Red Shadow of the Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of Glory): Malayan Communist Memoirs as Parallel Histories of Malaysia
PhD Completion Seminar
Sze Chieh (Jason) Ng
Friday 22 July 2016, 1:30pm, Theatre C, Old Arts (building 149)
By examining memoirs written by retired Malayan Communist Party members published after the 1989 Haadyai Peace Agreement, my research explores how the parallel narratives presented by the memoirs challenge official Malaysian nation-building myths. The representations and didactic values imbued in the texts are discussed via contextual analysis and criticisms of the writings. I ask in particular how the idea of an independent Malayan nation is conceived through the Party’s lens and to what extent the authors identify with that ideal. Through closer evaluation of the memoirs, my research gives voice to these nearly forgotten revolutionaries whose memories and identities have long been excluded from national narratives due to persistent Cold War ideology as well as the social and political climate of modern Malaysia. My research illuminates memories of the Malayan communist insurgency that have been ignored to date while also exploring the cultural impact of the memories on contemporary Malaysia.