very successful in maintaining law and order and in safeguarding the security of
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MT: Since you have brought up the matter of the ISA, YB, can we start by talking about that?
MT: The people criticise the ISA and…….
YB: Which people? The alternative media always talks about ‘the people’. But which people are you talking
MT: Well, I suppose the civil society movements and human rights movements.
YB: These people are in the minority. The majority of the people voted for the government. So this means the
majority support the ISA. If not they would not have voted for the government. It is the majority that counts, not
the minority. We can’t make laws or abolish laws just for the sake of the minority. We must do what the majority
wants. The ISA is to prevent terrorism. If, in 2001, the US also had the ISA, their Twin Towers would still be
standing. Malaysia’s Twin Towers is still standing because of the ISA.
MT: But the ISA is not used against terrorists. The government has always said that Malaysia does not have any
terrorists. The ISA is used to deny the people freedom of speech.
YB: There is still freedom of speech in Malaysia. Who says that there is no freedom of speech?
MT: It is not freedom of speech which does not exist in Malaysia. It is freedom after speech.
YB: That is different. Then you can’t say that there is no freedom of speech in Malaysia. There is freedom of
speech. Of course, if you say the wrong things, then you run the risk of being detained under the ISA. Berani
cakap, berani tanggunglah!
MT: Okay, then what would you regard as ‘saying the wrong things’?
YB: Well, like inciting the people to hate the government or saying something that may start racial problems.
MT: But we already have so many other laws like the Sedition Act, Criminal Defamation, PPPA, and so on, to
charge those who may have broken the law. Why the need to detain them under the ISA? Just charge them in
YB: That would not be so easy. We will need evidence to charge them in court. Without evidence how to charge
MT: But how do you know all those people who the government has detained under the ISA have committed a
crime? Is it not possible they are all innocent?
YB: No, we have evidence. That is why we detained them.
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MT: But if you have evidence then why not use this evidence to charge them?
YB: I already said there is not enough evidence to charge them.
MT: But there is enough evidence to detain them?
YB: Yes. The evidence is enough to detain them, only not enough to charge them.
MT: But when you sign the Detention Order you must first see all the evidence. Is this not so?
YB: That is true. Only when I am satisfied there is enough evidence will I sign the Detention Order.
MT: But you still feel that the evidence, though sufficient to detain them, is not sufficient enough to charge them.
YB: That is correct. But the detainee still has a chance to appear before the Advisory Board within three months
to argue his case. If the Advisory Board is of the opinion that the detainee is innocent then he will be released. So
we are quite fair.
MT: Have many people been released through the recommendations of the Advisory Board so far?
YB: Well, not many…..maybe none so far. But this only means we were not wrong in detaining them. If not, surely
the Advisory Board would have recommended their release.
MT: But there have been reports that, from time to time, the Advisory Board has recommended the release of
some detainees. However, the Home Minister has always overruled their recommendations.
YB: Yes, that is true. This is because the Advisory Board was mistaken and we did not agree with their
recommendations. So we overruled them.
MT: This would mean the Advisory Board is a lame duck and has no power. It is the Home Minister who has the
final say. Would this not be so?
YB: That is not true. The Advisory Board does have power.
MT: Power to do what?
YB: Power to recommend the release of the detainee.
MT: But the Minister does not follow their recommendation and overrules them. The Minister has the final say.
YB: But this does not mean the Advisory Board does not have power.
MT: If you say so YB. Okay, can we now talk about the Umno party elections and the numerous complaints about
corruption in the party?
Page: 28 / 32
YB: What corruption are you talking about? There is no corruption in Umno.
MT: But the mainstream media has been reporting the many complaints of money politics.
YB: That is money politics, not corruption.
MT: Is there a difference?
YB: Of course there is. Corruption is when you pay to get something. Money politics is not corruption.
MT: What would you call money politics then?
YB: Money politics is……..well, money politics.
MT: And that is not corruption?
YB: Of course not.
MT: Okay, whatever. Now, on the matter of race relations, don’t you think that Malaysia is very dangerously being
pushed to the brink of racial problems?
YB: That is why we have so many times said that the opposition is stirring the sentiments of the many races.
MT: But it is not the opposition that is doing this.
YB: Then who?
YB: Umno is a responsible party. We do not play the race card. It is the opposition that is doing this.
MT: In what way is the opposition doing this?
YB: They are asking for the government to abolish Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP. This makes the Malays angry
and may cause the Malays to mengamuk. The opposition should stop all this nonsense before the peace and
harmony of this country is compromised.
MT: But is it not time we treat all Malaysians equal and no longer treat one race as having more privileges than
YB: Aiyah, how can! That is the kind of talk that makes the Malays angry. It is dangerous to suggest such things.
We must maintain the harmony between the many races and not say things like that.
Page: 29 / 32
MT: But what gives one race the right to have more privileges than others?
YB: That was the agreement when we gained Merdeka in 1957. How can we go back on what was agreed?
MT: What agreement?
YB: The Social Contract that was agreed by the Malays, Chinese and Indians.
MT: Many say that the Social Contract does not exist. Have you ever seen it? Can Malaysians see a copy?
YB: It was not a written contract. It was a verbal contract.
MT: When was it made and under want circumstances was it made?
YB: It was agreed upon when Umno, MCA and MIC jointly negotiated for Merdeka from the British.
MT: And what were the terms of the contract?
YB: That Malay would be the National Language and Islam the official religion plus the Malays would be
accorded special rights and privileges such as certain quotas in the civil service and in educational institutions.
MT: But has this not since been amended many times in breach of the original Social Contract?
YB: No! In what way has it changed? Everything still remains the same.
MT: The government imposes new rules such as companies must be 100% Bumiputera before they can get
import permits or APs and 30% of houses built must be sold to Bumiputeras according to the land area and so on.
This was not part of the so-called Social Contract agreed by Umno, MCA and MIC before Merdeka. They are new
rules made up as we went along.
Page: 30 / 32
YB: True. But the non-Malays accepted them.
MT: How do you know they accepted them?
Page: 31 / 32
YB: Because they continued to vote for the government. If they did not agree then they would not have voted for
MT: But they did not vote for the government. 49% of the Malays and more than 80% of the Chinese and Indians
did not vote for the government in the last general election. This means they do not agree with the government
YB: But we still won more than 60% of the Parliament seats.
MT: That is only because of Gerrymandering. Malay majority seats like Putrajaya, where the voters are 98%
Malay, have only 5,000 voters while seats that are 80% or more non-Malay have 120,000 voters or more. That is
why the government still won and not because the majority voted for it.
YB: That is beside the point. We still can’t deny the fact that we won 140 seats and the opposition won only 82
MT: Yes, but if the votes were evenly divided between constituencies with a variation of plus-minus 20% the
government would have fallen by now. It is only through Gerrymandering that the government managed to hold
on to power.
YB: That is your opinion. It does not mean it is true.
MT: Thank you, YB, for the interview. I am sure you have helped enlighten Malaysians with your view of things.
YB: Thank you. I hope I have managed to rebut the opposition lies and propaganda and I look forward to similar
sessions in future where the government can be given an opportunity to set the record straight.
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