When Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History was published in 2003, interested parties naturally began a frantic search through its pages for spicy details and poignant revelations. One of the issues that drew attention was the Baling Talks, and how Chin Peng the master strategist realised that he was but a pawn on a chessboard stretching far beyond Malaya’s boundaries.
WE TEND TO THINK OF the Baling Talks of 1955 as a serious att empt by the government to negotiate peace with the Communists.
But if we were to study the actual transcript of the talks, we might get a different impression. While Chin Peng appears earnest about the Communists’ willingness to lay down arms and rejoin society, Tunku Abdul Rahman and David Marshall, heads of the governments of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore respectively, appear to make it hard for them. While Chin Peng seems prepared to make concessions, the Tunku and Marshall seem uncompromising in their demands.
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