Categorised | Columns

Communist sympathisers, beware!


(TV image by Konrado Fedorczyko / sxc.hu; communist
star image public domain, source: Wiki commons)
WHILE there has been a lot of press coverage regarding the establishment of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Unpatriotic Activities (SPCUA), I’m baffled as to why more hasn’t been written on the SPCUA’s televised hearings.

As we know, the SPCUA was formed at the behest of Datuk Seri Wan Azhad Karim, after he revealed that the Ministry of Absolute Authority (Kementerian Kuasa Mutlak, or KeMut) received intelligence regarding “resurgent communist terrorist activity” in Malaysia.

“There seems to be efforts by various unregistered groups that stink of communism, and we are smelling it,” Wan Azhad said in a news report dated 25 May 2009. He revealed that these groups were propagating communist sentiment through blogs and the print media.

“We consider these efforts as treasonous, since they completely disregard the murder of thousands of citizens at the hand of communist guerillas between 1948 and 1960. I hope the Malaysian people are not easily fooled,” Wan Azhad added.

Investigations have been moving along swiftly, and the first of the televised hearings began yesterday, on 1 June. They questioned two individuals: 27-year-old filmmaker Rahim Hamid, and Petaling Jaya Residents’ Association (PRA) president Dr Harold Jeganathan.

As the telecast was aired at 11am, I’m guessing most people missed it. Let me excerpt parts of the hearing’s transcript below:


KeMut’s interview with Rahim Hamid

Wan Azhad: Let us talk about your documentary, Testamen Politik. What were your intentions in making this movie?

Rahim Hamid: Testamen Politik was released in 2004. It was intended as a short, accessible movie to introduce young Malaysians to a respected figure in Malaysian history, the freedom fighter Datuk Ahmad Boestaman. His contributions to the struggle for independence have been sidelined in history textbooks, just because he was aligned with the anti-British Left.

So you admit openly, in this hearing, that you were glorifying the life of known communist?

Mr Chairman, Ahmad Boestaman was never part of the Malayan Communist Party. He was a founding member of Parti Rakyat Malaysia. Being part of a leftist party is not the same as being part of the communist armed struggle.


Cheh! Guevara (Source: fatamerican.tv)
You actually believe that?

Yes, Mr Chairman, I do.

Ah, yes. Young man, is it not true that you have appeared at screenings of your film wearing a T-shirt, bearing the image of known communist figure Che Guevara?

Yes. I have a Che T-shirt. Probably thousands of other young Malaysians have them.

I would like to comment here that KeMut can confirm this, and that it is a frightening sign of how deeply the virus of communist sympathy has infiltrated the minds of Malaysians.

I don’t think–

Is it not true that wearing a T-shirt with the face of Che Guevara will inevitably lead to the wearing of T-shirts that bear the image of communist evil-doer Chin Peng?


Chin Peng (Public domain; source: Wiki commons)
I honestly cannot comment, as I don’t have a Chin Peng T-shirt.

But is it possible to infer that you would want to own a Chin Peng T-shirt?

No, that aesthetic is so 1990s. I don’t wear my Che T-shirt anymore.

Can you explain what you mean by this statement? Do you mean to say you’ve mended your ways?

What I mean to say is that if I was seen wearing something so unfashionable, it would seriously damage my reputation.

Young man, you have been engaging in treasonous activity. Your reputation is the least of your worries right now.


KeMut’s interview with Dr Harold Jeganathan

Wan Azhad: Can you please state for the record where you were on the night of 22 April 2009?

Harold Jeganathan: I was attending a residents’ meeting organised by PRA.

And what was discussed at this meeting?

We called this special meeting to discuss the problem of increasing incidences of crime in Petaling Jaya.

Who attended this meeting?

PJ residents. These were mostly from Section 5, as that was where the meeting was held. But there were other people as well. The meeting was open to the public.

So you were freely preaching your ideology to outsiders?

I’m sorry?

Did you have a police permit for this meeting?

No. But we informed the police. Our residents’ association meetings are–

So you have been engaging in illegal activities for some time, then.

Mr Chairman, I don’t understand–

You acknowledge that community organisation is the standard operating procedure, or modus operandi, of communist cells?

What?

Pleading ignorance will not save you from the fact that you have been engaging in blatantly communist activity.

Mr Chairman, I don’t understand. Are you trying to say that residents’ associations are communist?

Evidently they are. This committee considers any sort of community organisation as communist terrorism. Mr Harold, you are a trained historian? You were with Universiti Sains Malaysia?

Yes, yes, I was part of USM’s History Department for 15 years. I am retired now.


Meeting in session (Original pic by KW Mak)

Can you explain to us your opinion on the issue of Chin Peng’s return to Malaysia, as you wrote in an article on your blog, entitled Examining CPM’s legacy?

I merely said that calls for Chin Peng’s return would be contentious. My blog post was about the need to re-examine the place of the Malayan Communist Party, and its role in the wider effort towards Merdeka.

So you were advocating lies, this so-called “historical revisionism”?

Mr Chairman, I think you misunderstand the concept of revisionism. Also, I think I need to make clear that, in my academic career, my focus was on social and cultural narratives of history, and–

Let it be noted in the record that Mr Harold has admitted to being a socialist — and, as we all know, “socialism” is just a cover for “communism”. He has been–

Mr Chairman, you are not letting me present my case.

And I won’t let you! You and your ilk have caused enough damage, swaying Malaysian opinion to glorify blood-sucking monsters such as Chin Peng. You are particular guilty of this sin, as your status as a former academic and leader of this PRA cadre has made it possible for you to spread anti-Malaysian sentiments.

I don’t think I am being treated fairly.

We don’t have to treat you fairly. You are already guilty. We are just here to prove your guilt to the Malaysian public.

- End of transcript - 


Zedeck Siew doesn’t have a Che Guevara T-shirt. No, really, he doesn’t!

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18 Responses to “Communist sympathisers, beware!”

  1. soulsberry says:

    Hahaha! Nice one!

    Cheers, Zedeck!

  2. Hong says:

    Just as an exercise, I am going to try to reiterate the comment I posted on Hantu Laut’s blog on how the administration’s current anti-communist vitriol seems a little hypocritical, in light of the high-level Malaysian delegation recently sent to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

    While it may be true that the PRC today is communist in name only, it must be remembered that Tunku Abdul Rahman first established relations with the PRC in 1974, when the very communist Mao Zedong was still nominally the Chairperson of the Chinese Communist Party. (Economic reforms would only begin two years later upon Mao’s death when Deng Xiaoping took over the top party post.) Similarly, Malaysia also established diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union in 1967 during Tun Hussein Onn’s time when Brezhnev was still in power. All this occurred during our own Communist Insurgency War that lasted from April 1967 to December 1989, during which time Chin Peng and his merry men [and women] took to the hills to wage armed “resistance” against the Malaysian government.

    Even if we were to restrict the discussion to those two or three interim years with regards to the PRC (1974 to 1976) and even longer with regards to the Soviet Union (up until glastnost in the 1980s), we would still have to account for the government’s position on communism and why there were inconsistencies between its treatment of local communists and foreign ones. If we say we do not agree with communism as an ideology because it is “evil”, then we should not have had anything to do with the PRC or the Soviet Union, but we were more than happy to establish relations and trade with them while each was gripped with communist fervour, at the very same time labelling our own communists public enemy number one.

    This inconsistent behaviour on the part of the government can only logically lead to the conclusion that the administration’s contempt for Chin Peng and gang has nothing to do with the ideology that inspired them and everything to do with their violent undertakings. (Wags will also take this opportunity to point out that the contributions of the Alliance Parties, and therefore those of Barisan Nasional, stand to be diminished should Chin Peng’s contributions be acknowledged, which explains the administration’s intransigence on the matter. Hagiography is a petty thing.) If this is true, then the government has no place telling us we cannot discuss communism as an ideology or even propagate it through the establishment of a communist party so long as it is done peaceably, and yet neither is possible in modern Malaysia.

    Contrast this to the US which, even while gripped with Cold War paranoia, never moved to declare the Communist Party of the United State of America (CPUSA) illegal – it is still extant today. Although, admittedly, US government intelligence agencies tried their best, and succeeded, to reduce CPUSA’s considerable influence during the Second Red Scare, the point remains that it is necessary to distinguish between the ideology and the actions of some of its proponents, something which our government seems only willing to do when it serves to benefit them. Whether or not Chin Peng is allowed to return is a separate matter, but to establish our very own version of the House Committee on Un-American Activities is definitely a step down the wrong path.

  3. Spicebear says:

    This is just too funny, and a little scary, too!

  4. kahseng says:

    I really can’t tell whether this is fiction or fact, satire or reality. It falls somewhere between the Inquisition, Animal Farm, McCarthyism, and Malaysia.

  5. Sharon says:

    Excuse me Zedeck: Interesting article, but why do none of your links to external websites work?

  6. Is Najib a communist now? says:

    Soo…Is Najib a communist? He has gone to China, the biggest communist country and consorted with its leaders.

  7. Zedeck says:

    Hello Sharon:

    Some of the links in the article are meant to be duds. My column’s conceit is satire, written in a way that treats the fiction as fact.

    As such, the above “Zedeck Siew” is writing in a world where KeMut does actually exist, and the writer would actually link to its website. Whether we, in this reality, would be able to access that link is a different question …

  8. NutzeyWagen says:

    So Zedeck, it’s sort of like what the Buddha said, “…..of this world; needn’t be in this world.”

    Carry on, come rain or shine! Ciao!

  9. rashid awang says:

    Malaysia established relations with China solely because of trade and investments. Which country in this world doesn’t want their money, anyway? Their ideology, forget it.

  10. Hitokiri Yusoff says:

    @ Hong

    Your comments just pretty much show what politics is all about. It’s not about principles, it’s about pragmatism. Well the government’s position during the 60s onwards was one of neutrality, although still West-leaning, so it would be logical to recognise and establish relations with the Communist powers. This is so that our government’s position would be reflected in reality and not just the dogma of politicians. And mind you, I don’t believe the USSR cared about our little Commie problem, due to the Sino-Soviet split, as the CPM was allied with the PRC.

    Considering this, you’re right that the govt’s animosity towards Chin Peng and gang is not because of their ideology but because of their violent acts. Indeed the government position should reflect this rather than just say that communism is “evil”, period.

    I would say however that your analogy with the Communist Party of the US is somewhat flawed. The CPUSA did not mount an armed struggle against the government, so in a way the American government would have had no reasonable excuse to outlaw them. A better analogy is with South Korea that still continues to outlaw Communism and this is in direct response to the armed struggle mounted by Commie guerrillas prior to the Korean War and of course the association of Communist ideology to the atrocities committed by the North Koreans during the Korean War. Indeed the South Korean military continues to have a largely anti-Communist outlook. Therefore, since the CPM mounted an armed struggle against the legitimate government, it’s understandable why there is some remaining stigma against the Communist ideology and refusal to critically analyse it. There is however no need to establish a Malaysian version of House Committee on Un-American Activities, as Communism, at least in its true form, is a dead ideology.

  11. Jorge says:

    Che Guevara is a worldwide hero … one of the greatest men to ever live.

  12. Sulastri says:

    Hint: If you want to write something funny, make sure it is funny, ok?

  13. james au says:

    “The #1 supporter of Communists in Malaysia is none other than our PM! Should we charge him under the ISA when he returns from China? He proclaimed to bring Malaysia-China ties to greater heights!

  14. Steven Ong says:

    Damn! The real terrorist just revealed himself before the nation (too bad only a small portion). If you can’t see the wicked and evil heart, (through his mouth) you must be as blind as him.

  15. Askun Akil says:

    I visited a friend last week. He is a Christian but that doesn’t make me a Christian. So, it doesn’t make Najib a communist just because he visits China, a communist country. Elementary, my dear.

  16. Joelyn says:

    SPCUA. Lawak apa ka benda ni? Just bcoz we disagree with some of d government policies, kena cop sebagai ‘unpatriotic’?

    So, is Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka or Rais Yatim gonna cekup me bcoz I am using bahasa “Melagish” (melayu + english) here?

  17. Hong says:

    Hitokiri Yusoff, while it is true CPUSA never engaged in armed struggle, the basic foundation of all communist ideology is pursuance of a proletarian revolution. That is a given, and yet the US government did not think this was reason enough to declare the party illegal. Sure, sending the feds in after them was not much better but this course of action was more understanding than what the British government did, which was to declare the CPM illegal outright from its very inception.

    The difference, of course, was that the British government was running a colonial country, an economic enterprise – they were the masters and we were their units of labour, and they could not have us unionising and threatening their control over production. The US government, on the other hand, was running their own country and dealing with their own people so more factors came into play, including the constitutionality of their actions against their own citizens.

    It is remarkable then that the Alliance government perpetrated this colonial mindset when they came to power but I guess that is why the British preferred to leave the country to them. (Much less chance of remaining British industries nationalising under the control of centrist Anglophiles.) CPM only resorted to armed struggle against the Alliance government because they had no political recourse. They were not allowed to compete in elections. I am not saying that what they did is excusable but they were, in part, driven to armed ‘resistance’ by government intransigence.

    The comparison with South Korea is wanting as the conditions are different. The Koreas are technically still at war, and North Korea regularly makes threatening gestures to both South Korea and its patron, the US. They launch long-range missiles and explode nuclear bombs. They still want to destroy the bad capitalist Koreans. The remnants of CPM in south Thailand are all a bunch of septua- and octogenarians who would be hard-pressed to outrun a beat cop, let alone mount a military challenge against the Malaysian government.

    And finally, if it was Chin Peng’s violent actions that keep him from the country, why is it that other members of the CPM leadership, e.g. Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin and Shamsiah Fakeh, were allowed back into the country at some point or other? Heck, Abdullah CD even shook hands with former IGP, Hanif Omar. Clearly some other factor is at play here.

  18. johnny says:

    brilliant.


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