|Rahmah Ghazali | May 19, 08 4:00pm|
|Pakatan Rakyat’s Proposal for a truth and reconciliation commission to uncover the facts behind the May 13 racial riots has found no support among older Malaysians.Deputy premier Najib Abdul Razak said yesterday that this should be left as an episode in history that must not be repeated, and that review of the incident would only create an adverse polemic and benefit no one.
Top Pakatan leaders had said last week that the commission would uncover the facts behind the May 13 incident, which remains shrouded in secrecy.
Historian Dr Khoo Kay Kim reflected Najib’s notion that the review could only lead to the blame-game all over again.
“It could only lead to more confrontation as society is still not mature enough to revisit May 13″, said Khoo, a professor in Universiti Malaya.
He also pointed out that younger Malaysians have not been exposed to what happened then. If they are to be taught now, it should be done responsibly.
“It should not be taught to young Malaysians unless the history books are written accurately and carefully,” he added.
Transparency International Malaysia president Ramon Navaratnam said “the past is the past and we should not be looking back”.
“We have a vision ahead to fulfill, not a nightmare to look back on,” he said.
Dr Denison Jayasooria, who heads MIC think-tank Yayasan Strategik, said Pakatan should focus on its priorities, including the strengthening of relationships in society.
“The rakyat voted for opposition not because of May 13 issue, but they wanted change,” he said.
However, social activist Dr Farish A Noor described the call for the commission as “important and timely” because the issue is constantly being raised by politicians.
“It is done so with the apparent reason of instilling fear in the public,” he said, noting that .the riots are often used as a means to silence the public.
“The commission would help society to have an open debate (and) identify those responsible for the riots regardless of which party (they are from),” he said.
At the same time, Farish rejected the constant discussion of the issues in the national political arena.
“The May 13 incident took place over three or four days and we have talked about this ‘national catastrophe’ for years. Malaysians have been living peacefully for 500 years, why don’t we talk about this instead?” he argued.
The riots took 196 lives, according to official figures, and have been a frequent source of public debate in view of the absence of full disclosure on the incident.
The official version has portrayed the riots as being triggered by ‘provocation’ by supporters of the Chinese-dominated opposition while celebrating their electoral victory in 1969. This has been rebutted by the opposition parties.
Last year, an academician contended that the riots were an attempt at a coup d’etat within a faction in Umno to oust then premier Tunku Abdul Rahman. The author, Dr Kua Kia Soong, based his findings on newly-declassified documents.
Whatever it is, todays generations did not learning the true history… We are learning the cover-up story… Lots of truth is hidden… Will the history repeat just by know it or learning it? IF it is so, There should be newborn Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, and maybe for Malaysia, New Tunku… Come on guys, we are not stupid enough to believe what u are saying. The history only will repeat when people don knew about it. They dont know what is the real cause of that riot. What actually happened? Its a big shame when i someone dont know his histories. But at one point, those who hidding the fact and truth should be blame if the history repeat again… Because you not telling the truth. Dont ever blame the public for your wrong doing.
Tag Archives: history
|Truth-Seeker | May 5, 08 3:13pm
|I refer to the Malaysiakini article After the apology over the keris.
In the article, Azly Rahman states: ‘I had this question: what if Parameswara the assassin-prince – who was watching with thrill a mouse deer kick a Rottweiler into the Straits of Malacca – had sat under a durian tree and the fruit fell. What if it hit his head and he had to be taken back to Palembang to be hospitalised for concussion?
‘Would Malacca have been ‘founded’; would ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ have become an issue; and would the keris have been wielded at the Umno general assembly? I do not know. ’
It is no secret that Parameswara was an Indian and a Hindu prince until he married a Pasai princess and converted to Islam and adopted the Persian name Iskandar Shah. There seemed to be no problem telling the truth as I just expressed it during my school days. The school text-books were quite clear on this – but not today, I’m told.
Once again the ‘insecure’ Umno-led BN government had to wipe out any references to this famous Melaka prince as being Hindu and belonging to the powerful Hindu empire Sri Vijaya. So all of a sudden our museums, school text-books etc. all refer to Parameswara as a Malay prince. Umno’s lying, mind you, is not confined to the mainstream newspapers.
You cannot change your race even if you convert and I’m appalled that Azly Rahman has joined this bandwagon in inferring that Parameswara could have been responsible for Umno’s proud heritage of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. If this is what it is based on, there is no ‘Ketuanan Melayu’. The lineage of Melaka Sultans are Indians, not Malays.
It is one thing for Umno to lie but for a columnist not to research his facts, it is disgraceful.
As Hitler’s public relations manager, Goebbels, once said, ‘If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth’. This is probably what the ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ proponents are trying to do.
This is probably also why the lost city found deep in the jungles of Johor a few years ago and made headlines in the mainstream newspapers in 2005, suddenly disappeared from the news.
After all, this was an extremely important archeological find that pointed to one of the greatest empires in history, the Raja Cholan empire that ruled from the Maldives through India, Sri Lanka and right down to South East Asia.
Again I reiterate, this is Raja-raja Cholan, the Indian/Hindu kings and not Raja Chulan, a Malay king.
Frankly, it should not even matter to those of us who love history, like me. What race ruled or did not rule is besides the point. What is important is not butchering history to create your own truths. Those of us who are not racists are angry that we are forced to sound like one in defending the truth.
I don’t even want to go near the subject raised about Hang Tuah being Chinese. Again, it should not matter. I’m sure the Chinese and Indians are not going to gloat and wave their staffs or swords and say: ‘See, all of you minuscule people, he is from my race’. This sort of pettiness comes only from small minds. What is important is to tell the truth as it is.
I end with questions from one baffled blogger: ‘Why is the study of Hang Tuah taken out from our school history text books? Even if Hang Tuah’s a different race altogether, what significance does it do to our history?’ Precisely.
So my question is, if this finding about Hang Tuah being Chinese is flawed, then why the disappearance from our text-books?