Remembering the 1998 Indonesian Chinese Ethnic Cleansing

It’s been 9 years. Time flies. I find it so difficut to let it go and I’m still thinking about my wife and mum every night who died in May 1998 during the Indonesia riots when more than 1500 Indonesia ethinic chinese were killed. They shared the same fate with many Indonesen chinese women who were gang raped and tortured to death by the rioters.

Nobody really wants to talk about these mindless murders, but I want the world to know that many families are still in pain over the loss of their loved ones to the May 1998 riot in Indonesia. The world may have cleanly forgotten about the event, but not us.

On 14 May 1998, the riots have spilled to our neigbourhood. We could see from the windows in our rooms upstairs that trucks carrying the rioters started arriving, and more than a hundred of them started barging into the houses around. There were alot of screaming around. Before we could do anything, more than 15 men forced into our house.

Only my mum, my wife and myself were in the house then. I was very helpless, when they saw my wife and started dragging her downstairs to the living room. My wife cried for me to save her, I tried but was beaten up. Couple of them pinned me to the floor, one of them raised his parang and wanted to kill me in front of my wife. My mum clinged on to him and begged him not to. My mum cried telling them she is willing to offer herself to them and do whatever they want, as long as they let me and my wife off.

My mum was subsequently gang raped by at least 10 over men. She didn’t fight them, just kept begging them to let my wife off as more men came to the house and started dragging my wife out of the house.

When those men are done with my mum, they sliced her breasts off and took them away. My mum took a long time to die.

I was tied up all this while and was helpless as i watched these happened.

et5.jpgMy mum who died a very painful and horrible death

I never found my wife’s body. But few neighbours told me she was dragged to the street, and at least 30-40 rioters took turns to rape her. After the rape, they saw the rioters tying her legs to the truck, and dragged her as the truck drove off.

The image of my wife crying out to me when they dragged her out to the street still haunt me till this day. I could still hear her desperate cry for help “God, please, I beg you, please save me, please I beg you”.

jenny.jpgMy wife,Rachel.


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