Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Federation of Malaya

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The Federation of Malaya (Malay: Persekutuan Tanah Melayu), is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. Comprising the nine Malay states and the British settlements of Penang and Malacca, it was eventually superseded by Malaysia in 1963.

From 1946 to 1948, the 11 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, which before this time had usually been considered to be part of Malaya.

The Federation achieved independence within the Commonwealth of Nations on 31 August 1957.

Note: In 1963, the federation together with Singapore, Sarawak and British North Borneo (which was renamed Sabah), which is being claimed to be part of the Sultanate of Sulu, formed a new federation called Malaysia. Singapore separated from Malaysia to become an independent republic on 9 August 1965.

The population prior to independence

Year Malay Chinese Indian Other
1948 2,457,014 1,928,965 536,646 64,802
1951 2,631,154 2,043,971 566,371 75,726

Source: Annual Report on the Federation of Malaya: 1951 in C.C. Chin and Karl Hack, Dialogues with Chin Peng pp. 380, 81.

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