Earlier in the week, he was advised by the Chinese villagers to leave the village, albeit remporarily because there were rumours CHIN PENG - FORGIVE AND FORGETthe communists were after him. Being a ‘Banjarese’ who migrated to Malaya in the early thirties, and having fought the Dutch colonialists in Kalimantan, Indonesia, he was adamant to stand his ground and overcome adversities, come what may. Little did he know that there were Malays and Banjarese in the communist camp.

Many ‘Banjarese’ of yesteryears were well known for their bravery as well as in depth spiritual knowledge and fighting skill. The exploits of ‘panglima’ Salih and Ijam in Muar/Batu Pahat and HJ Bakri and his men in Sungai Manik are testimonies of their saga.

Without the help of the Malays/Banjarese, the communists would not have been able to cause injuries much less the premature demise of this village head.

That village head is naib Hassan bin Abu Bakar, the scribe’s grandfather.

Nyior Estate, 1950 or thereabout. A full platoon of special constable personnel was ambushed and virtually wiped out by the communists. Another platoon that came to the aid of their comrades hours later saw dead bodies, most of them with stab wounds. According to the sole survivor who outfoxed the communists by feigning death, the injured were kicked and stepped on mercilessly for any sign of life upon which, the living wounded would be despatched to the Creator with their bayonets.

A week or so before the encounter, a group of terrorists headed by a well known ‘one eyed’  communist  leader in the area, a Malay nicknamed ‘Man Cilak’ surprised a platoon of special constables who were resting in a rubber plantation. The manner in which Man Cilak and his men appeared and disappeared in a blink of an eye behind ‘a’ tree were the talking point for years to come. Such were the prowess of the Malay communist leaders then.

And fortunately (or otherwise) for that platoon, Man Cilak did not just spare them the ignominy of being caught with their pants down but also advised them to be vigilant in future only to return, days later,  and witnessed the brutal massacre the communists inflicted on their comrades.

In 1953, the lone survivor from that encounter in Nyior Estate came to visit his friend who by then have opted to start life anew in the village.

That man who lost his right leg on that fateful day was uncle Hamdan and the person he visited was his good friend in the second platoon. And his good friend is the scribe’s father.

And Chin Peng is regarded as the person responsible for the unnecessary loss of lives and limbs including that of naib Hassan and uncle Hamdan.

Why Chin Peng. And Chin Peng alone!

But could the communists have found the formula to neutralise the ’spiritual prowess’ and invincibility of naib Hassan. And could Chin Peng be as ’brave and powerful’ without the collaberations of the Malays?

An honest answer will be a big NO.

Why then only Chin Peng is prohibited from returning to his birth place while the ’collaborators’ were treated differently?

Is the scribe less of a patriot for questioning the wisdom of fellow Malaysians?

During the height of the Indonesian Confrontations, and with reasonably good Senior Cambridge certificate, the scribe decided to answer the call of duty by joining the armed forces. Offers to pursue teaching profession and desk jobs in the civil service were put aside for the sake of the country.

Is that not patriotic?

And how many of those ‘very patriotic’ Malaysians dare risk life and limbs serving the front line in defense of their beloved country?

And why should fellow Malaysians practice ‘forgive and forget’?

As obedient servants of God, Muslims are guided by the teachings of Quran and practice the sunnah or preachings of Prophet Mohammad. And the majority who vehemently oppose the return of Chin Peng are Muslims.

Have we not heard how Prophet Mohamad forgave his enemy Abu Sufian and the Jew who had the habit of  throwing water on him, and Saidina Ali who forgave the enemy whom he was about to kill? Those are just a few of the many examples of forgiving the enemy.

As Muslims, we ask for forgiveness from God and hope to be forgiven. But why the reluctance when it is our turn to forgive others!

As human beings, it is never easy to erase the pain from memory but it does not take super human effort to forgive. After all, Islam as well as other religion and teachings encourage the faithfuls to be forgiving.

So fellow Malaysians, why not give it a thought.

EX RMN M2140