1954: During the Malayan Emergency, the resettlement of a sizable part of the colony’s rural population in “new villages” was an important element in the government strategy to defeat the communist insurgency. The high commissioner, General Sir Gerald Templer, had harsh words for anyone opposed to the policy.
He berated one group of villagers: “You are all bastards.”
The Chinese interpreter explained: “His Excellency says that none of your parents were married.”
Templer warned them: “Well, I can be a bastard too.”
“His Excellency says his parents were also unmarried.”
Source: Alan Bayly and Timothy Norman Harper, Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia (2007), p. 525