Policing and Human Intelligence
The Federation of Malaya’s Police Service was at the forefront of the fight to restore law and order to the country. Special Branch was charged with securing human intelligence (humint) which would then direct their paramilitary colleagues in their efforts to locate the insurgents. This, however, provided highly problematic. This was because the government’s strategy in the first four years of the emergency served only to alienate the country’s Chinese population. Road blocks, searches, deportation, detention, resettlement and food denial restricted the flow of quality, freely given, information. The switch to a more consensual model of policing in 1952 heralded the start of a more effective approach to generating intelligence but this took time to implement and even longer for this is to translate into more efficient counterinsurgency operations.