Former Malayan communist chief Chin Peng (pic) died in Bangkok today, Thai newspaper Bangkok Post reported. He would have turned 89 this October 21.
The daily said his relatives will conduct religious rites this Friday.
Chin Peng led the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) guerrilla insurgency and fought against British and Commonwealth forces to establish an independent Communist state.
Chin Peng, whose real name was Ong Boon Hua, had been living in exile, mostly in Thailand, after the party signed an agreement in Haadyai in 1989 to end hostilities.
The Haadyai agreement was inked on December 2, 1989 by CPM leaders and senior government officials representing Malaysia and Thailand and signalled the end of the decades-long jungle war in the two countries.
The agreement also allowed for CPM members to return home, if they so desired, but till the end, Putrajaya refused to allow him back.
He first applied to return to Malaysia in late 1990, but the application was rejected in December the following year.
After some of his CPM comrades were given permission to return home, including Rashid Mydin and Shamsiah Fakeh, Chin Peng made further efforts to see his hometown of Sitiawan after being away for decades.
He personally wrote to then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on June 14, 2004, but the letter never received a response. It was among the correspondence by Chin Peng, his lawyers, and the government which was tendered in court during the hearing for his 2005 application to be permitted to enter and live in Malaysia.
He told Malaysian journalists at a press session in Haadyai on November 27, 2009, that he believed he was “tricked” and “played” by the Malaysian government.
“I don’t dare to assume that it was intentional... [Whether] it happened in 1992 or much earlier, I can’t remember exactly. I think I was being tricked to go for an interview. They asked me to go to this place, and then the government side didn’t turn up. Then they asked me to go to another place... from one place to another. As far as I can remember, I was being played by them,” he reportedly said.
Then Home Affairs Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, who is today the Election Commission chairman, wrote to Chin Peng’s lawyers on October 25, 2004, informing them without explanation, that his request to enter Malaysia was rejected.
Chin Peng then began turning to the courts. He lost his final bid in the Federal Court on April 30, 2009.
Of interest is the explanation given by then deputy defence minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad in Parliament on why Chin Peng was still listed as an enemy of the country.
Abdul Latiff was quoted by Bernama as saying: “This is because during the signing of the peace accord with the CPM in 1989, he did not sign the agreement to lay down arms. Only the CPM agreed to do so and not Chin Peng.” - September 16, 2013.