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Malaya And Singapore

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1950

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Detention Orders


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many persons have been arrested since the commencement of the anti-bandit campaign; and how many are still in custody.

Since July, 1948,25,482 detention orders have been issued in Singapore and the Federation of Malaya. Ten thousand eight hundred and fifty seven persons were still in detention on 31st May, 1950.

Can the Minister tell us under what conditions these 10,857 people are held, and whether they are to be tried? Are they held in prisons or concentration camps?

Will the Minister tell us whether consideration is being given to deporting a considerable number of these people to make conditions easier in Malaya?

The possibility of repatriating to China those who are Chinese was given my urgent consideration while I was in Malaya.

Is not it a fact that some thousands of Chinese have been deported to China?

Minister's Visit


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies in what form he proposes to make a report on his visit to Malaya.


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on his recent visit to Malaya; and, in particular, if he will state what further steps His Majesty's Government proposes to take to exterminate Communist terrorists.

When the right hon. Gentleman makes that full statement, will he explain what he meant in his statement made on arrival in this country, when he said that the Government are preparing plans for the political development of Malaya? Does that mean that the Government are proposing to introduce a new constitution into Malaya?

It means that the Government are fully seized of the importance of preparing plans for the economic, social and political developments of Malaya in the future.



asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the heavy expense of broadcasting in Singapore and the projected enlargement of the broadcasting installation are solely due to the amenity needs of the Colony or whether wider considerations affecting the Empire as a whole are embraced; why the present average expenditure per licence in the Colony is five times greater than in the United Kingdom; and how much greater still it will be when the new studio is completed.

There are two broadcasting stations at Singapore; Radio Malaya, which broadcasts to the Federation of Malaya as well as the Colony of Singapore, and the British Far East Broadcasting Service, which is operated by the B.B.C. and relays B.B.C. transmissions to other countries in the Far East. The expansion which is being carried out in both these stations is due to wider considerations and is not designed to meet the needs of Singapore alone.

The average expenditure per licence in Singapore is greater than in the United Kingdom because the proportion of citizens holding licences is very much lower than it is here. I regret that I am unable to estimate the increase in the average expenditure due to the cost of the new studio.

With regard to the third and last part of my Question, when the right hon. Gentleman is considering this matter will he bear in mind the importance of not laying any further unnecessary financial burden on an already harassed community?

Having just returned from this part of the world, I am very conscious of the need for increasing our broadcasting service.

Is the importance of this station for broadcasting to South China being borne in mind, and is it being made in any way a substitute for the Hong Kong radio station?

The importance of broadcasting to South China is a matter we have very much in mind.

Does not the Minister consider that one of our major failures so far in Malaya has been the absence of an efficient propaganda organisation in order to put our point of view to the people of South-East Asia?

I am aware that our propaganda needs improving, and can be improved, and I am taking steps to that end.

Educational Facilities


asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken by His Majesty's Government to assist in the provision of educational facilities in Malaya.

I have recently approved grants to the Government of the Federation of Malaya of over £223,000 from Colonial Development and Welfare Funds to provide for six new Malay schools and four new Chinese schools, for improvements and additions to 12 existing schools and for the extension of the Malay Women's Training College at Malacca. I have also approved in principle the provision of a new Malay Men's Training College on the understanding that it is impracticable to obtain the desired increase in the training of men teachers by extending the existing college.

A grant of over £565,000 from Colonial Development and Welfare Funds was made last year to provide for the construction and equipment of a new Technical Training College at Kuala Lumpur and a sum of £1 million has been earmarked from the same source for the building programme of the University of Malaya.

While I am sure that the House will appreciate the importance of the statement which the Minister has just made, may I ask if he can say how many teaching staff and additional officials will be required to carry out this scheme? Is he satisfied that the recruitment of the appropriate number of people will go forward without delay?

There is an urgent need for a large increase in the number of teachers. Every school in Malaya is at present working a double shift, with one group of children at school in the morning and another in the afternoon. The demand for education is one of the most urgent in Malaya, and I shall do my best to meet it.