Policing during the Malayan Emergency, 1948–60
Communism, communalism and decolonisation
in Policing and decolonisation
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During the Malayan Emergency the police force was largely Malay while the police problem was fundamentally Chinese. Pre-war policing bore the hallmarks of wider colonial practice in Malaya. The Malayan Peoples Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA), which was dominated by Chinese communists, meted out summary justice to collaborators and held sway in the country until the British Military Administration (BMA) managed to establish its regional commands. Analyses of the origins of the Malayan Emergency have focused upon the extent to which the police appreciated the intentions of the Chinese-dominated Malayan Communist Party (MCP). The immediate effect of the Emergency, however, was to thrust paramilitary tasks of counter-insurgency upon the already hard-pressed Malayan Police. The Chinese role in Malayan policing was, however, fading as a perennial problem of colonial rule, and re-emerging as one of the long-term 'challenges of independence'.

Policing and decolonisation

Politics, Nationalism and the Police, 1917–65

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