Malayan Emergency

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The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) from 1948 to 1960, lasting 12 years, 3 weeks and 5 days.
Casualties of the Malayan Emergency
Killed Wounded
Police 1,346 1,601
Military 519 959
Civilian 2,473 1,385
Communists 6,710 2,819
Source: Looking Back, by Tunku Abdul Rahman

The Malayan Emergency was actually a civil war which came about because the Communists, under the leadership of Chin Peng, began resisting the British occupation, just as they had resisted the Japanese occupation. The British colonial government did not want to call it a civil war because if they had done so, British planters and other businesses in Malaya would have lost insurance protection and access to loans.[1]

Propaganda leaflets showing a hungry terrorists who listens to rumors.



2.  Brief background: During World War II, the communist Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) in Malaya and the British were united against their common enemy, the Japanese. From hideouts in the jungle, they waged a war against the Japanese occupiers, supported by the British who sent them weapons.

When World War II ended, the British returned to Malaya but the communists wanted to turn Malaya into a communist country. So they began an armed struggle, using the very weapon supplied by the British to attack them. The communist attacked rubber plantations and tin mines, hoping to hold Malaya's economy at ransom. Roads and railways were unsafe, and more than a hundred British and Malayan civilians were killed each month. The British recruited more police and brought in troops from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Africa. The British also created "Chinese New Villages" to isolate the Communists from their supporters. This meant that the terrorists could no longer mount major attacks and were driven deep into the jungle.


3.  Propaganda: The British government distributed millions of leaflets to the locals with the aim of persuading them to stop supporting the Communists and to encourage the terrorists to leave the organization. Film shows were held throughout the country, ex-terrorists gave speeches, and the national radio was also used to spread the message. With Malaya became independent, the Communists were left without a cause to fight for and they lost their support.  more... at Chronology

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