KUALA LUMPUR: The prevalent narrative in official Malaysian history books, which depicts the Communist Party of Malaya as a terrorist organisation should be revisited, says a former member of the organisation, which was once involved in a decades-long armed struggle against the British colonial government and later Malaya.
Instead, Au Heng Fong, 88, is calling for history books to be corrected to reflect CPM’s contribution in the struggle for independence, adding that he hoped that this would be easier now that Pakatan Harapan has assumed power.
“We hope the true history will be told,” he said on the sidelines of a forum today titled “A People’s History of the Malayan Emergency”.
Au said even former police chief Abdul Rahim Noor had recognised CPM’s contributions in fighting the Japanese as well as for Malaya’s independence from Britain, during negotiations between Kuala Lumpur and CPM which led to the Hat Yai Peace Accord in 1989.
“This is not written down, but there are audio recordings of his acknowledgement,” he said.
He said it was wrong for the media to whip up anti-communist sentiments during Merdeka celebrations.
Au, from Tapah, Perak, joined the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) as a teenager following the Japanese invasion in 1942.
Au, who speaks fluent Malay, stopped school after primary 2.
He spent nearly a decade fighting with the CPM’s 10th Regiment, which had many Malay fighters, during which time he said he had learned everything from politics to economy.
Au said he was among those who welcomed PH’s victory in the May 9 polls.
“The Umno-led Barisan Nasional’s policies weren’t good for the people,” he added.
Now, Au is hoping that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, under whose administration the 1989 Hat Yai accord was signed, would allow the late CPM leader Chin Peng’s ashes to return to Malaysia.
In 2014, then home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the government won’t allow Chin Peng’s ashes to be brought back to Malaysia.
Zahid had then said that Chin Peng’s ashes would not be allowed to be brought back to Malaysia as it was insensitive to the feelings of the descendants of those who were killed in the fight against the communists.