Author: CHUNG Yoon Ngan
Date: 01-06-12 22:17
My Family in the British Colonial Malaya - 1858 to 1960 (5)
096. Third Elder Brother[1A] leaves home to study in Penang - 1952
世上萬般皆下品,---Shi4 shang4 wan4 ban jie xia4 pin3,
思量惟有讀書高.---Si liang2 wei2 you3 du2 shu gao.
Every thing in the world is inferior,
In consideration the highest thing is studying.
A Chinese Saying
There were about forty students in the two Chinese primary schools in Pusing
completed their Primary Standard Six (year six) education and they were
preparing to study at Yoke Choy High school in Ipoh (怡保育才中學). A representative
of the parents of six of the students wrote to a music teacher in Chung
Ling High School in Penang (檳城鐘靈中學) asking him if he could help to
enroll the six students from Pusing. The music teacher was called Cai Bolun
(蔡伯倫) who was born and grew up in Pusing. Mr Cai Bolun replied saying
that the six students from his hometown were accepted and they would be
welcomed to study for one year Pre-High School Class at Chung Ling High
School. He also mentioned that it was the policy of the school to prepare
outstation students for one year before they were enrolled into Year One
Junior Middle High School. One of the students was Third Elder Brother. Within
a week the six students left for Penang.
Several weeks later, in February 1952, all the newspapers all over the country
carried the news that David Chen Chung En (陳充恩), the 51 year-old Principal
of Chung Ling High School in Penang, was assassinated by one of his students
who was a Hill People. According to Chin Peng the decision for killing David
Chen was taken at the district level and Chin Peng himself, the Secretary-General
of MCP, did not known about it. Chin Peng read about it on the newspaper.
Chin Peng was not happy with the killing. Eventually the killer was hunted
down and killed by the police. I forgot his full name but I knew his surname
was Lee (李). The Penang Branch of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) allegedly
accused Principal David Chen of being a police informer. Until today, Chin
Peng says that he could not find any evidence that Principal Chen was a
[The photo is from the book "My Side of History 我方的歷史"
By Chin Peng 陳平].
Third Elder Brother wrote long letters home talking about the reaction of
the students in the school over the assassination of the principal. He was
killed by one of his own students who was a Communist. In his book "My Side
Of History", Chen Ping admitted that he was greatly disturbed by the killing
of the popular principal of the Chung Ling High School in Penang by this
student. It all happened that a student activist in the school reported
to the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) Penang Branch that Principal Chen was
not only a member of the Kuomintang (國民黨) but also a police informer.
The MCP Penang Branch decided to eliminate him. David Chen was killed by
this student while he was parking his car in the school car park.
One day, the Police Chief (Officer-in-charge of a Police Station O.C.P.D.)
from Batu Gajah came to the house with First Elder Brother's letter and
a photo of him in Chinese Volunteers' Army uniform. At that time the Chinese
Volunteers Army were fighting the Americans and the United Nations in Korea.
The Korean War started in June 1950. Since 1950, the family had not received
any news from him living in the ancestral village. The Police Chief asked
Father whether the Chinese soldier on the photo was his son. Father replied
that he looked like his eldest son. The Police Chief gave First Elder Brother'
s letter to Father who asked someone to read it to him because Father was
illiterate. After hearing what was written on the letter Father admitted
that it was his eldest son's letter. The Police Chief told Father that his
eldest son was an enemy of Malaya and the British Government was going to
ban him for life from returning to Malaya. No Government action was taken
against Father because the family could not control what First Elder Brother
was doing in China. After giving the photo and the letter to Father, the
Police Chief left. Then the family knew that First Elder Brother was fighting
in the Korean War.
Cai Bolun was born and grew up in Pusing. While he was teaching music at
Chung Ling High School he had other elder brothers living in Pusing. As
far as I know all the children of the three brothers play musical instruments.
The Cai family had a band of their own in Pusing that people employed them
to play in wedding celebrations or funeral processions. In the 1980s, the
Yi Zhi school formed a school band which had become so popular that towns
and cities from all over Malaysia engaged it to play in their functions,
particularly in funeral processions. All the members of the band were from
the students in Standards Five and Six and they were only about 11 or 12
[1A] Third Elder Brother
Third Elder Brother's family name was Shiyang (石養) and I called him Shiyang
Ge (石養哥) or elder brother Shiyang. He was born a sick baby boy. A Buddhist
priest adopted him as Buddha's son and gave him a new name called Shiyang
meaning his parents were the stone which was like the Monkey King (孫悟空
), the main character in the famous novel "西遊記 Journey to the West",
whose parents were the stone. But his official name remained as 元勝 Yuansheng.
When Third Elder Brother came home for holidays he got hold of First Elder
Brother's letter and photo. He then began to correspond with First Elder
Brother. All First Elder Brother's letter to the family had been censored
by the British Colonial Authorities. Nothing much was written in his letters
but only about the ancestral village and the ancestors house. Third Elder
Brother only wrote casual news about the family in Pusing. Knowing that
their letters were being censored by the Chinese and Malayan Governments
the two brothers did not talk about politics.
Eventually, Third Elder Brother was influenced by First Elder Brother to
go to China to study. Later, a family friend informed Father that Third
Elder Brother was among a group students who were on their way to China
to study without their parents consents.
Posted to Overseas Chinese Forum at asiawind.com
By CHUNG Yoon-Ngan (鄭永元)
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