Is Zainudin suggesting that the government and Rahim Noor had not acted in the best national interests in acknowledging CPM’s contribution to the country’s Merdeka in 1957 in the Haadyai Peace Accords and paying over RM10,000 each to the over 330 former CPM members who returned to the country
Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said in Alor Star over the weekend that the DAP’s support for ex-Communist Party of Malaya leader Chin Peng’s return to Malaysia will spell the DAP’s demise in the next general election. (New Sunday Times)
Zainuddin was being most irresponsible and malicious in trying to distort and sensationalise my statements on the issue, painting a false picture that I had become the champion of the armed struggle of the Malayan Communist Party and Chin Peng.
This is not the first time that Zainuddin had mischievously alleged that I am campaigning for Chin Peng’s return, as he had also said: “Lim Kit Siang also appears determined that the book (Chin Peng’s “My Side of History) should be read". Zainuddin is so preoccupied with playing irreponisble partisan politics that he did not seem to realize that he is actually questioning the rationale and legitimacy of a Mahathir legacy – the 1989 Haadyai Peace Accords.
On 23rd September, I had said that one of the unfinished tasks which Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should do before he steps down as Prime Minister at the end of October is to honour the 1989 Haadyai Peace Accords with the CPM and allow Chin Peng to return home to Malaysia.
I said: “DAP commends the government for not banning Chin Peng’s book ‘My Side of History’ which should be a must reading for all political leaders and Malaysians to understand an important part of the Malaysian history – whatever one’s judgment of Chin Peng and the MCP armed insurrection.”
Zainuddin should explain why he is making such a mountain out of a molehill, moving heavy artillery against me as if I have become a convert to the cause of CPM armed struggle and leading a nation-wide campaign to hero-worship Chin Peng, sell his book and ensure his return or visit to Sitiawan?
I always believed that Mahathir’s “The Malay Dilemma” is a “must read” for Malaysians, particularly political leaders, but does that make me a follower and hero-worshipper of Mahathir?
Even Zainuddin’s “Mahathir Di Sebalik Tabir”, written to get back into Mahathir’s good books after being dismissed as Chief Editor of Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd from 1982-1992, is a “must read” for the insights into Mahathir’s thoughts and deeds, such as Zainuddin’s revelation that Mahathir’s opposition to Bapa Malaysia and first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman pre-dated Merdeka in 1957, as in the choice of the Malay folk tune Terang Bulan as the national anthem “Negaraku”.
But this does not make me an admirer of Zainuddin! Zainuddin is supposed to be a man of letters and it is very sad that he is incapable of understanding such a simple distinction.
Not for forget Rais Yatim’s “Freedom Under Executive Power”, which is another must-read – and whoever reads it is not going to end up hero-worshipping Rais, who has been bruited as a possible Home Minister, whether immediately when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi becomes the fifth Prime Minister on Nov. 1 or when there is a full Cabinet shake-up after the next general election several months down the line. I do not know whether Rais’ first act as Home Minister, should he ever become one, would be to ban his own book, which would be another “Malaysia Boleh” – but this is another story.
The crucial question here is whether the Haadyai Peace Accords provide for Chin Peng’s return or visit to his Sitiawan hometown, as Chin Peng implies in his book. This is why I had called for a White Paper, a Ministerial statement or a parliamentary debate on the 14-year Haadyai Peace Accords 1989 as Malaysians are entitled to know, among other things,
Zainudin has taken the view that CPM leaders are traitors of the country. Does he similarly regard two top CPM leaders, Musa Ahmad former CPM Chairman and Shamsiah Fakir, head of the CPM Women’s Wing, who returned to Malaysia in the nineties and were given big media play, particularly by the Malay media.
Even more serious, if Chin Peng is a traitor to Malaysia, is Zainudin suggesting that the government and Rahim Noor had not acted in the best national interests in acknowledging CPM’s contribution to the country’s Merdeka in 1957 in the Haadyai Peace Accords and paying over RM10,000 each to the over 330 former CPM members who had returned to the country?
The Chin Peng issue is not the only reason Zainuddin had given for predicting that the DAP would be totally wiped out in the next general election – as he had resurrected the falsehood that "A vote for DAP is a vote for PAS and a vote for Islamic State advocated by PAS".
Zainuddin is right that DAP faces the possibility of suffering its worst electoral defeat and even being totally wiped out in the next general election (Sin Chew Daily) but not for the reasons he had given.
If the voters again fall for this Barisan Nasional campaign of falsehoods as in the 1999 general election, then Zainudin would probably be proved right that the DAP could be completely wiped out in the next general election not because of its truth but its untruth.
DAP is the only political party left in Parliament and the State Assemblies which takes a clear and unequivocal stand to defend and uphold the 46-year "social contract', 1957 Merdeka Constitution, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and the 1970 Rukunegara that Malaysia is a democratic, secular and multi-religious nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state whether ala-PAS or ala-UMNO, and if Malaysian voters can still fall victim to the Barisan Nasional falsehoods that DAP secretly supports PAS to create a "Taliban-type" of Islamic state, then DAP is indeed doomed in the next general election.
With DAP eliminated from the Malaysian political scene, then the political choice left to Malaysians is only between UMNO's so-called moderate Islamic State or PAS' extreme form of an Islamic State as the voice for the defence of a secular Malaysia with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state would have been silenced completely in Parliament and the State Assemblies.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had rightly denounced the international media of hypocrisy, double standards and lack of press freedom for all opinions except that these very sins of media hypocrisy, double standards and lack of press freedom are blatantly committed inside the country for Opposition views.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman