- Posted September 26, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
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- Insensitivity, arrogance and an act unworthy of being a president Part II
- Insensitivity, arrogance and an act unworthy of being a president Part I
- An Open Letter to President Vladimir Putin Part II
Chin Peng: In Defense of a Revolutionary
I refer to the two stirring articles of Kua Kia Soong’s, “The patriots and pretenders”, September 18th and Jeswan Kaur’s, “Umno in no mood to forgive Chin Peng”, September 19th that both appeared at the FMT.
Said pieces pertain to the struggle and request of Chin Peng to return to the land of his birth.
I cannot understand why Putrajaya cannot forgive nor forget Chin Peng’s atrocities, as if he is the most evil person that appeared in the history of the country.
I concurred with the de facto Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim’s view that: “let bygones be bygones”.
Indeed, “forgiveness is taught in all religions but the Umno leaders maintain that Chin Peng and the CPM cannot be forgiven for their past actions during the Emergency.”
It is because “during the 12-year “Emergency” when the CPM was waging a war against British colonialism, a total of 3,945 security forces, 2,473 civilians and 6,697 insurgents were killed. (Anthony Short, ‘The Communist Insurrection in Malaya, 1948-60’, 1975: 507) Because of this record, it is argued, Chin Peng and the CPM he led cannot be forgiven.”
So, for the government, never mind if Chin Peng and his comrades fought the Japanese!
Never mind that he and his comrades defended the honor and sovereignty of Malaya while the British abandoned the country!
Never mind that even England recognized Chin Peng’s wartime contribution! He was awarded the OBE, albeit later it was withdrawn!
Never mind that Chin Peng agreed to lay down arms and signed the Hat Tai Peace Accord. An agreement in good faith that was signed by the Malaysian government but subsequently ignored and violated by the said government!
The ultimate question there is: why the government in the first place signed the said Accord when they have no intention of fulfilling it in good faith?
In the straightforward words of Jeswan Kaur:
“Chin Peng was clear as to why he was waging a ‘war’. But was the BN government ‘ethical’ in its dealing with the former guerilla whom the Malaysian government is now all out to label as a ‘traitor’?
“Chin Peng ‘honoured’ his part of the 1989 peace deal. Did BN do so?”
Now, the man is dead, yet ironically even his ashes, still cannot come home!
Why is it that the government reestablished good relations with Japan despite its wartime atrocities? If they can forgive, kiss and make up with Japan, why not with a “prodigal and radical son”?
Why is it that the government allowed the bodies of terrorists to return home, yet they cannot allow even the ashes of a dead revolutionary?
Is it because those terrorists are Malays, Muslims and that old revolutionary is Chinese; worst a communist?
I cannot understand the kind of justice the government is practicing. In my view, it is not only a kind of selective racial justice but also a type of selective ideological forgiveness.
If they cannot forgive a communist revolutionary, then why the hell forgive a bloody terrorist?
Chin Peng fought for his country! He both fought the Japanese colonizers and the British imperialists. He also fought his own country because he believes that it is not a government that protects and defends the rights of the people, but the interests of the former masters and the capitalists.
To the BN government, that is a crime that cannot be forgiven or forgotten!
Yet, those terrorists who discriminately and arbitrarily bombed to death innocent people, oh well, they can be forgiven; they can come home and be buried to their hometown.
Wow! Such a bloody irony!
Is that justice? Is that fairness?
Hell no! I do not think so!
I overwhelmingly concur with Kua Kia Soong’s categorical question and critical analysis:
“Do our history books extol the patriotic role of Chin Peng and the CPM during the struggle against Japanese expansionist aggression during the Second World War?
“The CPM-organised Malayan Peoples’ Anti-Japanese Army was decorated by the British queen in London after the war, but their contributions have not been acknowledged in our own country.
“All over the world, the progressive left democratic alliances were the true patriots who fought against German and Japanese fascism during the Second World War.
“Can Umno name any of their leaders who distinguished themselves during that effort to liberate our country from Japanese occupation?
“Umno leaders say that the CPM’s insurrection against British colonialism was wrong but what alternative strategy did Umno have to liberate the country from colonial exploitation?
“Do the Umno leaders believe that Independence could have been won without the insurrection against the British colonial power?”
By way of reiteration, may I be allowed to repeat that question of Mr. Soong:
Can Umno name any of their leaders who distinguished themselves during that effort to liberate our country from Japanese occupation?
To put it in another manner, can Umno state for purposes of the records, what did their beloved leaders have done during the Japanese occupation?
For purposes of the records, can they list their contributions, their sacrifices and hardships?
What have they done for the country during those critical times besides waiting for the return of the bloody British and hiding from the bastard Japanese?
A call of national reconciliation and a historical closure
If the government is really sincere in its call for national reconciliation to all the parties and segments of the whole of Malaysian society, then it is my firm and passionate view that the first step for them to do is to allow the return of ashes to the country of Chin Peng and so as the rest of his comrades who wishes to return and die in their homeland.
Justice must be tampered with mercy and compassion!
If the government will not do so, then there will be no closure with regard to this issue. Chin Peng may be dead but there is no shadow of doubt whatsoever on my mind that his revolutionary spirit and his radical legacy will continue to spawn new believers and future adherents.
In the parting words of the old revolutionary himself:
“In the final analysis, I wish to be remembered simply as a good man who could tell the world that he had dared to spend his entire life in pursuit of his own ideals to create a better world for his people.
“It is irrelevant whether I succeeded or failed, at least I did what I did. Hopefully the path I had walked on would be followed and improved upon by the young after me. It is my conviction that the flames of social justice and humanity will never die.”
Comrade Chin Peng, may you rest in peace!
Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines