13. DEFIANCE | The May 13 Tragedy

The common features in all these were the complete and deliberate defiance of traffic regulations, vulgar and obscene language and gestures, and deliberately provocative slogans attacking the Malays. A pattern of behaviour similar to the Maoist funeral procession of 9th May was evident. The marchers and those in cars and lorries displayed unbridled arrogance and showed nothing less than insolence towards authority.

The leaders of the Opposition parties, both Gerakan and the DAP. neither restrained nor denounced the behaviour of their party workers.

Despite these extreme provocations, the Malay communities in the areas most affected by these insults showed patience and restraint. However, they brooded on the fact that even with the winning of only a few additional seats the non-Malays, particularly the Chinese, had shown arrogance beyond belief. To the Malays as a whole, the events from the 9th to 12th May gave cause for fear over their future. On 12th May for instance, the restraint of the Police, and the freedom with which the Chinese flouted the law, caused the Malays to harbour doubts as to the willingness or ability of the Government to deal firmly with such lawless elements. A feeling of dismay and uncertainty, coupled with their memories of the 1945


kangaroo courts, swept the Malay community in the Federal Capital. On the morning of 12th May a group of Kampong Bharu UMNO youths met Haji Ahmad Razali bin Ali, an Alliance State Assemblyman, and told him that they wanted to hold an UMNO procession for the purpose of "showing to the Opposition Parties that the UMNO, too, had a good reason to celebrate, as they were not defeated in the State elections."


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