Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chin Peng : Don’t politicize his plight

To err is human and forgive is divine

The controversy surrounding the return home of Communist Party of Malaya chief Chin Peng continues despite him having exhausted all legal means to do so. Chin Peng is 85years old now and still the Malaysian government refuses to let him in even on compassionate grounds. It accuses him of being responsible for killing of thousands of innocent Malaysians for which it cannot forgive him. It is indeed difficult to forgive him for his sins against humanity.

It is true that we cannot and should not forget his atrocities especially for inflicting so much pain among the people, our soldiers and their families but is in wrong to forgive an old man especially when he has apologized for all his wrong doings in the past? Is it wrong to deny an old man his last wishes to spend his final days in his homeland?

The government had signed the Hatyai peace accord in 1989 allowing him and his people the right to return on laying down their arms. Is the government legally and morally right to renege on its agreement signed 20 years ago? If so doesn’t it stand to lose the trust of the international community on its willingless to honor all other forms of agreements?

The return of Chin Peng is a simple and straight forward issue that could have been settled amicably in accordance with the laws. Unfortunately it has been blown out of proportion for obvious political reasons. It is further disturbing that there are those who have even turned it into a racial issue. Such politicization of trivial issues is dangerous and should be stopped immediately if we mean well for the long term peace and harmony of our nation.

The country has progressed so much, politically, socially and economically since the time of the threat posed by Chin Peng and his Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in the fifties and sixties. Today we have reached a state of overall national stability; politically, socially and economically, that we cannot by threatened by an ailing 85-year old man with his outdated and obsolete communist ideology of the past.

To err is human, and to forgive is divine. This is the fundamental teaching of all the major religions of the world. We all make mistakes but what is more important that we realize our mistake, repent and resolve not to repeat it. In fact it is through mistakes that we learn to become better humans.

Here is an old man who had done great mistakes in the past but has now repented and wants to return to be buried with his ancestors. He should not be used as a rallying point for politicization but instead forgiven and allowed to return to lead a private low profile life for the remaining time he has, which is not going to be too long.

The prime minister must use his wisdom to decide to uphold the agreement made by one of his predecessors. By honoring the pact would restore our reputation as a humane and civilized society that would be an example for others to uphold global peace treaties.Agreements are promises made to be honored at all costs not only when it benefits us.

Dr.Chris Anthony


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