The Malayan Emergency, when government forces were combating communist terrorists (initially referred to as ‘bandits’), lasted from June 1948 to July 1960.
It was declared an emergency rather than a war so that Malayan businesses could recover losses under their insurance policies which would have been invalid in the case of war.
The Emergency regulations provided security forces with extraordinary powers but those arrested still had to be given a fair trial in a court of law unlike the imposition of martial law in which the military would carry out trials.
The war against the Communists was a bitter struggle. Some 6,710 terrorists were killed over the 12 years against 1,865 security forces and 2,473 civilians killed.