Federation of Malaya

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Federation of Malaya

Persekutuan Tanah Melayu
ڤرسكوتوان تانه ملايو
1948–1963
Federation of Malaya.PNG
Status Sovereign state from 31 August 1957
CapitalKuala Lumpur
Common languages Malay
English
Government Constitutional monarchy
Yang di-Pertuan Agong  
 1957–1960
Abdul Rahman
 1960
Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah
 1960–1963
Tuanku Syed Putra
High Commissioner  
 1946–1948
Edward Gent
 1954–1957
Donald MacGillivray
Prime Minister  
 1957-1963
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra
History 
 Established
1 February 1948 [1]
31 August 1957
16 September 1963
Area
1963132,364 km2 (51,106 sq mi)
Currency Malayan dollar (1948–1953)
Malaya and British Borneo dollar (1953–1957)
ISO 3166 code MY
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Federated Malay States (1895 - 1946).svg Malayan Union
Flag of Malacca (1946-1957).svg Crown Colony of Malacca
Flag of Penang (1946-1949).svg Crown Colony of Penang
Malaysia Flag of Malaysia.svg
Today part ofFlag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia
Part of a series on the
History of Malaysia
Malaysian History.png
Flag of Malaysia.svg Malaysiaportal

The Federation of Malaya (Malay : Persekutuan Tanah Melayu; Jawi: ڤرسكوتوان تانه ملايو) was a federation of what previously had been British Malaya comprising eleven states (nine Malay states and two of the British Straits Settlements, Penang and Malacca) [2] that existed from 1 February 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957, [3] and in 1963 Malaysia was formed when the federation united with the Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak Crown Colonies. [4]

Malay language Austronesian language

Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family spoken in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. A language of the Malays, it is spoken by 290 million people across the Strait of Malacca, including the coasts of the Malay Peninsula of Malaysia and the eastern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia and has been established as a native language of part of western coastal Sarawak and West Kalimantan in Borneo. It is also used as a trading language in the southern Philippines, including the southern parts of the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Sulu Archipelago and the southern predominantly Muslim-inhabited municipalities of Bataraza and Balabac in Palawan.

British Malaya Former set of states on Malay Peninsula

The term "British Malaya" loosely describes a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries. Unlike the term "British India", which excludes the Indian princely states, British Malaya is often used to refer to the Malay States under indirect British rule as well as the Straits Settlements that were under the sovereignty of the British Crown.

Straits Settlements former group of British territories located in Southeast Asia

The Straits Settlements were a group of British territories located in Southeast Asia. Originally established in 1826 as part of the territories controlled by the British East India Company, the Straits Settlements came under direct British control as a Crown colony on 1 April 1867. The colony was dissolved in 1946 as part of the British reorganisation of its Southeast Asian dependencies following the end of the Second World War.

Contents

The federation of states that made up the Federation of Malaya is now known as Peninsular Malaysia.

Peninsular Malaysia mainland, western portion of the nation-state of Malaysia in South East Asia

Peninsular Malaysia, also known as Malaya or West Malaysia, is the part of Malaysia which lies on the Malay Peninsula and surrounding islands. Its area is 132,265 square kilometres (51,068 sq mi), which is nearly 40% of the total area of the country - or slightly bigger than England and South Korea. It shares a land border with Thailand in the north. To the south is the island of Singapore.

History

From 1946 to 1948, the eleven states formed a single British crown colony known as the Malayan Union. [5] Due to opposition from Malay nationalists, the Union was disbanded and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which restored the symbolic positions of the rulers of the Malay states.

Crown colony, dependent territory or royal colony were dependent territories under the administration of United Kingdom overseas territories that were controlled by the British Government. As such they are examples of dependencies that are under colonial rule. Crown colonies were renamed "British Dependent Territories" in 1981, and since 2002, Crown colonies have been known officially as British Overseas Territories.

Malayan Union federation of the Malay states and the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca

The Malayan Union was a union of the Malay states and the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca. It was the successor to British Malaya and was conceived to unify the Malay Peninsula under a single government to simplify administration. Following opposition by the ethnic Malays, the union was reorganized as the Federation of Malaya in 1948.

Within the Federation, while the Malay states were protectorates of the United Kingdom, Penang and Malacca remained British colonial territories. Like the Malayan Union before it, the Federation did not include Singapore, despite its traditional connections with Malaya.

A protectorate, in its inception adopted by modern international law, is a dependent territory that has been granted local autonomy and some independence while still retaining the suzerainty of a greater sovereign state. In exchange for this, the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly, depending on the real nature of their relationship. Therefore, a protectorate remains an autonomous part of a sovereign state. They are different from colonies as they have local rulers and people ruling over the territory and experience rare cases of immigration of settlers from the country it has suzerainty of. However, a state which remains under the protection of another state but still retains independence is known as a protected state and is different from protectorates.

The Federation achieved independence within the Commonwealth of Nations on 31 August 1957. [2] In 1963, the Federation was reconstituted as "Malaysia" when it federated with the British territories of Singapore, Sarawak, and North Borneo; a claim to the latter territory was maintained by the Philippines. [6] [7] Singapore separated from Malaysia to become an independent republic on 9 August 1965. [8]

Commonwealth of Nations Intergovernmental organisation

The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as the Commonwealth, and historically the British Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.

Singapore Republic in Southeast Asia

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%. The country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founder Lee Kuan Yew.

Crown Colony of Sarawak Former British Crown colony established in 1946

The Crown Colony of Sarawak was a British Crown colony on the island of Borneo, established in 1946, shortly after the dissolution of the British Military Administration. It was succeeded as the state of Sarawak through the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963.

The Federation of Malaya Agreement was formulated by the British–Malay Pleno Conference between June and December 1946. At the end of the meeting, the Pleno Conference produced a 100-page "Blue Book." [9]

The Federation of Malaya Agreement was signed on 21 January 1948 at King House by the Malay rulers, and by Sir Edward Gent as the representative of the British government. [10] The Agreement superseded the Agreement creating the Malayan Union, and prepared for the establishment of the Federation of Malaya on 1 February 1948. The position of the Malay rulers was also restored.

List of member states

System of government

The government of the Federation of Malaya was headed by a British High Commissioner with executive powers, assisted and advised by the Federation of Malaya Executive Council and the Federation of Malaya Legislative Council.

Conditions of citizenship

The conditions of citizenship of the Federation of Malaya were further tightened using law enforcement and naturalisation by application. Under the laws, the following were automatically granted citizenship:

  1. Citizens of the Sultan of any state
  2. British subjects born in Penang or Malacca who have lived continuously for 15 years in the federation
  3. British subjects born in the federation whose fathers were born or lived continuously for 15 years in the federation
  4. Anyone born in the federation, conversant in the Malay language and following Malay traditions in his or her daily life
  5. Anyone born in the federation whose parents were born and lived continuously for 15 years in the federation

Via naturalisation (by application), one could achieve citizenship, given these criteria:

  1. Born and lived for at least 8 of 12 years in the Federation of Malaya before the application was made
  2. Lived in the Federation of Malaya for at least 15 of 20 years before the application was made

In both cases (via naturalisation), applications must be well-behaved, swear allegiance and clarify their reasons for living in the federation, and are fluent in either the Malay or the English language.

The Federation of Malaya, through its constitution, guarantees the rights and special position of the Malay people as well as rights, powers and sovereignty of the Malay rulers in their respective states. [12]

Separation of powers of the federal and state governments

The federation agreement (Perjanjian Persekutuan) set the powers of the federal and state governments. Financial matters must be handled by the respective states. The Sultan was given full power on religious issues and Malay customs. Foreign policy and defence continued to be administered by the British government. The federation agreement was made the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya and officially declared on 1 February 1948. [13]

Federation of Malaya Legislative Council

Dato' Onn bin Jaafar Mentri Besar of Johor, and President of the United Malays National Organisation, unpacking the State and Federation of Malaya Agreements with Dr. W. Linehan, C.M.G. Adviser on Constitutional Affairs, for the signatures of His Highness the Sultan of Johor, 1948. CO 1069-504-06 (7893277526).jpg
Dato' Onn bin Jaafar Mentri Besar of Johor, and President of the United Malays National Organisation, unpacking the State and Federation of Malaya Agreements with Dr. W. Linehan, C.M.G. Adviser on Constitutional Affairs, for the signatures of His Highness the Sultan of Johor, 1948.

The Federation of Malaya Legislative Council held its first meeting in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Hall, Kuala Lumpur in 1948. It was opened by the British High Commissioner Sir Edward Gent. Attendees included the British Minister of State for Colonial Affairs, Lord Listowel. The membership of the Council was structured to include:

The unofficial members were required to be either Federation citizens or British subjects.

In 1948 the ethnic composition of the Council was made up as follows:

Dato' Onn Jaafar stressed at the first meeting that the citizens of the Federation of Malaya did not want the interference of external powers in the affairs of the Federation; the Chinese representative Dr Ong Chong Keng asserted that the Chinese people would be loyal to the Federation of Malaya. At this first Council meeting, several minor committees were formed:

The first session passed the Kuala Lumpur City Bill, the Transfer of Power Bill, and the Loan and Debt Bill. [14]

Registration of PKMM rejected

In 1950, the Federation of Malaya Government rejected the registration of the Malay Nationalist Party of Malaya (Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya, PKMM) as a legitimate political party. PKMM had two wings, namely Angkatan Pemuda Insaf and Angkatan Wanita Sedar. Initially, PKMM did not have communist leanings. After Mokhtaruddin Lasso was elected as the first PKMM president in October 1946, this party was influenced with communism. The Young Malays Union (Kesatuan Melayu Muda, KMM) merged with PKMM, and Dr Burhanuddin al-Helmy became the second PKMM president. Dr Burhanuddin led PKMM toward the formation of Melayu Raya, a merger of Indonesia and Malaya. In December 1947, Ishak Haji Mohamed became the third PKMM president and PKMM switched from communism to nationalism. PKMM tended against UMNO and colonisation. PKKM established the Pusat Tenaga Rakyat (PUTERA), a conglomeration of radical Malay Political Parties and then merged with the All-Malaya Council of Joint Action (AMCJA) which thoroughly opposed the 1948 Federation Agreement for the foundation of the Federation of Malaya. PKMM accused officials selected in the Federation of Malaya of being "puppets" of the "Colonial Office". For PKMM, there was no basis in "preparing Malaya as a democratic government". [15]

Judiciary

The judicial system was a typical hierarchical structure consisting of lower courts, a High Court and a Court of Appeal. Successive Chief Justices were Sir Stafford Foster-Sutton (1952–1953) (afterwards Chief Justice of Nigeria, 1955), Sir Charles Mathew (1953–1956) and Sir James Beveridge Thomson (1957–1963).

Demographics

Federation of Malaya Population [16]
Ethnic Group19481951
Malay2,457,0142457014
 
2,631,1542631154
 
Chinese1,928,9651928965
 
2,043,9712043971
 
Indian536,646536646
 
566,371566371
 
Other64,80264802
 
75,72675726
 

Evolution of the Federation of Malaya

Malaysia tree diagram.svg

See also

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References

  1. "Federation of Malaya is inaugurated - Singapore History". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 8 October 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  2. 1 2 See: Cabinet Memorandum by the Secretary of State for the Colonies. 21 February 1956 Federation of Malaya Agreement
  3. The UK Statute Law Database: Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957 (c. 60) [ permanent dead link ]
  4. "No.10760: Agreement relating to Malaysia" (PDF). United Nations Treaty Collection. United Nations. July 1963. Archived from the original (pdf) on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  5. Burgess, Michael; Pinder, John (2007). Multinational Federations. Routledge. ISBN   9781134120864. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  6. "United Nations Treaty No. 8029, Manila Accord between Philippines, Federation of Malaya and Indonesia (31 July 1963)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  7. "Exchange of notes constituting an agreement relating to the implementation of the Manila Accord of 31 July 1963" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  8. See: the Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965 and the Proclamation of Singapore.
  9. Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu Diumumkan [ permanent dead link ]
  10. Hale, Christopher (2013). Massacre in Malaya: Exposing Britain's My Lai. History Press. ISBN   9780750951814. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  11. 1 2 See: The UK Statute Law Database: Formation of the Malay States and of the Settlements of Penang and Malacca Archived 16 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine into a new independent Federation of States under Federation of Malaya Constitution
  12. Persekutuan Tanah Melayu Ditubuhkan [ permanent dead link ]
  13. [Perlembagaan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu Diumumkan]
  14. The First Conference of the Federation of Malaya Legislative Council [ permanent dead link ]
  15. Rejection of the registration of the Malay Nationalist Party of Malaya [ permanent dead link ]
  16. Annual Report on the Federation of Malaya: 1951 in C.C. Chin and Karl Hack, Dialogues with Chin Peng pp. 380, 81.