• Short Summary

    BORDER GUERILLAS ARE IN THE HEADLINE AGAIN AS MALAYSIA GRAPPLES WITH ITS MOST SERIOUS RACIAL AND POLITICAL TROUBLES SINCE INDEPENDENCE IN 1957.

  • Description

    BORDER GUERILLAS ARE IN THE HEADLINE AGAIN AS MALAYSIA GRAPPLES WITH ITS MOST SERIOUS RACIAL AND POLITICAL TROUBLES SINCE INDEPENDENCE IN 1957.

    ALTHOUGH SERIOUSLY DEPLETED IN NUMBERS BY BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH TROOPS IN THE 12-YEAR FIRST MALAYSIAN EMERGENCY - ENDING IN 1959 - THE GUERILLAS WERE NOT COMPLETELY ELIMINATED. 5,000 OF CHIN PENG'S MALAYSIAN PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY WITHDREW INTO THE ALMOST INACCESSIBLE MOUNTAINS AND JUNGLES ALONG THE BORDER WITH THAILAND.

    NOW 46 YEARS OLD, CHIN PENG HAS FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS LED AN ARMED STRUGGLE IN THE MALAYSIAN PENINSULA, BUT HE HAS NOT BEEN SEEN OUTSIDE HIS JUNGLE HIDEOUTS SINCE 1955, WHEN HE ATTENDED THE ABORTIVE PEACE TALKS WITH PRIME MINISTER TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN AT BALING. HE IS OBVIOUSLY THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE GUERILLA MOVEMENT. ALTHOUGH RELATIVELY UNKNOWN CHIN IS NEVERTHELESS ONE OF THE MOST SENIOR SURVIVING GUERILLA LEADERS IN ASIA, AND THE MALAYSIA GOVERNMENT HAS PUT A PRICE OF MS20,000 ON HIS HEAD.

    MALAYSIAN INTELLIGENCE REPORTS CLAIM THE COMMUNISTS ARE STEPPING UP THEIR ACTIVITIES TO EXPLOIT THE FLUID RACIAL AND POLITICAL SITUATION CREATED BY THE RACE RIOTS LAST MAY, AND THE GOVERNMENT SEEMS TO BE KEEPING IN STEP WITH A PROGRAMME OF EXPANSION OF THE ARMED FORCES. MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND MEN HAVE BEEN TRAINED FOR NEW ARMY BATTALIONS AND PARA-MILITARY FIELD POLICE, AND THE INTAKE OF OFFICER CADETS HAS ALSO BEEN DOUBLED. DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TUN ABDUL RAZAK HAS SAID DEFENCE WOLD HAVE TOP PRIORITY IN NEXT YEAR'S BUDGET. "IT WAS NECESSARY", HE SAID, "TO EXPAND MALAY ARMED FORCES TO MEET ANY EVENTUALITY."
    BUT DESPITE A CONTINUAL OUTPOURING OF PUBLICITY ABOUT THE NEW LEVEL OF AGGRESSIVENESS AND AUDACITY BY THE BORDER GUERILLAS THERE IS VERY LITTLE HARD EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT IT. THERE IS A STEADY STREAM OF REPORTS OF MINOR CLASHES, AMBUSHES, AND DISCOVERIES OF JUNGLE CAMPS, BUT INDEPENDENT NEWSMEN ARE NOT ENCOURAGED TO VISIT THE TROUBLED AREAS.

    THAT THE GUERILLAS ARE THERE AND VERY ACTIVE IN MATTERS OF PROPAGANDA, SUBVERSION AND RECRUITMENT IS NOT IN QUESTION. THEY ARE BUT IT IS DIFFICULT TO PROVE AN ESCALATION OF GUERILLA ACTIVITY SINCE THE MAY 13 RIOTS IN KUALA LUMPUR WHICH LED TO MALAYSIA'S SECOND "EMERGENCY".

    THE TUNKU, IN A BOOK HE WROTE ON THE MAY RIOTS, CLAIMED THAT ABOUT OF QUARTER OF ALL CHINESE IN MALAYSIA SYMPATHISED OR OWED ALLEGIANCE TO MAO TSE TUNG, AND HE BLAMED THE COMMUNISTS FOR THE SAVAGE RACIAL OUTBURSTS. THE RULING NATIONAL OPERATIONS COUNCIL, IN ITS WHITE PAPER, BLAMED COMMUNIST AGENTS, SECRET SOCIETY MEMBERS AND RACIAL EXTREMISTS WHO EXPLOITED RACIAL DIFFERENCES. THE BANNED MALAYAN COMMUNIST PARTY CLAIMED THAT "NINETY PER CENT OF THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES AND THOSE WHO FELL VICTIMS IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER IN THIS INHUMAN BLOODBATH WERE OF CHINESE NATIONALITY."
    THOUSANDS OF YOUNG CHINESE ARE SAID TO HAVE DISAPPEARED INTO THE JUNGLE TO JOIN CHIN PENG SINCE THE RIOTS. OTHERS HAVE GONE UNDERGROUND OF FLED THE COUNTRY TO ESCAPE THE WAVE OF ARRESTS WHICH FOLLOWED. GUESSING AT THE STRENGTH OF CHIN PENG'S ARMY IS A PITFALL INTO WHICH FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS AND OBSERVERS FREQUENTLY FALL. MALAYSIAN ARMY OFFICIALS RECENTLY STATED THEIR STRENGTH TO BE "IN EXCESS OF ONE THOUSAND."
    IF CHIN PENG IS PLANNING A COMEBACK WHICH EXPERTS HAVE SAID IS IMPOSSIBLE AT LEAST UNTIL AFTER THE BRITISH WITHDRAWAL IN 1971, HE APPEARS ALSO TO BE INVOLVED IN A GREAT DEAL OF TROUBLE IN HIS REAR, WHERE THAILAND HAD HITHERTO PROVIDED A RELATIVELY UNDISTURBED HAVEN, BUT WAS NOW HOSTILE, CLAIMING THE GUERILLAS WERE FOMENTING MOSLEM SEPARATION IN THREE SOUTHERN REGIONS.

    THAILAND'S NEWLY AWAKENED AWARENESS OF THE HIDDEN PERIL INT HE JUNGLE BROUGHT THAI ARMED FORCES CHIEF, AIR MARSHAL DAWEE CHULASAPYA, AND MALAYSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER TUN ABDUL RAZAK TO A WEEKEND OF TALKS AT SONGKHLA LAST MONTH, WHERE AN AGREEMENT WAS REACHED TO STEP UP THE DRIVE AGAINST "THE INCREASING THREAT BY THE ENEMY."
    IN THE PAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS THERE HAS BEEN INCREASING CO-OPERATION BETWEEN THAILAND AND MALAYSIA, CULMINATING IN AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM BANGKOK THAT AN AGREEMENT HAD BEEN REACHED TO SET UP A JOINT ANTI-GUERILLA COMMAND FOR THE BORDER AREA. BUT THE REPORT MADE NO MENTION OF AN APPOINTMENT OF A JOINT COMMANDER, OR TO THE ACTUAL NATURE OF THE COMMAND. THERE IS ALREADY A JOINT INTELLIGENCE CENTRE, BASED AT SONGKHLAM GUIDING THE CO-ORDINATION OF OPERATIONS, BUT IT DOES NOT DIRECT OPERATIONS, AND THE CO-ORDINATION IS A MATTER OF AGREEMENT, NOT INSTRUCTION.

    THE THREAT POSED BY GUERILLAS IN EAST MALAYSIA, ALONG THE SARAWAK BORDER WITH INDONESIA, IS NOT INSIGNIFICANT. MAJOR GENERAL NAZARUDDING, THE MALAYSIAN MILITARY COMMANDER THERE ESTIMATES ARMED UNITS OF COMMUNISTS ARE SUPPORTED BY ABOUT 20-THOUSAND SYMPATHISERS, AND THE INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT HAS OFFERED TO ALLOW MALAYSIAN TROOPS TO OPERATE INSIDE INDONESIAN TERRITORY. HERE THE MALAYSIANS ARE ALSO WAGING PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE IN ATTEMPTS TO DISSUADE LOCAL SUPPORT FOR THE GUERILLAS.

    THE MAJORITY OF CHINESE CITIZENS IN MALAYSIA ARE BELIEVED TO CONSIDER CHIN PENG A MENACE TO THEIR HOPES OF A POLITICAL FORMULA SATISFACTORY TO ALL THE COUNTRY'S RACES. BUT THERE IS DOUBT ABOUT THEIR ATTITUDE SHOULD MALAY EXTREMISTS WAGE A JIHAD (HOLY WAR). SO THE TENGKU'S GOVERNMENT SOLUTION MUST BE THE RIGHT ONE, DELIBERATED UNDER PRESSURE FROM CHIN PENG ON THE LEFT, AND THE MALAY ULTRAS ON THE RIGHT.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7ZA2I8ND1ADYMW0Z10S68GL85
    Media URN:
    VLVA7ZA2I8ND1ADYMW0Z10S68GL85
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/12/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:05:41:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment