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Literature on the History of South East Asia
Singapore Indonesia
First posted on May 16th 2002, last revised on December 16th 2013






NARRATIVE . References : Online Secondary Sources . Online Primary Sources . Bibliographic and Print Sources

1942-1945 . 1946-1957 . 1957-1963

for the history up to 1895, see History of Johor, History of Kedah, History of Kelantan, History of Malacca prior to 1511, History of Malacca 1511-1824, History of Negeri Sembilan, History of Pahang, History of Perak, History of Perlis, History of Selangor, History of Trengganu, History of the Straits Settlements, History of Sarawak, History of North Borneo, History of Labuan
see also Malay Peninsula -1895, Unfederated Malay States, Federated Malay States, History of Malaysia


1942-1945 The Malay peninsula had a very peculiar political structure, consisting of the Straits Settlements - Penang, Malacca, Singapore, British colonies, the Federated Malay States - Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang - and the Unfederated Malay States - Kedah, Johore, Kelantan, Trengganu, Perlis, all of which were, politically and economically, more or less tied with Britain. Together they were one of the world's leading producers of both tin and natural rubber.
The country was dominated by the ethnic Malayans, but was home to a large Chinese minority, for the most part brought in by the British to work the plantations and mines.
In December 1941 / January 1942 the Japanese easily occupied the peninsula, to stay until the end of the war. The Japanese were interested in securing the peninsula's natural resources. The northern principalities of Perlis, Kedah, Upper Perak, Kelantan and Trengganu were annexed by Thailand. Japanese occupation resulted in food shortage, rationing, inflation, factors which in turn caused a partially voluntary, partially enforced migration of urban, mainly Chinese, into the countryside, greatly increasing the number of squatters. Blaming the Malayan Chinese for having supported China during the Sino-Japanese War (since 1937), Japanese authorities in February 1942 launched a pogrom against the Chinese (Sook Ching Massacre), in the course of which several 10,000 persons were killed. Resistance emerged, developing along ethnic lines, the most significant organization being the MPAJA (Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army; Chinese-dominated). At the end of the war, the northern principalities' independence was restored; the MPAJA moved to punish collaborators; as the latter were mainly Malays, the relation between Chinese and Malays became tense.
The cession of the northern 4 Malay states to Thailand and the placement of the remainder - disregarding the previous status (Federated Malay States, Unfederated Malay States, Straits Settlements) under a common administration had created a Japanese-occupied Malaya with an ethnic Chinese population majority.
The Japanese pursued a policy of ethnic discrimination, the ethnic Chinese being treated the worst, the Malay, comparatively, the most lenient, the ethnic Indians somewhere in-between. The Malay peninsula was rich in rubber and tin, which, for Japan were of little interest as both resources were not in short supply. Malaya was of strategic value, for it provided access to the vital oil fields of Sumatra, and because of Singapore's naval base.

1946-1957 Administration . Following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, a British Military Administration was installed. It was terminated in March 1946. The former Straits Settlements except for Singapore, the Cocos Islands and Christmas Island, the Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States were joined to form the Malayan Union. The Malayan Union permitted the indigenous monarchs political authority only in matters of religion, and granted citizenship to anyone born in Malaya, a statute which was criticized by ethnic Malays. The unpopular Union was dissolved in 1948, replaced by the Malayan Federation.
A Federal Legislative Council was formed in 1954, with 52 of the 100 seats elected, the remainder appointed by the High Commissioner. State elections were held in 1954, with the Alliance emerging as the strongest force. From 1955, the Federation of Malaya enjoyed a degree of political autonomy. Chief minister was Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj (UMNO).
The Emergence of Political Parties . The Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) had been founded in Singapore in 1930, appealing to Malayans of Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicity. Its aim was to overcome colonialism and ultimately to establish a multiethnic Communist society. During the Japanese occupation the CPM organized active resistance. Because the majority of her members were ethnic Chinese, the community of ethnic Chinese in Malaya suffered worse treatment at the hands of the Japanese, than did Malaya's other ethnicities. When the British returned, and Malaya - unlike India, Pakistan, Ceylon and Burma - by 1948 was not released into independence, the Malayan National Liberation Army, an organization founded and controlled by the CPM, fought the British in what is known as the Malayan emergency.
The United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) was established in 1946, the Malayan Chinese Association (pro-KMT) in 1949, the Malayan Indian Congress in 1946. In 1952, UMNO and the MCA formed the Alliance, which in 1955 was joined by the MIC. The Alliance won state elections in 1954.
Inter-Ethnic Relations . According to the 1947 census, the Federation of Malaya had 4.9 million inhabitants, of whom 49.5 % were Malays, 38.4 % Chinese, 10.8 Indians and Pakistanis (BBoY 1958). The concern of UMNO was to shape an independent Malaya / Malaysia which ensured an ethnic Malay majority, which was threatened if one contemplated the inclusion of Singapore.
The political allegiance of Malaya's ethnic Chinese community was split in the supporters of the more conservative MCA and in the supporters of the CPM.
Inter-racial relations were affected by the structure of Malaya's economy, as most non-British businesses were owned by ethnic Chinese. Malaya's Chinese in 1948 were treated as immigrant residents, denied the right to vote, and the right to own land.
The Malayan Emergency . Drawing on the support of Malaya's poor Chinese, the Malayan National Liberation Army in 1948 launched a campaign of guerilla warfare. In 1951 the MNLA succeeded in assassinating the High Commissioner, Henry Gurney. The British authorities in 1951 began a campaign for the hearts and minds of the Malays, providing food and medical aid; the Chinese were given the right to vote and to own land. Military patrols limited the actions of the MNLA. Australian troops arrived in 1955. When the Federation of Malaya was granted independence in 1957, the MNLA lost its raison d'etre. The last skirmish was fought in 1958, with the remnants of the MNLA, which did not surrender, crossing into Thailand. The emergency was declared ended in 1960.
The Economy . In 1946, Malaya produced 435,000 metric tons of rice, in 1957 799,000 metric tons (IHS pp.194, 200).
In 1946, Malaya produced 410,000 metric tons of rubber, in 1957 648,000 metric tons (IHS p.260).
In 1946, Malaya produced 8,600 metric tons of tin ore, in 1957 60,200 metric tons (IHS p.398).
In 1950, Malaya produced 70,000 metric tons of refined tin, in 1957 72,000 metric tons (IHS p.434).
Social History . When Malaya was again placed under British administration, the country's infrastructure and economy had suffered. Food shortage, inflation, war damage and diseases posed problems. Efforts by the administration to improve the situation were complicated by inter-ethnic strife and by the Malayan Emergency. On the other hand, the Malayan Emergency caused the British to launch the hearts and minds campaign, wich, by handing out food, providing medical care and by improving the status of the Chinese, resulted in improvements for many Malayans.
Cultural History . In 1953 the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council was established (the Malayan N.O.C.), and recognized by the IOC in 1954; Malaysian athletes participated in the Summer Olympics in Melbourne 1956, but not in those held in Rome in 1960.

1957-1963 Administration . In 1957 the Malayan Federation became independent and Tunku Abdul Rahman its first prime minister. The Federation consisted of all the Malay states on the peninsula, but did not include Singapore, which, like Sarawak and British North Borneo, remained British. The 1959 elections were won by the Alliance, a predecessor of Barisan Nasional.
Foreign Policy . The Federation of Malaya was admitted to the UN in 1957. An Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement as signed in 1957. In 1961 the Tunku proposed the formation of a wider federation called Malaysia which would include Sarawak and Sabah (North Borneo), then still under British administration. As Indonesia's President Sukarno was openly hostile to independent Malaya and the British colonies and protectorates in the region and planned the annexation of all of them, Britain supported the Malaysia plan; in 1963 the Federation of Malaysia was founded, British colonial rule in Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah (former British North Borneo) terminated.
Domestic Issues . The 1957 constitution declared Bahasa Malaysia national language. Ethnically Chinese residents (who made up a considerable part of the population and were vital to the country's economy) had to pass a difficult language test if they wanted to acquire Malaya's citizenship.
The Malaysian Emergency (Communist insurgency) was contained by 1960.
The Economy . The Malayan Federation was the world's leading producer of rubber and tin. The country's ethnic Chinese minority was firmly in control of the economy; most of the country's majority Malays were regarded as poor.
In 1957, Malaya produced 799,000 metric tons of rice, in 1963 1,0 million metric tons (IHS p.200).
Social History . According to the 1947 census, the Federation of Malaya had 4.9 million inhabitants, of whom 49.5 % were Malays, 38.4 % Chinese, 10.8 Indians and Pakistanis (BBoY 1958).

Historical Atlas, Malaya Page (1895-1963)






Narrative . References : ONLINE SECONDARY SOURCES . Online Primary Sources . Bibliographic and Print Sources

Country Profiles . Links . Organizations . Accounts of History . Politics . Military History . Economic History . Social History . Ethnography
History of Religion . Regional History . Local History . Institutions . Culture . Biography . Environmental History . Others
Country Profiles from Wikipedia
Links General from Library of Congress, Portals to the World; from BUBL; from dmoz; Links on Malaysia (chapter on M. History) from Univ. Oregon, Asian Studies
List of Malaysia-related Topics, from Wikipedia
Virtual Library Malaysia
Category : Federation of Malaya, from Wikipedia
on History from Virtual Library Malaysia; from Univ. Oregon, Asian Studies
Historical Dictionaries N.B. Dennys, A Descriptive Dictionary of British Malaya 1894, IA
Organizations International Association of Historians of Asia (IAHA)
Japan Society for Southeast Asian Studies (JSSEAS)
The International Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History (ICEAACH)
Finnish University Network for East and Southeast Asian Studies
Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society
Perak Heritage Society
Timelines from BBC News, from timelines.ws; from geographia.com; another one from Malaysia Stall
Accounts of History Sejarah Melayu. A History of the Malay Peninsula, from malaya.org.uk
History of Malaysia, from World Travel Guide, from Asian Info, Lonely Planet
Article : History of Malaysia, from Wikipedia; from Crime and Society. A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World (Robert Winslow)
Diane K. Mauzy, From Malay Nationalism to a Malaysian Nation ?, Ch.3 pp.45-70 in L.W. Barrington (ed.), After Independence : Making and Protecting the Nation in Postcolonial and Postcommunist States, 2006
Global Security : Malaysia History : 1942-1945 - Japanese Occupation, 1945-1963 - The Creation Of Malaysia
Politics H. Miller, The Communist Menace in Malaya (1954), posted on Internet Archive
M. Rudner, The Structure of Government in the Colonial Federation of Malaya, Southeast Asian Studies 1976, posted by Sejarah Melayu
Malaya : The Party System in 1950-1955 and 1956-1962, in : Kenneth Janda, Political Parties : A Cross-National Survey
Articles Malayan Union, Federation of Malaya, Malayan Communist Party, UMNO, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malayan Chinese Association, Malayan Indian Congress, from Wikipedia
History of Public Service in Malaysia, anonymous, n.d.
Military Wars affecting the Malay Peninsula, until 1963 (at this site)
Wars of Malaysia, 1800-1999, from ACED
Article Military History of Malaysia, from Wikipedia
Category : Malayan Emergency, from Wikipedia
Article : Malayan Races Liberation Army, from Wikipedia
The Psychological Warfare Section : Federation of Malaya, from psywar.org (doc)
R.J. Isaacs, Psychological Warfare in the Federation of Malaya
NZ and the Malayan Emergency, from New Zealand History Online
CASCON Case MAE : Malayan Emergency 1948-1960, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
The War against Sukarno. Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak 1962-1966, from Britain's Small Wars 1945-2001
C.B. Kheng, The Communist Insurgency in Malaysia, 1948-90: Contesting the Nation-State and Social Change, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies 11, 1 (June 2009): pp.132-152
The Virgin Soldiers. Malaya 1948-1960, from Britain's Small Wars 1945-2001
Lim Choo Hoon, The Battle of Pasir Panjang Revisited, from Pointer, Journal of the Singapore Armed Forces Jan. 2002
Economy & Finances A Global History of Currencies : Malaysia
History, from Bursa Malaysia; from Wikipedia
Article Malaysian Ringgit, from Wikipedia
Economic History of Malaysia, from Economic History Encyclopedia
Category Economic History of Malaysia, from Wikipedia
Tin Mining in Malaysia - Present and Future, from TED Case Studies; Tin Tales from the Past, from Malaysia up Close
The Story of Malaysian Natural Rubber, from Malaysian Rubber Board
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Company Histories : Petronas, Malaysian Airlines, Sime Darby Berhad, Malayan Banking Berhad, PPB Group, from Funding Universe
icapitaleducation, Malaysia's Economic History 1800-1920, 1920-1941, Great Depression, 1945-1963, 1957-1970 pt.1, pt.2, pt.3, pt.4, pt.5, pt.6, pt.7
The Economics of the Second World War in Southeast Asia, by Greg Huff
Social History C. Hirschmann, Educational Patterns in Colonial Malaya, Comparative Education Review vol.16 no.3 Oct. 1972 pp.486-502
Alcohol and Drugs History Society : Malaysia
Malaysia : History of Philanthropy, from Philanthropy and the Third Sector in Asia and the Pacific
Crime and Society. A Comparative Criminology Tour of the World : Malaysia
S.P. Yeoh et al., Urbanization and Urban Growth during Colonial Rule and Independence in Peninsular Malaysia, Review of Indonesian and Malayan Affairs vol.14 no.1 1980
T.R. Fennell, Commitment to change : a history of Malayan educational policy, 1945-1957 ? , thesis Univ. of Hawaii 1968
Ethnography Languages of Malaysia (141), from Ethnologue
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World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples : Malaysia
World Huaren Federation, Malaysian Chinese
Religion Chronology of Catholic Dioceses : Malaysia, from Kirken i Norge
Category Religion in Malaysia, from Wikipedia
Article History of the Jews in Malaysia, from Wikipedia; Malaysia, from International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies - Cemetery Project
Catholic Church in Malaysia, from GCatholic
C.R. Yeoh, Malaysia, Truly Asia ? Religious Pluralism in Malaysia
J. Roxborogh, An outline history of Christianity in Malaysia
C.R. Yeoh, Malaysia, Truly Asia ? Religious Pluralism in Malaysia
Nalanda, Buddhism in Malaysia
Malaysia Hindudharma Mamandram, Hinduism in Malaysia
History of Regions see History of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Labuan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, Trengganu at this site
States of Malaysia, Districts of Malaysia, from www.statoids.com
Local History History of Kuala Lumpur, from Kiat.Net; from Wikipedia
History of Ipoh, from Wikipedia; History of Malacca (Melaka), from Wikipedia; History of Penang (Pulau Pinang), from Wikipedia; History of Kuching, from Wikipedia
Institutions History, from Bursa Malaysia; from Wikipedia
Article University of Malaya, from Wikipedia
Radio Televisyen Malaysia, from Wikipedia
Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malaysia Railways), from Wikipedia
Malaya, Malaysia, from Airline History
Structurae : Malaysia; Search Lighthouse Depot for Malaysia
EngRailHistory, The Development of Malaya. A Line that Brought Prosperity to the Jungle
Culture Online books on History of Malaysian architecture, from ArchNet
Malaysia, from UK Food Online, a culinary history of Malaysia
Article Malaysia at the Olympics, from Wikipedia
Biographies List of Malaysians, from Wikipedia
Environmental History Indo-Malayan Ecoregion, from WWF
Disaster History by Country : Malaysia, from Relief Web; Category Disasters in Malaysia, from Wikipedia
Others Malaysia Directory, from Peace Corps Online

WEB-BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . EXTERNALLY POSTED PRIMARY SOURCES
Historical Data . Statistical Data . Documents Newspapers . Yearbooks . Image Databanks . Archival Deposits . Laws . Historiography
Document Collections . Historical Maps . Historical Encyclopedia Articles . Travelogues . Institutions . National Symbols
Historical Data Lists of Statesmen from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon); from Rulers (B. Schemmel); from Regnal Chronologies; from World Rulers (E. Schulz, illustrated)
Lists of Ambassadors List of High Commissioners from the United Kingdom to Malaya, from Wikipedia; Liste Chronologique des Ambassadeurs (de France en Malaisie), from Ambafrance; Liste der Botschafter der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), from Wikipedia German edition
U.S. Ambassadors to Malaysia, from NNDB; Heads of Post : Malaysia, from MOFA Canada
List of High Commissioners from New Zealand to Malaya, from Wikipedia
Statistical Data Population Figures Historical Population Statistics : Malaysia, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
Election Results Article : Elections in Malaysia, Malayan General Election 1959, from Wikipedia
Documents Historical Newspapers The History of Malaysia, from World History Archives
Modern Newspapers links from Online Newspapers, from World Newspapers
Online Yearbooks
Newsreels British Pathe
Wochenschau-Archiv (in German)
Archief Beeld en Geluid : Polygoon (in Dutch)
Image Databanks Sejarah Melayu Gallery
Malaysia Design Archive
Wikimedia Commons
License Plates, from Francoplaque, from License Plates of the World
Historic Picture Postcards, from Postcardman, commercial site
Airline Timetable Images : Malaysia
Locomotives of the Malayan Railway, by Tim Light
Propaganda Leaflets British/Malay Government anti-Communist Terrorist Propaganda Leaflets, 1948-1960, posted by www.psywar.org
Archival Deposits Digital Library Malaysia
National Archives (UK)
U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, search for Malaysia
Search Janus for Malaya, Malaysia, Straits Settlements, Sarawak, North Borneo etc.
Constitutions Malayan Constitution of 1957, from Wikipedia
Laws Federation of Malaya Independence Act (1957), from The UK Statute Law Database
Federation of Malaya Constitutional Proposal 1957, from CPPS; Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957, from MCA
Malaysian Legislation Database (1914-)
Digital Library Malaysia, click "Parliament"
International Law Library : Malaysia
List of Ratifications of International Labour Conventions by Malaya/Malaysia, from ILO, 15 docs. since 1957
Treaties Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bilateral Agreements (lists titles)
Australian Treaty Series : Bilateral Treaties - Malaysia
Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken (Mofa, NL ; enter "Maleisie" in field : "Lijst samenstellen op land of regio", 3 entries; sources posted in Dutch language
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Historiography
Document Collections Search CIA Released Documents for Malaya
Historical Maps Maps, from Sejarah Melayu Gallery
click WHKMLA Historical Atlas, Malaya Page
Maps of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, posted by Mapas Imperiales, scans, scroll down for Indonesia, Malasia y Brunei
Parliamentary Debates Hansard (British Parliament)
Hansard Parlimen Malaysia 1959-
Tour Guides
Travelogues
Institutions Archives National Archives of Malaysia; Repositories of Primary Sources : Asia : Malaysia, from Univ. of Idaho. Mostly Archive Webpages, 8 entries
UNESCO Archives Portal : National Archives Asia Pacific, has one entry for Malaysia (Nov. 13th 2006), scroll down; UNESCO Archives Portal : State and Regional Archives, Asia-Pacific Malaysia, 1 entry
Musea Lists, Links Museums in Malaysia
Musea Museum Websites
Monuments Tentative Lists : Malaysia, World Heritage List, scroll down for Malaysia, from UNESCO World Heritage
Malaysia Index, from Showcaves
Libraries Libraries in Malaysia, from LibDex
National Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Flag, from FOTW
Coins, Banknotes Banknotes of Malaya; Malaya and British North Borneo, Malaysia (attached Sarawak, British North Borneo); from Ron Wise's World Paper Money; from Zeno
Banknotes of Malaya, Malaya & British Borneo, Malaysia, from World Currency Museum

BIBLIOGRAPHY AND PRINT SOURCES
Bibliographies . Online Libraries . Thesis Servers . Online Journals . General Accounts . Specific Topics . Historical Dictionaries . Statistical Data . Yearbooks
Bibliographies general Datenbasis Internationale Beziehungen und Länderkunde (Data Base on International Relations and Country Studies) (site in German, most titles listed in English; numerous entries; publications mostly since 1970)
RHS Bibliography
UK National Archive Online Library
ISBN Database
DBNG .
on Malaysia Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS)
Malaysia Women's Studies Bibliography, from UC Berkeley Library
NNDB Bibliography Malaysia
Search Asian Development Bank (ADB) Publications for Malaysia
ASEAN Environmental Education Inventory Database, resources, scroll down for Malaysia
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Books on Malaysia, from Orchid Press
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Malaysia, from The Online Books Page
booksellers Nutmeg Publications. Malaysian Heritage Publications
Books on Malaysia, from Orchid Press
mymalaysiabooks
Online Libraries general Internet Archives
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e-corpus
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Southeast Asian Studies 1963-, mostly in Japanese
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