KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose government signed a peace deal with the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in 1989, today said arguments that Chin Peng fought for freedom are undermining both Umno and the Malays’ fight for independence.
He pointed out that Chin Peng was not the first to rebel against the British, saying the Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM) or Young Malays Union began an independence movement before World War 2 but it did not get much support as it was leaning towards the left.
Other parties such as the Malay Nationalist Party, Angkatan Belia Insaf and Putera were also thought to be influenced by communism.
"Only after KMM came Chin Peng and the CPM. Chin Peng fought to set up a communist dictatorship where he can be the dictator," Dr Mahathir wrote in his popular www.chedet.cc weblog today.
"For the Malays, Chin Peng's success won't bring freedom but it will replace British colonialism with communist colonialism under Chin Peng with the majority being the Chinese. The Malays in a communist regime are just decorative pieces like what we see in Singapore now," he said, adding the Malays and the Malay language would be erased in time in such a regime.
Incidentally, Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who initially had a close relationship with Dr Mahathir when both were prime ministers, is visiting Malaysia next week but is not meeting with his former counterpart.
Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister pointed out that even left-leaning Malays did not join the CPM. "The internal situation in the CPM while it was trying to grab power, first from the British and then the Alliance and Barisan Nasional, reflected Chin Peng's regime if he was successful. The Chinese will be the leaders while the Malay and Indian communists will have a small role or none to play at all.
"This is why the Malays did not join the CPM revolution to fight the British and did not consider it as a struggle for Malaya's independence,:" he said, adding this led the Malays to form Umno to seek independence from the British colonialists without resorting to an armed struggle.
"The Malay and Umno's approach was within their capabilities. Maybe Umno's fight was not great as armed revolutions elsewhere but the independence won by Umno is more meaningful as Malaysia is on a higher moral ground and can criticise the big powers when they make mistakes," Dr Mahathir said.
"It is Umno that fought for independence until it was successful to get a meaningful independence. Chin Peng fought to set up a communist dictatorship that will colonise Malays and the other races as well," he added.