By Yeo Kim Wah
For the first time in Malaya, prolonged and large-scale strikes erupted in mines, rubber estates and industries in 1936 and 1937. Scholarly research on this phenomenon has been pioneered by an American, J.N. Parmer, and subsequently extended by a New Zealander, M.R. Stenson. Based on the sources then available to researches, their studies conclude that communists played hardly any role in these Malayan strikes. Since then the police and other government documents have been made available to scholars, and the time may be ripe for a review of the above assessment. This paper therefore, examines the Malayan labour unrest between September 1936 and March 1937 with special reference to communist involvement, and its effects in Malaya to the outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941.
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Source : Yeo, Kim Wah, 1976, The Communist Challenge in the Malayan Labour Scene, September 1936-March 1937, Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 49, No. 2 (230), pp36-79