Fatimah Zuhri asked this question in my Facebook note “Who will Chin Peng turn to now?”. She says:
1. Regarding this Chin Peng issue, I’ll give one analogy.
2. Let say la we found out who killed TBH. Let just name him Mr RL.
3. By the time we found out who killed TBH, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is the govt of the day.
4. Since TBH killer is a high ranking member of PR, some people in PR asked the public/govt to forgive Mr. RL for killing TBH.
5. My question to the chinese ppl, would you forgive Mr. RL?”
And so I replied:
Fatimah, I’ll give you three real life stories which happened to my family, and in away, did affect my consciousness, about the era of the Japanese occupation in Malaya:
1. One of my grandfather’s finger was chopped off by the Japanese because a few Malays snitched on him and informed the Japanese that he had a radio, and was transmitting information about the British to the people. My grandfather was never able to work that properly again with a severed hand and his seven children, including my father, suffered a lot, trying to make ends meet.
2. My mother’s family (she was only 5 then) lost their entire house to an Eurasian woman, who had a Japanese soldier as her lover. The soldiers came to my grandfather’s house, threatened to kill him, with the sword over his neck, and demanded to be given the house including the grant of the house. My grandmother, at the verge of being raped in front of her children’s eyes, begged her husband to give up the house and he did. My mother’s family (she had 7 brothers and sisters) were left homeless after that, for years….
3. My grandaunty lost her husband in Balik Pulau. He was killed when the Japanese bombed the area. She just got married. She was only 22, and pregnant with her only son. Her life was shattered after that. She was the grandaunty who took care of me when I was a child.
4. My question to all and sundry is: do we hate the Malays, do we the Eurasians, do we hate the Japanese? My parents never told me to hate. I have best friends among the Malays and a best friend in my Japanese colleague, Moyuko.
By not hating, we have forgiven them. My parents never told me not to forgive, for it was against our beliefs.
Jesus, after all, said I should love my enemy and forgive others as many as 77×77 times, for I am not perfect.
That’s too many a times for forgiveness, but I am glad my generation bears no hate or unforgiving hearts.