Hornbill Unleashed

November 30, 2013

One ideology, two reactions

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Mariam Mokhtar

Malaysians must wonder why Aishah is considered safe but Chin Peng’s ashes are deemed a national threat

Two people with a shared ideology – communism. Both Malaysians, both radicals. Both have spent the past 30 years living outside Malaysia. Both were educated locally, one at the Methodist run Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) in Perak, the other at the Tengku Khursiah College in Negri Sembilan.

One became a leader albeit of a banned organisation and disappeared into the Malayan jungle, whilst the other disappeared into the back-streets of London into oblivion.

The two people are a Chinese man, 88-year-old Chin Peng who died in Bangkok last September and a Malay woman 69-year-old Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab who with her two comrades staged a daring escape from her alleged captors on Oct 25.

Aishah and the other women had been kept as “slaves” in a collective by a couple – an Indian and a Tanzanian for the past 30 years.

Chin Peng rose up the ranks to become the leader of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) when he was only 23-years-old. Aishah was a very promising, intelligent woman who secured a Commonwealth scholarship to study at the London School of Economics (LSE) when she was 24-years-old.

Two days ago the IGP Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed the identity of the woman who was enslaved. He said that Aishah would not be arrested should she decide to return to Malaysia. He claimed that Aishah had been on the wanted list in the 70s, as she was considered an extremist.

He also confirmed that when she went to London to study, the police had kept her under surveillance. He did not make it clear if, or when, the surveillance stopped. Khalid’s revelation coupled with the information provided by PKR politician Nurul Izzah Anwar that there are 30 Special Branch (SB) officers in London begs the question: “Why did the Malaysian police not inform the family of Siti Aishah at any point in the past 30 years that Aishah was alive and well and had not disappeared without trace from her last known address?”

Was Khalid being economical with the truth or is he deliberately misleading the public to justify the large numbers of SB personnel operating in London? Was Aishah really being watched in London? Did the police and SB lose sight of her soon after she arrived in London? Was she only briefly under their watch?

Did they keep her family in the dark because her return would generate publicity about another Malay communist, which would be difficult to hide? So they thought it would be best if she were to stay away from Malaysia. They were happy to wash their hands of her. Another Malay communist was one red too many.

Khalid claimed that Aishah would not be arrested if she returned as her communist activities were “in the past”. Does the IGP know for sure that she has renounced her communist ideology?

Mental distress

Malaysians must wonder why Aishah is considered safe but Chin Peng’s ashes are deemed a national threat. The authorities feared that a martyr’s shrine for Chin Peng would be built in Sitiawan. Would Aishah not attract an extraordinary amount of publicity whether or not she still believes in her communist ideology? How will she recover from her trauma if she is not left in peace?

One is dead, the other is alive. According to a colleague who visited Chin Peng a few years before he died, the former Communist Party leader was very articulate, spoke fluent English and was a “nice old gentleman”. He did not show any bitterness about being banned from returning to Malaysia, despite the terms of the Peace Treaty.

A few of Aishah’s acquaintances allege that in 1982 when they last had contact with her Aishah was still committed to her ideology. The British press have reported that Aishah is highly traumatised and the police will not allow consular officials or her sister to contact her.

More disturbing reports emerge. The High Commission in London has said that it would extend its full cooperation to reinstate Aishah’s citizenship if she had unknowingly lost her identification papers during her 30-year imprisonment. We are thankful that the global network of the Foreign Ministry is diligent in performing its responsibilities in assisting Malaysians in various parts of the world.

So why can’t the same assistance be made available by the necessary departments in Malaysia to serve the hundreds of thousands of stateless people who were not registered by their poor and uneducated parents? Parents who may be the rural Orang Asli, the interior bound Penan or Indians who live on rubber estates?

On Nov 23, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry said that it would provide counselling to Aishah. Critics fear that the Women’s Minister is only swapping one ideology with another – communism for Umno-Baruism – and that this would cause Aishah further mental distress.

Wisma Putra, the Women’s Ministry and the IGP are keen to help Aishah. By all means show compassion but make sure that compassion is extended to all Malaysians and not a select few individuals who just happen to be making headlines in the developed world.

If Aishah is promised counselling, the same should be given to the traumatised victims at home; the ostracised Penan women and young girls who were raped by timber workers, the family members of people killed in violent incidents like Batangkali, Memali, Kampung Medan and May 13.

Don’t dance in the limelight just because Aishah’s story is big news in London.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi, the famous Indian sage and freedom champion is regarded a saint in the leagues of Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther and others I do not dare mention otherwise they do not fit in his class/category. All of them fought for truth because all truths will be revealed ultimately. Mariam Mokhtar falls into this category of truth reporting and champion. You must fight to the last, Mariam!!!!!!

    Comment by i knowit all — December 2, 2013 @ 12:30 PM | Reply

  2. The IGP has been long remembered as an agent for Umno Baru and was rewarded a fast track promotion to his current post. He has been politiking and issuing treats to Pakatan leaders and Pakatan friendly NGOs.

    Comment by Mat Som — December 1, 2013 @ 11:26 PM | Reply

  3. Where do we stand? What kind of a person is a threat to this country? If we are still in the dark, we only welcome more threats within Malaysia itself.

    Comment by Layla Sujang — November 30, 2013 @ 10:55 PM | Reply

  4. From a posting in FMT


    Even if Chin Peng were a Muslim it is unlikely UMNO will allow his ashes be returned to Malaya as he was non-Malay. Pure racism.

    It is an irony even for Malays that if you can squeeze pass the crowd in downtown Kuala Lumpur you won’t see a real Malay on the streets only Mahathir’s new instant “Malays”.

    These new “Malays” will take over Malaya very soon as was similarly done to another country called Sabah again with Mahathir’s assistance.

    The one big reason why UMNO hates Chin Peng and fears him so much even after he died is that his CPM party stymied UMNO’s expansionist plan into South Thailand using the separatist movement there. This is reflected in the Thai Gov’t officials praising him as a hero and a patriot. He must have done a good job to block UMNO’s advance into Thailand.

    Even last year the Malayan flag was flown in that part of Thailand. We forget that Northern Malayan used to belong to Thailand.

    50 years ago UMNO expanded into Borneo and annexed Sabah and Sarawak with an eye on the Southern Philippines with its Mahathir sponsored insurgent army waiting.

    UMNO has now created “Sululand” called ESSCOM or the Green Zone (yes significantly Green) which is over 1/5 of Sabah land mass so that the Sulus and Moros may roam freely in their training grounds.

    Has any one heard of the Malaysia army fighting the Sulus lately? Strange isn’t it? This is just the “arranged” peace while UMNO continues to pay the Sulus “rent money” with our oil money.

    The only way (with out meaning any disrespect to Chin Peng) is wait for a big wind to blow down the peninsula from Thailand.

    Readers can watch an Al Jazeera video on the link below where Nur MIsuari and Mahathir both confirm that the UMNO gov’t had the MNLF on it payroll for over 45 years.

    But they seem to have a falling out.

    It is also interesting that the US had not said anything about UMNO gov’t supporting what they have categorized as “terrorist movements”.

    UMNO had the body of a known Malayan terrorist bomber to be flown back on a RMAF plane from Indonesia after he was killed in a shoot out with Indonesian police.

    This terrorist was responsible for killing hundreds of people with his bombs.

    Again the western anti-terrorist countries kept quiet about this.


    Comment by anon — November 30, 2013 @ 10:32 PM | Reply

  5. Her involvement even in the Maoist movement could not have jeopardised her committment in her studies. Siti Aishah is an intelligent person, one of the few females in her time to make it among the boys. Maybe that in itself would have prompted stupid prejudice. As far as the UK is concerned why should communism bother them to this day the leader of the so-called collective has been set free on bail? This is the mark of the Malaysian mentality. Whats absurd is that the UK government is playing along.

    There could possibly a connection between living Malaysian politicians and a UK politicians or incriminating facts to the UK or Malaysian govts or to both.

    If so, at the moment UMNO is in a shithouse. So if you heard a current UMNO vip getting sick, indisposed or conspicuously absent from the limelight, thats the sore point!

    In any case its outrageous! 6 UK police personnels on watch over Siti Aishah, apart from the expenses of the police bringing her sister and Hisham on a goose chase, changing cars and possible blindfolded!!!

    Comment by nonsense — November 30, 2013 @ 8:33 PM | Reply

  6. Right on again Mariam. But remember this is Bolehland where there’s “endless possibilities” or anything goes. Scoring brownie points is the the order of the day when there’s nothing to show in spite of billions spent by the BN.

    Comment by apai — November 30, 2013 @ 7:35 PM | Reply

  7. In this day and age, be careful how you sneeze. At the right place and moment you could bring down the whole dumb Malay Saga. If ever there’s any spontaneity its a sneeze!

    Of all things its all a bad joke planted on authentic spiritualism and a whooped up “kebudayaan, tamaddun and kegemilangan”.

    What’s worse her own, the elder sister didnt know any better. And bloody hell, she’s a teacher. What the fcuk is Malaysian education!?

    Can you imagine? The might of the bloody British Empire is behind the detention of a Malaysian woman in her 60’s? The famous bloody Scotland Yard some more!

    Man! Some guys must have badly bribed some lowdown useless Brit politicians!

    Comment by Mat Bond — November 30, 2013 @ 4:02 PM | Reply

  8. If CP is considered a threat, this lady should be ISA for life.

    Comment by tigerykey — November 30, 2013 @ 8:33 AM | Reply

  9. Apartheid country where racism and religious bigotry are still practised.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — November 30, 2013 @ 7:44 AM | Reply

  10. Malaysian government led by Umno is ultra racist and hypocritical. Our police is nothng but a stooge of Umno.

    Comment by Sabri Yaman — November 30, 2013 @ 7:27 AM | Reply

  11. One country two systems.Rulings are based on race and religion. Agreements though were signed, could be ignored and disregarded. Can you trust them any more?

    Comment by owl — November 30, 2013 @ 7:06 AM | Reply

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