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The Independence Of Malaysia History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Malaysia was declared a new nation on 16 September 1963.This occurred six years after independence. Nobody expected Malaya to become Malaysian in such a short time. This is an idea of unification had been voice by David Marshall who suggested that Singapore unite with Malaya(1955).The idea was also sounded by Ghazali Shafie(1954) and Tan Cheng Lock(1955). Tunku Abdul Rahman and Lee Kuan Yew agreed that Singapore and Malaya should join together. Tunku Abdul Rahman was developed an idea when he stated his readiness to accept not just Singapore but also Sarawak, Brunei & British North Borneo after they had obtained their independence and they should join voluntarily.

In 1961, federation of Malaysia is created by Britain and the Malayan Prime Minister. The creation of Malaysia is to merging the British colonies including Borneo and Singapore with already independent Malaya. The president of Indonesia, Sukarno denounced that the plan of create a federation of Malaysia is a neo-colonialist plot, because it maintain the British presence in the region and also claimed that it denied the Borneans their legitimate right to national self determination. So under his leadership, Indonesia embarked on a policy of ‘Confrontation’, exerting diplomatic economic and military pressure against British and Malaya.


27th May 1961, Tunku Abdul Rahman having a speech in Singapore. The speech is about the foreign Correspondents’ Association of South-East Asia, to put forward a public ‘feeler’ for a plan. This plan is for closer the political and also economic co-operation between the Borneo protectorate of Brunei and the Borneo colonies of Sarawak and North Borneo. This speech is seen as marking at least to the public for beginning of the Malaysia project. In July 1961, the leaders of all the territories which might form Malaysia had an opportunity to confer on the subject in a regional meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. In this meeting, Malaysian Solidarity Consultative Committee was set up with representative from each of the five territories (Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak), the aim of this committee included the collection of views and opinions between this five country. In November 1961 the two Prime Ministers signed a ‘Heads of Agreement’ document for a merger between the Federation of Malaya and Singapore. In the same month, Tunku Abdul Rahman visited London and reached agreement in principle with the British government on the idea of Malaysia. The British and Malayan governments that they convinced the plan of the Federation of Malaysia included the five country was a ‘desirable aim’. The ‘merger’ agreement was noted with satisfaction and additional note was taken of defence arrangements.

Failing to influence Malaya, President Sukarno launched a confrontation policy against Malaya on 20 Jan 1963. Sukarno’s grounds for opposing the information of Malaysia because leader of Malaysia ignore Indonesia in Malaya’s plan to set up a new country while Indonesia was neighbour and friend to Malaysia. Sukarno claim Malaysia to be a new kind of political structure that would ignore Indonesia’s interest and weaken spirit of the Malay Archipelago. President Sukarno argued that Malaysia was a puppet of the British, and that the consolidation of Malaysia would increase British control over the region, threatening the independence of Indonesia.

At that time, Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation between Indonesia-Malaysia was an undeclared & intermittent war over the future of the island of Borneo, between British-backed Malaysia and Indonesia during 1962-1966, called “Konfrontasi”.

3) The REASONS that led the confrontation

a) Personality Problem

Hostility of Indonesia to the formation Malaysia comes from several reasons and have shown below.

On 20 January 1963, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Dr Subandrio, who was a leftist, announced a policy of confrontation towards Malaya. It was a complete reversal of Indonesian policy to oppose the existence of Malaysia. Sukarno who was strongly engaged in communism subsequently declared a Confrontation policy on Malaysia from January 1963 to August 1966. As a result, the actual and undeclared war between Malaysia and Indonesia began in early 1963. Indonesia put a halt to all diplomatic relations with Malaysia during this period. Besides that, Indonesian troops began launched a series of cross-border raids, sabotage and attempted subversion into Malaysian territory to reach a political understanding.

In May 1963, Tunku Abdul Rahman and President Sukarno held talks and agreed held a plebiscite before the Federation was formed. Sukarno stated that Indonesia would not stand in the way if the people of North Borneo supported the suggestion of Federation.

However, on 9 July 1963, Tunku Abdul Rahman signed the London Agreement and settled down the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on 31 August 1963.

On 27 July 1963, President Sukarno announced a ganyang Malaysia or “Crush Malaysia” campaign for a response.

On 23 September 1963, Sukarno proclaimed himself as President-for-Life and declared that Indonesia must “gobble Malaysia raw”. Military units of Indonesia infiltrated Malaysian territories but were intercepted before they could establish contact with local dissidents.

The intermittent war waged by Indonesia was marked by armed incursion, acts of subversion, bomb attacks and destabilisation.





Combat Forces














The confrontation came to an eventual end when Sukarno was replaced by Suharto as the president of Indonesia. Consequently, a peace treaty was signed between both countries in Jun 1966.

b) Economic

There were several reasons that caused the Malaya to reconsider this merger after it had experienced steady economic development and improved the standard living of its community. So Tunku Abdul Rahman was keen on a merger with Singapore was for economic purposes. Singapore had a large population and a large number of industrial firms, Complements the important trading ports in the region, one position.

The Borneo territories, and fertile agricultural grounds that produced rubber pepper and much more , and on the other hand, boasted of richness in natural resources such as timber, oil and natural gas. Tunku Abdul Rahman believes that the merger of these colonies is much value to the Malayan.

Tunku Abdul Rahman was also seeking to liberate these colonies from colonization. 4 years ago, Malaya had already achieved it’s independence. While Singapore practiced to a large extent, a self-governing policy, British control Sarawak and Sabah were still very much.

The other factor is the stronghold of communism in Singapore. Over time, they did not stop their activities.

But the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore is in the mid-50s strike frustrated, if anyone with the dispute continued. They hope to find favour, and to soften their blow. But the Communist Party they continue their activities. Eventually formed his own political party, they were forced to resign the government, because they are known as the Socialist Front, after the firm.

He afraid to face the risk of Malaya, the Chinese Communists decided to support both sides of their allies in Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Singapore believe that the merger will allow the easy handling the Communist Party.

Apart from Singapore, Communism was also thriving in Sarawak, they formed an underground Communist association which moved through worker associations, student and farmers.

c) Communist

In 1955, Singapore’s main population consists of Chinese, Malayan about the effects on the structure of other ethnic groups, especially the Malays. Also worried about the activities of the Communist Party of any natural rampant, Malaya and the impact may hinder the struggle to eliminate the threat of communism.

Singapore was afraid to face the risk of Communist. Tunku Abdul Rahman and Singapore believe that the merger will allow the easy handling the Communist Party when the plan of the ‘Malaysia’ was success.

d) Natural Resources

The other why the confrontation occurs in between Malaysia and Indonesia is about the natural resources in some countries like Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Singapore. As we know natural resources is quite important to make a profit for a country. Malaysia and Indonesia need these countries due to the richer natural resources. Sabah is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in Malaysia after Sarawak. It contains the richest natural freshwater fisheries in Malaysia. This variety of habitats is rich in wildlife including orang utan, proboscis monkey, hornbill and marine turtle, as well as plant life such as the Rafflesia, pitcher plant and a unique array of wild orchid. Besides that, there are a number of wonderful natural resources such as beaches, green hill, tall mountains and rainforest. Therefore, the eco tourism is one of the main attractions for the tourism. Sarawak is known to international visitors primarily because of the extraordinary natural wonders of its national park, including Gunung Mulu, the Niah Caves, and Bako. Sarawak’s cultural treasures are also fascinating, reflecting the influence not only of the state’s many ethnic peoples, but also the odd western influence of Sarawak’s “White Rajahs.” Sarawak also rich in petroleum and natural gas. Sarawak is one of the world’s largest exporters of tropical hardwood timber. Sarawak is also well endowed with both metallic and non-metallic mineral resources. Resources such as silica sand, kaolinitic clay and coal provide vast potential for value-added processing. Good quality kaolinitic and ball clay deposits suitable for manufacture of paper and ceramic products. There are huge investment opportunities are waiting for investors in agro based industries. The processing of agricultural commodities such as oil palm, pepper, rubber and sago, thus increasing value added. Sarawak’s vast reserves of natural resources, largely untapped, are a source of promising opportunities in the field of biotechnology. With its bountiful and well-managed natural resources is capable more resources-based industries and great opportunities for growth. That why Indonesia wants Sabah and Sarawak to form its country. Brunei is the third largest oil producer in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Malaysia. So its natural resources are petroleum, natural gas, timber. Petroleum is useful for transportation and mechanical fields, while natural gas is for coalgas and timber have many uses such as paper, logging industries and so on. With this condition sure Malaysia and Indonesia will loot for it and the misunderstandings is come to pass. Singapore is a city-state with not much land area and it is not particularly rich in natural resources. Natural resources in Singapore can be categorized into non renewable resources, renewable resources and water resources. Non-renewable resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas is limited for Singapore and their economy is dependent on oil and natural gas imports. Renewable resources like bio mass, an utilization energy stored in organic matter mostly depend by Singapore. Examples of biomass include wood, leaves, animal waste, crops, bones, and scales. Biomass is stored solar energy that can be converted to electricity or fuel.┬áBut it has to find out a solution to the problem of lack of land. With quite a number richest of natural resources in these countries for sure it may be the hot for be in charge of by others. Due to this reason Malaysia and Indonesia are included in vie to these richest land and cause a lot of confront between them.


The fighting lasted nearly four years, however General Suharto’s replacement of Sukarno, Indonesia interest in pursuing the war with Malaysia declined and combat eased. A useful favor in the containment of the Indonesian forces was the use of intelligence. Britain had broken the Indonesian military and diplomatic ciphers and was able to intercept and decrypt communication from a Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) listening station in Singapore.

The war had been a strictly limited war and a cheapo one for Britain and Malaysia for which it achieved much. Indeed it clearly and decisively resulted in preventing Indonesia interfering with the creation of Malaysia. Arguably it had not been in the interests that the British or the Indonesians to extend hostiles outside Borneo. An alleged communist led coup in September 1965, which saw the deaths of sic leading generals, led to the successful counter coup by General Suharto (6.1921). The ensuing military assumption of power removed Sukarno and effectively ended confronts, though this was not officially announced until 1966. At the height of confronts an estimated 15000 to 30000 Indonesian soldiers and irregulars tried to infiltrate the Malaysia border while 80000 British personnel were stationed in the south-east Asian. British troops in Borneo assisted by Malaysia forces were spread thinly along the border to limit incursions.

Not only just British and Malaysian troops but also Australians and New Zealanders help Malaya to protect their country from the attacking by Indonesia.


In this strategy, all about deterrence and military operations was very successful include the insurgency to a low level of conflict. But this confrontation required an important deployment of Britain’s limited resources and manpower. In early 1965, Britain had send the army to protect Malaya. Starting in December 1963, the British repeated requests for New Zealand and Australia to send combat forces to the Borneo to assist the insurgency.

The Foreign Office advised the Cabinet in 1964 that As long as our conflict with Indonesia keeps unofficial and bilateral, we keep hold of the initiative.

Britain’s choice to set up Malaysia was guided by defence needs, in particular the need to defend the massive military base in Singapore and at the same time create economies in defence expenses

New Zealand

On the other hand, Willington was eager to avoid New Zealand becoming involved in a major war with Indonesia.

Because of the policy, New Zealand’s relations with its closest Asian neighbour could be poisoned for generations to come.

Finally, the government initially refused to send troops into Borneo, because the British and Malaysian forces already enough to deal with the problem.


When the period from 1963 to 1966, the confrontation between Malaysia and Indonesia. American relations as it represents the first direct involvement of the United States into the politic affairs of Malaysia.

In fact, in August 1961 when the British Commissioner-General for Southeast Asia, Lord Selkirk, visited Djakarta for the purpose of conculting with the Indonesians about the formation of Malaysia,the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Subandrio, indicated that his country was agreeable to the plan.

Subandrion reiterated Indonesian approval in a letter to the New York Times on 13 November 1961 and in a speechto the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November when he said that Indonesia had no objectionsto the proposed merger based on the will of the peoples concerned. At the last, the New Guinea problem had been settled.


Australia made it clear that if Malaysia were subjected to armed invasion or subversive activity supported from outside, then Australian military assistance would be added to that of the Malaysian and British. RAN warships in the Strategic Reserve were available for patrol and escort ops.

The Philippines

President Macapagal claimed Sabah was originally a part of Philippines territory.

The formation of Malaysia thus complicated his efforts to claim Sabah.

As an indication of his objection to the information of Malaysia, Macapagal broke of diplomatic between Philippines and Malaysia.


On the night of the 30th September 1965 a coup attempt, in which Indonesian communists became involved, occurred in Indonesia. Six senior Generals were killed. The coup failed and was followed by widespread violence and bloodshed. It proved a turning point for ‘confrontation’, which declined thereafter and on 13th August 1966 a formal agreement concluded between Indonesia and Malaysia bringing the conflict to an end.

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