Arrested on return from Communist Party leader's funeral

Arrested on return from Communist Party leader's funeral
One of the two suspects being led away shortly after arriving at the Penang International Airport on Tuesday.

MALAYSIA - Was it ashes or just memorabilia of the late Communist Party of Malaya leader Chin Peng?

The Penang International Airport was a flurry of activity when two men, who arrived from Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight, were detained on Tuesday night.

Police had surrounded the airport before the plane landed, The Star reported. The presence of senior police officers had earlier sparked off speculation that the duo were arrested for carrying Mr Chin Peng's ashes.

The two men are a 59-year-old Hong Kong national and a 66-year-old Penang resident.

Their luggage was seized and they were taken to a nearby police station. They were arrested under the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

At a press conference on Wednesday morning, Penang police chief Senior Deputy Commissioner Abdul Rahim Hanafi said there was no ash, but only memorabilia such as books, CDs and a cap with the communist emblem. The items were seized by the police.

A local police source said the two men had attended Mr Chin Peng's funeral in Thailand and had bought a lot of memorabilia.

His ashes or memorabilia will not be allowed into the country, insisted Inspector- General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar.

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