Document Type

Journal Article


Academy of Film


British governmental institutions, the regional information office in Singapore and the use of the official film in Malaya and Singapore, 1948–1961




© 2014 © 2014 IAMHIST & Taylor & Francis. During the immediate post-war period, crucial historical changes took place which influenced the use of the British official film in Malaya and Singapore. The most important of these were the emergence of Singapore as a strategic outpost at the outset of the Cold War, and Malaya as a vital component of the post-war British economic Sterling-zone system. This article investigates how this context influenced the development of British propaganda policy and official film-making in Malaya and Singapore, and, more specifically, how a group of British governmental institutions, including the Foreign Office Information Research Department, Colonial Office Information Department, and the Regional Information Office in Singapore, reacted to that context, and were involved in that development. The article attempts to establish how these institutions, and specifically the Regional Information Office in Singapore, were active in the use of official British information services and the official film in the region, and over the period from 1948 to 1961, that is, from the consolidation of British official information services in response to the establishment of the unified and anti-colonial Soviet propaganda organisation Cominform in 1948, to the closure of the Regional Information Office in Singapore in 1961. This period also marks the duration of the Malayan Emergency, and a particular phase in the propaganda campaign aimed at Singapore and Malaya during which the chief imperative was to slow down the process of decolonisation.

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Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

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Taylor & Francis



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