As mentioned in the previous posting, the CPM split into two factions in October 1974: the CPM and the MPLA (CPM-Marxist-Leninist).
In 1975, the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge ousted the Cambodian military government and began a reign of terror. In Vietnam, Soviet-backed North Vietnamese Army rolled into Saigon, effectively ending the Vietnam War. By December 1975, Laos too, fell to the Communists. In South-East Asia, there was real fear that the ASEAN nations would be next to fall to Communism – the Domino Theory was born.
Both the CPM and MPLA’s spirit were boosted by this new turn of events. Their activities peaked in 1975. There were bombings of the National Monument (Tugu Negara), the Police Field Force camp in Jalan Pekeliling in Kuala Lumpur Having scored a morale-boosting victory by assassinating the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Hashim, a year earlier, they set their sights on Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng’s predecessor, Tan Sri Jimmy Khoo Chong Khong, the Chief Police Officer of Perak. Tan Sri Khoo was ambushed near the Ipoh General Hospital by the same assassins that murdered the IGP. His brave driver, Sergeant Chong, returned fire despite having being hit repeatedly by the assassins’ bullets. Sergeant Chong died soon after, but not before injuring one of the assassins in the head that then led the police to them.
Between 1976 and 1977, the Malaysian media was filled with nothing but stories of ambushes and attacks by the communist terrorists against the police and the military.
When Chairman Mao Zedong died, Deng Xiaoping returned to mainstream politics. Given his rapport with Chin Peng, the CPM was fueled to up the revolutionary ante. However, in 1978 Deng visited Thailand, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and was convinced to stop exporting Communism. As a result, in 1981 Deng ordered the ‘Suara Revolusi Malaya’ to stop broadcasting. The CPM had had to relocate the radio station to South Thailand and renamed it ‘Suara Demokrasi.’ Starved of support, the CPM and MPLA were riddled with internal strife and political cleansing (including the execution of suspected counter-revolutionaries) that their effectiveness was greatly reduced. The MPLA changed its name to the Malayan People’s Army (MPA) in 1982. One of the last gunbattles that occurred in the vicinity of Kuala Lumpur was in May 1983, on the day my paternal grandmother died. A patrol car chanced upon a group of Min Yuens and communist terrorists near what was Mimaland in Gombak. In the gunbattle, one policeman and one CT were killed, while the other policeman and another CT were injured.
The West Betong and Sadao groups of the CPM decided to surrender themselves to the Thai government in 1987 when they realised their struggle was not achieving any success, and with no clear political or military objectives.
On 2nd December 1989, the Communists gave up armed struggle and signed a peace treaty with the governments of Malaysia and Thailand, ending the Second Emergency.
So, were the communist terrorists freedom-fighters as claimed by some parties?
When the Federation of Malaya achieved independence, the CPM had lost all clout in fighting “imperialism” and “colonialism”; yet it continued to do so, and even refused to recognise the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 by supporting the Indonesian campaign of lynching Malaysia (Ganyang Malaysia). Let us also not forget that the CPM’s counterparts in especially Sarawak continued to wage war against the government ’til 1989. Among those killed fighting the terrorists in Sarawak was Superintendent Joni Mustapha, a Sarawak hurdler in 1958-59. Joni was loyal to his men. He was in a cinema in Sibu watching a movie with his son when he got word that his men were pinned down by heavily armed terrorists upriver. He left his son behind and travelled by boat to reach his men. He was felled by machinegun fire, but remained to direct the firefight against the terrorists until he died. Seeing his commander die, Corporal Nguing, an Iban warrior, unsheathed his machete and charged at the terrorists only to be mown down.
Therefore, the communists terrorists not only fought against what some perceived as the “puppet-regime” in Kuala Lumpur, they fought against Malaysians on every inch of this hallowed soil trying to introduce communism, and turn this beloved country of ours into either a China-leaning satellite, or a Soviet-leaning one. It was never a nationalistic fight for freedom as claimed by some mentally-skewed politicians and their supporters either. There is nothing nationalistic about joining the forces of a foreign-nation to lynch your own people, if the CPM ever regarded Malaysians as their own. Remember, the CPM waged war against the Malaysian people for 32 years after the independence.
Was the fight against the communists solely a malay struggle as claimed by a former Minister? No. Kanang ak Langkau is an Iban. So was Corporal Nguing. Tan Sri Khoo Chong Khong, Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng, Colonel Chong Kheng Lay – chinese. Former DSP Jeganathan, whom I had the honour of working with, is an Indian. He was absorbed into the Special Branch from Jabatan Talikom to set up the police VHF network, jungle-bashing, ploughing his way through to construct towers in the jungle with the communists hot on him. Inspectors Kamalanathan and Robert Cheah were injured when a grenade was lobbed into the Ipoh coffee shop where they were having coffee. I worked briefly with Kamalanathan who still limped in 1995 with a shrapnel lodged inside him decades after the incident.
It was a war against all of us, Malaysians – free and independent Malaysians, by godless creatures who call themselves freedom fighters, a war that none of us Malaysians should ever forget, and against those none of us should ever support.
The people of Malaysia, the Malaysian Armed Forces, the Royal Malaysian Police, should always be on guard for a resurgence of communism in Malaysia. The peace treaty of 1989 was just a declaration of the end of an armed struggle; not the giving up of the communist ideology.