VIDEO | 1:32 mins

A former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) member, who had acted as a scribe during meetings with senior police personnel on procedures for party members’ return to Malaysia, has claimed that they had waived interviews for top leaders.
NONE"(Former police officer) Norian Mai, at a meeting in Hatyai in 1990, said that CPM central leaders, including (secretary-general) Chin Peng, need not go through the interview process like other members,” Au Heng Fong (right) told a forum last night in Kuala Lumpur.

"They only needed to tell Norian and his assistant Foong Yee that they wanted to return and that would be application enough. I can bear witness to this."

Norian served as the inspector-general of police from 1999 to 2003, while Foong Yee rose to become Kuala Lumpur deputy police chief.

Au, 83, was responding to questions as to why Chin Peng was not allowed to return to Malaysia despite the 1989 Hatyai Peace Accord, which allowed all CPM members to come home if they laid down arms.

Faced with queries about repatriation of the remains of Chin Peng, who died of cancer on Sept 16 this year in Bangkok, the government had said that he did not apply to return home within the stipulated year from the signing of the treaty.

This was despite his 2005 court application to return to his home town of Sitiawan, in Perak. The application was rejected because he could not produce his birth certificate as proof of citizenship.

However, Au, who now resides in Ipoh after returning in September 1990, said that he too did not have a birth certificate, but his citizenship was affirmed by his siblings through statutory declarations.

NONESpeaking to reporters later, he said Chin Peng first met with another senior police officer, Rahim Mohd Noor, in 1990 in Bangkok when the first batch of CPM members trying to return to Malaysia were stopped at the border.

Rahim (left), who was appointed IGP in 1994 before passing the reigns to Norian, had represented Malaysia at the Peace Accord and has since spoken out about the government’s breach of its clauses.

Au, also known as Efendi, said this meeting was soon followed with monthly meetings with Norian in Hatyai until the end of 1990 to sort out details for the CPM members’ return.

Chin Peng did not return immediately as he had to sort out the return of some CPM members from China and the welfare of those who chose to remain in Thailand, he said.

‘Abdullah CD would have led government’

To a question from the floor, Au, who had joined the anti-colonial struggle at the age of 12 and spent 40 years in the jungle, said that if the CPM had formed the government, Chin Peng would not have headed it.

NONEInstead, he said, the government would have been headed by CPM chairperson Abdullah CD (left in photo), who is now in his eighties and residing in the south of Thailand.

"Why don't you visit him in the Sukhirin Peace Village? Is the CPM only for Chinese?,” he posed.

"Chin Peng taught the Chinese to fight their own chauvinism and the Malays to fight their own narrow sentiments. It is through self-criticism that we build life long bonds between Malays and the Chinese.”

NONESimilarly, panelist and oral historian Aziz Suriani (right) said Chin Peng and Abdullah CD had collaborated to help starving and landless Malay peasants in Pahang.

"Chin Peng and Abdullah CD helped them (open up) land for survival. Our Malay historians and leaders don't realise that they were fooled by the British with the term ‘Malay reserve land’,” said Aziz.

"In fact the reserve land only served to alienate the Malays from productive economy in mines and cities, isolated in areas so remote that some can't be developed to this day."