Times, Feb 13, 1998
Excerpt from report
The Malayan Emergency, which lasted from
1948 to 1960, was triggered off by an insurgency by
the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) which demanded
immediate independence from British rule.
Britain and its allies responded by
mounting a large-scale military and political
In 1957, Malaya became independent but
the state of emergency was only declared officially
over in 1960.
that time, I was very young
and was not a very political person.
But when I now
read about the new,
modern Singapore and the changes that have
taken place in Malaysia, I often think what
these countries would be like today had
the communists taken over.
Yes, it was
well worth the effort.
-- Mr Robert
Haxton, 64, a retired Toronto
police officer. Mr Haxton was 19 when he came
to Singapore in 1954. He was
posted to various camps in Malaya
(including Singapore) before he
left in June 1955.
Party of Malaya (CPM) demands immediate independence
from the British colonial authorities.
In March 1948,
it announces a programme of mass struggle against
On June 16,
1948, CPM rebels launch armed attacks against rubber
regulations are put into action.
assassinate Britain's High Commissioner, Sir Henry
Gurney, in 1951.
security forces gain military and social upperhand
and drive the guerillas into the jungle.
mid-'50s, the insurrection is well contained and the
guerillas are forced to retreat to areas along the
border with Thailand.
occurs in Dec 1955 after talks between CPM general
secretary Chin Peng, Malayan Chief Minister Tengku
Abdul Rahman and Singapore Chief Minister David
Marshall fail. After this, the communist challenge
loses its force.
Malaya is given
independence in 1957.
attains self-government in 1959.
CPM engages in
sporadic attacks after 1960 but makes no headway
because of internal problems and the efforts of
In 1960, the
state of Emergency is rescinded.
the communist movement is crushed by the time the
island becomes independent in 1965.
After the end
of the Vietnam war in 1975, the CPM revives military
activities without any political advantage.
On Dec 2, 1989,
the CPM surrenders by signing a peace agreement with
Malaysia and Thailand to terminate all military
action. Chin Peng, who has not been seen in public
since 1955, signs on behalf of the CPM.
appears to return to the jungle but is believed to be
engaged in commercial activity in southern Thailand.
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