KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 — A former senior police intelligence officer panned today the urination scene in controversial film “Tanda Putera” as a complete fabrication, while also denying that the communists had engineered the deadly May 13 riots in 1969.
Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng, who was an officer with the police Special Branch at the time of the riots, clarified that the communists had little interest in sowing division along racial lines as the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) was “essentially a non-racial party”.
“I can also confirm with you, as I was on duty at the time, that the urination incident never happened,” he told The Malay Mail Online, referring to a scene of an ethnic Chinese man urinating on a flagpole at the then-Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence as depicted in the local film directed by horror maestro Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba.
Yuen criticised Shuhaimi for including the scene in the film, saying that it was something that should have been researched properly to avoid sparking unnecessary tension.
“The director should have called me. It was during my time. This is a very specific incident and it should have been researched properly... now it is only causing so much confusion and this is not good for the country,” he said.
Yuen had earlier posted a response to a blog posting by DAP’s Lim Kit Siang, rebutting a report by The Sun daily that quoted the former policeman as claiming that the communists had helped the opposition win seats in the 1969 polls.
In his response, Yuen said no single political party at the time, save for the Socialist Front and Labour Party, should be identified as being in any way communist.
He added that it would be misleading to blame the communists for orchestrating the 1969 riots.
“They might prompt riots but not racial riots because they are essentially a non-racial party. If they could have it their way they would have preferred continuing success of their open and legal struggle,” Yuen wrote.
Lim had earlier posted a rebuttal to the news report quoting Yuen as claiming that the communists had helped the opposition, arguing that the communists had called for a boycott of the polls and wanted to see the opposition fare badly.
“The facts were the exact opposite, as the communists were calling for a boycott of the 1969 general election and the Opposition parties which participated in the 1969 general election were condemned by the communists as “stooges” and “puppets” of the Alliance for going against their call to the people to reject the ballot box and democratic process and to take to street protests and extra-constitutional struggle,” Lim wrote in his blog post.
Recounting his version of events, Yuen pinned the blame for the May 13 riots on “stupid Chinese and some Indian hooligans” who taunted the Malay community while celebrating the opposition’s unprecedented sweep of 54 parliamentary seats.
“Communal ultras could only made (sic) things even more (sic) worse by capitalising on already explosive emotions,” he said.
Pro-establishment parties and groups have been targeting Lim for allegedly being a key instigator in the racial riots, especially after “Tanda Putera” opened in cinemas during the Merdeka Day weekend in late August.
Lim had been identified by his accusers as the man who urinated on the flagpole as depicted in the movie, a charge that he has staunchly denied.
Shuhaimi, who had initially defended the film as “historically accurate”, later denied that she made a documentary and admitted to using artistic license to produce her interpretation of incidents leading to the deadly racial riot.