The Military History Society of NSW is for those interested in military history from ancient and modern times from NSW, Australia and the globe.

The Malayan Emergency, 1948-60, by Seumas Tan

The Military History Society of New South Wales Incorporated presents

The Malayan Emergency, 1948-60.

By Seumas Tan, a Councillor of the Society.


Police in Malayan Emergency.

The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) marks one of the bleakest period in the history of Malaya (now known as Malaysia). The guerilla war was fought between the Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP). This lecture traces the emergence of the Communist Insurgents and explores the events that led to the declaration of the Emergency, most notably the assassination of Sir Henry Gurney (the then British High Commissioner in Malaya) in Fraser’s Hill. The lecture will also touch on the negotiation known as the Baling Talks, the Bukit Kepong incident, the psychological warfare applied by Field Marshall Sir Gerald Templer, the Briggs’ Plan and the sacrifices and contribution of some of the unsung heroes during the Malayan Emergency.

Seumas Tan was born in Malaysia and grew up in a town called Klang where he has many happy and fond memories. Seumas has degrees in international relations, economics and law. He was admitted as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of NSW in 1994 but had been practising law mainly in Malaysia close to 20 years. He had also served and presided in a number of tribunals and panels of inquiry in Malaysia. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators as well as a dispute resolution Panel Member in a number of organizations.

In his free time, he enjoys researching and studying historical war sites, focusing mainly in the Asia Pacific region. He is a Councillor in the Military History of NSW, a member of the Military Historical Society of Australia (Queensland branch), a friend of the Australian War Memorial and a newly admitted member of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies NSW (RUSI NSW)



Saturday 5th May 2018, 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Carmichael Room, Level 1, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts (SMSA), 280 Pitt Street, Sydney CBD


Entry is free. RSVP is essential by Wednesday 2nd May 2018 as numbers are restricted.

Call the President (Clinton Reilly) on 0418 671 582 or email


The Malayan Emergency