Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang had just been elected an opposition lawmaker in Malaysia's Parliament three days earlier when racial riots between ethnic Chinese and Malays broke out on May 13, 1969. The government named Lim a suspected instigator and arrested him a few days later.
No charges were filed. There was no trial, and no guarantee he would ever be freed. The law under which he was arrested — the Internal Security Act — ensured that he could be held indefinitely. For life, if the government so wished.