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338 former communists allowed to return

KUALA LUMPUR, 18 June 2009: The government has approved applications of 338 former communists to return to Malaysia in a one-off offer period under the peace agreement between the government and the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) signed on 2 Dec 1989.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the applications were approved after undergoing necessary process and meeting conditions set under the agreement.

“For the duration of the offer period, 431 former communists applied to return. Of that number, 338 applications were approved and 93 rejected due to various reasons like failure to meet conditions in the agreement and problems related to citizenship status.

“There were also applications that were pulled back on personal request,” he said in a written reply to Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Kok asked the Home Ministry to name those allowed to return and those denied. She also wanted to know the criteria set for approval or rejection.

Hishammuddin said based on the agreement between the government and the CPM, former communists wishing to return had to meet several conditions, including stating to the authorities their interest to return within one year from the date of signing of the agreement and undergo process of interviews and documentation.

“We do not force them to return. They can do so or stay in southern Thailand,” he said.

Hishammuddin said the cruelty of the communists caused many people and security personnel to die, and this has left a lasting effect on the people until today.

“As such, to avoid any incident that can threathen the security and safety of the country and the former communists, the names of those who wish to return will not be revealed.

“For the same reasons, their process of return will also not be given any publicity,” he said. — Bernama

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