Author: Hoong, Khong Kim
Publisher: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre
333 pp., bibliography. Merdeka! describes the explosive situation in Malaya between the end of the second World War until the termination of direct British rule in 1957. It discusses how the leading contenders for power and influence manoeuvered for pre-eminence in the political arena. The study fills in certain gaps in existing knowledge of this critical period in Malayan politics, with analysis of the conflicts between the British Military Administration and the Communists, the radical reaction to the Malayan Union proposals and the Federation of Malayan Agreement, and the agitation for constitutional democracy. The communist-led revolt in 1948 is interpreted in the light of post-war British policy. The author suggests that the political reforms of the 1950s and the British government’s support of and final transfer of power to the non-communist Alliance coalition were due to the inability of the British to suppress the communist revolt otherwise.
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