Saturday, December 14, 2019

PH dealing with 'ex-communist' event - Threats to Freedom of Association, Speech, Expression and Peaceful Assembly?

Communist - Well, that seems to be back in the Media in Malaysia. 

With that, the issue that arises is the Freedom of Expression, Opinion, Peaceful Assembly ...and now the Freedom of Association - as the still draconian Societies Act is now being used to go against groups ...

Under the previous BN government, many human rights groups were also prevented to form societies ...even political parties. Most of the human rights groups in Malaysia are thus not registered as societies but as companies, partnerships, businesses or just not registered at all. After all, ASEAN also recognizes 'non juridical' groups - i.e. legally not registered groups or organizations...remember registration is a means of control and even denial of one's right to freedom of association. 

A group of people in the community gets together to fight for justice - surely they can ...there really must be no need for any registration...for some, like a political party, there may be a need for registration..for other groups, let it be the choice of the people to register or not - for registration also involves money - and more money every year...So, let the people decide - do I need to register a society to fight against I need to register a society to organise activities for my Taman community?

BRANDING - this must also be a concern for Malaysia, a Muslim majority state - as the many of the Western world today see 'Muslims' as 'terrorist' or 'pro-terrorist'. Likewise in the past, when there was a clash between countries that advocated 'Capitalism'(or neo-liberalism) branded those that chose communism or ideologies not capitalism as 'terrorist'...

In Malaya, let's not forget that it was the British colonial powers that branded the CPM and others that fought for independence advocating an armed struggle as 'communist terrorists'...

SO, do we still consider the MPAJA, who was formed to free invader occupier  Japan 

Do we consider the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA) who from 1948 fought British and Commonwealth forces for an independent Malaya...Did this have an impact on the British colonial government - who finally left Malaysia...? Was there any(or many) UMNO-MCA-MIC people who fought against the British for independence? Maybe, they 'fought' only in a peaceful way ...but that does not mean we ignore the struggle of others for independence even if they used armed struggle or violence? Historically, in many countries independence was achieved through violence - that includes America, Vietnam,...

Well the CPM(Communist Party of Malaya) was multiracial - its Chairman was Abdullah CD...but we see in the media only the name of Chin Peng - which can confuse new Malaysians that the CPM was a Chinese Malaysian party ...well the one's who signed the Hatyai Agreement on behalf of CPM were...'Secretary-general Ong Boon Hua @ Chin Peng, chairman Abdullah CD and central committee member Rashid Maidin signed for the CPM.'. See media report below on the 4 main points of the said Agreement - and now, did the then Malaysian government breach this agreement - if YES, will new Pakatan Harapan government do the needful...Many Malaysians are still not allowed to return to Malaysia...

The first article was on cessation of armed activities upon signing the agreement.

The second was the disbandment of armed units, destruction of arms, ammunition, explosives and booby traps in Malaysia and Thailand, Ngeh added.

He said the third touched on citizenship....“CPM members and members of the disbanded armed units, who were of Malaysian origin and wished to settle down in Malaysia, were to be allowed to do so, in accordance with the laws of Malaysia.”...

...The last article provides assistance from the Malaysian authorities to the former communist members to begin a peaceful life.

Now, the police are investigating the organization of what may be really a private event that celebrated the 30t Anniversary of Hatyai Peace Accord - an agreement between the then Malaysian government and the the then Communist Party of Malaya - an agreement that ended the armed conflict between government and the CPM. This would be an historical happy event that ended violence - and celebrating such an event is wrong? On the other hand, many would say it is a celebration of peace - a celebration for democracy...a celebration that ended the use of violence to change government...This makes it ODD why some are treating this as a crime?

The police, it is said, is investigating it under section  Section 505 (C) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998...And now, using the Societies Act...

Section 505 (C) of the Penal Code

Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report-
...(c) with intent to incite or which is likely to incite any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community of persons,
shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
The 'crackdown', if not checked may even be targeting reporters and others...the police seem to be hinting that ...“They include the complainants as well as Malaysiakini editor, journalists, individuals who brought in the ashes as well others involved in the event.'...

Can Malaysians form a new  political party called Communist Party in Malaysia - legally, they should be no restrictions. And as such, we wonder whether we need to change our Home Minister because Muhyiddin seems to be totally against anything 'communist' - forgetting that there are so many communist parties all over the world that participate in a democratic form of government - and Malaysia also has 'good' relations with several countries ruled by Communist parties. Malayan Communist Party may be banned - maybe because they did not believe in democratic elections - but what now is a Communist Party wants to be registered to compete in General Elections - surely that will not be banned? Or will it? A question for Malaysians to reflect on together with our new Pakatan Harapan government...

Muhyiddin, who is also Gambir state assemblyman, said since the Malayan Communist Party (CPM) had been banned, the communist ideology should no longer exist in Malaysia.“We have had a good parliamentary democratic system for 60 years, the country is peaceful and stable, so we will not take lightly any effort to deviate from our objective. That is why we must monitor such activities,” he said.

Muhyiddin, may now be in BERSATU and part of the NEW Pakatan Harapan - but is he still having the old UMNO mentality? He needs to be REFORMASIed...He needs to be educated about the real history of Malaysia - not the version that the past UMNO-led government have been sho




9 associations involved in ex-communists’ event, say police

The 1989 Hatyai accord signed between the Malaysian government and the Communist Party of Malaya formally ended a decades-long communist insurgency.
KUALA LUMPUR: Police have identified nine associations believed to have been involved in organising the 30th anniversary of the Hatyai Peace Accord in Kajang on Dec 1.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Huzir Mohamed also identified four individuals who spoke at the event including Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu. Three others are from Persatuan Persahabatan Abad ke-21, the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and Persatuan Kawan Karib Sarawak.

“Thus far, statements from six witnesses have been recorded while that of the others will be taken on their appointment dates.

“To date, police have received 72 reports pertaining to the case. The investigations are ongoing and further action will be taken including obtaining the views of historians,” he said.
Huzir said police would get reports from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to assist in the investigation.

The investigation paper would then be referred to the Attorney-General’s Chambers with recommendations.

“Investigations are carried out under Section 505 (C) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,” Huzir said.

Meanwhile, on the controversy surrounding the ashes of late communist leader Chin Peng, Huzir said police had questioned 10 people.

“They include the complainants as well as Malaysiakini editor, journalists, individuals who brought in the ashes as well others involved in the event.

“Investigations are still underway and a number of actions will be taken including obtaining historical evidence,” he said.

Huzir said reports from MCMC, the Immigration Department, RoS, the health ministry and the Customs department would also be obtained to assist in the investigation.

To date, 11 police reports have been lodged on the case.

“The case is being investigated under Section 504 and 505 (C) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,” he said.

It was reported that Chin Peng’s ashes arrived in Ipoh, Perak on Sept 16 where a memorial service was held, attended by 150 people.

Chin Peng died in a hospital in Bangkok in 2013 at the age of 89.

CPM was behind an armed rebellion from 1948 to 1960 to turn Malaya into a communist state. - FMT, 11/12/2019

Six associations at Hatyai Peace Accord gathering were illegal [NSTTV]

MUAR: Six of the nine associations believed to be part of the 30th anniversary gathering of the Hatyai Peace Accord in Kajang earlier this month have been found to be illegal.

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who confirmed this today said the ministry had received a report on the matter.

“Yes, that is the report that I received. They are not registered. They are illegal associations, only three are registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS),” he told reporters here today.

Earlier, he chaired the Pagoh Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) meeting at the Pagoh Parliamentary People’s Service Centre here.

Muhyiddin said the police were investigating the reasons why the associations held the event.

He said other than the question of registration, the ministry was also looking at why these associations were involved in activities connected to Chin Peng and communism, and if this was an effort to revive the ideology.

“(The outcome) will be made known to the public, if there is evidence that connected to an effort to revive (the ideology), we have to take stern action,” said the Pagoh Member of Parliament.

Muhyiddin, who is also Gambir state assemblyman, said since the Malayan Communist Party (CPM) had been banned, the communist ideology should no longer exist in Malaysia.

“We have had a good parliamentary democratic system for 60 years, the country is peaceful and stable, so we will not take lightly any effort to deviate from our objective. That is why we must monitor such activities,” he said.

In a statement issued today, the ROS said of the nine associations believed to have been involved in the anniversary gathering, only three were identified as registered under the Societies Act 1966 (Act 335).

The ROS has issued a notice under Section 66 of the Societies Act (Act 335) that the committee members of these associations have to provide information of their association’s involvement in the event.

Replying to a question, Muhyiddin said it was necessary to expose the names of the illegal associations to their members.

“Maybe those involved were not aware of such activities. If their association is not registered, they cannot conduct any activities.

“It contravenes the laws of the country and we have to take action,” he said.

On Dec 1, a news portal reported that a gathering, believed to be of former CPM members, was held in Kajang to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Hatyai Peace Accord signed between the Malaysian government and the CPM on Dec 2, 1989. –Bernama - NST, 13/12/2019

There’s a divergence in theory and practise of communism

Is communism really a threat to the country? Or is the danger of communism being played up by political parties in the opposition for political mileage?

Or is the move against the communists in the country actually taking the form of anti-Chinese propaganda?

There are two levels to an understanding of communism.

One is at the theoretical level and the other is at the practical level, or the practise of communism.
If we go back to the philosophical roots of communism, as evident in the works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engel, communism is about creating a classless society — a society that will end all kinds of human exploitation and misery through a proletariat revolution.

Of course, from a theoretical perspective, the communist revolution can only occur in a society that has reached an advanced stage of capitalism, a state where human progress comes to a standstill.

So to break the cycle of non-progress, a revolution will have to be organised by the working class, the most advanced and most progressive segment of the society.

Once a communist revolution has been effected, the class basis of society in the capitalist society, under the leadership of the bourgeoisie class, will be eliminated.

The resulting communist society will not do away with private property and the state that protects the capitalist class.

The future communist society would result in a perfect society or a classless one with the elimination of all forms of class exploitation.

The withering away of the state is relevant in the future genesis of a communist society.

Contrary to the prognosis of Marx and Engels, communism took root not in advanced capitalist societies, but in societies that were underdeveloped, like Russia, China, Vietnam and many others.

How to explain this paradox?

Apart from the ideas of the two-class conflict, the elimination of the bourgeoisie, the vanguard of the proletariat and others, the theoretical works of Marx and Engels provide little understanding of how communist revolutions took shape in lesser-developed countries.

VI Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chin Minh and many other leaders skilfully used the ideas of Marx and Engels to suit the conditions of their respective societies that had a low level of material development.

Communist revolutions were not organised in advanced capitalist countries but in countries that were underdeveloped in the capitalist sense, where the bourgeoisie was not sufficiently developed, with a small working class but a large class of peasantry.

The revolutions in these lesser developed countries relied on the mobilisation of a tiny elite, working-class ideology, supported by the large mass of peasants.

For Lenin and Mao, the peasantry, being conservative and reactionary, was supposed to be led by the progressive proletariat. But, in fact, the communist revolution was planned and led by a small group of leaders in control of the communist parties, the vanguard of the proletarian revolution.

For Lenin, it was the fear of the Czarist reforms, that speeded up capitalist reforms in Russia, which prompted him to organise the party, the proletariat and the peasantry to forge a united front to break the capitalist system “at its weakest link”, giving rise to the theory of the weakest link that was repeated in China and many other countries that became communist later.

The dismemberment of China by foreign powers, the Japanese invasion and the failure of the Guomindang administration saw the birth of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to undertake the communist revolution.

Again, in the case of China, it was the Russian revolutionary model that was of practical significance, not so much the theoretical significance of the thoughts of Marx and Engels.

The presence of a large peasantry, small proletariat, comprador bourgeoisie made it possible for the communist leadership to organise a united front under the leadership of the party as the vanguard of the proletariat.

Before World War 2, communist parties were formed in a number of countries in Asia, especially those countries that were under colonial powers.

The revolutionary experience of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China allowed them to think beyond getting rid of colonial rulers, but in terms of creating a future communist society under the leadership of their respective communist parties. 

The experience in Malaya

This was what happened in Malaya, but the united front formation directed by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) was unable to give effect to an all-embracing support, given the lack of Malay support.

Eventually the MCP, despite the civil war, could not gain influence among all segments of society.

Further, the MCP’s links with the CCP undermined its popularity as a foreign-directed organisation.

The communist revolutions in the former Soviet Union, PRC or in many other countries did not adhere closely to the communist model as predicted by Marx or Engels.

These communist parties in lesser-developed countries were inspired by the idea of a classless society, idea of progress and the elimination of human exploitation.

But the so-called communism that took shape in the lesser-developed capitalist countries became dominated by the state, powerful party apparatus and the emergence of elites, but hardly made any dent in the reduction of class inequalities.

I am not sure, apart from the label of communist or communism, there was really anything communist about these societies. There was no reduction in exploitation; classes continued in nefarious ways, and the state did not wither way but became stronger and more powerful.

So the recent attacks against the defunct MCP, the controversy about Chin Peng’s ashes, or the issue about the event in Kajang to mark the anniversary of the peace treaty between the Malaysian government and the MCP, are much ado about nothing.

There was no real communism to start in Malaya in the first place, if we understand what the concept means in an actual sense.

The MCP labelled itself as a communist party, like others in other parts of the world, in the most narrowest sense of the term.

I am not sure whether the prognosis of Marx and Engels will ever come true as global capitalism shows no signs of waning.

It seems to reinvent itself under the most trying conditions.

P Ramasamy is deputy chief minister II of Penang. - FMT, - FMT, 14/12/2019

Did BN keep to agreement with communists, asks Ngeh

Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham read out details of the agreement signed between the Communist Party of Malaya and the government in 1989 in the Dewan Rakyat. (Bernama pic)
KUALA LUMPUR: Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham today said the government needed to honour the terms of the agreement signed between the government of Malaysia and leaders of the Communist Party of Malaya.

“If we do not follow this agreement, people will not trust us and will question our integrity. Did the Barisan Nasional government go against this agreement?” he said while debating on the defence ministry’s 2020 Budget debate.

This comes in the wake of opposition from various quarters to the ashes of former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng being scattered at a hillside in Chemor, Perak, and at sea off Lumut.

Chin Peng died of cancer in Thailand in 2013, a month before his 89th birthday.
The previous government had issued a warning against bringing his remains or ashes back to Malaysia.

Ngeh read the 1989 agreement that CPM signed with the government in the Dewan Rakyat, that was signed to terminate hostilities. It consisted of four articles.

The first article was on cessation of armed activities upon signing the agreement.

The second was the disbandment of armed units, destruction of arms, ammunition, explosives and booby traps in Malaysia and Thailand, Ngeh added.

He said the third touched on citizenship.

“CPM members and members of the disbanded armed units, who were of Malaysian origin and wished to settle down in Malaysia, were to be allowed to do so, in accordance with the laws of Malaysia.”

Ngeh said the second part of the third article touched on members of the communist party, who were not of Malaysian origin, being allowed to settle down in Malaysia.

The last article provides assistance from the Malaysian authorities to the former communist members to begin a peaceful life.

Ngeh said the agreement was signed on Dec 2, 1989 in Haadyai by three senior officials from Malaysia and the CPM.

He said it was signed by former home ministry secretary-general Wan Sidek Wan Abdul Rahman, defence forces chief Hashim Mohd Ali and inspector-general of police Mohd Hanif Omar.

Secretary-general Ong Boon Hua @ Chin Peng, chairman Abdullah CD and central committee member Rashid Maidin signed for the CPM.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said the issue of the ashes being brought to Malaysia is under the home ministry and a probe needs to be carried out.

“We need to know how the ashes were brought in,” he said when replying to questions from BN MPs.
Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) further asked for his opinion as many soldiers had sacrificed their lives in the fight against communists.

Mohamad said he had also contacted former inspector-general of police Rahim Noor to get more information on the agreement signed with CPM.

Mohamad said he had also contacted former inspector-general of police Rahim Noor to get more information on the agreement signed with CPM.
“I will state my stand after the home ministry finishes its probe,” he added. - FMT, 27/11/2019

Saga of communist insurgency in Sarawak

IN REMEMBRANCE: Neo (left) and a friend looking at pictures of fallen comrades on a memorial wall.
AT 61, Neo Kiaw Hong looks like a retired teacher or an ‘everyday’ housewife.
It is, thus, hard to imagine this slim, almost frail, woman once roamed the deepest jungles of Sarawak for 22 years a communist guerilla, only laying down her arms with the last remnants of a 52-strong guerilla group as late as November 3, 1990.
In the foreword of her memoirs, Neo, from Sibu, wrote: “For 22 years, we left footprints in the virgin forests and reforested areas, climbed through mountains, stepped on swampy lands and travelled through the rivers of Sarawak, Rejang, Oya, Mukah, Tatau, Kemena, Baram, Limbang to the borders of Brunei and Indonesia.” (translated from Mandarin).
Indoctrinated with communist ideology by her teachers and peers, Neo joined the revolutionary struggle and entered the jungle at 19 in 1968 for what she and her comrades believed to be a fight for social justice.
They left their homes in the prime of their youth, fired by a fervour ‘to rock Sarawak to gain independence’, risking their lives and undergoing extreme hardships in the often unforgiving wilderness of the state.
It was a fire that finally went out after the focal point of their inspiration died as early as 1972 when China established bilateral relationships with Malaysia.
Since early 1981, Deng Xiao Peng had encouraged the communists in Malaysia to seek an avenue for a peace accord which was eventually signed in Haadyai, Thailand, on December 2, 1989.
That accord — and perhaps the realisation that time was passing them by as they soldiered on with an increasingly irrelevant struggle — persuaded Neo and her comrades to denounce their futile insurgency.
World realities
But life as a guerrilla was not bereft of the realities of the normal world and the inevitable when young men and women lived and fought together.
In between almost constant movement in the jungle and occasional skirmishes with the security forces, some of them fell in love and got married.
Neo, the midwife of her group, said she delivered 10 babies in the jungle.
She met her husband, Yii Sie Tung, from Kanowit in the jungle and they got married in 1979, stealing out of the jungle for a proper ceremony and a wedding photo shot.
After the 1990 surrender, the couple settled down to normal life in Sibu after a brief period of adjustment and they have a daughter now in higher secondary school.
Yii, now working with a trading company after holding several other jobs, was calm and composed when we interviewed him and his wife in Sibu recently.
Looking back 20 years after laying down their arms, the couple believe they fought for the people of Sarawak.
“Our struggle together with many others had its significance,” they claimed.

THEN AND NOW: Neo and husband, Yii as young, idealist insurgents (left) and today, very much the everyday couple with a daughter in higher secondary school.
Heavy toll
The communist insurgency in the state exacted a heavy toll on their members. With an almost resigned look and a tinge of sadness, Yii said they had documented 763 of their comrades who died in the struggle.
However, not all of them died in action – the jungle can be an unforgiving host. Sicknesses and accidents contributed to many of their casualties.
Neo recalled a comrade who died falling down a steep hill and smashing his head against a stone while carrying a wild boar he had shot.
That being said. The jungle can also be a generous host, providing them with game, fish, fruits and vegetables.
Neo said they sometimes feasted like kings on deer and wild boar they shot, and during fruit season, they often collected wild durians by the hundreds – more than they could eat.
There were times too when food was scarce as they had to be constantly on the move. Communist groups have existed in Sarawak since 1941.
Hsueh Hsih (communist indoctrination) groups were fi rst formed in Kuching in 1949-50, following the communists’ seizure of power in China. Communism in Sarawak had its origin in the Chinese schools in the 1950s.
They were especially active in Kuching Chung Hua Schools.
The two key leaders who emerged from the Chung Hua Middle School and were later pivotal in setting up the Clandestine Communist Organisation (CCO) in Sarawak were Weng Min Chyuan and Bong Kee Chok.
47-day strike
In March 30, 1954, students of Kuching Chung Hua Middle School held a 47-day strike to protest against the school authority’s teaching methods and its measures in expelling students.
“The students eventually won and this developed into a revolutionary organisation and group spreading to other towns.
“Because of this, the group’s influence grew bigger, not only in the schools as it also spread to the business community and farmers, who were parents of the students.” recalled Yii who was 19 when he joined the revolutionary group in 1968.
Another former CCO member Liew Min Jaw, from Bau, has settled in Miri and returned to what he was doing before taking up arms in the jungle – farming.
When met in Miri recently, Liew was initially rather reserved in his replies to our questions but loosened up after a while.
He said he entered the jungle in May 1963 when he was 24 years old, adding that they were forced by circumstances and infl uences of their teachers into taking up arms.
“We were also very much influenced by our school teachers who moved us towards the ideals of socialism and communism where everyone was supposed to be equal,” he added.
Liew returned to society much earlier than Yii and Neo — a few months before the signing of the Sri Aman Treaty between the Sarawak government and Bong Kee Chok in 1973.
Liew lived in Kuching for many years, working as a barber before going back to farming with his family in Miri.
Hiung Kiew Ming, 64, is another former CCO member who surrendered in 1973.
He was only 15 when he joined the communist movement and walked into the jungle in 1962.
Hsiung, from Sibu, has also settled down in Miri. He worked in several companies after he got out, including a few years with a newspaper in Miri.
Communist infl itration
Like Liew, he too was influenced by his teachers and peers into joining the communist movement at an age when most of his friends were still in school.
Hsiung’s case is a good example of how the communists influenced Chinese school students in the 1950’s and early 60’s, making use of these schools as the main recruitment base for new cadres.
According to a government White Paper — The Communist Threat to Sarawak — the CCO had also infiltrated the trade unions and Chinese media and covertly taken over Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Sarawak’s earliest political party.
Based on excerpts from the White Paper, the SUPP was “controlled” by the CCO since just after its formation in 1959 as a base to its subversive campaign.
It was assessed that the CCO had penetrated nearly all levels of the SUPP and exercised complete control at the branch level and below where the communist influence had been reflected from time to time in SUPP’s political rallies, cultural activities, recruiting drives, etc.
However, in a newspaper interview then, Ong Kee Hui, one of the founding leaders of SUPP, said his party was not a communist organisation and that there was no place in it for any CCO members.
“We are a legitimate political party and we have no place for people who choose to conduct activities outside the law.
If the Party had any evidence of any member involved in such activities, it would have no hesitation in taking firm and proper action.”
Nevertheless, Liew confirmed this: “I joined SUPP in 1960, and many of the members were also like me (SUPP-CCO).”

Image from file
Large scale arrests
Following the Brunei Rebellion in 1962 when AM Azahari launched his attempt to overthrow the Brunei Sultanate, the British carried out large scale arrests of anti-colonisation and anti-Malaysia elements.
According to Liew, the ‘migration’ of the mostly Chinese youths to the Indonesian border was prompted by arrest orders issued by the British to round up suspected communists.
About 700-800 CCO members and supporters slipped across the Sarawak border into Indonesia where they received intensive training in guerilla warfare.
It was this group that formed the core of the communist guerrilla units — Pasukan Rakyat Kalimantan Utara (PARAKU) and Pasukan Gerilya Rakyat Sarawak (PGRS).
Liew recalled joining a group of 30 to Serikin on the border with Indonesia.
“The intensive training included swimming, tree climbing, blind-folded assembly, disassembly of guns and TNT explosive handling.”
In the midst of all this, Tunku Abdul Rahman launched his federation plan to incorporate Singapore, Brunei, Sarawak and Sabah into a single political entity called Malaysia.
“The fi rst operation of the trained members was to lead about 60 guerillas as a show of force to the Cobbold Commission visiting Sibu.
But the plan failed when the guerillas lost their way in the jungle and ran out of food too.”
Another former cadre Lee Nguk Sang, 70, said:
“The timing could not be better for the CCO as Sukarno vowed he would ‘crush’ the federation of Malaysia even before it was formed.
“The Indonesian leader became an instant ally of the CCO, providing the organisation with supplies and training facilities in Kalimantan.”
Lee, unlike Liew, Yiu, Neo and Hiung, did not “walk” into the jungle.
He was more a CCO sympathiser and a vital contact in the town for them.
The tide turned however, things began to sour for the CCO when Suharto took power in Indonesia in 1965.
Suharto did not share his predecessor’s vision, and launched a mopping up operation against the communists and their supporters in Indonesia.
It was just a matter of time before the CCO would be targetted.
Suharto’s acceptance of the federation of Malaysia meant the safe haven for the CCO in Kalimantan had disappeared overnight.
Liew revealed Suharto actually sent a letter to the CCO with an ultimatum that they laid down arms and returned to Malaysia or disarmed and stayed on in Indonesia or the Indonesian army would attack and eliminate the CCO.
On the Sarawak side, the government had instituted the lessons learnt from the Emergency in the peninsula.
‘New Villages’ were created along the Kuching- Serian road to ensure the Chinese and native farmers were out of the CCO’s reach.
Villagers were kept under close supervision and security at night.
By 1970, Sarawak had a new coalition government made up of Parti Bumiputera and SUPP with Rahman Yakub as the chief minister. The ‘moderates’ in SUPP were in full control.
Stephen Yong was appointed deputy chief minister.
The CCO found it harder and harder to operate.
Sri Aman peace deal The CCO also officially established the North Kalimantan Communist Party (NKCP) in 1970 with the manifesto written by Bong (Kee Chok).
In 1973, Bong wrote a letter to Rahman Yakub, then Sarawak’s chief minister, calling for talks.
A secret meeting was held in Simanggang, leading to the signing of a memorandum between the Sarawak government and PARAKU on Oct 21, 1973.
To commemorate this event Simanggang was renamed Sri Aman.
The ‘Sri Aman’ operation on Oct 21, 1973 had severely weakened the people’s armed revolutionary power in Sarawak.
It was the futility of their struggle that prompted Liew and Hsiung and some of his comrades to follow Bong’s initiative in laying down arms to rejoin society.
After 1973, the remaining 121 CCO members, led by Hung Chu Ting and Wong Lian Kui, continued to fi ght.
Yii and his wife Neo were among them.
From 1974 onwards, the war of attrition continued mostly in the Rejang Delta. There were killings on both sides and many innocent civilians lost their lives.
“The catalyst for the ending of the armed struggle was the peace agreement signed between the MCP and the Malaysian government in 1989.
Weng Min Chyuan, from China, issued instructions that the CCO should also open negotiations with the Sarawak government,” recalled Yii who was one of the negotiators.
A series of negotiations took place in Bintulu in July 1990. On October 17, 1990, a formal peace agreement ending the communist insurrection in Sarawak was signed at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Kuching, following which, the last group of 52 communist guerillas, led by Ang Cho Teng, surrendered.
Ex-CCO members have formed friendship associations to keep in touch with one another, and various memoirs of several ex-CCO guerillas have been published in Chinese.
EARLY DAYS: The founder of the CCO, Bong Kee Chok (back second left) in a picture with SUPP Kuching division members and a group from the Padawan Bidayuh community at their longhouse in 1961.
PROPAGANDA: The banner pictured above typifi es the anti-Malaysia sentiment during the 60s.- Borneo Post , 16/9/2011

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