“The marginal enemy”: The image of the Communist Party of Malaya from the perspective of the Thai State, 1948-1989

Inkum, Thippaporn and Ling, Ho Hui (2022) “The marginal enemy”: The image of the Communist Party of Malaya from the perspective of the Thai State, 1948-1989. International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, 18 (1). pp. 197-218. ISSN 1823-6243, DOI https://doi.org/10.21315/ijaps2022.18.1.9.

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The Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), also known colloquially among Thais as “the Chinese Communists” or “the Chinese Communist of Malaya,” was an anti-government paramilitary group that was active during the Cold War. In the context of the Cold War, successive Thai governments saw the CPM as an opposition group, but lesser in importance than the other threats it faced, such as the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) and the separatist movements operating in the same area of operation as the CPM. At the same time, the CPM was the last communist group to disband (around 1989), despite the Thai government's policy of amnesty, which began in 1981 under Order 66/23. This article argues that the Thai authorities viewed the CPM as a “marginal enemy” in terms of its geographical remoteness on the Thai-Malaysian border and security priority. As a result of this lower security priority, the Thai government approached the CPM as a threat that could be dealt with through negotiations and political means rather than military suppression. It was arguably this different perspective that led to the divergent strategies between the central governments of Thailand and Malaysia vis-à-vis the CPM threat. © Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2022. This work is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Item Type: Article
Funders: Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's Personal Affairs Division
Uncontrolled Keywords: Communist Party of Malaya (CPM); The Malayan Emergency; Communist Party of Thailand; Order 66/2523
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of History
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2023 10:51
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2023 10:51
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/43274

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