Federation of Malaya
The Malaya Federation ( Malay Persekutuan Tanah Melayu ) was founded on February 1, 1948 and existed until Malaysia was founded in 1963. It comprised the British settlements of Penang and Malacca and the nine Malay states ( Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States ):
It replaced the Malay Union founded in 1946 . While the Malay states were protectorates , Penang and Malacca remained British crown colonies . Like the Malay Union, the federation did not include Singapore , which was previously normally considered part of Malaysia. The headquarters of ANZAM , which represented a network for the defense of Malaysia and included Australia and New Zealand, was located in Penang .
The Malaya Federation became an independent state within the Commonwealth on August 31, 1957 - the date is now celebrated as Malaysia's Hari Merdeka Independence Day. In 1963, the federation was expanded under the new name Malaysia by Singapore (until 1965), Sarawak and British North Borneo, which was later renamed Sabah . In the fall of 1964, there was massive unrest between Chinese and non-Chinese residents of Singapore. After violent ideological conflicts between the city government and the federation government in Kuala Lumpur as well as fears on the Malaysian side that the unrest could spread beyond the city, Singapore was excluded from the federation on August 7, 1965.
At the time of independence, Malaya had the highest per capita income in Asia after Japan . The economy was mainly based on agriculture and the export of agricultural products.
The Malays , who made up about 52% of the population, dominated politics and the public sector but were relatively poor. Most Malays had low productivity jobs in agriculture. The Chinese (37%) had more economic power and dominated most of the modern professions. The politics of the young country was therefore shaped by the dilemma of having to achieve economic policy goals on the one hand, but maintaining harmony among the ethnic groups and political stability on the other.
- Source: Annual Report on the Federation of Malaya: 1951 in CC Chin and Karl Hack, Dialogues with Chin Peng pp. 380, 81.