‘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 while Rashid 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.

“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.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 12:56 pm

    ‘ … a peace treaty had been signed …’ .

    UMNO and BN – ‘Janji di-tepati’ ???????????

    What say you Najib? Honour the Treaty. Or don’t bother to sign the TPPA.

    It is about HONOUR, our country’s honour. The government is OBLIGED to PROTECT and DEFEND it.

    ‘ … With the backing of then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad …’ .

    What does Mahathir have to say about it?

    Why are the following so elegantly silent – Chua Soi Lek, Liow Tiong Lie, Samy Vellu, Palanivel, Khoo Kay Kim, Tunku Aziz, Chandra etc etc?

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 1:05 pm

    If senior Thai officials and even a member of the Thai Royal Family can honour Chin Peng, why can’t some of our deranged UMNO people?

    Why show to the whole world your inferiority, your immaturity, your lack of compassion and your lack of honour? Consider seppuku.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 1:15 pm

    It must be noted that Chin Peng gave up communism many years ago. He died a Buddhist.

  4. #4 by Eu Ming Lim on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 1:24 pm

    Malaysian Government: Its over. Get over it. Move on.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 2:23 pm

    He should give UmnoB top dogs a few blue-black eyes 2 bring them 2 their senses

  6. #6 by yhsiew on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 2:34 pm

    No Umno top-guns would take the risk of letting Chin Peng’s ashes to be brought back and finding themselves being sidelined at the upcoming Umno party-election due to failing to display their Malay supremacy.

  7. #7 by tuahpekkong on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 4:39 pm

    MCP leaders allowed to return to Malaysia after the signing of the 1989 Peace Treaty also included Shamsiah Fakeh, who returned from China together with her husband Ibrahim Mohamad, children and grandchildren. Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Noordin Top, who was killed by Indonesian police in 2009 was brought back and buried in Malaysia. So were the Sulu terrorists who were killed earlier this year in Sabah. These Sulu terrorists weren’t even Malaysians but were allowed to be buried here. Barring Chin Peng’s ashes from being brought back to his homeland is not naïve, it is outright racism. UMNO just wants to make use of May 13 and the Communist Insurgency for political gains.

  8. #8 by cskok8 on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 5:23 pm

    We ARE already a laughing stock. Nobody is asking anyone to “honour”, “pay respect”, “agree”, “condone” or “acknowledge” what he did or stood for. Just for his ashes to be brought to his hometown

  9. #9 by David69 on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 6:29 pm

    Why not use chin peng grave site as historical place to visit. He fought the japanese, british and later ideology. Make many communist historical site as a place to visit is good for the new generation also.

  10. #10 by drngsc on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 7:33 pm

    Ayooh, black eye boxer Rahim Noor, we are already laughing stock of the world and ASEAN.
    But we have a bunch of leaders who have no shame. So thick skin already.

    Also, like thieves and robbers, they are afraid of their shadows. Even dead man’s ashes is now a threat.

    Also even in death, they have racist rules.

  11. #11 by tuahpekkong on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 8:27 pm

    How much harm can some human ashes kept in a small urn cause? It can’t be the rallying point for another Communist Insurgency again. No country in the world except North Korea still talks about Communism these days.

  12. #12 by Fort on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 10:55 pm

    My sympathy and condolences to Mr Chin Peng’s loved ones.

    Chin Peng was honoured by the returning British Government for fighting the Japanese. He subsequently fight the British for Malayan independence .

    Chin Peng signed the Peace Accord with Malaysia, after that many of his comrades including Malays had been allowed to return home to their Malaysian homes. I cannot understand why Chin Peng was denied.

    How I wish that he could have his wish of returning granted when he was alive; and now he is dead, his last wish to have his ashes be returned to his beloved land is still being denied.

    This is injustice

    When Chin Peng was alive, they denied him coming back, I can still understand their fear of him.

    Now that he is dead, what is it that they are fearful of?
    His ash?

    Surely there is nothing to fear.

    As the PM, Najib must been seen to call the shot, by putting his feet down to allow the ash to return. If he is keeping silent on such simple decision and allow the lesser lower ranking Napoleans to have their say, then he is not much a leader!

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 10:56 pm

    Perak MB should champion 4 Chin Peng’s ashes 2 b buried in Sitiawan
    Dis is good 4 d economy of Sitiawan cos there will b busloads of tourists visiting Sitiawan

  14. #14 by PoliticoKat on Saturday, 21 September 2013 - 10:57 pm

    Actually, I agree with Malaysian politicians make a fuss about Chin Peng.

    Because prior to this, if you asked me who is Chin Peng, I would say “Who is that? Never heard of him”. Our buku Sejarah Malaysia has no mention of Chin Peng. Who is this man and why is he important?

    So all this publicity is good. I now want to know why the ashes of dead man can cause so much fear. Was this man really that bad ass that even his ghost is to be feared?

    According to our buku sejarah aside form a few killings, we beat the communist insurgents without much trouble. We belasah them teruk teruk and they ran away to hide in the jungle. And stayed in the jungle for 20 years until we felt sorry for them and negotiated with them to ask them to come out of the jungle and join modern society. A bit of an after thought really.

    Where can I find out more about Chin Peng and CPM?

  15. #15 by tak tahan on Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 1:07 am

    Perak MB only concern his own pocket $$$.To hell la with CP,Setiawan,Perak or whole Malusia and the rest of the world.Must fast fast jiak first before kicked out as MB

  16. #16 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 1:28 am

    Chin Peng’s soul is already back to Sitiawan.

  17. #17 by Noble House on Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 3:18 am

    Why is there still this lingering fear even of the ashes of a dead man in the past? Are Najib and his like minded people in UMNO affected with paranoia such as those with salts and mineral water bottles during the Bersih 3 rally? Or are we being too hypocritical or simply afraid of our own shadows? Whatever it was, I find it most flabbergasting to witness the manner in which the UMNO government reacted towards appeals to have his remains buried here.

    Historians – local and foreign alike – have acknowledged Chin Peng as a true independence fighter who went against the British and Japanese. It was UMNO with its twisted version of the history of our struggle for independence that has been manipulated for the public to subscribe to that value to please the palates of the few who are in power.

  18. #18 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 6:00 am

    Likely the decision not to allow the ashes in will be reversed cos nominations are in & top posts uncontested!

  19. #19 by Cinapek on Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 10:27 am

    Coming from a man whose own image is not too good after he gave Anwar the black eye, it must be the lowest of the low for him to label the Malaysian Govt an international laughing stock.

    These UMNO dungus do not seem to realise their actions betrays their petty vindictive nature in denying the return of Chin Peng’s ashes. As many people have pointed out, the ban is laced with racism. Why are the likes of Abdullah CD, Rashid Mydin and Shamsiah Fakeh not only allowed to return but are even honoured with meetings with royalty? At the height of the Emergency, were these people also not involved in the fight against the security forces or police? And there is a rumour that the Malaysian Govt even arranged a clandestine operation to bring home a top Malay communist leader from China in the late 80’s.

    So why the double standards?

  20. #20 by Sallang on Sunday, 22 September 2013 - 8:25 pm

    Although it would be more meaningful and sentimental for CP and the family had he be allowed to return when he was still alive, it would be good if the late CP’s ashes can be allowed to be buried in Malaysia.
    However, if the government is adamant not to give in, so be it.

    “#13 by boh-liao on Saturday, 21 September 2013 – 10:56 pm

    Perak MB should champion 4 Chin Peng’s ashes 2 b buried in Sitiawan
    Dis is good 4 d economy of Sitiawan cos there will b busloads of tourists visiting Sitiawan”

    I fully support what boh-liao had suggested.
    However, I also think, Thailand can donate a piece of land near Hatyai , and build a memorial in remembrance of CP. Tourist attraction.

You must be logged in to post a comment.