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Principiis rebellionis in India orientalis: taming British counterinsurgency in Malaya 1944-1954

Azalan, Meor Alif Meor (2018) Principiis rebellionis in India orientalis: taming British counterinsurgency in Malaya 1944-1954. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.jptw15kvj3ty

Abstract

This work dissects Britain's counter-insurgency campaign during the Malayan Emergency and her wider experience at decolonisation in Southeast Asia. The Darurat - as it is known in the local Malay language - is considered as the typical case of a successful modern-day counter-insurgency campaign. The conventional theoretical wisdom posits; that in order to win a counterinsurgency campaign, the force responsible for such a campaign must, similar to Malaya, embark upon a policy of ‘winning hearts and minds’. However, as more official colonial documents pertaining to the Emergency are uncovered and released to the public, the increasing publication of memoirs from individuals directly involved in the Emergency across the political spectrum, and the increased willingness of ex-insurgents as well as members of previously besieged communities affected by mass resettlement to come forward and share their accounts; there is ground to doubt the accuracy of our inherited and imbalanced knowledge of the Emergency along with the ‘lessons’ we have derived from it. This thesis has strengthened the argument, with an emphasis on Malay language and Jawi scripted sources, that; (1) through the accounts of native actors, both Malay and Chinese, the Malayan Emergency is an artefact of the earlier anti-Japanese experience during World War Two. And that (2) force which was used in the conduct of concluding the shooting war in 1954 was regarded as ‘exempted’ force wrapped in a grand narrative despite the on the-ground reality for the people.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Meor Alif Meor Azalan
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Hughes, James
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3795

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