by Eileen Ng and Diyana Ibrahim
The Malaysian Insider
September 16, 2013
Two former policemen who fought Chin Peng and his communist troops have called on the public to move on, with one saying that he was sad over the death of a “friend”.
Former Special Branch deputy director Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng who led the fight against the communists, said he has come to terms with the Malayan Emergency and considers Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng a friend.
“I lost a friend, an enemy who became a friend. Rest in peace my friend,” said Yuen.
After the signing of the 1989 Peace Accord in Haadyai, Thailand, between CPM leaders and government officials representing Malaysia and Thailand, both Yuen and Chin Peng were seen talking and joking with each other, surprising those who were present.
One of them asked Yuen, “Don’t you have resentment against this man?” – referring to the feared Communist leader.
“I turned to Chin Peng and asked him whether he wanted to answer the question. He said no and asked me to answer instead.
“I said: we tried to kill each other (previously) but today, we are alive and in Haadyai, so where’s the resentment?” he told The Malaysian Insider in a telephone interview today.
Yuen said there were no hard feelings between them as each was working for the people in their own way.
As they grew older, he said, they were respectful and less antagonistic towards each other.
“When we were both young, we fought against each other very hard because of differences in ideologies. But after the peace accord was signed, we understood each other better,” he said.
Three years ago, Yuen sent a book, “The First Emergency Revisited” to Chin Peng for the latter’s birthday.
Yuen described Chin Peng as an intellectual and not a hardcore killer as he was portrayed to be.
“Unlike some of his comrades, he still had his humanity,” he said.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who fought the communists as a police officer, described Chin Peng as a “professional”.
Wan Junaidi said he and Chin Peng were “professionals” who believed in different political ideologies.
“I was doing my job and he was doing his,” said Wan Junaidi, who is president of the Sarawak Ex-Policemen Association.
Asked to comment on his death, Wan Junaidi said, “I felt nothing. There was no sentiment. It (the death) meant nothing to me personally,” he said.
“Yes, I was sad when my men got killed. But I was also trained by a commander who taught me to be a professional. I was just a policeman doing my duty against people who broke the law. There was no sentiment.
“I never tortured those communists we captured nor hurt any of them, unless he stood armed before me and I had no choice but to shoot.
“I guess it was the same with Chin Peng,” he added.
Wan Junaidi, however, agreed that Chin Peng’s death would be the passing of another chapter in the history of Malaysia. – September 16, 2013.