Parliament should debate Chin Peng’s request to return home or visit his Sitiawan hometown and the 14-year Haadyai Peace Accords during the 2004 Budget Committee Stage deliberation  on the Home Ministry scheduled on 27th October

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(PenangWednesday): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday that  the decision not to allow former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) secretary-general Chin Peng to return to Malaysia is final.

He said: "I have made the decision and it is final.  I have no more (to say as) I've already made my statement.  I don't want to get into a debate (on the matter)."  (Bernama) 

Abdullah seems to have taken a more categorical and inflexible position than  ten days ago, when he said that the government will not allow Chin Peng to return to Malaysia “for the present”, adding:  "I have been told by a third party that Chin Peng had expressed a wish to return now. I replied that we should put off a decision for the present." (Bernama 28.9.03) 

Whatever the reason for this sudden hardening of government position on the question of Chin Peng’s return home or to visit his Sitiawan hometown, Parliament should debate this issue  and the 14-year Haadyai Peace Accords during the 2004 Budget Committee Stage deliberation  on the Home Ministry scheduled on 27th October – especially as Chin Peng’s book “My Side of History” has made revelations  about the Haadyai Peace Accords which had hitherto been kept from the public domain and which now calls for a government response as to their veracity or otherwise. 

In the past few weeks, the issue whether Chin Peng should be allowed to return home or to visit his Sitiawan hometown has become a major  and heated topic of discussion in the country, including in the letter-to-editor section  of the various language print and electronic  media, except for  Parliament.   

If MPs continue to ignore this issue, they will only confirm their irrelevance  in the Malaysian scheme of things, who could not rise above issues like excessive parliamentary claims to address bigger questions confronting the people and country. 

In Malaysia, the government is responsible and answerable to Parliament and not the other way round.  For this reason, during the debate at the committee stage of  the 2004 Budget on  the Home Ministry scheduled for Oct. 27, MPs should be informed of the government’s reasons not to allow Chin Peng to return home or visit his Sitiawan hometown despite the 1989 Haadyai Peace Accords as well as a progress report of the 14-year Haadyai Peace Accords, detailing in particular: 

  • Whether CPM had honoured the peace agreement to cease all armed activities;
  • Whether Chin Peng had honoured his end of the agreement, and if so, why he is not allowed to visit the country when some 330 former CPM guerrillas  had come home to Malaysia after the Haadyai Peace Agreement;
  • Whether it is true, as Chin Peng recounted in his book “My Side of History” that the Malaysian government, through its chief representative at the Haadyai Peace negotiations,  Rahim Noor (then head of Special Branch) had acknowledged CPM’s contribution to the attainment of national independence on 31st August 1957, and that  there are videotapes which had recorded this official acknowledgement.

During the committee stage debate on the Information Ministry scheduled for  22nd October, the Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainudin Maidin should be called upon to explain the  statement,  "We have to remember Chin Peng is a communist. Once a communist always a communist. He is a rebel and a traitor to this country" he made two days ago, and how this squared with the return to Malaysia  of two  top CPM leaders, Musa Ahmad former CPM Chairman and Shamsiah Fakir, head of the CPM Women’s Wing, in the nineties, and who  were given big media play, including  the Malay media.

Zainuddin should also  be asked to explain whether he is aware and accept that his view of CPM leaders as traitors of the country is only one view of Malaysian history, as there is another view in the universities and among  Malaysians regardless of race or political beliefs which  though disagreed with the CPM armed struggle and deplored the loss of lives  and human sufferings of  ex-servicemen, civilians and their loved ones,  regard them as nationalists who had chosen the wrong path of nationalist struggle. 


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman