Chin Peng fought to return to Malaysia, say lawyers, contradicting Home Minister
The Home Minister has said that Chin Peng did not take the two chances given to him to return to Malaysia, but the late communist leader’s lawyers have a different take on what took place.
According to one of them, Chin Peng (pic) wrote at least 10 letters to the government seeking permission to return to Malaysia following the 1989 Haadyai Peace Accord between the Communist Party of Malaya and the Malaysian government.
All his applications were denied.
Lawyer Leong Cheok Keng said Chin Peng wrote a final note to a secretary of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and when that also failed, he mounted a legal challenge.
"In one of those letters, he had also pleaded that he be allowed to visit his family on a social visit pass. He promised he would come in quietly. Even that was rejected," Leong told
All this was told to Leong by Chin Peng when they met to discuss his application to the courts to be granted entry into Malaysia. Leong was one of the lawyers who represented Chin Peng.
Leong's account contradicted that of Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who told the Dewan Rakyat earlier yesterday that Putrajaya had twice offered Chin Peng the chance to return, but the communist leader did not take up the offers.
Leong, who is also DAP's Malim Nawar assemblyman in Perak, said Chin Peng had told him that his early correspondence with the government was done with the assistance of a Teluk Intan-based lawyer, the late David Chai.
"Chin Peng told us he wanted to return home within the one-year period which he was accorded after the signing of the treaty. He had tried then and when those applications were rejected he resorted to legal avenues," Leong told from Bangkok where he was among the 300 people who attended the communist leader's wake and funeral yesterday.
Leong said Chin Peng spoke of his earlier correspondence with the government to strengthen his legal argument. He filed the suit in March 2005 in the High Court but lost because he could not produce his certificates of birth and citizenship.
At the Court of Appeal in 2008, one of the three judges, Datuk Abdul Malik Ishak, said the memoirs written by Chin Peng containing full details of a British raid on June 16, 1948, entitled Alias Chin Peng - My Side of History, could not be accepted as the gospel truth.
"Anything can be written in the memoirs. The bottom line is this: Where are your documents? The onus is on Chin Peng to produce them," Abdul Malik said.
He had to produce the documents to prove that he was a Malaysian before he could pursue his legal action.
Chin Peng said he could not produce the documents as they were seized by police during a raid in Kampar. He escaped.
Relatives and mourners lead a procession for the cremation ceremony of the late Chin Peng in in Bangkok on September 23, 2013. - Reuters pic, September 24, 2013.
Chin Peng claimed that he was entitled to come back to Malaysia as he was born on Oct 20, 1923, in Sitiawan, Dinding, Perak.
The legal challenge finally fizzled out in the Federal Court in 2009.
Another lawyer, Chan Kok Keong, echoed Leong's views in a text message.
Chin Peng was cremated in Bangkok yesterday but it is not known where his ashes will be interred.
His family has refused to say anything, but politicians are still debating whether his ashes should be allowed to be interred in Sitiawan.
Zahid had said that the government was against Chin Peng's ashes being brought back as it feared he would be hero-worshipped and that a monument would be built in his name.
The home minister also pointed out that Chin Peng and his communist guerrillas had killed more than 10,000 Malaysian men, women and children.
There are those who think it should be allowed. For one, MCA, a component of the ruling Barisan Nasional, has accused Putrajaya of being "racist" because of its stand. It pointed out that the remains of two Malaysian terrorists, Noordin Mat Top and Dr Azahari Hussein, who were killed by Indonesian police, were buried in Malacca and Johor respectively.