Sunday, May 07, 2006

Approved film on Chin Peng is now banned

According to a 9.06 pm report in malaysiakini, Amir Muhammad's semi-musical documentary Lelaki Komunis 'Terakhir' has now been banned by the Home Ministry.

The film featuring the life journey of Communist Party of Malaya's secretary-general Chin Peng from youth to the present and interviews with former guerilla fighters in their current village in South Thailand was officially approved in early March by the Film Censorship Board or Lembaga Penapisan Filem (LPN) with no cuts and was slated to meet audiences in three cinemas in mid-May.

However, Chin Peng himself is not featured or does not appear in the film personally. Moreover, no interview with the secretary-general of the Communist Party of Malaya is shown in the semi-musical documentary. Lelaki Komunis 'Terakhir' has been publicly screened in, among other cities in the world, Berlin, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Chin Peng, whose original name is Ong Boon Hua, was born in Perak's Setiawan on 21 October, 1924. His memoirs Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History has sold 40,000 copies since 2003.

On 29 April, Chin Peng instructed one of his lawyers Darshan Singh Khaira to set 28 May as the dateline for the Government to respond to his court application to return to his country Malaysia in fullfilment of the letters and spirit of the Peace Accords reached between the Government of Malaysia and Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) on 2 December, 1989 in Thailand's Haadyai.

Failing which, the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and ex-officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) said he would take his case to the International Court of Justice and European Court of Justice. He first filed the home-coming case for himself and about 300 other veteran communists at the Penang High Court on 4 March, 2005.

According to Article 3 of the Administrative Arrangments Between the Government of Malaysia and the Communist Party of Malaya to Terminate Hostilities which is generally known as one of the two crucial parts of the 1989 Peace Accords, the government shall allow members of CPM and members of its disbanded armed units to settle down in Malaysia, if they desire to do so. The other part of the Peace Accords is called Agreement Between the Government and the Communist Party of Malaya to Terminate Hostilities.

Article 3.1 categorically states that "Members of the Communist Party of Malaya and members of its disbanded armed units, who are of Malaysian origin and who wish to settle down in Malaysia, shall be allowed to do so in accordance with the laws of Malaysia". Article 4 further stipulates that: "With regard to Article 3, the Malaysian authorities shall assist members of the Communist Party of Malaya and members of its disbanded armed units in order to help them to start their peaceful life afresh".

Article 6.2.1 of the said Administrative Arrangments Between the Government of Malaysia and the Communist Party of Malaya to Terminate Hostilities also reads: " The Government shall not apply the Internal Security Act, 1960 or any other laws on members of the CPM and members of its disbanded armed units, who have returned to settle down in Malaysia, for their past CPM-related activities".

Darshan Singh Khaira's 15-point statement issued in Penang on 29 April is as follows:

1. This application was filed on 04-03-2005.

2. It is based on 2 grounds:-

(a) that Ong Boon Hua @ Chin Peng is a citizen having being born in Sitiawan, Perak, Malaysia where his parents were both citizens.

(b) the Agreement dated 02-12-1989 signed with the Malaysian Government and the Communist Party of Malaya allows him and other members of the Communist Party of Malaya (even if not citizens) to return and reside in Malaysia.

(c) The main defence of the Government is that the Agreement is an Official Secret!

3. After waiting for more than 5 years and when the Government finally refused his entry, he was forced to file this application.

4. On 21-09-2005 on the application of the Government this application was transferred to the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

5. On 22-02-2006 the Penang High Court purported to transfer the file to the High Court Putrajaya.

6. On the same day when it was pointed out by us that there is no High Court in Putrajaya, the letter was amended to High Court, Commercial Division, Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur.

7. Again the High Court, Commercial Division, Kuala Lumpur returned the file back to the Penang High Court stating that it should be sent to the High Court, Civil Division, Wisma Denmark.

8. Obviously there is an attempt to drag its feet and delay the matter as much as possible bearing in mind that Chin Peng is now 81 years old.

9. The Government’s stand is puzzling as the other members of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Malaya including Rashid Maidin, Abdullah C.D. and Musa Ahmad have been allowed to enter, visit and reside in Malaysia.

10. Chin Peng wants to resolve this issue peacefully and amicably and expect the Malaysian Government to keep its word and abide by the Peace Agreements.

11. Yet the Government has tried to put obstacles in his way.

12. Kuala Lumpur has even instructed the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok not to attest his Affidavits in this case.

13. How long Chin Peng is expected to wait in Bangkok knocking on the Malaysian doors to be allowed entry? Technically Chin Peng as a Malaysian citizen can enter Malaysia by walking through the border. All he can be charged is with a technical offence of not obtaining an entry permit. He cannot be detained or deported. But he does not want to do so as the Communist Party of Malaya pledged in the Agreement to abide by all Malaysian laws.

14. In the event there is no response within one (1) month Chin Peng will take his case to the World Court, European Court of Justice and other international forums.

15. I am authorized by Chin Peng to issue the above statement.

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Moving with the times

Lelaki Komunis 'Terakhir' in cinemas this May

Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History

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Nanyang Siang Pau to serialise Chin Peng’s memoirs

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Blogger The Malaysian. said...

You have given a very comprehensive view about the background which is way beyond my scope. However as a concerned citizen I too have highlighted this issue at my forum. Please feel free to peruse.

7:29 AM  

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