|Born||22 Oct 1924|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseChin Peng was born Ong Boon Hua in Sitiawan, Perak, Malaya into a middle class family; his father ran a small bicycle, tire, and spare motor parts business. He attended a Chinese-language school in Sitiawan. In 1937, he joined the Chinese Anti Enemy Backing Up Society (AEBUS), an organization formed to raise funds for China as the Second Sino-Japanese War began. In early 1939, he became a supporter of communism. He planned to go to Yan'an, China to join the Chinese communists, but was persuaded to remain in Malaya to eventually become a local communist leader. In late 1939, as his school was forced to close due to lack of funds, he transferred to the English-speaking, Methodist-run Anglo-Chinese Continuation School, where he remained for six months. In Jan 1940, he was placed in charge of three small anti-Japanese organizations. At the end of Jan 1940, he was admitted to the Malayan Communist Party, and he became a full member in Dec. In early 1941, he became the Ipoh District Committee Member. In Jun 1941, he became the third of three members of the Perak State Committee. After the Japanese invasion in Dec 1941, he joined the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) on 10 Jan 1942 and served as the liaison officer between the MPAJA and the British military. In early 1943, Perak State Committee members Su Yew Meng and Chang Meng Ching were captured by the Japanese, leaving Chin in charge of all communist activities in Perak. On 24 May 1943, the first of the Chinese and British sponsored Force 136 agents landed in Malaya by submarine, and Chin made contact with them on 30 Sep. His efforts against the Japanese during the war earned him a rank in the Order of the British Empire and other awards, and allowed him to earn the support to become the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Malaya.
ww2dbaseDuring the Malayan Emergency, as the leader of the Communist Party of Malaya, Chin's opposition to British authority caused his rank in the Order of the British Empire to be withdrawn. As the leader of the Communist Party of Malaya through the Malayan Emergency, he used tactics that, as accused by some, led to very high civilian casualties. In 28 Dec 1955, he fled to southern Thailand as his forces lost control of the situation, and leadership was passed on to Ah Hai. In late 1960, he moved to Beijing, China. Chin briefly considered giving up the armed struggle to establish a communist state in Malaya, but was persuaded by Deng Xiaoping of China to continue fighting remotely from Beijing. During the Cultural Revolution in China, the Communist Party of Malaya in China split into three factions, and Chin maintained control by purging and executing his political opponents. His efforts to establish a communist state in Malaya, now the independent nation of Malaysia, officially ended on 2 Dec 1989 when the Communist Party of Malaya signed a peace agreement with the governments of Malaysia and Thailand.
ww2dbaseIn early 2000, Chin applied to return to Malaysia, but the application was rejected largely due to the memories of the violence committed by the communist revolutionaries from 1948 and on. He now lives in exile in southern Thailand while he continues his attempt to return to Malaysia.
Last Major Revision: Nov 2008
Peng Chin Timeline
|22 Oct 1924||Peng Chin was born.|
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945