Bandits were Communists, that's what the dumfuk Brits called them.
Source page 135 and much more here............. The British colonial government called it an “Emergency” and not “war” so that London commercial insurance rates, on which Malayan commerce and industry relied upon, would not be adversely affected.
But it was nothing less than an outright war.
The Emergency affected the country as the atrocities committed by the bandits (later called communist terrorists) were enormous. The economy was in tatters, people were killed and infrastructure damaged.