Conclusion: a look ahead

  • Justus M. van der Kroef


In an address, given only one year or so after the consolidation of Communist power throughout the Indochina area, Singapore’s able foreign minister S. Rajaratnam nevertheless felt encouraged to enumerate what he regarded as a series of Communist defeats in South-east Asia since World War II. He noted, for example, that since the war’s end the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), ‘the largest Communist party in Asia outside China’, twice had attempted to seize power, failing ‘disastrously’ however on both occasions. In Burma, Rajaratnam went on, two Communist Parties have been seeking the key to success for three decades but to no avail, ‘and they are still at it’. As for the Communist Party of Malaya, it too attempted to seize power. The first time was after the collapse of the Japanese Occupation authority during World War II and before the British could re-establish their governance in the Malay Peninsula. This attempt was unsuccessful. But according to Rajaratnam, Malayan Communists tried again during the struggle for independence, when Communists sought to join with non-Communists in the hope of achieving dominance as Malaya eventually acquired its independence. This also however ‘did not happen’. As for Singapore, there as well Communists tried to forge a united front tactic with non-Communists, in the same hope that they would ‘inherit’ an independent state, but ‘this time too they failed’, as Rajaratnam put it.1


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© Justus M. van der Kroef 1981

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  • Justus M. van der Kroef

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