ABSTRACT

In early January 1968, George Bogaars (permanent secretary, ministry of interior and defence) in a long conversation described Singapore’s security concerns. According to Bogaars, “the main danger is a possible, indeed probable, expansion of the communist insurgency under Chin Peng in the Thai/Malaysia border area”. Singapore intelligence was convinced that in 1960-61, the CPM made a basic decision to replace its parliamentary struggle with a war of liberation along racial lines. There were recent evidences of the increasing activity of the communist guerillas in places such as Penang and along the Thai border. If a racial or communal conflict broke out in Malaysia, “the security implications of these developments for Singapore would stem from the probability of large numbers of Chinese refugees seeking sanctuary in Singapore and the likelihood that Singapore’s Chinese would demand irresistibly that Singapore side actively with the beleaguered Chinese north of the causeway”.