On 4th August last month, I had issued the first of my categorical denial of the preposterous claim which had appeared on the official Facebook page of the May 13 movie, Tanda Putra, that I had urinated on the flagpole in front of the then Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence provoking the May 13 riots in 1969.
The facebook had carried a photo portraying me being manhandled, with the caption:
“Lim Kit Siang telah kencing di bawah tiang bendera Selangor yang terpacak di rumah menteri besar Selangor ketika itu, Harun Idris, (Lim Kit Siang had urinated at the foot of the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor MB’s Harun Idris’ house)”
The photo was posted in the album in the Facebook titled ‘Peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimuatkan di dalam filem ini’ (Events depicted in this movie).
Although the photo and caption have since been removed from the movie’s official page, I have a screenshot of the earlier posting.
A fortnight later, Aida Fitra Buyong, the executive producer of the movie, Tanda Putera, added insult to injury when she alleged that I was being “defensive” over the publication of my photograph on the May 13 film’s official Facebook page perpetrating the lie that I had urinated at the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence, provoking May 13, 1969 riots.
I found this bare-faced and irresponsible attitude by the creators of the May 13 film, unrepentant in their defence of lies and falsehoods and utterly contemptuous of the truth, in particular about the total fiction about the urination at the then Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence provoking May 13, 1969 riots when I was never in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13, 1969, doubly scandalous, outrageous and offensive.
It completely debunked the claim by Tanda Putera’s director Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba that the May 13 riot scene, which lasts about 10 minutes of the 115-minute film, was historically accurate.
As the reckless accusation by Tanda Putera’s executive producer had compounded the earlier defamation against me on the film’s official Facebook page, I instructed my lawyers to institute legal proceedings relating to the defamation. I have been informed by my lawyers that this is underway.
I had previously referred to two readers’ postings from the 76 comments in Malaysiakini following its report on August 6 on my denial that I had urinated on the flagpole outside the former Mentri Besar’s house, one of which is as follows:
RealSoldier witness513 its simply absurd to accuse LKS performing such despicable act because the flagpole is not freely accessable to the public as it is located within the compound of the MB’s house which is fenced and manned by a jaga. BY accident I was at the MB’s on that fateful day from 3.00am to 5.30am on 514 following rescue operations by the security forces.
This is what I said in my media statement of 5th August 2012:
“What RealSoldier posted made eminent sense, as in 1969 I never knew where was the official residence of the Selangor Mentri Besar, let alone that it has a flagpole ‘located within the compound of the MB’s house which is fenced and manned by a jaga’.
“This posting exposes the downright lie and dangerous falsehood that I or anyone could have urinated at the foot of the flagpole at the then Selangor Mentri Besar’s house – when it was within a confined and guarded compound.”
I had thought that the writer of this post was a soldier who was on duty during the May 13 riots, but I was wrong. He was at the time a MARA student.
He is businessman Ahmad Habib, who have through his friend and lawyer, contacted me expressing his willingness to testify that I had not urinated on the flagpole of the then Mentri Besar’s house, provoking May 13 riots in 1969.
We have Ahmad Habib with us today to set the record straight about the lie that I had urinated on the flagpole of the then Mentri Besar’s house.
I would call on Malaysians to emulate patriotic and public-spirited Ahmad Habib to come forward to save Malaysia and debunk dangerous and despicable lies, falsehoods and language of hatred spread by irresponsible and unpatriotic Malaysians.
Ahmad Habib has debunked not only the lie that I had urinated at the flagpole of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s house, but that anyone else could have done it as the flagpole is within the confined and guarded compound of the Mentri Besar’s house.
But how did the canard of the “urination” at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s house, provoking the May 13 riots, originate?
Is the film Tanda Putra the originator of this irresponsible lie and canard?
Since the Tanda Putra official facebook entry, I had asked around whether anyone had ever heard of any “urination” incident at the flagpole of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s house provoking May 13 riots, and nobody has ever heard of it before.
Neither the White Paper issued by the National Operations Council on 9th October 1969 entitled “The May 13 Tragedy” nor Tunku Abdul Rahman’s book “May 13 – Before & After” made any reference to any such urination incident at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence.
Mazlan Harun, the son of the then Selangor Mentri Besar, told The Malaysian Insider in its report dated August 20 that he had heard from a former deputy home minister of the alleged flagpole incident, but said he could not prove the truth of the statement.
He said: “I don’t want to say whether it’s true or not but I was informed by a former deputy minister in the Home Ministry — his name doesn’t have to be mentioned — who read this report, this sensitive report that says Kit Siang urinated (at the flagpole).
“If he lied, then I lie, that’s why many people are asking (that) all reports about May 13 be revealed.”
Mazlan should identify the former deputy Home Minister who told him this lie, and I call on the Inspector-General of Police to confirm whether there was such a police report, and if so, what action the police had taken at the time with regard to such a falsehood.
On August 21, 2012, The Malaysian Insider published the following:
“Kit Siang and May 13 — Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
Aug 21, 2012
AUG 21 — Allow me to explain about the above controversy.
I was there on that fateful day as an executive member of Umno Youth. The gathering was organised by Selangor Umno Youth whose leader was Harun Idris and the secretary then was Ahmad Razali Ali.
The whole area was dominated by Umno Youth members and no non-Malay could ever enter the place. That being the case, it was impossible for Lim Kit Siang to be there and did what he was purportedly accused of. If he did, he would have been killed by the mob.
In fact the first killing that I witnessed was outside the gate, on the road. A young coffeeshop boy, about 13 or 14 in age, was slaughtered by the mob and his body kicked into the drain running by the road. He was an innocent boy trying to earn some pocket money.
I mentioned the May 13 incident in my book “The Unmaking of Malaysia”.
As stated in his book, Ahmad Mustapha was a student activist (he headed the University of Malaya Socialist Club as President from 1958 to 1959, treasurer of the University Muslim Society and editor of Pelajar the organ of Pan Malaya Malay Students Federation GPMS), a civil servant, a political activist, a diplomat at one stage when he was made First Secretary at the Malaysian Embassy in the Hague, Netherland from 1970 to 1974 and general manager of BERNAMA the Malaysian national news agency from 1980 to 1987.
This is what Ahmad wrote in his book on the May 13 Incident which was published in 2007:
My Horrendous Experiences
A lot has been written about the May Thirteenth Incident, especially regarding the causes and political reasons underlying this very unhappy episode. There have also been different reports about the total death casualties, ranging from about 200 to about 1,000. Here, I am only relating what I experienced as an individual who was present at the scene at the time when the rioting disturbances and bloodshed that book place.
At this point, I do not want to apportion blame to any political party or ethnic group or any other party for the May Thirteenth Incident. All I can say is that in the beginning, all of us in UMNO were ready to march in a procession.
Being a member of the UMNO Youth Central Committee and an active member of its political bureau, I accepted the physical risk and the challenge to march in solidarity with the rest of the UMNO youth leaders. ..
I witnessed a killing of an innocent coffee shop boy who was delivering some drinks to those attending the gathering. Suddenly, long knives (parang) and other sharp weapons appeared as if from nowhere. These weapons might have been concealed inside the bamboo hedge surrounding the Mentri Besar’s residence, but I don’t know who had concealed them there.
I am firmly convinced that the core members of UMNO youth present on that fateful day had no part in the killing of the coffee-shop boy. I was about 200 yards away from where the incident happened. The sudden change of events and the atmosphere that prevailed stupefied us and most of us were in a daze.
We were unaware and unprepared for such a situation. Our first reaction was one of shock and total disbelief that this incident was happening right before our very eyes (so to speak), and initially we just stood and watched, frozen and petrified. May Allah forgive me for not doing anything to prevent this horrific incident.
When the seriousness of the situation dawned on me, I was unable to think of anything except the safety of my family and my children. But the scene of the killing was very haunting. I can still until today visualize that tragic incident. Even as an UMNO youth leader I would not be able to do anything positive to stop this madness. A crazy mob had taken over the situation and I and fellow UMNO youth were helpless.
Headbands were handed out and I put on one of these, and till today I don’t know what the purpose of the headbands was, and why I put one on. I was not sure also why we were issued with headbands, and who ordered them to be issued. Possibly the headbands were meant to be worn when we marched out in the procession. But why were these headbands not issued when we all first arrived? Why didn’t anyone explain why these headbands were being issued and where did they come from? Most of all, was the mob situation pre-planned and fanned by some irresponsible elements? If so, who were they? Till today, the answers to these questions continue to haunt me.
That fateful night was a night full of confusion. There was no one who could take charge, not even a government leader. There was definitely an atmosphere of panic and instability in the area.
Everyone was only interested in their own individual safety. After being holed out in the Mentri Besar’s residence for the better part of the night, I only managed to get back home with the help of the police at close to three o’clock the next morning.
It is clear that there are irresponsible elements who are trying to arouse fear and spew hatred by raising again the spectre of May 13.
It should be the responsibility of all Malaysians, including leaders of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, to lay to rest the spectre of May 13.
Let Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat co-operate with one common objective: “We don’t want May 13 repeated.”
Could there be another May 13 in the next general election? My answer would be a strong NO.
Without going into the debate as to who should be held responsible for the May 13 tragedy in 1969 (and there are diametrically conflicting accounts and versions of who should be held responsible and this is why right from the beginning after the May 13 riots, DAP and I had called for an independent Royal Commission of Inquiry into its causes) the circumstances today are completely different from those prevailing 43 years ago in 1969.
The most important difference between 1969 and the 13th general election is the emergence of a multiracial multireligious national coalition represented throughout the country to peacefully and democratically challenge UMNO/BN’s hold to power in Putrajaya -as the Pakatan Rakyat coalition of PKR, PAS and DAP is a Malaysian coalition of all races, religions and regions in Malaysia!
Only the most irresponsible, anti-national and treacherous elements in our country can try to distort and misinterpret a Pakatan Rakyat victory in the 13GE as victory of one race against another, as to justify wild thoughts tinkering with the idea of another May 13, when any victory for Pakatan Rakyat will be a Malaysian victory representing all races.
This is the time to end all irresponsible and unpatriotic attempts to raise the spectre of May 13 through dangerous lies and falsehoods like the Tanda Putera Facebook canard that I had urinated at the flagpole of the Mentri Besar’s residence to provoke May 13, 1969 riots.
(Media Conference Statement at DAP Hqrs in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 14th September 2012 at 11 am)