An interesting part of Malaysia history.
During the fight against communism, civilian leaders who were against the communist struggle were often targets of assassination by communist hit squads.
Amongst the target were Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who was targeted in a grenade attack.
Not long after the attack in 1952, a young Chinese girl by the name of Lee Ten Tai who was also known as Lee Meng was arrested and sentenced to death for leading the assassination squad.
However, the Chinese community stood up for her and called for her clemency as she had claimed that the police had mistaken her identity. All 9 witnesses, all former terrorists who had surrendered, gave their accounts seeing her in communist uniform and carrying a grenade.
While she was found guilty, her sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment. But somehow or rather, she was released from prison to be exiled to China, where she married MCP Central Committee Member Chen Tien and revealed that she indeed was Lee Meng. There in China, she became a leading figure with MCP radio station known as Suara Kebebasan.
Chin Peng in his book confirmed that Lee Meng and Lee Ten Tai were indeed the same person and she had been with MCP since at least 1943 (during Japanese occupation, she worked as a courier messenger for Min Yuen).
The Judge in her trial did not erred. She was given the proper sentence based on prevailing law then. Yet political intervention by sincere individuals led to the release of a dangerous person known to have involved in assassination.
Lessons learnt here is political intervention in court case and police investigation can result in release of suspects. Politicians, wanting popular support will whip up support regardless if it is valid. Public at large, with innocent heart and the lack of ability to comprehend the hatred that one can commit against another human, fell into sway to support the release of a dangerous person.
History do teach us. But we choose to ignore her at our own peril.
- Chin Peng, My Side of History.
- Yuen Yuet Leng, Nation Before Self and values that do not die.