Chin Peng: My Side of History

CHIN PENG (1924-2013), born Ong Boon Hua, was a Malayan communist politician, anti-fascist activist and long-time leader of the Malayan Communist Party and the Malayan National Liberation Army.

Media Masters Publishing (Reprint, 2013)
527 pages including Index


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ISBN: 9789810486938 Product ID: 36227 Subject: Sub-subjects: , , , , ,

Chin Peng: My Side of History is the autobiography of Malaysian communist leader Chin Peng, the former leader of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) who led the Malayan resistance against Japan during World War II, the resistance against the British occupation of Malaya during the Malayan Emergency, and later led communist forces during the Communist insurgency in Malaysia (1968–1989). Chin Peng joined the CPM in January, 1940, as a 15-year-old schoolboy. His commitment to the communist cause, the pre-war anti-colonial struggle against Britain and, eventually, guerrilla warfare against the Japanese invaders saw him propelled rapidly to senior positions within the CPM party structure.

By the age of 18 he had become the key link between the communists’ Malayan Peoples Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) and Britain’s clandestine Force 136, then endeavouring to set up intelligence-gathering operations behind enemy lines. While still a teenager he was promoted to head the communist movement’s activities in his home state of Perak. Immediately following the Japanese surrender, Chin Peng was appointed to the Central Committee and, ultimately, his party’s policy-making Politburo. He was barely 21. At 23, he was formally named the CPM’s Secretary General, its highest-ranking figure. By June, 1948, the Malayan Emergency erupted and Chin Peng, four months shy of his 24th year, became the British Empire’s most wanted man.

Readers may ask, is this book the complete picture, then? It is not, for the obvious reason that it is not the history of the Communist Party of Malaya. Nor does the author claim that it represents anywhere near a comprehensive account of the Emergency. It is, simply, the recorded journey of a man who opted to travel along a different road to pursue a dream he had for his country. Other fears and terrors are now sweeping the world. The Emergency monsters were shaped by the East-West struggle communism versus capitalism. The world has, of course, changed vastly from the one the author opted to challenge.

Technological progress transports the art of mass killing to frightening dimensions. But the author holds that the smartest of today’s ‘smart’ weapons will still find it impossible to eliminate the human desire for justice and dignity. The author fought in two wars and for many years the jungle was his home. This book is neither a boast nor an apology. It is an invitation to understand how beliefs are formed and how conflicts can start and run unabated. Equally, it is an insight into how peace can be achieved.


1. The unlikely alliance
2. A Chinese boyhood in colonial Malaya
3. My personal passage to communism
4. From underground activist to anti Japanese guertilla fighter
5. A succession of betrayals
6. Face to face with Lai Te
7. Working with Force 136 … launching our mobile squads
8. To fight or not ro fight the returning colonials
9. A cauldron of simmering discontent
10. Awards, a letter of apology and accelerating political confrontation
11. Plotting the betrayer’s overthrow
12. Eliminating Britain’s spy … then an OBE!
13. Committing to armed revolution
14. Sungei Siput, the Emergency declaration and 20 seconds that saved me
15. The Batang Kali massacre and British propaganda
16. Second thoughts about Australian involvement
17. The Briggs plan bites
18. Assassination on the Gap road … enter the hectoring Templer
19. Pushing north as Britain plans to invade southern Siam
20. The Lee Meng saga
21. Initial peace overtures
22. The Baling talks
23. An offer from Davis, a triumphant Tunku and a still hopeful Politburo
24. A strategic reversal
25. Off to China
26. Back to armed struggle
27. Banishees, broadcasting and bargaining
28. Talk of spies and the terrible trials
29. The door to peace swings open
30. Averting a recriminatory bloodbath
31. Making the peace accords works
32. A continuing exile

End Notes
Additional References
Photo Credits and Editor’s Notes

Weight1.21 kg
Dimensions24.5 × 17.7 × 3.2 cm




Year Published


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