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Unfederated Malay States Beginning of 20th century, Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu and Perlis independent of British Influence. Northern states under Siamese. Britain maintained good relationship with Siam to keep away France and Germany from extending their power in Malay States. Also needed to be on good terms with Siam to protect trade routes in Straits of Malacca. Britain signed a few agreements with Siam. -1897 Anglo-Siamese Secret Convention whereby Britain accepted Siamese control of territories along coast of Kelantan and Trengganu and Kedah -1899 Anglo-Siamese Boundary Agreement. Britain recognized Siamese control of Reman on the border with Perak -1904 Anglo-French Entente among other things agreed not to encroach on each other’s territory and settle disputes by peaceful means Through these agreements Anglo-Siamese relationship tightened. Britain able to keep other foreign powers in the northern states. Why suddenly British changed policy? -Siam not as strong as it seemed. Britain worried again other European powers will take advantage of Siamese weakness and penetrate into northern states and set up bases. Kelantan had a Danish military officer to advise the Sultan. Rumours of German and Russian plans to set up bases in Northern States -To prevent Siamese expansion to FMS whose sultans were very unhappy over the loss of power. -To control and exploit the resources of these states for the benefit of the British. Some Northern States not very happy under Siamese control. 1902, Sultan of Kelantan appealed to Frank Swettenham for British protection against Siam. R.W Duff, a retired British citizen, set up the Duff Development Syndicate for investment in the state. He acquired a 2,000 square miles land from the sultan for £2,000 and shares in his company. Asked the British government to support him because Siam would object. Indicated reluctance to support him might ask for German or French support. British forced to support. British signed a new agreement, Anglo- Siamese Declaration of 1902.According to this treaty Siam was to maintain control over the foreign policy of Kelantan and Trengganu. Siam to have a share of the revenue of the two states if the revenue exceeded more than 100,000 dollars. Bangkok Treaty of 1909 Siam was not benefiting from the four states. The states were not happy to be under Siamese control. The agreements of 1897 and 1899 between British and Siamese giving Siamese control over them were not approved by the Sultans. The cost of maintaining the states was a financial drain for the Siamese. States in debt. Better for Siam to give up and concentrate on its internal affairs. The British were represented by Ralph Paget and the Siamese by Strobel, American Advisor General to Siamese government. Advice of the four states not asked. British government to appoint British advisors to assist the Sultan on all affairs other than those regarding Malay religion and customs. British took direct control of the northern states. Sultan of Trengganu refused to abide by the agreement. But British advisers were appointed in Kelantan (1903) and Kedah (1904) 1909 Treaty of Bangkok -Britain took control of the 4 northern states including the adjacent islands. -Britain took responsibility of the debts of the 4 states. Siam will be given a loan of £4 million at four per cent interest to be used to construct a railway track from Bangkok to the Malayan border. -Britain agreed to give up its extraterritorial rights in Siam ( British subjects in Siam subject to the laws of Britain previously) -A British advisor was to be appointed in each of the states The impact of the treaty -Sultans of UFMS refused to accept a British advisor. The treaty was signed without consulting the sultans. Not prepared to surrender their authority to the British. They wanted to remain independent and powerful. They did not want to suffer the same fate as the sultans of the FMS whose political power was lost to the British. Britain’s role was to be advisory only. -The treaty established British and Siamese sphere of influence -Malaya now divided into 3 political units – FMS, UFMS and Straits Settlements came fully under British control leaving only Johore -George Maxwell was appointed advisor in Kedah in 1910, Captain Meadowe Frost in Perlis in 1909. Johore accepted one in 1914 and Trengganu in 1919. Britain now had full control of the Malay States Peace, political and economic stability existed from 1910-1920 except for a rebellion in Kelantan against British control. Decentralization 1920’s and 1930’s Distribution of central power to the states to matters pertaining to finances, services such as railways, customs and postal services. Reasons -Sultans started to show dissatisfaction about their positions. Centralization of power at the expense of the Sultans. No power to make decisions. Were envious of rulers of UFMS who had greater power and were not willing to surrender their power to British Advisors. They played a greater role in administering their own states. -Britain wanted to bring both the political units under common administration to protect their interest in the Malay States. -Resident General was becoming very powerful independent of the High Commissioner -The economic recession also affected the British. Decentralization could reduce financial burden of British 1909 Federal Council set up to increase the power of the Sultans, the State Councils and the Residents. The Council was to take charge of all important matters. But The High Commissioner chose the unofficial members. Decisions made in the Council to be accepted by all Sultans. It was just a rubber stamp. Power shifted to the High Commissioner. Sultans and State Councils no power. 1925, Sir Lawrence Guillemard, the High Commissioner, proposed for reconstituting the Federal Council. The post of Resident General or Chief Secretary to be abolished and transfer of power to the Resident. Suggestion dropped due to opposition from business community. Individual states given more control over some government departments by increasing the powers of the State Councils The Sultans would not sit in the Federal Council but make their views heard in the Durbars. They would be replaced by 3 British officials and 3 Malay aristocrats. Sultans had to sign all laws but no right to veto against legislation. Put into practice April 1927. But failed to restore Sultans’ power since the new High Commissioner (Sir Hugh Clifford) opposed decentralization 1930, the next High Commissioner Sir Cecil Clement, wanted to unite the FMS and the UFMS in a federation to cut down cost of administration. He proposed to decentralize departments such as education, forestry, mining, agriculture, public works, health and co- operatives and put the in the responsibility of the states. The post of Chief Secretary to be changed to that of Federal Secretary with reduced powers. A Customs Union to be set up to encourage trade between the FMS, St. Settlements and the UFMS. Was implemented between 1935-1939 amid opposition -The British had to protect the interest of the Malay society to prevent Chinese political dominance -It was also a starting point for the formation of Malayan Union. Also a strategy to attract UFMS to join FMS 1939 all except police, customs, finance, defence department were given to the states. States to have own laws implemented by British officers. Efforts disrupted due to Japanese occupation. Japanese Occupation of Malaya 1942-1945 One of the most important events in the history of Malayan political development. 8/12/41 Japanese aircrafts bombarded Singapore 15/2/42 swept through the defenseless Malay Peninsula, captured Singapore, the largest British naval base and nerve centre of the British in the Far East. Ended British control which began in 1786 within 70 days and established Japanese control in a matter of weeks. Reasons for Japanese occupation -Japanese population increased tremendously in 1920’s. Land not sufficient for agricultural activities. Food prices esp. rice rose. Conditions worsened with the earthquakes in 1923 which nearly destroyed Yokohama a d Tokyo 1932 population was about 70 million. -Japan’s landscape not suitable for agriculture. Had to turn to industrialization. Japan transformed into a country with powerful and profitable industries which means need for raw materials. Abundant in SEA. -Japan’s supremacy shown in the Russo-Japanese War 1904-5. Russia defeated at Mukden and Tsushima. Japan gained control of Korea and Port Arthur and established itself as a leading power in Asia. Became even a greater power after the Sino-Japanese War and annexed it. During WW1 Japan captured German Pacific possessions and according to the Treaty of Versailles, allowed to keep Caroline, Mariana and Marshall Islands in the Pacific. Made huge profits producing and providing ships and ammunitions for the Allies and indirectly built a strong Pacific fleet. -Interested in a policy of militarism with the backing of the Meiji ruler. Experienced in fighting. Wanted to establish themselves in the region in competition with the European powers whom they saw as their rivals and competitors -Western countries feared Japanese power. Tried to blockade Japan. 1922 Washington Conference ratio of American, British and Japanese navy 5:5:3. 1940 petroleum and metal export to Japan stopped/blocked. Total embargo on the sale of oil to Japan so as to check Japan. No choice but to look for sources to exploit. -Britain and Holland busy fighting in Europe. Cannot protect their possession in SEA. Japan needed to take military action to get raw materials of Asia. British only expected an attack from the south and by naval capability only and thus prepared themselves for that. Never expected a ground assault and an attack from the north! -Japan wanted to expel Europeans and Americans from Asia and create a new order ‘Greater Asia Co- Prosperity Sphere’ thus setting up an organization of Asian nations under Japan’s leadership. This would provide political, economic independence and at the same time giving Japan control of Asian raw materials. -Japanese imperialism was encouraged. Few agreements were signed for example with Italy and Germany whereby it was agreed that they would concentrate on Europe and Japan on Asia. December 1940 agreement with Siam to allow Japan to use it as a base to attack Malaya, Indonesia and Burma. April 1941, agreement with Russia that it would remain neutral. Attack started in two directions, East and West. -East- Japanese landed in Kota Bharu. Proceeded to Kuantan and Mersing -Dec. 1942 another group landed in Jitra. Cycled and walked to Penang, Slim River and in Jan. reached Kuala Lumpur. -Both finally merged in Johore Bharu and launched continued attacks on Singapore. Reasons for victory -British were caught unprepared. Never expected an attack from the north. Prepared for an attack from the sea south of Singapore. -Attack was well-planned. With the help of spies, able to study geographical conditions in Malaya. Had carried out a thorough review of the British forces and strongholds in Malaya. Knew Singapore was very well guarded from the sea. Land attack would prove successful. -Japanese army masters of jungle warfare. Had fought in China. Prepared to face problems in the jungle esp. Malaria. Had intensive training. -Japanese equipped with modern weapons. Japanese zero fighters effective. Problem of shortage of ammunition and equipment overcomed by capturing supplies from retreating defence forces. -Use of bicycles to move quietly in jungles, villages and hard terrain was good war tactic. -British troops not very familiar with local conditions. Local troops young, poorly trained and inexperienced in war. -Japanese had total control of the seas around Malaya. The bombing of Repulse and Prince of Wales made the British surrender any hope of naval superiority. Japanese in command of sea and air. Impact of Japanese Occupation -Social – estranged the relationship between the races esp. between the Chinese and Malays. Japanese hostile towards Chinese mainly because of the Sino-Japanese War. Chinese took refuge at the fringes of villages. Turned to agricultural activities. People suffered from diseases. Shortage of medical service. Male members recruited for the Death Railway. Indian workers returned to India. Malays asked to learn Japanese. Formed MPAJA. Japanese used police to fight MPAJA. After surrender MPAJA took over and reprisals carried against those who were thought to have collaborated with the Japanese. Economic -Mining, agriculture came to a standstill. Infrastructure destroyed. Economic activities destroyed. British destroyed all tools and equipments for mining tin before retreating. Rubber estates not maintained. Managers left. Workers jobless. High rate of inflation. Life hard. Japanese interested in strengthening military position. Paid little attention to economic development. Trade totally disrupted Severe food shortage . Thus serious economic problems. -Political -Raised political awareness. Stirred nationalist feelings, anti western culture. Were influenced by slogan Asia For Asia which was to discredit the Allies. Changed people’s attitude of white man’s superiority. Chinese formed MPAJA. Strengthened communist position in Malaya. -Might have laid the foundation for the close relationship between Malaysia and Japan now. Vast Japanese investment and Japan used as a model for industrialization and thus the Look East Policy. -Development of anti-Chinese antagonism among Malays. Japanese stirred up anti Chinese feelings and made them conscious of the Chinese control of the country’s economy which among other reasons was a main factor for the outbreak of the May 13 Incident. -Japanese approved of Sultans’ position. Malaya and Sumatra administered jointly. Local Malays allowed to participate in administration. When Japanese surrendered, MPAJA took over. Badly treated Malays who were accused of supporting the Japanese. Bloody conflict ensued for two weeks. British formed British Army Administration on 15/8/45. Imposed British rule after three and the half years absence. -Main objective to restore British authority, law and order, to exploit human and material resources for future utilization and in preparation for a civil government.
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