Lim Kit Siang
MP SPEAKS Malaysians should do a Sherlock Holmes to find out the ‘who, when and what' about the origin of the canard of ‘urination' at the flagpole of then Selangor menteri besar's house, provoking the May 13 riots in 1969.
On Saturday, I categorically denied the preposterous claim which had appeared previously on the official Facebook page of the May 13 movie, ‘Tanda Putra', that I had urinated on the flagpole in front of the MB's residence during the riots of 1969.
The Facebook had carried a photo portraying me being manhandled, with the caption:
"Lim Kit Siang telah kencing di bawah tiang bendera Selangor yang terpacak di rumah menteri besar Selangor ketika itu, Harun Idris. (Lim Kit Siang had urinated at the foot of the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor MB Harun Idris' house)"
The photo was posted in the album in the Facebook titled ‘Peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimuatkan di dalam filem ini' (Events depicted in this movie).
Although the photo and caption have since been removed from the movie's official page, Malaysiakini had captured a screenshot of the earlier posting.
I noted two very pertinent postings from the 72 comments since Malaysiakini reported my denial:
RealSoldier: It's simply absurd to accuse LKS (Lim Kit Siang) of performing such despicable act because the flagpole was not freely accessible to the public as it was located within the compound of the MB's house, which was fenced and manned by a jaga (security guard). By accident, I was at the MB's house on that fateful day - from 3am to 5.30am the next day - to follow rescue operations by the security forces.
Free: The picture of LKS being grabbed and manhandled by officers was taken at the Kota Kinabalu old airport terminal. Those officers in white-shirt uniform were immigration officers when (then Sabah CM) Harris Salleh ordered the deportation of LKS from Sabah. I was inside a plane and saw from the window that LKS was put on a wheelchair and wheeled to the plane for deportation back to Kuala Lumpur.
What ‘RealSoldier' posted made eminent sense, as in 1969 I never knew where was the official residence of the Selangor MB, let alone that it had a flagpole "located within the compound of the MB's house, which is fenced and manned by a jaga".
This posting exposes the downright lie and dangerous falsehood that I or anyone could have urinated at the foot of the flagpole at the MB's house - when it was within a confined and guarded compound.
Photo taken in Kota Kinabalu
The second poating by Malaysiakini reader ‘Free' is an eyewitness account of the origin of the photograph shown on the ‘Tanda Putra' official facebook.
The photograph was not taken in 1969 but 15 years later at the Kota Kinabalu Airport old terminal on Aug 26, 1984.
I had flown into Kota Kinabalu that morning en route to Sandakan in response to a challenge by the then Sabah chief minister Harris Salleh to repeat my speech in Parliament on July 23, 1984 outside Parliament without the benefit of parliamentary privilege on Harris' abuses of powers as CM, in particular with regard to Labuan being carved out of Sabah and made a federal territory.
I had challenged Harris to name the place and date for me to repeat my parliamentary speech, and when Harris named the Dewan Masyarakat Sandakan on Aug 26 at 10am, I immediately accepted it and flew into Kota Kinabalu with then DAP deputy national chairperson and MP for Jelutong Karpal Singh en route to Sandakan for the occasion.
But at the Kota Kinabalu airport, I was denied entry on the directive of the Sabah CM. I was told to take the same flight out to return to Kuala Lumpur.
In the two-and-a-half-hour standoff with the immigration authorities, I made it very clear that denying me entry into Sabah was a gross abuse of Sabah immigration autonomy powers and I was not prepared to leave my own country on my own free. I told them that they will have to bodily carry up the plane. Finally, they put me in a wheelchair and carried up the steps to the waiting plane.
That was the 1984 Kota Kinabalu photograph which ‘Tanda Putra' official facebook had used as one of the May 13, 1969 photographs!
How did the story originate?
The two postings by Malaysiakini readers are the real stuff of people's history - unalloyed and unadulterated by lies and falsehoods. So how did the canard of the ‘urination' at the Selangor MB's house originate?
Since the ‘Tanda Putra' official Facebook entry, I had asked around whether anyone had ever heard of any ‘urination' incident, and nobody has ever heard of it before.
Neither the White Paper issued by the National Operations Council on Oct 9, 1969 entitled ‘The May 13 Tragedy' nor Tunku Abdul Rahman's book ‘May 13 - Before & After' made any reference to any such urination incident at the Selangor MB's residence.
This has now apparently become Urine-Gate or Pee-Gate of Malaysia. When did anyone first heard of such a canard? Or is it a very recent vintage - just for ‘Tanda Putra'?
It is indeed sad and tragic, when all efforts should be made on the occasion of the approaching 55th Merdeka Day/49th Malaysia Day to emphasise the unity in diversity of the Malaysian nation, there seems to be anti-national elements out to create racial distrust and dissension and undermine national harmony by spreading the most vicious lies and falsehoods about the history of the nation.
If Prime Minister Najib Razak's 1Malaysia slogan and policy is to have any meaning at all, I call on all Malaysians to prove that they are Malaysians in heart and soul on the occasion of the 55th Merdeka Day/49th Malaysia Day.
LIM KIT SIANG is DAP MP for Ipoh Timur.