The Newsletter 51 Summer 2009

Shedding light on Malaysia’s special branch

Julian Lee

Comber, Leon. 2008. Malaya’s Secret Police, 1945-1960: The Role of the Special Branch in the Malayan Emergency. Singapore: ISEAS/MAI. 324 pages. 978 981 230 815 3

When Malaysians think of the work carried out by the Special Branch of the police, they tend to think of think of infi ltration and spying on opposition parties and non-governmental organisations. During elections, the observant can spot them at political rallies, often obvious in their conspicuous attempt to appear inconspicuous.