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Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 2:29:00 PM
Saturday September 21, 2013 MYT 6:32:15 PM
by lee yen mun
BANGKOK: One of the late Chin Peng’s biggest regrets in life was having missed being there for his children in their growing up years.
This was indicated in a farewell note, undersigned by the former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) secretary-general, which was published in a memorial booklet entitled “In Everlasting Memory: Dare to Struggle, Dare to Sacrifice”.
In the letter, Chin Peng said it was regrettable that he had to be introduced to his children in their adulthood as a stranger.
“Ever since I joined the CPM and eventually became its secretary-general, I have given both my spiritual and physical self in the service of the cause that my party represented, that is, to fight for a fairer and better society based on socialist ideals.
“I draw immense comfort from the fact that my two children are willing to take care of me, a father who could not give them family love, warmth and protection ever since their birth.
“I could only return my love to them after I had relinquished my political and public duties, ironically. only at a time when I have no more life to give them as a father,” Chin Peng wrote in the letter that had appeared under the heading ‘My Last Wish’.
Chin Peng said he was persuaded to leave behind such a letter following erroneous media reports in October 2011, which carried rumours of his so-called impending death at that time.
Chin Peng breathed his last at a hospital here earlier this week, just one month shy of his 89th birthday.
Former CPM members, who spoke to reporters at the wake service at Bangkok’s Wat That Thong Temple Saturday, claimed they did not know when or where this note was written and later found.
They have remained tight-lipped over the whereabouts of Chin Peng’s two children, who are believed to be in their 60s.
Lee Chong, who was introduced as a nephew of the late communist leader, also declined to reveal details of Chin Peng’s last days saying that Chin Peng had preferred to kept things ‘low-profile’.
“It was my original intention to pass away quietly and let my relatives handle the funeral matters in private.
“It is most unfortunate that I couldn’t, after all, pay my last respects to my parents buried in my hometown of Sitiawan, nor could I set foot on the beloved motherland that my comrades and I had fought so hard for against the aggressors and colonialists.
“In the final analysis, I wish to be remembered simply as a good man who can tell the world that he had dared to spend his entire life in the pursuit of his own ideals to create a better world for his people,” wrote Chin Peng, whose body is scheduled for cremation in Bangkok on Monday evening.
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