Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has yesterday said that the federal government will not allow ex-Communist leader Chin Peng to be buried in Malaysia.
I urge the government to reconsider its decision based on the following grounds:
I emphasise that calling for or allowing Chin Peng to be buried in his birthplace does not mean expressing support or sympathy for the communist cause. Neither does it mean that we are ignoring the feelings of the people, including the retired police association, who cannot accept Chin Peng’s remains or ashes to be brought home.
Former Inspector General of Police and the Special Branch director Tan Sri Rahim Noor who was the architect of the Hatyai Accord had on the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Hatyai Peace Accord gave a video interview to Malaysiakini on the negotiations with the Communists.
To a question on “your personal feelings towards the communists”, Rahim Noor said: “When we met them, of course we know who they are. Our main concern is to reach a peaceful agreement, so that the problem is no more. Of course, on the other hand, if you think in terms of how much the communists have done, to our people, to the country, the meeting won’t lead to anywhere. There was a battle between the government and the communists, certainly a lot of casualties, which is to be expected, of course. There was a communist insurrection, armed struggle, definitely there will be casualties.”
Yesterday, it was reported in The Malaysian Insider ( Bahasa Malaysia edition) that Said Zahari, the former Chief Editor of Utusan Malaysia said that the time has come for the government to recognize Chin Peng as a fighter of Independence ( pejuang kemerdekaan).
He was quoted as saying that although the government is trying to deny Chin Peng’s right but the fact is that Chin Peng was a Malaysian son and that history does not deny that the former communist leader was among the leaders who fought for the nation’s independence (“biarpun kerajaan cuba menafikan hak Chin Peng namun hakikatnya beliau tetap merupakan anak kelahiran Malaysia dan sejarah tidak menafikan bekas pemimpin Komunis itu juga merupakan antara tokoh yang memperjuangkan kemerdekaan negara.”)
The Peace Accord was inked in 1989 and there has been peace since then, to now bring up argument like “Chin Peng is a terrorist leader ‘and “Communists killed our people” is not only show that the government lacks magnanimity, it also complicates the issue of allowing Chin Peng to be brought back and buried.