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The Communist Insurgency in Malaya 1948-1962

Ideology of communism was spread in Malaya since early 1920s century. When Japan colonial

Malaya in 1941 until 1945 the ideology became very strong. Malaya was very anti-Japan during

that time. So, Malaya cooperates with Malaya Communist Party (MCP) to band Japan with

coalition Malayan People Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA). Even though British government’s give

full cooperation with MPAJA and MCP during Japan colonization, but after the end of the World

War 2, British governments cannot accept MCP. Since on that time, MCP take an action to

oppose British administration in Malaya.

In year 1948, the communist ferocity’s campaign becomes more greatness. On 12th June

1948, the three leaders of Kuomintang were murdered by communist in Johor and later on at

Sungai Siput, Perak. Emergency was declared in June 1948 under special laws which are known

as ‘The Emergency Regulations’. Sir Henry Gurney was appointed as High Commissioner in

February 1948 and he served until he was killed by communist in October 1951. In April 1950,

General Sir Harold Briggs was appointed as Director of Operations. When Gurney became the

High Commissioner, he saw he needs to urgently expand the military, police and auxiliary forces.

There are several plans that British set up to ensure communist will surrender. First plan

called as The Briggs Plan on 1950. His plan were to formalize and strengthen counter-insurgency

management system, separating terrorist from people, set up intelligence gathering key to

counter-insurgency and lastly to deploy security forces on territorial basis. The resettlements plan

were set up to move the illegal Chinese squatters near jungle fringes had become communist

target for food, money, clothing, medicine, new recruits and information.

Next plan is aborigines settlement which move them to safe place because British realize

when they move the Chinese squatters, communist will get help from aborigines. Rural industry

development authority which is a socio-economic program started in 1950 to improve living

conditions of rural Malays and prevent them from being influenced to communism. The identity

card was made to recognize and differentiated people in Malaya whether they communist or not.

People on age 12 years old above were compulsory to have identity card.

Besides that, British established a security force to conduct offensive operations against

communist terrorists. Security forces consist of the police, military and commonwealth troops.

British also launch a program called as Winning Hearts and Minds Strategy. The department of

information was given the responsibility to produce psychological warfare material which is will

dropped from air and posted at public places. Amnesty is the offer from British for communist to

surrender. Ex-communist will provided with great help to security forces in terms of information

and intelligence. British also launch anti-Bandit month to show people supported government in

suppression of communist. About half million people joined and want to help to destroy

communist influence.

Lastly, on July 31, 1960 the Malayan government declared the state of emergency was

over. During the conflict, security forces killed 6,710 Malayan Races Liberation Army (MRLA)

guerrillas and captured 1,287. 2,702 guerrillas surrendered during the conflict. While

approximately 500 more did so at the end of the conflict. 1,345 Malayan troops and police were

killed during the conflict, as well as 519 Commonwealth personnel. 2,478 civilians were killed,

with another 810 recorded as missing.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in

Bangkok by the five original member countries which is Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines,

Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July

1995, Laos and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999. 1The five foreign

ministers were met at the Thai Department of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok and signed

the ASEAN Declaration which more commonly known as the Bangkok Declaration. The five

foreign ministers is Adam Malik from Indonesia, Narciso Ramos from Philippines, Abdul Razak

from Malaysia, S. Rajaratnam from Singapore, and Thanat Khoman from Thailand. They are

considered as the organization’s “Founding Fathers”. Now ASEAN have 11 members of

countries which try to cooperate as teamwork to develop ASEAN as a one of the successful

organization in the world.

The ASEAN Declaration states that the aims and purposes of the association are to

accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to

promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the

relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations

Charter. ASEAN member countries have adopted the following fundamental principles in their

relations with one another, as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast

Asia (TAC).
First is mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity,

and national identity of all nations. Second, the right of every state to lead its national existence

free from external interference, subversion or coercion. Non-interference in the internal affairs of

one another is third’s principle. Fourth is settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful

manner. Fifth is renunciation of the threat or use of force and lastly effective cooperation among


Ruslan Zainuddin. (2003). Sejarah Malaysia, pp 854. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford Fajar Sdn. Bhd.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations. (2003). Overview: Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Retrieved on March 21, 2009 from: http://www.aseansec.org/64.htm

There are three bureaus or community that manage and conduct ASEAN to be more

effective and efficient. 3First is ASEAN Security Community. This community aim to ensure that

countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in democratic and

harmonious environment. 4Second is ASEAN Economic Community, which is the end-goal of

economic integration measures as outlined in the ASEAN Vision 2020 will be achieve. Its goal is

to create a stable, prosperous and highly competitive ASEAN economic region in which there is

a free flow of goods, services, investment and a freer flow of capital, equitable economic

development and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities in year 2020.

Third is ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community aimed at raising the standard of living of

disadvantaged groups and the rural population, and shall seek the active involvement of all

sectors of society, in particular women, youth, and local communities. Besides that, ASEAN

organization holds meetings every year, known as the ASEAN Summit, where heads of

government of each member meet to discuss and resolve regional issues as well as to conduct

other meetings with other countries outside of the bloc with the intention of promoting external


Furthermore ASEAN also promotes dialogue and consultations with professional and

business organizations with related aims and purposes, such as the ASEAN-Chambers of

Commerce and Industry, ASEAN Business Forum, ASEAN Tourism Association, ASEAN

Council on Petroleum, ASEAN Ports Association, Federation of ASEAN Ship owners and




Wawasan 2020 or vision of 2020 is a Malaysian ideal introduced by the former prime minister of

Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad during the tabling of the sixth Malaysia plan in 1991.

The vision calls for a self-sufficient industrial, Malaysian-centric developed nation, complete

with an economy that in 2020 that will be eightfold stronger than the economy of the early

1990s. There are nine challenges or strategic plan that Malaysia have to confront before become

a develop country as well like Japan and South Korea.

The first of these is the challenges of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense

of common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and

ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership with made up of one

'Bangsa Malaysia' with political loyalty and dedication to the nation. The second is the challenge

of creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian Society with faith and

confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to

face all manner of adversity. This Malaysian Society must be distinguished by the pursuit of

excellence, fully aware of all its potentials, psychologically subservient to none and respected by

the peoples of other nations.

The third challenge we have always faced is that of fostering and developing a mature

democratic society, practicing a form of mature consensual, community-oriented Malaysian

democracy that can be a model for many developing countries. The fourth is the challenge of

establishing a fully moral and ethical society, whose citizens are strong in religious and spiritual

values and imbued with the highest of ethical standards. The fifth challenge that we have always

faced is the challenge of establishing a matured, liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians

of all colours and creeds are free to practice and profess their customs, cultures and religious

beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation.

The sixth is the challenge of establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society

that is innovative and forward-looking, and one that is not only a consumer of technology but

also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilization of the future. The seventh

challenge is the challenge of establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture, a social

system in which society will come before self, in which the welfare of the people will revolve

not around the state or the individual but around a strong and resilient family system.

The eighth is the challenge of ensuring an economically just society. This is a society in

which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full

partnership in economic progress. Such a society cannot be in place so long as there is the

identification of race with economic function, and the identification of economic backwardness

with race. The ninth challenge is the challenge of establishing a prosperous society, with an

economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.

The nine challenges more focus on economic development but, if economic were

successful, they will create a good of development in social aspect. So, the nine challenges will

help the Malaysia to create more develop and successful in many aspect and area.

With all these challenge, hope Malaysia can develop itself as well as its principle to

achieve and be successful country and proud to stand next advanced country. Malaysia also

needs to urge itself braver in taking many challenges in the future because of the globalization

which changes the world into more dramatic and risky.


Association of Southeast Asian Nations. (2003). Overview: Association of Southeast Asian

Nations. Retrieved on March 21, 2009 from: http://www.aseansec.org/64.htm
Ruslan Zainuddin. (2003). Sejarah Malaysia, pp 854. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford Fajar Sdn. Bhd.