Malaysia Government/History 354 Southeast Asia
Malaya became independent in 1957. It became Malaysia in 1961 when it incorporated Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore. Singapore seceded peacefully in 1965.
Malaysia • Was a colony of Portugal, Netherlands and Britain. • Is a constitutional (elected) monarchy, composed of 13 states. • Population of 24.4 Million; 58% Malay, 26% Chinese & 7% Indian. • All Malays are Muslim. • Is the site of the Petrona Towers and Tunku Abdul Rahman College.
Malacca and Islam • Malacca was founded in 1402 by Parameshwara, prince of Palembang. • Malacca competed for ships with other SEAsian states. Malacca sent tribute to the Thailand and China. Converting to Islam improved relations with Sumatra plus Indian and Arab traders. • Trade led to Malacca becoming a center for the spread of Islam. • Tun Perak (1456-98) made Malacca a Malayan empire.
Trade at Malacca • Malacca was an ideal location, half way along the sea route between India and China. • As an entrepot, it became a center for trade: • Silk and porcelain from China. • Textiles from Gujarat and Coromandel in India. • Camphor from Bornea. • Sandlewood from Timor • Nutmeg, mace, & cloves from the Moluccas. • Gold & pepper from Sumatra. • Tin from Western Malaya.
Colonial Malacca • Alfonso De Albuquerque conquered Malacca in 1511 for Portugal. It remained Portuguese for 130 years. • Trade brought great riches. • Saint Francis Xavier visited during 1545-49. Found it to be a debaucherous cesspool of vice. • Malacca fell to the Dutch in 1641. In 1826, it became a British colony. Christ Church (Dutch) 1753
British Entry Into Malaya • The British withdrew from competition with the Dutch following the Ambon Massacre of 1623. • The Dutch (allied with the Sultan of Jehore) gained control of Malacca from the Portuguese in 1641, but did little with it. The principal Dutch interest was to direct trade to Batavia (Jakarta). • The British first gained a foothold in Malaya in 1786 when the Sultan of Kedah granted the island of Penang to the East India Company.
The StraightsSettlement • The British took control of Malacca from the Dutch under the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. The treaty was a response to the establishment of Singapore as a highly successful port. • The fishing village of Singapore was acquired from the Sultan of Johore in 1819 by Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles. Thomas Stanford Raffles
Questions • Who founded Malacca? • What is ideal about Malacca's location? • Who conquered Malacca for the Portuguese? • Which famous Jesuit missionary visited Malacca? • Why did the British withdraw from the spice trade competition after 1623? What did they ultimately receive as compensation? • What prompted the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824? • The acquisition of what territories in 1961 led to Malaya becoming Malaysia? • Malaysia is considered to be constitutional _____.
British Crown Colony • Penang, Malacca and Singapore became the the Straits Settlement crown colony in 1826, but was administered from Calcutta by the East India Company until 1867. • The East India Company had little interest expending its resources in direct control of Malay territory. • It didn’t even object when James Brooke acquired as a private kingdom in Sarawak in 1846.
The Need for Intervention • Between 1871 and 1873 their was a period political instability in the Malay states. • Malay states were in constant turmoil over dynastic disputes and conflicts between Chinese secret societies. A civil war broke out between local chiefs backed by Chinese societies in Selangor. • Demand for tin suddenly increased with the U.S. Civil War and the opening of U.S. west. • Business relations with Malay states became unreliable in a time increasing competition for tin by other countries due to the opening of the Suez Canal. • Investment in business ventures such as telegraph lines was unlikely without assurance of British protection
Demands for Intervention • Straits Settlement Association established in London to lobby for intervention in 1868. • In 1873-74, British merchants pressured the Colonial Office: • Chinese merchants prompted to petition the British to intervene. • Seymour Clark of Selangor Tin writes colonial office expressing concern that Malay states may seek German intervention. • W.H.M. Reed (Straits Settlement Ass.) obtains letters from Malay chiefs requesting British intervention.
Residency System • The Residency System is established in Perak in 1874. The sultan agrees to accept a resident whose advice must be followed in all matters, particularly administration and revenue collection, other than religion and custom. In return, the British will protect the state against internal and external threats. • Within a month, Selangor and Negri Sembilan accept residents. In 1888, Pahang followed suit.
The Perak War • In 1875, the Perak Resident, J.W.W. Birch was murdered. Several issues were involved. • Governor William Jervois proposed that advisors be replaced by Queen’s Commissioners. The Commissioners would govern in the sultan’s name. Birch was required to obtain the sultan’s consent. • Conflict over debt slavery. Birch allowed his residence to become a sanctuary for runaway slaves, mostly women. The sultan imagined that he was stealing the slaves to provide mistresses for his police. • As punishment, three chiefs were executed and the sultan replaced.
Perak War Monuments Monument to J.W.W Birch on the spot where he was killed in Pasir Salak. Built: 1900. Warrior’s Monument to Malays who died in the Perak War.
Questions • What territories composed the Straits Settlements? • James Brooke acquired a private kingdom in what territory? • Why were British businessmen interested in obtaining direct British intervention in Malaya? • What finally led to the Colonial Office agreeing to intervene? • To what did a ruler agree when receiving a Resident? What did he gain in return? • What were the two principal sources of disagreement that led to the murder of J.W.W. Birch and the Perak War?
Federated Malay States • In 1895, Perak, Selangor, Penang and Negri Sembilan were merged into the Federated Malay States (FMS) with a Resident General in Kuala Lumpur. • In practice, the FMS tended to be more unitary than federal with the Resident General issuing instructions directly to Residents and departmental heads doing likewise to their state counterparts. • Periodic meetings of all Malay rulers and residents provided a limited deliberative and advisory function.
Pre World War II • Malaya, FMS and the Straits Settlements enjoyed prosperity and relative peace prior to WW II. • The three major ethnic groups existed in superficial harmony: Malay (Bumiputras), Chinese and Indians. However, the number of Chinese and Indian immigrants and their share of the economy increased greatly. • The British built a major naval base in Singapore in 1938 with the principal goal of defending India from Japan.
World War II • British preparations for war in Malaya were sadly inadequate. The naval base at Singapore (fortified against attack by sea) fell in humiliation to a Japanese land campaign. • The Chinese in Malaya were forced to take sides between the Communist and the KMT. • The Chinese Communist in Malaya began an anti-Japanese guerrilla war. • The British supported Communist guerrillas thru Force 136 which provided training and supplies.
Malay Union • In 1945, the British proposed the Malay Union. • The union was to be composed of the nine Malay states plus Malacca and Penang, but not Singapore. • The nine Malay Sultans would surrender sovereignty to the union. Laws would no longer require their ratification. • There would be common citizenship for Malays, Chinese and Indians born in Malaya or who had been residents for ten years. • A massive protest movement led to the formation of the United Malay National Organization (UMNO).
Federation of Malaya • The strong reaction to the Malay Union led to a new structure in 1948, the Federation of Malaya. • Retrocession of sovereignty to the Malay states. • Integration of the states and Malacca and Penang (but not Singapore) into the new federation. • Citizenship rights restricted to Malays, only.
Questions • Which territories composed the Federated Malay States? • Which ethnic groups increased in number and economic power prior to WW II? • During WW II, what group did British Force 136 support? • The creation of the Malay Union deprived Sultans of _______ and granted Chinese and Indians full ________. • The United Malay National Organization (UMNO) was a reaction to _______. • The Federation of Malaya restored _________ to the Sultans and limited citizenship to ________.
Independence Delayed. • The British were withdrawing from everything east of Suez. India and Burma had already been granted independence. Malaya was to be next. • Chinese Communist insurgency began in 1948 leading to a declared state of emergency that lasted until 1960. The Chinese saw the new federation as imperiling their legal status. The Chinese revolution provided the model of insurgency and guerrilla warfare. • The vehicle was the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).
Combating Insurgency • The British success in combating the insurgency was the product of : • The guerrillas never exceeded 10,000 and could claim the support of no more than 15-20% of Chinese population. • The guerrillas were easily distinguished racially. • The Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) was formed as political solution to unrest. • Insurgents received little outside support. • The Briggs Plan of 600 new villages and deportation of 10,000 Chinese back to China.
Independence 1957 • Malaya granted independence in 1957, although the emergency last until 1960. • Tunku Abdul Rahman was the first P.M. He was an English educated prince from Kedah. He served until 1970. • He sought to give special attention to Malays to makeup for past neglect. Tunku Abdul Rahman
The Bargain • The key feature of the bargain was that the Chinese would be allowed to prevail in the economic sector, but the Malays would control the political sector. • The Malays received constitutional advantages: • Head of state (king) would be a Malay sultan. • Malay would be the official language • Islam would be the official religion • Malays would receive preferences in land acquisition, educational assistance and civil service employment.
Federation of Malaysia 1963 • An enlarged Malaysia was formed in 1963 from Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah. • The British sponsored this arrangement to improve the viability of the state. Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah were all British dependencies. • Sarawak and Sabah would balance the largely Chinese population of Singapore, thus not threatening the bargain. • Singapore remained part of the federation for only two years.
A Malaysian Malaysia • Tunku Abdul Rahman expelled Singapore from Malyasia in 1965 after Lee Kuan Yew called for a Malaysian Malaysia, i.,e., equal participation by all groups. Tunku Abdul Rahman sought a Malayan Malaysia. • The wish by minority groups for equality continued and led to the 1969 riots. Lee Kuan Yew
1969 Riots • Abdul Rahman’s Alliance Party lost 23 seats in the parliament when the opposition parties won a 51.5 % majority. A victory celebration by Anti-Alliance forces in Kuala Lumpur led to rioting. • Mob violence raged for four days. • The King proclaimed a state of emergency, parliament was disbanded, civil liberties curtailed and the National Operations Council (NOC) under Deputy P.M. Tun Abdul Razak granted total authority for 21 months. • Sedition Acts were passed prohibiting discussion of “sensitive issues.
Greater Economic Opportunity • Tun Abdul Razak followed Tunku Abdul Rahman as P.M. from 1970-76. • Believed ethnic tension was due to insufficient economic opportunities for Malays. • Set the New Economic Policy (NEP) in motion in 1971. • Granted special privileges to Malays: business ownership, tax breaks, investment incentives & employment quotas. Tun Abdul Razak
“Look East” Policy • Mahatir served as P.M. from 1981 to 2003. • He was the first P.M. not to be a royal and not educated in the U.K. He’s a medical doctor. • He downgraded relations with England and the Commonwealth in favor of Asia and ASEAN. • Established the Bumiputra Investment Foundation and initiated “dawn raids” on London Stock Exchange. Dr.Mahatir bin Mohamad
Dictatorial Desperation • How Mahatir retained power: • Operation Lallang (1987) arrested of 119 opposition leaders and closed three opposition newspapers. • Eliminated judicial review of security and the operation of political parties in 1988. • Accused the Jews of causing the currency crises of 1997. • Charged Awar Ibrahim with corruption and sodomy in 1998. Deputy Anwar Ibrahim spent six years in jail on dubious charges.
Current Prime Minister • Received a B.A. in Islamic Studies. He includes “bin Haji” in his full name. • His backing of “Team B” in the UMNO split led to his loosing his post as Mahatir’s Minister of Defense. • Was considered fully rehabilitated when he was appointed to replace Anwar Ibrahim as Mahatir’s Deputy P.M. for Home Affairs. • Mahatir has been critical of his performance on the Proton and the bridge to Singapore. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Questions • Q1. What was the source of Chinese discontent that led to the insurgency? • A1. The feared lose of legal status. • Q2. The British success in combating the insurgency was based on what five factors? • A2. (1). Less than 20% of Chinese population supported the insurgents. (2). Guerrillas easily distinguished. (3). MCA offered a political solution. (4). The insurgents received little outside support. (5). The Briggs Plan. • Q3. Who was the first P.M. of the Federation of Malaysia? • A3. Tunku Abdul Rahman.
More Questions • Q4. What was the “Bargain”? • A4. The Chinese would prevail economically; the Malays would prevail politically. • Q5. What was the purpose of the enlarged Federation of Malaysia? • A5. To give Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah a secure home as Britain pulled out. • Q6. Why was Singapore expelled from the Federation of Malaysia? • A6. Lee Kuan Yew threatened the bargain by demanding a Malaysian Malaysia.
And More Questions • Q7. What was the cause of the 1969 Riots? • A7. An Anti-Alliance celebration of the UMNO’s loss of its majority in the parliament. • Q8. What was the “Look East” policy? • A8. Mahatir’s decision to look to East Asia in the future for models of success. • Q9. What were the “Dawn Raids” on the London Stock Exchange about? • A9. Regaining national control of companies such as Guthrie that owned huge plantations and other assets in Malaysia.
And Still More Questions • Q10. Why did Mahatir charge Anwar Ibrahim with sodomy and corruption? • A10. He perceived that Anwar was challenging his leadership. • Q11. Why did Mahatir amend the constitution to eliminate judicial review of security matters and the operation of political parties. • A11. It was judicial review of UMNO registration that led to the party being deregistered. This forced a scramble to reregister 50%+ to gain control of the party’s assets.
Malaysian Political Parties • Two coalitions have ruled Malaysia: • The Alliance (prior to 1969) composed of • UMNO, MCA & MIC • The National Front (Barisan Nasional) (since 1969) • UMNO plus eleven including PAS & DAP. • Malaysia's P.M.s have all come from the UMNO.
United Malayas National Organization. • The UMNO survived the 1988 split and the APU (Islamist & Chinese) challenge of 1990. • The UMNO has access to almost unlimited funds. It has become a huge business conglomerate holding assets in numerous corporations. UMNO Logo
State Royalty • Nine Malay states have ruling sultans. • The King (Yang diPertuan Agong) is elected by and from among the nine for five years. • The Kings powers include ceremony, religious duties, appointments and delay of legislation. • In 1993, Mahatir was able to gain passage of legislation placing the sultans under the law. • The Attorney Generals consent is required to bring charges against a sultan and special court must be convened.
Legislature • The structure of Malaysia’s legislature is based on the British Westminster system. • The P.M. must be a member of the lower house and command majority support. • Lower house is composed of 219 members of which 199 seats are held by the BN (National Front). • The upper house is composed of 70 members, 26 appointed by state legislatures and 44 appointed by the king on recommendation of the P.M. • The upper house is elected for 6 years; the lower house is elected for 5 years unless parliament is dissolved sooner.
Institutions • Military. Malaysia has maintained only a minimal national force. Instead, it has relied on the defense arrangements with British and Anglo-Malayan Defense Agreement (Singapore, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand). • Women. Consistent with Islamic beliefs, women only play a very minor role in public affairs. There are a growing number of professional women and women have formed auxiliaries to political parties which give them some voice.
Democrtization • Malaysia is considered to be only semi-democratic due to the limitations on civil liberties such as the Official Secrets Act, Internal Securities Act and Sedition Act which prohibit all discussion of “sensitive issues.” • The key issue is what are the rights of Malays in a polycommunal society. • The success of the Malaysian economy has mitigated demands for equality.
Economic Development • The standard of living has improved immensely for the average person since 1957. From close to Zero, access to piped water, electricity and TV are all 100%. The Malay poverty level is < 17%. • The New Economic Plan (NEP) of 1971 was a 20 year plan to eliminate prosperity as a function of race. It sought rapid growth in the Malay sector without weakening Chinese enterprise. • The NEP also sought to increase the Malay share of capital ownership to 30%, reduce foreign share to 30% from 63% and allow a 40% Chinese share.
Economic Development (Cont’d) • Malaysia’s economy is a market oriented, export economy with state ownership of heavy industry, only. Growth rate of GNP has been about 8% in the 1980s & 90s. • Malaysia is the world’s largest exporter of semiconductors, one of the world’s largest exporters of single-unit air conditioners, textiles and footwear. • Malaysia is considered both a Tiger and a NIC. • The Malaysians must import plantation labor from Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Questions • Q1. Name the two political party coalitions that have ruled Malaysia since 1957. • A1. The Alliance and the National Front. • Q2. Does the UMNO suffer from lack of funds? • A2. No. It has large investments in various businesses. • Q3. How is the King of Malaysia elected? • A3. By and from among the nine Sultans.
More Questions • Q4. The Malaysian upper house (senate) is composed of 70 members. How are they selected? • A4. State legislatures appoint 26; the king appoints 44. • Q5. Why is Malaysia considered to be only semi-democratic? • A5. The lack of civil liberties to discuss sensitive issues. • Q6. Under the NEP, what was the goal for the Malay capital share of the economy? • A6. 30%. Only 20% has been achieved.