What problems were germane to the decolonization process of Malay Peninsula.
A simple straightforward question where candidates need to write about decolonization process of Malay peninsula and what problems germane had about it .
Malay peninsula was under British influence since late 18 th century . the decolonization of Malaya peninsula was part of series of decolonization movements going across Asia and Africa after world war 2 and got full independence by late 1950s.
Malaya was liberated from Japanese occupation in 1945 but there were some problems to be faced before British were prepare to withdraw
- It was complex area which would be difficult to organize
- It consisted nine states each ruled by sultan , two British settlements ,Malacca and penang and Singapore a small island less than mile of mainland
- The population was multiracial mostly malayas and Chinese but with some Indians and Europeans as well .
- In preparation for independence it was decided to group the states and settlements into federation of malayas while Singapore remained separate colony .
- Each state had its own legislature for local affairs ,the sultans retained the power but the central government had firm overall control
- All adults had the vote and this meant that the malays ,the largest group usually dominated the affairs .
Economic problems –
- Malayas roads and infrastructure were greatly damaged by second world war they had to be rebuilt .
- International commodity prices and exchange rate were in a constant state of flux due to the post ww2 reorganization across the world
- 1/3 of Malaysian jobs and majority of its foreign exchange earning come from rubber plantation but with the invention of synthetic rubber ,the owners were gradually cutting down the wages and workforce .the resultant unemployment was a breeding ground for communist insurgency and political unrest .
- Therefore govt of Malaysia lacked fiscal resources to carry out developmental activities .
- Chinese communists guerrillas led by chin peng who had played leading role in resistance to the Japanese now began to stir up strikes and violence against the British In support of an independent communist state
- The British decided to declare state of emergency in 1948 and in the end they with the with the communists successfully though it took time and state of emergency remained till 1960
- Their tactics were to resettle into special guarded villages all Chinese suspended of helping the guerrillas it was made clear that independence would follow as soon as country was ready for it this ensured that the malayas remained firmly pro British and gave very little help to communist who were Chinese
- The move towards independence was accelerated when The Malay party under their able leader Tunku abdul rehman join forces with main Chinese group and Indian group to form alliance party which won 51 put of 52 in 1955 elections
- This seem to suggest stability and the British were persuaded to grant full independence in 1957 when Malaya was admitted to commonwealth
Formation and collapse of federation
- The federation of Malaya was set up in 1963
- Malaya was running well under Tunkus leadership and its economy based on export of rubber and tin was the most prosperous in south Asia
- In 1961when Tunku proposed that Singapore and three British colonies north Borneo,Brunei,and Sarawak should join Malaya to form the federation Britain agreed
- After united nation investigation team reported that huge majority of population concerned was in favour of union federation of Malaysia was officially proclaimed
- But Brunei decided not to join and eventually became a independent state within commonwealth
- Although Singapore decided to leave federation to become independent republic in 1965the rest of federation continued successfully
To conclude poverty removal , economic development , racial integration communist insurgency and merger of Singapore were the prominent challenges germane with the decolonization of Malay peninsula.