When the May 13 incident happened in 1969, former Utusan Malaysia editor Said Zahari wrote these lines while being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Singapore. He was of course put under the ISA by Lee Kuan Yew. Kua Kia Soong, puts this poem into context of present day Malaysia in this commentary, “May 13: Hidden hands at work“:

Once again
History repeats itself
By savage deeds
In a civilised age

Once again
Hidden hands appear
Seeking the blood
Of the poor and the wretched

Once again
Colour, race, religion and language
Become sharp blades
To use in the carnage

It has happened
In every corner of the earth
Where the few eat bread
And the rest sand

It has happened
Where the few clothed in velvet
Sleep in palaces
The rest go naked, squeezed into shacks

It has happened
Hidden hands reappear
Spilling the blood of the poor
To cling on to power…