HOW MALAYSIA GOT ITS INDEPENDENCE
31th August 1957 has been marked as Malaysia’s day of independence from the grips of British colonization for 172 years. Independence Day is an annual celebration to witness the anniversary of a nation’s independent statehood. Apparently, the way Malaysia got its independence is different from others countries. The independence of Malaysia was peacefully attained by holding talks with the British. Second world war ended in 1945 and the Japanese surrended.It gave the opportunity to Malaya Communist Party(MCP) to take over the government in Malaysia 14days, before the return of British.However,British returned to Malaya in September because the member of MCP caused troubles.British Military Administration (BMA) was set up but it did not last.So,British Parliament proposed Malayan Union on 10 October 1945.Its purposes were protecting the economic interests of British and for Malaya to get independence from British.The formation of Malayan Union was greatly opposed by Malays.They used mass media such as the newspaper Majlis and Utusan Melayu to voiced their opposition.On 11th May 1946,UMNO was formed to oppose Malayan Union and Dato’ Onn bin Jaafar was the 1st president.A conflict then occurred.Dato’ Onn Jaafar allowed non-Malays to join the party because he believed that inter-racial nation was important to get independence.Due to the opposition of his party members towards his belief,he choosed to left the party and Tunku Abdul Rahman replaced him. Malayan Union had finally failed as a result of the opposition from the local people.A few others factors also led to failure of Malayan Union.The set up of Malayan Union was said in wrong timing.The communal feelings during Japan Occupation still existed in Malays and Chinese.Moreover,the set up of Malayan Union boost the sense of nationalism among Malays.The non-Malays did not support Malayan Union because Singapore was excluded. The Federation of Malaya was formed on 1 February 1948 to replace Malayan Union.A working committee which involved of 6 British officers,4 representatives of the Malay rulers and 2 UMNO representatives was set up by British.It provided the sovereignty and the powers of Malay rulers.There were more stringent conditions for citizenship for non-Malays and was special rights for Malays too.However,it was still disagreed by certain groups,especially non-Malays and Malay community. Non-Malays set up All-Malaya Council of Joint Action(AMCJA) to oppose the new constitution because the working committee did not include any non-Malays.Tan Cheng Lock led AMCJA.He hoped that the whole Malaya including Singapore can unify and the same citizenship rights for all of them who consider Malaya as their homeland and the members of the committee can be chosen by people themselves. Pusat Tenaga Rakyat (PUTERA) was established as not all the Malays were members of UMNO.The Malays who belonged to other parties such as Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya(PKMM),Angkatan Pemuda Insaf(API) and Angkatan Wanita Sedar(AWAS) joined together to form PUTERA.The ambition of PUTERA were making Malaya a republic and criticized UMNO leadership who was controlled by feudalists. In March 1947,AMCJA and PUTERA came together to form AMCJA-PUTERA Front under the leadership of Dr Burhanuddin Al-Helmi.The effort of them striving for independence forming the ‘People’s Constitution’ in April 1947 was rejected by British as being radical due to their leftist views. 1 February 1948 was fixed as a day to establish the Federation of Malaya.This showed UMNO’s claims has been recognized by British.British High Commissioner was the head of the constitution and the constitution consisted of 9 Malay states together with Malacca and Penang Island.The High Commissioner was assisted by The Legislative Council and the Federal Executive Council. The state government was given the right and obligations over the local government administration, land matters, health, education and...
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