Malaya, 1948: Britain’s Asian Cold War?

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Deery, Phillip (2007) Malaya, 1948: Britain’s Asian Cold War? Journal of Cold War Studies, 9 (1). pp. 29-54. ISSN 1520-3972 (print) 1531-3298 (online)


Between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. on 16 June 1948, three Europeans were shot dead in the Sungei Siput area of Perak in northern Malaya. The three were estate managers of rubber plantations, and the perpetrators were guerrillas in the “mobile corps” of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). The shootings were the culmination of a long series of attacks and “outrages” against estate managers in Penang, Selangor, and the southern state of Johore. Late that afternoon, the colonial government declared a state of emergency in Perak and Johore that was extended, two days later, to the whole ofMalaya. An immediate casualty was respect for civil liberties. Under emergency regulations the authorities enacted a range of draconian measures, including a ban on “seditious” publications; the introduction of coercive powers of detention, arrest, trial, deportation, and “banishment”; the establishment of the death penalty for anyone carrying unauthorized ªrearms; and the registration of the entire adult population.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords Britain's Asian Cold War, Malayan Communist Party, Southeast Asia
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