Friday, 21 June 2013

Has the World forgotten the Malayan Emergency?

Source: Wikipedia
Malaya was the 'domino that didn't fall' to Communism, and most people who were not there (or who do not know of someone who was there), do not seem to know about it.  Yet most people have heard of what happened in Vietnam in the following decades.  During the Malayan Emergency the casualty statistics (according to Wikipedia) were:

The Security forces:
  • Killed 6,710 communist terrorists (CTs)
  • Captured 1,287 CTs
  • Took the surrender of 3,202 CTs
The Communist Terrorists:
  • Killed 1,345 Malayan troops and police
  • Killed 519 British and Commonwealth military personnel
  • Killed 2,478 civilians, with another 810 recorded as missing
Whatever your view as to why the war was fought, the outcome is clear - on 31st August 1957 the Malayan Federation was granted independence ('Merdeka') as a free and democratic country.  In 1960 the Malayan Emergency was declared over (although the last few CTs did not sign a final peace accord with the Malaysian authorities until 1989). 

In 1962 British and Commonwealth troops were back at war in the region, this time with Indonesia.  This war was called 'Confrontation' or the 'Indonesian–Malaysian Confrontation' and it lasted from 1962-1966.  The confrontation was an undeclared war with most of the action in the border area between Indonesia and East Malaysia on the island of Borneo (known as Kalimantan in Indonesia). The Indonesians were opposed to plans to merge Sabah and Sarawak (British Borneo) into the new Malaysia.  They failed, and British Borneo became East Malaysia in 1963, with the Malayan Federation becoming West Malaysia.  But that is another story.......

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