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Topic 2

The Formation of
The idea was aired by
Tunku Abdul Rahman
based on three
important theories –
security theory,
population balance
theory and the
expansion theory.
Factors for the Formation of Malaysia

• Independence through unification.

• Understanding for development.
• Ethnic balance and unity.
• Collective fight against communism.
• Economic cooperation.
• United in international relations.
Reaction Towards the Idea

• Singapore reacted with enthusiasm to the proposed merger.

• Lee Kuan Yew met with Tunku in Aug 1961 and reached

• If Singapore joined Malaya, the central govt would be in
Kuala Lumpur, but education, revenue and labor policies
would still be dealt with in Singapore.
• Lee KY campaigned in Singapore to get agreement from the
people for merger with Malaya.
• Although Barisan Sosialis and other communist-dominated
groups campaigned against joining Malaysia, the majority
supported their Prime Minister.
Reaction Towards the Idea – Sabah and Sarawak

• At first reluctant to join Malaysia.

• WHY?

• Non- Malays feared that absorption into the Malaya Federation


would make the Malays in Sabah and Sarawak even more

• Malay leaders were equally worried that a merger would make their
states a small and unimportant part of the larger federation.
• Would be better to achieve independence and then consider the
merits of a possible merger.
• Was at first in favor of joining Malaysia.
• Sultan Ali Saifuddin saw Brunei coming under the protection
of the much larger Malaya.

• Parti Rakyat (A.M.Azhari) wanted to see the 3 Borneo

territories join together and form their own joint govt.
• Started a revolt against the Sultan in Dec 1962; was defeated
and fled to Indonesia.
• Brunei did sent observers in MSCC but Sultan was not happy
with the Malaysia proposals.
• Reasons:
• Dispute over how much of its oil revenues Brunei would be allowed
to keep if it joined Malaysia.
• The Sultan thought he would have a higher rank in the seniority list of
• Position of Brunei in Malaysia.
The number of seats in
The control on oil and
the Legislature and in Monetary autonomy
other materials

Brunei’s earlier Authority in the area of

Method of taxation
investments education and welfare

Matters of religion Citizenship The security of Brunei

The position of the

sultan and the status of
Brunei within Malaysia.
External Opposition

• President Macapagal claimed Sabah was originally a part of

Filipino territory.
• The formation of Malaysia thus complicated his efforts to
claim Sabah.
• Broke off diplomatic reasons with Malaysia on the day it was
officially proclaimed.
• Relations were only restored in June 1966 after President
Marcos came to power.
• Did not welcome merger based on the following reasons:
• Saw merger as an attempt by the British to maintain its power in
Southeast Asia since the British bases would remain in Singapore
after Malaysia was formed.
• Its territory, Kalimantan, shares a border with Sabah and Sarawak.
• Launched Confrontation, an anti-Malaysia campaign.
• Despite UN survey, which reported that the people of Sabah and
Sarawak were for merger.
• Campaign turned violent with widespread damage and loss of lives.
Singapore’s Separation from Malaysia

• Towards the final days of the negotiation process, Singapore

appeared to show withdrawal syndrome.
• Malaysia did not start off well. Right from the beginning, the
P.A.P. and the Alliance Party in Kuala Lumpur did not get
along well with each other.
• Racial polarizations began to emerge because the
Singapore leaders were unrestrained unlike their
counterparts in Malaya who understood the need for racial
tolerance and accommodation.
• Lee KY launched
“Malaysian Malaysia”
• Singapore form United
Opposition Front – to fight
for equal rights and
Malaysia for Malaysians.
• Racial riots – between the Malays and Chinese erupted in
Singapore on July 21, 1964.
• 23 people were killed and 454 were injured in the riots.
• The price of food heavily skyrocketed when transport system
was disrupted during this period of unrest, causing further
On August 7, 1965, Prime Minister Tunku Abdul
Rahman, seeing no alternative to avoid further
bloodshed, advised the Parliament of Malaysia
that it should vote to expel Singapore from