|“||I wish to be remembered simply as a good man who could tell the world that he had dared to spend his entire life in pursuit of his own ideals to create a better world for his people.||„|
|~ Chin Peng's Farewell Letter|
Chin Peng (born Ong Boon Hua; 21 October 1924 – 16 September 2013) was a Malayan communist politician who was a long-time leader of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM).
Chin was born on 21 October 1924 into a middle-class family in Perak, Malaya. During World War II, Chin rosed to prominence to fight a guerrilla war against Imperial Japan when they were controlling Malaya. Chin and his fellow guerrilla fighters, inspired by the example of the Communist Party of China, became known as the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA). Chin Peng became the liaison officer between the MPAJA and the British military in South-East Asia.
Because of his services during the war, Chin was awarded an OBE (though it was subsequently withdrawn later by the British government), a mention in despatches and two campaign medals by Britain. He was elected the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Malaya after the betrayal of previous leader Lai Tek who turned out to be an agent for both the British and the Japanese and had denounced the leadership of the Party to the Japanese secret police. Chin Peng was the most senior surviving member.
After World War II, he led the party's guerrilla insurgency in the Malayan Emergency, fighting against British and Commonwealth forces in an attempt to establish an independent communist state. After the MCP's defeat and subsequent Malayan independence, Chin waged a second campaign communist insurgency in Malaysia (1968–89) against Malaya and, after 1963, the new state of Malaysia in an attempt to replace its government with a communist one from exile, until signing the Peace Agreement of Hat Yai 1989 with the Malaysian government in 1989.
Chin never officially returned to Malaysia after the 1989 Hat Yai Peace Accords, but continued his exile in Thailand. He gave lectures at the National University of Singapore in 2004, using purposes of academic research as his reason to gain the visitation permission from the Singaporean government. At the beginning of 2000, he applied for permission to return to Malaysia. His application was rejected by the High Court on 25 July 2005.
In June 2008, Chin again lost his bid to return to Malaysia when the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that compelled him to show identification papers to prove his citizenship. Chin maintained that his birth certificate was seized by the police during a raid in 1948. His counsel Raja Aziz Addruse had submitted before the Court of Appeal that it was wrong for the Malaysian government to compel him to produce the documents, because he was entitled to enter and live in Malaysia by virtue of the peace agreement.
On April 2009, Chin's application to return to Malaysia was once again rejected by the High Court for the same reason as his previous attempt. The Malaysian government insisted that his possible return would cause people who lost their loved ones during the Emergency to relive their pain again.
In November 2009, Chin issued an apology to the victims and their family members for the atrocities committed by the CPM. However, the then-Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Muhyiddin Yassin, replied that despite Chin's apology, he would still not be allowed to return to Malaysia.
Chin died at the age of 88 in a Bangkok hospital on the morning of 16 September 2013, the 50th anniversary of Malaysia Day, and the 90th birthday of Lee Kuan Yew. He was cremated according to Buddhist rites.
While Chin had previously voiced wishes to be buried in Sitiawan, his remains continued to be denied entry for burial in Malaysia by the Malaysian government, as it was claimed that the one-year window after the agreement to reapply for citizenship had long lapsed and Chin was assumed to have relinquished his rights to return.