PETALING JAYA, May 13 — Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today said that the government has not received any formal requests to declassify official documents on the May 13, 1969 riots
Malaysiakini reported that Muhyiddin was not in favour of such requests and stressed that the government is looking towards the future.
“That (May 13 incident) was the past. We are now looking at the present and the future. Obviously, nobody wants to celebrate May 13, as you (media) say it’s the 50th anniversary.
“What is important is to learn from the past and make sure Malaysia will not face the same problem in the future,” he said during a press conference in Putrajaya.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Pagoh MP, also questioned the point in raising an old incident, adding that the riots should serve as a lesson, and more importantly, the government should focus on what they are doing now and in the future.
“As the new government, Pakatan Harapan (PH) promises to be fair. We don’t want to see our country in chaos because of racial and religious issues,” he told reporters
Yesterday, Human rights watchdog Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) director and author Kua Kia Soong urged the PH government to declassify the secrets of May 13 racial riots.
“Perhaps now that the supposedly ‘new’ PH government is in power, it is time to act like a mature and enlightened democracy and declassify the official secrets in the vaults of the Cabinet and the Special Branch department.
“We will then be able to get to the full story of the May 13 incident now that it is already fifty years ago when it happened,” said Kua.
The 68-year-old had in 2007 written a book titled May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969.
The racial riots which occurred from May 13 to July 31, 1969, had claimed the lives of 196 people even though certain quarters estimated the number to be higher.
It was reported that the tragedy, which occurred after the country’s third general election, had also left 6,000 people homeless and at least 211 vehicles and 753 buildings damaged or destroyed in fire.