Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today dismissed the possibility of exiled former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng returning home.
“The government will not allow this because it would cause unhappiness, especially to the families of those who were killed during (the communist insurgency),” he said.
Najib was asked on the matter today during a quick seven-minute press conference at the Prime Ministerâ€™s Department today.
The issue of Chin Peng’s return has been widely debated in the media ever since it was raised by Barisan Nasional component party Gerakan recently.
Several quarters and individuals, including Information, Communication and Culture Minister Dr Rais Yatim, have opposed the idea.
“Chin Peng and his commandos killed many people in the past and they certainly do not deserve any consideration from us,” Rais had said.
“The communists abused this country and we had been shackled through killings and terrible actions committed by them,” he added.
Umno Youth wants Dr Teng removed
Today, Penang Umno Youth had lent support to the call to remove Gerakan Penang chief Dr Teng Hock Nan over the matter.
Chin Peng, who led a bloody 12-year insurgency half a century ago, lost his final legal appeal to return to Malaysia last month.
The one-time boss of the outlawed CPM, left Malaysia in 1961 after the uprising and has been in exile since. His lawyer said he is currently living in Thailand.
Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said his return would be an insult to the families of nearly 50,000 British colonial and government troops who died during the “Malayan Emergency”.
However, many historians say less than 2,000 colonial troops and Malaysian forces perished, along with up to 7,000 communist fighters.
In addition, certain quarters have argued that Chin Peng is a war hero who helped the nation in its struggle for independence.
Lawyer: It’s a travesty of justice
The decision by the government not to allow Chin Peng to return to Malaysia is a travesty of justice, said his lawyer Darshan Singh when contacted today.
He said the decision reflected that the government’s decision not to adhere to the peace treaty signed in 1989 to end hostilities.
“If Malaysia does not respect this international treaty, than no country will have any respect when the country signs other international treaties,” he said.
Darshan said Chin Peng should have been allowed based on humanitarian grounds and Malaysia’s commitment to the treaty.
“Chin Peng only wants to visit his ancestors’ grave in Sitiawan and also to meet up with his two children who are in Kuala Lumpur. The children are all Malaysian citizens, so are his brothers and sisters. Hence, he should be allowed in,” he said.
“Claims that the CPM had killed many people are incorrect, as the British had killed more people during their occupation here compared to the emergency period.
“One thing that we always forget is that Sir Robert Thompson (the then defense secretary in Malaya) had said that the communists’ fight for independence had hasten Malaya’s independence by 10 years. This is something which the people should always remember,” said Darshan.
The lawyer also blamed Najib’s decision today to be influenced by pressures from MCA as the party was once led by Kuomintang sympathizers who were always against the communist in China.
PKFZ audit report to be released tomorrow
To another question, Najib said that earlier today, the cabinet had discussed the disclosure of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) audit report, but a date for public release has yet to be finalized.
“We discussed it and we are compiling additional information on a few things,” he said.
However just hours after Najib’s announcement, Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat said that he has obtained the green light for the report to be released in its entirety.
The long-awaited audit report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) will reveal details about allegations that the RM1.8 million free-trade zone project in Port Klang had ballooned to RM4.6 billion.
Allegations also abound about conflict-of-interest as many key players in PKFZ are also top Barisan Nasional politicians.
Following his appointment as Transport Minister, Ong Tee Keat commissioned PwC to audit PKFZâ€™s books and pledged to make the report public.
Source : Malaysiakini