British policy and Chinese politics in Malaya 1942-1955

Hak Ching, Oong

History; Political science; Public administration
October 1993

Thesis or dissertation

© 1993 Oong Hak Ching. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This study attempts to assess the dynamics of British policy towards the Chinese community in Malaya during a period of thirteen years which witnessed the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, the reestablishment of British colonial rule, and the efforts towards self government. A key factor in the British policy towards the Chinese community is based on an awareness of the community's potentiality to become a " Fifth Column", threatening the security of British Malaya. The problem facing the colonial authorities, therefore, was how to neutralize this potential "Fifth Column". Influenced by the contemporary situation, the British eventually adopted a policy of socio-political reorganization of the Chinese community as a means of solving the problem. During the period of this study British policy towards the Chinese political role covers four stages: first, the pre-war period with the so-called "pro-Malay policy"; second, the 1942-1947 period with the new Chinese policy and the Malayan Union scheme; third, the period of Federation and the revival of a pro-Malay policy; and finally, the Malayanization of the Chinese aiming at building a united Malayan nation. Simultaneously with this stage, was the British undertaking of decolonization.In retrospect, the study in the main confirms the success of British policy towards the Malayan Chinese particularly in cultivating a sense of Malayan national consciousness. At least the majority of the Chinese in Malaya willingly chose this land as their home.

Centre for South-East Asian Studies, The University of Hull
Christie, Clive J.
Sponsor (Organisation)
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Qualification level
Qualification name
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