Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy 85th Birthday Uncle


Early birthday surprise for Chin Peng

Friends held an early birthday celebration for Chin Peng yesterday. — Picture by Debra Chong

By Debra Chong

BANGKOK, Oct 15 — Ong Boon Hua, or more commonly known as Chin Peng, got an early surprise last night when several friends threw a dinner party for his 85th birthday at a Japanese restaurant here.

The former secretary-general of the outlawed Communist Party of Malaya was born on the 21st day of the ninth lunar month in 1924, according to the Chinese calendar. By his family’s reckoning, the date is equivalent to Oct 19.

Ong grew up in a large working-class family which did not believe in celebrating birthdays, let alone having cake. Surprisingly, Malaysia’s former Public Enemy No.1 has a sweet tooth.

He received a box of Godiva chocolates and was treated to a fruit meringue cake, which he heartily devoured.

Eyebrows were raised, however, at the choice of restaurant.

But the anti-colonialist who also waged guerrilla attacks against the Japanese during World War Two, said: “This is not my first time eating Japanese food. I can eat both Asian and European.”

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