Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Death of a Salesman

Writing this might land me into trouble. It is better for me to shut up, but I can't. It might not be good for business, but I am compelled to write it. Come what may.

On Sept 16, the death of Chin Peng was announced.

I thought, "Okay. That's that, then."

And then all these people started saying the Communists were heroes.

Well, if that is the history you want to believe, I don't care. If it's the narrative that will benefit you politically, or financially, I don't care.

What I have are only my family's stories that happened way before I was born. I told it many times before. I just want to record it here before it is rewritten, as history is often rewritten by the victors and I don't know how it will turn out five or 10 years from now.

I did not read it from a textbook, nor did I watch a movie about it. These stories are possibly the only family heirlooms I have.

My father was very young, and he had an older brother. One night, the Communists came to the house and took the older brother into the woods and asked him one last time to join them. He refused, so they shot him dead. He was a civilian.

When I tell this story, some people would say, "It's war! People die!"

Yes, people die during wars. But this was not during war, and my uncles (there was another murder, but I am not sure of the full details of that one) were not soldiers or policemen. They were civilians. Even in times of war, if the armed forces killed civilians, there is a thing called a war tribunal, and there have been people who were convicted as war criminals. Usually for killing or torturing civilians.

Maybe it's because it happened to other people, and not their families. Their families are special cause they didn't get killed by Communists.

I'm sure people whose families were killed and/or tortured during the Rape of Nanking would not accept the justification that "It's war! People die!"

So, yes, Chin Peng is Bapa Kemerdekaan? Sure, I don't care. It's not my title to bequeath or take away. Want to bury him at Tugu Negara? I don't care. Not my piece of land.

Communism rules? I actually agree. Star Trek is a socialist utopia, and I like Star Trek.

I have absolutely no interest in the politics of the whole thing. I don't care what the motivations are, nor do I care about any justification. Truth or lies, innocent people were murdered. That's the whole point of the story.

Why was there no tribunal? Is it really necessary? I don't know. I don't care.

Chin Peng's body or ashes being brought here? That issue? I have no opinion because I don't care.

I wish Chin Peng the best of luck in the afterlife. Be him hero or war criminal, that's not up to me.

I just want to record the story here, before it gets changed, and I want to say this:

"Nobody kills my family. Only I kill my family."