Chin Peng has died

News from Thailand today that Malayan Communist Party leader Chin Peng whose real name was Ong Boon Hua has died in a Bangkok Hospital. He was 90. The Malaysian Daily Star quotes some divergent opinions: Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) National chairperson Dr Nasir Hashim said Monday that Chin Peng must be remembered as one of the pioneers in the struggle for independence as he fought against the colonial masters – first the Japanese and then the British. “If history is rewritten, he has a place in the country’s struggle for independence…” Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar: “He was a resourceful leader in difficult times,” he said. Less generously, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said: “To me, Chin Peng was not only the head of the violent communist movement but also a criminal. Chin Peng must be erased from history, so that the people especially the younger generation do not know him. There are some black moments in the county’s history that should be taken as lessons but not the history of terrorist and criminals who did harm to the country.” Erasure would be regrettable, Datuk. Chin Peng was an integral part of Malaysian history – whatever view we take of his political beliefs. […]
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