The much debated issue over the recent statement by PAS Deputy President Mat Sabu regarding the communist terrorist attack on the Bukit Kepong police station on the morning of February 23, 1950, that resulted in the death of 23 people mainly policemen, and including 3 women and a child has solicited a unified response from the Retired Armed Forces Officer’s Club (RAFOC), and including 15 other associated clubs and association of services and units of the Armed Forces.
At a press conference held at Royal Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on September 14, 2011, RAFOC has issued an unequivocal and irrevocable statement to the fact that the Bukit Kepong incident was an act of atrocity by the communist terrorist, consorted by Mat Indera, seen as a freedom fighter by some and a traitor by others. RAFOC is of the view that although units of the Armed Forces wasn’t involved in the incident, any statement meant to disparage the police force its fight against communist terrorism (regardless whether it was any period prior to, or the post independence period) is deem to insinuate Armed Forces counter communist terrorist activities as well.
RAFOC’s statement is made in the knowledge that the police force (including any other auxiliary police units) and all military units of the Armed Forces were united in the fight against the scourge of communist terrorism that emerged following the end of World War 2, and its resurgence in the late 60’s.
For any member of the security force (police and armed forces) that had battled the communist terrorist during the First Malayan Emergency and later, the period of the resurgence of communist terrorism would be slighted if their sacrifice were questioned, particularly by those who played no part in the fight against the communist threat. The fact that the nation is at peace today is the result of the sacrifices displayed by members of the Malayan/Malaysian security forces (including the commonwealth forces prior to and immediately following independence). RAFOC’s statement is merely to put forth in perspective its roles, together with that of the police force in their fight to eradicate the threat of communism.
Many have died in the course of fighting communist terrorism (some civilian officials included), and I think it is not heroism or honour that they seek in death. It is merely to fulfill their sworn responsibility to defend the country. And if they were to die in the course of fulfilling that responsibility, it thus becomes our responsibility now to defend their actions, and not to make disparaging remarks about them. I think this is where Mat Sabu has gone wrong, and RAFOC’s statement is quite explicit at that.
I have also heard rumblings from some retired military officers to say that RAFOC should avoid getting into a ‘political melee’ over the statement made by Mat Sabu. Here, it is not politics that is in questioned. It is about defending the honour and sacrifices of the fallen policemen; be they the servants of the colonial masters or otherwise. And indeed, the fallen policemen and the rest deserve an honourable place in the annals of our nation’s history, and their actions are not to be questioned.
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