Nazir regrets Thomas linked his father to May 13 riots


Datuk Seri Nazir Razak - File pic

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Nazir Razak has expressed regret over the content of Tan Sri Tommy Thomas’ recently released book, specifically on a chapter dealing with the 1969 May 13 racial riots, which appears to implicate his father, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

In an Instagram post on Thursday (Feb 4), Nazir pointed to the sixth chapter of the former attorney general's book, where the latter said that “the evidence points to a coup by Tun Razak”.

“This is pure conjecture on his part. Fifty years on and not a shred of credible evidence has emerged to support this view,” said the former CIMB Bank chairman.

Tun Razak was deputy prime minister when the May 13 riots broke out, and became the prime minister a year later until his death in 1976.

On Jan 31, Thomas released a 573-page memoir titled "My Story: Justice in the Wilderness".

Nazir said Thomas had gotten his facts wrong and had only relied based on the fact that Tun Razak was the main beneficiary of the riots.

"Tommy relies on the fact that Tun Razak was in a hurry to be the PM because he had been told that he was dying.

"These would not tantamount to 'evidence' in any setting, much less a legal one.

"Moreover, Tommy has his facts wrong; Tun Razak's cancer was only diagnosed in November, 1969.

"And doctors have suggested that it may have been the stress of dealing with the riots that caused the illness," added Nazir.

"Tommy also says he is mystified why Tunku (Tunku Abdul Rahman) appointed Tun Razak as a director of the National Operations Council, yet by all accounts Tunku simply chose to do so by his own volition, determining that is was the best option given the circumstances," added Nazir.

He said Tunku had also endorsed the appointment of Tun Dr Ismail as home minister to support Tun Razak.

Nazir also said that he was disturbed by the description of "hundred of Malay youths brandishing parang knives and knives turned on their fellow citizens" as the main feature of the riots.

"I do not believe it is very helpful to be suggesting that one group was especially at fault or to be discussing what transpired without sufficient context," he said.

Nazir noted that in Parliament in 1967, Tunku himself had acknowledged that, "we are sitting in a keg of gunpowder, and if we are not careful, this could explode anytime."

Nazir said although everyone has a right to their own opinion and views on what transpired, he decided to share his differing views as Thomas was until recently the highest legal officer of the government.

“It is noteworthy that these events took place long before he was even a legal practitioner and officials serving in government at the time have spoken highly about Tun Razak’s leadership and personal integrity as well as his efforts to bring back peace and stability, institute reforms and reinstate Parliament,” he said.

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