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 from the federation by incorporating the Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak Crown Colonies.
The federation of states that made up the Federation of Malaya is now known as Peninsular Malaysia.
Federation of Malaya
Persekutuan Tanah Melayu
ڤرسكوتوان تانه ملايو
|Status||Sovereign state from 31 August 1957|
|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||Malaysia|
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.
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.
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 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 The Agreement superseded the Agreement creating the Malayan Union, and prepared for the establishment of the Federation of Malaya on 1 February 1948.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).
1948 in Malaya. Malaya under British colony Malayan Union until replaced by Federation of Malaya from 1 February.1951 Malayan local elections
The first election in the Federation of Malaya was for the Municipal Council of George Town in Penang held on 1 December 1951.1955 Birthday Honours
The Queen's Birthday Honours 1955 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of The Queen.
They were announced on 3 June 1955, for the United Kingdom and Colonies, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, Pakistan, and for various members of Commonwealth forces in recognition of services in Korea during 1954–55.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.1955 New Year Honours
The New Year Honours 1955 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. They were announced on 1 January 1955 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1955.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.1957 Birthday Honours
The Queen's Birthday Honours 1957 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries.
The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of The Queen, and were published on 4 June 1957 for the United Kingdom and Colonies, Australia, New Zealand, and to members of the British Armed Forces in recognition of distinguished and gallant services in the Operations in the Near East, October–December 1956.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement
The Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement (AMDA) was set up on 19 September 1957 to provide a security umbrella for the newly independent Malaya. AMDA was a bilateral defence agreement between the United Kingdom and the Federation of Malaya, which also committed Australia and New Zealand to assist Britain in the defence of Malaysia. This agreement was used to justify Australian and New Zealand involvement in the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation. The agreement was formally signed by the British and Malayan Governments on 12 October 1957.When Malaysia was created in 1963, AMDA was renamed the Anglo-Malaysian Defence Agreement and continued to provide some measure of security to the new federation. AMDA was later replaced with the FPDA.Coat of arms of Malaysia
The coat of arms of Malaysia (Malay: Jata Negara) 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.Federal Legislative Council (Malaya)
The Federal Legislative Council (also known simply as the Legislative Council) was the legislative body of the Federation of Malaya and the predecessor of the Malaysian Parliament. It was formed in 1948 after the abolition of the Malayan Union and the formation of the Federation, as part of the United Kingdom's promise to grant self-rule to the Malayans. The council convened in Kuala Lumpur.
The council was composed of representatives from the Malay, the Chinese and the Indian communities. Initially, all representatives were appointed by the British High Commissioner for Malaya.
In 1955, a general election was held for the first time. 52 seats were contested, with the majority party earning the right to appoint seven more. In the election, the Alliance Party contested all 52 seats and won 51, while the Pan-Malayan Islamic Party won the remaining seat. Following the elections, Raja Uda Raja Muhammad was elected as the Speaker of the Council, similar to the present Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.
The Federal Legislative Council passed the Malayan Constitution (later, the Malaysian Constitution) on August 15, 1957. Malaya gained independence on August 31, 1957. The Federal Legislative Council continued to sit as the legislative body of the new country until it was dissolved for the 1959 election, in which the new Parliament was elected.Flag of Malaysia
The flag of Malaysia, also known as the Malay: Jalur Gemilang ("Stripes of Glory"), 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 (Federal Star). 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.In blazon, the Malaysian flag is described as: "A banner Gules, seven bars Argent; the canton Azure charged with decrescent and mullet of fourteen points Or". This means "a red flag with seven horizontal white stripes; the upper-left (hoist) quarter is blue with a yellow waning crescent (i.e. horns pointing to sinister) and a yellow 14-pointed star".List of High Commissioners of the United Kingdom to Malaya
In 1896, the post of High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States was created; the High Commissioner represented the British Government in the Federated Malay States, a federation of four British protected states in Malaya. The High Commissioner's official residence was King's House (now part of a hotel, Carcosa Seri Negara), located inside the Perdana Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur, then the capital of the Federated Malay States. King's House served as an important place for royal dignitaries and distinguished guests.
The Governor of the Straits Settlements had always been ex-officio the High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States; the Governor's official residence was in Singapore, the capital of the Straits Settlements, and was known as Government House (now Istana, the official residence of the President of Singapore).
In each of the five protected states of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Johore (usually collectively referred to as the 'Unfederated Malay States'), the British government is represented by an Adviser: the Adviser to the Government of Perlis; the Adviser to the Sultan of Kedah; the Adviser to the Government of Kelantan; the Adviser, Trengganu; and the General Adviser to the Government of Johore.
The Straits Settlements was dissolved in 1946. Singapore became a Crown colony in her own right. The rest of the Straits Settlements (i.e. Penang and Malacca) was merged with the Federated Malay States, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Johore to form the Malayan Union, another Crown colony. The native rulers in the Federated Malay States, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Johore ceded their power to the United Kingdom, thus turning these territories into British colonies. The new Crown colony of the Malayan Union was headed by a Governor – the Governor of the Malayan Union.
In 1948, the British government returned power to the native rulers of the former protected states, and the Malayan Union was transformed into the Federation of Malaya – a federation of protected states and Crown colonies (Penang and Malacca had remained Crown colonies throughout the Malayan Union era). The Federation of Malaya was headed by the High Commissioner for Malaya.
When Malaya gained independence from the United Kingdom, the position of the High Commissioner for Malaya as the de facto head of state was replaced by the Paramount Ruler, or the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, of Malaya, appointed by the rulers of the nine Malay states. The title 'High Commissioner' became that of the senior British diplomat in the independent Malaya (and later in Malaysia), as is normal in Commonwealth countries.List of Malaysian flags
This is a list of flags used in Malaysia.Malayan Union
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.Malaysia Agreement
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.Malaysian Red Crescent Society
The Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC) (Malay: Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia) is a voluntary humanitarian organization that seeks to promote humanitarian values, as well as provide service and public education in disaster management, and health and care in the community. It is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Organised in 15 branches and 94 chapters nationwide, the Malaysian Red Crescent is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian Red Crescent also has a very active presence among youths and young adults through a well-organized network of youth and adult volunteer units in schools and institutions of higher learning.Manila Accord
The Manila Accord was signed on 31 July 1963 by the Federation of Malaya, the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of the Philippines, after a meeting from 7 to 11 June 1963 in Manila.
Initiated by President of the Philippines Diosdado Macapagal, the meeting was convened to resolve issues over the wishes of people in North Borneo and Sarawak within the context of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 9 of the Annex taking into account the referendum in North Borneo and Sarawak that would be free and without coercion.Members of the Dewan Rakyat, 1st Malayan Parliament
This is a list of the members of the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) of the First Parliament of the Federation of Malaya (known as the Parliament of Malaysia after 2 November 1963), elected in 1959.Olympic Council of Malaysia
Olympic Council of Malaysia (Malay: Majlis Olimpik Malaysia, IOC code: MAS) is the National Olympic Committee representing Malaysia. It is also the body responsible for Malaysia's representation at the Commonwealth Games.Proclamation of Malaysia
The Proclamation of Malaysia (Malay: Permasyhuran Malaysia), was a statement, written in English and the Jawi script of Malay, that declared the merger of the Federation of Malaya with the British crown colonies of North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore into the new Federation of Malaysia, following the enactment of the Malaysia Agreement and the Malaysia Act 1963 that July. The merger came into effect on 16 September 1963, and the proclamation was delivered on that date by Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in the Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.Unfederated Malay States
The term Unfederated Malay States (Malay: Negeri-negeri Melayu Tidak Bersekutu) 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.
In 1946 the British colony of the Straits Settlements was dissolved. Penang and Malacca which had formed a part of the Straits Settlements were then grouped with the Unfederated Malay States and the Federated Malay States to form the Malayan Union. In 1948, the Malayan Union was reconstituted as a federation of eleven states known as the Federation of Malaya. Nine of the states of the new Federation of Malaya continued as British Protected States, while two of them, Penang and Malacca remained as British colonies. The Federation of Malaya gained full independence from the UK in August 1957.