Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recolor May 13 - The Sun Daily today

Recolouring May 13

"Two new books attempt to change the way Malaysians view the date, by replacing fear and embracing the shared values that unite them despite their diversity"

KUALA LUMPUR (May 10, 2010): Anas Zubedy was five years old when the May 13 racial riots occurred in 1969. Yet, he remembers clearly his father returning home in a hurry and locking all doors and sitting up all night with a parang.

"I think if anything were to happen to us, I am sure that despite being the only Malay family in the Chinese neighbourhood, our neighbours would have come to our rescue," said Anas, an entrepreneur and trainer.

Anas, together with academician Dr Chandra Muzaffar of International Movement for a Just World (JUST), are on a quest – to recolour May 13 as a day when all Malaysians should learn from their past mistakes and celebrate by embracing the shared values that unite them despite their diversity.

"When we talk about May 13, what comes instantly to mind is the racial riots. We should stop blaming each other for what has happened and learn from our mistakes and talk about the positive side. We can blame others for what happened, or we can choose to transform things for the better, to be change agents and constructively fill our hearts and minds with what needs to be done so May 13 does not ever happen again, and that no one uses the day to bring about fear and negativity," said Anas.

On May 13, 1969, racial riots broke out in Kuala Lumpur, officially leaving 196 dead, leading to a state of national emergency and suspension of Parliament.

To promote unity and spread the positive vibes of May 13, Anas has written a book titled "The Quran and I", chronicling his life story of being raised as a Malaysian Muslim and at the same time growing up with friends of all races and religions.

Chandra’s book, "A Plea for Empathy – The Quest for Malaysian Unity", is a compilation of his articles on national unity written over a period of 34 years.

"It is an interesting take that we celebrate May 13 from a different perspective as people will always remember it as a day of racial riots – it is a date associated with the shattering of the fabric of our society," said Chandra.

The book dissects various important issues such as the communal polarisation, ethnicity time bomb, solutions to resolving issues in a multi-religious society and Malay sovereignty.

Chandra said that he hoped with the publication of such a compilation, Malaysians would not only have a deeper understanding of issues pertaining to national unity but also develop empathy for one another.

"I hope books like this would be bridge builders and break the walls that divide us," Chandra said.

A plea to celebrate the day with holding thanksgiving feasts can be read at Anas’ blog

The books will be launched on Thursday at Starbucks, Bangsar Village2. -- theSun


Man CIOCC said...

As Salam Anas,
Breakdancing in 1984 to Kraftwerk's "Tour de France" wasn't about colour or creed. It was about diversity coming together. Oh yeah, we pitted fiercely against one another but the spirit of camaraderie as a group of “Robotik Poppers” made us proud to be different as ONE clan.

PSM said...

Hi Anas,

I fully agree with you! Time & time again various individuals have tried to change the mind set of Malaysians but alas, it's going to take time & effort.
I was 7 years old that year & my youngest sister was also born on the 31st of May 1969 & we were staying at the Pekililing Flats (just next to Chow Kit area) too! You can imagine the fright & stress it caused us all.
I'm a "new" Blogger (I don't qualify as one yet I guess!) so i don't really know the protocol...
Would you mind if I used your "Recolor May 13th, Many colors one race" at my Blog Site? I will stste clearly that it's from your Blog.
Keep up the good work!

SANSIRO said...

Great event ANAS! Had a lot of fun and many things to ponder also need to start to work on it. May GOD Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Hello, The Star rejected your request for free ad?

Since your are anti-916 takeover, what about Perak power robbery and now Kedah at risk? Show your conscience through ad?