In a news report headlined “’Communists helped opposition win seats’ in 1969”, former Special Branch deputy director Tan Sri Yuen Yet Leng was quoted as saying that “the communists had helped opposition parties, including the DAP, to win a substantial number of seats in the 1969 election”.
The Sun report states:
‘Communists helped opposition win seats’ 1969
Posted on 9 September 2013 – 09:38pm
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 9, 2013): A retired senior police officer today hinted that the communists had helped opposition parties, including the DAP, to win a substantial number of seats in the 1969 general election.
Former special branch deputy director Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng said the communists infiltrated the Opposition prior to the election, which led to them making inroads into areas held by the alliance government.
“The communist had infiltrated many legal organisations, including political parties, and that is what led to the Opposition winning (in the 1969 general election),” he said at Telekom Malaysia’s “Cerita Tanah Airku” (Story of my Homeland) event in conjunction with Malaysia Day.
The Opposition in 1969 comprised the DAP, the People’s Progressive Party, Gerakan and PAS.
However, he said that the Opposition electoral victories did not lead to the race riots on May 13 that year.
He said the riots were caused by provocation by some Chinese celebrating the election victory in an inappropriate manner which was countered with “over-reaction” by the Malays.
“Some Chinese hooligans were shouting extreme racial slurs and this made the Malays very angry. The initial 48 hours were hard to contain, and at the end of the incident, more than 200 people were killed and 43 shot by the police,” he said.
“It took the efforts of all three major races to put an end to the riots. I have only one message to the younger generation … stop racism. We did not save the country for it to be lost to racism.”
He said the blowing up of racial issues will only lead to the destruction of the country.
Yuen’s claim that the communists helped the opposition to win seats in the 1969 general election is news to me, running counter to what actually happened in the run-up to the 1969 general election and studies whether books or articles by scholars of the 1969 general election.
I do not deny that the communists, like the Special Branch, had tried to infiltrate the Opposition, and DAP had done its utmost to ensure that we were not infiltrated either by the communists or the Special Branch.
Yuen, however, is way off the mark when he said that the communists helped the Opposition to make inroads into areas held by the Alliance government in the 1969 general election.
The facts were the exact opposite, as the communists were calling for a boycott of the 1969 general election and the Opposition parties which participated in the 1969 general election were condemned by the communists as “stooges” and “puppets” of the Alliance for going against their call to the people to reject the ballot box and democratic process and to take to street protests and extra-constitutional struggle.
Far from aiding Opposition parties, the communists wanted the people to boycott the 1969 general elections and the Opposition to fare badly.
This was the reason why 44 years ago, I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, on August 5, 1969 from the Muar Detention Centre where I was incarcerated under the Internal Security Act, expressing my anxieties for the future of Malaysia and urging the Tunku to embark on a course of national unity and reconciliation.
This is what I said in my letter:
The May 10 General Elections result was a defeat for the Alliance Party. But it was graver blow to the MCP.
During the general elections campaign, the MCP and its open auxiliaries campaigned for a boycott of elections to discredit parliamentary democracy and to prepare the political base for its second armed insurrection.
The people rejected the MCP line and came out solidly to vote. This proved that the people had faith in the democratic process to peacefully bring about the changes they want.
The result of May 10 was the people’s verdict for democracy, as against the MCP campaign. There was joy and expectancy, after the results, not to deprive anyone of his rights, but at the new hope to work for a more just, equal and fulfilling society.
The May 13 disturbances and the subsequent events, however, had greatly undermined the people’s faith in democracy.
I believe that the situation, though grave, is not irretrievable, if the government can spearhead a national, all-part, all-races effort to restore communal confidence through the pursuit of genuine multiracial politics and policies.
I do not know what was the basis for the Special Branch arriving at its conclusion in 1969 that the communists had helped the opposition parties to win a substantial number of seats in the 1969 general election when the communists had been doing the very opposite in the run-up to the 1969 general election to campaign for a boycott of elections.
What are the “substantial number of seats” won by the DAP, Gerakan, PPP and PAS in the 1969 general election as a result of the “assistance” by the communists?