Episode 11: The Enemy of My Enemy
Dr. Thum Ping Tjin, Research Associate, Centre for Global History, University of Oxford
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The Spartans and Athenians vs the Persians. The Wildlings and Night's Watch vs. the Others. The Autobots and Decepticons vs the Quintessons. This week's episode is all about enemies joining up to defeat a common foe. The right wing capitalists and the Kuomintang; the left-wing anti-colonial working class, intellectuals, and the Malayan Communist Party; and the colonial British joined hands to fight the Japanese in 1941. How did this happen? In this episode, PJ Thum traces how the barriers towards cooperation between these three existential enemies slowly fell throughout 1937-1941, leading to the creation of their unlikely alliance just as the Japanese arrived at Malaya’s gates, and how this set the stage for Malaya’s independence movements after the war. Also, a brief word on what the Malay nationalists were doing while all this was going on.
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Tags: world war 2, japanese invasion, kuomintang, malayan communist party, singaporean history, History of Singapore, hosbypjthum