Saturday, December 02, 2006

Launching of Dr. Abraham's new history book

After attending the regular committee meeting of the Malaysian Association for American Studies (MAAS) held in University of Malaya's Rumah Universiti, I rushed with John Doraisamy, an ex-Associate Professor of Education of UM and fellow committee members of MAAS, to the Royal Selangor Club to formally launch Dr. Collin Abraham's new book, The Finest Hour - The Malaysian-CPM Peace Accord in Perspective.

Besides being one of the four Forward-writers of the book, I was also given the honour to deliver a speech for the launching. The other two speakers were BN MP for Kota Baru Zaid Ibrahim and author of the book Dr. Collin Abraham himself.

Ex-PM Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was supposed to be there but he was not able to make it. Anyway, I still praised Tun in his absence with all sincerity as a "bold" and "extraordinary" maker of peace who decided to terminate the National Civil War (1957-1989) with the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) through the 1989 Haadyai Peace Accord. The audience applauded approvingly.

Besides John, other who were present in the audience included one of Chin Peng's Ipoh-based lawyer Yau Wai Leong, Malaysia's former Ambassador to the United Nations Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad, former Ambassador to Yugoslavia Datuk P.G. Lim, ex-President of the Dewan Negara and MCA/Gerakan/MCA veteran Michael Chen Weng Sum, ex-IGP Tun Haniff Omar, Bernama's editor-in-chief Datuk Azman Ujang, publisher of the book Chong Ton Sin, DAP's NGO chief Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew and Research Officer Liew Chin Tong as well as the First Secretary of the High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in Kuala Lumpur Heng Aik Yeow.

In fact, I had asked Pak Said Zahari to come along and offered to transport him but he excused himself because his knees still needed to undergo post-operational physiotherapy.

For those who remember, today is, of course, the 17th anniversary of the conclusion and signing of the Haadyai Peace Accord between the Communist Party of Malaya and the Government of Malaysia, and also between the Communist Party of Malaya and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand.

I now dedicate my Forward to the book and also today's speech to the memory of Pak Rashid Maidin (1917-2006) who entrusted me early last year to convey to our nation and people of all races one of his very rare and last public statements in life:
" As a poor boy born in a backward kampung in colonial time and without sufficient formal education, I am still very grateful to the Party which has transformed me into a man who knows politics and the world in all its complexities, and also trusted me for so many years ".

An invitation to rethink nation’s modern history


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