Loi Tek Incident Analysis

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According to Hanrahan, there was an unconfirmed story that Loi Tek had arranged for the Japanese to purge the party ranks of his enemies. Many of the delegates attending the Batu Caves conference, the majority of them political commissars, “were beginning to question some of Loi Tek’s polices, and were possibly considering active opposition to him”.

Drysdale apparently accepted Harry Miller’s version: “He (Loi Tek” was up to his old tricks, having within six months of the Japanese occupation, arranged for his rivals in the Malayan Communist Party to meet him at the Batu Caves, eight miles north of Kuala Lumpur.

“He himself failed to turn up, but the Japanese did, killing twenty, including some of the most experienced leaders,
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By abandoning armed struggle, he had betrayed the Party. As Central Committee member Siu Cheong had put it, Loi Tek had denied the CPM the opportunity to liberate Malaya immediately after World War II. “If Loi Tek had not betrayed the Party, the CPM might have now liberated Malaya”. (9)

And it did not take long for the “Loi Tek Incident” to spill over, and in a way to exact its vengeance on the Party leadership. For three leading dissidents from the South criticised and challenged the Central, and tried to revolt against Central control. Two of them were branded as internal traitors (like Loi Tek), and all three were subsequently marked for liquidation.

They charged that the Central Committee was not “democratically elected”, and that a “bourgeois Central (the majority of its members being of “bourgeois origin”) was not qualified to “lead” a party “of the proletariat and the workers”, and that the CC members even refused to reveal their names to Party comrades (the name of Chin Peng whose real name is Ong Boon Hua, for instance, was only disclosed in connection with the Baling talks in 1955). Among other things, the dissidents also charged that the leadership was incompetent and corrupt, and unprepared for the armed

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