Creating "Greater Malaysia": Decolonization and the Politics of Merger

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Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008 - 224 pages
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Malaysia came into existence on 9/16/63 as a federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah (North Borneo), and Sarawak; in 1965 Singapore withdrew from the federation. Offers an in-depth and detailed analysis of the political processes that led to formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. It argues that the Malaysia that came into being following the amalgamation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo was a political creation whose only rationale was that it served a convergence of political and economic expediency for the departing colonial power, the Malayan leadership and the ruling party of self-governing Singapore. 'Greater Malaysia' was thus an artificial political entity, the outcome of a concatenation of interests and motives of a number of political actors in London and Southeast Asia from the 1950s to the early 1960s. This led to a number of unresolved compromises between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and did not obviate the possibility of future difficulties, and the seeds of dissension sown by the disagreements between the two governments were to sprout into major crises during Singapore's brief history in the Federation of Malaysia.

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