Cheah Boon Kheng

Cheah Boon Kheng, a historian, was born on 24 July 1939. He started work in 1956 as a journalist with the Straits Times in Singapore, where he remained for 12 years. In 1967, at age 28, he embarked on his tertiary studies, reading History and English Literature at the University of Malaya. Cheah, through his research and publications, was a highly respected and renowned historian in the country as well as in the international academic community. Touching on a wide spectrum of themes and time periods, his research reflected the breadth of his interests and curiosity: pre-colonial history and politics, social banditry, the role of women in palace politics, ‘feudalism’ in Malay society, the Japanese interregnum, post-war Malay nationalism and politics, ethnicity, imperialism, communism, political parties, Malay rulers, nation-building, history and memory, human rights, textbook controversies, and Malaysian historiography.

He has written extensively on Malaysian social and political history. His books include The Masked Comrades (1979); Red Star Over Malaya (1983); and The Peasant Robbers of Kedah (1988).