Malaysian Studies

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CHAPTER 3

The Formation of
Malaysia

Towards Independence


Before 1949, Dato' Onn Jaafar fought aggressively
to ensure that Malaya belonged to the Malays. His
battle-cry now was 'Malaya for Malayans‘



British set up an intercommunal relations committee
in Penang in 1949 with the Malay’s represented by
Dato’ Onn , the Chinese, Tan Cheng Lock and it
comprises of 6 Malays representatives, 6 Chinese,
and one representative each for the Eurasian,
Indian, Ceylonese and European communities.

Towards Independence


As the president of UMNO, Dato’ Onn decided to
change the name United Malays National
Organization
to
United
Malayan
National
Organization.



But this proposal was strongly opposed by the
UMNO members.



This caused Dato’ Onn to resign twice from his post,
as the second time he proposed opening up UMNO
to non-Malay membership

Towards Independence


In 16th September 1951, he formed
Independence of Malayan Party (IMP)



UMNO was leaded by a new leader Tunku Abdul
Rahman Putra



IMP faced a great challenge when UMNO and MCA
decided to form an alliance to contest the Kuala
Lumpur Municipal Council elections in 1952.

the

Towards Independence


Malayan India Congress (MIC) joined in the pact and
in the 1955 General elections for the Federal
Legislative Council, the UMNO-MCA-MIC Alliance
Party won 51 out of 52 seats contested.



In this election, a preparation
governments were already made.



In 1956, talks on the independence of Malaya were
held in London which was participated by 4 leaders
of the Alliance, 4 representatives of the Malay Rulers
and 4 representatives of the British government

towards

self-

Towards Independence


The British government promised to appoint a
commission to draw a constitution for Malaya hence
a Federation of Malaya Constitution Commission
was formed.



The Reid Commission drew up a constitution and
released it in February 1957



The draft constitution was amended and passed on
17th August 1957.



On 31th August 1957, the British declared the
independence of Malaya.

The Formation of Malaysia


The Federation of Malaysia was formed on 16th
September 1963 which comprised of Malaya,
Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.



On 27th May 1961, Tunku Abdul Rahman suggested
that Singapore should be merged with Malaya in a
wider federation which would include Brunei, North
Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.



Lee Kuan Yew felt that a merger with Malaya would
enable Singapore to gain independence from Britain
immediately.

The Formation of Malaysia






However, Tunku Abdul Rahman felt that a straightforward merger of Singapore with the Federation of Malaya would upset the racial composition of the
country.
The Chinese community would then out-number the
Malays because 75% of the population of Singapore
was Chinese.
For this reason, Tunku Abdul Rahman wanted to
include Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak as well in a
Federation of Malaysia. These three Borneo states
would increase the total population of Malays.

The Formation of Malaysia


In October 1961, Tunku Abdul Rahman left for
London to obtain the British Government’s
agreement for formation of Federation of Malaysia



A commission headed by Lord Cobbold was formed
to study the views of public in the Borneo States



The report stated that only 20% of people opposed
the formation of Malaysia

Continue…


After studying the Cobbold Report, the British set up
the Landsdowne Commission



Five sub-committees were formed to handle all kinds
of matters



The Landsdowne Commission was refined and
accepted as the Constitution of the Federation of
Malaysia

Continue…


Final negotiations decided that an official
announcement of the formation of the
Federation of Malaysia would be made on 31
August 1963



Brunei did not want to...
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