State of Emergency

On 16 June 1948, Communist insurgents murdered three British plantation managers and one Chinese contractor in Perak, and another Chinese person in Johore. In the River Siput murders, Elphil Estate manager A E Walker was shot at his office desk at 8.30 am. Less than an hour later, Phin Soon Estate manager John Allison and his assistant Ian Christian were tied and killed by the Communists. This was about a mile away from the Elphil Estate. The State of Emergency was declared in Perak the following day, and to the entire Malaya soon after.

The Indian regiments had left after India’s independence in 1948. The regiments left – or called – to protect Malaya from this moment on were: two Malay regiments: RAMD 1 and 2 (1st and 2nd Malay Battalion); Special Air Service or SAS Squadron A (Ipoh), Squadron B and C (Johore, supported by Royal Inniskillings); King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (they trained the Iban trackers to use the rifles); 1st and 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment; 1st Manchester Regiment (Perak, Perlis and Kedah); six Gurkha regiments: 48th Gurkha Brigade, 17th Gurkha Division; and 2nd, 6th, 7th and 10th of the Gurkha Rifles, Gurkha Signals, Engineers and Transport Regiments.

The SAS Squadrons were also known as the Malayan Scouts. In February 1951, for Operation Helsby, the parachute troops attacked the communists in the Belum Valley, Perak, on the border of Thailand.

See ‘Malayan Emergency’.

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