May 13 Incident


May 22, 2022

For the riots that took place in Indonesia in 1998, see May 1998 riots. For riots that occurred in Singapore in 1964, see 1964 Singapore racial riots — events that coincide with the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad which is taking place throughout Malaysia. 13 May incident is a term for the racial riots between ethnic Chinese and Malays that occurred in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 13, 1969. which claimed the lives of 184 people. This incident is also the culmination of the problem of integration in Malaysia and is closely related to the "May 10, 1969 General Election" which is a black spot in the history of the Malaysian state.

Cause of riot

In the general election of 10 May 1969, the governing Alliance coalition chaired by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) suffered its biggest defeat since 1955 although it still won the election. The largest Chinese party Democratic Action Party and the Movement won votes in the election, and was entitled to hold a victory march through the designated route in Kuala Lumpur. However, the march became noisy, violent and veered off course and led to the Malay district of Kampong Bahru, mocking its residents with racist banners reading "Malai Si" which in Chinese means "Death to Malays". Although the Movement Party immediately issued an apology the next day, UMNO announced a counter march from the head of Selangor state Dato' Harun bin Idris on Jalan Raja Muda to celebrate their victory. Reportedly, the assembled community was told that the Malays heading to the procession had been attacked and beheaded by the Chinese in Setapak, a few miles to the north [1] Archived 2003-05-25 at the Wayback Machine. Angry protesters (Malays) began to gather, including organizations that defend the fate of the country's Malays such as Gang Parang Terbang (Bugis), Gang Parang Panjang, Gang Sungai Manik, Gang Selendang Merah (Pesilat) and hundreds of Malays. others, coming from various parties, began to unite under one roof, then quickly retaliated by killing two passing Chinese motorcycle riders, and rioting erupted. When the riots took place, loudspeakers in mosques were also used as provocations to encourage the rioters to continue their actions until there was bloodshed, in order to defend the generosity and sovereignty of the Malays who had been insulted and trampled on. Rioters then began to act in the capital Kuala Lumpur and the region around the country of Selangor, with the exception of minor disturbances in Melaka elsewhere in the country remained peaceful. A national state of emergency and curfew was declared on May 16 but the curfew was eased in parts of the country on May 18 and removed within a week in central Kuala Lumpur. According to police data, 184 people died and 356 were injured, 753 cases of arson were recorded and 211 vehicles were destroyed or heavily damaged. Other sources put the number who died at around 196 people or even more than 200 people. Some estimate the death toll as high as 700 as a result of the riots.

Racial issues in the 1969 General Election

Issues of class and race that touch emotions and sentiments became the main theme throughout the 1969 General Election campaign which resulted in the increasing enthusiasm of the Malay and Chinese communities in Malaysia. During the 1969 election campaign, candidates and members of political parties, particularly those from opposition parties, raised sensitive issues related to the national language (Bahasa Melayu), the privileged position of the Malays (Bumiputera) and the populist rights of non-Malays. This gave rise to racial sentiments and suspicion. The Alliance Party (UMNO-MCA-MIC) has suffered a crushing defeat in the 1969 General Election. The number of seats it has won in the People's Council (Parliament)