Tan Malaka, Indonesia’s national hero and communist leader in the first half of the 20th century, spent a big part of his life in exile for criticizing the Dutch colonial government that ruled the vast archipelago. In September 1932, when Japanese troops occupied Shanghai, where Malaka was living, he fled to Hong Kong under an alias and disguised as a Chinese Filipino. The British colonial government, which ruled Hong Kong, arrested and imprisoned him almost immediately, but they decided to let him leave the city without charges. Malaka returned to Amoy (now Xiamen) in southeastern China where it was be difficult for the Dutch to reach him.
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