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Our diversity, our asset

THERE was a time when to brand a fellow Malaysian as a communist would mean a kiss of death. There were some Malay politicians and journalists who were given this label, and it ruined their political career and probably their lives.

The late Samad Ismail, a veteran journalist, was detained without trial under the Internal Security Act, together with Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad, allegedly, without proof, to be either ‘communists’ or ‘communist sympathisers’.

The late Abdullah Ahmad, former political secretary of Tun Razak, was then said to be “very close to the Soviet Union”.

They had to confess for their purported crimes over RTM in a manner that Pyongyang would be proud of even to this day.

Later on, in the early 1980s, Sidiq Ghouse, a political secretary of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also detained under the ISA for allegedly being ‘a Soviet spy’.

To many political observers, they were victims of a political play, with the late Tun Muhammad Ghazali Shafie, whom, to many, was a ruthless Home Minister, being the one to blame.

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