COMMENT The fires of May 13, 1969 still burn in the mind of older Malaysians who lived through the racial riots that swept through the major cities of the peninsula.

 I was a teenager then and the sight of my father quickly putting on his shoes to go out to our middle-class and predominantly Chinese neighbourhood to call for the menfolk to come out and defend their homes if the Malays attacked us was hard to reconcile with the 'happy-go-lucky' life we were enjoying.

We could hear the drums beating in the distance where there was a Malay kampung.