'The sharp end of the intelligence machine': the rise of the Malayan Police Special Branch 1948-1955

Sinclair, Georgina (2011). 'The sharp end of the intelligence machine': the rise of the Malayan Police Special Branch 1948-1955. Intelligence and National Security;, 26(4) pp. 460–477.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2011.580601

Abstract

With a steady release of material into The National Archives (UK), scholarly interest in imperial and commonwealth history as well as the field of intelligence studies has grown. The Malayan Emergency continues to provie a wealth of material, particularly for those interested in counter-insurgency. Yet the colonial police, and by extension their intelligence branches, have received less attention. This article considers new evidence of the organizational changes that occurred and the discussions that took place between the Colonial Office, the Malayan Government, the Malayan Police and the wider intelligence community which led to a restructuring of the Malayan Police and its Special Branch. It charts the rise of the Malayan Police Special Branch during the early stages of the emergency and its disentanglement from CID, reflecting on how police reform was shaped as much by external agencies as by local considerations.

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