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“Use ISA against Chin Peng’s supporters”

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 June 2009: The Ex-Servicemen’s Association has called on the government to use the Internal Security Act (ISA) against anyone, including politicians, who proposed or supported a move to allow former communist leader Chin Peng to return to Malaysia.

Chin Peng (Pic extracted from the cover of My Side
of History
, published by Media Masters Singapore,
Its president, Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani, also described such quarters as communists for attempting to bring in the communist ideology into the country.

He hoped the government would take stern action against any politician or those attemptiong to bring Chin Peng into the country.

“If possible, use the ISA. We do not want the communist ideology to grow in Malaysia,” he told a press conference here today.

He said in a peace treaty and the dissolution of the Communist Party of Malaya in December 1989, the communist insurgents had agreed to stay in southern Thailand.

“If they want to return to this country, they will have to comply to the law and undergo a rehabilitation process.

“However, we, as ex-service[persons], will feel insulted if they were allowed to return as Malaysian nationals,” said Abdul Ghani, who also urged the government to review the pension paid to retired soldiers who sustained permanent disability in the war against the communists.

Meanwhile, ex-serviceperson Corporal Muhammad Sham Harun, who lost his sight in an operation against the communist insurgents in Perak in 1975, does not harbour any love lost for the communists.

“If I ever see him (Chin Peng) again, I will dig his eyes out so he can feel what I feel.

“There must be something that makes him want to come back, or even spread the communist ideology. If he is allowed to return, then our sacrifices are futile,” the 55-year-old told a press conference.

Sham retired from the army in 1994 and currently receives a RM429 monthly pension.

For Rosli Adnan, who lost his legs during the war with the communists in Grik, Perak, in 1978, Chin Peng’s return would cause misery to many ex-servicepersons and their families.

“It’s better he stays out of the country. His return will hurt our feelings,” said the 50-year-old, who receives a monthly pension of RM274. — Bernama

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4 Responses to ““Use ISA against Chin Peng’s supporters””

  1. tkwah says:

    Communism is no longer relevant. Don’t you get it? Even Chin Peng wants to retire… Hahaha… So why the fuss?

  2. zach says:

    Why didn’t the return of Shamsiah Fakeh and Rashid Maidin hurt your feelings, ex- service[personnel]? Is it because they’re Malays and Chin Peng is not?

    Get real, a decrepit old man like Chin Peng can never revive communism in this globalised world.

  3. Oh for goodness sakes, the guy wants to come back to die in peace!

    And feelings hea! These ex-service [personnel] make it sound as if if Chin Peng’s plane were to land, they’d all die of a broken heart. One would think they’d be more heartbroken with the crappy pensions they’re receiving.

  4. Kamal says:

    Reading the article saddens me because it shows that there is still so much anger. One of the things that South Africa did with truth and reconciliation was that, to address the anger. That allows for people to move on. As a society, we have moved on after colonialism and the Japanese war atrocities. I don’t think we would deny anyone responsible for the travesties from that era entry into Malaysia. And as some have said, we allowed entry to Shamsiah Fakeh and other Malay communists.

    But I don’t think the problem with giving Chin Peng admission into Malaysia is about race as some have suggested. It probably is a mix of technicality and sentimentality. Chin Peng, the persona, represents the best and the worse of our societal values. Allow me to explain. At his best, he was courageous, determined and loyal — and these were recognised by the British when they chose to pin a medal on his chest after the war. At his worst, his stubborness to realise the futility of the insurgency and arrogance to concede defeat to the newly-independent government cost many thousands their lives.

    The Baling talks for me will always remain as the the turning point in Malayan history; where the Tunku, in his finest hour, was a man who kept his word (the honest man) and Chin Peng, for lack of a better word, failed to recognise the enormity of the moment. Had he conceded that the demise of colonialism had already been achieved and his struggle had lost its moral argument, he could of course have laid down arms and joined politics. Perhaps if he had enough support, he may have been a parliamentarian or at the very least, the father of a legitimate opposition party. In short, he could have put an end to the armed struggle and worked instead towards positively contributing to the country. But he failed because he did not see the turning point in history. And for that, he is but a sordid footnote in our history.

    For a country at the dawn of a new adventure, the last thing it needed was to fight among itself. Chin Peng, in that sense, represented deception of the lowest kind; betrayal by one of your own. He wasn’t a foreign agent; he was a local boy who fought with the local resistance for colonial Malaya against the Japanese. And the conflict he sustained, which was for different reasons called an emergency, was treated as an armed resistance against a foreign ‘ideological’ invasion. Perhaps, we need to re-visit the emergency first as a war and then perhaps as one where combatants on both sides were Malayan.

    Perhaps Chin Peng is today again missing the plot of history. An old man who simply wants to return home to lay down in the land of his birth is both a powerful metaphor in our collective search for a nation and a nation’s identity. Caught in the cross-hair of a nation’s search for itself, does his relevance today have anything to do with his communist past?

    And while the debate rages on, with people on both sides asking for no quarters to be given, we have to remind ourselves that the threat of communism is now simply an academic exercise. The spectre of communism is now long dead. So let us not get ahead of ourselves in calling for some quarters to be detained under the ISA or to be labeled traitors.

    But of all this, the greatest travesty I find is the appallingly low pensions the ex-service [personnel] are getting. In all truth, they fought for what we have today. The economic growth from the sixties onwards was possible because they ensured stability (the threat that the communists posed also gave rise to the social welfare we have including rural development programmes that had its seeds sowed in the last years of the colonial era as a counter-insurgency measure).

    But I digress, we may have a lot to complain about in our society and in politics, but these ex-service [personnel] put in the hours and did their job, paying for it not only with their labour but for some through live and limb, to allow us the luxury of that debate. Their experiences are ours. If like them, our society is faced with a new threat, it us our turn to hand in the business suits and briefcases for fatigues and guns. We should not forget that, this is our society — an independent collective and we must be responsible for it. Therefore, the sacrifices by these people should not be taken lightly. And, so while people may disagree with the sentimentality over Chin Ping and the communist party, let us agree that the government needs to provide better benefits for these ex-service [personnel] (be they the army or police who fought against the insurgency). We should all agree that paying a pension of anything below RM1,500 to these men and women would be just appalling.

    And so, this is another moment in history; a turning point. We have two parties in power. At the federal and in some states we have the BN and in four states, we have PR. Both the federal and state can start by recognising and improving the lives of these service [personnel]. They have proven to us time and time again, that they did not join the service for the benefits. Isn’t it time we gave them back their dues?

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