The New Perspective on the CPM webinar is a half-day online event that will engage experts on film and literature to discuss the impact of media that was produced concurrently with and after the period of the Malayan Emergency by British, local artistes, and outsiders sympathetic to the Malayan Communist Party and its cause. From these, the webinar will explore how the Emergency was perceived by (1) the Government, (2) the MCP and the insurgents, and (3) the local peoples. This discussion aims to analyse the manner in which art functions as a record of cultural memory, and therefore functions as a resource that can either reinforce or challenge the official history of the Malayan Emergency and how it is perceived by society. Furthermore, the webinar will explore how this body of art and media informs our understanding of the development of Singapore and Malaysia as postcolonial nations in the subsequent period.
About the Speakers
Dr Ong Wei Chong is a Senior Associate Fellow and Head of the National Security Studies Programme (NSSP), in the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has taught at the command and staff college, advanced school and officer cadet school levels at SAFTI Military Institute, Singapore. In addition, he was an Affiliated Researcher with the Department of Leadership and Management, Swedish National Defence College and a Guest Professor at the École Navale, France. He is also an alumnus of the Phillip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies Basin Harbor Workshop, SAIS, Johns Hopkins (2013).
Wei Chong’s articles, commentaries and op-eds have been published in the journal and magazine of the Singapore Armed Forces (Pointer and Pioneer); RUSI Journal; Armed Forces and Society; Small Wars & Insurgencies, Defence Studies; The Pacific Review; Asia Policy; The National Interest; The Diplomat: Australian Defence Force Journal; Journal of Southeast Asian Studies; Straits Times; Today; Lianhe Zaobao; Defense News; Canadian Naval Review; and Diplomatie.
Andrew Ng Hock Soon is an Associate Professor in Literary Studies and Creative Writing at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. He received his PhD from the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. He specializes in Gothic and horror narratives, and is particularly interested in a framework that compares the related genres’ Eastern and Western manifestations. His other areas of interest include postcolonial and diaspora writing, postmodern literature and literary aesthetics. He is the author of four books to date, and has contributed numerous articles and chapters to peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes respectively to date. Together with two other colleagues, he is currently editing an essay collection on filmic and literary representations of the Malayan Emergency for Bloomsbury (forthcoming in 2024).
Professor Karl Hack was born in Singapore, where he also taught at the National Institute of Education from 1995 to 2006. He specialises in the history of Southeast Asia, the British Empire, and of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Drawing on interviews with insurgents, his work has had a particular focus on insurgency, counterinsurgency and (with Dr Kevin Blackburn) conflict memory. He has also carried out a wide range of public work, ranging across heritage, museums, government organisations, the media and the courts. He now works at the The Open University where he has previously been head of history and head of School. Major publications relating to the webinar topic include The Malayan Emergency: Revolution and counterinsurgency at the end of empire (2021), and (with Kevin Blackburn) War Memory and the Making of Modern Malaysia and Singapore (2012).