Rabu, 18 September 2013

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Patriots, Pretenders & Selective Forgiveness

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 09:38 AM PDT

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HsrCgsQ8pWg/T464qPn9PFI/AAAAAAAAI5Q/0d2nJPOJ6ZU/s1600/Kua%2BKia%2BSoong%2B04.jpg 

UMNO leaders say that the CPM's insurrection against British colonialism was wrong but what alternative strategy did UMNO have to liberate the country from colonial exploitation? Do the UMNO leaders believe that Independence could have been won without the insurrection against the British colonial power? 

Dr Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser

Is there any wonder there is a crisis over public security in Malaysia when our cops are "on the lookout for Chin Peng's remains" being brought back to rest in his homeland?

Is there any wonder there is a crisis of confidence in our leaders' sense of spiritual proportions when they cannot reconcile with our nation's history to allow Chin Peng to return to the land where he was born?

 

The Quality of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is taught in all religions but the UMNO leaders maintain that Chin Peng and the CPM cannot be forgiven for their past actions during the Emergency. It is clear, however, that the UMNO leaders are certainly capable of selective forgiveness. Let us put all this into perspective…

During the 12-year "Emergency" when the CPM was waging a war against British colonialism, a total of 3,945 security forces, 2,473 civilians and 6,697 insurgents were killed. (Anthony Short, 'The Communist Insurrection in Malaya, 1948-60', 1975: 507) Because of this record, it is argued, Chin Peng and the CPM he led cannot be forgiven.

During the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, more than 100,000 Malayans (mainly Chinese) were killed in the three years between 1942 and 1945. The Japanese killed 5000 Chinese in an operation called "Sook Qing" in just one month in February 1942 in Singapore. During the three years of occupation, 66,000 people were killed in Spore. (Ian Ward, 'The killer they called a god', 1992:319; Paul Kratoska, 'The Japanese occupation of Malaya', 1998:315)

The atrocities committed by Japanese fascism during the Occupation left an indelible mark on those Malayans who suffered the terror of those dark years. And yet we are, quite rightly, prepared to forgive and reconcile with the Japanese even though their authorities have not formally recanted for their fascist and imperialist actions as the Germans have.

Still, my greatest admiration is reserved for the East Timorese, who after years of genocide at the hands of the Indonesians, were prepared to forgive their former oppressors soon after winning their Independence in 1999. Be reminded that from 1975-1999, some 200,000 East Timorese (a quarter of their total population) were killed during Indonesian occupation. President Xanana Gusmao expressed this bountiful resource of forgiveness during his visit to Kuala Lumpur in 2001 when he also thanked Malaysian NGOs for our support and solidarity work for East Timor independence. In contrast, the priority of the UMNO leaders was to support the Indonesian government when we organized the Asia-Pacific Conference on East Timor in 1996!

 

The patriots and the pretenders

Do our history books extol the patriotic role of Chin Peng and the CPM during the struggle against Japanese expansionist aggression during the Second World War? The CPM-organised Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army was decorated by the British queen in London after the war, but their contributions have not been acknowledged in our own country.

All over the world, the progressive left democratic alliance were the true patriots who fought against German and Japanese fascism during the Second World War. Can UMNO name any of their leaders who distinguished themselves during that effort to liberate our country from Japanese occupation?

UMNO leaders say that the CPM's insurrection against British colonialism was wrong but what alternative strategy did UMNO have to liberate the country from colonial exploitation? Do the UMNO leaders believe that Independence could have been won without the insurrection against the British colonial power?

My research at the British archives shows that the Malayan Emergency was essential for securing western economic, political and military-strategic interests. With this aim in mind, the British high commissioner had initiated an "Alliance" formula between the Malay aristocracy and Non-Malay capitalist interests, a compromise that continues to this day, to play a significant role.

The colonial strategy against the CPM and the workers' movement can be seen in the fact that the Emergency was declared by the British colonial power in June 1948, while the CPM only launched their armed struggle in December 1948. Against 10,000 Malayan National Liberation Army regulars, the colonial power arraigned 40,000 British Commonwealth troops; 70,000 armed police; 300,000 Home guards, "including aircraft, artillery and naval support…perhaps the largest armed force in proportion to population ever used in a colonial war." (W.J. Pomeroy, 'Guerrilla Warfare and Marxism', 1964).

Anthony Short (UM lecturer, later Aberdeen University) was commissioned to write the official history of the Emergency but his work was rejected by the Malayan Government. Why?

'Bukit Kepong' is screened at every election, but where is Mat Indera in the film when he was the Malay CPM leader who led the assault on the police station at Bukit Kepong?

 

Communal purpose in CPM portrayal

The truth is that the strategy of the British colonial power and UMNO during the Emergency was to paint the CPM as a purely Chinese insurrection. Thus while 1,000 Malays were detained at the start of the Emergency in 1948, this information was not publicized. Is it therefore surprising that the propaganda film on Bukit Kepong shows the insurgents to be wholly Chinese, when the leader of the CPM assault team was actually Mat Indera?

The proclamation of Emergency also provided the British colonial power with an opportunity to implement measures that were completely against the principles of human rights. In 1948 alone, there were 4,500 arrests, 2,700 detentions and 500,000 were put into concentration camps euphemistically called "New Villages". In 1949, more than 29,000 Malayans were banished to China.

The rest, as they say, is history…

The task for us, the reflective Malaysians, is to painstakingly record the contributions of all true, progressive Malaysians to our blessed homeland. We can leave the stalking of Chin Peng's ashes to our police force. Obviously, they have nothing better to do!

Chin Peng, may you rest in peace…

Wanted- alive but not dead

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 09:32 AM PDT

http://bigdogdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/bounty-on-chin-peng1.jpg 

It saddens me not because the man is dead but because of the unforgiving nature of my fellow Malaysians even when a person is dead. For whatever he was worth, there is no denying that Chin Peng fought for Malayan nationalism against first the Japanese and then the British. This chapter of our nation's history cannot be erased.   

Major (retired) SM aka Malayan

Chin Peng aka Ong Boon Hua died on 16 Sep 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. PM Najib announced that the remains of the former CPM secretary general, the late Chin Peng aka Ong Boon Hua would not be permitted to be buried in Malaysia. This was echoed by Tun Haniff Omar, Datuk Zahid Hamidi and others.

It saddens me not because the man is dead but because of the unforgiving nature of my fellow Malaysians even when a person is dead. For whatever he was worth, there is no denying that Chin Peng fought for Malayan nationalism against first the Japanese and then the British. This chapter of our nation's history cannot be erased.  

History has proven that the West will work with anyone, Commies included, if it serves their purpose! The Brits and Yanks were working hand in glove with Russia and likewise with the MPAJA/CPM during WW2. To the West, Commies can be allies at one point of time and enemies on another day. So after WW2 the MPAJA/CPM was deemed a threat by the Brits because it was getting in their way and Chin Peng was branded a traitor.

Though it had Maoist leanings and appealed mainly to the Chinese, the CPM was not short of Malay cadres. In fact, it had a large number of Malays in its hierarchy in its heydays. The 10th regiment consisted mainly of Malays particularly from Kelantan. So in actual fact the CPM represented various races.  

So what picture does Chin Peng paint to you and me? Is he a patriot, nationalist, or a traitor and murderer? There are characters in our nation's history who fit into Chin Peng's dilemma like Hang Jebat, Mat Indera, Ibrahim Libya and to a lesser extent Raja Petra Kamaruddin, to name a few. Are all these people deemed traitors? I don't think so! It seems ironic that a man who was once wanted physically dead or alive at a point in history is not wanted anymore even in ashes!

To me the only decent thing to do and to put the matter of Chin Peng to rest would be to rest him in peace in his birthplace. Not forgetting that the remains of two of Asia's most wanted terrorists, Dr Azhari Husin and Nordin Mat Top who murdered innocent people were brought back from Indonesia and buried here in Malaysia. When incidents like this happen, a question all too often always pops up in my mind. Is the government now behaving like the West that I mentioned earlier?    

 

 

Giving While Living

Posted: 17 Sep 2013 09:15 AM PDT

http://archives.thestar.com.my/archives/2011/2/6/nation/n_03lokeyew.jpg 

Where is today's Loke Yew? 

Our new age billionaire boys do not have the human touch in their branding. They believe in the American version of branding with expensive billboards, advertisements, F1 tracks, print on football jerseys and long list of mindless brand building strategies. 

Natesan Visnu 

The 'giving while living' philosophy was pioneered by Chuck Fenney through Atlantic Philanthropies (AP). The organization went on to invest in area of ageing, children & youth, population health and reconciliation & human rights. Fenney was inspired by Andrew Carnegie's essay on 'the gospel of wealth'. Andrew believes that the wealthy should redistribute their surplus wealth in an appropriate manner that would benefit the society in general.

Carnegie explained that by donating to charity, it does not guarantee that the charity organization would redistribute the funds wisely. He views that by donating to charitable organization, it does not improve the condition of the poor. He firmly believes that the nature of the charity should create new opportunities to the beneficiaries.

Carnegie put his philosophy into practice by providing grants for public libraries. He believes the libraries are tools for people to better themselves. To ensure that his 'gift' will not go into waste, he urged for the municipalities to establish a taxation system to support the operating cost. He created a foundation to continue the efforts after his death. It is truly a simple yet effective system to enhance the poor.

Carnegie also established Carnegie Corporation of New YorkCarnegie Endowment for International PeaceCarnegie Institution for ScienceCarnegie Trust for the Universities of ScotlandCarnegie Hero FundCarnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. All the organization involved in philanthropic activities for betterment of mankind in various field of education, human rights, arts, etc.

Fenney with his philosophy of 'education equals opportunity' and 'giving while living' has distributed grants worth 2 billion for medical and educational facilities. AP invested 1 billion in Northern Ireland funding for research facilities inUniversity of Limerick and Dublin City University. AP also funded 4 million for Hue Central Hospital in Vietnam.

Why do billionaires like Fenney and Carnegie care so much for advancement of human civilization? Warren Buffet stated 'We're hoping that America, which is the most generous society on Earth, becomes even more generous over time.'  The American billionaires club has taken the initiatives for the future of human civilization by developing programs to empower the poor. Gates and Buffet visited India to talk about The Giving Pledge to the Indians.

If the wealthiest person in the world has taken so much effort to combat poverty, why are there poor people? Why do the African children never get enough food? Why do Indian children live in the slum? Why are children and women killed mercilessly in wars? The ultimate answer is the politics of the country. The failure of the political system and greed leadership are the key components of failure of a nation. Africa, India, Syria and the list of troublesome countries should blame the political system and leadership for their downfall as a nation and society.

Echoing on the political system and leadership theory, the Scandinavian countries have proved their success as nations and their people continue to live harmoniously. Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway are in the top 20 list for happiest country in the world. Scandinavians have definitely developed the system to ensure the people of the country are cared accordingly. One of the key components for a happy country is the efficiency of social support for the people.

Blessed with natural resources, a multi-cultural society, emerging economy and colorful people; we are not happy as a nation. The social support system has not played a significant role in empowering the society. Apart from BR1M program, the Malaysian government has not provided 'tools' to empower the people of Malaysia. Echoing on Carnegie's philosophy, the government should develop programs to empower the people, not give charity. On that note, the BR1M program is charity, not a tool to empower people.

One of the 'tools' that is clearly required is an efficient education system. The recent launch of the education blueprint has sparked much debate among the public. Comparing the Malaysian education blueprint and Finnish education system, our blueprint has many loopholes that need to be fixed. On that note, studying the Finnish education system and adapting the early year's education programs will definitely benefit our education blueprint.

For Malaysian billionaires, 'giving while living' should inspire the billionaire boys club to use their surplus wealth to enhance our community. We have billionaires with football clubs, F1 team and spending millions for branding and marketing. We do not have billionaires that spend millions for libraries, universities, research facilities, etc.

I remember a talk by Yasmin Ahmad on branding and she said it's the human touch that makes the brand. But our new age billionaire boys do not have the human touch in their branding. They believe in the American version of branding with expensive billboards, advertisements, F1 tracks, print on football jerseys and long list of mindless brand building strategies.

In the past we had Loke Yew donating his wealth to build various schools in Kuala Lumpur. He founded the Victoria Institution (VI) with Thamboosamy Pillai and donated a huge sum for Methodist Boys School (MBS). Loke Yew made a $500,000 loan interest free to Hong Kong University in 1915.

The 'China pendatang' donated his wealth for education and our current leadership failed to recognize the Chinese contribution dated from 1900s. The top politicians and businessmen are mostly from VI and MBS. The Victorian spirit initiated by Loke Yew is no longer there in modern Malaysia. We have 'educated' leaders and businessmen but not 'learned'. Loke Yew would have been a very disappointed man if he was alive today.    

'Education equals opportunity', echoing the thoughts, the Malaysian government should develop a comprehensive education system that would benefit the rural folks in Sabah and Sarawak. The recent article by Baru Pian has highlighted the issues with education in rural areas. The education blueprint should aim to empower the rural kids.

The billionaires and millionaires kids go to the best schools. The poor kids go to the average schools. The disparity in education would cripple the future of this country. The politicians, policy makers and entrepreneurs have the wealth and power in their hand to make a difference. Make that difference and empower the poor kids. 

 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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