It is a travesty of the truth and distortion of history for the Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to claim that Tanda Putera is a well-researched movie and that the May 13, 1969 racial riots was caused by the Chinese.
No well-researched and historically-faithful movie would have succumbed to flights of wild imagination as to create the fictitious urination scene by Chinese youths at the flag-pole of the well-guarded Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence as one of causes provoking the May 13 racial riots – reckless of the racial misunderstanding, hatred and conflict that could be generated today after 44 years by this totally fictitious episode and downright lie.
Similarly, no well-researched and historically-faithful movie would have concocted a total lie, noted by Free Malaysia Today journalist K. Pragalath in his film review “Tanda Putera falls flat”, where he observed:
“Tanda Putera opens with a dramatic scene of an incident where DAP campaign workers kill an Umno campaign helper two weeks prior to the general election then.”This is not history but pure fiction – nay, it is unadulterated evil, wicked falsehood and a treacherous and treasonous tale, for there was simply no such incident in 1969 where “DAP campaign workers kill an Umno campaign helper two weeks prior to the general election then”.
Nazri has done Malaysian nation-building a great disservice in making the baseless claim that the the May 13 riots was sparked by the Chinese, just as it would be most slanderous and most irresponsible for anyone to blame the May 13 riots on the Malays.
The May 13 riots was not caused by the Chinese or Malays but by irresponsible individuals who plunged the country into the most tragic and darkest period in the nation’s history.
Who are the culprits of the May 13, 1969 riots? This is subject of conflicting accounts.
This is why in my first speech in Parliament 42 years ago on February 23, 1971, I called for a Commission of Inquiry into the May 13, 1969 racial riots to find out their causes, assess the racial polarization in the country and to make recommendations to prevent a recurrence of the May 13, 1969 racial riots and arrest the racial polarization in the country.
My proposal for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the May 13 riots is still relevant and valid today, not so much to apportion blame or to punish the culprits as 44 years had elapsed since the occurrence of the national tragedy in 1969, but to ascertain the true causes and developments to present the historical truth to present and future generations and to heal the country’s worst racial wounds and to remove the spectre of May 13 from Malaysian history.
This would be be more worthwhile and constructive than spending public funds to allow a movie director the “creative licence” to concoct fictitious events about the May 13, 1969 riots, which could only worsen racial relations and polarisation in the country.