Women's leader softens stance on race riots
KUALA LUMPUR - After sparking controversy by warning of a repeat of the 1969 racial riots if Malays lose political power, Umno women's chief Shahrizat Jalil has softened her tone.
"I don't see anything wrong in quoting part of history," she said at a press conference at the 66th Umno general assembly yesterday. "You cannot wipe out the history of the nation, and May 13 was a part of a black history of the nation."
In a fiery address to the women's delegates on Wednesday, Ms Shahrizat said Malays' political power had eroded to a point where there was renewed possibility of hostilities.
"The economic power is already not in the hands of Malays. Can we afford to lose political power as well?" she said. "I fear this will bring about racial tensions which could re-invite the May 13, 1969 riots, and we don't want that."