SEOUL — Nov. 28, 2019: Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad doesn’t think that there should be a fuss over the ashes of dead communist leader Chin Peng that were reportedly brought back into the country from Thailand last September.
“Who are we trying to appease by raising this issue? Do you want us to collect his ashes now? This small matter will be exploited just to paint a bad picture of the government. These sort of things happened during Najib’s (former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) time but there was nothing (reaction wise). Now everything seems to be flung back to the PH (Pakatan) government.
“He (Chin Peng) is dead. There were many others in the past, such as the Japanese, who also tortured us but all that seem to have been forgotten. It is not as if he (Chin Peng) can do anything anymore…. it is only his ashes that are back,” Mahathir remarked to Malaysian journists before departing for home today.
Mahathir reminded that in the past the government had allowed former communists like Shamsiah Fakeh and Rashid Maidin to return to Malaysia but it never became an issue.
“Why? Is it because she is a Malay? Rashid Maidin also came back to Malaysia and several others too but Chin Peng we did not allow then because he was their leader?” asked Mahathir.
At the same time, Mahathir did not rule out the possibility that the issue was being exploited by people with their own agenda.
“How are we to know when exactly they would bring the ashes back… it is (kept) in a flask and we would never know as who is going to notice it, and even if someone does, it is only ashes,” he remarked further.
On Wednesday, Home Minister Tan Sri Muyhiddin Yassin said the government had never allowed for the ashes to be allowed back in Malaysia.
It was reported that the ashes were brought back on September 16 from Thailand with a funeral ceremony held the same day. The ashes were later scattered at a hillside near Chemor and at sea off Lumut.
Chin Peng died of cancer in Bangkok in 2013, a month before his 89th birthday. — Bernama