Chin Peng controversy: Kapit MP recounts sacrifices of Iban border scouts

Nanta speaking to members of the press. - Filepic

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Dec 2:  Chin Peng’s ashes being returned to Malaysia sees a nation becoming divided as old wounds are reopened and grievances brought to the surface.

For Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, it’s a reminder of the losses suffered by Iban border scouts to this day.

When contacted today, Nanta was still frustrated with the MPs who took the issue of the former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader’s ashes lightly because Chin Peng “could not do any harm anymore”.

“I am very angry because they are those who wanted to glorify the communists,” Nanta told DayakDaily.

He said during the Communist Insurgency, Iban border scouts who had never travelled that far before, had gone all the way to Peninsular Malaysia to fight the communist faction to protect Malaysia from communist dominion.

“They were recruited as borders scouts as they were very familiar with tropical jungle terrain and environment.  And they were good trackers.

“And many died while serving the nation.  When they died, they were simply buried in Peninsular Malaysia, many just laid to rest in simple tombs by the roadside.   Once they ceased to be useful, they were forgotten by the Peninsular Malaysians.

“Their children were also not given any benefits.  To us, the communists caused only pain and agony.  So please respect our sentiments.  Respect our feelings.  Just because you have never experienced their brutality, you can laugh at our insistence,” Nanta said.

He recounted how his best friend’s grandfather – a Penghulu – was gunned down mercilessly by communist insurgents.

“I have also seen bodies of Iban border scouts, lying there motionless when I followed my grandfather to visit the victims’ families.

“Imagine the agony the families had to go through?  So please don’t treat the issue lightly, as if we are making a mountain out of a molehill.

“We are not and we will not allow Chin Peng’s ashes to be brought back and celebrate him as if he was a hero.  In history, he was not a hero, but the leader of a pack that caused pain and misery to many in Sarawak,” said Nanta.

Nanta stressed that Sarawakians have contributed greatly to nation building and that Sarawak’s views on issues affecting the state should not be brushed off as unimportant.

“Enough is enough.  Sarawak will make sure that its voice is heard and our contributions recognised and respected,” said Nanta. — DayakDaily