Friday, May 18, 2007

Why I dislike Prof. Khoo Kay Khim's posturing

According to a malaysiakini report, history professor Khoo Kay Khim (left) claimed that the police Special Branch archive contains "more accurate information" on the 'May 13' riot of 1969. Professor Khoo is the same person who asserted that “the British had never ruled Malaya” and also one of the first 'scholars' who jumped up almost immediately after the publication of Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History to defend the official version of the 'Emergency'.

Although the New Straits Times have been interviewing him many times on Chinese Malaysian issues, the newspaper still opined in its post-Ijok editorial that the Chinese Malaysians " is a community that traditionally keeps their thoughts and feelings on issues to themselves" and which "rarely opens up". I do not like his 'more-Malay-than-Malays' and 'more-Malaysian-than-thou' posturing at all.

Why can't we read declassified files of BOTH the Special Branch AND foreign diplomatic intelligence at the same time and compare and contrast them to get an even fuller and more accurate picture? Why must we always think in terms of 'this-OR-that', not 'this-AND-that' ( get a tuition on Edward de Bono's Lateral Thinking, Prof ! ) ? If the police Special Branch was so omniscient or knowledgeable at that time, why couldn't the authorities prevent the outbreak of the riots?

Has Dr. Kua Kia Soong made any claim that his book is the most authoritative, definative and final account of 'May 13' riots that has also completely superceded all other books, archives or records?

Prof. Khoo's comments highly impressionistic


Blogger Monsterball said...

Hi James,
The Special Branch probably DID have a pretty clear picture of what was really happening on May 13, but those records are never going to see the light of day.

A person I know (can't mention what his relationship is with me) went underground for 3 weeks, told his wife and kids not to worry, but he won't be around for the next few weeks, and don't ask where he's going. He's never ever talked about those 3 weeks of his life, even to his family.

I don't think what he saw matches the official version.

12:42 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

why can't we read BOTH SB intelligence AND Foreign intelligence AT THE SAME TIME and compare and contrast them? After all, if the SB was so omniscient, May 13 should have been PREVENTED or PRE-EMPTED.

12:55 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

For Malaysians to advance intellecually, I don't it is necessary to knock down establishment-chartered MIND GUARDS like Professor. Khoo Kay Khim. Don't you agree?

2:28 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

Sorry: "I don't" is a typo. It should be "I think".

2:28 AM  
Blogger blackbook said...

Hi, James!
As a foreign History graduate, I agree totally with what you said about Prof. Khoo's rush to judgement and being 'more Malay than Malay' attitude.
He should have, in my view, as a fair-minded historian, kept his mind open to alternative views and encouraged discussions instead on this apparently scholarly piece of work and let every Malaysian judge for himself or herself by reading the book.
By the way,is Khoo the only know-it-all authoritative historian in Malaysia? Are we Malaysians supposedly so smart that we will listen to one apologetic person's judgement of a tragic event-that has never convinced me and I know, many others-with our government's lop-sided official version? We always knew better: it was a conspiracy and a cover-up of the ugly truth.
By the way, has Khoo ever seen the Special Branch reports for him to reach his so-called conclusion, I wonder?
As you said, open up everything and we can be the judge. As it stands I would believe this latest book if as everyone says, it is well-researched and well-documented.
By facing the truth, no matter how painful or sensitive, and forgiving each other for our past mistakes, only then, can everyone move forward in justice, liberty and equality.
In the Bible, it says, "The TRUTH will set you free". Those who were guilty would be set free from the guilt of their sins, if they're still alive.

2:03 AM  

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