Awas! The Organising of Radical Malay Women


They were fighting for independence even before the Alliance, and yet their stories are often overshadowed. History is written by the winners, after all.

Popular history in Malaysia dictates that independence was won by the right-wing groups – those friendly to the British authorities and the Malay aristocracy, under the Alliance flag paraded by Umno, MCA and MIC.

This narrative ignores two things.

First, the struggle of another equally important group – the leftists, better known as the radicals. As rivals to the right wing, the radicals were the earlier group to fight for independence, and they would have succeeded if not for the British crackdown in 1948 through the declaration of the Emergency, which would last until 1960.

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