Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Deportation - Easy Way Out to Keep Malaya "Clean".

Deportation had been another tool used by the British in fighting against the communist insurgency in Malaya, beside the well known "New Village Plan" to relocate the peasants and farmers from the rural area of Malaya to a-hell-like closed guarded compounds in semi-urban area.

Deportation does not take the centre stage of discussion in the fight against communist insurgency in Malaya. The British was not open about this policy and kept a very vague record of deportation from Malaya.

Deportation has been regarded as inhumane by many scholars. Families are destroyed in deportation.  A father been forced to leave his family in Malaya and deported to China. Many of those deported were second generation Malayans who were born in Malaya. They had been deported forcefully to a foreign land which they are not familiar with.

The intention of the post is to analyse and understand the impact of deportation exercise against the trade unionists who were considered as "trouble-makers" to the Malayan Government.

Since the declaration of Emergency in June 1948, many unionist who had no association with the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) were arrested and deported to China and India. The Malayan Chinese outnumbered the Indians. Many of them were genuine unionists who stood against capitalist oppression policies towards the labourers.

On the 27th October 1949, the Indian Daily Mail reported that Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones told the British parliament that 870 bandits killed in Malaya since the beginning of Emergency - June 1948. One of the Conservative Party MPs said there was a fairly general impression in Britain that the people were not being kept informed of the situation in Malaya. The Conservative MP also questioned the fact that since the end of July the situation in Malaya had deteriorated.
The Colonial Secretary replied :
"No,  the situation had not deteriorated. In some months the difficulties are greater than in other months but I think the authorities are pursuing the problem and pressing their operation with full vigour."
Another Conservative MP, Walter Fletcher questioned whether was there any difficulty arising in getting "rid of bandits who are due to deportation since Amoy (now known as Xiamen) and Swatow (now known as Shantou) were no longer ports which bandits can be deported.
The Colonial Secretary replied, " We have to some extent been obligated to abandon the policy which we had hoped to pursue, but alternative measure have been taken in respect of squatters who have been detained.

Even though in the British Parliament, the Colonial Secretary said the Malayan Government obligated to abandon the policy, but we do see records of Malayans deported after 1949. Deportation was a easy way out to keep Malaya "clean".
Indian Daily Mail - 27 Oct 1949

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