Malaysia by nhayatimustafa



Government/History 354
    Southeast Asia
Location Of Malaysia
Political Map of Maylaysia
• Malaya became independent in 1957. It became Malaysia
  in 1961 when it incorporated Sarawak, Sabah and
  Singapore. Singapore seceded peacefully in 1965.
• Was a colony of Portugal,
  Netherlands and Britain.
• Is a constitutional
  (elected) monarchy,
  composed of 13 states.
• Population of 24.4
  Million; 58% Malay, 26%
  Chinese & 7% Indian.
• All Malays are Muslim.
• Is the site of the Petrona
  Towers and Tunku Abdul
  Rahman College.
                Malacca and Islam
• Malacca was founded in 1402
  by Parameshwara, prince of
• Malacca competed for ships
  with other SEAsian states.
  Malacca sent tribute to the
  Thailand and China. Converting
  to Islam improved relations
  with Sumatra plus Indian and
  Arab traders.
• Trade led to Malacca becoming
  a center for the spread of Islam.
• Tun Perak (1456-98) made
  Malacca a Malayan empire.
            Trade at Malacca
• Malacca was an ideal location, half way along the
  sea route between India and China.
• As an entrepot, it became a center for trade:
   –   Silk and porcelain from China.
   –   Textiles from Gujarat and Coromandel in India.
   –   Camphor from Bornea.
   –   Sandlewood from Timor
   –   Nutmeg, mace, & cloves from the Moluccas.
   –   Gold & pepper from Sumatra.
   –   Tin from Western Malaya.
             Colonial Malacca
• Alfonso De Albuquerque
  conquered Malacca in 1511 for
  Portugal. It remained Portuguese
  for 130 years.
• Trade brought great riches.
• Saint Francis Xavier visited
  during 1545-49. Found it to be a
  debaucherous cesspool of vice.
• Malacca fell to the Dutch in
  1641. In 1826, it became a
  British colony.
                                     Christ Church (Dutch)
 British Entry Into Malaya
• The British withdrew from competition with the
  Dutch following the Ambon Massacre of 1623.
• The Dutch (allied with the Sultan of Jehore)
  gained control of Malacca from the Portuguese in
  1641, but did little with it. The principal Dutch
  interest was to direct trade to Batavia (Jakarta).
• The British first gained a foothold in Malaya in
  1786 when the Sultan of Kedah granted the island
  of Penang to the East India Company.
   The Straights Settlement
• The British took control of
  Malacca from the Dutch
  under the Anglo-Dutch
  Treaty of 1824. The treaty
  was a response to the
  establishment of Singapore
  as a highly successful port.
• The fishing village of
  Singapore was acquired from
  the Sultan of Johore in 1819
  by Sir Thomas Stanford
  Raffles.                       Thomas Stanford Raffles
• Who founded Malacca?
• What is ideal about Malacca's location?
• Who conquered Malacca for the Portuguese?
• Which famous Jesuit missionary visited Malacca?
• Why did the British withdraw from the spice trade
  competition after 1623? What did they ultimately
  receive as compensation?
• What prompted the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824?
• The acquisition of what territories in 1961 led to
  Malaya becoming Malaysia?
• Malaysia is considered to be constitutional _____.
     British Crown Colony
• Penang, Malacca and Singapore became the the
  Straits Settlement crown colony in 1826, but was
  administered from Calcutta by the East India
  Company until 1867.
• The East India Company had little interest
  expending its resources in direct control of Malay
• It didn’t even object when James Brooke acquired
  as a private kingdom in Sarawak in 1846.
 The Need for Intervention
• Between 1871 and 1873 their was a period
  political instability in the Malay states.
   – Malay states were in constant turmoil over dynastic
     disputes and conflicts between Chinese secret societies.
     A civil war broke out between local chiefs backed by
     Chinese societies in Selangor.
   – Demand for tin suddenly increased with the U.S. Civil
     War and the opening of U.S. west.
   – Business relations with Malay states became unreliable
     in a time increasing competition for tin by other
     countries due to the opening of the Suez Canal.
   – Investment in business ventures such as telegraph lines
     was unlikely without assurance of British protection
 Demands for Intervention
• Straits Settlement Association established in
  London to lobby for intervention in 1868.
• In 1873-74, British merchants pressured the
  Colonial Office:
   – Chinese merchants prompted to petition the British to
   – Seymour Clark of Selangor Tin writes colonial office
     expressing concern that Malay states may seek German
   – W.H.M. Reed (Straits Settlement Ass.) obtains letters
     from Malay chiefs requesting British intervention.
        Residency System
• The Residency System is established in Perak in
  1874. The sultan agrees to accept a resident
  whose advice must be followed in all matters,
  particularly administration and revenue collection,
  other than religion and custom. In return, the
  British will protect the state against internal and
  external threats.
• Within a month, Selangor and Negri Sembilan
  accept residents. In 1888, Pahang followed suit.
             The Perak War
• In 1875, the Perak Resident, J.W.W. Birch was
  murdered. Several issues were involved.
   – Governor William Jervois proposed that advisors be
     replaced by Queen’s Commissioners. The
     Commissioners would govern in the sultan’s name.
     Birch was required to obtain the sultan’s consent.
   – Conflict over debt slavery. Birch allowed his residence
     to become a sanctuary for runaway slaves, mostly
     women. The sultan imagined that he was stealing the
     slaves to provide mistresses for his police.
• As punishment, three chiefs were executed and the
  sultan replaced.
Perak War Monuments
     Monument to
     J.W.W Birch on
     the spot where he
     was killed in Pasir
     Salak. Built: 1900.
             Monument to
             Malays who
             died in the
             Perak War.
• What territories composed the Straits Settlements?
• James Brooke acquired a private kingdom in what
• Why were British businessmen interested in obtaining
  direct British intervention in Malaya?
• What finally led to the Colonial Office agreeing to
• To what did a ruler agree when receiving a Resident? What
  did he gain in return?
• What were the two principal sources of disagreement that
  led to the murder of J.W.W. Birch and the Perak War?
    Federated Malay States

• In 1895, Perak, Selangor, Penang and Negri Sembilan
  were merged into the Federated Malay States (FMS)
  with a Resident General in Kuala Lumpur.
• In practice, the FMS tended to be more unitary than
  federal with the Resident General issuing instructions
  directly to Residents and departmental heads doing
  likewise to their state counterparts.
• Periodic meetings of all Malay rulers and residents
  provided a limited deliberative and advisory function.
Extension of British Rule
           Pre World War II
• Malaya, FMS and the Straits Settlements enjoyed
  prosperity and relative peace prior to WW II.
• The three major ethnic groups existed in
  superficial harmony: Malay
  (Bumiputras), Chinese and Indians. However, the
  number of Chinese and Indian immigrants and
  their share of the economy increased greatly.
• The British built a major naval base in Singapore
  in 1938 with the principal goal of defending India
  from Japan.
             World War II
• British preparations for war in Malaya were sadly
  inadequate. The naval base at Singapore (fortified
  against attack by sea) fell in humiliation to a
  Japanese land campaign.
• The Chinese in Malaya were forced to take sides
  between the Communist and the KMT.
• The Chinese Communist in Malaya began an anti-
  Japanese guerrilla war.
• The British supported Communist guerrillas thru
  Force 136 which provided training and supplies.
              Malay Union
• In 1945, the British proposed the Malay Union.
   – The union was to be composed of the nine Malay states
     plus Malacca and Penang, but not Singapore.
   – The nine Malay Sultans would surrender sovereignty to
     the union. Laws would no longer require their
   – There would be common citizenship for Malays,
     Chinese and Indians born in Malaya or who had been
     residents for ten years.
• A massive protest movement led to the formation
  of the United Malay National Organization
     Federation of Malaya
• The strong reaction to the Malay Union led
  to a new structure in 1948, the Federation of
  – Retrocession of sovereignty to the Malay states.
  – Integration of the states and Malacca and
    Penang (but not Singapore) into the new
  – Citizenship rights restricted to Malays, only.
• Which territories composed the Federated Malay States?
• Which ethnic groups increased in number and economic
  power prior to WW II?
• During WW II, what group did British Force 136 support?
• The creation of the Malay Union deprived Sultans of
  _______ and granted Chinese and Indians full ________.
• The United Malay National Organization (UMNO) was a
  reaction to _______.
• The Federation of Malaya restored _________ to the
  Sultans and limited citizenship to ________.
    Independence Delayed.
• The British were withdrawing from everything
  east of Suez. India and Burma had already been
  granted independence. Malaya was to be next.
• Chinese Communist insurgency began in 1948
  leading to a declared state of emergency that
  lasted until 1960. The Chinese saw the new
  federation as imperiling their legal status. The
  Chinese revolution provided the model of
  insurgency and guerrilla warfare.
• The vehicle was the Malayan Communist Party
    Combating Insurgency
• The British success in combating the insurgency
  was the product of :
   – The guerrillas never exceeded 10,000 and could claim
     the support of no more than 15-20% of Chinese
   – The guerrillas were easily distinguished racially.
   – The Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) was formed
     as political solution to unrest.
   – Insurgents received little outside support.
   – The Briggs Plan of 600 new villages and deportation of
     10,000 Chinese back to China.
        Independence 1957
• Malaya granted
  independence in 1957,
  although the emergency
  last until 1960.
• Tunku Abdul Rahman was
  the first P.M. He was an
  English educated prince
  from Kedah. He served
  until 1970.
• He sought to give special
  attention to Malays to
  makeup for past neglect.
                              Tunku Abdul Rahman
                   The Bargain
• The key feature of the bargain was that the
  Chinese would be allowed to prevail in the
  economic sector, but the Malays would control the
  political sector.
• The Malays received constitutional advantages:
      -   Head of state (king) would be a Malay sultan.
      -   Malay would be the official language
      -   Islam would be the official religion
      -   Malays would receive preferences in land acquisition,
          educational assistance and civil service employment.
 Federation of Malaysia 1963
• An enlarged Malaysia was formed in 1963 from
  Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah.
  – The British sponsored this arrangement to improve the
    viability of the state. Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah
    were all British dependencies.
  – Sarawak and Sabah would balance the largely Chinese
    population of Singapore, thus not threatening the
  – Singapore remained part of the federation for only two
     A Malaysian Malaysia
• Tunku Abdul Rahman
  expelled Singapore from
  Malyasia in 1965 after Lee
  Kuan Yew called for a
  Malaysian Malaysia, i.,e.,
  equal participation by all
  groups. Tunku Abdul
  Rahman sought a Malayan
• The wish by minority groups
  for equality continued and
  led to the 1969 riots.        Lee Kuan Yew
               1969 Riots
• Abdul Rahman’s Alliance Party lost 23 seats in
  the parliament when the opposition parties won a
  51.5 % majority. A victory celebration by Anti-
  Alliance forces in Kuala Lumpur led to rioting.
• Mob violence raged for four days.
• The King proclaimed a state of
  emergency, parliament was disbanded, civil
  liberties curtailed and the National Operations
  Council (NOC) under Deputy P.M. Tun Abdul
  Razak granted total authority for 21 months.
• Sedition Acts were passed prohibiting discussion
  of “sensitive issues.
Greater Economic Opportunity
• Tun Abdul Razak followed
  Tunku Abdul Rahman as P.M.
  from 1970-76.
• Believed ethnic tension was
  due to insufficient economic
  opportunities for Malays.
• Set the New Economic Policy
  (NEP) in motion in 1971.
• Granted special privileges to
  Malays: business ownership,
  tax breaks, investment
  incentives & employment
  quotas.                         Tun Abdul Razak
        “Look East” Policy
                         • Mahatir served as P.M. from
                           1981 to 2003.
                         • He was the first P.M. not to be
                           a royal and not educated in the
                           U.K. He’s a medical doctor.
                         • He downgraded relations with
                           England and the
                           Commonwealth in favor of
                           Asia and ASEAN.
                         • Established the Bumiputra
Dr.Mahatir bin Mohamad     Investment Foundation and
                           initiated “dawn raids” on
                           London Stock Exchange.
    Dictatorial Desperation
• How Mahatir retained power:
   – Operation Lallang (1987)
     arrested of 119 opposition
     leaders and closed three
     opposition newspapers.
   – Eliminated judicial review of
     security and the operation of
     political parties in 1988.
   – Accused the Jews of causing      Deputy Anwar Ibrahim
     the currency crises of 1997.     spent six years in jail on
   – Charged Awar Ibrahim with        dubious charges.
     corruption and sodomy in 1998.
      Current Prime Minister
                        • Received a B.A. in Islamic
                          Studies. He includes “bin Haji” in
                          his full name.
                        • His backing of “Team B” in the
                          UMNO split led to his loosing his
                          post as Mahatir’s Minister of
                        • Was considered fully rehabilitated
                          when he was appointed to replace
                          Anwar Ibrahim as Mahatir’s
                          Deputy P.M. for Home Affairs.
                        • Mahatir has been critical of his
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi     performance on the Proton and
                          the bridge to Singapore.
• Q1. What was the source of Chinese discontent that led to
  the insurgency?
• A1. The feared lose of legal status.
• Q2. The British success in combating the insurgency was
  based on what five factors?
• A2. (1). Less than 20% of Chinese population supported
  the insurgents. (2). Guerrillas easily distinguished. (3).
  MCA offered a political solution. (4). The insurgents
  received little outside support. (5). The Briggs Plan.
• Q3. Who was the first P.M. of the Federation of Malaysia?
• A3. Tunku Abdul Rahman.
          More Questions
• Q4. What was the “Bargain”?
• A4. The Chinese would prevail economically; the
  Malays would prevail politically.
• Q5. What was the purpose of the enlarged
  Federation of Malaysia?
• A5. To give Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah a
  secure home as Britain pulled out.
• Q6. Why was Singapore expelled from the
  Federation of Malaysia?
• A6. Lee Kuan Yew threatened the bargain by
  demanding a Malaysian Malaysia.
      And More Questions
• Q7. What was the cause of the 1969 Riots?
• A7. An Anti-Alliance celebration of the UMNO’s
  loss of its majority in the parliament.
• Q8. What was the “Look East” policy?
• A8. Mahatir’s decision to look to East Asia in the
  future for models of success.
• Q9. What were the “Dawn Raids” on the London
  Stock Exchange about?
• A9. Regaining national control of companies such
  as Guthrie that owned huge plantations and other
  assets in Malaysia.
 And Still More Questions
• Q10. Why did Mahatir charge Anwar Ibrahim
  with sodomy and corruption?
• A10. He perceived that Anwar was challenging his
• Q11. Why did Mahatir amend the constitution to
  eliminate judicial review of security matters and
  the operation of political parties.
• A11. It was judicial review of UMNO registration
  that led to the party being deregistered. This
  forced a scramble to reregister 50%+ to gain
  control of the party’s assets.
Malaysian Political Parties
• Two coalitions have ruled Malaysia:
  – The Alliance (prior to 1969) composed of
     • UMNO, MCA & MIC
  – The National Front (Barisan Nasional) (since
     • UMNO plus eleven including PAS & DAP.
• Malaysia's P.M.s have all come from the
United Malayas National Organization.

                • The UMNO survived the
                  1988 split and the APU
                  (Islamist & Chinese)
                  challenge of 1990.
                • The UMNO has access to
                  almost unlimited funds. It
                  has become a huge
                  business conglomerate
                  holding assets in numerous
 UMNO Logo
             State Royalty
• Nine Malay states have ruling sultans.
• The King (Yang diPertuan Agong) is elected by
  and from among the nine for five years.
• The Kings powers include ceremony, religious
  duties, appointments and delay of legislation.
• In 1993, Mahatir was able to gain passage of
  legislation placing the sultans under the law.
• The Attorney Generals consent is required to bring
  charges against a sultan and special court must be
• The structure of Malaysia’s legislature is based on
  the British Westminster system.
   – The P.M. must be a member of the lower house and
     command majority support.
   – Lower house is composed of 219 members of which
     199 seats are held by the BN (National Front).
   – The upper house is composed of 70 members, 26
     appointed by state legislatures and 44 appointed by the
     king on recommendation of the P.M.
   – The upper house is elected for 6 years; the lower house
     is elected for 5 years unless parliament is dissolved
• Military. Malaysia has maintained only a
  minimal national force. Instead, it has relied on the
  defense arrangements with British and Anglo-
  Malayan Defense Agreement (Singapore, Great
  Britain, Australia, and New Zealand).
• Women. Consistent with Islamic beliefs, women
  only play a very minor role in public affairs. There
  are a growing number of professional women and
  women have formed auxiliaries to political parties
  which give them some voice.
• Malaysia is considered to be only semi-democratic
  due to the limitations on civil liberties such as the
  Official Secrets Act, Internal Securities Act and
  Sedition Act which prohibit all discussion of
  “sensitive issues.”
• The key issue is what are the rights of Malays in a
  polycommunal society.
• The success of the Malaysian economy has
  mitigated demands for equality.
   Economic Development
• The standard of living has improved immensely
  for the average person since 1957. From close to
  Zero, access to piped water, electricity and TV are
  all 100%. The Malay poverty level is < 17%.
• The New Economic Plan (NEP) of 1971 was a 20
  year plan to eliminate prosperity as a function of
  race. It sought rapid growth in the Malay sector
  without weakening Chinese enterprise.
• The NEP also sought to increase the Malay share
  of capital ownership to 30%, reduce foreign share
  to 30% from 63% and allow a 40% Chinese share.
Economic Development (Cont’d)
• Malaysia’s economy is a market oriented, export
  economy with state ownership of heavy industry,
  only. Growth rate of GNP has been about 8% in
  the 1980s & 90s.
• Malaysia is the world’s largest exporter of
  semiconductors, one of the world’s largest
  exporters of single-unit air conditioners, textiles
  and footwear.
• Malaysia is considered both a Tiger and a NIC.
• The Malaysians must import plantation labor from
  Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
• Q1. Name the two political party coalitions that
  have ruled Malaysia since 1957.
• A1. The Alliance and the National Front.
• Q2. Does the UMNO suffer from lack of funds?
• A2. No. It has large investments in various
• Q3. How is the King of Malaysia elected?
• A3. By and from among the nine Sultans.
           More Questions
• Q4. The Malaysian upper house (senate) is
  composed of 70 members. How are they selected?
• A4. State legislatures appoint 26; the king
  appoints 44.
• Q5. Why is Malaysia considered to be only semi-
• A5. The lack of civil liberties to discuss sensitive
• Q6. Under the NEP, what was the goal for the
  Malay capital share of the economy?
• A6. 30%. Only 20% has been achieved.
     Still More Questions
• Q7. What is the disadvantage of being
  labeled a newly industrialized country
• A7. Loss of preferential import tariffs.
The End

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