Malaysian Emergencies: Anthropological Factors in the Success of Malaysia's Counterinsurgency   [open pdf - 429KB]

"Malaysia does not seem to follow the conventional pattern of a larger power that uses stronger military force to gain a better security posture. Instead, Malaysia has chosen to adopt the more encompassing approach that defines national security as 'the capacity of the society to protect individuals, groups and the nation from physical and socio- economic danger'. Given this approach, which is almost anthropological in nature, Malaysia has been able to promote a form of national ideology acceptable to all communities, and has thereby provided a common basis for achieving and maintaining peace and harmony. A stringent internal security law was also enacted in 1969 to sustain this peace, as well as to curb any threat from future insurgents and terrorists. In addition, the government created a development and security plan known as KESBAN to win the hearts and minds of the population and launched massive border operations with Thailand to block the egress and exit routes of communists. As a result of such efforts the Malaysian government's overall containment policy was successful and the Malaysian government managed to secure the communists' surrender in December 1989."

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