Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chin Peng said to be critically ill


I met Chin Peng the ex-communist Party chief in Bangkok in late 2009. Although aged he was able to recall many of the historical events and in particular his movement in the Sitiawan area during the struggle.

I was amazed by his memory and his IT knowledge.

After visiting him I spoke in Parliament requesting the Government to honour its part of the settlement with the communist and to allow him to come back.

I said in Parliament how will other countries have confidence in Malaysia if it reneges on agreements it has entered.

Now we hear Chin Peng is critically ill. The following write up in the Malaysia Insider.

Chin Peng said to be critically ill

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — Former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Ong Boon Hua a.k.a Chin Peng is critically ill, according to sources.

Ong, who has been living in exile in Bangkok, was admitted to a top Bangkok private hospital on Wednesday. He turns 87 on October 21.

It is understood that family members and close friends, including those from Malaysia, have been asked to visit the aged fighter.

“He is very sick. We understand that doctors are sending out messages to his family members to visit him soon,” a source was quoted by The Star today as saying.

It is understood that his visits to the doctors had been frequent over the last two months.

Sources said Ong’s memory had failed over the last few months.

Ong (picture) has been in exile in the Thai capital ever since the CPM laid down arms in 1989 with the signing of the Haadyai Agreement involving the Thai and Malaysian governments.

The Sitiawan-born former guerilla fighter lost his bid to clear his name in the Federal Court in 2010.

Ong has been routinely described by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) governnment as a “communist terrorist” and his battle put down as a “bloody insurgency” in the mainstream media.

But Ong, who sees himself as a freedom fighter against colonial British rule, has insisted Putrajaya stop painting him as the bad guy.

A three-men panel led by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff unanimously threw out his application for leave to sue Putrajaya for breaching the terms and spirit of the 1989 peace accord which promised him the freedom to return home with a clean slate.

He was also ordered to pay RM10,000 in court costs.

The Haadyai agreement was inked on December 2, 1989 in Haadyai by CPM leaders and senior government officials representing Malaysia and Thailand and signalled the end of a decades-long jungle war in the two countries.

Under the terms of the treaty, the parties had “agreed not to make slanderous remarks against each other and mention words such as mass surrender and capitulation”.

Ong, whose communist-given name once earned him infamy as the country’s “Public Enemy No. 1”, first filed to sue the ruling BN government in 2005 for making him out to be a ruthless villain, but lost in the High Court here in September 2009.

The High Court dismissed Ong’s case on grounds he was a member of an illegal party and could not take it to court. It ruled the case was not a breach of contract, as argued, but a defamation suit and the federal government had done no wrong by remarking on a historical event.

The Court of Appeal struck out the ageing warrior’s bid on July 27, 2010.

The three-men Bench led by Datuk Sulong Matjeraie had unanimously ruled that the federal government did not breach the conditions of the Haadyai peace accord when it allowed the publication of statements describing Ong as a “terrorist communist”.

The exiled Ong has maintained that Item 1.2 of the lengthily-named “Administrative Arrangement Between The Government Of Malaysia And The Communist Party Of Malaya Pursuant To The Agreement To Terminate Hostilities” was intended to safeguard the reputation of CPM members in their voluntary laying down of arms 21 years ago.

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