“Where were you on May 13, 1969?”

I lived in a Malay majority kampung in Kampong Baroh, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
I was only five years old.
When the emergency was declared, as far as I can remember it, my two older brothers were in school – Chung Ling and Methodist Boys’ School. My eldest brother is 13 yrs older than me and my 2nd brother 12 years older than me, so they were 18 years and 17 years old. No, wait, probably my eldest brother already completed Form Five, so only my second brother was in school.

I do not recall much except that my mother was worried as my father had to rush to find my second brother. The only mode of transport we had back then was a Raleigh bicycle or the Penang Yellow Bus. Bayan Lepas is very, very far away from Methodist. Buses service probably stopped. And my father had to go on foot to fetch my second brother to safety.

During that time, all of us must be in the house, locked by the evening. From peepholes, I can see FRU personnels roaming around with their huge baton and rattan shield.

The hottest game then was this ring attached with string and a bell like thing. Kids would put the ring part at their ankle and we skip and make the ‘bell’ part go in circles. Very much like hula-hoop on an ankle. Who can remember playing this game?

Was there any racial tensions? Not that I know off. We have always lived peacefully, as far as a five years old girl is concerned. In fact, I went to an almost all-Malays school and never face racial problems at all.

So, yeah, nothing dramatic on my part.

However….I do feel pissed with the way UMNO protested at Komtar the other day. If that has been a day when my son was on his way home by bus, I would be worried sick because all the buses go to Komtar. Lucky, it was school holiday. That’s why I am very disappointed that the people who were part of the protest, i.e. the UMNO Penang leaders seems to get away with doing stunts like these on the streets and do not get into trouble. It was an irresponsible action.

How many of my readers were born before 1969?

31 thoughts on ““Where were you on May 13, 1969?”

  1. I heard stories from my parents about it. They mentioned some Harun guy. My folks were staying at the hot spot, Chow Kit area at that time.

    I wasn’t born yet. I am way too young. šŸ˜Ž

  2. my parents pun belum met yet that time… but my mother never let us forget what May 13 was about…

  3. I was born in the 1960 and remembered my mum buying big tins and tins of cream cracker and marie biscuits. She also bought packets of dried mee (at that time there’s were no maggie mee) and those mee were cooked in boiling water, then add in lard and sauce sauce and slurp..was really delicious, to me that is šŸ˜›

    ROs last blog post..Let’s Chant The McDonald’s Big Mac Chant

  4. May 13th…

    Let us put our hands together no matter what race or religion and pray that such an occurence will never happen again in our blessed country of malaysia..

  5. i lived in a rubber estate near Port Dickson so i was far removed from any strife. But my cousin sister was a student at Vanto Academy in PJ and spoke of neighbours of all races who looked out for each other to get bread, noodles etc… during curfew hrs. Their biggest fear was the govt. soldiers since they were all a bunch of young girls from out of town living in PJ.

  6. I was also 5 then living in Bukit Gelugor, Penang. I remembered seeing the FRU personnel patrolling along our street after curfew hours. Nothing happened even though we have a mixture of Malays, Chinese and Indians in the area. May-13 is the blackest day in the history of Malaysia. I hope it will not resurface. I believe Malaysians are now very matured and will not fall for the cheap gimmicks of our politicians to stir the sentiments of the rakyat for thier own personal political gains.

  7. I didn’t exist then…

    But my grandfather was about to go deliver his mah jong tiles (he was a mah jong imprinter) when his neighbor shouted at him ‘yi ka zham tong yan arr’ (they are ‘chopping’ the chinese now)… That is the story I got from my mother. Apparently he would have passed by the ‘epicenter’ if his neighbor did not warn him.

    My father was from Kampar, Perak. He told me there was a curfew, but nothing really happened.

  8. oh, i was a year old then. and the mention of Raleigh…i had almost forgotten them! i had a Raleigh bicycle.. wasn’t that the one with the longish seat that glimmers and shines and a little back support? but i could be wrong. i miss Penang badly.

    constances last blog post..Decor Ideas Online

  9. I was still a teenage student at that time.and one of our close frens was a malay boy named AHMAD Marzuki who was studying in Chung Ling high.We continued hanging out together..either at my chinese residential area or in the malay kampung (opp Balai Polis Kg.Baru) not bothered abt what was going on.
    Btw, Ahmad was an outstation student from Ipoh and could speak fluently in Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien & Hakka better than all of us! That was the way it used to be…

    9pek9bos last blog post..Kiasu In BohNowland!

  10. We were in Kota Baru Kelantan. Did not hear much other than it was riots and many malay families near my school offered to my parents that they will take us in if there’e trouble. Did not feel the bitterness of the people in other States until we moved to Selangor a year later. My cousins were affected as they were staying near the centre of the fights in KL.

  11. romantic – Hahaha, you just revealed your age. Almost.

    9pek9bo – Wuah….you don’t look as old as I think you are worrrr…If I am five, you are a teen, that means that you must be at least 8 years older than me? You look much younger ler…I forget to ask, can I post yr lengjai picture here? With CM, no need permission, with you must ask. I make it small-small lah.

    constance – My father’s bicycle is the man-type, with the bar across from the seat to the what-you-call-it steering there.

    beng-beng – So we almost same age lah…

    victor – Your parents not even pakthor yet?

    anakpenang – It is hard for me to believe that we ended up that way. No wonder when DAP wrested Penang, we were told very seriously that we are not to celebrate, cannot even laugh loud-loud. Just pretend like nothing only but inside our hearts, we all wanted to run out on the streets and jump for joy.

  12. Eh, belum lahir lagi. :p But i havent heard much stories about this 513. Yea, not for the past 20 years. No one tell me about it. Guess it’s very sensitive to talk about it?

  13. I wasnt borned but my mama said she was in primary skool..

    a neighbour came about to pick up her own kid and saw my mum there.

    “why are you here? cannot! cannot! come aunty take you home”

    and my mother jus follow la
    those were the days…

    if it was my time

    “aunty wait wait, let me call home first”

  14. Yes, I am very very sure one. šŸ™‚

    Very sad indeed and we are still feeling the aftermath no thanks to those politicians who are harping it to gain a step ahead from the Pakatan Rakyat. Especially that Fried Mee Hoon . No brainer.

  15. Though I was not around then, my parents spoke so much of it, I could feel their fear.

    You can peep through the windows and look at the FRU? My parents said if you do that here in KL, the soldiers will shoot you.

    zewts last blog post..Your say…

  16. It was a boring saturday – like one of those days you don’t feel like doing anything. So i google.. i got stucked at teluk kumbar for a while. i thought of lepakkingin teluk kumbar next time i need a break. then the may 13th popped.

    may 13th.. politicians bring this issue back; i don’t know what on earth for. it wasn’t racial issue at all and we didn’t have one then, and i believe we don’t one now. some larger then the people politicians are using this as their joker card. Sick, isn’t it ?

    i remember the presence of the soldiers. then not many vehicles on our roads; everytime they passed in convoy, it was noisy. the trucks are alike in shape and color, and the men dressed in same outfit. then school buses were not all yellow. And my mom told me “curfew” when asked why the many trucks.

  17. Well I wasn’t born either. My mum from Ipoh n dad is from Sitiawan. I never heard them mentioning anything about that day.

    Sometimes I am just so sick of some politician n the BN-UMNO related newspaper reporting about this n that; as if Malaysia is in HURU HARA. For God sake, why on earth may 13th is brought up every year after 2008 GE? my oversea friends who wanted to come for holiday had a second thought about coming until I reassured them that it was just certain parties who are retting to do something stupid!

    That faithful day had passed. Never have we, as far as u know of, encountered anything like that anymore. In fact, wherever you go in Malaysia ppl socialize n live in peace no matter what race.

    Haiz but still these small group of ppl just never think with their head..perhaps their brains are at their feet

Comments are closed.