“If the government succumbs to this public pressure not to allow Chin Peng's ashes to be brought back, I think, we are making Malaysia a laughing stock to the whole world,” he said in an interview from the United Kingdom that aired on BFM yesterday. Abdul Rahim, who was Special Branch director at that time, led the peace talks which culminated in the Haadyai Peace Treaty 1989. It officially ended the Communist Party of Malaya’s armed struggle against the government.
The refusal to allow Chin Peng into the country even when he was alive, he said, also made a mockery of the 1989 treaty. He said he convinced the government at that time to engage with the communists in talks, more than 30 years after the failed 1955 Baling negotiations.
He said that even though the 12-year Emergency was lifted in 1960, security forces were still battling communist remnants in the 1980s, but the decline of communism in the region was an opportunity for renewed peace negotiations. At that time, there were still around 2,000 communists along the Malaysian-Thai border, with the two largest groups being the North Malayan Bureau and the 10th Regiment, which largely comprised Malays, he said.
He said that with the backing of then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Special Branch secretly initiated negotiations with the communists at the end of 1987 and early 1988 on Phuket Island over five rounds of talks. As a result, the 1989 treaty was signed in Haadyai comprising two agreements, one containing the core terms and the other administrative details on how the terms would be implemented......
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