Neil M Gunn’s Great Nephew publishes his first book ‘Merdeka’ – by Lachlan Gunn

Lachlan Gunn, the great nephew of the renowned Scottish Author Neil M. Gunn, has just published his first book, ‘Merdeka’. The novel is set in Malaya in 1957 and spans Malayan Independence Day (Hari Merdeka).
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Malayan Emergency


Scotland - UK

Dec. 6, 2011 - PRLog -- The story covers two main protagonists: Alick Gordon, a Scottish officer of the British Army, and Ah Sim, a female member of the Politburo of the Malayan Communist Party.  It is available now on Kindle, and will be out in paperback in early 2012.  

A patrol of British Army Gurkhas is tasked to seek out and destroy a Communist terrorist supply dump, deep in the Malayan rain forest.  The Communist intelligence network finds out about the mission and Ah Sim goes into the jungle to warn the Communist Unit.  An ambush takes place, and the British chase the Communist survivors deeper into the jungle.  Alick survives the action but is profoundly affected by it, particularly his moving encounter with Ah Sim.  To follow up on a promise made to one of those who died, he takes some leave and sets out on a journey across Malaya.  Deeply affected by the deaths in the jungle, Alick struggles to make sense of his own life and its future direction.  His soul has been touched by Malaya and he will never be the same again.  His journey ends in Penang where he meets a girl and finds himself falling in love.  As their relationship deepens the future begins to make sense.

The story is ‘bitter-sweet’: sweet due to the excitement of a vibrant country gaining democratic freedom and bitter because of the trauma of conflict, and the ripples of sadness that flow out from every single death.  The book has been well researched and Gunn presents a neutral view of the conflict and the issues arising from it.  It is a journey back in time, yet the Malayan emergency is not so very far removed from current conflicts.  The ideologies may have changed, but the reality of armed struggle by terrorist organisations against established governments is the same:  Success comes with winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the civilian population – a phrase that is well used today, but that was first coined by General Templer during the Malayan Emergency.


(Background data on Lachlan Gunn and ‘Merdeka’ follow)
For further information:  Email    Tel: + 44 1828 686344


Lachlan was educated in Edinburgh, except for two years spent in Malaysia and Singapore where he attended the Royal Naval Primary Schools in Johor Bahru and Singapore.  He was awarded a University Cadetship by the Royal Navy, and went to Edinburgh University.  A six month deployment to the Falkland Islands convinced him to join the Army, and he was commissioned into the Kings Own Scottish Borderers.  During his military career he saw active service in Northern Ireland, before seconding to a Gurkha battalion (1/2 GR) in Hong Kong.  He attended a military training exercise in Malaysia, based at Terendak Camp near Malacca.

He left the Army in Hong Kong and started work as a management consultant, before taking up a management position in a regional joint venture between Securicor plc in the UK and Jardine Pacific Ltd in Hong Kong.  After nearly seven years in Hong Kong, he was sent to Taiwan where he set up Securicor Taiwan Ltd.  Four years later he was sent to Thailand where he ran Securicor’s businesses for two years.

After a short spell in India, he returned to the UK at the millennium and, in July 2000, set up his own business, BenAlpin Ltd, a UK based independent consultancy providing commercial security advice and business support & advisory services.  In 2004 Lachlan co-founded the European ATM Security Team (EAST), which gathers and provides security related information for the European ATM industry and facilitates effective representation of ATM related security issues at relevant European central institutions.  He is a Director of EAST and manages the group, which now has representation from 28 countries.

Lachlan now lives with his family in Scotland on a hill overlooking the River Tay.  Neil M. Gunn, the acclaimed Scottish writer, is Lachlan’s great-uncle.  ‘Merdeka’ is Lachlan’s first novel.


‘Merdeka’ has been published by Lachlan Gunn in association with BenAlpin Books.  It has been published as an e-book using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing and is available from most of the Amazon stores.  More information on the book can be obtained from .  A free PDF download of the first few chapters is available.

Planning for the first print edition has now started and it is expected to be available during the first quarter of 2012.

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BenAlpin Ltd is a UK based independent consultancy providing domestic and international security consultancy services with a focus on ATM lifecycle security. We also cover awareness training, and the handling, processing, storage, and transport of cash.

BenAlpin Books is a subsidiary of BenAlpin Ltd
Source:BenAlpin Books
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Tags:Merdeka, Malayan Emergency, Military, Romance, Malaysia, Jungle, Penang
Location:Scotland - United Kingdom
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