SHAH ALAM: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the contentious issue over Chin Peng’s ashes being brought to Malaysia is striking a nerve among the people, especially those from the armed forces.
She also said the government had not received any application to bring the former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader’s remains into the country.
She said the matter would be looked into by the relevant authorities.
“I received a message from the defence ministry (regarding this matter). No application has been made to the ministry and no approval was given to bring Chin Peng’s remains or ashes to Malaysia.
“This touches people’s sensitivity. The sacrifices of our (armed forces) heroes during the communist time (are not forgotten).
“We will leave it to the relevant authorities to consider. The government will look into this if it receives any application to bring back Chin Peng’s ashes,” she told reporters after launching the Smart Technology for Smart City Summit 2019: Towards Sustainable National Development here today.
An aide to the deputy prime minister said the statement by the defence ministry was made to inform its unhappiness with the development.
The statement also read that it would not disregard sacrifices made by former armed personnel and their relatives in opposing the communists.
Earlier, the defence ministry expressed its confidence that the home ministry and police would carry out a detailed investigation into the matter.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman had on Nov 26 said the authorities only learnt that Chin Peng’s ashes had been brought to Malaysia after it was reported by a news portal.
Azis further said the government had not wavered in its stance of not allowing Chin Peng’s remains to be brought back to Malaysia and would investigate the matter.
The ashes were reportedly scattered into the sea as well as the Titiwangsa range. The ashes reportedly arrived in Ipoh on Sept 16. A memorial ceremony, attended by some 150 people, was allegedly held the same day.
Chin Peng, born in Sitiawan, Perak, in 1924, died in exile in a Thai hospital at the age of 89.
The previous government administration had issued a warning against bringing his remains or ashes to Malaysia.
Chin Peng led the CPM’s guerilla insurgency during the Malayan Emergency in an attempt to establish an independent communist state.
After Malaya gained its independence, Chin Peng in 1968 waged a second campaign against the government to replace the administration with a communist one.
This period saw Chin Peng’s forces ambush military convoys, bomb national monuments, and assassinate police officers and political targets.
Peace with the Malaysian government was finally brokered in 1989, with the signing of the Peace Agreement of Hat Yai.