The man has passed on and the hullabaloo about his ashes, a subject of heated political and social debate. The question is simply whether to allow his ashes to be brought back to Malaysia; yes or no? For me, the many who shout their views label themselves into only two categories. Magnanimous or otherwise. Their opinion on the matter profiles them. Forget about legal issues; there are none.
I have blogged at length about Chin Peng at least thrice ("I Remember...", "They Remember..." and "He Remembered...") before. History belongs to the victor and no matter how big or small a mark we leave behind, in the end we are each just making our own journey in this world as individual mortal beings. Chin Peng was the same and it is evidenced by his farewell message below. He took comfort in his children and his parting words were, "... 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...".
Chin Peng's Farewell Letter:
“My dear Comrades, my dear Compatriots,
When you read this letter, I am no more in this world.
It was my original intention to pass away quietly and let my relatives handle the funeral matters in private. However, the repercussions of erroneous media reports of me in critical condition during October 2011, had persuaded me that leaving behind such a letter is desirable.
Ever since I joined the Communist Party of Malaya and eventually became its secretary-general, I have given both my spiritual and physical self in the service of the cause that my party represented, that is, to fight for a fairer and better society based on socialist ideals. Now with my passing away, it is time that my body be returned to my family.
I draw immense comfort in the fact that my two children are willing to take care of me, a father who could not give them family love, warmth and protection ever since their birth. I could only return my love to them after I had relinquished my political and public duties, ironically only at a time when I have no more life left to give to them as a father.
It was regrettable that I had to be introduced to them well advanced in their adulthood as a stranger. I have no right to ask them to understand, nor to forgive. They have no choice but to face this harsh reality. Like families of many martyrs and comrades, they too have to endure hardship and suffering not out of their own doing, but out of a consequence of our decision to challenge the cruel forces in the society which we sought to change.
It is most unfortunate that I couldn't, after all, pay my last respects to my parents buried in hometown of Sitiawan (in Perak), nor could I set foot on the beloved motherland that my comrades and I had fought so hard for against the aggressors and colonialists.
My comrades and I had dedicated our lives to a political cause that we believed in and had to pay whatever price there was as a result. Whatever consequences on ourselves, our family and the society, we would accept with serenity.
In the final analysis, 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.
It is irrelevant whether I succeeded or failed, at least I did what I did. Hopefully the path I had walked on would be followed and improved upon by the young after me. It is my conviction that the flames of social justice and humanity will never die.
Farewell, my dear Comrades!
Farewell, my dear Compatriots!
Farewell, my dear Motherland!”