Malay Nationalism before UMNO: The Memoirs of Mustapha Hussain

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By Mustapha Hussain
Translated by Insun Sony Mustapha, Edited by Jomo K. S.

Mustapha Hussain was an extraordinary man, even for one who lived in extraordinary times. This English translation of his memoirs traces his coming-of-age in a Minangkabau-Malay community in Perak and his part in the formation of the Young Malays Union (KMM).

During the Japanese occupation in Malaya, Mustapha Hussain reluctantly accompanied the Japanese army to Singapore, where he was responsible for saving the lives of hundreds of Malay soldiers in the British colonial armed forces. Instead of collaborating further with the Japanese Occupation, he chose to return to a difficult existence on a rural Perak farm. After the war, he rejoined the anti-colonial nationalist movement, but managing to avoid severe repression against the radical Malay youth of early 1948. In 1951, he lost the nominaton for the presidency of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) by only one vote to Tunku Abdul Rahman, who went on to lead the country to independence and became the first prime minister of Malaysia.

This extraordinary memoir must be read by anyone interested in Malay life in colonial Malaya, the origins and development of radical Malay nationalism as well as Malay politics in the mid-20th century.


Publication Year: 2005
424 pages, 216mm x 152mm
ISBN: 978-9676-11-698-7, Paperback

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