Thursday, 28 May 2009


“You want to fight, you fight all out.
It’s no use fighting with
only one hand
• Tan Sri Dr. Too Chee Chew•



M.B.E, J.M.N better known as C.C. TOO (1920-1992) was a Statesman who helped to enhance our political scenario towards our Independence. However he is not wellknown especially among the present generation. C.C. Too played a leading role in psychological warfare that crippled the
Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) before our country achieved its Independence.

C.C. TOO was born on 31 Mac 1920 in Kuala Lumpur. He received his early education at a Chinese school before pursuing his studies at the Methodist Boys’ School, Kuala Lumpur. He passed the Cambridge examination with flying colours and received a scholarship from the Federated Malay States to further his studies at Raffles College in Singapore. However, he did not finish his studies as a result after Japanese occupation in Southeast Asia in 1942. Nevertheless, he obtained his Science Diploma after the Second World War in 1947.
C.C. Too is the first local citizen to become the Head of Psychological Warfare Division from 1956 until 1983. He is a committed and dedicated person. His main role is to bring about public wareness among the multi racial people of the country to resist Communist Ideology. He emphasised on the concept of national unity and loyalty to the country to make it a happy place to live in for the community at that time and for the future generations. Besides heading the psychological warfare against the communist, he was also involved in drafting British and Malaya policy during the negotiation with leaders of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM). He was also responsible to initiate supports from the society towards the government policies such as Briggs Plan during the Emergency (1948 -1960).

C.C. Too used all kinds of methods and tactics in his psychological warfare against the communist. He started his involvement in psychological warfare during his tenure as a liaison between Communist leaders from the Malayan People Anti Japanese Army (MPAJA) and officers of the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Shortly afterwards, he managed to convince a lowerranking Communist official to defect. He got his name C.C. Too during his tenure as the liaison. His name remains until his demise in 1992.
“Well, first and foremost my job was to carry psychological warfare against the enemy that is the communist terrorists in the jungle".
Psychological Warfare Against the Communist
Well, first and foremost my job was to carry psychological warfare against the enemy that is the communist terrorists in the jungle. Now, the psychological warfare is a subject very much misunderstood. Some people thought it was completely bullshit, useless. This opinion is obviously wrong. I think the government has widely set up a scheme of priorities in the operations against the communist terrorists. Top priority is always given to special branch operations. Second priority is to military operations and third priority only to psychological warfare operations.
The point is that at the beginning the terrorists were very high in morale. The tall, pleasant-looking orang putih soldiers were defeated by the Japanese who were like monkeys and the communists themselves claimed to have defeated the Japanese, nothing to do with the atomic bombs in Nagasaki (August 1945). The anti-Japanese army, the Japanese forces defeated the bitch and the communist forces defeated the Japanese in this country. So when the communist forces should fight against the British forces in this country, it was bygone conclusion, habislah. So they though that way. In fact they said that every communist must release the corps. The earlier you join the higher your position when you succeed. You join early you can become CPO, you join late you become police corporal or constable only. They predicted that they could have
won the war in about 6 months; of course they were very much mistaken. Under the circumstances they were totally foolish to tell them to surrender.

Restore the Morale of the Policemen

My third priority was to restore the morale of the policemen, the Special Branch officers and the government officers who during the Japanese occupation had to work for the Japanese. While these communists form themselves into so-called Malayan People’s Anti Japanese Army, they claimed themselves to be heroes of resistance against the Japanese. So they called these policemen, Special Branch Officers, civil officers, collaborators running dogs of the Japanese and these officers are very bad about it.

Service to the Country
My first purpose was to tell them now they have come to work for the government again, they’re doing a service to the country and the people by maintaining administration, law and order and get rid of lawlessness as carried out by the communists.

Monthly Newspaper Campaign

As part of my campaign, I started my monthly newspaper called The New Path News. It was tabloid size, starting with 4 pages ending up in two pages. On the front page, the top half contained my editorial and the lower half contains readers’ column. I used to receive highly abusive letters, obviously from the communists and communist supporters saying that the newspaper is a running dog newspaper and all sorts of nonsense. The more abusive the letters the more I like it.

To Prove and Convince Readers

I reproduced these letters in photostat together with the photostat of the envelope and give a point-to-point reply to all the accusations proving that far from being the running dogs of the British. We were safeguarding the country from lawlessness; safeguarding the interest of the people, try to carry out administration after the devastation of law of the Japanese occupation. While the communists themselves were the real running dogs of Russian imperialism. What more of a running dog could that be, an alien ideology, an alien organization. They were disloyal to their country, disloyal to their blood. They were waiting to read the highly interesting reader column. As a result every month the readers waited for the appearance of the New Path News mostly to read the highly interesting readers columns. Eventually we had something like 20,000 individual addresses about the resolution. All these were done by the information service. That is the first thing.

Knowledge of Different Chinese Dialects

Now I started with 8 years of education in the local Chinese school and many children in the same class were people from all sorts of Chinese dialects. The medium of instruction is Mandarin, my own native dialect is Cantonese. All these kids in the same class before long could speak all the dialects except myself. I am the numbskull; I am a very poor linguist to pick up a new language. That’s why my Bahasa Malaysia cannot be shown to the world. It’s that poor. Anyway having gone through 8 years of education and the knowledge of Chinese of different dialects and very interesting.
Military Intelligence
Then the second thing is I tried to find out what makes the enemy thick. The boy who was sitting next to me in the final year in the Junior Middle School in the Confucian School came from a family more than 10 times richer than mine. They have Parker pens, embroidered handkerchiefs while I wrote with a pencil and my shorts were my father’s long pants, potong. So for all intends and purposes I should turn out a communists, he should turn out a capitalist. Well, after the Japanese surrender, I found out that in the meantime, meanwhile he had become a central committee member of the Communist Party of Malaya. So, that created my curiosity to find out how these people who had no specific training like me, managed to set up the Malayan People Anti-Japanese Army MPAJA and its ancillary organization the Malayan People Anti-Japanese Movement MPAJU with such vast and extensive organization.

Not So Fast to Satisfy

So, I thought I know all the background of the communist but when I took over this job I began to study captured communist document and statement taken from the surrender documents. To my great surprise I found that I knew nothing at all. The pattern of behavior, the way of the thinking and even the sense of values of these people in the jungle I found were totally different from those of us outside. They use the same Chinese characters but they have different meanings. So, heroism is something very good to us but to them is very bad. It means over-exaggeration of individual pride. You see the term minchook, which is translated literally as race, to the communists it means nation.

Translation of the Captured Communist Documents

That was at the beginning of the campaign where the British had no other choice, had to employ graduates from Chinese schools who had no idea about political science, about communist usage to act as translators of the captured communist documents. Now as I said earlier the Malayan Communist terrorists while they used mostly the normal Chinese characters, they attributed different meanings and different connotations to these standard Chinese terms. For example the term minchook is literally translated as race or bangsa but to the communists the minchook means nation or national. So when the communist forces called itself the Malaya National Liberation Army, there was no change but unfortunately the unqualified Chinese translators translated the terms literally into Malayan Racial Liberation Army MRLA. There’s never been any Malayan Races National Army or MRNA. It’s all the time being Malayan National Liberation Army MNLA. That’s what the communists were using consistently although some alleged foreign experts still not believe no such thing as MRLA later changed its name into MNLA.

Special Branch Strategic Intelligence

Now to sum up the whole thing, I believe that the main contribution to a victory came from the Special Branch because the Special Branch was the only organization, which provided operational
intelligence especially during the period of the first emergency (17 June 1948 - 31 July 1960). Anumber of Chinese contract inspectors of Special Branch were recruited. They did not possess the internship with academic qualifications, school certificates and so on so forth but they were very good in the local dialects, they live in the local condition, they could mix up with the local people and they were very efficient in finding intelligence from the rural areas. Of course they ran a lot of personal risks and I’m afraid they are a group of unknown and unsung heroes.

Appreciation to the Unknown Heroes

I’m very happy to have this opportunity in paying few gratitude to these group of fine people who made such a great contribution to the security of the country and the people. Now at the beginning it was the city communist terrorists who dominated the jungle but as time went on after 1951 with the admission of defeat, the government tactic became more refined.

A number of jungle squads were organized with the police field force and these jungle squads of platoon size about 25 persons led by police lieutenants was sent into the jungle for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months. During that time they patrol the jungle and they were constantly supplied by air food, medical facilities and they wanted these to be evacuated by air. So hundreds of these jungle squads went into the jungle, they criss-crossed, they scanned over the jungle, in fact they nominated the jungle and the city gangs were pinned down. So after that the government decided to make a major operation in the central part of the peninsular in the Kuala Lumpur area. They penetrated this organization in the northern and southern part without any effective means of communication. Then British jungle squads pinned down the local communist gangs and they started to eliminate this gang one by one. As a result when a place was clear of communists, it was declared ‘white area’ in Melaka.

Now another group of people I’d like to give proper due were the Kinta Home Guards. Now during Japanese occupation there was a group of anti-communists and anti Japanese army who were against the communist resistors. They get allied to the Chinese national parties or KMT or Kuomintang of China. I was instrumental with Mr. Thompson of British Military station to help in the demobilization in the Betong area in Southern Thailand. About half of them remained in the Perak area and eventually they were employed by the tin mines in the Kinta Valley as home guards to guard and defend the tin mines.

It was the first Chinese Home Guards to be given arms and later Templer expanded this and issued firearms to all Chinese home guards throughout the country and that was an immense moral effects because in the past the government distrusted the Chinese, suspect them of communists collaborators.
It’s a matter of psychology when you treat a person as a bad boy he will try to live up and become a bad boy. When you put him in his honour and treat him like a good boy, he will live up. So, when the Chinese Home Guards were given arms, they were very proud, now the government trusted us and it was our duty to defend the country. Other group of people who made very great contribution to our success in fighting the communists were our Orang Asli brothers in the jungle. They live in deep jungle with their own ladang and the communists tried to make use of them as a shield against security forces attack and also to provide food. So the government became aware of this and decided to set down jungle forts deep in the jungle around the ladang of the Orang Asli. The Orang Asli helped in building the forts. They joined the Senoi Praaq which is a group of Orang Asli jungle squads, part of the Police Field Force and they make use of these jungle forts as the base to send up supplies back through in the jungle in the same way the jungle squads were doing and of course they were supplied by air and the schools were put up for their children and this was extremely successful.

Another group, which rendered a very good service were the Iban trekkers. They were extremely good in trekking the cities. The fact that I feel essential to mention is this minority group because their service to the country has not been given sufficient notice.

Fight to the End
I have often been asked by very senior foreign experts why we have succeeded in Malaysia in tackling this communist terrorism. While some neighboring countries have not been so successful. Well, I think basically one must make up one’s mind. You want to fight, you fight all out. If you are afraid to get killed then don’t fight and surrender and be a slave. It’s no use fighting with only one hand. In fact the success of Gerald Templer is that he was given dictatorial power to carry on the operations to the maximum degree. He was on all out war, mobilization of the whole population and all the available resources.

Control of the Mass Media

More importantly is a strict control of the mass media especially the foreign correspondence. It’s my personal opinion that the Vietnam War was lost in America itself by the American Press Corps. They publicised what the Vietcong wanted to publicise and they criticise their own government. Now in case of an all out war, publicity must be controlled and Templer was very good at that, any foreign correspondence including British correspondence. Say any nonsense they will be out of the country in 24 hours.

Unity For Nation and Country
There must be total mobilization, total power, not half-heartedly and of course in our country you have several different races; Malay, Chinese, Indians, Ibans all sorts of people and the fact that in spite of the difference in their ethnicity and cultural background, all the people realise they have to contribute together in unity in a common efforts against the common enemy. That is of basic importance.
They could have the private differences among themselves, after all who wouldn’t have differences among members of the same family but on the major issues there will quite clear in their minds that the country is ours and we must defend, we cannot depend on other people to do it for us. No doubt we have a price. Anything that is valuable needs to be paid a good price. So, with that spirit we worked together.

Avoid Existence of Racism
In fact I had a lot of Malay colleagues, Indian colleagues and from various other races. When we worked together, we forget our racial background, we just members of a team with a common purpose. I think there is a lesson, which we learnt very thoroughly is the first emergency. I think the same lesson must be learnt by our younger generation. No two persons will make exactly alike even two people from the same races, same family. There must be some disagreements but they must agree on the basic issue which is that this is our country, this is our home and it is our
duty to defend it. It is our duty to make it a happy place to live in, both for ourselves and for our future generations.

National unity

Therefore I’ll say that among all the other factors, national unity is of paramount importance. Let’s have private chorus and don’t let such sentiments affect our main objective. The point is this, unless the government and the country has the confidence of people, the government cannot survive, a country cannot survive. The people themselves make the country. No doubt we have leaders, we must have leaders but they are only the instruments for the expressions of public opinion, a public will and public purpose. It’s the people that make the country and we won the war because the people came to realize that it’s their duty to fight for what we hold to be precious and of course any enemy, be it communists, imperialists or what the hell would try to create split among the different racial communities to increase racial polarization so as to destabilize our community, destabilize our government so that the enemy can attack and conquer us more easily as therefore the consideration of national unity cannot be over-emphasized.

Produced by :
Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia
Kementerian Penerangan Malaysia
B.K.006 (BM-BI-BT-BC) Mei 2007 (030.)
Web site:
Printed by : D’FA Print Sdn. Bhd.



  2. woh, a good read... belia zaman sekarang patut mempunyai pengetahuan tentang latarbelakang sejarah untuk lebih memahami konteks dan pemikiran penggugat keamanan negara like cc too...

    sekali lagi, a good read.