Friday, August 6, 2010

Who were responsible for masterminding the 1964 Racial Riots?

Who were the main planners and instigators behind the 1964 racial riots?
This was one question uppermost in everybody's mind soon after a brittle calm was restored by the time the 2nd rioting period in September 1964 ended.
Altogether 36 people had been killed and more than 500 seriously injured.
Millions of dollars were lost in property, homes and business destroyed or damaged.
A few thousand, mostly curfew breakers, were arrested while more serious were those arrested with weapons or actually caught in violent attacks.
Members of secret societies, both Malay and Chinese, were rounded up and detained.
And the previous peace, tolerance and understanding between the races, especially the Chinese and the Malays, have been somewhat shattered by all the violence, the ongoing threats (then) and the continued non-stop attacks by the ULTRAS from UMNO S'pore as well as UMNO Malaya...back then.
Today, if anyone wants to do serious research into this question of blame and responsibility, there are schorlarly papers, plus many books out there with a ton of material and references to draw one's conclusions.

For me, the definitive reference is my own copy of " The Singapore Story - Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew" published in 1998 by Times Edition Pte Ltd.
It is a truly good read from cover to cover, 680 pages in all and 43 solid chapters.

I would strongly recommend that all our own Singapore students read it to get not only a deeper understanding of those founding years but hopefully in doing so will come to the same conclusion I did.....that we must do everything in our power to ensure that such horrors of the past ( racial violence, freedom of ULTRAS and evil trouble-makers to go about freely to instigate without any way to stop them ) do not visit us again.

We owe it to the "brave hearts" who were not cowed and were unafraid to face these racialists and ULTRAS. Singaporeans should never forget that men like our founding fathers led by then PM Lee Kuan Yew, former DPM Toh Chin Chye, former DPM the late Goh Keng Swee and former Senior Minister S Rajaratnam, Othman Wok, and others in similar mould...withstood the most intense attacks and high tension on a scale never seen before till today.
Plans were even made to have PM Lee K Y arrested and put in jail ( with the Tunku's sanction obtained )! Our fledgling cabinet even considered a government-in-exile as another a worst case scenario.
How close all that came to happening is not fiction, is not conjecture.
Read the book yourself to find out even more shocking truths about the dangerous times of those days for our Singapore heroes.

We all know by now, MM Lee is not a man to mince his words. He does not beat about the bush in his writings either. He goes straight to the point and is NOT afraid to tell it as it is ( or was ).
I think he is highly respected and probably feared ( by his enemies and obviously those who dislike him ) for always going for the jugular...and for telling it as it should be told.
Me...? I don't mince my words either in the face of bullies.

One of the main instigators of the riots was SYED JA'AFAR ALBAR, the Sec general of UMNO..whom LKY refer to as "the hatchet man" of UMNO leaders hostile to S'pore. You can read all about the dastardly machinations of this character in Chapter 36 of his book subtitled,
" Albar Stokes Up Malay Passions".
In that chapter, you will read the actual translated portions of many of his deadly speeches filled with HATE, BIGOTORY, VIOLENCE, FALSEHOOD etc...
He worked the malay/muslim crowds so well and cleverly that at certain intervals, sections of the crowd will shout, " KILL LKY, KILL OTHMAN WOK ! KILL LKY, KILL OTHMAN WOK ! "
And there were worse things......

ALBAR was not the only one responsible for the riots. Many others from especially UMNO and other Malay extremists contributed and supported him in his violent cause. As this is just a brief blogpost, I will not go at length into the lengthy details of various official reports by neutral ambassadors of USA, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other intelligence agencies whose very frank and candid reports are quoted in books such as " A Moment of Anguish - Albert Lau ".
Do check out the full chapter from page 161 to 210. Nothing hidden. All details for the world to see! Many of these reports cited Albar as the MAIN person responsible...with others involved.
Brave Dr Toh Chin Chye pressed the Federal Govt for a FULL COMMISSION of INQUIRY into the riots.
They were so afraid ! They declined!
Only a "post-mortem" will be held they said, and even that, the findings were stashed away.

[ NIK DAUD, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs ( KL ), saw SYED JA'AFAR and the other Malay Extremists as bearing the main responsibility for the riots. Dato NIK DAUD was convinced the riots in Singapore were caused by Malay extremists.... ] refer to page 194 of Albert Lau's book.

The DPM, Abdul Razak allowed ALBAR to continue his inciting the Malays and attack Singapore non-stop. So, in that, he too was one of those deemed to be responsible for having a hand " under the table".

[ This is the front cover of the Book ]

[ The Back Cover of the Book ]

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