A wreath of orchids from Thai princess Chulabhorn Walailak placed in front of the coffin of former CPM leader Chin Peng tells a story the Malaysian government is not likely to agree with.
In Wat That Thong, one of the more famous temples in Bangkok, it is this story that retired Thai generals, who came to pay their respects to Chin Peng this afternoon, will remember him by.
According to retired general Kitti Rattanachaya (left), who was given the honour of spraying holy water on Chin Peng's body before it was placed in the coffin, Chin Peng should be remembered as a hero, not as a terrorist.
Through signing the Hatyai Peace Agreement of 1989, Kitti said, Chin Peng "played a key role in maintaining peace" along the Thai-Malaysian border.
"He fought for the independence of his country, just like (Vietnam leader) Ho Chi Minh, but he did not succeed.
"It is proper to allow his ashes to be returned to Malaysia. Forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones. Once someone dies, everything is finished," Kitti told members of the media.
As a former military man who led troops against the CPM guerillas, he said, he viewed Chin Peng - who spent a third of his life in exile in Thailand - as an elder brother.
"(The Malaysian position) is just politics. When a peace agreement is signed, there is no longer animosity," Kitti said, stressing that this was his personal view and not that of the Thai government.
Forgiveness the only solution
Agreeing with him, Akanit Muansawad, a general who retired from the Thai army last year, said that for him, forgiveness was the only way to bring peace.
As the first Thai army officer to broker talks with Chin Peng in August 1973, Akanit said he made the decision to do after losing many of his men.
"I was a captain then and in one year, I lost 50 soldiers - 30 died and 20 were wounded. I got malaria 13 times from going in and out of the jungle.
"I forgave because I couldn't see any other way to solve the problem," Akanit (right) said.
The princess' wreath was just one of many in memory of Chin Peng today.
Among them was a wreath of yellow flowers from his children, with a message simply reading: "In loving memory of our dear father."
Of the 50-odd family members and friends who came to the quiet and sombre affair today, many were seen in tears.
According to Anas Abdullah, a family friend who helped arrange the wake and funeral, more than 100 former CPM guerilla fighters are expected to pay their respects in the next two days, before Chin Peng's body is cremated on Monday.
The son of a CPM leader and the son-in-law of one of the oldest surviving Malay CPM members Abdullah CD, Anas said his father-in-law was not able to make the 10-hour drive to Bangkok from the Sukhirin peace village, near Narathiwat.
"But about 10 people from the village will be driving over tomorrow," Anas said of the village that is home to former 10th Regiment fighters, who are mostly Muslims.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Friday, September 20, 2013
(Note: In response to a press report on April 7, 2013 that Malaysians failed to gain admission into the World’s most prestigious Harvard University for the second year in a row due to a slide in the quality of Applicants, the Blogger's most learned e-buddy Dr JB Lim has the following to say)
If I were to relate to you my experiences with all these local graduates, especially those from public universities, let alone school leavers trying to enter universities in the United Kingdom like Oxford, Cambridge or at St Andrews University, or those in the United States like Harvard, Princeton, MIT, CIT, you will laugh at the atrocious standard of our Malaysian educational standard especially in Science . It would take me pages after pages to recount my experiences.
Very briefly :
1. You ask them a simple question in English, they can only reply in Bahasa Malaysia.
2. You ask them a simple technical question in the area they study in the university, they will be stunt. They will just stare at you ; look up at the ceiling instead of looking at you. You will wait for 1 - 2 minutes for them to answer. When you repeat the question once again, they will just smile at you. They just don’t seem to know.
3. I have been a previous external examiner to some of the undergraduate students studying in local universities. When I asked them questions, not only do they just remained silent & just smiled and showed their teeth, but they gave irrelevant and out-of-point answers . They told me they have not studied that before. When I asked them, then what did they study, they replied points that were neither here nor there. I just can’t believe it. But their lecturers who sat beside me as an observer during the oral examination told me these were taught to them although not in great detail.
Anyway, I have never failed any student even if they cannot answer. During the oral examination even if they cannot answer, I would explain to them, and gave them the answer. I then asked them to promise me that they will remember what I told them before I let them go with a pass. So for compassionate reasons, none has ever failed under my hands.
4. Over the last 10 years I have also been one of the International Judges for ITEX for all the local public universities, and a few private universities competing with each other with their research inventions and innovations. I found most of their research, discoveries and inventions by academics and postgraduates students below expectations.
A few years ago, a Malay female M.Sc. student from the University of Malaya even tried to bluff me and my co-judge that she boiled a flower extract in water for over 180 degrees Celsius, and she found the colour of the flower extract heat remained stable. This instantly caught me by surprise because water at normal atmosphere can never exceed 100 deg C. So I asked her if she used some kind of very special very high pressure cooker to boil the water. To my surprise she said no . . . ’just boil it with water in a beaker.’
Instantly I failed her. Her professor (a Chinese lady) who was standing behind her to give her support could not defend her, because I was one of the International Judges evaluating the quality of inventions put up by local public (some from overseas) universities.
I would have forgiven her if she was only a Form 1 or Form 2 school student. I would have taught her that water can only boil at 100 deg C under sea level atmospheric pressure. But she was doing her Master of Science degree from what was supposed to be the best and oldest university in Malaysia.
5. My drug company employs a few science graduates, including qualified professional nutritionists graduated from UPM and UKM. During my conversation with some of them about nutritional diseases and methods to diagnose them, surprisingly they told me they have not heard of these deficiency diseases, let alone identify their clinical feature and diagnose them.
I remember at London where I studied nutrition, we were drilled through and through on the clinical features of all the nutritional disorders until we were truly expert in identifying every one of them. Both my external examiners were from the Department of Medicine from Cambridge. Both were Jews and Professors appointed by the University of London to examine us. I remember during the oral exams they would show us clinical slides of nutritional diseases, and ask us to make a diagnosis.
We could do this with ease because our London professors (also all Jews – all walking encyclopedias. The Jews are a very highly intelligent race that hold almost all the chairs of university departments in the UK) have already drilled us very expertly in this area among many other branches. We have no trouble at all answering our external examiners from Cambridge .
We never smiled, remained silent and stared at the ceiling like what I experienced with our local university students when you examined them.
The academic standards between British and Malaysian universities are worlds apart. There is totally just no comparison at all – even in the 1960’s the academic standards of British universities are far higher than those of Malaysian universities in 2012.
6. I have also been a Chairman of scientific sessions where research papers were presented by academics and post-doctoral researchers in scientific congresses. I just can’t believe the sub-standard quality of their papers which I think even a good Upper Form Six student from another country can do better.
When I was at the University of London doing my postgraduate way back in the early 1960s the quality of papers from British Universities were so high that we, even as postgraduate students, find it very difficult to understand . They were all so good, so professional and so specialized. Their papers were beyond us. Even way back in the 1960s, their papers were full of data, statistics and mathematical analysis of the experimental data done in a very sophisticated and elegant way. It was so professional.
But when our Malaysian university academics present a paper at a scientific conference, they only show pictures and photos, and seldom any research data.
Here in Malaysia in the 2010s, I feel very bored and sleepy especially after lunch as chairman for the afternoon sessions trying to listen to our local postgraduates’ sub-standard papers . Their slides were just pictures and photos taken with a camera. There is seldom any statistic or data to back up what they were trying to present. But they call it ‘presenting a research paper’.
So with the sub-standard knowledge of our local students, their professors and subsequent education how can they ever hope to enter Harvard University ? They are crying for a blue moon in their dreams .
Thursday, September 19, 2013
|Baljit Singh, Penang Gerakan leader|
"And if we do have a suspect, someone who happens to be found with ashes, how are we going to prove they actually belong to Chin Peng?"
"If we manage to prove it is Chin Peng's ashes, although I wonder how it is going to be done, will Malaysia be the first country to repatriate someone's ashes?.
"If we did that, we would indeed be the laughing stock of the whole world,"
Monday, September 16, 2013
|Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng, former Sarawak Police Commissioner|
"In war, we were long-standing ideological enemies, with negotiated peace we were mutually more respectful and understanding of our once conflicting stands. Now with death, I can only say: Rest in peace, my friend,"
|Chin Peng [1924 - 2013]|
Many local artistes participated in this Pete Teo's production, and one of them was Michelle Yeo.
Apart from Michelle Yeoh, those appearing in the video clip are Umno's Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Others include DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, actress-director Jo Kukathas, dancer Ramli Ibrahim, singer David Arumugam, rapper Namewee, activist Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir and veteran footballer Santokh Singh.
The video clip also features CIMB group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, who is the younger brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
There are several notable scenes in the video clip including Tengku Razaleigh and Lim sitting together in the stadium when Merdeka was declared and also Izzah with Marina in a street scene during Malaysia's formation in 1963.
Also featured is famed Malaysian filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad, who passed away in 2009. She had also appeared in another Teo film, Here In My Home, that was broadcast on YouTube in 2008.
See whether you can spot the celebrities in the video.
One blooper though. At 3:06, I could see the Twin Tower in the distance. In 1957?