This was retrieved in a blog-posting by Tulang Besi of Malaysian Waves. I had embargoed this article to follow up on the controversial film on May 13, which I believe has been shelved. As such, it is a good time to remember that this letter did surface after 513 1969, lest we forgot to remember.
The May 13 riots: Mahathir's open letter to Tunku Abdul Rahman
I am deeply saddened because my intention in making a press statement was misunderstood by you. In fact, my intention is the same as yours, to save this country from harm that threatens it.
Your opinions are based on stories that were told to you by the people around you,who will only tell you things that they felt you like or should know. Let me tell you matters that concern the situation, opinion and ideas of the public so as to give you a better understanding on why I made that statement.
It was you yourself who told me that in order to avoid riots, you stopped the execution of 11 Chinese subversives. In fact your action in stopping the execution caused the riots and multiple deaths that have occurred since May 13.
You always “give and take”, that is to give the Chinese what they want. This was the reason for stopping the execution. This also caused the rise of anger among the Malays.
The Chinese labelled you and the Perikatan government as cowards and weak, which can be pushed around. That is the reason why the Chinese are not afraid to deny Perikatan, and the Malays do not want Perikatan anymore. That is why the Chinese and Indians were rude to the Malays on May 12. If you have been spat at in the face or been humiliated, then maybe you understand how the Malays feel.
The Malays whom you think will never revolt now have become mad and run amok , to the extent of losing their own lives and killing those that they hate because you accidentally gave face. The responsibility of the deaths, Muslim and non-Muslims, must be placed on the shoulder of the leader who made the wrong stand.
I apologize but I wanted to tell you the feelings of the Malays. In fact, the Malays now, be it PAS or UMNO, really hate you especially those who were humiliated by the Chinese, and those who lost their homes, families, children and relatives because of your give-and-take policy.
They said that you just wanted to be known as the Happy Prime minister despite the fact that the people are suffering.They know that even during the Emergency, you were still engrossed in poker games with your Chinese friends. The policemen told of how you used their cars and escorts to look for poker partners.
On the contrary, the Chinese have no respect for you.They said you are naïve and of no calibre. There is more of what they said but I cannot say it here. These words came from Chinese from all walks of life, from intellectuals and also the rickshaw man.
Lately, some development has arisen. The Malays in civil service, from Permanent Secretary and below, army officers and policemen have lost trust and respect in you. I knew that most of them supported PAS through postal votes. Officers from the police and army still follow orders at the moment since the orders are in line with their wishes.If you ever do anything that they do not want you to, I believe they will not obey your words anymore.
I know that you are afraid that the Communists will take advantage of the unstable situation in the country. I am more afraid if Government starts to lose control over the armed forces. Once this happens, thing will never be the same again. The civil government then must follow orders from the military. Your title may be Happy Prime Minister, but those who replace you will not feel any happiness at all.
I hope that you will not lie to yourself that one day people will be grateful with what you are doing now. It can never be that only one person is correct and the rest of us are wrong. I want to tell you the opinion of the people that it is about time for you to step down as PM and UMNO chief.
I understand the power that you have and I remember what happened to Aziz Ishak. But I cannot call myself a responsible person if I did not clarify what I meant. If I were to be imprisoned, I will still uphold what I needed to say.
I was told that you called me a Pakistani. I didn’t believe what people said because I know you would never say such thing. I always defended you when PAS said you were Siamese, had no rights to lead the Malays. So, will you also defend me even if there is Pakistani blood in my body.
I wish to reiterate that the statement I made was to prevent the incidents that will increase animosity and hatred among the Malays towards the Government and encouraging the Chinese to further humiliate the pride of the Malays. Bigger riots can take place if this is not controlled. Even the army might not be able to control it. And further more, if TH Tan and the Chinese Chambers can issue a statement, why can't UMNO leaders?
I wrote this in sincerity and that hope that you will read this letter yourself. I pray to Allah to open your heart to accept the actual facts even though the facts are bitter.
(Dr Mahather bin Muhammad)
Surprisingly, he forgets many things, but is specific on whom to put the blame on. Now Anwar is fingered in the Project IC! Who is next? Najib?