Will a mere apology from the “Butcher of Malaya” suffice?

The Star reported that Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng apologised to the families of ‘innocent’ victims during his 54 years armed rebellion against the British, Malayans, HM Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong, Federal Constitution and Malaysians, in sundry.

Sunday November 22, 2009

Chin Peng apologises for death of innocents

EXCLUSIVE

KUALA LUMPUR: Chin Peng, the man with no regrets, has for the first time offered an apology to the victims and families of the Communist Party of Malaya’s acts of violence during the long years of its insurgency.

The former CPM secretary-general said that although the party did not subscribe to the killing of the innocent, he admitted that “we might have made mistakes in some cases.”

“If we had intentionally killed innocent people, then I apologise. I apologise to the families who had suffered (too),” he told The Star in a rare interview in Bangkok last month.

Honouring the fallen: Chin Peng laying a wreath at the grave of a comrade at Betong in this file picture.

“I take full responsibility for my comrades’ actions. (But) in war, we cannot differentiate the innocent from the non-innocent,” he added.

In the past, Chin Peng had been unrepentant over the loss of lives, nor regretted taking up the armed struggle. He also remains a committed communist.

During the interview, he said he did not expect the public to forgive him for the past but hoped they could put their differences behind them.

“That was war. That was then. If you say that we killed people, the communists too were killed by the security forces,” he said in the interview that he gave to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accord on Dec 2, 1989, in Haadyai, Thailand, between the Malaysian Government and the CPM.

Chin Peng, who lost his court battle last year to be allowed to return to Malaysia, touched on various topics during the interview, including his living arrangements in Bangkok; his relationship with his children and his source of funds.

He also alleged that he was prevented from returning because the Government played him out soon after the Peace Accord.

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The Star also reported that the apology, should not be accepted:

Sunday November 22, 2009

Apology not accepted

By FOONG THIM LENG and MARTIN VENGADESAN

Now that Chin Peng has finally apologised for his actions, some may feel it is time to forgive him but others offer very strong reasons why he should not be

I am against the return of Chin Peng. I think it will create unnessary ill-feeling among the people. I know certain ex-CPM guerillas and even some leaders have returned to visit their families, but Chin Peng is a different case.

Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin

“Firstly, he has not met certain legal requirements. Secondly, he is the man people identify with communist terrorism. We must not forget it was quite a brutal struggle in which many Malaysians lost their lives. Of course, in war, there is brutality on both sides.

“Most of the younger generation will have forgotten the terror of the communist struggles but for older people, Chin Peng was like the Osama (bin Laden) of his time. Those who lived through the Emergency will find it difficult to forgive and forget, much as many older people still remember the cruelty of the Japanese who occupied Malaya (during World War II).

“I also think that Chin Peng would be frustrated if he came back. This is not the Malaysia he wanted to create. Now the communists want to claim they had a share of (achieving) independence, but they didn’t want this Malaysia. They were defeated.”

(As a journalist) I covered the signing of the Peace Accord in 1989. It was very dramatic, tense and exiting. I recalled being a student in 1955, reading about the Baling Talks and being inspired to become a journalist. I felt excited to be a witness to history. A witness to the end of the story. It was a great moment in Malaysia’s history.” – Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin, former Information Minister (2006-2008)

“Chin Peng, as architect and director of the CPM’s 41-year-long armed rebellion and insurgency – which caused untold hardship, thousands of cruel deaths and disabling injuries to civillians and security forces and loss of a collosal amount of the nation’s treasury – deserves no less than a capital charge.

“However, the Government signed the Peace Accord with the CPM and should be bound by its terms. So whether Chin Peng should be allowed back should depend solely on whether he qualifies under the terms, not otherwise.

“The CPM were murderous terrorists. ASP Baskaran Nair was badly wounded in a CPM ambush in Hendon Estate, Province Wellesley, in 1952. Some of his men were killed and a number wounded. The terrorists came down and shot the wounded in their heads.

Tun Hanif Omar

“In October 1968, they captured a Chinese police signaller in an ambush and took him back and executed him. They abducted thousands of civillians but none came back. Most retired officers have no love for them.

“The bloody insurgency followed on the heels of World War II. I don’t think the Chinese here who suffered at the hands of Japanese soldiers have forgiven them, it is just that they are not visiting on today’s innocent Japanese the crimes of those murderers of 1941-45!

“Mind you, many of those Japanese were hung or imprisoned after their surrender. Their Government apologised and paid war compensation. The secondary school of SMK Horley Methodist Teluk Intan (in Perak), my alma mater, was largely built on the war reparations paid out to Lower Perak Malays.

“The CPM has neither apologised (until now) nor paid compensation. Instead, they try to white-wash their evil deeds in their memoirs.” – Tun Hanif Omar, retired Inspector General of Police (1974-1994)

“Although he was born in Malaya, Chin Peng was never a citizen of Malaysia. He never applied to be one after Malaya achieved independence in August 1957 but chose to continue to fight the legally elected Government of Malaya simply because he claimed that it was still a lackey of the British Government.

“But his hidden agenda was to install a Communist system of government aligned to the Communist Party of China.

Paul Kiong

“Six years after Malaysia was formed, he sent a group of about 120 communist combatants to the south and into Kedah, Perak and West Pahang. He thought that he could gain the support of the masses after the May 13, 1969, riots. This incursion is termed the Second Emergency and it lasted till Dec 2, 1989, when the Peace Accord was signed.

“He refused to give up his communist ideology and he preferred to remain in Thailand where he believed that he was getting a better ‘deal’ than returning to Malaysia.

“Now, years later, he has realised his mistake after seeing his ex-comrades enjoying good and properous lives here, and decides that ‘home sweet home’ is none other than Sitiawan. Our Government cannot and must not dance to his whim and fancies.

“Those of us who are against his return to Malaysia are the ones who fought hard and were committed to getting rid of the communist menace so that we, the people of Malaysia, can live in peace and harmony under a democratic system of government.” – Retired superintendent of Special Branch Paul Kiong, 65, one of only 27 recipients of the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP) the country’s highest medal for gallantry 

Suparman Taib

“Chin Peng’s return will only serve to open ‘old wounds’. We have got on with our lives and have lived in peace for so long so why create issues now and remind us of the sad times?

“I lost my right leg and injured the other leg when I stepped on a booby trap in a jungle operation in Klian Intan in 1981. I spent 10 painful months in hospital after my leg was amputated.

“My old injuries still hurt on rainy days and that brings back the memories. I am not out for revenge but the pain brings out the anger again.

“I am not opposed to Chin Peng’s return because he is a Chinese. I know of a Malay CPM member in Gopeng and I feel he too should haved stayed out of the country. I have told his relatives as much.” – Retired L/Kpl of the Malay Rejimen Suparman Taib, 55

At 85, the former jungle guerrilla is in frail health but remains obsessed with his fight to be allowed back to his hometown of Sitiawan, Perak, where he wishes to be buried.

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During the Emergency (1948-60), almost 18,000 persons lost their lives. 60% of them are non combattant civilians. For another 29 years there after, lives are still lost because of Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng and the CPM Bandits.

Another fact remain, his armed rebellion was all about grabbing power, even at the cost of butchering innocent lives. If the intention of chasing away the British colonialists was his reason to wage an armed rebellion, then he should have considered democratically elected Malayan Chief Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra’s offer for total amnesty and coming back into the societies fold by laying downs arms at the Baling Talks on 28 December 1955, despite atrocities already committed. He vehemently refused. Then Merdeka came on 31 August 1957. Now that Federation of Malaya is a sovereign country with a Constitution, a parliament consist of democratically elected rakyat based on the constitutional monarchy and most importantly Britain no longer in control of Malaya and Malayans, he still continued to wage the armed rebellion for another 32 years. 

A quarter of million dollars bounty for Chin "Butcher of Malaya" Peng, from a 1950s Straits Time headline

In the 50s, Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng was Malaya’s PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1. There was a bounty of quarter of million dollars for his capture, which was a princely sum then.

Federation of Malaya, then Malaysia committed so much reosurces of peoples’ lives and money to wage the war against Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng and CPM Bandits until the Hadyaii Accord was signed. Even that, the Royal Malaysian Police Special Branch worked for years to convince Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng and CPM Bandits to sign the Hadyaii Accord armstice. For decades, so many army and police servicemen died, maimed and suffered for ambushes and booby-traps that the CPM “Butchers of Malaya” Bandits subjected them against.

They even assassinated top Police officers in broad daylight in their armed rebellion. IGP Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Hashim was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur on 7 June 1974 and Perak CPO Tan Sri Khoo Chong Kong was assassinated in Ipoh on 13 June 1975.

There was once we read in The Sun about how a someone lived all her life without a father as Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng murdered her Chinese school headmaster father in cold blood at their hometown in Sitiawan.

The Sun on  28 Oct 2003:

‘I’ll never forgive Chin Peng’

Byline: Joseph Masilamany

KLANG: The incessant bark of Tommy guns, the cold swish of swords before jungle executions and the glow of fires bloodied the Malayan horizon in a seemingly perpetual sunset. They wrenched the heart of a nation that counted grisly, bullet riddled and mutilated bodies of mostly ethnic Chinese and British planters which the enemy saw as trophies.

Author Noel Barber lent a name to that sullied period of insurgency hosted by the now defunct Malayan Communist Party led by Chin Peng.

Barber tagged it The War of the Running Dogs – a war that had threatened the sovereignty of Malaya and had convulsed an entire nation in its wake, spreading spasms of fear and terror with wanton bloodletting as the order of the day.

On the night of Dee 19, 1948 in the inconspicuous village of Simpang Dua, Sitiawan, death came stalking again and it was the Loi household that was its quarry.

Chinese school teacher Tok Choo Lean, then 32 and pregnant with her eighth child, had just finished after dinner chores.

As it was routine among the simple Hock Chiew community, Tok and her husband, headmaster Loi Hieng Poh, also 32, were looking forward to an evening chat with neighbours.

However, several comrades of Chin Peng arrived and called out for Loi.

When the unsuspecting Loi went out two shots were heard and he lay dead, his lifeless body bathing under the glare of a sullen street lamp.

The shock caused Tok to give birth to a premature baby girl four days later.

For the last 55 years, that baby girl Irene Loi Yu Ding, now headmistress of SK Convent (1) in Klang, had kept the incident to herself.

However, in a recent interview with theSun, Loi, a Methodist Christian, broke her long silence.

”It is time to speak, to ventilate, but forgiving Chin Peng is the furthest thing from my mind. Now that he is in the news again, I recall the abject state my family was driven to because of his eccentricity and love for power.”

According to Loi, with the death of her father, her mother (now 88 years old and still living in the same village) apart from being a teacher had to tap rubber to feed the family of eight.

“I am indebted to my mum and take comfort knowing that my late dad will remain an unsung martyr of Simpang Dua.”

Eyes glistening with tears and her voice stifled by emotion, Loi apologised as she tried to speak: “Chin Peng did not just kill headmaster Loi Hieng Poh but deprived me of a father-daughter bonding.”

She said the renegade from the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army does not deserve a place in this country and is glad the government has decided not to give him passage.

Asked about lan Ward’s memoirs of Chin Peng, Loi retorted: “Is Chin Peng being glorified as a hero? What memoirs? My birth certificate says it all if anybody wants memories of the Emergency.”

Loi said she had to bear the indignity of having the term Ditembak mati written in the birth document in the column for ”Father’s details”.

”Rightly, it should be Ditembak mati oleh Chin Peng,” she said bitterly.

When reminded that as a Christian she is bound by her faith to forgive her enemies, Lot had an answer:

“I know … to forgive is divine, and I will come to terms with my father’s death.

“But I trust God will understand the frailty of my human state and will not test me beyond my strength.

“I’ll never forgive my father’s murderer … never,” she vowed.

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In short, for 32 years post Merdeka, Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng and CPM Bandits imposed terror to Malaysians in their own home.

The fact remained, non combattant civilians are the most who suffered from the 54 years of CPM “Butchers of Malaya” Bandits atrocities. Example is the massacre of the Bukit Kepong Police Station on 23 February 195o not only killed Policemen (who are combattants), but also killed civilians. Amongst the non combattant civilians killed at the massacre are two women and two children. The three kampungs around Bukit Kepong were also severely affected by the massacre.

An apology simply would not suffice. At least not anymore. Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng imposed toture, suffering and extreme pain to so many people for far too long. The apology would have meant when he had the chance at the Baling Talks 44 years ago.

Instead Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng should be charged for the atrocities that he did. A special war crime and rebellion court should be instituted and he shall be allowed to defend himself. If Mohd. Amin Razali and three others could be charged for waging a war against HM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong for the Kampung Sauk incident in July 2000 and later found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, so should  Chin ‘Butcher of Malaya” Peng.

The very least the families who had lost love ones to his atrocities should take him to court. Especially persons who are still alive but have been maimed, injured and suffered for all the actions Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng and his CPM Bandits did. Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng should pay for the atrocities and terrorism he did onto Malayans/Malaysians for 54 years!

Any Malaysians who would want to agree for Chin “Butcher of Malaya” Peng be pardoned with this simple apology should really talk and live the lives of the persons who were maimed, tortured and suffered and their families for the 54 years of CPM “Butchers of Malaya” Bandits atrocities and terrorism, first!

*Updated 500pm

Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 10:01  Comments (27)