Nazri defends decision on Chin Peng's ashes

KUALA LUMPUR - The Government's decision not to allow the remains of Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng from being brought back to Malaysia was made in the best interest of the country, says Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

"The decision to bar his remains from the country was made because he was responsible for the fight against the formation of Malaysia and the death and suffering of many citizens.

"Many people died during the Emergency - policemen, soldiers and people from all races. As such, I support the Prime Minister's decision to bar Chin Peng's remains from being brought into Malaysia.

"There is no way we will allow his remains to be brought here," he said after launching the Art Malaysia Art Tourism Fair (AATF) organised by the ministry here yesterday.

Nazri hit out at Chin Peng's symphatisers, saying that those who had described the communist leader as a "patriot" were ignorant of the country's history.

Chin Peng died in Bangkok on Sept 16 at the age of 89.

On a separate matter, Nazri said that the ministry would proceed with its plan to build a cultural village as part of the RM32.5mil Kota Warisan Kuala Lumpur project on the land which had been occupied by SJK (C) Chin Woo since 1938.

"I have nothing against it (the school) but at the end of the day, it is our land," he added.

He said the ministry had received a copy of the eviction letter in August, asking the school to vacate the land.

"If the school wants a little more time, it is fine because the project has been delayed for more than six months.

"If they want to vacate after the school holidays, we will consider the request," he said.

The project, which had been opposed by many quarters including MCA and the school board, involves the construction of an auditorium, a six-storey complex and a restaurant. It was approved in principle by the Cabinet in 2007.