Sunday, May 30, 2010


From aljuned.rm's photostream

Malaya Peninsula

“Forty years ago when we were studying what was then called 'Guerrilla Warfare,' the Army taught us that there were just three successful cases where a legitimate government in power had beaten back a Communist insurgency. They were the Philippines, Greece, and Malaya. I can still remember a Colonel explaining that in the Philippines the victory against the HUKs was won by land reform, in Greece by tightening the borders and not allowing the guerrillas to slip into Albania for refuge and resupply, and in Malaya by separating the insurgents from the general population and letting them starve in the jungle. Since that time, there have been dozens of insurgencies, some successful, some not.....”
(Psychological Warfare of the Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960, SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.) at PSYWAR.ORG)
Among the battle-seasoned veterans who marched down Piccadilly in London's 1945 Victory Day Parade was a flap-eared Chinese lad who wore the Order of the British Empire. No one who noticed slim, sickly Chin Peng that day could have guessed that in a few years he would be responsible for 7,000 Commonwealth casualties, including 4,000 dead and missing.
A Communist long before World War II, Chin Peng earned his O.B.E. honestly. British Intelligence Officer Lieut. Colonel F. Spencer Chapman, who spent 3½ years dodging the Japanese in Malayan jungles, called him "Britain's most trusted guerrilla representative." Malayan-born Chin, who speaks fluent English, Malay and several Chinese dialects, was on the receiving end of secret British submarine landings and air drops in occupied Malaya. He fought the Japanese bravely and shrewdly, but always with Communist ends.
After London's Victory Parade, Chin went visiting among Chinese and South Asian Communists, soon picked up the new "imperialist" line on his old World War II allies. When the secretary general of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) ran out with the party's funds in 1947, Chin stepped into the party leadership. The next year he began a reign of terror to drive the British out of Malaya and set up a Communist state. Soldiers and civilians, men, women & children fell to the bullets of his tight, 5,000-man gang. Chin's tactics were modeled on his guerrilla experience. His arms were mostly British weapons air-dropped during the war and cached in jungle hiding places.
The Communist war in Malaya has been deeply embarrassing to the British. So has Chin Peng. They quietly withdrew his O.B.E. in 1948, but for years did not name him as the leader of the Communists. The advantage was Chin's: his terror gained from being secret and anonymous.
Last week (1st week of May 1952) Britain's dynamic General Sir Gerald Templer, new High Commissioner for Malaya, upped the price on the heads of 26 of Malaya's Communist guerrilla leaders. But for 31-year-old Chin Peng, believed hiding in the Pahang jungles, Templer offered the highest reward. He would pay, he said, $42,000 for Chin's dead body, or $83,500 for Chin alive. A Singapore wag pointed out that $83,500 was no more than the first prize in the Malayan Chinese Association Lottery. It is also exactly what Chin's operations cost the British in Malaya each day.

British PM Clement Attlee alongside King George VI

Succeeding Winston Churchill, Attlee (above) was Prime Minister during the vital years between 1945 and 1951. His government’s foreign policy was marked by contradictions: the seemingly eager move away from colonial rule in the sub-continent contrasted with a ‘new colonialism’ in Africa. The British administration’s policy in post-war Malaya was also characterised by contradictions and changes of heart.
The withdrawal of Japan at the end of World War II left the Malayan economy disrupted. Problems included unemployment, low wages, and scarce and expensive food. There was considerable labor unrest, and a large number of strikes occurred in 1946 through 1948. The British administration was attempting to repair Malaya's economy quickly, especially as revenue from Malaya's tin and rubber industries was important to Britain's own post-war recovery. As a result, protesters were dealt with harshly, by measures including arrests and deportations. In turn, protesters became increasingly militant. On 16 June 1948, the first overt act of the war took place when three European plantation managers were killed at Sungai Siput, Perak.
The British brought emergency measures into law, first in Perak in response to the Sungai Siput incident and then, in July, country-wide. Under the measures, the MCP and other leftist parties were outlawed, and the police were given the power to imprison without trial communists and those suspected of assisting communists.
The MCP, led by Chin Peng, retreated to rural areas, and formed the MNLA, also known as the Malayan Races Liberation Army (MRLA), or the Malayan People's Liberation Army (MPLA). The MNLA began a guerrilla campaign, targeting mainly the colonial resource extraction industries, which in Malaya were the tin mines and rubber plantations.
(From Wikipedia)

Police officers question a civilian
Malayan Emergency, 23rd April 1949
From the BBC Hulton Picture Library
Author Bert Hardy
Uploaded to wikipedia by Pengguna:Rizuan

The Emergency Regulations
Illustration courtesy of Lee Richards

Communist Terrorists (CTs) photograph
Photograph courtesy of Roy Follows

The communist terrorists, many of whom were Chinese, began disrupting village life in the jungles of the newly established Federation of Malaya (under the rule of a British high commissioner). They carried on hit-and-run guerrilla warfare against army outposts, police stations, and other government places; a state of emergency was declared, and British and indigenous Malay forces fought back. In 1949, an intense campaign was mounted against the guerrillas, hundreds of whom were slain or captured. One effect of the jungle warfare was to bring leaders of the various ethnic and religious communities closer together with more mutual understanding. The government-implemented Briggs plan (1950) resettled so-called "squatter" Chinese farmers, who were easy prey for raiding guerrillas, in protected Malay areas. In 1951, the terrorists increased their activities, destroyed rubber trees, intimidated plantation workers, and assassinated the British high commissioner. Sir Gerald Templer (1898-1979), the new high commissioner (1952), headed the government forces, began a concerted anti rebel campaign, and encouraged cooperation among the diverse Malay peoples. Rigid food control in suspected rebel areas forced many terrorists to surrender or starve. By 1954, the communist high command in Malaya had moved to Sumatra. After the Malay Federation became an independent state in the British Commonwealth (1957), the war petered out; increasing numbers of terrorists surrendered (a government amnesty was offered to them in 1955, and many accepted it). Still, a hard core of several hundred communist guerrillas continued to operate in the thick jungles along the Malay-Thai border until 1960, when they were defeated.
(Wars of the World)

Sir Gerald Templer
Cover of TIME magazine, December 15, 1952
From Time Inc.

Templer was a hands-on manager and was famous for flying to trouble spots. Sometimes his chastising of the villagers had humorous consequences. Noel Barber mentions such a case after a guerrilla ambush caused Templer to immediately fly to the nearest village where he harangued the collected inhabitants:
"You're a bunch of bastards," shouted Templer; and Rice, who spoke Chinese, listened carefully as the translator announced without emotion: "His Excellency informs you that he knows that none of your mothers and fathers were married when you were born."
Templer waited, then, pointing a finger at the astonished villagers to show them who was the "Tuan," added "You may be bastards, but you'll find out that I can be a bigger one." Missing the point of the threat completely, the translator said politely, "His Excellency does admit, however, that his father was also not married to his mother."
Templer is praised by Dr. Klev I. Sepp in 'Best Practices in Counterinsurgency,' Military Review, May-June 2005.
During the 1950s Malaya Emergency, British High Commissioner Sir Gerald Templer a declared antiracist strived for political and social equality of all Malays. He granted Malay citizenship en masse to over a million Indians and Chinese; required Britons to register as Malay citizens, elevated the public role of women; constructed schools, clinics, and police stations; electrified rural villages; continued a 700% increase in the number of police and military troops; and gave arms to militia guards to protect their own community. In this environment, insurgent terrorism only drove people further from the rebels and closer to the government.
Sunderland points out how Templer brought everyone into the fold: Templer took office in February 1952. On midnight, 14 September, 1,100,000 Chinese and 2,630,000 Malayans became what were called "federal citizens."


Members of B Company 2 RAR (above) about to go on a patrol in Perak in 1956. A Daimler Ferret armoured car has accompanied the patrol to its setting-off point in a rubber plantation. The patrol is responding to reports of communist guerrillas in the nearby jungle. Patrolling in search of guerrillas was the main task of the Australian Army during the Malayan Emergency.
(Australian involvement in South-East Asian Conflicts)
In July 1961, Chin Peng met Deng Xiaoping in China. Deng had proposed to the MCP that it conduct a second an armed struggle. Deng insisted that Malaya should revolt and used the success of the Vietnam Communist Party in the Vietnam War as MCP propaganda to launch a second revolt in Malaya. Deng later promised Chin Peng that China would assist the MCP and promised to give the MCP US $100,000 for the second insurgency in Malaya.
On 1 June 1968, the Central Command of the MCP issued a directive entitled “Hold High the Great Red Banner of Armed Struggle and Valiantly March Forward.” The MCP was ready to start a new insurgency in Malaysia. On 17 June 1968, to mark the 20th anniversary of their armed struggle against the Malaysian Government, the MCP launched an ambush against security forces in the area of Kroh–Betong in the northern part of Malaysian Peninsular. They achieved a major success, killing 17 members of the security forces. This event marked the start of the second armed revolt of the MCP.....
(From Wikipedia)
“Chin Peng is not a Hakka, but a Hokkien. Chin Peng is not his real name, but the paty name. His surname is Ong (Wang2=King) Eng (Yong3=forever) can't remember his third name. He was born in Sitiawan in the district of Dinding near Pangkor Island the famous island resort. He was educated in Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) Ipoh, the capital of the State of Perak, Malaysia. His father owned a bicycle shop in Sitiawan.
Chin Peng was not the founder of the MCP which was founded by Yuen3 Ai4 Guo2 (later he changed his name to Ho Chi Ming the father of modern Vietname) a North Vietnamese in Singapore in 1935. After the formation of MCP he went back to Vietnam and left his assistant called Loi Tek to be in charge of the MCP. Loi Tek became the Secretay-Genral of MCP.
Three months before the Japanese attacked Malaya the British Government in England sent Lieutenant Colonel Spencer Chapman to Singapore with the intention to train a special force called 136 to remain behind if Japan overran Malaya. Just ten days before the Japanese attacked Malaya in December 1941 the colonial authority accepted to train 165 Communists at the 101 Special Training School in Singapore.
Later when the Japanese occupied Malaya these 165 Communist became the core of the Malayan People's Anti- Japanese-Army (MPAJA) which in 1943 came under the command of the British officers from Force 136. The commander of Force 136 was Colonel Chapman who stayed behind with the Communists throughout the Japanese occupation of 3 years and eight months. He was the military instructor of the MPAJA and Chin Peng was with him most of the time.
During the war Loi Tek, the Secretary-General of MCP, was a double agent. In order to consolidate his control of the MCP Loi Tek informed the Japanese on the upcoming meeting of top senior Communists in Batu Cave near Kuala Lumpur on 31 August-1 September 1942. During the meeting the Japanese surrounded the cave. Chin Peng and Loi Tek were present in the meeting. The Japanese killed almost all the senior executive officers (most of them were Hakkas) of the MCP. Chin Peng, Loi Tek and a few other communists escaped.
After the war, many senior members of the MCP suspected that Loi Tek betrayed the Batu Cave Conference to the Japanese. The Central Committee planned to meet on 6 March 1947. Loi Tek did not turn up in the meeting because he had alreday disappeared with the MCP's fund. The disappearance of Loi Tek gave the MCP a great blow. Later the MCP Central Committee elected Chin Peng as the new Secretary-General of MCP. Many communists believed that Loi Tek went back to North Vietnam.”
(Is Chin Peng of Communist Party of Malaya a Hakka by CHUNG Yoon-Ngan at

Communist weapons

“The collaboration of the MCP-led Malayan national resistance forces with the British worked successfully, but it was always an arm’s length collaboration. Anticipating future conflict with the British, a MCP underground army stashed 5,000 weapons in jungle caches, many supplied by the British for the war against the Japanese. But rather than preparing for a serious struggle against the British, the programme outlined by the MCP, under the pressure of its then leader Lai Te, was watered down: from a ‘democratic republic’ of Malaya, which would involve independence from the British, to ‘self governance’. Chin Peng and his comrades were imprisoned by the Stalinist theory of ‘stages’: first bourgeois democracy and independence; and only later could the social issues, and particularly socialism, be posed. However, only by linking the struggle of Malayan workers and peasants for independence with the social issues – freedom, especially from imperialism, land, peace and bread – would the possibility of real national liberation be posed.
The government introduced the Federation of Malaya on 4 February 1948, a blow to the MCP’s perspective of national independence. This set in train the decision of the MCP to engage in rural guerrilla warfare. To say the least, this was a questionable conclusion to draw from the experiences of the Malayan workers and peasants….
The MCP was clearly influenced by the success of Mao Zedong in the Chinese revolution. But while the struggle was heroic, a defeat ensued because the MCP lacked a clearly worked-out perspective. Chin Peng gives the statistics on the population of Malaya at the time: "5.8 million people, of whom 2.2m were Malays, another 2.6m were Chinese and a further 600,000 were Indians". Moreover, why engage in a guerrilla war, by its very nature focused in rural areas, when such an important class base had been established in the cities and urban areas, as well as in the countryside? The guerrilla struggle of Mao Zedong was itself an echo of the defeat of the Chinese revolution of 1925-27, which was a product of the false policies of Joseph Stalin and the Russian bureaucracy.
The aim of the MCP was to establish not a socialist regime but – as in China, Vietnam and Eastern Europe – a ‘people’s democratic republic’ of Malaya. Chin Peng says: "In hindsight, I think we made another critical mistake here. What we should have done was to announce our aim of fighting for the broad concept of independence. This approach should have gone on to emphasize independence for all political persuasions and all races. Our battle cry should have been: Independence for Malaya and all Malayans who want independence"…..
Some of the most interesting chapters deal with the methods of the British in successfully curtailing the guerrilla war. Lieutenant-General Harold Briggs was its rather reluctant director of operations. His plan involved the establishment of ‘new villages’ throughout Malaya. These were fenced, patrolled and fortified centers, illuminated at night and continually monitored by day. They complemented the policy of dividing the population along ethnic lines, and isolated them as a possible source of food for the guerrillas.
The author admits that attracting significant numbers of Malays to the guerrilla forces and, more importantly, support from the poorest sections was crucial to the success of this struggle. He states: "In a six-month period from late 1949 to early 1950, we were able to attract more than 500 Malay recruits". Unfortunately, when they were attacked by KMT bandits organized by the British High Command, they melted away or were captured. Isolated, with dwindling food supplies, the guerrillas faced a brick wall: "The realization that a military approach from late 1948 through to 1951 had been utterly inappropriate was a bitter pill to swallow".
Chin Peng deals with the repressive methods of the British at length. He reproduces the famous photograph that first appeared in the Daily Worker (the then paper of the British Communist Party) on 10 May 1952. It showed a British soldier holding the severed heads of two guerrillas. Truly, the barbaric al-Qaida inspired terrorist groups in Iraq had good teachers in the form of British imperialism in Malaya, Kenya and elsewhere in the past. But by 1953, almost five years since the guerrilla struggle to evict the British began, "it was very obvious we held no territory, no liberated zones". The guerrillas were forced northwards over the border to Siam, now Thailand…..”
Despite the weaknesses of the MCP, it struggled on until 1987 when successful ‘peace negotiations’ began in the Thai resort of Phuket. When all hostilities ceased, the total number of MCP members was 1,188: 694 were Thai-born and 494 claimed Malaysian origin. They were given temporary grants and promised integration into Malaysia. Chin Peng never returned officially to Malaysia but has continued his exile in Thailand up to the time of the publication of this book.
(End of Empire: Memoirs of a Malaysian communist guerrilla leader, My Side of History By Chin Peng, Published by Media Masters, 2003, Reviewed by Peter Taaffe at
The Communists were fairly successful in their campaign of terror, killing a total of 400 civilians and torturing many others during the first year of the uprising. Their Activities did not extend into the urban centers, but they ran wild in the rural rubber plantations, tin mines, smaller villages and railway stations.
The MCP embarked on a protracted war, but the cost was high both in military and political terms. In the first three years of its operations, the MCP lost 2,842 men while the government security forces lost 971 killed and 954 wounded. Official statistics indicate that by the end of the 12-year Emergency, 6,710 insurgents were killed, 1,287 were captured, and 2,702 surrendered.

The National Monument (Tugu Negara) of Malaysia
Author Frongky
Source Wikipedia

Dedicated to the heroic fighters.....
From aaronchai photostream

Tugu Negara (above) is an imposing sculpture in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, along the Jalan Tugu. It commemorates the soldiers who died in Malaysia's struggle for freedom, particularly during World War II and the Malayan Emergency. The Tugu Negara literally connotes 'National Monument' in Malay. Elevated to the height of 15 meters (49.21 feet), Tugu Negara is identified as the largest freestanding bronze sculptures grouping in the world.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Benjamin Williams Leader was born in Worcester in 1831. His father was an engineer in Worcester where Leader spent most of his childhood. He was educated at The Worcester Grammar School and then started a career in engineering, which he soon abandoned to study art at the Worcester School of Design. It was here that he learnt the basic skills of technical draughtsmanship. This apprenticeship along with his love of the Worcestershire countryside led him to submit a painting to the Royal Academy entitled 'Cottage Children Blowing Bubbles'. This was sold to a Philadelphia Collector much impressed by the talent of this young artist.
Leader derived his artistic inspiration directly from nature and in particular his native countryside of Worcester. After visiting Scotland and Wales, he painted mainly landscapes, often of mountain and river scenes.
In 1857 he changed his name from Benjamin Leader Williams (he was related to the Williams family of painters) to Benjamin Williams Leader. This also helped avoid confusion with the eleven other artists of the same surname who exhibited at the Royal Academy. His picture 'A Stream from the Hills' was commended by Ruskin in 1857, and his work entitled 'Temptation' was purchased by the successful artist, Thomas Creswick, R.A.....
He spent a great deal of his time during these years painting in Wales, and some of his Welsh landscapes were greatly admired at The Royal Academy and placed beside works by the President, Sir Francis Grant. Leader's works have been widely collected by Museums and can be seen in Galleries all over the UK.
(Burlington Paintings)
Despite the increasing number of commissions and sales, Benjamin was not satisfied with either his method of painting or subject matters. He began experimenting with different methods to “achieve the effects of natural light and shade over his landscapes, rather than the harsh artificial luminosity from the use of bright colors alone.” (Ruth Wood, Benjamin Williams Leader, RA 1831-1923: His Life and Paintings, Woodbridge (Suffolk, England): Antique Collectors’ Club, c1998. p. 26) He also began searching for new subject matters, and went on sketching holidays around Britain to get inspiration. The results of these trips were scenes from the Midlands, around Worcester, Scotland, and the north Wales especially around Bettws-y Coed.

The Wengen Alps, Morning In Switzerland
Oil on canvas, 1878-1896
Private collection
From ARC

A Welsh Cornfield
Oil on canvas, 1862
Private collection
From ARC

Benjamin Williams Leader once said, “The subjects of my pictures are mostly English. I have painted in Switzerland, Scotland, and a great deal of North Wales, but I prefer our English home scenes. Riversides at evening time, country lanes and commons, and the village church, are subjects that I love and am never tired of painting” (as quoted in Lewis Lusk’s “The Works of B. W. Leader, RA,” The Art Journal, London, 1901 Christmas Issue, p. 30.) Leader’s statement best described his landscapes, which he produced throughout his long artistic career.....

Evening Return to the Homestead
Oil On Canvas, 1866
Private collection
From ARC

A Lonely Homestead
Oil On Canvas, 1901
Private collection
From ARC

Evening On The Thames At Wargrave
Oil On Canvas, 1907
Private collection
From ARC

An Old Worcestershire Manor House
Oil On Canvas
Private collection
From ARC

Blue Bells
Oil On Board, 1858
Private collection
From ARC

An English River
Oil On Canvas, 1877
Private collection
From ARC

On the Thames
Oil on canvas, 1878
Public collection
From ARC

A Peep Through The Pines
Oil on canvas, 1914
Private collection
From ARC

An Old Surrey Home
Oil on canvas, 1897
Private collection
From ARC

Where Peaceful Waters Glide
Oil on canvas, 1898
Private collection
From ARC

Returning Home
Oil on canvas, 1897
Private collection
From ARC

Oil on canvas, 1868
Private collection
From ARC

The Stream in summertime
At Guildhall Art Studio, London
From songsofpraise

Mr. Leader's method of work is interesting. Having got his idea, he considers the manner of treatment and then makes a small sketch in colour, measuring about eighteen inches by ten or twelve. Sometimes this is followed by one or two more similar studies, and when the preliminary sketch is satisfactory the artist takes a five-foot canvas, if the picture is an important one, and makes a careful study in monochrome of the light and shade only. Work on the actual picture is then begun, and as a rule this is accomplished without any alterations.
It is interesting to recall the fact that Mr. Leader's father was the Chief Engineer to the Severn Commissioners, and that the future Royal Academician was destined for the same profession, like his brother, who was the engineer of the Manchester Ship Canal. At the age of fourteen he entered his father's office, and it was one of his chief duties to make surveys on the River Severn. He succumbed to the temptation to sketch the beauties of the scenery, and as a result obtained his father's permission to train as an artist.
Since he first exhibited at the Royal Academy some fifty years ago, Mr. Leader has produced between two and three hundred pictures, mainly of Worcestershire and Welsh scenery, and of the Surrey country, which is nowadays regarded as his special province.....
(From the book "Famous Paintings" Volume 2 printed in 1913)

A Worcestershire Farm
From Boltom Museum and Archive Service

By the turn of the century, Leader achieved international fame, especially in America and Canada. In addition, numerous articles appeared about Leader’s career and work, such as those in The Strand and The Windsor magazines. In 1914, one of his paintings entered the royal collection, when King George V and Queen Mary purchased On the Llugwy, Bettws-y-coed. That year, the citizens of Worcester honored him with the Freedom of the City. (Wood, p. 101) However, World War I would bring tragedy to the Leader family, when their son Benjamin was killed in 1916. Throughout the war and the remaining five years of his life, Leader continued to produce large or medium-sized landscapes for the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibitions. He died in his home on 22 March 1923.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Re-posted with permission from M.BAKRI MUSA

Long before Malaysia signed that peace treaty with the outlawed Malaysian Communist Party (MCP) in 1989, the insurgency (and communism as an ideology) was a spent force. The mighty Soviet empire, like the Berlin Wall, was already crumbling. Even Red China was paying only lip service to communism’s ideals.
The peace treaty was nothing more than a magnanimous gesture on the part of Prime Minister Mahathir in giving the MCP leader Chin Peng and his emaciated and rapidly decimating followers a chance at collective face-saving, an important Asian tradition.
It was significant that Malaysia was able to defeat the communists, for at about the same time in neighboring South Vietnam the Americans were being humiliated by a ragtag bunch of pajama-clad communist peasants.
While Robert McNamara and his band of “bright boys” at the Pentagon were consumed with “body counts” as their measure of progress in their war against the communists, Malaysian commanders were concerned with making sure that their troops were not being senselessly killed in ambushes or direct battles with the terrorists, or that innocent civilians were not needlessly caught in the crossfire.
The Malaysian commander who successfully prosecuted the war, Major-General Mahmud Sulaiman, went out of his way to make sure that those communists were given every chance to surrender and escape from being killed. His rationale, somewhat counterintuitive but proved brilliantly effective in the end, was that once these terrorists had a “lucky” escape, they would thank their blessed fate and would then mend their ways.
The General’s guiding principle was simple: In fighting terrorists, first create no new ones. He and his civilian superiors, principally Prime Minister Mahathir, did not subscribe to the thinking that once a communist terrorist always a communist terrorist, or that the only good communist terrorist was a dead one. The General saw immense propaganda value in former terrorists who were now alive, repentant, and leading full productive lives.
General Mahmud likened the war against terrorists to getting rid of rats. Killing and poisoning the critters would not do it; they reproduce prolifically. Besides, those toxic chemicals could haunt us in the end by poisoning our pets and ourselves. Retrieving rotting rats from hidden crevices could also be problematic. Clear the garbage and get rid of the debris, and you would go a long way towards solving the problem.
Malaysia treated its struggle against the communists less as a military exercise and more as a psychological battle for the minds and hearts of the people. Progress was measured not in body counts or number of enemies captured rather in lessening the sympathy the insurgents would command with the populace, and shifting the people’s allegiance away from them and towards the government.
Malaysia’s victory holds important lessons for the world, in particular America in its current battle against Al Qaeda terrorists. Malaysia too would do well to remember these important lessons as it meets future challenges from Muslim and other extremists within its midst.
Elsewhere, brilliant strategists like Major-General Mahmud Sulaiman would be amply recognized if not adulated. General Collin Powel who successfully executed the First Gulf War against Iraq went on to be State Secretary. He commanded premium fees on the lecture circuit, and his memoirs sold by the millions. Today few Malaysians, citizens and leaders alike, remember Major-General Mahmud Sulaiman. Then Prime Minister Hussein Onn bypassed the General to be the nation’s Chief of Armed Services, so the General subsequently resigned.
It was sad that Malay leaders like Hussein Onn did not recognize the General’s talent even after it was so dramatically demonstrated. It took a foreigner to recognize, and recognized early, the potential genius in Mahmud Sulaiman. General Templar, Britain’s High Commissioner to Malaysia (top colonial officer), picked young Mahmud back in the 1950s to be sent to Sandhurst. Yet another reason for Malaysia to be grateful to Templar!
I wonder what would happen to a young Mahmud had he been born today. Lamentably, it is a recurring theme that I revisit often, of Malaysia and specifically the Malay community and its leaders not recognizing and nurturing talent within its midst.
Looking back to the successful strategy against the communists, it now seemed easy and obvious. Not so then. Thus we now belittle those earlier struggles precisely because there were no heroic battles or the equivalent of Hamburger Hill to remind today’s generations of the pivotal decisions that were being made by their leaders then.
As a consequence, today we have attempts at revising history, as exemplified by the recent publication of Chin Peng’s memoirs written with the help of two British leftist writers.1 Fortunately that book flopped in the marketplace, despite the tireless flogging by its publisher. I am glad that Malaysians are not interested in the self-serving accounts of a murderer. I am forever grateful that Malaysia was led by the Tunku and not by thugs like Chin Peng. If we can believe his account, Chin Peng is claiming the mantle of leadership for the independence movement. Such delusion! Nothing could erase the fact that he killed and maimed many innocent lives.
Chin Peng is now trying to use the court system to seek his return to Malaysia. Imagine an outlaw belatedly having faith in the court system! If he should succeed, he should be prosecuted for the crimes he committed. There is no statute of limitation for murder and other heinous crimes. His victims too should seek civil remedies in the courts for the damages this cold-blooded terrorist had inflicted upon them and their loved ones.
(Towards A Competitive Malaysia #75, Chapter 11: Learning From Our Successes, Defeat of Communist Terrorists, Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 by M. Bakri Musa, October 2008 at

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Gone with the Wind, first published in May 1936, is a romantic novel and the only novel written by Margaret Mitchell. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and depicts the experiences of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner. The novel is the source of the extremely popular 1939 film of the same name.

1936 original cover 54
From Wikipedia

Gone with the Wind - MITCHELL, MARGARET
From The Manhattan Rare Book Company

Above is the First Edition of Mitchell's Pulitzer-Prize winning epic of Scarlett O'Hara's near-mythic love affair with Rhett Butler, one of the most popular and enduring novels in American literature. Magnificently bound in full morocco gilt (New York: Macmillan, 1936. Octavo, recent full maroon morocco with elaborately gilt-decorated spine, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Fine condition) - The Manhattan Rare Book Company.
“Politically incorrect or not, Gone with the Wind remains one of the greatest American films ever made and quite possibly the best example of studio era filmmaking at its most polished. In fact Gone with the Wind is one of the few instances in Hollywood history when bigger actually meant better.
Apart from Leslie Howard, who was never quite able to get into the skin of his soft-spoken character (Howard found him a weakling), the Gone with the Wind principals — Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland — deliver flawless performances. Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel steals all her scenes, while Butterfly McQueen’s much derided character, the ditzy Prissy, is a hoot. McQueen, a superb comedienne, deserves much more respect than what she’s gotten thus far…..
Gone with the Wind went on to win a total of 8 Oscars, plus a special technical achievement award. In addition to McDaniel, among the winners were Leigh, director Victor Fleming (who replaced George Cukor), and screenwriter Sidney Howard…..”
-Andre Soares at Alt Film Guide

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Gable
.... Rhett Butler
Vivien Leigh
.... Scarlett O'Hara
Leslie Howard
.... Ashley Wilkes
Olivia de Havilland
.... Melanie Hamilton
Thomas Mitchell
.... Gerald O'Hara
Barbara O'Neil
.... Ellen O'Hara
Evelyn Keyes
.... Suellen O'Hara
Ann Rutherford
.... Carreen O'Hara
George Reeves
.... Stuart Tarleton
Fred Crane
.... Brent Tarleton
George Cukor
.... Film Director
Victor Fleming
.... Film Director
Sam Wood
.... Film Director

If any film of the past 75 years represents the pinnacle of Hollywood's Golden Age it must be Gone with the Wind. Produced in 1939, a year many film historians agree was the greatest in terms of quality output by the studio system, Gone with the Wind stood out as "the most magnificent film ever made." No expense was spared on the cast, production values and promotion. The film walked away with the Best Picture Oscar in 1939, outdistancing STAGECOACH, MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, THE WIZARD OF OZ, and WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Gone with the Wind still stands as a popular monument to the artistic triumph of producer David O. Selznick and the Hollywood system.

Before the trouble
David A Selznick, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard
Olivia de Havilland and George Cukor
From HubPages

Cukor (above R) had been hired by Selznick to direct Gone with the Wind in 1936, even before the book was published and he spent the next two years involved with pre-production duties, as well as spending long hours coaching the film's female stars, Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland. Cukor was fired due to disagreements with the film's producer, David O. Selznick. after less than three weeks of shooting, but continued to coach Leigh and De Havilland off the set. It may have been his reputation as a "woman's director" (and homosexual) which lost him the job, when star Clark Gable allegedly said, "I won't be directed by a fairy." Or it could be Gable's fear that his own homosexual dalliance as a young man might be made public.
(Gunsock at HubPages)

Clark Gable
Submitted by karma93 at fanpop

Vivien Leigh
Submitted by karma93 at fanpop
From left, David O. Selznick, Victor Fleming
Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh 10
From The New York Times Company

Vivien Leigh

It's quite possible that even today more people have seen Gone with the Wind than any other film. It was the film that brought the 1930s, the first and most successful decade of the Hollywood studio system, to a rousing climax; for sheer size and visual splendor nothing like it (except perhaps The Birth of a Nation) had ever been seen before. But its appeal to audiences lay elsewhere - in the way it took an enormous subject the American Civil War, and made it the background to the adventures and misadventures of, essentially, four people. Thus it became an intimate spectacular, a small story told on an epic scale. It's therefore a movie set in the Civil War but not actually about the Civil War.....

All stills from Cap.tacular

Scarlett O'Hara is in love with drippy Ashley Wilkes, and is devastated when he announces that he plans to marry his cousin Melanie. She pleads with Ashley to marry her instead, but then, on the first day of the Civil War, she meets mercurial Rhett Butler. A man to match her strength of character and romantic desires, Butler changes the course of her life. Despite hunger, and the burning of Atlanta, Scarlett survives the war and its aftermath, but ultimately loses the only man she really loved.

Twelve Oaks

Two men flirting

Fight over Ashley Wilkes

Back from Twelve Oaks

She gets him alone in the library

Rhett Butler shows himself

A double wedding

Scarlett runs into Rhett again

He bids $150 to dance with her

Nursing at the hospital

Her mother is sick

Rhett comes by and saves her

Scarlett has to deliver the baby herself



The road to Tara

His mind has gone

It's still standing

Now home to Culver Studios
(this was used in Gone with the Wind)

Picking cotton in the fields at Tara

Scarlett kills him

Scarlett confesses her love for him again

He falls off and dies from a fall

'Bonnie Blue' Butler

She does not make it

"where shall I go .... what shall I do?"

"As God as my witness I will never be hungry again."

Tomorrow is another day
(All stills from Cap.tacular)

What concerns the film, and by extension us, is what's happening to Scarlett and Rhett (Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable) and Ashley and Melanie (Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland). Stories about the making of the picture have filled books: the role of Scarlett O'Hara was so coveted that almost every young female star in Hollywood tested for it; David Selznick, however, eager to find a new face (and, of course, to gain maximum publicity) organized a nationwide two-year search for the perfect Scarlett before eventually signing the comparatively unknown Vivien Leigh; the original director, George Cukor, was replaced at Gable's insistence by Victor Fleming, who, because of illness, was in turn replaced by Sam Wood; writers as diverse as Scott Fitzgerald and Ben Hecht had a go at reducing Margaret Mitchell's book to filmable length; an early choice for Rhett Butler was Errol Flynn and so on. At the end of it all what emerged was a sumptuous, flamboyant entertainment, a cinematic novel - not a work of art perhaps but a rich, enjoyable wallow of a movie.

• 1939: Best film; best actress (Leigh); best director (Fleming); best screenplay; best supporting actress (McDaniel); best cinematography; best art direction (Lyle Wheeler); best film editing (Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom); plus Irving Thalberg Memorial Award to Selznick.

• 1939: Best actor (Gable); best supporting actress (de Havilland); best original score; best sound recording (Thomas T. Moulton); best special effects (John R. Cosgrove, Fred Albin, Arthur Johns).