“I was in KL during the 13 May 1969 riots. I was 19 at that time. There were a lot of Chinese around this area then, and they were all my friends. We used to play football together from our childhood days. People from Kerinchi, Bangsar, Abdullah Hukum wanted to come, beat up the Chinese in Lembah Pantai and even murder them.

I stopped them and said, ‘Don’t you dare, this is my area. If you want to come here and cause trouble, you need permission from me. Why do you want to kill them? I know all of them since we were kids. Even though we were from different schools - me in a Malay school, and them, a Chinese school, we are all friends. Leave, now!’

I told the Chinese boys, ‘Don’t be afraid. Stay put, and they won’t bother you again. Wait until the police or army come and pick you up.’ They waited, and the police eventually came and took them to safety.

I didn’t touch a single Chinese person, I looked after them to make sure they were safe. If they got murdered, I would have to answer to the police since I was a youth from Pantai. When the Bukit Aman police came, they took 20 youth with them. My name was first on the list because I was the ‘taiko’ of Pantai area. Luckily there was the ‘ketua kampung’ to protect us.

People back then liked to listen to other people’s opinions and stories. People were divided and used to conspire against each other. That’s what lead to all the fighting and riots. Even amongst the Malays they used to fight each other. I don’t understand, why would you fight amongst yourselves?”

“I used to be a sailor on an oil tanker, so I spent my life traveling the world through the seas. I even lived in Saudi for two years in 1978, working as a mechanic for a rich Saudi ‘taiko’. I left my parents here in Malaysia, and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have returned home. I’m 68 years old now, so I’m just here spending the last days of my life here.

I am born and bred in the heart of KL, here in Lembah Pantai. It has developed a lot since the olden days. I used to live in a squatter house, but when the government wanted to build the NPE highway that passed through Pantai, they gave us this house as a replacement. It costed me RM42,000 for the house, but this was back around 2008. I like it here in Pantai because it is the middle of everything, in between KL and PJ. Once you’ve lived here, you wouldn’t want to move out - it’s so convenient!

Barisan and Keadilan are fighting for this place. Lembah Pantai has always been Barisan’s stronghold, but they lost it in 2008 to Keadilan. When Keadilan came in, Nurul Izzah had overwhelming support from the female voters. But from what I gather, since Keadilan came here, there has been not much progress or development.

The current Barisan candidate, Raja Nong Chik is a Pantai boy, through and through. I know him since we were boys, when we used to play and swim in the river at “Kampung Pancur”. If he does win, I think he can be trusted to take care of Lembah Pantai. Even when he didn’t win before, he would always contribute back to this place.”

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“Masa rusuhan 13 Mei 1969, saya ada di KL. Saya 19 tahun masa tu. Ramai orang Cina tinggal di kawasan ini, dan mereka semua kawan saya. Kami selalu main bola sama-sama masa kecil dulu. Orang-orang dari Kerinchi, Bangsar, Abdullah Hukum nak datang dan pukul orang Cina di Lembah Pantai dan ada yang nak membunuh pun.

Saya halang mereka dan bagitahu, ‘Jangan korang berani, ini kawasan aku! Kalau korang nak datang sini bawak masalah, minta izin aku dulu. Korang dah kenapa nak bunuh dorang? Aku kenal dorang dari kitorang budak kecil lagi. Memang kitorang sekolah lain-lain - aku sekolah melayu, dorang sekolah Cina, tapi kitorang semua kawan. Berambus sekarang!’

Saya bagitahu budak-budak Cina tu, ‘Jangan takut. Tenang je, dorang tak akan kacau lagi. Kita tunggu je polis ke askar datang untuk tolong.’ Mereka tunggu, dan akhirnya polis datang dan bawa mereka ke tempat yang selamat.

Saya langsung tak sentuh mana-mana orang Cina, saya jaga mereka untuk pastikan mereka selamat. Kalau ada yang terbunuh, saya yang akan bersoal jawab dengan polis sebab saya budak Pantai. Masa polis Bukit Aman datang dan tangkap 20 orang budak, nama saya nombor satu dalam senarai sebab saya taiko kawasan Pantai. Kami agak bertuah sebab ada ketua kampung yang membantu kami.

Orang dulu-dulu suka dengar cerita dan pendapat orang lain. Mereka dipuak-puakkan dan dipergunakan dengan komplot menentang antara satu sama lain. Itu yang jadi punca gaduh dan rusuhan. Antara orang melayu pun nak gaduh. Saya tak faham. Kenapa nak bergaduh sesama kita?”


“Dulu saya kerja atas kapal minyak, jadi saya banyak habiskan hidup saya dengan mengembara dunia melalui laut. Saya juga pernah tinggal di Saudi pada 1978 selama 2 tahun, saya jadi mekanik untuk taiko Saudi yang kaya. Saya tinggalkan ibu bapa saya di Malaysia, dan kalau bukan kerana mereka, mungkin saya tak akan pulang. Sekarang saya dah 68 tahun, jadi saya cuma mahu habiskan sisa hidup saya di sini.

Saya dilahirkan dan dibesarkan di ibu kota Kuala Lumpur, di Lembah Pantai ini. Banyak perkembangan yang berlaku di sini. Dulu saya pernah tinggal di rumah setinggan, tapi bila kerajaan nak bina lebuhraya NPE yang melalui Pantai, mereka tawarkan kami rumah ini sebagai ganti. Saya belanjakan RM42,000 untuk rumah ini, tapi ini harga masa 2008 dulu. Saya sukakan Pantai sebab lokasinya yang ditengah-tengah, antara KL dan PJ. Bila kamu dah duduk sini, kamu mungkin tak mahu pindah mana-mana dah - sebab sini sangat selesa.

Barisan dan Keadilan berebut nak tempat ini. Lembah Pantai dah lama jadi kubu kuat Barisan, tapi kalah dengan Keadilan pada tahun 2008. Bila Keadilan masuk, Nurul Izzah dapat sokongan hebat dari pengundi wanita. Tapi apa yang saya tahu, sejak Keadilan datang sini, tak banyak pun perkembangan yang dibuat.

Calon Barisan yang baru ini, Raja Nong Chik, dia budak Pantai. Saya kenal dia dari kecil, dulu kami selalu main dan mandi sungai di Kampung Pancur. Kalaulah dia menang, saya rasa dia boleh dipercayai untuk jaga kawasan Lembah Pantai ini. Masa dia kalah dulu pun, dia selalu buat sesuatu untuk tempat ini.”

 

Story published on Humans of Kuala Lumpur

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Amalina Davis

Amalina Davis

Malaysian by birth, English-Australian + Malay by heritage, and world citizen by heart. I’m a full-time corporate girl & social advocate, who still manages to fit in cultural-immersive traveling in her hectic life.

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