The Malayan Communist Party’s (MCP) decisive defeat in 1960 led many academics and Counterinsurgency (COIN) experts to overlook the resurrection of its armed struggle in 1968. Most scholars continue to regard the so-called ‘Second Emergency’ in Malaysia (1968-1989) as a non-event, and most of the recently published work on the MCP tends to focus on the earlier Malayan Emergency (1948-1960). This book looks at the Second Emergency through recently released archival material from the National Archives in London, the National Australian Archives and the Australian War Memorial, as well as interviews with military and diplomatic officers from the UK and Thailand. It presents the first serious strategic and operational study of the Second Emergency, and analyses three areas of historical significance: the CPM’s strategy for armed struggle in the Second Emergency; the actual effectiveness of the CPM’s subversive propaganda on its target population and most importantly; the counterinsurgency (COIN) response and strategy of the Malaysian state and to a lesser extent the counter-subversion strategy of Singapore in the post-colonial era.

chapter |17 pages


Why the Second Emergency Matters

chapter |29 pages

Fighting Big Wars and Small Wars

Approaching COIN and Maoist Revolutionary War

chapter |32 pages

Strategy of the CPM's Revived Armed Strugglee

Retreat, Reform and Revival (1948–81)

chapter |42 pages

Response of the Post-Colonial State

The Persistence of the Colonial COIN Template(1968–81)

chapter |29 pages

The Making of a Winning State

Lessons in Post-Colonial COIN and Nation-Building

chapter |8 pages