The Bittersweet Alliance – Part 1

The philosopher Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás or George Santayana once said that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  The recurrence of history is part of life’s cycle, but always in different forms.  Those who do not remember how certain historical lows were handled are bound to make even bigger mistakes.

 

Recently, there was a furor following the statement made by UMNO’s Ismail Sabri , the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Minister, asking consumers to boycott greedy Chinese businesses.  While it is normal to hear the communal-party-disguised-as-a-non-communal-party DAP lashing out at Ismail Sabri, the call by MCA’s Youth Chief, Chong Sin Woon, for the sacking of Ismail Sabri did not go down well with UMNO and 92 Divisions of the latter rallied behind Ismail asking for Sin Woon to be sacked instead.

 

While I refuse to indulge in a debate over what was said by Ismail Sabri, there is a need for consumers to boycott profiteering businesses who whine about high cost of fuel and pressured the government to allow them to increase the price of their services, but refused to lower prices when the price of fuel has gone down by half.  What I am more interested in is the bittersweet alliance between UMNO and MCA, and how history is repeating itself.

 

While the movement for the independence of Malaya had started decades before, there was no cohesion between races. In 1946 when the Malayan Union was formed, the republican-in-nature Partai Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM) and the non-Malay Malayan Democratic Union (MDU) were quick to support the formation.  The PKMM, a spin-off from the Batavia-leaning KMM of Ibrahim Yaacob, was all for a Malaya not ruled by the Malay Rulers, while the MDU liked the idea of automatic citizenship (read more in Seademon’s The Road To Merdeka: Persekutuan Tanah China ) for the immigrants. On 1st March 1946, more than 40 Malay organisations met up and 41 decided to form the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) to champion the Malay rights.  The Malays were then a minority in his own land, poor, sidelined from economic development, health care and formal education.  With the help and encouragement of the then-British High Commissioner, Sir Henry Gurney, the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) was formed on the 27th February, 1949. Gurney aimed at winning the allegiance of the Chinese community away from the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) (Colonial Office Record 537/773(1) Memorandum by Henry Gurney, 28th January, 1949).

 

There was apprehension and distrust between the Malays and Chinese.  The alienation of the Malays by Chinese mining tycoons and rubber estate owners, followed by the preference of the Japanese of the Malays over the immigrant Chinese, and this in turn followed by retribution against the Malays by Chinese sympathizers of the CPM after the Japanese surrender have had contributed enormously to this animosity between the two.

 

It was since 1950 that Henry Gurney had wanted to introduce some form of democracy to Malaya through elections to satisfy the public’s hunger for democracy versus the communist’s way of winning self-government.  Alas, he was only a High Commissioner and still had to go through the true rulers of the Federation of Malaya – The Malay Rulers.  So, during the 10th Malay Rulers Meeting on the 22nd and 23rd February, 1950, Gurney presented his recommendation, only to be met with reluctance of the Malay Rulers.  In the minutes of meeting, the Sultan of Kedah stated his reservation:

 

The most important prerequisite for democracy is education. Without enlightened public opinion a democratic system of Government will be liable to unsteadiness or even confusion and chaos. One danger is that it may be transformed into a single party government through a few skilled electioneers working among the apathetic population and this will work towards dictatorship.” (Colonial Office Records 537/6025(1))

 

The Malays, as mentioned above, were left behind educationally and may not know what is best for them.  For the same reason the PKMM and MDU were in full support of the Malayan Union four years prior to this event.  And whatever the outcome, the Malays would have ended up the biggest losers if no one champions their rights. Noted William L Holland in “Nationalism in Malaya” (WL Holland, 1953):

 

“There was already Malay discontent in the pre-war period over the poor economic position vis-a-vis the Chinese and Indians. Malay peasants and fishermen, noted S.H Silcock and Ungku Aziz, were dependent on Chinese middlemen while Malays worked as messengers in offices where Chinese and Indians were clerks.”

 

The phrases made bold above by me, still holds true today and became the basis of Ismail Sabri’s main grouse against profiteering businessmen.

 

Gurney had to bring about some form of democratic self-rule that would benefit all races.  Separately he discussed on numerous occasions with both MCA and Dato’ Onn and impressed upon them that self-rule would only happen if there is a closer relations between the communities (The Making of the Malayan Constitution, Joseph M Fernando, 2002, Page 15).  Gurney was all for the promotion of Sino-Malay talks to tackle long-term problems.  Gurney minuted the following:

 

“The outstanding issues at that stage were citizenship and the economic backwardness of the Malays.  The Chinese leaders sought a more liberalised citizenship than those contained in the 1948 Federation of Malaya Agreement.  Onn meanwhile , had approached the Colonial Office to secure financial assistance for the Malays.” (Colonial Office Records 537/773(1))

 

Onn Jaafar, however, was more open towards a better relationship between the Malays and other races if UMNO was to achieve the long-term ambition of self-governing the nation.  In the UMNO annual general meeting in Arau, Perlis, on the 28th May 1949, he said in his speech:

 

It is absolutely important for the Malays to obtain closer ties with the other people in this country.  It is time for us to take the view wider than the kampung view.  I ask of you, which will you choose, peace or chaos, friendship or enmity?” (Straits Times, 29th May, 1949)

 

It was at this meeting that UMNO had agreed to accept non-Malays as associate members.  Two years later, in June 1951, Onn went a step further by proposing that UMNO should open its doors to the non-Malays, and that UMNO be renamed the “United Malayan National Organisation.”  While the top echelon of the party was supportive of this idea, the grassroot felt it was too radical.  The bitterness resulting from the years of resentment and occasional interracial violence were too new for them to accept the non-Malays into their political fold.  As a result, Onn left UMNO to form a new party called the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP) despite Gurney’s insistence that the former should remain in UMNO.  Onn gambled that UMNO would fall apart and would rally behind him.  Instead, UMNO rallied behind its new leader, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who sought to retain and strengthen UMNO’s communal organisational structure.  The Tunku also threatened to expel from UMNO any member that joins or had joined the IMP (Straits Times, 18th September, 1951).

 

The MCA meanwhile remained a loose association of both “neutral” Chinese and the hardcore sympathizers of the CPM.  Gurney had felt that the MCA had not gained much support from the Chinese community and the CPM sympathizers especially to help bring about a speedy end of the First Emergency.  The Perak MCA Chairman, Leong Yew Koh, wrote to Cheng Lock on 1st June, 1950:

 

“Although the Perak MCA membership is 40,000 strong, the branch is a mere basin of loose sand.” (Tan Cheng Lock Papers, ISEAS Singapore, Folio IX)

 

Cheng Lock was quick to suggest that the MCA should become more political in order to better represent the Chinese:

 

“The MCA should not exist only for the limited, though vital, purpose of the meeting the emergency.  It is a living institution which should consolidate itself on a strong and broad democratic foundation, in order that it may be ready to play a part in Malaya of the future as well as the present.” (Colonial Office Records 1022/176)

 

Thus, the stage is set for two political giants to go against each other for political power, after which we will see whether it was the Tunku or not who played the pivotal role in making the alliance between UMNO and MCA come true.

 

Stay tuned.

Malaysia’s Day: Death of the Psychopathic God (Part 2)

20130925-001101.jpg

I blame the skewed understanding of history among Malaysians, as well as attempts to rewrite history, on the Malaysian education system. The best way to get the nation together is to say that Malaya was colonised. The only times Malaya was wholly colonised was between 1942 and 1945, then again in 1946 until 1948. The Portuguese colonised Malacca, so did the Dutch. The rest of the Malay Peninsula were divided into various sovereign states.

Let me give you a brief history lesson on the MALAY peninsula:

The British came here for want of economic materials, and as a result of the various treaties with the respective states’ Sultan and Raja, the various states in Malaya became protectorates, administered by British Residents who were employed by the various Sultans and Rajas. Save for the Strait Settlements, the rest of the Malay Peninsula were never British colonies. Initially, the states of Perak, Selangor, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan all had their own Resident, but decided to have a common Resident as mentioned in Clause 4 of the Treaty of the Federation, 1895:

The above named Rulers agree to accept a British officer, to be styled the Resident General as the agent and representative of the British government under the government of the Straits Settlement. They undertake to provide him with a suitable accommodation with such salary as determined by Her Majesty’s government and to follow his advice in all matters of administration other than those touching the Mohammadan religion. The appointment of the Resident General will not affect the obligations of the Rulers towards the British Resident now existing or hereafter to be appointed to offices in the above mentioned protected states.

In return for the access to economic gains, Britain promised the states protection against threats. The protectorate over the Malay states does not amount to colonisation and sovereignty but prevents occupation or conquest of the protectorate by other nations (as evident during the Japanese invasion of Malaya). This differs from a colony in that the protectorates do not form an integral part of the territories of Great Britain.

As mentioned, the Malay states were made up of nine sovereign states, headed by the Sultan/Raja, and advised by a British adviser, with Negeri Sembilan, Selangor, Pahang and Perak forming the Federated Malay States, while the rest were termed as the Unfederated Malay States with individual treaties with the British. Malacca, Penang and Singapore became part of the colonies as part of the Straits Settlement. Three legal cases became the test for the independent-nature of the sovereign states, namely the Mighell vs Sultan of Johore (1894), Duff Development Co. Ltd vs Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan & Anor (1924), and the Pahang Consolidated Co. Ltd vs State of Pahang (1931-32).

Therefore, on 31st August, 1957, the independence we gained was from feudalism, and not colonialism as we were brought up to believe in. On that day, the Sultans and Rajas were removed of their British advisers who administered their state on their behalf, and were now advised by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet (Chief Minister and Executive Councillors on state level). The constitution of rulership was continued but modified to include parliamentary democracy.

Since the independence we gained on 31st August, 1957 was from feudalism (the governing of the nation by a government elected by the people as opposed to British-appointed advisers), when did the nationalist movement for this independence actually began? It was upon the formation of the Malayan Union of 1946, an idea conceived during the Second World War and first presented to the British War Cabinet in May 1944 which required the Malay rulers to concede ALL powers to the British Crown, another indicator of the independent nature of the Malay states before the Japanese occupation. That started the ball rolling for the independence we now have.

Characters such as Burhanuddin Helmi, Ibrahim Yaacob, Hassan Manan, Mokhtaruddin Lasso, Ahmad Boestamam, Shamsiah Fakeh all fought for an independent Malaya under Javanese rule under the banner of Melayu Raya. You can read more on this in my posting The Road to Merdeka: Persekutuan Tanah China dated 6th September 2013. There you can read more about the characters mentioned, and also how that movement is linked to Chin Peng’s attempt to turn Peninsular Malaysia/Malaya into a communist state aligned with China.

The question whether Chin Peng was a contributor to the independence does not arise at all; he only assumed command of the Communist Party of Malaya when his predecessor, Loi Tak a.k.a Loi Tek a.k.a Lai Teck absconded with the movement’s funds in 1947. Why would the staunchly anti-communist British regard the Communist Party of Malaya as brothers-in-arms fighting the Japanese? Loi Tak, the Secretary-General of the CPM was a spy for the French colonial authorities in Vietnam to penetrate the Vietnamese freedom fighters and communists. You can read more in British Intrigue & The CPM: Some Characters.

And the remark made by Mariam Mokhtar that without the CPM, the Japanese in Malaya would not have been defeated is a feeble and shallow attempt to rewrite history. On 13th August 1945, Sukarno and Drs Hatta met up with Burhanuddin Helmi and Ibrahim Yaakob in Taiping to discuss the independence of Malaya under Javanese rule. In attendance was Major General Hirokichi Umezu of the Imperial Japanese Army. Ibrahim Yaakob was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Japanese Volunteer Army (Giyuugun). That effectively says that from that date, until the formal surrender of the Japanese military on 2nd September 1945, the Imperial Japanese Army remained undefeated.

Chin Peng fought against a collectively independent Malaya in 1948, a Malaya that was not colonised. Therefore, what was he fighting for? Was he planning to drive out the British advisers and become advisers in turn to the Malay rulers? According to Prof Dr Cheah Boon Kheng, the ratio of Chinese to Malays in communist-front organisations was 15:1, and as high as 50:1 in the CPM itself (The Star, Red Star Over Malaya, Sunda, 29th November, 2009). Do we honestly think they had the support of the whole population of Malaya? Whose interests would have been protected or preserved had they gotten their way then? Therefore the label “Chinese communists” as mentioned by Mariam Mokhtar is an apt description.

Mariam Mokhtar should also get her facts right (Chin Peng Has The Last Laugh, Malaysiakini, 23rd September 2013). Because of the ratio above, the Emergency was in essence a battle between the Malays who were trying to preserve their identity and religion, and the non-Malays who were against the CPM, against the Chinese-majority CPM that was bent on setting up a satellite communists state here. Mariam mentioned that atrocities were not just committed by Chin. Peng, but by both sides because “Malaya was on a war footing”. Since when was Malaya on a war footing? Who committed the first atrocity in 1948? Why was he fighting against an independent Malaya? And why did he not stop after the Tunku had announced our independence in 1956?

Chin Peng betrayed the people of Malaya. At the Baling talks, he promised the Tunku that the CPM would lay down their arms immediately if the British agreed to transfer power over internal security and defence into the hands of the Tunku’s Umno-MCA-MIC Alliance Government. Did he do it? No. He continued to kill Malayans/Malaysians for a further 34 years after the talks.

Chin Peng may be gone. And on every 16th September, Malaysia Day would be more meaningful – the day the man who butchered 10,000 of the people he had wanted to liberate, finally kicked the bucket on foreign soil.

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

In the final instalment, I will cover non-Malaysian Chin Peng’s request to be allowed to visit Sitiawan.

Malaysia’s Day: Death of the Psychopathic God (Part 1)

20130923-193724.jpg

The greatest news I received on Malaysia Day was of Chin Peng’s death. I was some 250 nautical miles from Kuantan and had been sailing for more than a week without receiving any form of news from home, so imagine my feeling of jubilation.

Yes, it has almost been 24 years since the signing of the peace treaty in Hatyai between the Government of the Federation of Malaysia and the Communist Party of Malaya. I will cover more on the treaty in the second part. Many do not understand that the treaty was about the ending of hostilities between the two parties, but not about the CPM having to give their ideology up. So, when The Sunday Star decided to ask 19-year olds if the thought the communist is still a threat my mind instinctively asked, “what is the purpose of asking those who were still swimming inside testicles when the treaty was signed?” It just hinted malicious intent. Of late, the popular mainstream daily and ASTRO’s Awani sound like some leftist publications.

Many in KL would not remember the bombings, and shootings of police officers that occurred in KL itself. The last I heard of a gun-battle between the police and the CPM was in May 1983 on the old trunk road between Gombak and Janda Baik, near Mimaland. One policeman died, the other wounded but managed to kill both Min Yuens.

I read with disgust both on the mainstream media as well as on the online social media how sympathisers asked the government to allow for Chin Peng’s ashes be brought back to Sitiawan. After all, “the man is more a threat alive than when he is dead” quoted a member of a BN component party. If that was supposed to have moved me, then it had failed miserably.

Equally disgusting was the comparisons made between the bodies of the Sulu terrorists, bomb-making terrorists Azahari and Nordin Mat top, with Chin Peng. Nobody ever claimed the bodies of the Sulu terrorists, Azahari and Nordin Mat Top were Malaysian citizens and never did they wage war against their people – unlike Chin Peng whom I believe was never a citizen of the Federation of Malaysia, nor was he a citizen of the Federation of Malaya, as described in Part 1.1 (a) of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. I doubt Malaysian-born Kamahl calls Malaysia home!

Worst is when PAS members also went to Bangkok to attend the wake of the man so determined to eradicate the Malays and their religion. I suppose in the name of politics and power, God comes second. After all, God is intangible, unlike Chin Peng.

And the statement made by a former Inspector-General of Police on the matter saying that the world would laugh at us if we do not allow Chin Peng’s ashes to be brought back for final rites is an insult to us servicemen (police and military), especially to those who continue to suffer as a result of the loss of limbs, or loss of a father, husband, or son. Perhaps this is why an ex-IGP was made an Ambassador while this ex-IGP continue to find recognition for the things he had done; but all he was famous for was punching Anwar Ibrahim while in custody!

20130923-205026.jpg

Hitler killed Jews for only five years. Chin Peng waged war against the people he was supposed to liberate for 41 years. Why did not Chin Peng stop as soon as the Tunku had announced Malaya’s independence in Melaka in 1956? Why did he continue to wage war against this nation and her people? The British government servants were all serving the Sultans and Rajas and were answerable to the latter, with the exception of Penang, Melaka and Singapore that were colonies of the British Empire. So Chin Peng was not interested in fighting against colonialism, the Japanese also did that in Malaya!

20130923-205217.jpg

Chin Peng was more interested in assuming this nation under communism, as a satellite nation to the People’s Republic of China. And thousands died fighting this man who was adamant to destroy their religion and way of life.

20130923-205129.jpg

To those who continue to ask for Chin Peng’s ashes to be allowed a final trip to Malaysia, and ask others to move on, forgive and forget, do ask the Jews to forgive Hitler for the five years of atrocities committed against them. Then we should be able to move on eight times the amount of time taken for the Jews to forgive Hitler.

Chin Peng never showed any compassion, nor did he ever exhibit remorse. He was a psychopath worshipped by idiots who deserves not even a single whiff of sympathy.

Therefore, he should just stay out forever and not tarnish the soil of this beloved nation.

Re-Produced: Hatyai Accord – The Failure Of The Domino Theory – Part 2

I wrote this continuation of the armed struggle by the Communist Party of Malaya last year. Reeling from losses and lack of support from Malayans, followed by Malaysians, Chin Peng sought the help of China to sponsor its attempt to turn Malaysia into a communist satellite.

——————————————————————————————————-

After the failure of the Communist Party of Malaya’s (CPM) revolt against British colonial rule and the subsequent independent Federation of Malaya’s government, the CPM retreated almost in full to Southern Thailand. In 1961, Chin Peng, leader of the CPM moved to China and sought support from Beijing. Deng Xiaoping, who was the most influential Chinese leader of the time although he never held any head of state office, promised Chin Peng a sum of US$100,000 in support of the CPM’s struggle.

In 1963, when Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore chose to join the Federation of Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia, Indonesia objected violently by launching a campaign to lynch the newly-formed country out of existence dubbed “Ganyang Malaysia.” The CPM joined the Indonesian forces to fight against the people of Malaysia.

On New Year’s Day in 1968, the Communist Party of China launched the “Cultural Revolution”. The CPM, taking this as a queue and in conjunction with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the first Malayan Emergency, issued on 1st June 1968 a directive: “Hold High the Great Red Banner of Armed Struggle and Valiantly March Forward.” The first act, 16 days later, was to ambush the security forces and murdered 17 of its members in the Kroh area in Perak. Thus begins the Second Emergency. A year later, with the support of the Communist Party of China, the CPM began transmitting “Suara Revolusi Malaya” from the Hunan province, aimed to gather momentum and support from sleeper-agents, CPM members in South Thailand, and communist symphatizers who remained at large.

When Malaysia and Singapore parted ways, the DAP took up the role of the PAP. There were demonstrations and strikes almost on a weekly basis organised by the DAP. With the party being predominantly Chinese, race relations took a toll. This fact was successfully exploited by the CPM. The CPM indoctrinated people at all levels: Chinese civil servants, student leaders, trades unionists, the non-Malay members of the Armed Forces and Police, the middle classes with their ideology. All it did was to portray that the malays dominated the political scene while the chinese and Indians were relegated to being second-class citizens. Does this ring a bell? By 1969, the damage to race relations was just waiting for the final straw to break its back.

Those who were born after 1970 will never be able to recall how a curfew siren sounds like, but this writer had had that experience of rushing home (our quarters was not only fenced up using the normal chain-link fence, the perimeter chain-link fence was covered in total by barbed wire) every time the siren sounded. Those were the days when our boys in blue had to fight on two fronts: against the communists, and against the common criminal.

Fresh from the race riots of May 1969, the government felt that it could not afford any more ethnic antipathy. During the First (Malayan) Emergency, the setting up of New Villages by order of General Templer caused other races to look at the Chinese population as communist-symphatizers, when the truth was far from it. The government of Malaysia rightfully did not declare the Second Emergency as one, but instead learned from the Briggs Plan that the only way to win the war against the communists was through the tandem improvement of security and development: KESBAN – Keselamatan dan Pembangunan (Security and Development).

KESBAN was carried out to protect the people from subversion, insurgency and a state of lawlessness. It saw the coordination of all agencies from kampung level all the way up. I had had the opportunity to work under Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng (one of the heroes of Operation Ginger during the First Emergency), who as the Chief Police Officer of Perak, had to fight not just the war against the communists but also against common criminals. He related to me how, when the police force was stretched thin in Perak, called all the head of gangsters in Perak and appointed them as Rukun Tetangga heads.

“They were born leaders with natural leadership skills. All I had to do was channel those skills to positive use.”

The newly-appointed Rukun Tetangga heads were given the task to uphold the law and maintain peace and order. Any gang member found breaking the law would be surrendered to the police, else the leader will be arrested. This ploy work, crime was drastically reduced, and the police had a freer hand in combatting the communist terrorists in Perak.

The Rukun Tetangga (Neighbourhood Watch) was born out of KESBAN. It saw people of all races work together to keep their neighbourhood peaceful; but what it did most was to foster a good relationship and understanding between races. People were more tolerant of each other back then than they are now. Mind you, it was around half a decade after the race riots of 1969. No one, save for a few, cared whether one was Malay, Indian or Chinese, or Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Tao or Hindu. They were all Malaysians back then.

KESBAN also allowed for development to reach the rural areas; where there was no electricity, some kampungs began to enjoy at least 12-hour electricity supply per day, with the police and military guarding the power supply network from the occasional sabotage by the CPM. Once more rural areas were developed and connected, the communist terrorists moved further deep inside the jungle.

KESBAN would not have been possible had it not been for the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia. In February 1972, US President Nixon established diplomatic ties with Communist China in order to stem the influence of the Soviet Union in East Asia. The late Tun Abdul Razak did so in 1974. China warmed up to Malaysia. Everywhere the Malaysian delegation went, children lined up the streets waving the flags of both nation.

One must remember that back in 1961, Chin Peng had gone to meet with Deng Xiaoping. The latter enjoyed strong support in the Communist Party of China but was not in good terms with Chairman Mao. The diplomatic ties between Mao and Razak was in a way a hint to Chin Peng and Deng. The CPM retaliated with the assissination of Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Hashim, the then Inspector-General of Police a week later.

Due to the relationship between China and Malaysia, in October 1974, the CPM saw a split in its ranks, and eventually a split in the organisation. The CPM Marxist-Leninist, a splinter group leaning towards the Soviet Union was born. This group was then renamed the Malayan People’s Liberation Army.

IN PART 3 I WILL WRITE MORE ON THE SECOND EMERGENCY TO ITS EVENTUAL COLLAPSE