The Netherlands East Indies 1926 Communist Revolt Revisited: New Discoveries from Singapore’s Digital Newspaper Archives


Many historians consider the 1926/27 PKI Uprisings as important precursors of Indonesia’s nationalist movement, which ultimately led to the country’s independence. When it comes to the actual course of events, however, existing narratives tend to describe the abortive revolts as ill-prepared, poorly organised and easily suppressed – and consequently, of limited impact in shaking the foundation of the Dutch colonial regime. It is also commonly understood that in the aftermath of the rebellions, dutch authorities dealt a crushing blow to the pki and its associated organisations by carrying out large-scale arrests, imprisonments, executions, and banishments. Beyond these facts, however, very little attention has been paid to the deeper meanings that the revolt revealed. as the following sections will demonstrate, the movement created enormous anxiety in the NEI which forced the Dutch colonial government to act with a strong hand. moreover, with frequent exchanges of information and personnel across the Malacca Straits, the NEI uprisings also generated considerable uneasiness in British Malaya.