Ong Kar Jin believes there’s more to what meets the eye in this round of police crackdowns.

Adam Adli. Tian Chua. Haris Ibrahim. Tamrin Ghafar. Safwan Anang. And now Hishammuddin Rais. One by one, these politicians and activists have been hauled up by the authorities in a crackdown reminiscent of 1988’s Operation Lalang.

The real question of course, is why.

Now this may seem like an obvious answer to you; after all, they all probably have played a part in calling on people to go to street rallies, or have had a hand or two in organising them. The simple logic now is that the authorities are simply clamping down to ensure no more rallies will take place.

I must disagree. Let us take the rally reason at face value. Tamrin Ghafar, Hishammuddin Rais and Tian Chua have had very little to do with organising rallies. In terms of calling on people to rise and take to the streets to protest, they are only part of a growing chorus of NGO activists, politicians and ordinary citizens. In any case, rallies have gone on for a very long time now, from BERSIH in 2007 all the way to the recent Suara Rakyat 505 Padang Amcorp rally. Barisan Nasional (BN) has managed to largely ignore them with the administration going on as normal, and have learnt valuable lessons that any crackdowns can only result in a terrible political backlash.

And if indeed there was to be a crackdown to prevent rallies, why the selective persecution? Why not hit out at the big players? Blogger Chegubard has made his stance and involvement in the Amcorp Mall rally very clear by his presence on the stage, yet has not been arrested.

Yet a crackdown still happened. And is still happening. Why? Has the government simply not learned? Have they grown a sudden fear to rallies?

I believe the situation needs a closer examination. Not all arrested so far called upon the rakyat to rise and take the fight to the streets. Not all were involved in organizing rallies. Yet the Home Ministry went right ahead knowing full well there would be a huge political backlash in arresting the above names. Again, the crucial question is why?

All those arrested thus far do, however, have something in common: they all spoke out against racism at a May 13 forum at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. Adam Adli called the May 13 riots a result of sedition by UMNO members and said they were used as an excuse to hold on to power in the aftermath of the devastating 1969 election results. Tian Chua boldly stated that unity has never been a real problem in Malaysia, but disunity is actively caused by UMNO itself. Again, he labeled May 13 as a means to hold onto power, calling it a “toyol” to scare people. Most revealing is Tamrin Ghafar’s speech, where he revealed in his capacity as an ex-UMNO insider that the May 13 riots were part of a coup d’état to overthrow Tunku Abdul Rahman. He even implicated Mahathir Mohammad as one of the key players. Similar exhortations to relook at history were made by Haris Ibrahim and Safwan Anang.

I believe it is not rallies UMNO fears but a growing trend of historical revisionism. Should the spectre of May 13 be torn apart as an UMNO-orchestrated plot, Barisan Nasional would lose its status as a bringer of “stability” and a preserver of “delicate race relations”.  Previously such thoughts were restricted to the minds of academics such as Kua Kia Soong, but recently such reflections upon history have gained traction in popular imagination.

As George Orwell once said: “He who controls the present, controls the past. And he who controls the past, controls the future.”

The real fear of UMNO is not rallies. They have dealt with them aplenty before, from 1988’s protests, 1998’s Reformasi to 2007’s BERSIH. The real fear of UMNO is the revision of the “gospel truth” they have taught people as the history of the nation. Once the May 13 spectre loses ground, what would happen to the older voters who previously may have feared a change in government based on concerns over racial clashes? What would it say about BN’s smear campaign on Lim Kit Siang, who was not even in the Peninsula at the time of the riots?

And what other hidden histories will be revealed? Perhaps the next issue to catch people’s attention will be the struggle of the left-wing parties under PUTERA-AMCJA against the British (see Fahmi Redza’s documentary Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka), which would then portray UMNO not as independence fighters but as British sycophants and collaborators. With such a huge blow to BN’s prestige as the Fathers of Independence, what sort of impact might that have on Malaysians?

No doubt such thoughts are haunting the minds of the authorities. As another quote from George Orwell goes: “In times of universal deceit, the telling of the truth is a revolutionary act.”

To put it simply, UMNO fears the truth.


A young Malaysian who attempts to take on the thorny (and occasionally horny) realities of Malaysian politics and its woes in his own tiny, smelly way. A person who has heard the twin arguments of "You...

13 replies on “The Real Reason for the Crackdown”

  1. Yessss……….UMNO fears the TRUTH…cos its nothing but the Truth in Tamrin Ghafar Baba saying!!!!!

  2. Great revealation as you have shown courageously and have spoken the truth of mamak kutty, who collaborated with Tun Razak to instigate the May 13 racial riot against the DAP Chinese winning parliamentary seats and to frame the riot caused by Lim Kit Siang. Lim Kit Siang stated, as you accurately pointed out, he was not even in Malaysia but was nevertheless sent to prison. Mamak mutty was behind the devious plot. Tunku Abdul Rahman knew mamak mutty was a fascist who claimed to be Melayu to join Umno. Mamak mutty was expelled by Umno while Tunku was the party head. Mamak mutty then further his fascist ambition to blame Tunku for the BN's loss of seats to DAP and the racial riot that resulted. The plot thickened when Mamak mutty saw the timing was ripe as the "framed" riot was engulfing the nation in fear and in racial disharmony. Mamak mutty used his eloquent forked tongue began to seek vengeance against Tunku for the Umno expulsion, organized coup d'etat with others inside Umno to rebel for the overthrow of the then father of Merdeka, Tunku Abdul Rahman. Mamak mutty and Umno fear the truth because the truth has come back to haunt the truth perverters and evil doers. Again, as in the past, Mamak mutty is all behind the scene, with his faded power as former PM, uses his forked lying tongue to cajole Pekasa and Umno elites to draw the daggers for him once again and attempts to try to keep the feared truth from coming out, before it is too late when the truth has become and is become the rakyat's public knowledge.

  3. Quote – "Most revealing is Tamrin Ghafar’s speech, where he revealed in his capacity as an ex-UMNO insider that the May 13 riots were part of a coup d’état to overthrow Tunku Abdul Rahman. He even implicated Mahathir Mohammad as one of the key players."

    The other 2 key players were the late Harun Idris (the then Menteri Besar of Selangor) & the late Abdul Razak (the then Deputy Prime Minister & Najib's father). Harun's tenure as Menteri Besar was in jeopardy as it was a "hung" State Legislative as Alliance (BN's forerunner) only had 14 seats out of 28; thus, his motivation was to be the Menteri Besar & Razak couldn't wait to take over from Tunku as the Prime Minister.

    Mamak Kutty was sacked from UMNO by Tunku &, for his part, the then new Prime Minister, Razak, rewarded Mamak Kutty by making him the Education Minister & thus began the rot in our Education system.

  4. Yes indeed. A good perspective. And who has got more to lose than the good old DR in the house himself as all fingers point to him being one of the plotters!. AND who has much clout with the 'leadership' .. than said DR in the woods… I'll buy THAT for a dollar !..

  5. umngok / be end is very afraid that more than their 30 decades of May 13 bogeyman and pathetic bumiputera system will be shamefully exposed as nothing more than lies to enrich their own pockets.

  6. Thanks for putting your finger on the real issue, Ong Kar Jin. Umno, like most traditional power hierarchies, was founded on a lie (that it fought for Merdeka when the truth is it simply made a business deal with the British). Then along came Mahathir who turned the lie into a gigantic deception that is now rapidly crumbling.

  7. Agreed !!!!!!!! BN only want to instill the fear among Malaysian about 513 so that they can keep divide Malaysians in order to control them.

  8. Keep the people low, with knees to the floor. Down there, they can't fight. Only then, can they see our might. #lastwords

  9. A mind once broaden, no longer hold its original confines.

    There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

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