The former Parti Komunis Malaya (PKM) leader and legend, Rashid Maidin has passed away on 1st September 2006 at the age of 89.
Rashid Maidin who was not well for previous six month died at his daughter’s house, Kamariah in Sisakoin, Narathiwat and buried there. Rashid, trusted ally of PKM leader Chin Peng started playing an active role in the leftist party in 1951.He was given the responsibility to head the 10th Regiment CPM headquartered in Bentong, Pahang.
Born in November 1917 in Kampung Gunung Mesah, Gopeng, Perak, Rashid Maidin joined the Communist Party of Malaya on the eve of Japanese invasion in December 1941 in Perak's Tanjung Tualang where he worked as a certified electrical chargeman for an European tin-mining company. The Communist Party of Malaya was inaugurated on 30 April 1930 in a rubber plantation workers' quarters near Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan.
His passion for politics stemmed from his involvement in Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM). He started as a central committee member in PKMM and alongside Ahmad Boestamam, Ishak Mohamad, and Abdullah C.D. Only Rashid Maidin and Abdullah C.D joined CPM.
Rashid Maidin became the central committee member of CPM in 1955 and also played a central role in the historical 1955 Baling negotiations alongside Chin Peng as the communist power figures spoke with Malaysia’s soon to be first Prime Minister, Tuanku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.After the surrender of the CPM in 1989, Rashid Maidin continued to live at the “Malaysian Village” in Narathiwat, Thailand. A pious person, Rashid Maidin taught children the reading of the al-Quran. The Government of Malaysia organised his Haj trip in 1999.
The meeting in Baling 1989, organised by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir, was remarked by him as a very friendly and diplomatic way shown by the government on that time. He recalled back during the time of all the previous PM, they always tend to hunt and finish the PKM, rather than to have negotation wtih them.
He is survived by two wives, Hamidah binti Abdul Rashid, who still lives in Gopeng, and Latifah, a chinese convert whom he met in the CPM and settled down with in Thailand.
Sri Kandeh says:
It seems that Rashid Maidin was repented but clearly he was serously misguided when he joined the CPM to so called liberate Malaya. Malaya was not in any way part of China. The nine states of Tanah Melayu or Malaya which were spearheading by Malay Sultans were colonised by the British since the downfall of Malacca. The CPM was inspired from the Communist of China to fight the Japanese. The CPM recruited the Malays purely as a strategy to take over the power in Malaya and became part of China's satellite. Rashid Maidin should have chosen the right platform which was loyal to his own kind, rather were used by the communist with different agenda. The CPM was supported by the Chinese, fighting the security forces which consist mainly of the Malays.They fought hard to defend their land. We saw many of them had fallen- children lost their fathers, wives lost their husbands, mothers lost their sons; the CPM have failed but their vestige and stooges still visible sometime.
We must not forget that chapter!