The Government is right in not allowing the burial of Chin Peng in Malaysia or bringing his ashes back

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

1. Attempts to declare Chin Peng a patriot, nationalist and freedom fighter reflect how far derailed some Malaysians are from what the Communist Party of Malaya represented and what was its real objective.

2. Firstly, it must be pointed out that the CPM continued with their insurgency long after Malaya and then Malaysia had gained independence in 1957.

3. In their fight against the Government of independent Malaysia, the CPM killed civilians and security personnel by the thousands without considering their role as defenders of independence or their innocence. Senior police officers were assassinated and police patrols were ambushed and gunned down.

4. Nationals of an independent country do not kill fellow nationals who were only doing their duty to provide security for the citizens who wanted just to earn a living, who wanted to live a normal life. Yet the CPM ignored the independence of the nation, the democratic rights of the people in its single-minded desire to create a Communist dictatorship in Malaysia. The CPM were prepared to use extreme violence so as to install its leader Chin Peng, as the authoritarian ruler of the country.

5. To make it more horrendous, much of the atrocities and mutilations committed by Chin Peng and the CPM are not only on soldiers but many civilians were their victims.

6. Government records show that the CPM in a classic move infiltrated the trade unions and political parties so as to destabilise the nation and bring down its elected Government.

7. In the 1969 General Elections, the CPM defied the Government by holding a funeral procession to arouse hatred against the Alliance party. This contributed to the inter-racial tension and the subsequent riots.

8. Until the Haadyai agreement of 1990 the CPM guerrillas planted booby traps which caused many policemen and soldiers to lose their legs, arms and eyesight. Many were killed.

“Yes, we know the guerrillas fought a war, and they have killed many people in the war. We killed many people too. So what is the point of raising issues like this? Who are we appeasing?” : Mahathir Mohamad, 28 November 2019

9. The agreement was to stop to the mindless killings of members of the security forces even though there was no possibility for the CPM to seize power in Malaysia. The agreement provided for the laying down of arms by the CPM insurgents. Many of the insurgents chose to live in Thailand. A few who wanted to visit relatives in Malaysia were allowed to do so. Those who pleaded that they were forced or were mislead into joining the CPM and wished to reside in the country were allowed to do so. The agreement was a practical solution to the problems faced by the nation and it was a solution also for the CPM which had lost all support in Malaysia following the Government campaign to win the hearts and minds of the people.

10. The CPM would not have entered into the agreement if it still had substantial support of Malaysians. It must be admitted that certain extremist groups in the country still harbour the hope of a CPM-ruled Malaysia. Besides, after the visit of Tun Razak to China in 1974, the Chinese Government stopped supporting the CPM. It stopped radio broadcasts in support of the CPM that year. The nation celebrated this stoppage of China’s support for the CPM by giving the BN party a big majority in the 1974 elections.

11. All these point towards the fact that from the very start the war waged by Chin Peng and the CPM was with the objective of turning Malaya into a dictatorship with the CPM leader as the dictator. There was no intention to give the people the right to choose their Government. The CPM wanted to change British Colonial rule with a Communist dictatorship, not an independent nation.

12. It is important to remember that Chin Peng never made any effort to register as a Malaysian citizen. He has therefore forfeited all rights as a Malaysian citizen. But it is entirely possible for his leftist supporters to try and rally around his burial place as a symbol for the resurgence of the MCP in Malaysia. Already race relations in Malaysia has deteriorated. With Chin Peng as a symbol it is most likely that race relations might explode in violence.

13. The Government is right in not allowing the burial of Chin Peng in Malaysia or bringing his ashes back.

This article appeared in the New Straits Times, Oct 1, 2013