PETALING JAYA: Chin Peng, former secretary-general of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), died at a hospital in Bangkok on Monday morning. He was 90 years old, the Bangkok Post reported.
He died of old age and was pronounced dead at 6.20am, September 16, 2013 reports said.
His relatives will perform religious rites for him on Friday, the daily said.
Chin Peng led the MCP's guerrilla insurgency and fought against British and Commonwealth forces to establish an independent Communist state.
The insurgency officially ended on Dec 2, 1989 when the Malaysian government signed a peace treaty with MCP, less than a month after the Berlin Wall came down.
He lived in exile in Thailand for more than five decades and was not permitted to return in Malaysia.
Born in late October 1924 with the name Ong Boon Hua, in the small seaside town of Sitiawan, in Perak state, Chin Peng was Malaysia’s best-known former communist guerrilla and remains highly controversial.
For his resistance movement during the Japanese occupation of Malaya (1941-1945), he was awarded the Order of the British Empire, one of Britain’s highest accolades.
However, when the British colonialists returned, he confronted the forces of the British empire during the period known as the Emergency, the bloodiest time in the country’s modern history.
Some 10,000 people are believed to have been killed.
He stopped being an independence hero when he continued to fight the forces of the newly independent Malaya.
Chin Peng lost a legal struggle in recent years to be allowed back into Malaysia and lived with some of his compatriots in Thailand. He held a Chinese passport.
Malaysian government leaders have consistently insisted that his return would upset many Malaysians who lost their loved ones during the communist insurgency.
The STAR Online Home News Nation 16 September 2013