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Title: Indigenizing the Cold War in Malaysia and Singapore : interethnic decolonization, developmental syntheses and the quest for sovereignty
Authors: Chong, Alan
Keywords: Social sciences::General::History
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Chong, A. (2020). Indigenizing the Cold War in Malaysia and Singapore : interethnic decolonization, developmental syntheses and the quest for sovereignty. Asian Perspective, 44(2), 179-208.
Journal: Asian Perspective
Abstract: While local Marxist and neo-Marxist parties attempted to synchronize their revolutionary struggles with the centers of world communism during the period 1945-1991, political currents on the ground in Malaysia and Singapore were pushing for the establishment of postcolonial authority, social peace, and economic prosperity. The Cold War struggle between 'communism' and 'democratic capitalism' was highly refracted, even distorted, on the ground in these two Southeast Asian countries. This refraction was largely manifested in the struggles by nationalists of all ideological stripes to achieve a multiracial society through interethnic decolonization under the banner of waging 'class warfare' against colonial authority. For many anti-colonial political parties, siding with or joining leftist movements was a facade for revolutionary agendas that were not necessarily Marxist-Leninist in orientation. Secondly, the biographies and civil society narratives of contending political figures of the time suggest that they were less inclined to define their thinking about development along Cold War ideological orthodoxy than to defy the latter to make things work for prosperity. Finally, the successor elites who took the place of the colonial rulers were consistently obsessed with burnishing sovereignty in spite of the international Cold War. This can be seen in their slippery practice of nonalignment in foreign policy. The Malaysian and Singaporean cases strongly present the thesis of indigenization of the Cold War for local purposes.
ISSN: 0258-9184
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2020.0012
Rights: © 2020 Institute for Far Eastern Studies, Kyungnam University. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Journal Articles

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