Friday, August 31, 2007

Bush out of touch with ordinary M' sian mood

President Bush is certainly out of touch with ordinary Malaysians ' sentiment when he describes Malaysia now as " a beacon of hope ".

M' sian chief cop offers apology to Indonesian

According to a Bernama's news report first published at 00:40 AM on 31 August 2007 (Malaysia's 50th National Day) , Malaysia's Inspector General of Police (IGP) Musa Hassan has made an apology in a letter to Indonesian karate referee Donald Peter Luther Kolopita who was said to have been assaulted by four Malaysian policemen in Negeri Sembilan recently. On 6 December 2005, Malaysia's Home Minister Azmi Khalid also reportedly apologised to China for a wave of crimes, including police brutalities, against China's citizens in Malaysia.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Remembering Pak Rashid Maidin (1917-2006)

1 Sept this year will also be the first anniversary of the passing away of a true and towering fighter for real Merdeka!, Rashid Maidin who was born in Kampung Gunung Mesah, Gopeng, Perak in November 1917 as a son of a Sumatran migrant. The triligual Rashid Maidin, who joined the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in 1941 in Perak while working as an electrical chargeman in an European tin-mining company before the Japanese invasion and remained a proud communist to the last moment of life, passed away peacefully - and was laid to rest- in southern Thailand.

Indonesia questions Malaysia' s 'Malay culture'

Antara News, the official and national news agency of the Republic of Indonesia (RI), today featured cultural observer Dr. Yusmar Yusuf's very pointed observation suggesting that "Malaysia fails to show quality of high Malay civilization". Despite the fact that it is the most populous Muslim nation in the world, the Republic of Indonesia has never constituionally designated itself as an 'Islamic State' since the proclamation of its independence on 15 August, 1945.

M' sia loses hearts, minds even among Indons

Showing strength or exposing own weakness ?

65th anniversary of 1942 Battle of Batu Cave

The coming 1 Sept (Sat) will be the 65th anniversary of the 1942 Battle of Batu Cave. There will be a simple ceremony to publicly honour and salute the 18 martyrs at 10.00 a.m. at the Nilai Memorial Park. All grateful people, irrespective of race, ideology, age and gender are welcome to give thanks to the true patriots who defended our tanah air with lives.

May the souls of fallen friends rest in peace

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

M' sia loses hearts, minds even among Indons

In a not really that subtle public statement made in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang questions the "personality" of the Malaysian authorities for their lack of readiness to apologise (for a wrong one has done). It is, in fact, another or more diplomatic or more Asian way of expressing what a former Australian prime minister Paul Keating conceptualised or articulated as "recalcitrant".

Progresses in post-1998 Republic of Indonesia

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Old Ipoh honours D.R. Seenevasagam's legacy

The very greenish and spacious D.R. Seenevasagam Park in Ipoh was originally named Coronation Park by the authorities to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. However, in the early 1970s, the people of Ipoh decided to change the park's name to honour the great 'Uncle' D.R. (left)

'Uncle' D.R was the most popular and outspoken opposition leader in the 1960s and also a progressive lawyer of Ceylonese origin who defended communist Lee Meng as well as the cause of working classes and underdogs of all ethnic communities in the Kinta Valley.

Ah Hai' s memoirs now out in English language

Monday, August 27, 2007

Colorful lanterns herald Mid-Autumn Festival

Sultan and Petaling Streets in downtown Kuala Lumpur have already been brightened up with colourful lanterns of various shapes and sizes for the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the four major festivals of the Chinese people, besides the Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival), Qingming and Dragon Boat Festival, that are popularly celebrated in Malaysia and Singapore.

A very creative mind at work on a K.L. street

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Memoirs for coming generations, not election

When I first met Pak Abdullah C.D. in early 2005, I had already instinctively observed that he has a 'professorial' mind for empirical details and an aptitude for recalling historical events or incidents from his perspective with patience and clarity. The two books of his memoirs subsequently published, namely Zaman Pergerakan Sehingga 1948 and Penaja dan Pemimpin Rejimen Ke-10 have confirmed that my first impression on him was right.

According to his wife and life-long comrade Suriani, Pak Abdullah is now preparing the third and final book to be published when all the facts and figures have been verified. Of course, the memoirs are written and published not for winning seats in the next election but the moral and intellectual benefits of many generations to come.

Abdullah's red memoirs attractively packaged

Saturday, August 25, 2007

May Mrs. Sybil Kathigasu's spirit shine forever

Before I left Ipoh this afternoon to return to Subang Jaya, I stopped for a while at the St.Michael Church's cemetery to pay respect and express gratitude to the brave soul of Mrs. Sybil Kathigasu who saved the life of my father with her free medicines during the Occupation.

@ DKL shares knowledge, experience in Ipoh

After dining with mother last night, I went to the Syuen Hotel in downtown Ipoh to attend the 50-table dinner talk on Perak's Contribution to Merdeka organised by the Perak Academy. I was there at the personal invitation of one of the speakers and my friend, Tan Sri Datuk Abdullah Ahmad (pix) who shared his personal observations and reflections on the past, present and future of my home state whose traditional concept for ten cents is satu kupang.

Enjoying a multiethnic Malay marriage dinner

Said Zahari' s second memoirs launched in KL
Mother was obviously very happy to have me having home-cooked dinner (absolutely Ajinomoto-free) with her last evening in Ipoh. Next year, the Batu Gajah-born village girl will celebrate her 80th birthday with the very proud achivements that five out of her six children received university education without the benefits of government scholarship and that none has ever joined M.C.A. Mother Boleh !

Growing up with Mooncake Festival tradition

Friday, August 24, 2007

An art exhibition featuring Hishamuddin Rais

Last night, I went to the Central Market in downtown Kuala Lumpur to attend the opening of Bebas Lah Malaysia @ 50 art exhibition which features the works of, among other talents, my friend Hishamuddin Rais. The exhibition is open to the public for free from 11a.m. to 7.p.m everyday (11.a.m to 5 p.m on Sundays) until 9 Sept (Sun).

Dining with Qatar-based UK journalist friend

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Amazing Grace' s amazing story now in movie

Ah May, who sells CDs/VCDs/DVDs in downtown Kuala Lumpur and who have known my likes and dislikes for many years by now, called yesterday and drew my attention to a new movie Amazing Grace.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cartonist Zunar reflects on Umno' s 'merdeka'

My old friend Zunar's latest cartoon captures the sentiment and feeling of historically-conscious people of all races very well indeed.

Umno' s 'patriotism' in historical perspective

BN leaders still divided on nation's character

Amir' s review of a 30-year old ' comic book '

Umno's ' patriotism ' in historical perspective

One indisputable fact of history is that the first Inspector-General of Police of 'independent' Malaya from 1958 to 1966 was the London-born Claude Fenner (left) while Chin Peng, Abdullah C.D., Rashid Maidin, Suriani Abdullah, Abu Samah and Kamarulzaman Teh were born in Sitiawan, Lambor Kiri, Gopeng, Sitiawan, Semantan and Sanggang respectively.

Also, in their memoirs, Abdullah C.D. and the late Rashid Maidin recall that when Umno was inaugurated on May 11, 1946 in Johor Baru, its slogan was Hidup Melayu (Long Live the Malays), and not a call for Merdeka. The latter slogan originated from Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM) or Malayan Malay National Party, formed on Oct 17, 1945 in Ipoh by Abdullah CD, Rashid and other progressive Malays like Dr Burhanuddin Al-Helmy and Ahmad Boestamam.

Umno only changed its slogan to Merdeka after its first very pro-British and anti-independence president Onn Jaafar quit the party in 1951 and after pressure mounted by PKMM, CPM and other more progressive groupings in the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities.

C' bridge historians : Chin Peng born in Perak

Communist Abdullah' s version of 'Emergency'

Communists celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri too

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lee Meng thanks counsel P.G. Lim from heart

In the two-week and very sentimental tour of her tanah tumpah darah, Lee Meng also met one of her lawyers Lim Phaik Gan or P.G. Lim (right) in Kuala Lumpur for about two hours " with a dream-like feeling throughout " to express her heartfelt gratitude to the latter for saving her life. The other legendary defence counsel for Lee Meng, D.R. Seenevasagam had already passed away in Ipoh in 1969.

Ms. Eng Ming Ching now in Cambridge history

Ah Hai's memoirs now out in English language

Dr. Abraham's new book impresses Chin Peng

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lee Meng salutes martyrs of anti-colonial war

Touring her tanah tumpah darah for two weeks recently, Lee Meng also visited a multiethnic memorial in a Chinese graveyard in Kajang dedicated to the memory of more fallen comrades in the anti-fascist (1941-1945) and anti-colonial (1948-1960) wars like Liu Yao (1915-1948), Yang Guo (1919-1956), ‘Abdul Manan’, ‘Wahab’, ‘Tomo’, ‘Abu’, ‘Yunus’, ‘Mat Noor’, ‘Mohan’, ‘Iman’, ‘Aman’, ‘Majid’ and ‘Rama’. Lee Meng honoured them all as members of one dear family.

Liu Yao (1915-1948), also known as Liew Yao or Liu Yaw or Lau Yew in various English-language historical accounts, was a graduate of Special Operations Executive’s Special Training School (STS) 101 in Singapore who returned to Selangor as a commander of MPAJA during the occupation. In 1946, Liu Yao led a MPAJA contingent to London’s Victory Parade. On July 18, 1948, less than two months after the proclamation of 'Emergency', Liu Yao was killed by colonial forces.

Yang Guo (1919-1956), who is also known as Yeung Kuo in Chin Peng's memoirs, was a MPAJA commander in Selangor during the Occupation and a right-hand man of Chin Peng during the early years of the ‘Emergency’. He was killed by colonial forces on August 26, 1956.

British introspection on Empire' s end in Asia

Communist Abdullah' s version of 'Emergency'

Ah Hai's memoirs now out in English language

Communists played no part in ' May 13 ' riots

Launching of Dr. Abraham' s new history book

Dr. Abraham : Chin Peng, "a freedom fighter"

PAS: Communist party helped secure Merdeka

Lee Meng honours martyrs of anti-fascist war

One of the first places Lee Meng visited in her tanah tumpah darah was the 9/1 Martyrs' Monument at the Nilai Memorial Park where she saluted and paid tribute to her fallen comrades in the anti-fascist war of 1941-1945. Having joined the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in Ipoh in 1942 at the age of 16, Lee Meng led the underground party's Ipoh area committee as its secretary during the Occupation. According to Lee Meng, her mother was once arrested and tortured by the Japanese military police for protecting anti-fascist partisans.

Abdullah C.D., Suriani remember R.G. Balan

Grandmotherly Lu Chai Ping salutes martyrs

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lee Meng, the legendary 26-year old communist underground girl in Ipoh who was nearly hanged in 1953 for allegedly in possession of illegal firearms, incarcerated for the next 11 years at the Taiping Prison and then banished to China in 1964 (see Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History; pp. 335-350), recently visited her tanah tumpah darah as a private foreign tourist. Although Lee Meng is already 81 years old now, she is still physically healthy and mentally very active.

Communist Abdullah' s version of 'Emergency'

Posthumous biography of Kamarulzaman Teh

A Merdeka salute to martyr S.A. Ganapathy !

Thursday, August 16, 2007

As a matter of fact, many historical accounts of Malaya/Malaysia are written and published in the Chinese language. The Chinese-language knowledge and intellectual infrastructures in Malaya/Malaysia, mostly privately-funded, have also been translating many history books on Malaya/Malaysia from originals in the Malay and English languages. Nowadays, almost all the Chinese-language journalists and editors are bilingual while many younger ones use three languages everyday.

Said Zahari's Chinese memoirs to be launched

Suriani's Malay memoirs now out in Mandarin

Rashid Maidin's memoirs now out in Mandarin

Malay classical literature in standard Chinese

Social liberation from ignorance, superstition
Clare Street thanks the publisher and editor of the Catholic Asian News (CAN) for the complimentary online copy of its August issue .

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

As part of the official programme to celebrate the 50th year of the lowering of the Union Jack in Peninsula Malaya, the personality and era of Tunku Abdul Rahman is now being idealised or romanticised. But, as ex-ISA detainee Koh Swe Yong's book Malaysia - 45 Years Under the Internal Security Act (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2004) records with facts and figures, violation of human rights was equally, if not more, widespread in Tunku's era.

Cheers for Dr. Rajakumar' s good health, spirit

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hishamuddin Rais has written, in witty expressions of an organic intellectual, a very thought-provoking piece setting in true historical perspective the origins of Malaysia's 'independence', flag and anthem.

Communist Abdullah' s version of 'Emergency'

Exploring independence' s image-reality gaps

Sunday, August 12, 2007

On Friday night, I met American friends like Christopher and Kathryn again at an enjoyable BBQ hosted by them to keep in touch with Malaysian journalists and writers of all races. Meeting and talking to people, whether we agree with them on this or that issue or not, is (or ought to be) an essential part of the life of those who participate in public discourses.

By the way, no one has questioned the factual accuracy of my report in malaysiakini on the new US ambassador, James R. Keith (pix) who will arrive in Kuala Lumpur and assume duties in coming September.

In memory of my Jewish teacher Herb Feith

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Growing up with Mooncake Festival tradition

The traditional Mid-Autumn Festival falls only on 25 Sept but some bakeries and restaurants in Kuala Lumpur have already started making and selling moon cakes. The beautiful fairy tale of the ancient Ms. Chang Er flying to her palace on the moon continues to be the cultural symbol of the Mid-Autumn Festival despite of the discovery of the Universal Law of Gravity by Sir Issac Newton (1643-1727) and the fact that human beings have been exploring the surface of the moon since 20 July, 1969.

I still remember in the late 1960s and 1970s when I was a town boy in Ipoh, there were three very popular but really old-fashioned (by today's standard) Chinese restaurants around my house at No.24, Clare Street, namely Zhujiang ("Pearl River"), Jinlong ( "Golden Dragon") and Taoyuan ( "Peach Garden"), which sold really yummy moon cakes. Of course, the three restaurants also made tasty Cantonese-styled dim sums everyday for yam-char breakfast.

I also remember we boys and girls in town carried colourful lanterns strolling in joyous procession along Clare Street and its dark back lane to celebrate the Mid-Autumn or Mooncake Festival with gusto.

As we grew older, many of us became less fascinated by colourful lanterns. Instead, we read story books and listened to elderly relatives or neighbours telling stories about more exciting legends associated with the Mid-Autumn Festivals in ancient China, includng the popular uprising against the incorrigibly corrupt, oppressive and discriminatory Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) on a full-moon night on the Fifteenth Day in the Eighth Month in the traditional Lunar calender.

Expo of Chinese tea-drinking arts opens in KL

Visiting a graveyard during Chinese New Year

Celebrating X'mas in Ipoh, 15 December, 1941

Friday, August 10, 2007

At the diplomatic reception hosted by the High Commission of Singapore at the K.L. Shangri-La Hotel last night to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic after the 1965 separation from Malaysia, I met, among other good old friends, PAS' Secretary-General and MP for Tumpat, Dato' Kamaruddin Jaafar (left) as well as veteran social scientist, Rustam A. Sani (centre).

Enjoying a multi-ethnic Malay marriage dinner

Progressive Malays against ' May 13' book ban

Re-examining Malaysia' s " National Question "

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Last night, like millions of people of all nations around the world, I watched in my home the CCTV-9 live telecast of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Game countdown concert held at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. One of my favourite modern musical performances, Yellow River Cantata was again played by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra.

Dreaming of visiting Hong Kong again soonest
James and his family wish the people of Singapore, especially our own relatives and friends, a very happy 42nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic. May the Special Relationship among the people on both sides of the Causeway continue to grow and multiply.

Said Zahari' s second memoirs launched in K.L.

Dr. Lim Hock Siew coming again to M' sia soon

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

British introspection on Empire' s end in Asia

Since its first release several months ago, the 673-page Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire (London, Penguin/Allen Lane, 2007), authored by world-renowned Cambridge historians Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper, has been reviewed by major newspapers in Britain, such as Telegraph and Guardian. There are certainly more reviews of the book in other media in Britain and other parts of the world like Asian Review of Books.

Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire is a sequel to Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945 (London, Penguin/Allen Lane, 2004) which is now available in paperback. In Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945, the authors reveals that in 1995, some 3, 500 letters were received by “a Malaysian political party” alleging the extensive existence of WWII comfort women but “none has been published” so far.

Ms. Eng Ming Ching now in Cambridge history

C' bridge historians : Chin Peng born in Perak

My book serves C' bridge historians as source

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ms. Eng Ming Ching now in Cambridge history

Veteran of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), Eng Ming Ching (pix above/right) or now more popularly known as Suriani Abdullah has been listed as one of the seventy four Key Characters in the newly released 673-page Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire (London, Penguin/Allen Lane, 2007) authored by world-renowned Cambridge historians Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper.

The description of her in the book (xix) reads: "Eng Ming Ching (b.1924). Joined the Malayan Communist Party in Perak in 1940 and played a leading role as a women's activist in the 'open' organization of the party after 1945. Took to the jungle in 1948, and assigned to the Malay 10th Regiment. In 1955 married Abdullah C.D. and took the name Suriani Abdullah".
Inside the main contents of Forgotten War: The End of Britain's Asian Empire, the name Eng Ming Ching appears, as a principal actor in the history of the beginning of the end of the British Empire in Asia, in seven pages, namely pp. 39, 58, 119, 126, 128, 196 and 203. Eng Ming Ching's own autobiography titled Memoir Suriani Abdullah: Setengah Abab Perjuangan (Petaling Jaya, SIRD, 2006) was first written and published in the Malay language.

There is also a full and complete Chinese-language edition of her memoirs (Petaling Jaya, SIRD, 2007) in public circulation now.

At 82, she now lives with her husband Abdullah C.D., children and grandchildren inin Ban Chulabhorn 12 in Sukhirin, southern Thailand.

My book listed by Singapore' s military library

Karl Marx's works now in Indonesian language

Pak Rashid's brother-in-law Cao Qi Tai passes

Suriani's Malay memoirs now out in Mandarin

Communist Eng Ming Ching memoirs out now

Sunday, August 05, 2007

AAB warns against freedom of speech ' abuse'

PM Abdullah, who is also the Umno chief, Internal Security Minister and Finance Minister, has reportedly " issued a stern warning against those who exploit the freedom of expression and abuse it to cause unrest ". Is he warning against the princely Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia Today, or the ghostly agent provocateur ' Dr. Ng Seng ' ?

PM's official website deletes seditious article

Anti-Chinese posting on PM's official website

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My book listed by Singapore' s military library

I am glad to have been told by a friend accross the Causeway just now that my 'Little Red Book', From Pacific War to Merdeka - Reminiscences of Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin, Suriani Abdullah & Abu Samah (Petaling Jaya, SIRD, 2005) has been listed since August 2006 by SAFTI Military Institute Library in Singapore under the category or section of Military Art and Science/Strategic Studies. This honour is dedicated to Elizabeth Wong who assisted in compiling the articles into a booklet.

I am also very grateful to Dr. Cheah Boon Kheng, a leading liberal historian, for double-checking facts in his personal capacity before the manuscript was sent to the printer. Dr. Cheah Boon Kheng is also the Honorary Editor of the Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. I am, of course, still ultimately responsible for any errors and mistakes that may still be in existence in the booklet.

From Pacific War to Merdeka - Reminiscences of Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin, Suriani Abdullah & Abu Samah (Petaling Jaya, SIRD, 2005) is not only cited extensively by Cambridge historians Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper in their Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire (London, Penguin/Allen Lane, 2007) but also by Dr. Collin Abraham in his The Finest Hour - The Malaysian-CPM Peace Accord in Perspective (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2006) for which I wrote a Forward and delivered a speech at its public launch at the author's invitation.

From Pacific War to Merdeka - Reminiscences of Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin, Suriani Abdullah & Abu Samah (Petaling Jaya, SIRD, 2005) are still available in all major bookshops in Malaysia and Singapore. It can also be purchased online through kinibooks or Gerakabudaya.

My book serves C' bridge historians as source

Communist Abdullah' s version of 'Emergency'

Communists played no part in ' May 13 ' riots

History must also be fair to non-Umno Malays

Friday, August 03, 2007

Chin Peng files appeal against ' origin ' ruling

Lawyer Darshan Singh told me, veteran of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) Chin Peng filed an appeal on 2 August (Tues) at the Kuala Lumpur High Court against an earlier ruling that he must produce his birth or citizenship papers for his homecoming application case to proceed further. Raja Aziz Addruse now serves as the lead counsel for Chin Peng.

C' bridge historians : Chin Peng born in Perak

C' bridge historians : Chin Peng born in Perak

In their newly released 673-page book Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empre (London, Penguin/Allen Lane, 2007), two world-renowned historians of the Cambridge Unversity in the United Kingdom reaffirm the fact that " Chin Peng was born as Ong Boon Hua, in Sitiawan in Perak, where his parents ran a bicycle shop " (p.35). Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper specialise in the studies of the history of the British Empire in Asia.
Christopher Bayly is Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History, Unversity of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. His book include Imperial Meridian, Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire (Cambridge, 1988) and The Birth of the Modern World, 1780 - 1914 (Oxford, Blackwell, 2004). In June 2005 Christopher Bayly won the Wolfson Prize for History for his 'distinguished contribution to historical writing'.
Tim Harper is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is also the author of The End of Empire and the Making of Modern Malaya (Cambridge, 1999).
Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper jointly wrote the highly praised Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945 (London, Penguin, 2004) which is a prelude to Forgotten Wars : The End of Britain's Asian Empire (London, Penguin/Allen Lane, 2007).
In the process of researching and writing Forgotten Wars : The End of Britain's Asian Empire, Bayly and Harper consulted archival materials at the National Archives of Singapore, Institute of Southeast Asia Studies of Singapore, Arkib Negara Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Perpustakaan Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Oriental and India Office Collection in the British Library, Centre of South Asian Studies of Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, Royal Commonwealth Society Library in the Cambridge University Library, Trinity College of Cambridge, Lindell Hart Centre at King's College in London, National Army Museum in London, School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, Southampton University Libary, Rhodes House Library at Oxford and Christ Church at Oxford.
In his popular memoirs Alias Chin Peng : My Side of History (Singapore, Media Masters, 2003), he reveals that he was born on October 21, 1924, " in an upstairs backroom of No.36, Jalan Kampong Koh, a two-storey shophouse in a long row of similar small business establishments the likes of which still dominate the southern Perak township of Sitiawan, some 50 miles southwest of Ipoh " (p.31), attended the Nan Hwa school in Sitiawan (p.33) and " the graves of my grandfather, parents and my brothers " are still located in a Chinese cemetery, " halfway between Sitiawan and Lumut ". (p.509)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My book serves C' bridge historians as source

I certainly feel proud and very honoured after seeing with my own eyes that my 'Little Red Book', From Pacific War to Merdeka - Reminiscences of Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin, Suriani Abdullah & Abu Samah (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2005) is listed as an item in the bibliography of the newly released Forgotten Wars - The End of Britain's Asian Empire (London, Penguin/Allen Lane, 2007) authored by two prominent historians of the Cambridge University.

The two British scholars specialising in the history of the British Empire are Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper who jointly wrote Forgotten Army: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945 (London, Penguin, 2004). Harper is also the author of The End of Empire and the Making of Modern Malaya (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

( I have never met Bayly or Harper before in Malaysia or anywhere else in the world and I have never been to U.K. although I have been dreaming for a long time to pay a visit to the Great Motherland of the English language and of the British Broadcasting Corporation ).

Originally written for publication in malaysiakini, the series of interviews with the Malay/Muslim veterans of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) were compiled into a book with the fact-checking assistance provided by Malaysia's leading historian, Dr. Cheah Boon Kheng. From Pacific War to Merdeka - Reminiscences of Abdullah CD, Rashid Maidin, Suriani Abdullah & Abu Samah was first launched by a veteran of the British Army and Special Branch, Leon Comber.
It was in the interviews that Rashid Maidin (1917-2006) entrusted me to convey to our nation and people of all races one of his very rare and last public statements in his fearless and selfless 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".

Chin Peng still in good condition & high spirit

Clare Street has just leant that the legendary Sitiawan-born communist veteran Chin Peng is still in very good health, both physically and mentally, and that his spirit is also high, although he is now 82. On 22 June, it also reported that he " is still physically and mentally fit enough to read, write, converse intelligently with other people and travel by air occasionally".

Meanwhile, a Singapore-based estimate has it that his popular memoirs Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History has sold some 50,000 copies (including the Chinese-language edition) in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Britain, Australia, China and other countries.

Chin Peng also visited Britain in 1998, Australia in 1999 as well as Singapore in 2004 and 2006. In 1998, he was interviewed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and also Sin Chew Jit Poh.

No objection against his basic biodata, including the place of his birth, has been reported or publicly heard anywhere on earth so far.

Abdullah's red memoirs attractively packaged

A Merdeka salute to martyr S.A. Ganapathy !

Secret conversation between 2 martyrs in jail