Thai Princess, Retired Generals Laud Chin Peng

 Aidila Razak Sep 20, 2013 VIDEO | 4:28 mins

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A wreath of orchids from Thai princess ChulabhornWalailakplaced in front of the coffin of former CPM leader Chin Peng tells a story the Malaysian government is not likely to agree with.

In Wat That Thong, one of the more famous temples in Bangkok, it is this story that retired Thai generals, who came to pay their respects to Chin Peng this afternoon, will remember him by.

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According to retired general Kitti Rattanachaya (left), who was given the honour of spraying holy water on Chin Peng’s body before it was placed in the coffin,Chin Peng should be remembered as a hero, not as a terrorist.

330x220x242c70f35633c68d8e3c71070ef26059.jpg.pagespeed.ic._WH_WtuamD Through signing the Hatyai Peace Agreement of 1989, Kitti said, Chin Peng “played a key role in maintaining peace” along the Thai-Malaysian border.

“He fought for the independence of his country, just like (Vietnam leader) Ho Chi Minh, but he did not succeed.

“It is proper to allow his ashes to be returned to Malaysia. Forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones. Once someone dies, everything is finished,” Kitti told members of the media.

As a former military man who led troops against the CPM guerillas, he said, he viewed Chin Peng – who spent a third of his life in exile in Thailand – as an elder brother.

“(The Malaysian position) is just politics. When a peace agreement is signed, there is no longer animosity,” Kitti said, stressing that this was his personal view and not that of the Thai government.

Forgiveness the only solution

Kitti Rattanachaya

Agreeing with him, Akanit Muansawad, a general who retired from the Thai army last year, said that for him, forgiveness was the only way to bring peace.

As the first Thai army officer to broker talks with Chin Peng in August 1973, Akanit said he made the decision to do after losing many of his men.

“I was a captain then and in one year, I lost 50 soldiers – 30 died and 20 were wounded. I got malaria 13 times from going in and out of the jungle.

“I forgave because I couldn’t see any other way to solve the problem,” Akanit (right) said.  199x295x7fd01714a493019dd07064475fd8daba.jpg.pagespeed.ic.X15PoODxeb

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The princess’ wreath was just one of many in memory of Chin Peng today.

Among them was a wreath of yellow flowers from his children, with a message simply reading: “In loving memory of our dear father.”

Of the 50-odd family members and friends who came to the quiet and sombre affair today, many were seen in tears.

330x206xfe17f00a9db3c182eb177efd05fb8e2c.jpg.pagespeed.ic.LetIUegciu According to Anas Abdullah, a family friend who helped arrange the wake and funeral, more than 100 former CPM guerilla fighters are expected to pay their respects in the next two days, before Chin Peng’s body is cremated on Monday.

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The son of a CPM leader and the son-in-law of one of the oldest surviving Malay CPM members Abdullah CD, Anas said his father-in-law was not able to make the 10-hour drive to Bangkok from the Sukhirin peace village, near Narathiwat.

“But about 10 people from the village will be driving over tomorrow,” Anas said of the village that is home to former 10th Regiment fighters, who are mostly Muslims. 

‘Barring Chin Peng’s ashes makes us laughing stock’

Sep 21, 2013

 Former inspector-general of police Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor warned that Malaysia will become a laughing stock if the government adamantly refuses to allow Chin Peng’s remains to be brought into the country.    

There is a hue and cry from the public not to even allow his ashes (back into Malaysia). My God… This is stretching the argument a bit too far. It’s a bit naive I think.

If the government – the authorities – succumb to this public pressure not to allow Chin Peng’s ashes to be brought back, I think, we are making Malaysia a laughing stock to the whole world,” he said in an interview aired on BFM yesterday.

Abdul Rahim, who led the successful peace negotiations on behalf of Malaysia with the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in the late 1980s, said the refusal to allow Chin Peng into the country, even when he was alive, made a mockery of the 1989 Hatyai Peace Treaty.

The retired top cop, who was then chief of the Malaysian Special Branch, said he had convinced the government at that time to engage in talks with the communists, more than 30 years after the failed 1955 Baling negotiations.

Abdul Rahim said that even though the 12-year Emergency was lifted in 1960, security forces were still battling communist remnants in the 1980s, but the decline of communism in the region was an opportunity for renewed peace negotiations.

At that time, there were still around 2,000 communists along the Malaysian-Thai border, with the two largest groups being the North Malayan Bureau and the 10th Regiment, which comprised largely Malays, he said.

With the backing of then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad,Abdul Rahim said, the Special Branch, in secrecy, initiated negotiations with the communists at the end of 1987 and early 1988 on Phuket Island, which lasted for five rounds.

This, he said, culminated in the 1989 peace treaty signed in Hatyai, and comprised two agreements, one containing the core terms and another on administrative details on how the terms would be implemented.

Other ex-communist returned, met sultan’

I was involved in the drafting of both agreements, so I know full well that under the terms of agreements, first of all, the agreements are binding on every CPM member, from the highest, topmost to the bottom, lowest most.

If you say that Chin Peng as secretary-general of the party (CPM) is the highest-most member, then he qualifies to get all the privileges, advantages or whatever promises made in the agreements, which includes for him to be allowed to come back (to Malaysia),” explained Abdul Rahim.

Furthermore, he said, in the event these former communist members were not allowed to permanently return to Malaysia, they must still be allowed to enter the country on social visits, according to the agreements.

But in the case of Chin Peng, he was not allowed both. To me, it’s absurd, totally absurd. It’s unfair, grossly unfair…

There were others (ex-communists) who were allowed to come back and they were mainly Malays. Abdullah CD was allowed to come back to Malaysia and was even given an audience with the current Sultan of Perak.

Rashid Maidin, I was told, performed his pilgrimage through KL with the help of the Malaysian authorities. What’s all these?” Abdul Rahim said in an exasperated voice.

Abdullah CD was CPM chairperson whileRashid Maidin was a CPM central committee member.

Asked if the fixation of not allowing Chin Peng to return home, even when he is dead, was along racial lines, Abdul Rahim hesitated for a moment, then replied: “I am not prepared to make presumptions like that.”

As far as Chin Peng’s case is concerned, we created a situation where we made a mockery of the (peace) agreements,” he added.

Gov’t turning Chin Peng into an icon’

He warned that the government’s stance in preventing Chin Peng’s ashes from being buried in his hometown in Sitiawan, Perak, was making the ex-communist leader an icon.

Specifically, I think it is not good for the ruling party, particularly in their attempts post the 13th general election, to win back Chinese Malaysian support,” he said.

 The government had justified its decision by declaring that Chin Peng was responsible for the deaths of countless members of the security forces, most of whom were Malays.

Abdul Rahim lamented that the people do not seem to understand the context of the international communist struggle and instead perceive that the over 40 years of communist insurrection in Malaya was “Chin Peng versus the entire government machinery”.

He pointed out that research showed the communist structure was collective in nature and it was not a one-man-show where Chin Peng called all the shots.

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I do not know why it should develop along this line (Chin Peng versus government). The fact is that good or bad – whatever Chin Peng is, the background is a peace treaty had been signed. We got to jolly well honour the terms and conditions,” he said.

Asked by the radio station how he thought history would remember Chin Peng, Abdul Rahim replied: “They (historians) should be able to analyse Chin Peng as a communist leader – his role and his party’s role – in battling the British, in getting rid of the British.

His role in the peace process – the failure of the Baling talks and the success of the Phuket peace talks leading to the Hatyai Peace Treaty.”

Abdul Rahim has been consistent in wanting the government to uphold the terms of the peace treaty and had made a similar urging during a 2009 interview with Malaysiakini for Chin Peng to be allowed back to Malaysia.

Another senior cop who was also directly involved in combating the communists and was shot by them twice, Yuen Yuet Leng, had similarly urged reconciliation.

Chin Peng passed away on on Sept 16 of cancer, which incidentally was also Malaysia Day.

Chin Peng ‘never regretted his actions’

Aidila Razak

Sep 20, 2013 VIDEO | 8:00 minsAs far as Anas Abdullah can recall, in the 44 years that he had known former Communist Party of Malaya leader Chin Peng, the latter had never expressed regret for his actions.

“He never felt any regret. What he did was right. Going against colonisers is not wrong,” Anas (right) said when met at Chin Peng’s wake at a Bangkok temple this drizzly morning.  200x291xaee88eabfaf2248d5124d952973b6045.jpg.pagespeed.ic.GFX9UHZTTw

“He had to continue with the insurgency after the Baling Talks because the Tunku (Abdul Rahman Putra) did not allow us to be free.

“CPM members were to report to police stations, like we were criminals. It was unacceptable.”

Eyes glistening, the soft spoken Anas, 56, the son of Regiment 10 leader Abdullah Sudin, said there was no talk of regret even when he last visited the 89-year-old in hospital last week.

“Chin Peng was upbeat and optimistic, and even with a tube attached to his nose, he called out to me. He recognised me and was happy,” he said of the man he called ‘Uncle’.

Although the conversations were short – “He was tired so we didn’t want to wear him out” – on his deathbed, Chin Peng never indicated that he would have taken a different path.

A warm man who liked the harmonica

Remembering his ‘Uncle’ as a warm, accesible person who loved to play the harmonica, Anas travelled from Kampung Sukhirin, in South Thailand, the moment he received the call that Chin Peng was no more.

“I got the call and immediately. I thought, ‘He died at 6.20am on Sept 16. The CPM took up arms on June 20 (1948), and Sept 16 is Malaysia Day.

“We don’t believe in in superstitious things but it is something coincidental,” said Anas, a Malay and a practising Muslim.

The son-in-law of CPM fighter Abdullah CD, Anas first met Chin Peng at the age of 12 and worked alongside Chin Peng at radio station Suara Revolusi Malaya in Chin Peng.

“Sometimes, he would play the harmonica for broadcast.

“He’d come to us and put his arms around us, and invite us for walks together. He was not like what he is made out to be.”

In a picture in his mother-in-law Suriani Abdullah’s memoir, Anas is a moutachioed 32-year-old, the youngest and only surviving member of CPM’s delegation of six in Hatyai

“I had a mustache before, but no longer. It comes out white now,” he said, giggling.

But then his boyish, smiling face clouded over with a sense of sadness: “I’m the only one left now. I’m all alone.”

Breach of peace agreement

More than sad, Anas appeared more disappointed, even angry that the Malaysian government had chosen to treat Chin Peng’s memory the way it has.

As someone who was party to the intial talks and the final peace agreement, Anas said, Malaysia has now cemented its position as a country that does not uphold international agreements.

He said that by raising such a shield against the return of Chin Peng’s remains, Malaysia had breached at least two points of the agreement – to allow all CPM members to return home and not to slander them any more.

Now a Thai citizen Anas said the whole matter has been politicised.

He applied to return to Malaysia in 1989 but was rejected because he could not prove his citizenship. Anas was born in Indonesia and his parents were born in Singapore.

“Now even the prime minister is calling us terrorists… It has become a tool to instigate the Malays…,” he said.

He pointed out that the 1989 peace talks took off because of Abdullah CD‘s long-standing friendship with then deputy prime minister Abdul Ghafar Baba.

Leaders from both sides then had ties that bound them together, he said. However, these things have now been forgotten.

“How do we say who’s punching right or who’s punching wrong in a boxing match? The police attacked us and we attacked them, too.

“We even fought with the Thai soldiers, and some were killed, hurt or maimed. But why is it that the the Thais do not treat us in the same manner (as Malaysians)?”

Let your voices be heard! Know your rights! Speak up!

 

 

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Let’s Live in Peace & Harmony

My Final Message – Chin Peng

Chin Peng

Published by Media Masters, Singapore, 2003. 527 page

(The Unsung Hero To Return?)

[UPDATE:  BANGKOK (AFP) – Malaysia’s renowned former communist fighter Chin Peng, who led a guerrilla campaign against British colonial rule, died in exile in Thailand on Monday, 16 September 2013 according to his military liaison. The 89-year-old, who left Malaysia around five decades ago, had been hospitalised in Bangkok for several years.

“He died this morning of cancer,” said General Pisarn Wattanawongkiri, a former Thai military commander and point of contact between Chin Peng and the authorities.

Born Ong Boon Hua in Malaysia’s north, Chin Peng was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and won two medals for helping the British fight the Japanese in Malaya during World War II.]

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Essentially, we all live in a cosmopolitan world comprising of every colour, race & creed – tall or short, big or small. Without exception, east to west, north to south, no country is mono-ethnic any more . . . what with international migration & mobility, influx of refugees brought on by wars, changing economic circumstances & opportunities, rapid transport & communication, most national populations are constantly in a state of flux & movement.

Under such circumstances, the difficulty of claiming where you belong stands supreme. However, if you owe allegiance & loyalty to where you are then the right of living in the country of your adoption should raise no question. Of course, for those living in the place of their birth, all legitimacy of being sons of the soil (termed “bumiputras” as in Malaysia) goes without any dispute or gainsaying.

Most of the original inhabitants of a place are often lost by way of domination & even marginalised by the superimposition of the higher culture. We see good examples in North & South America, Canada and Australia.

All human beings are the same the world over with the same hope, dreams & aspirations. All discriminations, oppression & domination should be ruled out. US, the greatest democratic nation in the world, so proclaimed & enshrined it in its constitution that “all men are equal”. Yet utterly unbelievable & shamefully, it is promoting domination rather than advocating peaceful co-operation & harmonious living.

With reference to Malaysia, whatever promotions the “Barisonputras” undertake like the recent Astro TV screening of “Unsung Heroes”, strong political overtone & hidden agenda are clearly & evidently attached. Why only involved the selected Indian community? Aren’t there no other unsung heroes from the other communities? Ironically, the 1Malaysia Policy is setting racial communities apart causing polarisation. Divide & rule is the name of the game.

I can think of many “unsung heroes” but suffice right now for me to mention just one man – Chin Peng, a true national patriot whose cause for national sovereignty & security caused him a lifetime of struggle & suffering. By any definition, he is an unsung hero, devoting his life to fighting against the Japanese invaders of Malaya (then known, now Malaysia) during WW2.

The British colonial masters were already driven out of the country by the Japanese leaving it defenceless.

For his part in the Japanese defeat, Chin Peng was awarded the OBE by the British Crown & two war medals in January 1947.

A nation like a tree got to have roots. The deeper the roots are the stronger the tree will be to weather the storm & withstand the test of time. Culturally, nationals must know their roots, with warts and all like China, before finding their wings to fly & soar. You can’t change history nor can you cover it up. Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat & other Malay folk heroes, whoever they were, their bodies may be dead & buried, but their spirits live on. Why would politicians take them off from the school history text books? What shame & hurt will the “Barisonputras” want to hide & erase history’s past? This is a serious indictment indeed!

Chin Peng now excile in Thailand

          Chin Peng (aka Ong Boon Hua) OBE. Born October 22, 1924. Age 89 Still living in exile in Thailand

Chin Peng (Chinese: 陳平, Mandarin Chén Píng), former OBE, born Ong Boon Hua (Chinese: 王文華, Pinyin Wáng Wén Huá) in 1924, was a long-time leader of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). A determined patriot fighter & anti-colonialist, he led the party’s guerrilla insurgency first against the Japanese in WW2 & in the Malayan Emergency, fighting against British and Commonwealth forces in an attempt to establish an independent Communist state.

After the MCP’s defeat and subsequent Malaysian independence in 1957, Chin waged a campaign against the new state of Malaysia in an attempt to replace its government with a Communist one from exile, until signing a peace accord with the Malaysian government in 1989. (Wikipedia).

Chin Peng's Ancestral Home in ChinaChin Peng’s Ancestral Home in Putian, Fuzhou Province, China (Courtesy of Francis)

Chin Peng was born (October 22, 1924) in Sitiawan, Perak (residents refer to it as City-A-One) , the same birth place as the ex-MCA president Dato Dr Ling Liong Sik. He’s a genuine son of the soil – Malaysia’s very own.

Following briefly is the chronological main events in his life:

January 1940: Accepted as probationary member of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM); put in charge of Communist members in Sitiawan.

July 4, 1940: Leaves home.

December 1941: Communists’ offer of help accepted; joins the fight against the Japanese.

January 10, 1942: The first batch of the Malayan Peoples Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA)

1942: Meets future wife, Khoon Wah.

1945: World War II ends.

January 1946: Awarded 2 war medals; boycotts tour of British bases; forced to sign letter of apology. Later, Chin Peng is elected secretary-general of MCP.

Chin Peng - to fight to the end

Tunku Abndul Rahman

December 28, 1955: Baling Talks held with David Marshall and Tunku Abdul Rahman, unsuccessful because of surrender terms. After the Baling Talks, Chin Peng retires to Thailand. Ah Hai replaces him as acting Secretary-General in Malaya.

1960: The Emergency is officially declared at an end. However, fighting still continues. Special Malaysian government troops going by the name “Senoi Praaq” prove to be a thorn in Chin Peng’s side.

December 2, 1989: A peace treaty is signed between the communists, Thailand and Malaysia. The long, hard war the British had preferred to term an Emergency was over.

#A point of interest here: Chin Peng’s story & his dealings with the British sound like opening the pages of the same as with Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. Once the purpose is served, people can easily be dispensed with.

October 6–8, 2004: Chin Peng visits Singapore for 3 days to speak at the Institute of South-east Asian Studies (ISEAS).

2005: Chin Peng is pending to return to Malaysia. His hearing was scheduled for May 25, 2005, and the High Court postponed it to July 25, 2005. This application was subsequently rejected.

June 2008: Chin Peng’s lost his bid to return to Malaysia when the Court of Appeal demanded he showed identification papers to prove his Malayan citizenship. (Source: Wikipedia)

Modern KL

Pernas Twin Tower

Malaysia a modern democratic nation. Pernas Twin Towers in KL

Now what kind of law & justice is this rejecting Chin Peng from returning to his homeland Malaysia, a place where he fought to preserve? He is 89 now & in the twilight years of his life. He wants to return home rather than living in exile in Thailand. His return – one of the terms of 1989 peace agreement – is unfairly denied.

This is Malaysian justice rejecting its own son from returning home to roost. The worst scenario is that the “Barisonputras” would shamelessly accord citizenship freely to foreigners from Asia & the right to vote to ensure their permanent grip of political power.

Let’s live in peace & harmony

Let Chin Peng return home.

You be the judge & jury!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NydPyN-f6iw&feature=share&list=PL00907FBF6FB8CEF6

© Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent.

23 July 2013