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MP SPEAKS I had heard about the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) secretary-general Chin Peng from a young age. For as long as I can remember, Chin Peng has been associated with the town of Sitiawan, but it was his career as a guerrilla fighter drew me to him.

I, too, hail from Sitiawan where I was born a good many years after Chin Peng emerged on the west coast of Perak in 1924. Marxists might disagree, but a sense of geographical solidarity may be just as strong as class solidarity.

I had wanted to meet with Chin Peng since the time I first heard about him. Being from a rubber tapping family, I was drawn to read quite a lot about him and his struggles.

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