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Clutterbuck, Richard Lewis (1971) Riot and Revolution in Singapore and Malaya 1945-1963. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This Thesis covers an urban and rural guerilla insurgency carried out simultaneously by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), and is focussed mainly on the point of contact between the revolutionaries and the people. In Singapore, the study concentrates on the revolutionary organisations amongst Chinese students and in the trade unions, and later on their attempt to gain control of the political party in power. On the government side particular attention has been paid to police intelligence and riot control. In the rural insurgency, the main fields of study have been the MCP's "parallel hierarchy" of government which extended through the jungle to the underground organisation amongst the Chinese village population; and the evolution of the government's technique (and especially of its police intelligence system) for identifying and digging out the roots of this underground organisation, thereby finding and destroying a guerilla army and political hierarchy widely dispersed in dense jungle. The early years of the Emergency have been only briefly sketched. These have been well covered elsewhere, and it was in the later years (1953-58) that both the guerillas' organisation and the government's technique for uprooting it reached their peak of refinement. The two conflicts, urban and rural, have been analysed in relation to the current controversy amongst revolutionary thinkers between those who support the classical philosophy of Lenin and Mao Tse Tung, with their stress on developing a strong organisation amongst the people before launching a campaign of violence, and writers of the New Left such as Fanon and Debray, who reject such delay and commend immediate and continuing confrontation and violence as a better means of rallying popular support. The conclusion supports the classical school, and underlines the indispensability of a viable organisation if a revolutionary movement is to prevail against a determined government.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:25

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