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Aseasuk News no.

46 Autumn 2009 31

Burma.
 He
 succeeds
 in
 demonstrating
 that
 



the
final
years
of
British
colonial
rule,
and
the
 SYED
MUHD
KHAIRUDIN
ALJUNIED

disappointing
 experience
 or
 ‘self‐rule’
 under
 Colonialism,
violence
and
Muslims
in
Southeast

Japanese
 occupation
 during
 World
 War
 II,
 Asia:
the
Maria
Hertogh
controversy
and
its

merit
 consideration
 as
 a
 single
 ‘era
 of
 Aung
 aftermath

San’
 (p.
 2),
 during
 which
 Burma's
 modern
 London:
Routledge,
2009

nationalist
politics
took
form.
 208
pp.
ISBN
978‐0‐415‐48594‐4,
hb
£75


The
 book
 is
 particularly
 strong
 on
 the
 state‐
socialist
 period
 in
 Burma
 (1962‐88),
 and
 the
 Reviewed by A.J. Stockwell
manner
 in
 which
 the
 Ne
 Win
 regime
 moved
 Royal Holloway, University of London
to
 control
 Burmese
 society,
 and
 suppress

dissent.
 Charney
 focuses
 on
 the
 relatively
 At
 about
 noon
 on
 11
 December
 1950
 rioting

‘ideology‐rich’
 nature
 of
 the
 Burma
 Socialist
 broke
 out
 in
 the
 vicinity
 of
 Singapore’s

Program
 Party’s
 rule,
 usefully
 comp‐ Supreme
Court
and
spread
to
the
area
of
the

lementing
 the
 account
 provided
 by
 Robert
 Sultan
Mosque.

The
violence
lasted
48
hours

Taylor
(op
cit).

 and
 during
 it
 18
 people
 were
 killed
 (nine
 by


 rioters
 and
 nine
 by
 the
 police
 or
 military),

For
this
reviewer,
a
more
sustained
emphasis
 173
 were
 injured
 and
 much
 property
 was

on
 ‘the
 ethnic
 question’
 would
 have
 been
 damaged
 or
 destroyed
 including
 well
 over

welcome.
 However,
 the
 lack
 of
 detailed
 100
vehicles.



attention
 to
 this
 important
 theme
 is
 

compensated
 for
 in
 the
 conclusion,
 where
 The
 innocent
 victim
 at
 the
 centre
 of
 the

Charney
 identifies
 ‘lowland‐highland,
 and
 uproar
 was
 Maria
 Hertogh,
 the
 thirteen‐year

thus
 Burman‐minority,
 bifurcations
 of
 the
 old
 daughter
 of
 Roman
 Catholic
 parents,
 a

country
 [as]
 …
 an
 important
 determining
 Eurasian
 mother
 and
 a
 Dutch
 father
 who

factor
in
the
trajectory
of
Burmese
history
in
 before
the
Japanese
occupation
had
served
in

the
 twenty‐first
 century’
 (p.202).
 He
 also
 the
 army
 of
 the
 Netherlands
 East
 Indies.

correctly
 identifies
 the
 junta’s
 expertise
 in
 When
 the
 Japanese
 invaded
 Java
 her
 parents

crisis
 management,
 and
 short‐term
 were
 interned
 but
 Maria
 escaped,
 having

strategising,
 as
 key
 to
 the
 longevity
 of
 been
entrusted
by
her
mother
to
Che
Aminah

military
rule
in
Burma
(pp.
204‐6).
 binte
 Mohamed.
 The
 nature
 of
 this


 arrangement
 was
 disputed
 after
 the
 war,

A
 deeper
 and
 more
 specialised
 history
 of
 with
 Che
 Aminah
 claiming,
 and
 the
 Hertoghs

Burma
would
need
to
reference
Burmese
and
 denying,
that
Maria
had
been
handed
over
for

minority
 language
 sources,
 which
 Charney
 permanent
 adoption.
 In
 1950,
 having

rarely
 cites
 in
 his
 footnotes
 or
 bibliography.
 discovered
 that
 his
 daughter
 had
 been
 taken

Such
omissions
perhaps
explain
the
‘outsider
 by
 Che
 Aminah
 to
 Trengganu,
 Adrianus

account’
 nature
 of
 the
 narrative.
 However,
 it
 Hertogh
 requested
 the
 Dutch
 Consulate‐
is
 easy
 enough
 to
 find
 emotionally
 engaged
 General
 in
 Singapore
 to
 initiate
 court

tracts
 on
 Burmese
 politics.
 Charney
 has
 proceedings
 for
 her
 repatriation
 to
 the

achieved
 the
 much
 rarer
 and
 highly
 valuable
 Netherlands.
 By
 this
 time,
 however,
 Maria

goal
 of
 producing
 a
 systematic
 and
 reliable
 had
 been
 brought
 up
 as
 a
 Muslim;
 she
 had

historical
overview.
 changed
her
name
to
Nadra
binte
Ma’arof
and

32 Aseasuk News no. 46 Autumn 2009

was
betrothed
to
Mansoor
Adaabi.
The
tussle
 than
 that
 in
 any
 other
 tumultuous



over
 her
 custody
 swung
 one
 way
 and
 the
 disturbance
 in
 Singapore
 between
 1945
 and

other.
 The
 colonial
 high
 court
 first
 ruled
 in
 1963.

Furthermore,
these
riots
were
no
mere

favour
 of
 her
 natural
 parents,
 later
 restored
 rocket
 that
 quickly
 burned
 out
 but
 rather
 a

Maria
 to
 her
 adoptive
 mother
 but
 rescinded
 warning
 shot
 that
 altered
 the
 course
 of

that
 order
 on
 her
 marriage
 to
 Mansoor.
 
 She
 colonial
 rule
 in
 Singapore,
 as
 Syed
 Muhd

was
 then
 escorted
 by
 police
 to
 a
 Roman
 Khairudin
 Aljunied
 (Assistant
 Professor
 in

Catholic
 convent
 where
 she
 remained
 until
 the
 Department
 of
 Malay
 Studies
 at
 the

12
December
when
she
was
put
in
a
plane
for
 National
 University
 of
 Singapore)
 com‐
Holland
 while
 Singapore
 burned.
 
 Maria
 did
 pellingly
demonstrates
in
this
revised
version

not
return
to
Southeast
Asia
until
1999
when
 of
his
recent
SOAS
PhD
thesis.


she
 visited
 Malaysia
 in
 connection
 with
 the
 

filming
 of
 a
 Dutch
 documentary
 about
 the
 Deftly
 situating
 this
 episode
 in
 the
 socio‐
controversy.
 Maria
 Hertogh
 was
 for
 ever
 political
circumstances
of
post‐war
Singapore

marked
 by
 her
 disturbed
 childhood.

 and
 drawing
 on
 an
 impressive
 range
 of

Marriage
 to
 a
 Dutch
 soldier
 brought
 her
 unpublished
 sources
 in
 the
 United
 Kingdom,

many
 children
 but
 also
 much
 unhappiness.

 Singapore,
 Malaysia,
 Holland,
 Australia
 and

Acquitted
 of
 plotting
 the
 murder
 of
 her
 the
 United
 States,
 Syed
 Muhd
 Khairudin

husband,
 she
 obtained
 a
 divorce
 and
 left
 her
 Aljunied
 sheds
 fresh
 light
 on
 the
 causes,

children
 for
 the
 United
 States.
 By
 this
 time
 course
 and
 consequences
 of
 the
 riots.
 
 He

she
 was
 reported
 to
 have
 lost
 whatever
 shows
 how
 radicals
 within
 Singapore’s

religious
 faith
 she
 may
 once
 have
 had.
 marginalised
Muslim
community
were
driven

Eventually
 she
 returned
 to
 Holland
 where
 to
protest
and
how
protest
turned
to
riot
as
a

she
died
in
July
2009.


 result
 of
 colonial
 negligence,
 particularly
 in


 the
 areas
 of
 intelligence
 and
 policing.
 
 The

The
 Hertogh
 riots
 stand
 apart
 from
 other
 largest
 and
 most
 original
 part
 of
 the
 book
 is

violent
 incidents
 in
 post‐war
 Malaya
 and
 devoted
 to
 the
 aftermath
 of
 the
 riots
 which

Singapore.


The
protests
that
boiled
over
into
 had
taken
the
colonial
regime
by
surprise
and

violence
 in
 December
 1950
 came
 from
 had
 called
 into
 question
 its
 legitimacy.


Singapore’s
 Muslims,
 not
 exclusively
 Malays,
 Chapter
 by
 chapter,
 the
 author
 examines
 the

and
 were
 directed
 against
 Europeans
 and
 strategy
whereby
the
British
strove
to
restore

Eurasians,
 not
 against
 the
 Chinese.

 their
 authority.
 It
 had
 five
 features:
 (1)

Moreover,
 they
 were
 not
 driven
 by
 the
 instilling
 fear
 through
 arrests,
 raids,
 curfews

communist
 insurgency
 then
 raging
 on
 the
 and
 the
 use
 and
 abuse
 of
 the
 law;
 (2)

peninsula.
 
 Nor
 did
 they
 sit
 easily
 within
 the
 surveillance
 by
 special
 branch
 and
 other

context
 of
 the
 island’s
 secular,
 left‐wing
 agencies;
 (3)
 self‐criticism
 through,
 for

radicalism
 which
 was
 associated
 more
 with
 example,
 the
 commission
 of
 enquiry
 which

labour
 and,
 subsequently,
 student
 unrest.

 identified
 scapegoats
 while
 shielding
 the

Perhaps
 it
 was
 because
 they
 appeared
 higher
 echelons
 of
 the
 regime;
 (4)

atypical
 of
 the
 threats
 to
 the
 colonial
 state
 reconciliation
 in
 order
 ‘to
 balance
 and
 rule,

during
 the
 Cold
 War,
 that
 the
 story
 of
 Maria
 more
 than
 to
 divide
 and
 rule’
 p.88);
 and
 (5)

has
 frequently
 overshadowed
 analysis
 of
 the
 reform
 of
 policing,
 marriage
 policies,
 child

riots.
 
 In
 fact,
 however,
 the
 death
 toll
 during
 adoption
and
education.
Although
the
British

the
 Hertogh
 affair
 is
 estimated
 to
 be
 higher
 by
no
means
had
it
all
their
own
way
in
any
of

Aseasuk News no. 46 Autumn 2009 33

these
 endeavours,
 by
 the
 end
 of
 1952
 they
 The
historical
section
of
the
book
begins
with



‘had
turned
the
aftermath
of
the
riots
to
their
 Tony
 Stockwell’s
 discussion
 of
 the
 British

advantage’
 (p.126)
 This
 detailed
 and
 subtly
 late‐colonial
 legacy.
 
 From
 wartime
 planning

argued
 case
 study
 is
 a
 valuable
 contribution
 for
 reoccupation
 in
 1942
 to
 the
 achievement

to
 our
 understanding
 of
 the
 late
 colonial
 of
 Malaysia
 (with
 Singapore
 included)
 in

regime
 in
 Singapore
 and
 to
 the
 literature
 on
 1963,
 Stockwell
 shows
 that
 the
 British
 were

riots
in
Southeast
Asia.
 ‘equivocal
 and
 circumspect’
 (p.
 12)
 in
 their

approaches
 to
 merger.
 
 The
 exclusion
 of

Singapore
 from
 the
 Malayan
 Union
 of
 1946,

and
 the
 Federation
 of
 Malaya
 which

TAKASHI
SHIRAISHI
(ed.)
 succeeded
it
in
1948,
only
served
to
push
the

Across
the
causeway:
a
multi‐dimensional
study
 two
 territories
 further
 apart,
 especially
 as

of
Malaysia‐Singapore
relations
Singapore:
 Malay
 political
 dominance
 on
 the
 mainland

ISEAS,
2009.
 and
Chinese
political
dominance
on
the
island

276
pp.
ISBN:
978‐981‐230‐783‐5,
pb
US$29.90
 were
 increasingly
 confirmed
 during
 the

1950s.
 
 Ooi
 Keat
 Gin
 takes
 up
 the
 historical

legacies
 further,
 arguing
 that
 the
 economic

Reviewed
by
Nicholas
White
 symbiosis
between
Malaysia
and
Singapore
–

Liverpool
John
Moores
University







epitomised
 by
 tin
 mining
 and
 smelting
 from

the
mid
19th
century
–
was
overshadowed
by

In
 2001,
 Singapore’s
 former
 Prime
 Minister,
 political
divides.

He
concludes
that
‘owing
to

Goh
 Chok
 Tong,
 commended
 Malaysia’s
 then
 the
 different
 approaches
 of
 the
 political

Deputy
Prime
Minister,
Abdullah
Badawi,
for
 leadership
 in
 Singapore
 and
 Malaysia

the
latter’s
analogy
of
Singapore
and
Malaysia
 towards
 the
 handling
 of
 the
 contentious

as
 ‘two
 neighbours
 living
 in
 semi‐detached
 issues
 of
 communal
 relations
 and
 egalitarian

houses,
 separated
 by
 a
 common
 wall.
 
 What
 versus
positive
discrimination,
it
appears
that

happens
 to
 one
 house
 will
 affect
 the
 other
 any
attempt
at
a
re‐merger
must
first
resolve

house’.
 
 Yet,
 as
 recent
 disputes
 between
 these
differences,
if
not,
the
tensions
of
1963‐
Malaysia
 and
 Singapore
 over
 water
 supply,
 5
shall
again
re‐emerge’
(p.
48).



Lee
 Kuan
 Yew’s
 memoirs,
 maritime
 

boundaries,
 customs
 facilities,
 land
 Indeed,
the
origins
of
the
Malaysia‐Singapore

ownership
 and
 reclamation,
 and
 pension
 split
of
1965
are
examined
in
more
detail
by

rights
 demonstrate,
 these
 neighbours
 living
 Mohamad
 Abu
 Bakar
 in
 his
 chapter
 focusing

in
 close
 proximity
 can
 often
 have
 strained
 on
the
1961‐63
period.

For
him,
the
point
of

relations.
 
 This
 interdisciplinary
 study
 of
 no
 return
 came
 in
 August
 1962
 when,
 after

Malaysia‐Singapore
 interactions
 –
 encom‐ winning
 the
 referendum
 campaign
 for

passing
 history,
 politics,
 security,
 law
 and
 merger,
 Lee
 Kuan
 Yew
 began
 inferring
 that

economics
 –
 is
 most
 welcome
 therefore.

 the
People’s
Action
Party
(PAP)
would
spread

There
 is
 much
 repetition
 between
 chapters
 its
electoral
web
to
the
mainland,
threatening

and
proof
reading
leaves
a
little
to
be
desired,
 the
 existence
 of
 the
 Malayan
 Chinese

but
 the
 volume
 represents
 the
 most
 Association
 and
 the
 delicate
 conservative

comprehensive
 study
 of
 Malaysia‐Singapore
 communal
 balance
 of
 Federation
 politics

relations
 to
 date,
and
 will
 prove
a
 vital
work
 tipped
 in
 favour
 of
 the
 Malay
 electorate.
 
 In

of
reference
for
any
future
studies.
 other
words,
it
was
Lee’s
ambitions
for
power