During the Japanese occupation of Malaya in 1942-1945, there was an armed resistance force called the Malayan People Anti-Japanese Army(MPAJA), then the PUBLIC FRONT of the Malayan Communist Party(MCP) led by Chin Peng.
MCP was then a BRANCH of the Communist Party of China(CPC). At their full strength, MCP were known to have 12 regiments, out of which only one regiment(10th Regiment) were made up of Malay fighters. The other regiments were made of IMMIGRANT Chinese, who were citizens of People’s Republic of China.
Years before the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Japan and China were engaged in years of war over China’s northen territory of Manchuria. The IMMIGRANT Chinese in Malaya were then busy collecting WAR FUNDS to be sent back to MOTHERLAND China. Chin Peng, during his school days was actively involved in such fund-raising activities. When the Japanese started their assault on Malaya, the Chinese IMMIGRANTS organised themselves into armed resistance groups, in anticipation of Japanese atrocities against the IMMIGRANT Chinese in Malaya.
Immediately after the FALL OF MALAYA, the British started to prepare the grounds to re-occupy Malaya, including engaging all anti-Japanese elements in Malaya. A popular Malay-based resistance force was the FORCE 136, which were ’decorated’ by figures like the late Tun Abdul Razak and late Tun Gahazali Shafie. The British, who were generally anti-communist, initially were not keen to engage the MPAJA, led by Chin Peng’s MCP. However, war-time considerations compelled the British to include the MPAJA as part of the anti-Japanese forces.
The MPAJA and MCP grapped the opportunity to align themselves to the British, for CASH and WEAPONS. MPAJA were known to have provided the British with certain LOGISTICAL SUPPORT, but there were no instances of them involved in actual COMBAT against the Japanese, unlike Lefternan Adnan’s Malay regiment HEROIC defense of Pasir Panjang in Simgapore. Even Chin Peng’s own four inches thick MEMOIR did not record any incidence of COMBAT involving the MPAJA and the Japanese forces. However, he recorded the MPAJA personnels collecting weapons abandoned by the retreating British, and ‘hijacking’ weapons air-dropped by the returning British.
Why should the CHINA’s CITIZENS making up the MCP and the MPAJA fight for Malaya, when they were not even citizens of Malaya then? THE FACT is, they regarded their fight against the Japanese as the extension of the on-going war between Japan and China. In simple term, MPAJA and MCP only ‘fought’ for their MOTHERLAND, the People’s Republic of China.