View Full Version : Chin Peng's Book.

28-09-2003, 02:12 PM
Anybody read Chin Peng's book "My Side of the Story" yet?

My mother is from Baling, used to live near the school where CPM Chin Peng and Tunku had their failed meeting in 1955. Of course, I was not born yet then. But years later, everytime mother brough me back to her 'kampung', she would point to the school and said Tunku and Chin Peng once met there.

CHL., are you from that era? Mind to share your first hand experience during the emergency period?

My grandma used to tell us the commies were robbers and thieves hiding in the jungle.

28-09-2003, 04:24 PM
One has to read the book & the book written by English man Chapman titled 'the Jungle is Neutral" to judge. They are not thieves or robbers.
I found the 'jungle is neutral' in 1 of the book rental stalls, I did not return that book & intended to keep it for good even I have read it before. Since than the book when in circulation and finally lost in the process.

30-09-2003, 05:55 PM
Both my father and mother came from the CPM heartland. The publicity over Chin Peng's books opened up quite a lot of memories.

I listen. Many unspeakable truths. Many mistakes were made. Although, some acted out as individuals. Whether Chin Peng condoned it or even knew about it, he cannot disassociate himself from it. They gave it a name, gave it a cause, gave the cause a name. Put violent power into the hands of kids.

To the ordinary citizens, they were thieves, murderers. To others, they were heroes.

Listen. Learn.

Kids killing other kids. Times were vey different then. We cannot use our current values to make judgements.

Listen. Learn. Remember.

Cool Hand Luke
30-09-2003, 08:39 PM
Uchangeng - Chen Peng's wars were just before my time but I could tell you many first hand stories of the Confrontation with Sukarno's Indonesia. As I sit here, I could almost hear the heavy rotors of the Wessex helicopters (I remembered that I was comparing with wonder only a kid could have because I was looking at the real helicopters and the one in my hands assembled from an Airfix kit - I believe, at 90 cents and imported from England at that time) bringing in the wounded and landing on the field opposite my house.... If others are interested as well, let me know.

30-09-2003, 10:23 PM
There was a confusion at first whether the book had been banned. When police confiscated copies from MPH etc, I laughed and laughed at the system. KDN would have approved it (with the same X-men in there) but when police created the scene, sorry babe, I'm not amused.

Chin Peng failed to point out some pressing questions, which I'm not going to touch here. I have more books to contradict or corroborate Chin Peng's version (by the way, the Jungle is Neutral is one of dozens that I have in my library).

My questions are not so much directed to the writer as they are for the 'knowledgeable' powers that be, and it's a simple question that has plagued me, even as I crawl and struggle in my Phd research presently:


1. do you know that the Agreement between the government and CPM is a public domain document? Have you read it?

2. If the answer is yes, HOW ON EARTH COULD THE GOVERNMENT SIGNED AN AGREEMENT with an UNLAWFUL society that's not registered under the Society's Act? Does it mean that government can also sign a peace treaty with Al-Qaeda or JI or AlMa'unah or HAMAS etc??

Valid legal questions I suppose.

01-10-2003, 07:41 AM
Shali, I have Chapman's too.

When the fist one was worn and torn, I bought a new copy. Just can't resist the magic of those years when I was about to be born...

Where can I get the text and video version of Tanemera?

Cool Hand Luke
01-10-2003, 08:40 AM
You mean Noel Coward's book, Tanamera? The only place are the books rental and flea market in Amcorp Mall. The movie is called Tanamera - Lion of Singapore made in 1988. I believe it was shown on our TV quite a way back.

01-10-2003, 10:57 AM
CHL... spot on. That's what I have been hunting.

But I am looking for new copy. I got the showed taped on VHS, but had to throw them away... fungus...

Hope to get it on DVD... wonder if ASTRO/Hallmark will pick it up for rerun?

Cool Hand Luke
01-10-2003, 07:31 PM
Noel Coward's book is better than the mini series. He also wrote The Other Side of Paradise. There are a few writers you may want to look at (but you probably have read their books already); Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds which was made into a mini-series starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward in 1983. I would also recommend The Lover by Marguerite Duras and this was made into a movie in 1992 with Tony Leung Ka Fai and Jane March. The book began with 'One day, I was already old, in the entrance of a public place a man came up to me. He introduced himself and said: "I've known you for years. Everyone says you were beautiful when you were young, but I want to tell you I think you're more beautiful now than then. Rather than your face as a young woman, I prefer your face as it is now. Ravaged". I often think of the image only I can see now, and of which I've never spoken'. The reason why I mentioned these two other writers is because I thought you would be interested if you are interested in Noel Coward's writings. Same literary styles of the 1960s (even though McCullough was considered as a contemporary writer). In my view, in all the three cases, the books are better than the films. And don't watch The Lover in your living room with your young children. It contains quite a lot of sex scenes.

A little bit about Noel Coward:

Noel Coward (1899-1973)

"Nol Coward is remembered as the most witty and elegant of theatrical personalities. He left behind over fifty plays, twenty-five films, hundreds of songs, and several books. Fortunately, he also left behind these diaries chronicling the last thirty years of his life, from 1941 to 1973. Moving through the theatrical, social, political, and historical worlds on both sides of the Atlantic, the impressive cast of characters includes Laurence Olivier, Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, John and Jackie Kennedy, Harold Pinter, members of the Royal Family, and the Beatles, among a host of others. The Nol Coward Diaries is a social and theatrical chronicle as stylish and irresistible as the man himself.

He never referred publicly to his own homosexuality, and would not allow his biographer Sheridan Morley to mention it, because of fears of losing royalties. He seemed to believe that the public was unsure about his sexuality, despite him writing and singing songs like Mad About the Boy. His A Song at Twilight has the closeted character Sir Hugh Latymer who is based on Somerset Maugham. His play Point Valaine is dedicated to Somerset Maugham

01-10-2003, 10:09 PM

I read Colleen McCullough. "The Thorn Brd" some 20 years ago when I was in the Uni..

Have you also read Colleen McCullough's "Morgan's Run" ? Not bad. It is a novel about the English convicts back in the 1770s. If you like, I am be happy to loan you my "Morgan's Run" on condition that u loan me your Chapman. Deal?

Cool Hand Luke
01-10-2003, 10:49 PM
Uchangeng - Oops. You have misread. I do not have Chapman's book. Jeff has the book.


02-10-2003, 09:33 AM
I'm not sure if Jeff is referring to Chapman Pincher's book. If that is the case, I have met this awesome gentleman in UK. I have even misplaced his letter to me that I received in the mid 80s. Chapman had been associated with British Intelligence and had writte some classic work on it. It's strange that I knew all along that Chin Peng was working for the British SIS/Security Service and therefore the Special Branch, that was located then, at the Phoenex Park of Singapore?

By the way, for those who are keen on the intelligence development in Malaya, check this out:--

1) British and Malaysian Covert Support for Rebel Movements in Indonesia during the 'Confrontation', 196366 by David Easter

This essay examines the British and Malaysian response to Indonesia's guerrilla campaign of 'Confrontation' in Borneo. In particular it shows that from 1964 Britain and Malaysia covertly aided rebel groups in the outer Indonesian islands in an attempt to weaken the Confrontation campaign. The essay also reveals differences beween London and Kuala Lumpur over the political aims of covert action, with the Malays seeking to break up the Indonesian state.
2. Corpses, Prisoners of War and Captured Documents: British and Communist Narratives of the Malayan Emergency, and the Dynamics of Intelligence Transformation by Karl Hack

British accounts of the Malayan Emergency argue intelligence underwent a major transformation in 195254, as part of a campaign-winning infusion of new leadership. This article uses the recent statements of Chin Peng, Secretary-General of the Malayan Communist Party from 1947, to construct a contrasting Communist analysis. One which sees the insurgent campaign as flagging by 1951, before intelligence reached its peak. It then tries to reconcile these contradictory British and Communist narratives. In so doing, it suggests a more incremental pattern of intelligence development. A pattern which was punctured by occasional efficiency boosting leaps forward, following key events such as the systemization of 'population control', and various leadership changes.

3. Content, Credibility and Context: Propaganda, Government Surrender Policy and the Malayan Communist Terrorist Mass Surrenders of 1958 by Kumar Ramakrishna

This essay argues that while previous analyses of the Malayan Emergency are able to shed light on why the tide of the military campaign had swung in the government's favour by 1954, they cannot precisely explain why the disastrous mass Communist surrenders of 1958 which all but ended the Emergency occurred. The essay suggests rather that an examination of the content, credibility and context of the government surrender policy between 1949 and 1958 helps illuminate this issue. In particular it argues that by 1958, the extremely liberal Merdeka amnesty terms, together with increasing government credibility with the terrorists and a favourable strategic and political context, precipitated the MCP collapse.
4. Winning in Malaya: An Intelligence Success Story by Brian Stewart

This study discusses the key role played by the Malayan government's intelligence community in the victory over the Malayan Communist Party. It argues that the successful development of the community's skills owed much to Templer and, in particular, to his insistence that intelligence was given due weight in the War Executive Committees and to the encouragement he gave to the work of the Chinese Affairs officers. The personal experience of the author as Secretary for Chinese Affairs Malacca is described and examples given of concrete steps taken during the 'hearts and minds' campaign and other successful psychological warfare activities.


5. The SIS Singapore Station and the SIS Far Eastern Controller by Philip H J Davies

This contribution examines the development of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) regional headquarters, or 'controlling station' in Singapore between 1945 and 1965, and the status of regional 'controlling stations' within Britain's regional administrations on one hand, and her central intelligence machinery on the other. It is argued that the development of the SIS in Singapore brings into sharp relief the basic relationship between that agency and the overt workings of British government. That relationship constitutes what in American intelligence literature is called a 'pull architecture' in which operational goals and priorities are laid upon operational agencies rather than set by those agencies themselves. This is examined both in terms of the intelligence machinery in Singapore under the Commissioner-General for the UK in Southeast Asia, and in terms of the central intelligence tasking and dissemination mechanisms in London.

02-10-2003, 09:36 AM

OK., if you like, my "Morgan's Run" loan deal still on.

05-10-2003, 03:29 PM
i remember reading "the jungle is neutral" when i was a teenager. my dad also took home a book called "i want to live", writeen by a CPM cadre about the glory and sufferings that they went through in their lives.
despite all the sufferings and justifications that the CPM tell us about, patriotic or not, they do not justify their right to kill in the first place. Chin Peng may be a harmless old man today. But allowing him back into the country would send the wrong signal to other would be terrorists.

05-10-2003, 10:10 PM
Come back can..but must serve jail time for all the killings that happened during his era...

Where got meaning, come back to the home land nn be scott free to roam the country..

He shud stand trial first!

06-10-2003, 10:58 PM
Was CP a hero or was he a terrorist?

He robbed our country and our people 12 years of life. The Emergency. Just imagine, if CP was to have won, what would happen to you and me today, another North Korea?

May be S'pore may consider to let him in.

For people who once lived in the jungle fringes around Baling and Bentong areas, they knew what life was in the emergency era.

10-10-2003, 01:12 PM
Guys, can we also ban the Japs, the English, the Portugese and all the other joes who 'vandalised' our rights and country, huhh??? I mean, our history not only talks about CP as the villain but also the Japs, who based on my granma;s story, were more atrocious!! I also have a granduncle who went MIA buidling the railway track. So can we like ask all the Jap's to take their businesses elsewhere?

And oh yes, Tesco can also go and fly kite, rite??!

12-10-2003, 04:03 PM
No, we should not stop the foreigners from coming in (Japs, British, Dutch, Portuguese) - just those 'generals' that ordered the killing. If they come back to apologise, then yes, let them come in to do so. Chin Peng does not want to come back to apologise- just want to pay respects to his ancestors. Different things althogether.

Likewise, We did not banish all those who joined the CPM or even those who are of the same race. Just the individuals who were responsible and who should now be accountable.

17-10-2003, 09:30 AM
I am half-way reading the book. Makes interesting reading although it does not change the way I feel about politics. Definitely no reason in there to get it banned. Does give some insight to some of the things my parents told me about the emergency period though.

18-10-2003, 08:56 PM
Ginaphan have a very good point. Another example, The Europeans are not stopping the Germans from coming in. But if Hitler wants to come in, (if he was still alive that is...) I don't think he will get any red carpet treatment.

19-10-2003, 01:26 PM
Just to get this thread back into it's focal point.

This thread is about fellow forumers who have read the book and contributing their respected comment on the subject matter. Not intending to start a debate whether CP should be allowed home. Let the polikus do the talking.

If you have read the book, would appreciate your sharing of your thought.

30-10-2003, 08:28 PM
Finally I have the book, bought it for RM70.

At half way thru., the book provides great details of our nation's social, political and economics situation back in the 40s up to the 50s. The hard time our nation went thru. during the "child-birth" stage and the brutality the colonial master inflicted upon our people. How the Brit. looked upon us as their sorce of hard-currency that they badly needed to pay their motherland's war debt.

My impression of Chin Peng, at this stage, is that he was a political activist of his time, representing the worker class. Of course he was not a simpleton as per say, he was in fact considered to be well educated in his days and became a teacher for a while. However, back then, people from the bottom rung of the economic ladder were often marginalised. The Brits, as class conscious as they were back then, would only look upon tycons like HS Lee, Tan Cheng Loke and Loke Yew to be the natural representative of the Chinese, which, as we all know, not always was the case. They were just capitalist playing to the tune of the colonial master.

31-10-2003, 10:55 AM
Good morning to all,

Although I don't really post here, I read all the postings here everyday and enjoy the range and depth of discussions here.

Lately Chin Peng's book has been a hot topic, should he be allowed back...... should be made to answer for all the killings........destroyed families....... brutal murders....tortures......justice for the families...etc etc

Reading all this I suddenly thought of a friend whose father was brutally murdered during the May13 riots. Her familiy was torn a part too, many cruelties and rapes happened and you know what......many of the perpetrators are still alive and walking among us.... unpunished. Why has no one cried out for justice for all the families and lives extinguished that day?

I am amazed that now when Chin Peng wants to ask for forgiveness and wants to come back, all these reasons are put forward.

Remember that those vicious murderers of May13 has never asked for forgiveness. Remember that although true that Chin Pengs and his gang did commit those crimes it was for an ideology, flawed as it may be. The May 13riots...it was 100% pure and simple hate.....and they are still free out there...... and we all just say move on with our lives...... why can't we say the same for Chin Peng?

31-10-2003, 12:29 PM
Am down to the last 3 chapters. Quite heavy reading with some eye opening statements. Some of them I guess are facts and some of them are what he said are facts. So I am not sure which is which. May 13, 1969 was mentioned in the book albeit briefly. Seems he claimed that he is not responsible for it. He gained from it though as he was able to recruit easier after that given a lot of vengeance seeking youths was aplenty. My advise for anyone reading the book is to take it at face value. Don't try to read between the lines or anything like that. It is afterall, his version of history.

01-11-2003, 12:16 AM
3/4 done with the book.

CP is now in China soliciting the Chinese help.

Men, you should read this book to know how precarious our country position were back then. We actually had the bloody Chinese planning our downfall. Anyway, as our ex-PM once said, the Chinese were now our friends and our 5th PM says Chinese are no thread to us in any form nowsaday. They are now our friends. Thanks to Tun Razak who went there to see Mr. Mao after the May 13 incident.

CP talked about the failed Baling peace talk. We are lucky today because our Bapa Malaysia knew what he was talking about and who he was dealing with back then. Never demand anything less than a total surrender from the CPM.. If you let them loose, they would probably drive us out of this country pretty much the same way Mao did Chiang Kai S'hek to a tiny island of Taiwan.

After the failed Baling talk, CP described how he travelled overland from Malaya to China to set up his new HQ in Peking.

In fact CP aknowledged how he wished he could iron out an acceptable peace deal with the newly "merdeka" Malaya but Tunku snubbed him repeatedly.

02-11-2003, 06:52 PM
Done with the book. Satisfied 100% with the 70 bucks I paid for it!

Anybody want to buy the book from me? @ second hand price, 50 bucks cash. Immediate free delivery anywhere within USJ.. Guarantee the book in excellent condition.

This is what I have to share.

By the end of 1960s, CP armed units in the Malayan jungle were nearly wiped out by effective counter insurgency actions of the Malayan and British arm forces, especially the Special Branch.

At this time the CPM Radio Station was set up in southen China. Beaming over Malaya, Thailand and S'pore. It was a morale boaster for the entire CPM movement. And things looked a little better for the CPM course after the May 13 incident. But, this advantage would eventually fizzle out when Tun Razak went to visit China in 1974, normalising diplomatic tie with Mao..

By the late 70s, situation became even more desparate for CP to keep his men under controls. By then his armed units already splitted into 3 separate groups, each tried, as they might, to get CP's endorsement. Then Deng visited Malaysia and aknowledged in a press conference, China tie with CPM should be viewed as a fact in history. It was all over for CP..

In CP's own words, those Malayan Chinese men and women who were once so eager to fight for their "China motherland", when banished to China, were treated as second class citizen there. They were not even allowed to join the Chinese Communist Party. They felt betrayed and disillusionated by the 80s.. Some even forked out their entire life saving trying to get back to Malaysia.

As for CP himself, he remains a socialist in ideology to this day. He strongly believes in Equal Distribution of wealth. But we all know, in reality, this is hardly true even in China today.

In conclusion, CP was a brilliant men born at the time when our country was raped by the colonial exploitation and ravaged by the brutal Japanese invasion, he ran on the wrong side of the road, leading him to nowhere!

Let us learn from this recent history of our nation!

13-11-2003, 08:17 AM
Somewhere in the last few chapters I read that Chin Peng suggests that it is recorded somewhere officially that Tunku Abdul Rahman used him and the communist threat as a bargaining chip towards an Independent Malaya after the Baling talks. Also mentioned Dato' Onn bin Jaafar as leading a different party and lost terribly to Tunku in the first polls. I guess somehow I wonder if the communist threat was not there, would we be another Hong Kong or would we be a Vietnam? Guess this is something we will never find out. Good book and definitely worth the read. I managed to read the entire book which is over 700 pages in less than a week total (excluding days in between where I am too busy to pick up the book).

Cool Hand Luke
13-11-2003, 09:00 AM
Would we be another Hong Kong or Vietnam? You are right, Joecool, we will never find out but the very thought is so tantalisingly provocative and exciting. This sums up what I posted about Armistice Day. I love my country but would I be better off if it is Hong Kong, Vietnam or Singapore? I am looking at this purely from a personal perspective - for example, would I be able to provide better for my children in a totally different economic and political environment etc. Thus, in a nutshell, different people look at history (and wars) differently. Tunku Abdul Rahman and Lee Kuan Yew sure looked at the split of Malaya-Singapore very differently and both of them are neither right nor wrong. That is what history is all about - factual happenings but through the eye of interpretation of man. To suggest otherwise is looking at history (and Armistice Day) through one's own tinted-glasses; and that is adding another extra layer of filter to what already could be a highly distorted landscape.

07-02-2004, 07:14 AM
Recently released secret British government papers confirm that Tunku Abdul Rahman used him and the communist threat as a bargaining chip. Indeed they prove that it was his contention that any support for the CPM would disappate if Malaya was to gain independence that convinced the British government that the time was right to grant indepedence. In that respect the CPM, albeit not in the way they would have wanted, most certainly effected early independence for Malaya. So what Chin Peng suggests is a confirmed fact.

I still haven't finished the book. I know quite a few ex soldiers who served in Malaya have also bought it. Fancy that, a communist earning a load of money selling his memoirs. :D