Monash University

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Reason: Under embargo until 1 March 2023. After this date a copy can be supplied under Section 51(2) of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 by submitting a document delivery request through your library

An Unrealised Nation: A Political History of the Peranakan Chinese from Colony to Nation, 1945–1957

posted on 2021-02-11, 23:31 authored by BERNARD ZHERN YEIN KEO
This thesis investigates the inclusive and multi-ethnic conception of nationhood held by the Peranakan Chinese community of the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca, and Singapore. Tracing the community's political activities from the end of World War II in 1945 to independence in 1957, it restores the political agency of the Peranakan and reconceptualises Malaysian history by challenging the teleological narratives that argue for the inevitability of the communal Malayan nation-state that achieved independence in 1957. By examining the stories of groups like the Peranakan that ‘lost’ in the process of decolonisation this thesis generates new insights on the complications of creating a representative nation-state in the transition between colony and nation.


Principal supervisor

Susanne Protschky

Additional supervisor 1

Agnieszka Sobocinska

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts