SEOUL: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he has no objections to the ashes of former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng brought back to Malaysia.
Saying that the man had already died, the Prime Minister pointed out that other CPM leaders had also returned to Malaysia without any issue and that the past oppression at the hands of the Japanese had also been forgotten.
“A lot of people oppressed us in the past like the Japanese but we forget the past. It’s not like we can do anything, only his ashes have returned.
“We have allowed Shamsiah Fakeh to return and no one complained, perhaps because she is Malay.
“Rashid Maidin came back to Malaysia and others too we accepted but not Chin Peng because he was the leader.
“He killed a lot of people in the war and so did we. Why should we raise issues like this? Who are we trying to appease?
“Are you trying to tell us to collect his ashes and send it back overseas?
“These petty things have been dug up to make the government look bad, ” he told a press conference at the end of his working visit to South Korea yesterday.
He said the government could not have known that Chin Peng’s ashes were being brought back to the country.
“These things sometimes happened during Najib’s time but nothing happened.
“But now this is wrong and that is wrong, everything is blamed on the Pakatan Harapan government.
“How would we know that the ashes were being brought back here? They carried it in a flask.
“Who would go and check inside a flask? You’ll only see the ashes, ” he said.
It was reported that the ashes of Chin Peng, whose real name was Ong Boon Hua, were brought back on Sept 16 from Thailand and a funeral ceremony being held on the same day.
Chin Peng’s ashes were later scattered at a hillside near Chemor and at sea, about 3km from Lumut.
He died of cancer in Bangkok in 2013, a month before his 89th birthday. The government at that time had prohibited his body or even his ashes to be brought back to Malaysia for burial.