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COMMENT | May 13, 1969 - arrest and detention under ISA

COMMENT | Violence broke out in Kuala Lumpur in the early evening of May 13, 1969. Emergency rule was declared the following day and the National Operations Council (NOC) led by deputy prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein became the de facto government although Tunku Abdul Rahman was still nominally the prime minister. Parliament only resumed sitting in February 1971.

After the fateful May 13 incident, the whole state apparatus came down on Lim Kit Siang but he was fearless. His extraordinary courage and indomitable spirit kept the DAP movement intact in the years to come despite numerous attacks from the ruling coalition.

After a rally to thank the voters for their support in Melaka on May 12, 1969, Kit flew to Kota Kinabalu on the morning of May 13, 1969, and spoke in the evening to a crowd there. Just before he took to the stage in Sabah, he was told of the chaos in Kuala Lumpur though without exact details. The election for Sabah seats was scheduled to be held after polling in the peninsula but was now postponed indefinitely after the outbreak of violence.

For years, right-wing groups have spread many lies about Kit, including claiming that he was born in China and was present in Kuala Lumpur to instigate the riots on May 13. The lies are still being spread around on social media to this day.

Another vicious lie was even depicted in a mainstream Malay movie Tanda Putera in 2012 when a character deemed to be Kit was shown ... 

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