Did Merdeka Liberate or Create Malaya?

By Ooi Kee Beng

September 2017 EDITORIAL
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Sixty years may have passed since Merdeka Day, but its historical significance remains something we continue to debate.Did Malaya fight to free itself from an implacable Britain? Did the British offer independence to its colonies in South-East Asia to suit its own ends? Was there a Malaya that now threw off the shackles of Pax Britannia’s global hegemony? Or was Malaya something novel, grown out of generations of colonial conveniences?In short, the key question is: “Was there a Malaya that...

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Ooi Kee Beng

is the Executive Director of Penang Institute. His recent books include The Eurasian Core and its Edges: Dialogues with Wang Gungwu on the History of the World (ISEAS 2016). Homepage: wikibeng.com