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Scorpio On The Dragon's Trail (Fighting the Communists on the Malay Peninsula - The Long Emergency) (Volume 3)

Leong Chee Woh

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ISBN 10: 0996150129 / ISBN 13: 9780996150125
Published by Rocky Mountain Press, 2015
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: Scorpio On The Dragon's Trail (Fighting the ...

Publisher: Rocky Mountain Press

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


Malaysian history might well have been very different if any of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leadership had studied military history. Had they done so they would have learned that a guerrilla war can only hope to succeed if it is strongly supported by an outside power. In the first Malayan Emergency of 1948-1960 the CPM leadership based their strategy on the absurdly inappropriate example of China in the 1930s and 1940s and were soundly defeated. In the Second Emergency in the 1970s, still without the strong support in arms, equipment and trained military manpower from an ally that they needed, they tried and failed again. But this time they adopted tactics which, though they could not succeed, were certainly more realistic. The defeat of this second attempt is the main theme of this book. In outline the CPM plan was threefold. Some 3,000 young sympathizers from Peninsula Malaysia were put through a training course combining military training and indoctrination in the Thailand bases and returned to Malaysia to form a reserve and supply organization to support Malayan Races Liberation Army (MRLA) units when they returned to Malaysia. When this happened the MRLA guerrilla war would be supplemented by two other forces. The CPM leadership believed that the Special Branch was the most dangerous and effective part of the Malaysian security forces. It would be crippled and intimidated by the systematic murder of its officers and detectives. This would be done by highly trained three man mobile units living in and near Malaysian towns. It would be necessary to shake the confidence of the Malaysian government and its security forces and show the people that the CPM could strike at the very heart of the country by spectacular attacks and demonstrations in the Federal Capital. This task was given to the Communist underground - members and supporters who had not been called out in the 1st Emergency but remained under cover awaiting orders. The infiltration of MRLA units was not a success. Harassed by the security forces and destroyed by some brilliant SB directed operation (in which Scorpio - the author - played the leading part) their attempts to operate in Kedah, Perak and Pahang were all destroyed or left only a few remnants subsisting as best they could in deep jungle and quite incapable of offensive action. The underground operations which began with the spectacular bombing of the National Monument in Kuala Lumpur and involved some remarkably effective attacks on security forces and propaganda displays shook the confidence of the government as intended and the assassination of SB personnel did have a serious effect on morale and determination. Finally the assassination of the Inspector General of Police while being driven to his office in broad daylight produced a furious order from government to the newly appointed Inspector General of Police that Something Must Be Done. Tun Mohammed Hanif assessing the problem with the Director Special Branch decided that the main problem was the weakness of the Federal Special Branch Contingent and that it needed an outstanding officer to reorganize, galvanize and lead that branch. They selected Scorpio as the best candidate. Scorpio applied his usual methods - a careful study of what the problem actually was and how best to solve it followed by systematic planning and execution of the task. He began with a simple order forbidding his staff to wear ties and arranging, not without difficulty, for the protection of staff known to be under threat of being killed. The SB offices and compound were moved to a location where its activities could not be observed. Reorganization of the branch into districts and sectors whose personnel would concentrate on their own particular area was followed by a detailed survey of buildings, their occupants and their activities. Snap identity checks at any hour of day and night throughout the city proved and effective deterrent to underground activity.

About the Author:

Datuk Dr Leong Chee Woh joined the Malayan Police Force on 1 December 1950, during the British colonial period as a probationary Police inspector. After a short stint in the para military police jungle company and the police field force, in 1953 he was posted to Special Branch. He remained with Special Branch until his retirement in 1984 with the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police. His final post was as the Deputy Director (Operations) of Special Branch. Within Special Branch, the principal intelligence collection agency of the country, he served in most of the states of the Malay Peninsula as well as Sarawak and short stints in southern Thailand and Indonesia. He served throughout the First (1948-1960) and Second (1970-1991) Emergencies, as the communist insurgency was called; for a third of a century he was actively engaged in anti-communist campaigns in both jungle and urban areas. As an operational strategist he supported and ultimately led specific and sustained campaigns that resulted in the death or capture of large numbers of armed and subversive communist elements seeking to overthrow the government through force of arms. For his many successes and his constant devotion to duty he was decorated on ten occasions: nine for meritorious service and one for gallantry. Among his meritorious service awards is one from the King of Thailand. Of his additional fourteen departmental commendations and citations, one is from the late Prime Minister of Malaysia; three others are from the Commander of the 4th Division of the Malaysian Army; the Commander of the 1st American Special Forces; and the Commander of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade.

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