‘It’s not about the ashes but the pain and suffering’ — Masing

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

KUCHING, Nov 30: Sarawak deputy chief minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing insisted that Chin Peng’s ashes should not be brought back to Malaysia.

The Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president said the stand of many opposing the subject is not about whether bringing back Chin Peng’s ashes will do harm but rather about remembering the pain and fear he had brought to many during the Communist insurgency.

“The question here is of honour, as well as the pain he had caused many to suffer. It is not whether Chin Peng’s ashes will be do harm to Malaysians.

“He is dead. What harm can he do to us now? But for those who have suffered pain because they lost their parents, husbands, relatives or friends due to Chin Peng and his communist followers, it is something more personal and the authorities need to take this into consideration,” he told DayakDaily.

Masing opined that allowing Chin Peng’s ashes to be brought back into the country is akin to the Malaysian authorities giving him an honourable last rite.

“Does Chin Peng deserve such an honour after he caused untold damage and hundreds of death to our civilians and armed forces?  This is what Malaysians should discuss among ourselves,” he continued.

Masing related a story of a man, now in his 50s, who was always worried when his father, a policeman, went to the jungles to fight the communists.

The man told the deputy chief minister that he had sleepless nights everytime the father was away on duty.

“The son of this policeman strongly object to Chin Peng’s ashes being buried in Malaysia. Chin Peng, to this son, was the cause of agony when he was young and just the name ‘Chin Peng’ brings back a lot of bad memories.”

Masing believed the Malaysian government has the obligation to make the right decision to this group of people, who Chin Peng had caused pain.

He said when the communists attacked, they attacked who opposed to their ideologies.

“Terrorists or communists, when they hurt people, they are colour or religiously blind. They simply don’t care who you are. They regard those who don’t abide by their ideologies to be obstacles, therefore, deserves to be killed. That was what Chin Ping believed.

“So let us look at the whole issue from the ground of morality, responsibility and history. Let us not go into race and religion,” said Masing.

It was reported that the ashes of Chin Peng or Ong Boon Hua, had been brought back to Malaysia on Sept 16 and that his ashes were reportedly scattered into the sea off Lumut, as well as the Titiwangsa range in Perak.

Chin Peng, born in Sitiawan, Perak, in 1924, died of cancer in a Thai hospital at the age of 89, while in exile.

He headed the CPM’s guerrilla insurgency during the Malayan Emergency in an attempt to establish an independent communist state. — DayakDaily