If The Sky were to Fall: An Intergenerational Journey of Trials and Tribulations in Malaya During and After the Wars

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If The Sky were to Fall: An Intergenerational Journey of Trials and Tribulations in Malaya During and After the Wars 

Author: Gary Lit Ying Loong
Publisher: Gerakbudaya
ISBN: 99789670311845
Pages: 310
Year: 2022
Price: RM40

Through a highly personal and engaging journey, this book exposes the myths and mysteries surrounding the most tumultuous period of Malayan history. It illuminates our understanding of the subterranean forces shaping the people and country then and now.

Almost immediately after WWII, the British fought a long “Emergency” war against the communist guerrillas who had bravely helped them to fight against the Japanese earlier. This book details the gruesome atrocities suffered by the people of Malaya under the Japanese Occupation during WWII. It also unveils the reasons behind the rise of communism among the young and not-so-young Malayans. It shows the British’s lack of appreciation for the subtleties and complexities involved in the various issues facing innocent people.

In this decade-long war, the innocent people of Malaya bore the brunt of their sufferings. More than half a million of them were forcibly relocated, with neither proper notice nor compensation, into double-barbed wired concentration camps called New Villages (San Chun). This book reveals the heavy-handed surveillance and restrictions adopted by the British as well as the resistance towards and rejection of this totalizing disciplinary project by the villagers. It shows how they confronted and contended with the unfair and unconscionable classification, normalization, and reformation of them into “docile” subjects.

By interrogating the official narrative, this memoir reveals the hidden truths, tensions, and dilemmas involved. It gives voice to the dislocated, dispossessed, and discontented and attends to the neglected, subjugated, and persecuted caught up in this turbulent historical era.

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