PUTRAJAYA, 30 April 2009: Former communist leader Chin Peng today failed in his last bid to live in Malaysia after the Federal Court here upheld two lower courts’ decisions compelling him to produce his identification documents before he can be permitted to enter this country.
Chin Peng (Pic extracted from the
cover of his book My Side of History,
published by Media Masters
Singapore, 2003)Justices Datuk S Augustine Paul, Datuk Hashim Yusof and Datuk Wira Ghazali Mohd Yusof made the decision after dismissing Chin Peng’s motion for leave to appeal.
Chin Peng, whose real name is Ong Boon Hua, was appealing against the Appeal Court’s decision on 20 June 2008, which ruled that Chin Peng must produce his birth certificate or citizenship to prove that he is a Malaysian citizen before he can pursue his legal action against the Malaysian government.
Appeals Court Judge Datuk Abdul Malik Ishak, in his decision, had said the documents were important to ascertain Chin Peng’s status since the National Registration Department could not find any record of his birth.
It had also held that the High Court was correct to compel the 85-year-old Chin Peng to furnish his birth certificate and citizenship to prove that he was a Malaysian citizen before allowing him to proceed with his application for a declaration that he could reside here.
“Of Malaysian origin”
Chin Peng’s first bid to obtain the declaration was turned down when the High Court threw out his originating summons after he failed to comply with the court’s ruling to produce his birth certificate and citizenship papers.
Today, counsel Raja Aziz Addruse, for Chin Peng, contended that proof of citizenship was not required for the applicant to exercise his right to enter Malaysia, as it could also be proved by calling his brother or teacher to testify.
He said under clause 3(1) of the peace agreement entered between the government and the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) dated 2 Dec 1989, members of the CPM who were of Malaysian origin and wished to be settled in Malaysia shall be allowed to do so in accordance with the law.
“The court should look at what ‘Malaysian origin’ means. It is the function of this court to interpret the international agreement,” said Raja Aziz.
On 4 March 2005, Chin Peng filed his originating summons to obtain a declaration to be permitted to enter and live in Malaysia, naming the government, home minister, inspector-general of police and the armed forces chief as defendants.
Chin Peng, who is currently living in Thailand, claimed that he was entitled to come back to Malaysia because he is of Malaysian origin, having been born on 20 Oct 1923 in Sitiawan, Dinding, Perak, and having grown up in Malaysia.
He claimed that his birth was registered, and that he had once possessed a formal copy of the certificate. — Bernama