Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SPEAK NOT ILL OF THE DEAD!!


Chin Peng (陳平,Chén Píng), former OBE, (21 October 1924, Setiawan, Perak, Malaysia - 16 September 2013, Bangkok, Thailand[2]) born Ong Boon Hua (王文華,Wáng Wén Huá) was a long-time leader of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).

A determined anti-colonialist, he led the party's guerrilla insurgency in the Malayan Emergency, fighting against British and Commonwealth forces in an attempt to establish an independent communist state.  After the MCP's defeat and subsequent Malayan independence, Chin waged a campaign against Malaya and, after 1963,the new state of Malaysia in an attempt to replace its government with a communist one from exile, until signing a peace accord with the Malaysian government in 1989.   -  Wikipedia
Chin Peng died of old age in Bangkok,Thailand at the age of 88 years old,on September 16, 2013. Ironically,same day as Malaysia Day.

The aftermath, like they say; is history... if you Google "Chin Peng", you will get ELEVEN MILLION HITS... there is however, a write up that I want all of you to read and ponder.

Speak not ill of the dead
Posted on 24 September 2013 - 11:27pm
MANY moons ago, Malaysians travelling to China had to go through a hassle. They were interviewed before being granted permission to visit. Even senior government officials had to attend pre-departure briefings and had to undergo another de-briefing on their return.

These measures existed for several years after the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein made his maiden visit following President Nixon's "ping pong diplomacy". China had been deemed "Komunis" and for decades to follow, the country and its leaders were viewed suspiciously.

Those who had clandestinely travelled like hopping across from Hong Kong or Macau were penalised, often having their passports suspended or cancelled. There was fear that "Malaysians would be influenced" by communist ideology as the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) was linked to the Communist Party of China.

Things have changed. These days, travelling to Chinese cities over the weekend for a round of golf followed by a good meal is the norm and there are more than 100 weekly flights linking Malaysia to cities in China.

The death of former CPM secretary-general Chin Peng on Malaysia Day has yet once again given the sabre-rattlers an opportunity to show off their so-called talent by demonising Malaysians who attended the wake and the funeral.

While the government and some sections of the leadership have branded him as enemy No. 1, there are others who feel that the man should be given his due in accordance with the tripartite Peace Treaty signed in 1989 between the governments of Malaysia, Thailand and the CPM.

But the government made a decision to refuse Chin Peng's wish – for his remains to be brought back to Sitiawan.

Those who made the decision will have to live by it and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had reportedly said there was no need to honour Chin Peng, who was responsible for the death of thousands during the Emergency in Malaya decades ago.

But former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Rahim Mohd Nor lamented that the people perceive that for over 40 years of communist insurrection in Malaya, it was "Chin Peng versus the entire government machinery".

He pointed out that research showed the communist structure was collective in nature, and it was not a one-man show where Chin Peng called all the shots.
Attending the funeral of a departed person is merely paying respects while some call it a celebration of his life. It does not mean you support or supported his views or ideology. It does not mean you condone his actions of the past. It does not mean you are honouring his past deeds; whether they were wrong or right.
When former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher passed on a few months ago, there were some pro-labour union members who celebrated her death while she was accorded a state funeral. They had been victims of her crackdown on trade unions which were systematically dismantled.

An individual must be allowed to make his or her choice and when that is made – right or wrong – it is that individual's call.

But what is causing concern is that those who attended Chin Peng's wake and funeral have been singled out and demonised, sometimes with the tag "communist sympathiser" plastered on them.

On a personal note, I lost a nephew, a captain in the Rangers Corps – shot dead by Communist terrorists in Raub in the 70s. I have attended the funerals of several people of whom I had earlier perceived and concluded that their words, deeds and actions were totally unacceptable.

At their passing, those emotions were forgotten and I believed that the time had come to pay my respect and honour their life in this world.

As lesser mortals, we put up with weaknesses and failings of fellow humans but at the end of life's journey, we must not bear grudges.

What if I attended the solemnising of the marriage of the daughter of someone with Chin Peng's reputation? Who has a right to demonise me? It is my call and I make a decision and that's none of anyone's business.

I can claim to have an inherent right to choose my friends or pay tribute to those whom I think ought to be honoured. But no one has a right to question my attendance.

You are entitled to come to your convoluted judgment, but it does not grant you any special right or dispensation to accuse me of any wrongdoing.

Will someone take umbrage if I concluded this annotation on Chin Peng by penning: "May his soul rest in peace"?

R. Nadeswaran concedes that age is a great mellower, but disagrees with the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. Comments: citizen-nades@thesundaily.com

**  Thanks to  R. Nadeswaran for permission to publish this in my blog.

1 comment:

cy.leow said...

From John Santiago, via FaceBook:

How true Nades. Not to speak ill of the dead is not just an Asian value but a universally accepted norm of respect.

Chin Peng is a man who did wrong to others. Paradoxically, he was also a man who seemed to be wronged.

He helped the British colonialists in their fight against the invading Japanese in return for independence of his country of birth, Malaya, and a recognition for his Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) as a legitimate political entity. The British apparently agreed to accede to these demands in return for Chin Peng's help in their war against the Japanese but the colonial master turned the back on him, forcing him to resort to a guerrilla warfare against the occupiers - this time the Brits.

It is for the historians to determine whether he was wrong or whether he was wronged. But what is against the grain of justice and human decency is the denial by the government of an independent Malaysia to deny him the right to return to his homeland even after he had signed a peace treaty and agreed to lay down his arms. What is even more inhumane is the refusal of the authorities to allow his remains to be brought to his birthplace for a proper burial.

In his farewell letter Chin Peng wrote:

In the final analysis, I wish to be remembered simply as a good man who could tell the world that he had dared to spend his entire life in pursuit of his own ideals to create a better world for his people.

"It is irrelevant whether I succeeded or failed, at least I did what I did. Hopefully the path I had walked on would be followed and improved upon by the young after me. It is my conviction that the flames of social justice and humanity will never die."

Chin Peng may well be acknowledged as a terrorist but there were others who deemed him as a true patriot who fought for the freedom of his country through the only means that was at his disposal in the face of a denial of recognition of his party as a legitimate political organisation eligible to partake in the democratic process.

Only historian can make a proper judgment of him. In the meantime, I hope I would not be judged wrong, in keeping with the tradition of decency, if I wished his soul to rest in peace.