To exile and back again


Age has withered her and what little history books say of her, demonises her. But Shamsiah Fakeh’s life is a fascinating story of one woman’s incredible journey from freedom fighter to communist to exiled outcast.

WE had agreed to meet at her apartment. On the appointed day, I arrive at the building in Jalan Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur, which is best described as dusty, thanks to the nearby construction sites. After parking and passing through an indifferent security check, I take a lift to the eighth floor.

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