Intelligence Prior to the Declaration of Emergency

  • Roger C. Arditti
Part of the Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World book series (SCCCW)


Despite the background of organisational and personal infighting among the key actors in Britain’s intelligence apparatus in the Far East, officials still had to consider the implications of Malaya’s deteriorating security prior to the declaration of Emergency. This chapter demonstrates that both military intelligence and Malayan Security Service recognised from the earliest days of Britain’s return to Malaya in 1945 that the communists presented a credible existential threat, both in terms of capability and intent. This was reported to the Malayan government on a regular basis but, largely due to the organisational infighting that was taking place, this was ignored. The declaration of a state of Emergency was not a failure of intelligence. It was a failure to listen.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger C. Arditti
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarWraysburyUK

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