‘NO’ TO INTERNMENT: Remains will not be allowed into the country, says PM
KOTA KINABALU: CHIN Peng will always be remembered as a terrorist who was responsible for many atrocities in the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
It is for this reason that the government would not allow his remains, even his ashes, to be brought into the country.
Chin Peng, the former leader of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), died in Bangkok yesterday, having spent five decades in exile. He was 88.
Najib said Chin Peng had brought suffering and grief to the country during CPM's reign of terror.
"The terror brought by the communists during the Emergency had caused the death of thousands in the country, especially those in the security forces, including thousands of others who were hurt or maimed.
"The people had also suffered because when the communists waged war against the government, it caused collateral damage while the national economy suffered," he said at a press conference here yesterday.
Najib said the government would not be involved in any funeral arrangements for Chin Peng.
He said he was informed that Chin Peng would likely be buried in Thailand.
The prime minister said any request by Chin Peng's family to bring home his remains or ashes would not be entertained due to the "black history" the latter was responsible for.
Najib also noted that Chin Peng was not a Malaysian citizen.
Chin Peng (left), during negotiations between the communists and government
in Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor, in 1955. National Archives pic
"He did not want to become a citizen, so, we have no links with him."
The Bangkok Post reported yesterday that Chin Peng died of old age at a hospital in Bangkok. It was reported that he was pronounced dead at 6.20am.
Born on Oct 21, 1924, Chin Peng died just short of his 89th birthday. He is survived by his wife and daughter, as well as brothers and sisters, who live in Sitiawan, Perak.
It is understood that his family will perform religious rites for him on Friday.
Chin Peng, whose real name was Ong Boon Hua, was initially part of the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army during the Japanese occupation of the country in World War 2.
After the war ended in 1945, Chin Peng helped form CPM, which declared a bloody guerilla insurgency and fought against British colonial rule and Commonwealth forces to establish an independent communist state.
In 1948, the CPM was held responsible for the murder of three British planters in Sungai Siput, Perak, leading to the declaration of the Emergency.
Even after Malaysia was formed in 1963, Chin Peng continued his onslaught against the newly-formed government until the defeated CPM laid down its arms following the Hatyai peace accord on Dec 2, 1989.
More than 10,000 people are believed to have died during the insurgency, with scores more wounded or maimed.
During his exile, he had lived in China and Thailand. He holds a Chinese passport.
In recent years, he had mounted a legal battle to be allowed back into Malaysia but was denied by the Home Ministry.
ROY GOH email@example.com New Straits Times Latest September 17, 2013