Thursday, May 17, 2007

I still remember very vividly when I asked Pak Rashid (1917-2006) face-to-face in early 2005 in southern Thailand whether the communists were behind the 'May 13' riots as alleged by the then PM Tunku Abdul Rahman and has since been repeated by some mindless people even though it had been subsequently played down, his reply was terus-terang and serious: " itu cerita hantu Tunku".

Now, both the declassified documents as well as the statement of a retired Special Branch chief and former Sarawak and Perak CPO Yuen Yuet Leng that "communists would never start racial riots" have shown Pak Rashid's reply to me was correct and truthful. You see, anti-communists like Tunku could sometimes be wrong or untruthful. Of course, Pak Rashid's own memoirs Daripada Perjuangan Bersenjata Kepada Pendamaian has more of his critical views, opinions and observations on the Tunku on other events and issues.

Indeed, as Pak Said has told me in response to the publication of May 13 - Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969, “ The correct intention of writing or reading history books is not to re-open old wounds or take revenge but to learn fact-based lessons with the view of not repeating mistakes and errors ”. Pak Said has, of course, high regard for Dr. Kua Kia Soong whom he calls a 'progressive and rational intellectual'.

Pak Said also said: “ Those who have read the book and think that they have other facts and interpretations should present them rationally with the right intention to find out the truth and contribute to national reconciliation, but those who have not read the book should read it first before they give their opinions”.

May 13: A Sunday morning well-spent at the book launch


Blogger Unknown said...

well said Pak Said. I am not going to comment coz I have yet to get hold of the book but I hope that there is real reconciliation and a dark chapter in the malaysian history will finally close with peace and forgiveness.

12:58 AM  

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