INTRODUCTION | The May 13 Tragedy

The object of this Report is to reveal the known facts leading to. and connected with, the racial disturbances which broke out on May 13, 1969 in Kuala Lumpur.

The eruption of violence on May 13 was the result of an inter-play of forces that comprise the country's recent history. These include a generation gap and differences in interpretation of the constitutional structure by the different races in the country, and consequently the growing political encroachment of the immigrant races against certain important provisions of the Constitution which relate to the Malay language and the position of the Malays, principally Articles 152 and 153; the incitement, intemperate statements and provocative behaviour of certain racialist party members and supporters during the recent General Elections; the pan played by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) and secret societies in inciting racial feelings and suspicion: and the anxious, and later desperate, mood of the Malays with a background of Sino-Malay distrust, and recently, just after the General Elections, as a result of racial insults and threats to their future survival and well-being in their own country.


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