Be mindful of Hatyai Peace Accord, Karpal says on Chin Peng's ashes

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PUTRAJAYA (Sept 17): The government should be cautious about the messsage it is sending out especially with the ratification of an international treaty should it choose not to allow Chin Peng's ashes to be brought back into the country. DAP national chairman Karpal Singh raised the Hatyai Peace Accord signed in 1990 between the governments of Malaysia, Thailand and the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) of which Chin Peng, or Ong Boon Hua, was secretary-general. Karpal said the agreement was to allow all MCP leaders to resettle in the country. So if the government does not allow Malaysia to be Chin Peng's final resting place, it would tantamount to not honouring the agreement. "This doesn't fit well for the country," he said. "The government should seriously consider allowing Chin Peng's ashes back here. That is the least the government can do. The government did not allow him a lifetime to come back here," he added. Noting the strong objection to his return following his demise on Monday, Karpal called for a different perspective on the top leader of the MCP, now that he was deceased. Karpal also pointed out that although Chin Peng could not provide his birth certificates, the fact that he was born here could not be denied. On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statement that Chin Peng was not a citizen, Karpal said it could easily be proven that he had been born in Setiawan, Perak. "Many people don't have birth certificates, but that doesn't mean he was not citizen," Karpal said. Led by Chin Peng, the MCP fought the Japanese troops with the British during the Pacific War. Karpal pointed out that one must not forget MCP's battles against the Japanese, reminding people to view this issue objectively. Chin Peng died in Bangkok at age 90 after his legal attempts to resettle in Malaysia was rejected.

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