The whole thing about this Chin Peng fellow must be looked at in perspective. I support bringing him back so that he can be tried for all the atrocities committed at his behest. The greatest weapon against the romanticised version of Malayan Communism is showing that justice be done. You know, the saying about justice being not only done, but SEEN to be done. In 1949 at his 2nd Jungle Conference in Pahang, he recounted the success in killing 482 people killed including 24 planters and over 400 more wounded in the first half of 1948. yes, Comrade Chin Peng started his war of Liberation in 1948.
Chin Peng is no historical bandit Song Jiang and his 36 companions. Certainly they were no outlaws of the marsh. The CTs who followed him were certainly not in the league of Lu Junyi, Guan Sheng, Ruan Xiao, Ruan Xiaowu, Ruan Xiaoqi, Liu Tang, Hua Rong and Wu Yong. Disqualified from the exalted list of freedom fighters, included those who joined comrade Chin Peng later. They were also not of the calibre of Sun Li, Yang Zhi, Lin Chong, Lu Zhishen and Wu Song. The end of British rule was not the end of the Song dynasty. The jungles of Termerloh or Perak were not the
So what’s the fuss about comrade Chin Peng? Unless the real reason for glorifying comrade Chin Peng is really a version of someone’s wet dream of romanticising comrade Chin Peng. Or even worse, elevating the status of Chin Peng is really an underhanded attempt to snub Malay sensitivities. What’s so heroic about comrade Chin Peng? He was murderous. His minions killed Arthur Walker, the manager of Elphil Estate in Sungai Siput. Murdered too were John Allison and Ian Christian of Sungai Siput Estate. Or perhaps murdering Caucasians did not count as murder as in war for freedom, all is fair eh? You mean, just because RPK says something nice about him, then it must be right?. It SEEMS right because it fits snugly within the bosomy embrace of Chinese chauvinism.
But hey- wasn’t it the notorious RPK who became the chief champion of Chin Pengism? And RPK is for all intents and purposes, a Malay. In RPK’s case, rallying behind an underdog is perhaps just an elaborate exercise of nose thumping UMNO and BN. RPK’s glorifying of comrade Chin Peng is of no significant value.
Ah, weren’t there Malays in the communist movement? One out 20 CTs being Malay, qualifies the communist army as freedom fighters? Here’s the real thing- the presence of
Now, why should I accept Chin Peng as a nationalist fighter, when I am hard-pressed to accept certain Malay warriors as nationalist fighters? Ask any Chinese whether they accept Tok Gajah and Dato Bahaman as freedom fighters, you would probably be tiu-ed. Then, would the request to accept comrade Chin Peng as a nationalist freedom fighter be a reasonable one, given the fact that the majority in this country are Malays? Lu gila ka?
If you were to ask me, would you regard Dato Bahaman, Mat Kilau, Tok Gajah, Tok Janggut and others of the same description, freedom fighters, I will hesitate for a moment. Every society romanticised about their favourite heroes. In
Tok Janggut’s rebellion was an uprising against unjust taxes by the British occupying administration in Kelantan. While noble in intention, what he started wasn’t able to develop into an organised country-wide uprising. Therefore it could not be classified as a war of freedom. It was just a skirmish within the empire.
The Pahang chiefs rebellion was also an uprising against the British. But the fight they undertook was different from Tok Janggut’s. Tok Janggut was not a territorial chief. These Pahang chiefs were. They were therefore fighting not solely for an injustice.
I know I will be accused of insensitivity and lacking in nationalistic pride to cast suspicions on the motives of the main protagonists in the Pahang Rebellion. That would even more surprising given the fact that I come from the bloodline one of these. Be that as it may, I shall not play to the gallery.
I will say their motives were not exactly pure. They had ulterior motives. Bahaman and Tok Gajah being territorial chiefs stood to loose much when the British took over their monopolistic interests. Hence, their rebellion was just an extension of their economic interests. Cut off from sources of revenue, would entail diminution of their political influence. Therefore I will not say, they were completely freedom fighters. They were rebelling against the British because their own monopoly over the collection of taxes were taken away.
The murder against Birch and Tok Janggut’s rebellion I think would come closer to a truer definition of a fight against oppression. Birch was murdered as he represented rapacious colonial government bent on pushing colonial system down the throats of natives. Tok Janggut was rebelling against colonial greed.
Now ask this: Comrade Chin Peng was doing what? A place in the history of