Federation of Malaya
Persekutuan Tanah Melayu
ڤرسكوتوان تانه ملايو
|Status||Sovereign state from 31 August 1957|
|Common languages|| Malay |
|Yang di-Pertuan Agong|
|Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah|
|Tuanku Syed Putra|
|Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra|
|1 February 1948|
|31 August 1957|
|16 September 1963|
|1963||132,364 km2 (51,106 sq mi)|
|Currency|| Malayan dollar (1948–1953)|
Malaya and British Borneo dollar (1953–1957)
|ISO 3166 code||MY|
|Today part of|
Part of a series on the
|History of Malaysia|
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) that existed from 1 February 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957, and in 1963 Malaysia was formed when the federation united with the Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak Crown Colonies.
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.
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.
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.
The federation of states that made up the Federation of Malaya is now known as Peninsular Malaysia.
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.
From 1946 to 1948, the eleven states formed a single British crown colony known as the Malayan Union.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.
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.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. Singapore separated from Malaysia to become an independent republic on 9 August 1965.
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, 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.
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."
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.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.
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.
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:
Via naturalisation (by application), one could achieve citizenship, given these criteria:
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.
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.
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.
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".
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).
The Parti Rakyat Malaysia is a democratic socialist political party in Malaysia. Established on 11 November 1955 as Partai Ra'ayat, it is one of the older political parties in Malaysia and traces its pedigree to the anti-colonial movements from the pre World War II period like the Kesatuan Melayu Muda. After being politically inactive for a long time, the party contested in Penang, Kedah and Selangor in the 2018 elections. However, the party failed to win a single state or parliamentary seat. It is unrepresented in the Dewan Rakyat and state legislative assemblies of Malaysia.
The flag of Malaysia, also known as the Malay: Jalur Gemilang, is composed of a field of 14 alternating red and white stripes along the fly and a blue canton bearing a crescent and a 14-point star known as the Bintang Persekutuan. The 14 stripes, of equal width, represent the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states and the federal territories, while the 14 points of the star represent the unity between these entities. The crescent represents Islam, the country's state religion; the blue canton symbolises the unity of the Malaysian people; the yellow of the star and crescent is the royal colour of the Malay rulers.
The coat of arms of Malaysia is a coat of arms comprising a shield or escutcheon, two tigers for supporters, a crescent and fourteen-pointed star for a crest and a motto. As the Malaysian coat of arms descended from that of the Federated Malay States under British colonial rule, it resembles European heraldic designs.
The term Unfederated Malay States was the collective name given to five British protected states in the Malay peninsula in the first half of the twentieth century. These states were Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Terengganu. In contrast with the four adjoining Federated Malay States of Selangor, Perak, Pahang, and Negri Sembilan, the five Unfederated Malay States lacked common institutions, and did not form a single state in international law; they were in fact standalone British protectorates.
Hari Merdeka, also known as Hari Kebangsaan, refers to the day when the Federation of Malaya's independence from the British Empire was officially declared. At exactly 09:30 on 31 August 1957, the declaration was read by the first Chief Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman at the Merdeka Stadium in the presence of thousands of people including Malay Rulers, members of the federal government, and foreign dignitaries.
Malay nationalism refers to the nationalism that focused overwhelmingly on the Malay anticolonial struggle, motivated by the nationalist ideal of creating a Bangsa Melayu with its central objectives were the advancement and protection of what constitutes the Malayness – religion (Islam), language (Malay), and royalty. Such pre-occupation is a direct response to the European colonial presence and the influx of foreign migrant population in Malaya since the mid-nineteenth century.
The All-Malaya Council of Joint Action (AMCJA) was a coalition of political and civic organisations in Malaya formed to participate in the development of a constitution for post-war Malaya in preparation for independence and to oppose the Constitutional Proposals for Malaya which eventually formed the basis of the Federation of Malaya Agreement.
The Royal Malaysia Police trace their existence to the Malacca Sultanate in the 1400s and developed through administration by the Portuguese, the Dutch, modernization by the British beginning in the early 1800s, and the era of Malaysian independence.
Tunku Abdul Rahman formed the first Rahman cabinet after being invited to begin a new government following the 27 July 1955 general election in Malaysia. Upon receiving the assent of the Rulers of the Malay States, the composition of the cabinet was announced by the High Commissioner of the Federation of Malaya, Donald MacGillivray, from King's House on 4 August 1955. The cabinet was sworn in 9 August 1955, by the Chief Justice of Malaya, Prethaser.
The foundation of the Constitution of Malaysia was laid on 10 September 1877. It began with the first meeting of the Council of State in Perak, where the British first started to assert their influence in the Malay states. Under the terms of the Pangkor Engagement of 1874 between the Sultan of Perak and the British, the Sultan was obliged to accept a British Resident. Hugh Low, the second British Resident, convinced the Sultan to set up advisory Council of State, the forerunner of the state legislative assembly. Similar Councils were constituted in the other Malay states as and when they came under British protection.
The Malaysia Agreement or the Agreement relating to Malaysia between United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore was the agreement which combined North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore with the existing states of the Federation of Malaya, the resulting union being named Malaysia. Singapore later ceased to be a part of Malaysia, becoming an independent state on 9 August 1965.
The Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957 was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It came into operation on 31 July 1957. The Act made provisions for the nation of Federation of Malaya and the Settlements of Penang and Malacca to gain an independent sovereign country within and become a member of the Commonwealth of Nations on 31 August 1957; prior to this, Federation of Malaya had been a fully self-governing British colony.
The Sang Saka Malaya is the flag of the Kesatuan Melayu Muda. It is also known as Sang Saka Merah Putih.
The Malayan Declaration of Independence, was officially proclaimed on 31 August 1957, by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya. In a ceremony held at the Merdeka Stadium, the proclamation document was read out at exactly 0930 a.m in the presence of thousands of Malayan citizens, Malay Rulers and foreign dignitaries. The proclamation acknowledges the establishment of an independent and democratic Federation of Malaya, which came into effect on the termination of the British protectorate over nine Malay states and the end of British colonial rule in two Straits Settlements, Malacca and Penang.
Parti Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM), also known as the Malay Nationalist Party, was founded on 17 October 1945 in Ipoh, Perak. The party was the first Malay political party formed after the Japanese occupation of Malaya.
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