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Sunday September 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday September 29, 2013 MYT 9:26:54 AM
GEORGE TOWN: A 66-year-old Penangite, who was picked up at the Penang International Airport last Tuesday for carrying memorabilia of the late Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng, said he was appalled at being detained over “harmless mementoes”.
According to an online news portal, the retiree said he was shocked when police whisked him and his friend away to the Bayan Baru police station in Jalan Tengah to be searched and questioned.
The man said those who attended Chin Peng’s funeral had received similar items.
“A group of plainclothes policemen approached me and my 59-year-old friend from Hong Kong upon our arrival in Bayan Lepas from Bangkok and requested us to follow them to the police station, fearing that we had brought back Chin Peng’s ashes,” the man told the online news portal on the condition of anonymity.
“We had earlier seen them waiting at the Customs checkpoint near the luggage conveyer belt at the airport.”
He said police confiscated 12 funeral programme booklets, a book about CPM, eight CDs, a cap with the communist emblem and several other souvenirs from their luggage.
They were released several hours later after police had recorded their statements.
“I want to put this behind me as soon as possible,” said the man, adding that the items he brought back were for his personal use and some were also available online.
According to the online portal, the retiree lives in Penang and went to Bangkok for Chin Peng’s funeral as the communist leader’s son is a friend.
Penang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi had earlier confirmed that no ashes were found on the duo and the case was being investigated under the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
On Tuesday, police had surrounded the Penang International Airport and its departure hall before the Thai Airways flight from Bangkok landed at 9.55pm.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has said that Chin Peng’s remains were not allowed to be brought into Malaysia.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on the other hand, later said that there was no law prohibiting anyone from bringing in Chin Peng’s ashes, but action could be taken if a burial or memorial were to be held in Malaysia.
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Courts & Crime, Chin Peng
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