A History of the Malay Left: Part Two

loading Allied Forces liberated Penang at the end of August 1945. Disarmed Japanese troops march through the crowds to the prison camp.

The Japanese Occupation of Malaya and Singapore allowed the Malay left to thrive, if only for a brief moment. The road to Independence was long and hard, and the left’s communist connection did not improve their lot.

The fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942 saw the release of Ibrahim Yaacob and the resumption of Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM)’s activities.1 For the sake of political expediency, KMM quickly ingratiated itself with the Japanese authorities. This marriage of convenience was also said to stem out of Ibrahim’s intention to play triple agent.2

While the experience boosted the confidence, knowledge and influence of the Malay left, it was not until after the war that they achieved their pinnacle of political success before being demonised on the Malayan political scene.


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