Wednesday, 30 May 2007

REVIEW: May 13 by Kua Kia Soong

So. May 13. What's all the fuss about huh?

Noted social scientist, Dr. Kua Kia Soong, has written a book that sheds new light on the May 13 Incident, but since this book has already courted much controversy (no surprise really), you probably know about that.

Using recently declassified documents from the British Public Records Office, Dr. Kua Kia Soong tries to convince us that the May 13 riots were part of a plot to oust Malaysia's first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman by a "Malay state capitalist class". The documents include not only observations and memos by the British Embassy but also dispatches from foreign journalists (most notably Robert Reece of the Far East Economic Review) as well as views from other foreign embassies.

The quotes that fill this book paint a very convincing picture that there indeed was a planned coup de tat and that Tun Razak and his group of lackeys were the masterminds, the representatives of the so-called "state capitalist class". The plan was to wrest power from the Tunku, who is seen as feudal, pro-British and disconnected from the Malay grassroots. After the riots, Tun Razak took the chance to ensure "Malay Dominance" (ketuanan Melayu) in Malaysia by creating a National Ideology (Rukun Negara) and a host of Malay-centric schemes such as the New Economic Policy and the National Culture Policy to justify its racial discrimination.

All this is very enlightening, and it certainly does cast a different light than the official view of the events. However, I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced of the existence of a "Malay state capitalist class". From what I know, that class was only created because of the NEP... but then again I do admit I am mostly ignorant in social science, especially in local affairs.

Whatever the truth, official or unofficial, the fact is that racial discrimination is just plain wrong. No one race is above another. No one race needs "more rights" than other races.

I'll leave you with a quote from Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13) from the Quran:
O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

1 comment:

  1. i agree with you. Racial discrimination is wrong and I'm one of those that is being discriminated by this so-called multi-racial country

    ReplyDelete

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