Federation of Malaya Replacing Malayan Union
By Amira Amir, Kuala Lumpur


What is Malayan Union?

Malayan Union, a federation that brings a lot of protest among the Malayan citizens will be form January, 1948. The purpose of this federation is to simplify the administration, make it easier for the British to rule as it unifies Malay Peninsula under one government
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The Unwilling approval
This idea was first brought by British on October 1945. Sir Harold Mac Michael then collected the signature of Malaya’s rulers, as a symbol of approval and support. He managed to finish his task in short period of time by threatening of accusing them as Japanese collaborators if they refuse. So, all the rulers gave their approval unwillingly.

The citizenship of Malayan Union
Malayan Union introduced equal rights to those who want Malayan nationality. Thus, many people will become Malayan citizens. People who were born in any British Malaya or Singapore’s states will automatically become the citizens of Malaya if they were living there before 15 February 1942, born outside British Malaya or the Straits Settlements only if their fathers were citizens of the Malayan Union and those who reached 18 years old and who had lived in British Malaya or Singapore, 10 out of 15 years before 15 February 1942. People who want citizenship and eligible for the application must possess good characteristics and fluent in English or Malay. Furthermore, they had to take an oath of allegiance to the Malayan Union.

The reduction of Sultan’s power
The genuine ruler of Malaya known as ‘Sultan’ will be put aside. Their power will be greatly reduced. Sir Edward Gent is the governor of Malayan Union. The State Councils will be administered by British Residents results in the political status of the Sultans will decrease.

The citizen’s unity to protect their right
The Malay political organization, United Malays National Organization led the opposition against Malayan Union. The Malays wore white band at their head, symbolise their mourning on the loss of their ruler’s power. The former Malayan government also encourage the opposition as they believe that duo citizenship will results in the immigrant to love their country of origin more.

Federation of Malaya replacing Malayan Union

The Malays continue to show their objection after the inauguration of the Malayan Union. They refused to attend the installation ceremony of the British governors and refused to participate in the meetings of the Advisory Councils. The formation of Malayan Union was cancelled out and it had been replaced by the Federation of Malaya after British took measures the opinions of Malayan citizens.

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