For decades the name Shamsiah Fakeh has been synonymous with rebellion: How could a beautiful Malay girl join the communists and become such a high-ranking member?
Her years in jungle warfare and exile to China have been the subject of much speculation, including unfounded rumours that she killed her child to avoid getting slowed down.
She is back in Malaysia but unwell (in her 80s what). Her memoirs were first published in 2004 but the publisher UKM bowed down to threats by the Establishment and withdrew it from circulation. It has now been brought back into print and can be ordered. I can't wait to get my grubby hands on it.
This story of perempuan komunis terakhir (heh) is a pithy, personal one that defies the orthodoxies of both Right and Left (she ended up leaving the communists anyway); she took risks when others around her opted to go with the herd. Wajib baca!