Assess the impact and significance of Chin Peng's Achievements

Essay by ipodrixJunior High, 9th gradeA, October 2006

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Chin Peng's achievements have been significant in both saving and destroying lives, as well as hastening the establishment of an independent democratic Malaysia. He potentially saved the lives of many by leading guerillas against the Japanese invasion during World War II, and he also terrorized and caused civil unrest throughout Malaysia by attempting to establish an independent communist Malaysia which incidentally pressured the British to establish an independent democratic Malaysia. Despite his achievements however, he has not created a lasting impact on Malaysia largely because of his failed communist campaign and exile from Malaysia which has tarnished his mark.

In 1942, Chin Peng saved Malaysia by leading the "Malaysia Peoples' Anti-Japanese army (MPAJA)," in a guerilla fight against the invading Japanese who occupied Malaysia during World War II. During this period much of Malaysia was in British hands but they could not defend Malaysia due to a defeat in Singapore in the early 1942.

For this reason, this meant that the only organized resistance against the Japanese was the Malaysian Communist Party. The British helped the MCP equip and train the military arm of the Malaysian Communist Party to create the Malaya Peoples' Anti- Japanese Army of 5,000 guerilla fighters. Chin Peng joined the Malaysian Communist Party in early 1942 under the leadership of Lia Teck and was appointed the general MPAJA guerilla army because of his leadership and organizational skills. Under his command, Chin Peng led the guerilla warfare against the Japanese and was able to drive them off by 1945. He had saved Malaysia from invasion and was seen as a hero by the Malayan people as well as earning the gratitude of the British. Chin Peng's achievement of ousting the Japanese off Malaysian soil is significant in potentially saving many Malaysian lives.

Chin Peng terrorized and caused the deaths of thousands in Malaysia in his attempt to take control over Malaysia and turn it into a communist nation after the conflict with the Japanese. After the war against the Japanese, Chin Peng became the new leader of the Malaysian Communist Party and wanted to make Malaysia into a communist nation by overthrowing the British. He began the war against the British and Malaysian government in June, 1948 with the murder of three British rubber planters. This action was just the beginning of the brutal murders that would continue for the next 12 years and began what was to be called the "Malayan Emergency". Ironically, Chin Peng's army used guerilla tactics as well as the weapons which the British had taught and given them in their fight against them. The communist army terrorized the country, sabotaging installations, derailing trains, burning buses and murdering innocent men, women and children deliberately to cause social anarchy. Chin Peng caused death and misery in Malaysia with up to 2500 civilians killed and 1000 missing as a result of the conflict.

Initially in the war, the British were under pressure from the guerilla tactics of Chin Peng's army and so made several large measures to give them the upper hand. They ordered a massive resettlement of thousands of squatters from jungle fringes to the relative safety of villages away from jungles in order to minimize exposure to the MCP. In addition to this, the British gave Malaysia democratic independence in 1957 in order to give the MCP no justification for their terrorist actions and gain the support of the Malayan population. With these new regulations that gave them the support of the population and the development of their own Guerilla tactics, the British were able to overwhelm the MCP and flush them out of the jungles. By 9160 the Emergency was over, but Chin Peng had escaped and was exiled to Thailand. The campaign by Chin Peng to establish a communist Malaysia had incidentally and indirectly led to the establishment of an independent democratic Malaysia.

The achievements of Chin Peng have been significant in both saving and destroying lives when he protected Malaysia against Japan and terrorized Malaysia in the Malayan Emergency. He has also been significant in speeding up the establishment of an independent democratic Malaysia, despite his support for a communist government, through pressuring the British government to make Malaysia independent in his campaign. Despite his significant achievements, they have only played a minor impact on Malaysia because of his failed communist campaign and exile which have diminished their impacts.