Intelligence Prior to the Declaration of Emergency
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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.