May 13: a review of some controversies in accounts of the riots
The riots that took place in Kuala Lumpur on May 13, 1969, are one of the most momentous events in Malaysia's history as an independent state. The purpose of this chapter is to critique books and articles that attempt to describe and explain what happened on that day. The chapter outlines the range of arguments that have been presented over the years and identifies inconsistencies, questionable assumptions, and important gaps in the literature. Particular attention is devoted to the question of whether the riots were, as usually portrayed, a conflict between Malays and Chinese or, as a small number of writers have suggested, a vehicle by which one faction within the ruling UMNO party created the circumstances by which they challenged the faction that had ruled Malaysia since independence.
Reinventing Malaysia: Reflections on its Past and Future