The success or failure of any revolution is closely linked to the effectiveness of counterrevolutionary actions. How these actions are organized, the ideological basis for them, and the capacity and political skill of the existing government's leaders are critical components of either the success or failure to meet revolutionary challenge. In both Malaya and Vietnam, counterrevolutionary systems evolved from existing colonial structures and indigenous cultural forces. But from that point, the political objectives, political-military strategies, and governing elites differed, even though both Malaya and Vietnam faced unconventional conflicts rooted in Maoist principles and strategies.
In Chapter 3, it was shown that as colonists the British controlled the Malayan political system and security instruments. They were the driving force in the counterrevolution and established the policy, designed the strategy, and controlled and supervised operations against the Malayan Communist party. In studying and analyzing the counterrevolutionary system in Malaya, therefore, attention must focus on the British colonial system.
From the outset, the British were convinced that revolution could best be countered by maintaining law and order and offering effective government administration. To respond more to the revolution with legal means, the British declared a state of emergency. Emergency regulations were announced to deal with the revolution, which were revised and amended