New Villages (Chinese: 新村 pinyin: xīn cūn; Malay: Kampung Baru), also known as Chinese New Villages (Chinese: 华人新村 pinyin: huá rén xīn cūn), are settlements created during the final days of British rule over Malaya in the mid-1950s.
Worries over the cease of direct funding to new villages – Sin Chew Daily
The Sin Chew Daily reported on September 12, 2013, that the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry is expected to cease direct funding to the 607 new villages in Peninsular Malaysia and funds needed for any infrastructural development in future will require approval from local councils.
Such a decision will definitely affect the development of these new villages, including 450 Chinese new villages, 113 Kampung Tersusun and 44 Chinese-majority fishing villages.
Although the government has not rejected funding for new villages, there is a great difference between direct funding and funding through local councils. It carries a far-reaching impact, too.
When former MCA President Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting was the Housing and Local Government Minister, the New Village Department (Bahagian Kampung Baru) was set up to manage the villages and fund allocations.
The appropriation for new villages at that time was as much as RM50 million and it was even increased to RM70 million during the May 5 general election this year.
The sudden change to the funding methodology inevitably leads people to associate it to the phenomenon after most Chinese voters had not voted for the Barisan Nasional in the May 5 general election.
To prevent the people from associating it to a kind of political retaliation, it is necessary for the federal government to retain the existing new village direct funding mechanism to enhance the development of new villages more effectively, so that villagers can enjoy deserved welfare and interests.
It is also a policy that should be carried out by a government for all. From the administrative efficiency point of view, direct funding can resolve new villages’ infrastructure problems more quickly compared with obtaining the funds only after getting approval from local councils. – mysinchew.com, September 13, 2013.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
Sep 17, 2013 – ALOR SETAR: Most of the 450 new villages in the country have basic
17 August 2012| last updated at 10:30AM
Life in a Chinese New Village
I was born in 1954 at Air Jernih New Village soon after the villagers were relocated.
My parents were rubber tappers and my mum reared pigs for sale as a side income. I still vividly remember my childhood years of following my parents to the farm and cultivating vegetables. In the evenings, I would accompany my mum going house-to-house to collect left-over food, which was used mainly as pig feed.
Gombak New Village (Wikipedia photo)
The original purpose of the New Villages in Malaysia was to segregate the villagers from the early Malayan Races Liberation Army insurgents, which were led by the Malayan Communist Party, during the Malayan Emergency. It was part of the Briggs Plan, a military plan devised by British General Sir Harold Briggs shortly after his appointment in 1950 as Director of Operations in the anti-communist war in Malaya.
The plan aimed to defeat the communists, who were operating out of rural areas as a guerrilla army, primarily by cutting them off from their sources of support amongst the population. To this end, a massive program of forced resettlement of Malayan peasantry was undertaken, under which about 500,000 people (roughly ten percent of Malaya’s population) were eventually removed from the land and housed in guarded camps called “New Villages”.
By isolating this population in the “new villages”, the British were able to stem the critical flow of material, information, and recruits from peasant to guerrilla. The new settlements were given around the clock police supervision and were partially fortified. This served the twofold purpose of preventing those who were so inclined from getting out and voluntarily aiding the guerrilla, and of preventing the guerrilla from getting in and extracting help via persuasion or intimidation. The British also tried to win the hearts of the new settlers by providing them with education, health services and homes with water and electricity.
Removing a population that might be sympathetic to guerrillas was a counter insurgency technique which the British had used before, notably against the Boer Commandos in the Second Boer War (1899-1902).
During the Malayan Emergency, 450 new settlements were created and it is estimated that 470,509 people – 400,000 Chinese – were involved in the resettlement program. The Malaysian Chinese Association, then the Malayan Chinese Association, was initially created to address the social and welfare concerns of the populations in the New Villages.
It is estimated that today, about 1.2 million people live in 450 New Villages throughout Peninsular Malaysia. About 85% of the population in New Villages is ethnically Chinese. The ethnic Malays take up about 10% and ethnic Indians roughly 5%.
Briggs’ Plan was a military plan devised by British General Sir Harold Briggs shortly after his appointment in 1950 as Director of Operations in the anti-communist war in Malaya. The plan aimed to defeat the Malayan communists, who were operating out of rural areas as a guerilla army, primarily by cutting them off from their sources of support amongst the population. To this end, a massive program of forced resettlement of Malayan peasantry was undertaken, under which about 500,000 people (roughly ten percent of Malaya’s population) were eventually removed from the land and interned in guarded camps called “New Villages”.
British authority in Malaya’s rural areas had only been tenuously reestablished following the withdrawal of Japan at the end of World War II. The British regarded a group of about 500,000 “squatters”, largely of Chinese descent, who practiced small-scale agriculture, generally lacked legal title to their land, and were largely outside the reach of the colonial administration, as particularly problematic.
They formed the backbone of the communist guerrilla support: some were genuinely sympathetic to communism; others, considering the weak British presence, communist self-help activism, and the leading role that the communists had played in the anti-Japanese resistance during World War II, regarded the Malayan Communist Party as a legitimate authority, and were not hard to prevail upon for contributions; still others were definitely threatened by the guerrillas into giving support.
By isolating this population in the “new villages”, the British were able to stem the critical flow of material, information, and recruits from peasants to guerillas. The new settlements were guarded around-the-clock by police and were partially fortified. This served the twofold purpose of preventing those who were so inclined from getting out and voluntarily aiding the guerrilla, and of preventing the guerrilla from getting in and extracting help via persuasion or intimidation.
450 new settlements were created in this process and it is estimated that 470,509 people – 400,000 Chinese – were involved in the program. The Malaysian Chinese Association, then the Malayan Chinese Association, played a crucial role in implementing the program.
The British also tried to win the hearts of some of the internees by providing them with education and health services. The New Villages, which were equipped with amenities such as electricity and piped water, were surrounded with perimeter fencing and armed guards to prevent attacks from the communist soldiers.
It was hoped that by providing the Chinese with such facilities, they would be converted from “reservoirs of resentment into bastions of loyal Malayan citizenry”. However, critics argue that the homogenous nature of New Villages — with the few multiracial ones eventually failing or turning into ghettoes – worked against this goal, instead accentuating communalist fervour and causing racial polarisation, especially in politics, as electoral constituencies would now be delineated more along racial lines.
Previously, the Chinese had been spread out geographically, but the Briggs Plan would now bring together rural Chinese from all over the country and concentrate them in the New Villages. There was significant resentment towards the programme both among the Chinese and Malays. The Chinese frequently suffered from collective punishment, preventive detention and summary deportation aimed at weeding out communist supporters, while the Malays were incensed at the infrastructure provided for the New Villages as their own settlements remained undeveloped.
Forcibly removing a population that might be sympathetic to guerrillas was a counter-insurgency (COIN) technique which the British had used before, notably against the Boer Commandos in the Second Boer War (1899–1902). It is described in John Nagl’s book “Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife” which tries to draw lessons from the British Malaya experience for the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Upon completion of the program, the British initiated the Hunger Drive in an effort to flush out the communists from the jungle.
Saving Yesterday For Tomorrow
The Simee Police Station
The picture is not that clear, but this is what the Kampong Simee Police Station looked like back in 1948. Kampong Simee was one of the Chinese villages which came about during the Malayan Emergency as part of the New Village programme.
Just wondering: is this the same police station which is now next to the Hindu Temple (near the Simee roundabout)? If not, where in Simee is this landmark?
kampung simee 狮尾/撕美 perak date of completion
Kampung Simee (狮尾/撕美) is a new village located 5 kilometers from Ipoh city. … Kampung Simee is one of the new villages built by the British authorities.
The Chinese cultural heritage of Malaysia
By Pat Fama | Yahoo! Malaysia Editorial – Wed, Feb 6, 2013
Malaysia has one of the largest ethnic Chinese communities in the world, making up about a quarter of the country’s population. Over the centuries, a distinct Chinese Malaysian culture has developed, which comes to the fore most during the annual Lunar New Year celebrations.
West Malaysia has dozens of Kampung Baru Cina (Chinese New Villages), which were built during the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) to cut communist insurgents off from their sympathisers. Although born out of forcible resettlement, these villages are now amongst the prettiest and most charming in Malaysia.
This is a piece of scholarly research.
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THE CHINESE NEW VILLAGES IN MALAYSIA: IMPACT OF DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES AND RESPONSE STRATEGIES*
Sixty years after their creation as “military” hamlets, the New Villages of Peninsular Malaysia have become the permanent settlements of former rural Chinese inhabitants. The physical layout of these villages has remained largely intact but their demography has undergone constant and significant changes. It is the need to respond positively to the changing scenarios that constitutes a serious challenge to the New Villages to function meaningfully in the future.
The paper deals firstly with the nature of demographic changes caused by population growth or decline and its movements, and then on the impact of these changes on family size and structure, the age structure and “sustainability” of the villages. Several response strategies to improve the viability of the villages are discussed. These pertain to research for planning purposes, the need for improved economic capability of the villages, the strengthening of family values, and the introduction of more efficient land use.
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