Indonesia vs. Malaysia

November 4, 1964

Report Outline
Indonesian Confrontation of Malaysia
Sukarno Plan for a Continuing Revolution
Indonesian Aims and Western Interests

Indonesian Confrontation of Malaysia

Indonesia's policy of “confrontation” with the year-JL old Federation of Malaysia poses the threat of still another war in Southeast Asia. Indonesian paratroop attacks and guerrilla infiltration across the borders of Malaysia have been limited to date. But the confrontation bears the seeds of a far wider conflict. Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand are committed to defend Malaysia, a member of the British Commonwealth. Britain, remembering well the mob attacks in September 1963 on its embassy in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, and the Indonesian government's seizure of British properties in the huge island complex, is determined to stand by its commitment.

Guerrilla Activity in Sarawak, Sabah, Malaya

Malaysia, which came into being on Sept. 16, 1983, includes the former Federation of Malaya and the state of Singapore—both of which were independent members of the Commonwealth—and the former British dependencies of Sarawak and Sabah (North Borneo). Sarawak and Sabah share the island of Borneo with Indonesia and the sultanate of Brunei. Intrusion of Indonesian guerrillas and Indonesian-trained native insurgents into Sarawak and Sabah along the 980-mile jungle border began soon after the new federation was established. Prime Minister Abdul Rahman of Malaysia announced on Sept. 10, 1964, that casualties in the 11-month guerrilla war totaled 208 guerrillas killed, 205 captured, and 83 wounded; 45 Malaysian and British troops had been killed and 60 wounded.

Indonesia extended military action to the mainland toward the end of the past summer. A small force of guerrillas landed on the coast between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, on Aug. 17, Indonesia's Independence Day, and on Sept. 2 a detachment of Indonesian paratroopers was dropped into the same region. Emergency measures were adopted to deal with the invaders. Malaysian officials stated on Oct. 27 that Commonwealth defense forces had killed or captured 180 of them, leaving only 24 still at large. New landings of Indonesian guerrillas, transported across the Strait of Malacca in fishing boats, occurred on Oct. 29, but Kuala Lumpur said the next day that all except four of an estimated 60 men landed had already been captured.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Policy in the Pacific
Apr. 20, 1990  Should the U.S. Reduce Its Pacific Forces?
Apr. 07, 1989  Pacific Rim Challenges
Apr. 25, 1986  The Strategic Pacific
Jul. 05, 1985  Dawn of the Pacific Era
Jun. 06, 1975  Changing Status of Micronesia
Aug. 17, 1966  Australia: Pacific Ally
Nov. 04, 1964  Indonesia vs. Malaysia
Jul. 24, 1963  Malaysian Federation: Union of Convenience
Jul. 05, 1962  West New Guinea: Pacific Trouble Spot
Jan. 28, 1953  Pacific Defense
Sep. 09, 1949  Pacific Dependencies
May 03, 1945  Trusteeship in the Pacific
Conflicts in Asia
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific
War and Conflict