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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Allow Chin Peng to return???

Posted Date 19/05/2009:
Press Statement by Penang Gerakan Chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan

Former communist leader Chin Peng should be allowed to return to Malaysia on humanitarian grounds, especially when he is no more a security threat to the country, said Penang Gerakan chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan.

“Communism all over the world including China and Russia has transformed and is moving towards economy-based struggles and extreme communist terrorism practiced in the 50s is non-existent now,” said Dr Teng in a statement.

Echoing the call by Penang-based Citizens International chairman S.M. Mohamed Idris to the government to allow Chin Peng to return to the country, Dr Teng urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to use his good offices to take a re-look at Chin Peng’s case.

Chin Peng, who was born in Sitiawan, Perak, has brothers and sisters, and close relatives who are staying in Butterworth, Perak and all over Malaysia.

“He is now 85years’old and wishes to return to Malaysia, his birthplace. He had even appealed to the High Court to allow him to return but the appeal was rejected.

“The government should fulfill his wishes,” said Dr Teng, adding that Chin Peng’s family would be very happy to see him back.

S. M. Mohamed had told a Press conference yesterday that the struggle waged by the liberation movement led by Chin Peng, Rashid Mydin, Abdullah C.D, Shamsiah Fakeh and others had contributed to the independence of Malaya.

S.M. Mohamed described Chin Peng as a Malaysian patriot who fought the British colonialists from the age of 15 and “sacrificed everything he had to free this country from British control, domination and exploitation.” Mohamed also said an appeal letter would be sent to Najib.

Chin Peng is currently living in exile in Bangkok. He failed in his last bid to live in Malaysia after the Federal Court on April 30 upheld two lower courts’ decisions compelling him to produce his identification documents before he could enter the country.

Umno Cheras division has described a Gerakan Penang''s suggestion that former communist leader Chin Peng be allowed to return to the country as unbecoming of a Barisan Nasional member.

Umno Cheras division head Datuk Syed Ali AlHabshee said the genocide committed by the Malayan Communist Party on the people could not be forgiven and many soldiers had been killed and maimed by the insurgents.

"Chin Peng had left a black spot in the history of the country. It was rather strange for Gerakan to make the suggestion in the light of the present political scenario," he said.

Association of Former Elected Representatives (Mubarak) president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang said it sent shockwaves down his spine to think of the implication if the government agreed to the suggestion.
"Although the government is open and liberal, we should not forget the history of the communist insurgency," he added.

Majlis Muafakat Ummah (Pewaris) deputy president Rahimuddin Md Harun described the suggestion as preposterous and off tangent.

"It is like adding salt to injury. Does he (Dr Teng) forgets history? The government should not entertain such request," he added.

Last year, an international lawyers’ group urged Malaysia on Tuesday to allow a former communist guerrilla leader to return home and end his decades-long exile.

Chin Peng (pix), now in his 80s, has been denied the right to go back to Malaysia on “very technical grounds,” said Jitendra Sharma, president of the Brussels-based International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

“Under international governance and under the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, every person has a right to return to his country,” Sharma said.

“If Chin Peng has not been allowed to come in, the issue is political. ... He has had no opportunity to establish his right.”

In 2007, a Malaysian court dismissed Chin Peng’s application for a hearing on his case because he could not produce his birth and citizen certificates to establish that he is Malaysian.

But defense lawyers argue that Chin Peng, whose real name is Ong Boon Hua, does not have those certificates because authorities took them away before the 1948-57 communist insurgency, which Chin Peng led against British colonialists.

Chin Peng’s lawyers appealed the court ruling and said that Chin Peng is of Malaysian origin and he does not need to prove it with a birth certificate or citizenship papers.

Chin Peng’s counsel Raja Aziz Addruse argued that the High Court was therefore, wrong in compelling Chin Peng, 85, to produce his identification documents before he was allowed to proceed with his legal action against the Malaysian Government. (Read here)
The Malaysian Bar website also pickup this story. Go here
Sharma said his association hopes for a favorable outcome for Chin Peng.
"His petition that has been dismissed on grounds which are not legally sustainable should be restored and then he should ultimately be allowed to return,” Sharma said.

Chin Peng fled to China in 1960 and later to southern Thailand after his Marxist-Leninist insurgency waned in Malaysia, which gained independence from Britain in 1957.

In 1989, Malaysia signed a peace treaty with the communist insurgents that secured their loyalty and allowed them to return, but Chin Peng has not been able to come back.

Although the insurgents’ fight is credited with helping Malaysia, then known as Malaya, achieveindependence, some 10,000 people are believed to have been killed during that period, the most brutal in the country’s modern history.

Malaysian leaders say they fear that allowing Chin Peng back could upset those who lost relatives or friends in the conflict.

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