26 Sep 2013

Umno's blunder over Chin Peng's place in history

Koon Yew Yin 

Almost two years after my meeting with Chin Peng in Bangkok on Oct 2, 2011, I learnt - as did other Malaysians - of his death on Sept 16, 2013.

His passing on is not unexpected as he had been ill for some years.

What is unexpected is the government’s refusal to allow his ashes to be returned to Malaysia, his home country for which he fought for liberty and freedom, initially against the Japanese and then against the British.

Chin Peng was a freedom fighter in every sense of the word. His record of defiance and opposition to Japanese and British colonial rule in Malaya is unprecedented.

It is comparable or even exceeds that of anti-colonial leaders such as Ho Chi Minh, Mohammad Hatta, and Jawaharwal Nehru who were his contemporaries in Asia’s struggle to free itself from the yoke of western powers and Japan in the mid twentieth century.

Other leaders that come to mind during that crucial period of nationalist ferment after the Second World War are Kwame Nkrumah, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Patrice Lumumba.

In all those countries whether in Asia, Africa or Latin America where the anti-colonial and nationalist freedom fighters fought, they have been accorded due recognition and honour.

But not in Malaysia where Umnoputraism has sought to stamp its racial and religious politics on every aspect of life in the country - dead and living; past, present and the future.

Why Chin Peng’s ashes are not allowed back 

It is sickening to read the lame excuses that Umno leaders, in particular Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, have given to prevent the homecoming of Chin Peng’s ashes.

These excuses range from the allegation that Chin Peng never applied for citizenship to concern that a memorial may be erected for him and fear that he would be treated as a “hero”.

Well, I have news for Umno. Chin Peng is a patriot and hero in the eyes of many who are knowledgeable of that historical past of Japanese and British colonial rule in Malaya and the contributions of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in fighting to free our country.  

Chin Peng had three failings. One is that he and the CPM though engaged in an armed struggle against the British should have ceased it as soon as the country gained its independence.

This fact of CPM responsibility for killings and bloodshed, including of innocent civilians, is undeniable and needs to be fully recorded.

He had two other failings - if we can call it that - which have prevented him from getting due recognition in his homeland.

The first is that he fought for the wrong ideology. Now if he had collaborated with the Japanese and negotiated peacefully with the British and sucked up to them the way many other leaders did, perhaps he may not have been so vilified.

Our history books on the Japanese occupation of Malaya need to record the names of Umno and other leaders who actively supported and collaborated with the Japanese in their murderous and bloodstained rule.

Let Malaysians then draw their own conclusions as to who are the true nationalists and patriots; who are the opportunists and collaborators; and which were the families and loved ones that died during Japanese and British colonial rule and who do not want the return of Chin Peng’s ashes.

His other failing appears to be that he is a Chinese. Others have pointed out that if Chin Peng was a Malay, his place in Malaysian history and his ashes would be treated differently.

I am sure there is more than a grain of truth in this.

Chin Peng’s wish for Malaysia 

My reason in writing this is not simply to remind of some uncomfortable truths and facts of our history but to point the government towards a correct and fair closure of this particular episode of our history.

During my meeting with Chin Peng, I asked if he was keen to return to Malaysia and what is his advice for the Malaysian Chinese.

His immediate reply was that he yearned to return to his homeland and to die in his birthplace.

He also emphasised that Malaysia is a rich country and that the Chinese must work together and cooperate with the Malays to make Malaysia a better country.

He had hoped that under the 1Malaysia policy the government would allow him to return to the country to show that there is no bitterness towards the Communist Party of Malaya since both sides were fighting against a common colonial power enemy.

It would also show that the government is serious about the truthful portrayal of the history of Malaya which is one in which all races have contributed.

This would also help in getting rid of the misunderstandings and distortions that have plagued our views of the past and lay the groundwork for racial unity and solidarity.

Treating the case of Chin Peng with compassion and statesmanship, and permitting him to return to Malaysia - his home country - besides putting the historical record straight, would have been an important building block for our race relations.

The way Umno is going about it is totally wrong.

Governing the country is like managing a very large business corporation. The definition of good management is to get all your stakeholders - this includes staff - to do their share of work.

Staff can only do it if they are motivated. The government should have taken advantage of this situation to win the Chinese over to work harder for the country.

Sadly, this has now become more difficult to achieve because of Umno’s blinkered and narrow-minded ideology. 

KOON YEW YIN, a retired chartered engineer, is a philanthropist.

Source :  http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/242053

20 Sep 2013

MCA: Muslim terrorists buried here, why not Chin Peng?

Turning up the heat ahead of Chin Peng's cremation, MCA questions the government’s double standard in reference to  the burial of two Muslim terrorists in the country.

The party's publicity chief Heng Sia Kee said the government should not appear as being racist and allow the former communist leader’s ashes to be brought back.

NONEHeng was referring to the late Azahari Husin and Nordin Mohamad Top, both of whom were wanted by the Indonesian government for the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, attack on Jakarta's JW Marriott hotel in 2003, and on the Australian embassy in 2004.

They, too, were far from being Malaysian heroes, noted Heng.

"Whether Chin Peng is a hero or not is not an issue here. The government does not need any more bad publicity to be seen as making decisions based on racial lines," she added.

Furthermore, Heng said, both Azahari and Nordin could be considered the worst villains as they sought out innocent lives for destruction.

Azahari and Nordin were both colleagues in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Johor before allegedly climbing the ranks of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a terrorist network linked to Al-Qaeda.


17 Sep 2013

'Stand by your promises on Chin Peng'

Honour your promises and don't try to milk the death of communist party leader Chin Peng for political mileage, a constitutional expert today told the Umno-BN government.

Abdul Aziz Bari said the government would lose its authority if Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Inspector-general of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar continued to vehemently oppose Chin Peng's final wishes for his ashes to be interned in Malaysia.

He reminded them that the 1989 ceasefire agreement between the government and the Communist Party of Malaysia (CPM) was signed by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, with their respective predecessors in tow.

NONE"Stop manipulating the emotions of the army and police veterans. Just put up or shut up!" Abdul Aziz (right), a former professor at the International Islamic University of Malaysia said in a press statement.

Khalid had said all checkpoints are being watched to ensure that Chin Peng's body was not smuggled in as Chin Peng was responsible for the death of many police and army personnel during the Emergency.

"Khalid should just shut up or ask his own predecessor as to why the police agreed to sign the truce with the communists," Abdul Aziz retorted.
'Wrong to reject application'
Abdul Aziz said that with the signing of the 1989 document, Malaysia had tacitly recognised the communists.

"The court was wrong to reject Chin Peng's application to come back. The judges asked for documents to prove his citizenship, like a birth certificate. But they knew that it was during the height of emergency and Chin Peng - rightly or wrongly - was a fugitive," Abdul Aziz said.

He added that the court had asked the impossible from Chin Peng, who had fought British rule.

Noting that even some ex-Umno and BN leaders were also detained in the past for communist activities, Abdul Aziz said that the party should stop "demonising" communists and communism.

Source : http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/241284

No way Chin Peng’s remains can return to Malaysia, says former police chief Hanif

"We don't owe Chin Peng anything. He caused Malaysia and its people a lot of harm which resulted in more than 10,000 deaths and untold misery for the families of those who died," said former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar (pic) in dismissing calls for the remains of the former Communist Party of Malaya leader to be brought back to Malaysia.

According to Hanif, Chin Peng and his followers had refused an offer to return to the country within a year of signing the peace accord in 1989.

"When Chin Peng finally applied in 2005 to return to Malaysia, the boat had sailed and there was absolutely no reason to admit him back into the country unless he could prove that he had applied to return within that one-year window, which he couldn't," Hanif told The Malaysian Insider in a text message yesterday.

The former IGP who served from 1974 to 1994 instead called for more focus on those who had fought and defeated Chin Peng and his party, insisting that the families of security personnel who fought the communists should be looked after.

"Chin Peng and his followers refused the chance we gave them to return to Malaysia in 1989 and 1990, so they should be left outside our country.

4 Sep 2013










9.不过,他语重心长地提醒魏家祥,一旦党选成功“更上一层楼” 出任马华高职,并再度“入阁”,切勿忘记“没入阁”时对华社所作的承诺。