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Time to declassify May 13

  • May 13 shouldn't have become a tool exploited by certain quarters to intimidate the people. It should not be a classified file full of unanswered questions.

Sin Chew Daily

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the May 13 incident.

To many Malaysians, question marks continue to hang over them for the past half a century.

Was May 13 a painstakingly orchestrated political ploy as many would have believed, with the motive of overthrowing then prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman?

Or was it an ad hoc racial conflict that had gone out of control? Or could it be due to some other reasons?

How many casualties were there altogether? Why were they targeted?

For the past 50 years, this county has seen a change of six Agongs but none has yet to exercise the powers in their hands to declassify this highly controversial and suspenseful May 13 incident. The secrets are still kept tight in a dusted chamber and are regularly manipulated by irresponsible politicians to intimidate Malaysians in a bid to gag them.

To politicians that are expert in cooking up sensitive racial issues, the May 13 incident is indeed an effective tool that can frighten the people.

So long as the truth remains unexposed, it will continue to be manipulated by such rogue politicians.

As the country is entering a new era under a new government which has promised to lead Malaysians to greater democracy and transparency, the people's right to the truth has to be met unconditionally. The government must be concerned about what actually took place on May 13, 1969, and take the initiative to break the shackles of historical truth so that the entire unmasked file is laid bare before the eyes of all Malaysians.

The past governments might have reservation about declassifying May 13 for fear of public scrutiny, or could have refrained from doing so as a result of involvement of certain political groups' interest.

Now that we have a new government in place, it is time for the dusted historical archive to be uncovered once again.

History serves as a mirror that allows us to see clearly what grave mistakes we should have avoided. It will help put the nation back on the right track of growth.

If unfortunately the same is exploited by irresponsible politicians as a tool to sow the seed of fear and hatred, tragedy could repeat itself if things get out of hand.

The May 13 tragedy was an utterly crucial historical event in the course of nation-building of a post-independence multicultural Malaysia. The truth, causes and effects of this landmark historical event should by right go on public display at the National Archive and be a part of the nation's history. It should be detailed in the country's history textbooks as a stern reminder for all.

May 13 shouldn't have become a tool exploited by certain quarters to intimidate the people. It should not be a classified file full of unanswered questions.

In New Malaysia, it should lie bare under the sun, and the whole 50 years of truth be disclosed to all.

 

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