Non-Malays died for Malaysia, veterans group says

Ummah chairman Ismail Mina Ahmad claimed that only members of the Malay community had fought for the country. —  Picture by Miera Zulyana
Ummah chairman Ismail Mina Ahmad claimed that only members of the Malay community had fought for the country. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Non-Malay officers and men fought alongside their Malay brothers-in-arms in several conflicts since the pre-independent years through the first and second emergencies, a veterans group told a conservative Muslim coalition today.

National Patriots Association Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said in the Air Force, numerous non-Malay pilots flew their helicopters in dangerous mission for supplies and evacuations and enemies had shot at their aircrafts.

“These officers and men had their share of casualties and also their much-deserved share of gallantry awards.

“In addition, the much cherished success of our security forces against the CPM (Communist Party of Malaya) insurgents and urban terrorists was to a large extent attributed to the many dangerous and highly classified covert operations of the police Special Branch and military intelligence, many of whom were of Chinese ethnicity,” Mohamed Arshad said in a statement.

Ismail Mina Ahmad, chairman of an umbrella group for Muslim organisations called Ummah, claimed at a convention yesterday that only the Malay community had resisted British colonialists and Japanese occupiers, erasing the contributions of other ethnicities.

He also claimed that only Malays had fought the communists.

The National Patriots Association said today that the CPM was not wholly ethnic Chinese, noting that the 10th Regiment of the CPM was predominantly ethnic Malay, whose leaders included Abdullah CD, Rashid Mydin, and Samsiah Pakeh.

“Furthermore, terrorism and savage killings committed by the MPAJA (Malayan People Anti-Japanese Army) after Japan had surrendered, and who later took up arms against the British, were based on ideology, and not racial. Distorting history to suit one’s political purpose and instill hatred towards non-Malays is totally irresponsible,” said Mohamed Arshad.

He told the Defence and Home Ministers, as well as the Armed Forces chief, the Inspector-General of Police and the chief of the Armed Forces Religious Corps (KAGAT), to set the record straight on the participation of various ethnic groups in combating the nation’s enemies and communist insurgents.

“We have to remember those who have once served our King and country with valour. Those men comprising different races, their heroic and valiant deeds, their sacrifices must never be forgotten.

“Keeping quiet to such distortion of facts is not an option. It is abdicating leadership responsibility.”

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