SHAMSIAH Fakeh, whose real name is Shamsiah Sutan, was an ex-communist who returned to Malaysia after years in exile. She born in 1924 in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan. Shamsiah was the eldest in the family of 18 children.
"Fakeh" was the name given to her father, Sutan Sulaiman, because of his wide knowledge in religion. Shamsiah was very close to her father. Shamsiah received her initial religious education at Kampung Pelangai near Kuala Pilah.
She then continued her studies at Sekolah Agama Rahmah Al-Yunusiah in Padang Panjang, Sumatra. Shamsiah loves to read and was good in literature and debating. She studied until Standard Nine and taught in the same school.
Shamsiah was first married to Yassin Kina on August 13, 1941, on the advice of their religious teacher, Lebai Maadan Layang, while attending school. She was 17 when she got married and her husband was 19 years old. They had two children, a daughter and a son. However, both the children died due to malnutrition during the Japanese Occupation.
After her divorce from her first husband, Shamsiah had two other marriages. She married Ahmad Boestamam, the leader of Angkatan Pemuda Insaf (API) and in 1956, Shamsiah married Ibrahim Mohamed, a former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) member, in Thailand. They have three children.
In Kuala Pilah, Shamsiah used to give speeches to the community to fight for nationalism. In 1946, she was invited to lead the women's wing (Angkatan Wanita Sedar or AWAS) in the Malay Nationalist Party (Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya or PKMM). Hence, she replaced Aishah Ghani from the majority and joined CPM in 1948.
Together with Abdullah C.D. and Wahi Anwar, she joined the 10th Regiment of the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), in Pahang.
The MNLA was the communist terrorist organisation in southern Thailand, which was in charge of the revolution. Her husband, Ibrahim, was the head of the Jakarta-based Malayan National...