The British Psychological Warfare in Malaya

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Maylisa Abdulloh


British Counterinsurgency (COIN) in Malaya has been recognised by those who study the war against insurgency which in the present is dealt with efficient unconventional warfare. The British government in Malaya knows how to adapt and create new ideas about the importance of political policy. This article analyzes that the decision to do psychological warfare in Malaya is an exceptional political condition which influenced the British government to win the war, through Ser Robert Thompson psychological warfare concept.The key lessons from Malayan Counterinsurgency specify that violence is not a good solution. Rather, psychological warfare is the way to eliminate “enemy organisation” which emphasizes on psychological operation. Meanwhile, war in Malaya has proved that propaganda in the form of leaflets promoting surrender policies and government proposals are tools that can convince the Communist Party of Malaya members who fought a war of national liberation against the British Government to surrender and cooperate with the government in large numbers, until the government can significantly demolish the enemies’ organisation. The number of party members notably decreased, the forces had to retreat to the border between Malaya-Thailand which enabled the British government to end the war within 12 years.


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Abdulloh, M. . (2022). The British Psychological Warfare in Malaya. Journal of Social Sciences Naresuan University, 18(1), 117–139.
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