Mar 5, 2009

Remembering Kampung Medan Incident (March 2001)

“I was riding along Taman Lindungan Jaya. My friend Murugan was pillion riding... Suddenly a large group of Malay youths chased us. They attacked Murugan. He fell down and tried to run away from the mob. A large parang was thrown at me. This unbalanced me and I fell down. I was surrounded by the angry youngsters. Someone then hit my leg. I screamed in pain. Then the 50-odd youngsters started attacking me...”.

(A victim’s narration of events in Kampung Medan on March 8, 2001.)

The incident:

It has been more than seven years since the Indian squatters in the Petaling Jaya Selatan area came under bloody attacks in an incident which bore the hallmarks of the May 13, 1969 race riots. Clashes between Malays and Indians in this area, which lasted for several days, resulted in six being killed - four local Indians, one Indonesian and one Indian national. At the same time, almost 200 others, almost all Indians suffered severe slash wounds.

It was quite evident that the victims of the incident were the Indian squatters in the area - which boasted close to 20 squatter settlements, including Kampung Medan. It is estimated that about 10,000 people live in the Petaling Jaya Selatan community, which the squatter areas are part of. In the aftermath, an analysis of the situation was quite worrying.

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