Malayan Emergency 1948-1960
Following the end of Japanese occupation of Malaya during the Second World War, the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army reorganised to form the Malayan People’s Anti-British Army (MPABA). Their aim was to become independent from British rule which had existed in Malaya since the 1700s.
Local police stations, rubber plantations and tin mines were common targets for terrorist attacks by the MPABA. Many British and European owners, and locals who refused to support the needs of these guerrilla bandits, were killed. This violence led to a state of emergency being declared in Malaya in 1948.
In 1949, the MPABA was renamed the Malayan Races’ Liberation Army and by 1951, their force was 8000 people strong.
The 1st Battalion, The Cameronians were among the British, Commonwealth, Gurkha and Malayan armed forces deployed to provide security in Malaya. The soldiers experienced violent ambush attacks as they patrolled the dense jungle territory. The humid conditions, poor visibility and mountainous terrain made the task increasingly difficult.
By becoming familiar with their territory and working in tandem with local agencies, The Cameronians successfully combated a significant number of terrorists during their operation in Malaya from 1950-1953. Gratitude for their efforts was shown in the gifts they received from the locals they helped to protect.