THE FORMATION OF MALAYSIA 16TH SEPTEMBER 1963 JV Emily Ken Simer
THE MERGING PLANThe idea to unite Malaysia with neighbouring countries was raised several times.Merger of Singapore suggested in 1955 by David Marshall – rejected by Tunku Abdul Rahman.Lee Kuan Yew proposed the idea again in 1959 – unfavorable response
THE MERGING PLAN 27th May 1961: Tunku Abdul Rahman suggested the merger of Malaya with: - Singapore - North Borneo: Sabah - Sarawak - Brunei
“Free through unification”was the main general factor of the proposal.
REASONSPolitical Reasons- To curb communist threat- To boost and accelerate the independence of Brunei, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.- To create racial harmony
REASONSEconomy- To boost regional economy for people and countriesSocial- To create Malaysian nation new identity based on shared cultural heritage
1. Harmony Entourage to Sabah and Sarawak (June 1961) Tunku wanted the people to understand the merging concept. Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Sarawak People’ Party (SNAP) and Barisan Rakyat Jati Sarawak (BARJASA) expressed opposition.
1. Harmony Entourage to Sabah and Sarawak (June 1961) United National Kadazan Organization (UNKO)’s leader: Donald Stephens publicly rejected the idea. Tunku promised to give considerable autonomy to lead.
2. Visit to Brunei (July 1961) A.M. Azahari and his party not interested in merging idea. Sultan formed special committee to assess public’s opinion.
3. Singapore Conference (August 1961) Should be decided by the people. Singapore hold autonomy powers in education and labour. Central government responsible for defense, internal security. A referendum showed than more than 70% people agreed to merger.
4. Borneo States’ Meeting (November1961) A meeting to discuss Borneo’s status as British colony. To assess the people’s reaction towards the merging idea. It too widened English-Malaya defence treaty to protect South East Asia from communism threats. Proposal to assist to review Sultan Brunei’s opinion and to maintain British military base in Singapore.
5. Malaysia Solidarity ConsultativeCommittee (Middle 1961) Was formed when most Borneo’s leaders expressed skepticism. Meeting held to relay true intention and reasons of merging. Received strong support.
6. Cobbold Commission (August 1962) Was formed to assess the feelings of the Sabahans and Sarawakians. Committee consisted 2 British and 2 Malaysian. Found 70% accepted the idea.
7. Inter Government Committee(August 1962) Was formed to plan the legislative of the new country. Was headed by Lord Landsdowne. Analyzed important matters – the report was accepted by committee as basis to formulate Malaysia.
8. Singapore’s Referendum Amidst opposition, PAP restore people’s confidence in merging by mentioning these matters: - promised the people not losing status of citizenship. - better international economic prospects. - easier to curb communist threat. Referendum had shown 70% accepted the merging
9. United Nation’s Mission (June 1963) To assess the acceptance of the Sabahans and Sarawakians. Tunku met President Sukarno and President Macapagal to explicate the idea. Convinced them – the people agreed and accepted the idea. Referendum reflected positive reaction from the people – authenticate Cobbold’s report. Despite this, Indonesia unwilling to back
WITHDRAWAL OF SINGAPORE Polarization between Malays and Chinese became obvious. Election 1964: claim of Lee Kuan Yew – belittling MCA leaders. Create conflict between MCA and PAP and UMNO - leaders and people Idea of campaign: all Chinese must support PAP to compel UMNO agreed to PAP’s demand. Racist campaigning created tension led to riot. 27th April 1965: Lee Kuan Yew launched “Malaysia for Malaysian”.
WITHDRAWAL OF SINGAPORE Malays angry: proposed “Melayu Bersatu”. Tan Siew Sin and T.H. Tan proposed Singapore to withdraw. 7th August 1965: agreement of withdrawal was signed. 9th August 1965: Singapore officially withdrew and formed a Republic
Difficulties encountered at the beginning stage A. Malaya B. Singapore C. Brunei D. Sarawak E. Sabah
Malaya• There were not much opposition from the Malayans.• Only the Malays oppose the merging of Singapore with Malaya.• They fear that the high majority of Chinese population from Singapore will threaten the Malay sovereignty.• Fear that the culture, language and socioeconomic status will further worsen.• Malays dominated the political life of the country; whereas the Chinese and Indians hold the preponderance of economic power.• The Malays later on support the formation of Malaysia when Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei was brought in.
Singapore• Lee Kuan Yew and his People’s Action Party (PAP) fully supports the formation of Malaysia.• But, the Singaporean Socialist Front opposes the merge.• They claim that formation of Malaysia is a plot for the British to continue controlling the region.• Supported by Labour Party leaded by David Marshall ; as well as United Peoples Party leaded by Ong Eng Guan• A referendum was held on the 1st September 1962.• Purpose of referendum is to gauge the opinions of the public.
Brunei• Brunei was equally keen on the merge with Malaya.• Sultan Ali Saifuddin was hoping to gain protection from a larger country like Malaya.• However, A.M. Azahari,the leader of the Brunei People’s Party, strongly opposed the merge.• Claims that the formation of Malaysia is a neocolonialism.• He wanted to unite Brunei, Sabah and Sarawak to form North Kalimantan.
• He launched a revolt against the government of Brunei under North Kalimantan National Army.• They get the supports from Indonesia and Philippine.• Wanted to over throw the Brunei government but failed and was defeated.• A.M. Azahari fled to Indonesia.
Sabah and Sarawak• Most of the locals opposed the formation of Malaysia because: I. Non-Malays were not happy with the Malayan political domination. II. Hope to maintain under British rule. III. Fear that they will be forced to change their religion into Islam. IV. Fear of losing authority in the administration of their governments. • Separated from the rest of Malaysia by 650 km therefore they were afraid that they might secede from the federation.
Sabah and Sarawak• British formed the Cobbold Commission led by Lord Cobbold, to investigate the reaction of the people in Sabah and Sarawak towards the merge.• 1/3 supported the merge wholeheartedly.• 1/3 supported on the grounds that they will join Malaya only after they achieved their independence.• 1/3 supported it on the grounds that their rights be maintained.
Confrontation of Indonesia & Claim of Philippines
Confrontation of Indonesia• It was held in 1962• Undeclared war between west Malaysia and Indonesia• Tunku Abdul Rahman sign the London agreement.• Former President Sukorno announced the “Ganyang” Malaysia
Confrontation of Indonesia• Light infantry operations, air-transport , rivers but there were no air-power• Indonesia attack east Malaysia, but the British back the newly formed Malaya• August 1966, Indonesia president Suharto rise to power and a peace agreement was sign.
Claim by the Philippines• Also known as the North Borneo dispute• Sabah was known as North Borneo back then• 1878 ruler of sulu, Sultan jamalul A’Lam sign the territory of north borneo to Gustavus Von overbeck and Austrain who is the counsel in the Austro Hungarian empire.
Claim by the Philippines• Sarawak was developed first. Singapore and Sarawak went into Borneo gave them freedom to choose their political status , economic, cultural.• Lord cobbold was a representative send by the Malaya and British to North Borneo.• The Philippine and Indonesia rejected the finding of Cobbold.
THE COBBOLDCOMMISION• Lord Cobbold lead thejoint Anglo-MalayanCommission of Inquiry. (Survey)• Feb- April 1962, Lord Cobbold visited Sabah and Sarawakand reported the results.1/3 - Favours formation of Malaysia without concernsover terms and conditions.1/3 -Favours formation of Malaysia with conditions.1/3 - Wants independence before Malaysia and stronglyprefer to have British rule continue.
• Results of Cobbold Comission is that the people ofSabah and Sarawak were supportive towards theformation of Malaysia.• But Indonesia and the Philippines rejectedthe findings of the Cobbold.• During the meeting, Philippines and Indonesiaagreed to drop their objection if the new commissionfound favours of the people in joining Malaysia. • United Nation’s mission to Borneo in June1963 reported 2/3 of the people was infavour of joining Malaysia.
SINGAPORE• Lee Kuan Yew, representive from PAP uses theresults of a referendum on 01/09/1962 to determineThe peoples support, results were positive.• On 16/09/1963, Singapore joined Malaysia.• Then Lee Kuan Yew opposed the bumiputra policy.• A riots among the nations happened in 1964,23 people were killed and hundreds injured.• So, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Lee Kuan Yewsigned a separation agreement on 7 August 1965.
BRUNEI1) The position of the Sultanof Brunei within the Counsilof Malay rulers.2) The Status of Brunei within Malaysia.3) The riches of oilThese matters discusse during the negotiationwith Malaysia was considered as sensitive,thus Brunei decided to opt out in theformation of Malaysia.
BRITAINS REACTIONEventhough the British had toreturn back the countries that is under theircontrol to the people, the Britishsupports the formation of Malaysia.This reaction is also because this actprotects their investment in the country.
July 1963, The Malaysian Agreement wassigned by five countries and was sealed.Malaysia was born as a new nation on16th September 1963