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The Fajar Generation

Fajar GenerationPoh Soo Kai, Tan Jing Quee and Koh Kay Yew (eds) (2010) The Fajar Generation: The University Socialist Club and the Politics of Postwar Malaya and Singapore, Petaling Jaya: SIRD.

The two decades from 1945 to 1965 was an extraordinary era of political turmoil in the modern histories of Malaya/Malaysia and Singapore. The end of the war unleashed concerted demands for greater political representation, self-rule and eventual independence in the face of British attempts to manage the decolonisation process. The character and direction of this struggle was deeply contested. Different strands of nationalist thinking and competing political formations battled to define and shape the character of the future nation states. The Fajar Generation tells the hitherto neglected story of a remarkable group of men and women who advanced a radical agenda of anti-colonialism, democracy, multiculturalism and social justice through the agency of the University of Malaya Socialist Club. Through personal memoirs and analytical essays the contributors to this collection illuminate their own roles in that struggle – the hopes and despairs, the triumphs and defeats. At the same time they remind us of just how much of that progressive political agenda is still to be won in contemporary Malaysia and Singapore.

Poh Soo Kai, Tan Jing Quee and Koh Kay Yew each served in leading positions in the University Socialist Club at the University of Malaya, Singapore.

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