Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Post from Malaysian Insider

History’s never black and white

September 15, 2011

SEPT 15 — First and foremost, I hate the term “freedom fighters.” In the English language, it’s a necessity to point out, as the late comedian George Carlin once did: if fire fighters fight fire, and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?!

I find his observations valid especially when air stewards and stewardesses insist on me getting “on” the plane instead of “in” it.

Subsequently, while people (myself included) continue to claim that Tunku Abdul Rahman was a brilliant leader, let’s not forget that no leader is infallible. And no, I’m not talking about his drinking, gambling or joget habits.

I’m talking about the fact that he once supported the Malayan Union, which Umno itself protested against. Looking through Malaysian history, you can find all sorts of discrepancies in our leaders or would-be leaders.

So I will admit that perhaps Malaysiakini has a point; in truth, if there was a referendum on who would run Malaya after its formation, Tunku may not have been the people’s first choice.

So we have a PAS leader calling a communist Malay Malaysian leader of the CPM 10th Regiment a freedom fighter. Now, while Mat Sabu is going around preaching this, I want to ask him a few things.

First and foremost, what took him so long?! Shamsiah Fakeh is dead, Rashid Maidin is also dead, Mat Indera is also dead. Is it now PAS’s policy to praise dead communists in order to get votes from the living?

If PAS were to go out and truly praise the communists, why not talk about Abdullah CD, former chairman of the CPM, who is still alive in exile? Why not fight to bring both him and Chin Peng home?

For me personally, the timing and angles taken by PAS for all this is very suspect. PAS needs to decide whether or not it wants to truly delve into the Bukit Kepong incident and support the actions of the communists under Mat Indera at the time.

This would include, of course, the murder of both the wife and son of Marine Constable Abu Bakar Daud, and the wife and daughter of Constable Abu Mohd Ali. Does PAS support the murder of non-combatants, or does it consider this acceptable collateral damage?

While PAS is so adamant about supporting one dead communist leader in an assault on a Johor police station, why not voice its support for other leaders of the communist party? Let’s talk a bit about Shamsiah Fakeh, who died in 2008, shall we?

Shamsiah was the leader of Angkatan Wanita Sedar (AWAS) who faced a lot of trials and tribulations throughout her life. She was abandoned by her first husband while pregnant. She literally gave birth to a child while in the forests of Malaya, and had her newborn child murdered by her own comrades.

She is perhaps the only Malaysian Malay woman who can truly be labelled a nationalist feminist icon. She died in 2008. PAS didn’t even acknowledge her by attending her funeral. Tony Pua from the DAP and Syed Husin Ali from PKR were there. And yet, now suddenly PAS wants to fight for the former communist Malay Malaysians?

What does Islam say about hypocrisy again?

Personally, I view the communist insurgency as what it is; a period of attrition which saw all sides, left and right political wings, conduct acts that were both despicable and revolting.

But then again, I read Chin Peng’s book, Shamsiah Fakeh’s memoir as well as Abdullah CD’s, thanks very much to my father’s insistence of wanting both sides of history to be seen on his ever glorious bookshelf which I raid every now and then.

However, this came later in life. These actions were never mentioned in our history books, or all those reference books published by Pelangi, Longman or Sasbadi.

Mat Indera was not a “freedom fighter”, if you refer to my first paragraph. He was a left-wing nationalist who believed that independence could come from armed struggle if the masses were to join the revolt. The masses didn’t.

And thus, since history was written by a blemished, non-independent pro-propaganda government body, the communists and other left-wingers did not get any credit until Fahmi Reza did his indie documentaries, “10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka” and “Revolusi ‘48”.

It just goes to show that Churchill had a point when stating that history is written by the victors.


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