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Zam would be the first with accusation of glorifying the communist cause if someone else had claimed that anti-Japanese fighters during the Japanese Occupation were all communists
(Parliament, Friday) : Information Minister, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin would be the first with the accusation of glorifying the communist cause if someone else had claimed that anti-Japanese fighters during the Japanese Occupation were all communists.
Now that he has himself made such an allegation, and been confronted with the truth that it is historically baseless and untenable, Zainuddin’s response is not the rational one of admitting his error and to apologise for it but the irrational one, that he is the Information Minister, that he knows history, he understands history, he is part of history and that he bears witness to history – which means absolutely nothing at all!
Zainuddin had claimed that books such as Dr. Cheah Boon Kheng’s Red Star over Malaya and Chin Peng’s My Side of the Story as well as historians like Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr. Khoo Kay Kim would prove him right.
However, Khoo had rebutted Zainuddin’s misconception that anti-Japanese heroes were communists, stressing that it is important for everyone to remember that one should not equate anti-Japanese fighters with the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).
Neither have the books vindicated him. Cheah Boon Kheng’s Red Star Over Malaya is no authority for Zainuddin’s claim that anti-Japanese fighters were synonymous with communists. Although the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA), raised and directed by the MCP, was the biggest anti-Japanese resistance force, there were anti-Japanese fighters from all races who had nothing to do with the MPAJA or MCP.
Red Star Over Malaya for instance recorded the “Malay guerrillas” who worked with the British Force 136 to take up arms against the Japanese, such as Askar Melayu Setia (AMS) in Perak and Tentera Wataniah in Pahang.
Zainuddin’s fall-back on Chin Peng’s My Side of History is most extraordinary, as it was only three years ago that he was denouncing those who read the book.
However, if Zainuddin is banking on the veracity of Chin Peng’s My Side of History to vindicate his claim that anti-Japanese fighters were all communists, (which the book does not), is he similarly prepared to rely on the other claims by Chin Peng, including the one that the Malaysian government has yet to honour the 1989 Haadyai Peace Accords to allow him to return home to Sitiawan?
What is most unfortunate about the whole anti-Japanese monument controversy, aggravated by the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Datuk Mohamad Hassan’s directive, then advice, then denial, for the demolition of the Anti-Japanese Monument at the Nilai Memorial Park, is another instance of the shocking insensitivity of national and state Barisan Nasional leaders so soon after the “fire and brimstone” Umno general assemblies last month – which are not good signs at all for 50th National Day celebrations next year.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman