Department of History, National University of Singapore

Malayan Union Citizenship: Constitutional Change and Controversy in Malaya, 1942-48
Author(s): Albert Lau
Source: Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Sep., 1989), pp. 216-243
Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of Department of History, National University
of Singapore

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Vol. XX, No. 2
- 243
pp. 216

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
1989 National University of Singapore

Malayan Union Citizenship: Constitutional
Controversy inMalaya, 1942-48



Change and

a reappraisal of
Second World War, by unleashing new forces, had precipitated
traditional British policy towards Malaya.
It afforded British planners an opportunity to
rationalize the pre-war structures which had kept Malaya constitutionally
disunited and
Colonial Office planners devised
racially divided. Isolated in their offices inWhitehall,
the Malayan Union policy which embraced in a "union" all the Malay states and the
Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca but excluding Singapore which developed as
a separate Colony.1 The new plans also envisaged
the creation of Malayan Union
that would,
for the first time, accept equality of citizenship rights as a
cardinal prinicple of British Malayan policy. The citizenship proposals radically broke

with the past practice of preserving only Malay political rights and opened such rights
to Malaya's non-Malay population.
Writers on the Malayan Union have offered different interpretations
for this funda
mental shift in Britain's traditional "pro-Malay" policy. James Allen,
in his pioneering
on the one hand, and Whitehall's
study, surmised that "anti-Malay
on the other, significantly
"admiration for the Chinese",
the change in
an assertion contested by Mohamed
Sopiee who argued that there was little
evidence to indicate that "there was a significant desire to punish the Malays or that
strong anti-Malay feeling significantly affected the political decision-making".3
a desire
and nationalism,
argued that "the desire to create a Malayan
was probably a major
to the ideal of decolonization,
related to the British commitment
motive for the Union policy".4 Cheah Boon Kheng
the need to "inculcate into the
important motive for the citizenship proposals.5
Others like Stenson saw its real significance "in the recognition, however tentative and
hesitant, of a situation which the British had consistently refused to acknowledge during
the existence of a permanently multiracial
the 1930s
Part of the difficulty in documenting
the rationale behind the Malayan Union Citizen
ship policy arose because of the closure of important British official files at the time
when these major works on the subject were undertaken. Recently opened sources now
Union and Singapore:
Cmd. 6724 (Jan. 1946).
of Policy on Future Constitution,
2J. de V. Allen,
The Malayan
(New Haven,
1967), p. 9.
From Malayan
to Singapore
the Malaysia
(Kuala Lumpur,
1974), p. 18.
5Cheah Boon Kheng,
"Malayan Chinese
and Malayan
12, no. 2 (1978): 99.
6M.R. Stenson,
"The Malayan
10, no. 2 (1969): 345.


the Citizenship


the Historians",





of Southeast


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of Indonesian


26. they were already outnumbered by 1931 and by 1941 they formed only 41 per cent of the population. however. I By the early decades of the twentieth century. This content downloaded from 103. The Politics of Decentralization (Kuala Lumpur. The munity important questions non-Malays a was not the in born in Straits Settlements since person apparent problem immediately the Colony automatically acquired the status of a British subject.196. for instance. For a study of the issue in the 1920s see Yeo Kim Wah. there was nevertheless a growing trend towards more permanent settlement in the country. Since most Indians hailed from south India. Malaya: II and III in Victor A on the Report The Chinese Purcell. Sir Samuel Wilson. While indigenous Malays formed the majority race in 1911 with 53. In the Malay states. question enactment absence of a nationality left undefined the status of the large Chinese community. 1982). the Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. On both political and diplomatic grounds the Colonial Office saw certain benefits in correcting this anomaly. In both the Straits the and the Federated Malay States (FMS) the Chinese outnumbered Settlements who formed a clear majority only in the Unfederated Malay States (UMS).V. 1947 Census in Malaya of Population (Kuala Lumpur. have attention are born inMalaya to the fact that have from M. The 1931 census Malays report. The issue also did not particularly affect the Indians. Of the immigrant races. children have been born in the land of interests great they have acquired to its prosperous in no small degree develop del Tufo. who visited Malaya at the height of the decentralization debate in 1932.8 com and more stable non-Malay of a numerically The emergence preponderant status the about of the in raised Malaya. and the key stages permit a more comprehensive evolution of the controversial Malayan Union Citizenship policy. of the non-Malay reported. indicated that about one-third of the Chinese and one-fourth of the Indians were locally born. replacing the Malays as the dominant racial group. that his discussions with the representatives communities "left me under no illusion as to the anxiety which they feel": Those there. partly provoked by the pro-Malay bias of the decentralization9 policy inter-communal and partly in response to heightened competition wrought by the economic depression. the 1920s and 1930s British officials more to devolve 9During sought a policy of Decentralization to the states and their rulers in the hope of encouraging them to voluntarily power accept the rationale for new treaties and further centralization.7 Although many of the immigrants were described as transients. 1967). and particu larly from the Madras Presidency. and Appendices contributed or whose themselves. for instance. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . they were almost entirely British subjects and the status not of did their the immediately arise.8 per cent of the popula tion. the Indian population remained fairly stable around 14 per cent but the Chinese community grew from 34 per cent in 1911 to 43 per cent by 1941.217 Union Citizenship Malayan in. 8Ibid.190 on Mon. the study of the rationale for. their 7The who call 1949) been and adoption figures (London. By the 1930s some local-born Chinese were already agitating for more rights. Malaya had been transformed from a the states into a politically of Malay collection significant "plural society".

218 Albert Lau ment. 26. of his ancestors to furnish details of the birth-place instance. itwas an "almost impossible task" for him Chinese to be "denationalized". when consulted. state They in a great that many cases those concerned have never seen the land of their origin and they claim that their children and their children's children should have fair treatment. CO 323/1626 1936. 7 Oct. therefore. CO 323/1080 1931.11 inMalaya Thus."13 Colonial Office it was clear that the problem by of resolving the question of non-Malay status and rights could not be avoided or post poned indefinitely. also agreed that itwould be "inadvis international nationality precepts. to Law since. to Cunliffe-Lister. ibid. Malaya-born Chinese could still. it was possible for a in practice. None guarantors of Nationality. 2255/3. CO 323/1177 1 Jun. 16Clementi 18Minute He must ascertainable. Warner (FO) to R. CO 323/1626 by Gent. no. 15Thomas to Clementi. 1930. 1933)."12 It was.16 The Foreign Office. under international law.15 How precedence that legislation to that ever. The status of a British Protected Person could be conferred only on a "subject" of the Malay ruler. yet 8 Oct. p.17 There able" to enact legislation that contravened was also a second obstacle.. 19Clementi 21 Jan. nMinute 1941. This content downloaded from 103. for from who had emigrated 4276 no. also secure the latter were at least two mercantile born. But as it was unlikely that the Malay rulers since "by religion and race the latter are alien would accept Chinese as their subjects ? ? in the of the Mohammedan the status of British Protected eyes Malays"18 people Person could not be conferred on deserving Chinese.R. CO liabilities 1941. 70328. "desirable that . 2255/3. Although. 1932. Britain would also have little diplomatic control over the possibility of the Chinese government actually inter overseas in of the internal affairs her nationals. is not exempted to MacDonald.10 legal jurisdiction over the local Chinese community. An applicant 7 Oct. Vernon. 1936. 30330/3. as one British official put it. 3 Aug. the Colonial Office was told by the High Commissioner effect could not be successfully enacted since.. 13Minute by Gent.190 on Mon. to Cunfliffe-Lister. CO 15 Feb.196. the house number China including was of these particulars readily service testify that he had no military could be prohibited denationalization military 825/19 and has not service. 12Minute by Gent. 21 Jan. renounce their Malayan nationality and claim Chinese protection.14 in October One solution which the Colonial Office considered 1931 was to make all Chinese born in the Malay states British Protected Persons whose status would take over their status as Chinese nationals while they were inMalaya. was expected in the street or village in which to Malaya. The Chinese law of fering nationality 1929 had made it clear that persons of the Chinese race. no. no. CO 323/1161 3 Mar. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .26. therefore.. 17G. by Gent. 14Minute by Clauson. 323/1262 no. for denationalization.. no.19 Visit to Malaya Sir Samuel Wilson. 30330/3. no. By the latter half of 1931 it began contemplating seriously a solution to this "horribly complicated subject".. 1932. 90297. to jurisdiction in Without Malaya over Chinese natives in the Malay States. 10See Brigadier-General 1932. to do so because of legal obstacles placed before him by the Chinese government. 55020. 81495. 1934. Cmd. See Thomas 1935. a person with dual nationality could still affirm one nationality and renounce the other. if at any time the Chinese desire to exercise it. served in the Army". in theory.V. were consi dered technically as subjects of China. ibid. "[T]he Chinese Consular Representatives will have a legal claim. no. wherever born. under article 12 of the Chinese "who has attained military from for anyone age. CO 323/1262 9 Aug. (Mar. should not be our claim to give protection to the FMS Chinese successfully disputed For the the Government of China.

True. The Colonial Office.23 With the concurrence of the Sir Shenton Foreign Office. 1935. an Order in Council could only be applied to territories where Britain already possessed legal jurisdiction. CO 323/1262 ibid. 8 Jul. Chinese as a concession the Colonial Office proposed asking the rulers. a modified set of proposals which In January 1936 the Colonial Office recommended incorporated some aspects of the Foreign Office's plans.219 Union Citizenship Malayan to solve two alternative methods In late May 1935 the Foreign Office recommended the Colonial Office's legal dilemma.26. however. 10 Aug. pressure could be applied on the rulers to approve the necessary legislation making local-born Chinese their subjects. Thomas suggested that the question of state nationality should be left for future review and that "a simple Federal Bill" be enacted 20The legal treaties Malay Malay tions framework for British concluded between rule in Peninsula 1874 and a resident or adviser in all questions upon" treaties Anglo-Malay Treaties and Other to each other than to be found in the series for British British those and custom. to Thomas. 21 Jan.190 on Mon. of Anglo of the in each protection provided and control over their external rela paramountcy in the intei nal administrations of the states by appointing ruler. ibid. inAugust 1936 to ascertain the views of the rulers on the possibility of enacting Thomas. the Colonial Office instructed the new High Commissioner. Wright.22 In the Malay states. position to overrule their objec one as matter of tions. Thomas reported that he anticipated difficulties as itwas "not Replying see or she? to how anyone can prove that he ? is of Malay race" and therefore easy a to entitled become "subject" of the Ruler. CO 323/1364 no.R." Cowell. demurred. To solve the Chinese side of the question. the state nationality legislation and the formal grant of special jurisdiction to the British government.R. in "that should fear. Stockwell and L. 23Minute by Gent. An an initial measure. Britain possessed no such jurisdiction. A. 1936.24 in June 1939. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . A complete set of the affecting Malay religion in J. in order to resist Nanking's ability to inter justified to the rulers by emphasizing it was imperative to establish clearly London's fere with the local Chinese. no. as the Colonial Office pointed out. 21Cowell 24Ormsby-Gore 20 Feb.196."21 A second approach status of British Protected Persons on the Chinese even if they were not considered subjects of the rulers by means of an Order in Council under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act. de V. This could be that. "superior authority" over the Chinese government and this could only be done by according them the "indisputable status" of British Protected Persons. But. This content downloaded from 103.J. to Beckwett. These would include those of Malay race and Mohammedan presumably religion but exclude the to the rulers. 22Cowell to Beckett. 1981) can be found Documents volumes. 2255/3. A Collection of the States of Malaysia 1761-1963 in two Affecting (London. to interfere and permitted the British either was Malaya 1930 which 1936. to give London a limited grant of to make an Order in Council declaring jurisdiction that would enable the government those Chinese born and resident inMalaya as British Protected Persons. in turn. 1936. The advice of the British officer "must be asked" and "acted The latter in turn accepted kingdoms. 30330/3. Allen. in to accept the advice of the Resi respect of which they would be under no obligations was to unilaterally confer the for the British government dents. To solve the Malay side of the problem it suggested that laws could be enacted in each of the Malay states describing the categories of people who would be admitted as "subjects" of the rulers. since they might regard any such 'Malay religion and custom'. the rulers could be "advised" under the laws but what if they refused? "I treaties20 to enact the new nationality Anglo-Malay a we not wrote be H.

to transfer sovereignty to the Crown in order to bring about the objectives of a constitutional union of the states in the Malay peninsula and common citizenship.25 No action was taken on Thomas' despatch until August 1941.220 Albert Lau instead to the effect that any person who was born within the FMS and whose father was at the time of birth of Asiatic race but not a British subject would be entitled to receive British protection. Britain. as Gent remarked.M. "The 28See A. were put away for review after the war. "We need not be troubled by the suggested difficulties. By then. Singapore itself pore. ed.28 Even while the form of the new Malayan policy was being considered in the lat ter half of 1942. 31 had reached Johore the southernmost Bahru. over two years later. Japan invaded Malaya in December 1941. the despatch. Smith . II The Japanese invasion of Malaya began shortly after midnight on 8 December 1941.26 Thomas was instructed in October 1941 to explore the question of ceding jurisdiction for the purpose at hand with the rulers of both the FMS and UMS. 2255/3. on 15 February 1942. Then. By January 1942. 1941. "Our concern is with the Chinese. But before the High Commissioner could reply. the Malayan Union Perspectives. This Bill would be wide enough to apply also to the Malays who were de facto subjects of the rulers. to the astonishment a a to in British sudden for devas and." he minuted. Turning to Thomas' perceived difficulties with regard to the definition of "subjectship". 1988). 1942. 28 Jun." Gent was also unhappy with the idea of enacting "a simple Federal Bill": One would have H. 27Minute 23 Aug. the High Commis sioner's despatch had waited for so long that itwas doubtful if itwas worth pursuing the proposed legislation until after the war.B. This content downloaded from 103. representing State concerned.27 The "new deal" which the Colonial Office envisaged for Malaya was the Malayan Union scheme which sought. the Transfer and A. in British Policy and 1942-3". no. R. Stockwell (London. presence Malaya capitulated. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Policy. through a series of new treaties with the rulers. British planners had also been pondering over ways to resolve yet 25Thomas 26Minute to MacDonald. it seemed a "reasonable fore cast" that Britain would now have to envisage a "new deal" for her dependencies in Southeast Asia.K. thought that he had missed the point altogether. 1939. CO 825/35 Colonial Office by Gent.26. the head of the Eastern Depart ment in the Colonial Office. of the Rulers between Unless a surrender such thought formal Agreement we can it is impossible would jurisdiction a definite require concerned and the High Commissioner say that H.J.H. Indeed. 11 Apr. p. together with a number of other nationality papers. and the Emergence of in Asia: Documentary of Power 116. and swept the allied defenders from the Malay Peninsula into Singa of the world. Edward Gent.196. With the outbreak of the European war. Planning for the main Union scheme started in July 1942 and by July 1943 the Colonial Office had endorsed the plans for a Malayan Union and the need to wrest full jurisdiction from the Malay rulers. bringing tating and humiliating end. Lau. Japanese troops tip of the Mainland. 55104. CO ibid.M. 323/1626 no. clearly to make has jurisdiction in the Malay headway.190 on Mon. by Gent.

The first was a memorandum submitted by Tengku Mahyiddeen.26. This content downloaded from 103. he added. These should be to a lesser and this reason controlled that has been numerous has been immigration of the tin and rubber capacity people fear of the Malays Chinese and the more policies maintained and are for they would extent the limited to the in the interests their paramount advantage.d. to until the latter half of 1943.'"30 In April 1943. 29Memo. 30 Mar. 31Memo. 3 Jul. The continual be by swamped Indians. Mahyiddeen further envisaged the of creation of a "Malayan Assembly". for Luckham. by Mahyiddeen. make money and pay us taxes. from former residents who had escaped from Malaya urging London to memoranda reconsider the question of political rights for the non-Malays. years age. in to and non-Malays number" and with franchise all literate Malay "equal given men women and above of for the five first citizens. years Malayan eighteen after which only those who passed at least standard five in the Malay schools might be recommendations had the concurrence of another given the franchise. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 825/35 no. who urged that a "Malayan citizenship" should .. elected with both consisting representatives. You may settle here for the time being. . the Colonial Office had also received representations for the creation of some kind of "Malayan citizenship" from two Malays engaged in official propaganda a work in India. for who worked the Suffian Hashim. "Note on Future Policy in the Far East".L. "Some Causes of the Loss of Malaya". ment of a Malayan consciousness Such a policy. argued in his memorandum was and indeed since itworked against the develop rights privileges counter-productive so vital for the future political progress of Malaya. by Luckham..31 Mahyiddeen's M. As Gent argued in his preliminary memorandum future policy in the Far East on 3 July 1942: Our declared policy has also been to promote the well being and efficiency of the Malay peoples and their educational fitness to fill the official Services in their own territories. H.29 No serious consideration of nationality questions therefore transpired in the Colonial Office until early March 1943 when the question of granting British Protected Persons status to Chinese domiciled in the Malay states was raised again in the course of con the Colonial Office had received a number of stitutional planning. In a a senior retired MCS official working for the Malay letter to Sir Richard Winstedt. 1942.190 on Mon. Malay Unit in the all-India radio. Colonial From the outbreak of the war in Malaya about the solution to the problem.Malayan Union 221 Citizenship ? the question of political another outstanding issue from Malaya's pre-war legacy status and rights for Malaya's non-Malay communities.196. The pre Office planners remained largely undecided war "pro-Malay" policy remained very much in force during the early phases of con on stitutional planning for Malaya. ibid. CO 825/35 55104.A. 1942. "seemed to say to the non-Malays. will be be created "whereby all races born and domiciled inMalaya given the right to renounce their previous nationality and acquire Malayan citizenship. no. and thus enjoy the same political and other rights as the Malays". member of the Kelantan royal family. Chinese economic of the legitimate and efficient of the and country for industries. CO 55104/1/3. 30See Memo.. but when we do without you. that the pre-war practice of preserving only Malay example. 'Malaya is not your country. From March. Malay. n. we will do without you. by Gent and MacDougall.

Towards the end of July 1943. Although was "at better than the state of affairs which are allowed that this least confused opined to prevail inMalaya". 1943. to then legislate by Order in Council under the Foreign Jurisdiction Act to confer the status of in the Malay states. by Association 1943. a and friend and of the adviser Sultan of lawyer personal legal leading Singapore Johore. the situation changed significantly. Braddell observed. 37See Lau. provisionally Sultans. the Association asserted that it was essential to face the fact that "have acquired what is virtually a Malayan domicile and will expect many non-Malays to enjoy political rights and their fair share in the administration". Suffian similarly called for a citizenship policy to be enacted to "solve the Chinese problem". however. 116. 36Memo. Suffian which might be called Ceylon citizenship. CO 825/35 no. a competent Malay electorate. ibid.36 The Colonial Office appreciated the arguments of the "pro-Malay" lobby but main tained that the principle that deserving non-Malays should not be denied political rights inMalaya must be accepted. the Association possessing or acquiring Malayan domicile argued. Suffian observed that Ceylon used also to have an Indian problem which had been tackled quite effectively by having over and above British nationality something not entirely satisfactory. Winstedt were hardly enough educated Malays to play a dominant role in a Malayan assembly. The Chinese. as yet. ibid. 55104/1/3. But so long as Britain possessed no clear jurisdiction in the Malay states. 33Memo. This content downloaded from 103. had doubts about the willingness British Resident to to of divest themselves of their and the Chinese Chinese nationality identify ability themselves wholly with the Malays as partners in the new Malaya. the former and in Selangor from 1932 to 1936. CO 825/35 no. by Adams. of British Malaya. CO 865/14 no. See Winstedt 1943. had also been expressed by Roland Braddell. the Colonial Office saw all such discussions as of purely academic interest. CO 825/35 no. the Colo consisting ex-Malayans England. The anomaly of the Protected Person. 55104/1/7. had endorsed the policy of wresting complete jurisdiction from the icy. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions the contents of . Nor was there.26.222 Albert Lau section of the BBC in London. by Winstedt. 9 Jun. the in connection with the planning for its main Malayan Union pol Eastern Department. 11 Apr. Drawing from his three months' experience in Ceylon. Suffian Suffian's Hashim letter. British Protected Persons on deserving non-Malays domiciled toWinstedt.34 Fears of the Chinese.35 Others like Sir Theodore Adams. May 11 Apr. Winstedt about informed Gent to Gent. By then.196. to Gent. 32M. were already thinking that the country "will be theirs when the war is over". p. 34Memo. Commenting policy. 1943. 27 Nov.37 paving the way for London. 55104/1/3. 1943. nial Office inMay. who argued that unless the Malays were kept under British protection "they will disappear". 27 Feb. and of their a intentions to take power in Malaya. 35Braddell 1942. upon the completion of the new treaties. should be abolished and all persons for a period of not less than seven years and to any foreign power should be entitled to British nation British who had renounced allegiance ality and be given political rights.32 The idea of a "Malayan citizenship" had also been advocated by the Association of a In to in of memorandum British Malaya.33 If the Colonial Office had been urged to implement a new nationality from other ex-Malayans also at the same time received representations a in Britain's traditional shift against "pro-Malay" policy. it had who warned on Mahyid feared it would end in the "eclipse of the Malays" as there deen's proposals. M101/1.190 on Mon.

55104/1/9. either the Union Successful applicants would be required to affirm allegiance to the Malayan Union. Within the context of a general reapprai the issue of the status and political rights of the sal of Anglo-Chinese relationship. A person could also acquire citizenship on application after five years' ordinary residence in or Singapore. British subjects would not lose their nationality upon being granted Malayan Union Citizenship. Interest in nationality questions rekindled. 72483.40 It recommended Union those born in either the Union or automatically acquire Malayan Citizenship: on at and who the date which Order in Council became opera the persons Singapore. the Sultanates were frequently perceived as an "anachronism"42 and the rulers themselves to British advisory rule. 16 Mar. by Paskin. nationality cil. 1943.41 For the first time equality of citizen for the non-Malays had been accepted as a cardinal principle in the new ship rights a major departure from the traditional it represented Malayan policy.38 A working committee was accordingly convened on 17December 1943 to draw up the An examination of Protected the British Persons Order in Coun proposals. apart from the consent of the Gover nor. no person who was not aMalayan Union citizen would be admitted to public office or membership of the central and local councils. Conversely. 5 May 1944. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . As the Chinese possessed dual nationality they would almost certainly be excluded.190 on Mon. 1931. Britain would therefore be in no position to declare states as British Protected Persons. Given the new Sino-British wartime period of military reoccupation alliance relationship. the Colonial Office had also moved towards a more progressive reason was the need for to affairs in The immediate with Chinese Malaya. British policy which had always maintained thatMalaya was primarily aMalay country. 1944. 19 Jun. at the Colonial of Conference Office". revealed that it explicitly excluded persons who already possessed nation ality under the laws of another state. CO 825/35 no.Malayan 223 Union Citizenship From June 1943. 39Minute by Monson. 55104/1/9. by Paskin. The most plausible Chinese born in the Malay recourse was to recommend the creation of an entirely new Malayan Union Citizenship by a separate Order in Council.26. tive had been ordinarily resident in either territories for ten years out of the preceding fifteen years which would exclude the period of the Japanese occupation. cracks in Britain's "pro-Malay" policy were already evident in the before the war with Japan. CO 717/76 no. ibid. British policy towards China and her overseas settlers would now have to be put on a new forward-looking basis. CO 825/42 no. a revised draft of the citizenship policy by directive was subsequently submitted to the Secretary of State on 16 June and approved that two categories of persons would by him three days later. by Stanley. With the approval of the main subsequently on the Cabinet 31 Union Malayan May 1944. Ill sure. 22 Dec. That itwas a "mistake to reprehended for their obstructiveness To be decades 38Memo. 1943. 55104/1/6. And. in Malaya Chinese could not therefore be avoided. policy regard a directive on Chinese policy for the guidance of the military authorities during the after the war. 40Minute 41Minute 42"Note 7 Dec. however. CO 825/35 no.196. This content downloaded from 103.39 Early inMay 1944 a draft directive on citizenship was drawn up by the Eastern Department. Amongst reform-minded officials inWhitehall.

1943. "led to the assertion that non-Malays had no rights in the country". Gent was arguing that "some indeed have not hesitated to attribute to this [pro-Malay] policy our alleged failure in war time to secure the full co-operation of the Chinese inMalaya". CO 825/35 no. (Singapore. The rapid and sudden collapse of British power in not only the structural vulnerability Malaya was interpreted by some as demonstrating of an administratively fragmented constitutional polity but also the inherent weakness of a population for defence purposes. 16 Jun. defend it". As Luckham had pointed out in his memorandum in the defence of any country is that there earlier: "One of the most vital necessities should be a strong spirit of patriotism and loyalty to and confidence in the rulers of the this was one of the major failings of the Malayan country. Campaign. "much food for thought". for instance. and Social This content downloaded from 103. 1941-1946 1983). 20. See Gent that it offered remarked 45Gent. official conser vatism prevailed. 1941-2". the need for some was recognized in the proposals for association amongst the various communities a common sense of it: of As Gent "The Union put development Malayan Citizenship. if necessary.44 But some the disillusionment official with the Sultans.48 Reports of the Sultans' obstructiveness during the withdrawal during the Malayan campaign and their alleged co-operation after the with the Japanese at the Colonial 15 May Office". After See Cheah the Japanese Boon Occupation.224 Albert Lau bolster up the power of these petty Rulers" few of these officials doubted: "The future of Malaya. British policy among despite quarters followed closely the traditional pro-Malay line before the war. agency based intelligence working ^Gent 47Gent Thailand. That a "pro divided racially and politically was to the creation of a "Malayan consciousness" was Malay" policy inimically opposed of the Japanese pointedly impressed upon the Colonial Office by the object-lesson to the Colonial Office cited invasion. Resistance Red Star Over Malaya: Kheng. no. inWO in the Malayan Activities 203/4036 48See "Fifth Column n. were members movement Muda which had been of the Kesatuan collaborators The Malay Melayu in Bangkok and southern the Japanese military for Fujiwara Kikan.46 And by June 1944. 55104/1/3." The pro-Malay policy. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Conflict During and . 1943. to Paskin. CO 717/101 by Gent. Reports reports by column activities became evident as British troops fought a rear-guard action inMalaya down the Peninsula. Luckham advised. 55104/1/9. to Gater. 27 Jun. 1944. 438/3. and accen radically altered pre-war perceptions tuated the cracks already present. 43"Note of Conference "Minute 19 Apr. citizenship inMalaya is important for political progress in general and as a basis for link to work in the country.190 on Mon. however. for instance."47 ing the various communities Further cracks in Britain's pro-Malay policy occurred probably as a result also of campaign and allegations of fifth column activities by the Malays during the Malayan the of fifth with of the Sultans collaboration Malay Japanese. 1933. p.d. 13467. CO 865/14 no. no. to Martin. CO 717/81 no." argued Ellis. The failure to develop Governments. two months later. Luckham's memorandum Malaya a made good impression45 on the Colonial Office which discussed it some apparently time inApril 1943 for.26.."43 Gent himself had argued for a "fair field" to be presented for all races alike. And given Britain's to a policy of decentralization declared commitment in the Malay states. What the Colonial Office must do. 82395. he argued. 1931. "lay in the hands of the Chinese and Indians. was to devise a more progressive policy that would strengthen "the will of the people of for the country and. The Japanese invasion. M101/1. CO 825/42 no. 12 Dec.196.

no. 1937 and again from Oct. they have an obvious bearing on . propaganda Dalforce. Before the war. government. 1942. 80.W. of course. by the British See C. unleashed demands also for a more sympathetic reappraisal of British policy towards the Chinese. any reorganisation of the political structure of Malaya after reoccupation.26.F. joined hands KMT. There is. 1929.. ibid. no. labour unrest to challenge the Malayan See Yeo Kim Wah. the MCP 1940 staged massive strikes and "The Communist Challenge Journal of the Malaysian Branch between 1936 and Mar. Efforts to remove the Sultans out to safer havens in Australia and India were met by stiff resistance from the of Malaya rulers themselves who refused to be separated from their subjects.196. 50See Domei States report "Sultans of Malay 52035. 52Cheah. p.49 Early inApril 1942. p. Red Star Over Malaya. 1939 to Sept. commander on his "brilliant" victories over the British. (1981): 118-32. such pre-war suppositions were no longer valid. 55Formed in 1930. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 62010 Pt I.B. CO 717/147 no. 1 (hereafter JSEAS). 51Minute by K. inMalaya 54KMT branches were established after the formation of the mother Yat-sen in 1912. Both the MCP and the and community leaders."52 a shift in Britain's If the war had precipitated it had "pro-Malay" orientation. 1942.53 Nevertheless. Later when efforts were made to establish it was to the Chinese that Force 136 personnel turned first resistance groups inMalaya ? and Malay groups were contacted only a year later. "The Kuomintang Movement leanings". no. in the Malayan Labour 1936-March Scene. Red Star Over Malaya. 19. Reservations to Malaya proved unwarranted when the Chinese rallied their political commitment stoutly behind the British authorities in the defence of Malaya. independent fighting unit attached to the British army's Third Indian Corps. 1937". 79. first tolerated its "Bolshevik and Singapore. together with other Chinese organizations in setting up the Overseas Chinese Mobilization to recruit people for civil Council an and for defence. Blaxter. no proof that they are correct but.50 Commenting one Colonial Office official stiffly remarked: "These enemy reports should be put on record. an undercurrent of "pro-Chinese" sympathy had already gained ground amongst some officials in the Colonial Office. McKenna. Yong and R. the Colonial Office had also received intercepted Domei reports from Singapore of the to Japan and congratulating nine Sultans declaring their allegiance the Japanese on these reports. 2 (1976): 36 of the Royal Asiatic Society (hereafter JMBRAS)."51 The impression that the Malays were involved in fifth column activities and that the Sultans were collaborating with the Japanese contributed to the beginnings of British distrust of the Malays. 56Cheah. p. 15 Apr. 53See Minute 25 Mar. CO 273/554 by Caine. September 64.225 Union Citizenship Malayan fall of Singapore also dismayed the Colonial Office. suspicions about the Malayan Chinese's political loyalty and susceptibility to subversion by either the Kuomintang (KMT)54 or the Malayan Communist Party (MCP)55 precluded any move a firm political stake in the country.. At because of inMalaya party in China by Sun the KMT was banned from Malaya in 1925 authorities. 12. Red Star Over Malaya. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 1912-1925". Sept. This content downloaded from 103. After towards giving the Chinese the about Japanese invasion. 20. congratulate Yamashita". As Cheah commented: "The truth was that the British were generally suspicious of the Malays whom they believed to be favourably disposed towards the Japanese. Apr.190 on Mon.56 49Cheah. assuming the worst.

1942. There was.59 Conversely. upon the to of Malaya. CO 273/699 by Monson. by the following month. who had Department. "That. 16 Oct. it would therefore be "impossible". . SOE in the Far East 58Cheah. Cruickshank. 55104/1/3A. immediately "revive the pre-war embargoes" on either the reoccupation it reinforced KMT or the MCP. must have haunted the Colonial Office ? for accounts of Japanese "atrocity"57 were read by Whitehall officials in were in terse silence. most "a and in the valuable element November 1943. 59Memo. and particularly the communist Chinese. CO 825/42 no.226 Moral Albert Lau sympathy for the Chinese was of Chinese who had supported further stirred when it became known that the Malayan authorities had also perished in new inflicted their accounts of large-scale revenge purges conquerors. moral and military So far. Words would indeed have eloquent thousands been superfluous amidst such descriptions of brutality.196. "trust" the Chinese and open to them the right to acquire "Malayan citizenship".26. ??Memo. A further contributory factor to the reorientation of British attitudes towards the Chinese stemmed also from their potential value as an underpinning bastion of war. But to enable the Chinese to iden Britain must. What for political thinking about its post-war Chinese policy. which reached the Colonial Office towards the latter half of 1942 and early 1943. 1943. would be in a position to play "a very prominent part in helping us in any campaign to drive out In these circumstances.190 on Mon." argued Tan. 193-96. p. pp. the Eastern Department same conclusion: the need for a new Malayan "citizenship"."60 Tan's arguments must have impressed the Colo had also arrived at the nial Office for. Red Star Over Malaya. 57Minute This content downloaded from 103. 55104/1/6. British of for rule in after the this had community support Malaya already Aspects in the short collaboration been demonstrated in the defence of Malaya. CO 825/35 no. From May 1943. 1943. See also C. been abandoned to bear the brunt of Japanese wrath. assessed the Colonial Office. the Japanese".58 Properly led and armed these resistance forces. "is the best and wisest course to adopt by way of solving the so called Chinese problem inMalaya. itmust have also occurred to the Colonial Office that the Chinese would probably form the principal community that could be expected to undergird British rule in Malaya and afford. a prominent of in his memorandum informed the Eastern Department Chinese community leader. by Tan Cheng Lock. Comments minutes and few. Malayan population. willing loyal and able to take a vital part in the defence of Malaya under British leadership should an occasion arise in future". tions. 1 Sept. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions (Oxford. 1983). on her part. a second step was taken to formalize even further the prospect of wartime military to organize resis co-operation when Force 136 personnel were infiltrated into Malaya tance groups from amongst the Chinese. As Tan suggested. we have discussed factors on the Colonial Office's a further diplomatic moreover. as Tan Cheng Lock. 50744/7. tify themselves completely with the interests of Malaya. the need for an enlightened policy in order to galvanize their support in the war. dimension which significantly affected British calcula to the Colonial Office was not only the anticipated pressure was worrying recognition which the Chinese inMalaya would almost certainly exert in the no. 1 Nov. Gruesome by Chinese massacres and Japanese brutality. 73. by Monson. the probable influence of political. made grim reading for the staff of the Eastern The knowledge that Britain had somehow failed the Chinese. towards the Chinese Given British distrust of the Malays. the Chinese were ready to assume such a role "if properly and fairly treated" after the war.

64 As for Adams' apprehensions. 24 Aug.63 The Colonial reports. 1946 as Colonial in a major Secretary (London. report by the Foreign Office's warned against the unwisdom of turning Malaya "into a Malay irredenta by bringing about a Chinese there". 1943. p. 1982). for instance. ibid. and Clement the Colonies. CO 825/35 no. 1942. As Monson argued: The Malay ideals. and Hall Attlee . This content downloaded from 103. 65Minute by Gent. ministerial Attlee Arthur reshuffle. 9 Jun. IV 1945 opened the way for the introduction of the Japan's surrender on 15 August Colonial Office's long simmering plans for constitutional change in Malaya. by Aug. Gent believed it should be possible to "disastrous results" towards some conception of political rights for the without proceed Chinese. 55104/1/3. Hudson. peninsula Pan-Malayan has He not been has felt Office. CO 825/35 no. CO 825/35 no. however.F. but also the more ominous prospect of a "rampantly nationalist"61 KMT China looming behind. The younger educated Malays. a reassertion of the tradi tional pro-Malay ceptable ? policy political would have as much carried ? if not greater and more unac risks.26. 27 Jun. A research department in August 1942. 66The Labour Party swept into power on 26 July Hall became the new Secretary of State for George on 4 Oct. by Adams. G. the Colonial Office had little choice. 1942. 1943. the Malayan Chinese That the Chinese deserved a better deal in Malaya after the war few Whitehall as officials contested. distinguished to his particular loyalty discounted in the past for Ruler such pessimistic strong affection or State and to the Japanese by preserving (apparently after an early flirtation with a United Malaya) the State's will framework have kept sense that of regional loyalty alive. it noted.62 The same fears were echoed early in June 1943 by Sir Theodore Adams who warned that any to attempt to renege on the "principle" of Malay precedence would force the Malays "either turn to pan-Islam or to any foreign power which will help them not to be submerged by Chinese". and which Whitehall would find almost impossible to resist. ^Minute 11 Apr. 55104. CO 825/35 no. On 3 new the Labour66 new Cabinet endorsed the September policy and also formally 61Minute 62Memo. But.227 Union Citizenship Malayan post-war period. by Gent. the Colonial Office also realized. had ascendency East already felt a strong sense of kinship with the "Indonesians" of the Netherlands Indies (NEI) and "sooner or later in the future it is quite likely that an 'Indonesian' nationality will emerge in the region which uses Malay as a lingua franca". was named Prime Minister Creech-Jones See Kenneth of the Admiralty. Hall became the First Lord 55104/1/3. a "pro-Chinese" policy was carried risks and bound to put a strain on Britain's relations with the Malays. 331. in support of their political rights. Carefully handled. Given its assumptions about the post-war attitudes of China and the Malayan Chinese. Gent opined that he had taken "insufficient account of the progressive elements among the Malays themselves and their own appreciation that it is not possible to maintain the old exclusiveness and reactionary attitudes towards Chinese and Indian settlers". and collaborating with. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions succeeded Harris.190 on Mon. 63Memo. 55104. by Monson.196. 1942.65 In reality.

. There were food shortages. Britain's Lau Sir Harold MacMichael's of His appointment67 as Special Representative to Malaya to negotiate Government the new treaties with the rulers.26. and Perak announcement and December 1945. comprehending "nationality" and generally of Chinese assumed that the the latter would automat many acceptance "citizenship" on 24 January: Hwa commented As the their Chinese annul nationality. 1946 Singapore arrived in Singapore. Pahang. 71See Paul H. Trengganu. tary legislation inMalaya.72 and heightened racial tensions. A week later. 225-256. beginning with the Sultan he had successfully concluded his mission. 1945. evoked only little from the politically-conscious members of the Chinese enthusiasm community.73 in between The September parliament on 10 October of London's new scheme for Malaya and MacMichael's subsequent mission further exacerbated Malay fears of Chinese domination. Red Star Over Malaya. The ? ? China-born and elements remained Chinese Right pro-KMT comprising mainly Not the distinction between unenthusiastic. for Jan. in CO 537/1572 1945. which sought to benefit the Chinese.190 on Mon. January formally signatures proposals which were subsequently published as aWhite Paper70 on 22 January to coincide with the First Reading of the Straits Settlements (Repeal) Bill. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Debates. 1979).69 With of Johore. in British Malaya". in CO 537/1572 72BMA Report 73Cheah. Kratoska. 232-40. on 3 Sept.196.68 On the of 11 October MacMichael disembarked at Port Swettenham. 70See Cmd.J. no. "The Post-1945 Food Shortage becoming High The Malayan Union Experiment of the MacMichael mission. the main forces reoccupation were the Peninsula separately 51056. ^Parliamentary British Policy and Malay Politics During 69See A. This content downloaded from 103. JSEAS 19. Administration. H. the on in the Cabinet 10 1946 sanctioned the hand. On 10 the Secretary of State. 1946. no. George Hall.. administered under 75BMA Report the British for Dec. Malacca. Stockwell.75 ? which revealed for the Paper not in secret with the rulers ? The unveiling of the new policy in the January White had discussed first time the proposals MacMichael won new enemies. he held his first discussion with the Malay rulers. As the British Military 1945 noted: Administration74 (BMA) report for December InKelantan racial feeling between Malays and Chinese flared up after the visit to the Region of Sir Harold MacMichael. resulting in serious commuai clashes in Johore. announced in the House of Commons intention to introduce the new constitutional changes in Malaya. on morning 18 October.228 Albert confirmed Majesty's October. By 21 December. 67MacMichael sioner was of Palestine the Governor and Trans-Jordan of Tanganyika from from 1938 to 1944.. Chung ically we want to If the have rights of mother is the second country [of "Malaya Chinese]. were hardly auspicious for the unveiling of a new political experiment. 74Two days after the first British landed in Penang troops From 5 Sept. Military no.C. 47-60 study 6724. Cols. 1933 to 1937 before 10 Oct. pp. the only piece of parliamen new to effect the constitutional arrangements. The immediate circumstances however.. and 1945 to 1 Apr. An orderly demonstration by Malays protesting the proposed against violence in which creation of three Chinese a Malayan was Union by an outbreak followed of and two Malays were killed and several more injured. Kelantan.71 politically-moti vated strikes waged by the MCP. Kedah. few friends and made surprisingly The citizenship provisions. for a documented 1948 (Kuala Lumpur. Commis 1942 1 (1988): 27-47. pp. 51056.

the United Malays National Organization 76See "Malayan Press Comment on the White Paper on Malayan Union". 329. represented by the MCP.d. 1249. were the rulers also induced subjects. saw "an ulterior motive" in the White Paper's citizenship provisions: they were an "implicit decoy" to nature of the White Paper. 50823/6/4. In themselves..196."76 Few were prepared to make such a definite separated break as the Malayan Security Service later observed: . 1974). 30 Apr. WO 203/6264 (M. 1375/1. CO 537/1536 to Hall. University of . 50823/34/3. were a major object of Malay pro resentful. Malay reaction shifted perceptively from polite protest to active resistance..78 Only the Chinese Centre ? represented by the moderate Chinese members of a newly formed ? multi-racial Democratic Union political party.83 The decision to establish a central organization. WO no.81 By the second week of February the Colonial Office found itself inundated with petitions. 19 Feb. detract attention from the unrepresentative the citizenship proposals were "without the counterpart of legitimate rights".80 Malay response was bitterly in particular. 5 Mar. over fundamental Malay confronted Office by continual Colonial intractability the demands. 82Perlis Malay Association 13 Feb. some from revived pre-war associations whilst others came from many new Malay organizations sprouted specifically to protest against the Malayan Union. Their arguments rehearsed familiar themes about Malay fears of submergence by doubtful aliens who never failed "to observe their national celebrations and [the] hoisting [of] their national flags". 1945-1948" was established 1945. 50823/34 Pt. although making certain criticisms of detail. 203/6203 1946.82 own of in their defence and Partly partly succumbing to pressures from their own rights. Union".". it appears Citizenship to have would been entail generally renunciation that acceptance and nationality thought of Chinese of Malayan Union as this was regarded ridiculous by the Chinese. p.A. I. Press Comments 81See "Malayan . in CO n. test. This content downloaded from 103.Malayan 229 Union Citizenship in Malaya. however. on 78"The Malayan Communist Party's Statement 79See Cheah Boon Kheng. By early March. 1946.. The citizenship provisions. 537/1536 no. differed little from that "of the Red Indians in North America and the aborigines of Australia". we must either openly declare or quietly consent that we are citizenship our mother from country. by Guernsey. The status of the rakyat. on 21 Dec. 50823/6/4. thesis. 6. and at the same time emboldened emergence of a new sense of unity by and assertiveness within the Malay community. CO 537/1551 83BMA to Hall. "The Malayan Democratic 77MSS/PIJ the Malayan Union. 1946. the Malayan (MDU) generally welcomed the White Paper which it supported as a "progressive" document. 80Memo. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions no. CO 537/1548 no. no. The MDU Malaya. noted the influential Majlis.190 on Mon.. on the other hand.77 The Chinese Left.79 If Chinese reaction had been "completely apathetic". p. On 1March. no.26. 1946. by the latter half of February to petition London to defer the implementation of the new constitution until an independent commission had first visited the country and consulted local opinion.. delegates at the first Pan-Malayan resolved as "null and void" the MacMichael treaties and called on Malay Congress to restore the status quo "with no change whatever London for the present".

and Chinese. a fresh appraisal two days later. 30 Jan. MP for Hornsey).88 servants. by Bourdillon. in almost all the popular reactions against theWhite Paper. 86Minute by Bourdillon. got.. to Hall.90 Dato Onn bin Jaafar. we have not at present which of Malays. Some accommodation therefore be expedient. on their part. But to be "no question" of withdrawing the Colonial Office on 25 February forwarded two deal with the Malay opposition.230 Albert Lau to spearhead the anti-Malayan Union struggle was also taken at the con (UMNO).84 The rulers. CO 537/1550 ^The 24 Jan. 85Badlishah 1946.. retention co-operation of their The arguments appeared "particularly cogent"89 to the Colonial Office: as the expected it was "easier to make "violence of Chinese and Indian reaction" seemed unfounded. agreed to engage legal counsel to challenge of the new policy. had also decided that there could Colonial Office by late February-March. 1946. Union inaugurated struggle.. from the fundamental policy already outlined. 1946. on by Johore aristocrat. to Ibrahim. 50823/34/1. 50823/34 Pt I. already planned. CO 537/1528 by Lloyd. of the new scheme despite strong Malay objections. proposed that the second course might be should strong parliamentary opposition87 be encoun adopted as a tactical compromise informed the Colonial Office on 3March that there tered.26. 1946. convened itwas eventually 1946. 1946. 5 Mar. 1946. the gress. to a lesser extent the Indians. The first. Any immediate implementation the political rights already held out to the non indication that London was withdrawing arouse a would "far more dangerous from the Gent antagonism" Malays. on 11 May was formally in Johore Bahru. The second of the citizenship proposals provided would be no adverse reaction to the postponement In it was made clear that no final decision would be taken pending local consultations.. including can only new policy We implement goodwill. who was also an old Malayan and Lord Elibank. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions had also to exert See lob pressure . CO 537/1548 6 Mar. supported by Gent. 50823 Pt I. CO 537/1528 to Lord Marchwood for instance. its earlier entreaty that the Malayan Union Citizenship Order in Council should be deferred: of Government Majority dependent successfully upon with are Malays and we are very Police. by implication. CO 537/1554 Aziz bied L. When no.196.. no. no. in London hand. had been made idea of a Pan-Malayan Congress on 1Mar. 50823/34/7. ibid. UMNO Malayan no. argued. proceed. concessions on this point should the course of the debate make that advisable". no. The Colonial Secretary favoured the former course but. The Old Malayans to Elibank. itwas citizenship which was of the Malays on the question of citizenship might attacked.D.. The BMA. in the meantime. the BMA reiterated that citizenship was the "chief bone of contention" and repeated. 25 Feb. This content downloaded from 103. the on its part. urged the alternative courses for urgent consideration. 1946 itwas enthusiastically supported by some a central organization to spearhead to establish the anti The Congress decided 41 Malay associations.86 This was based on the assumption that.190 on Mon. of the citizenship proposals for aspects of the policy but deferring the implementation six months pending further local consultations. 6 Mar. looking ahead to the Commons debate on 8March. Gammans in the House 88BMA 89Minute ^Minute (Unionist of Commons.85 constitutionality While admitting a fairly "substantial" Malay revulsion against the White Paper. 50823 Pt I. 9 Mar. had cabled his protests 87The ruler of Perak. who between them outnumbered the as was to all alternative with other Malays.

98 MacDonald subsequently upheld Gent's assessment a more to so as not to alienate moderate Malay Secretary adopt conciliatory approach opinion: as never this is not a bad thing for it is itself. he reiterated. If we can restore Malay confidence Malay 91 Malayan (Mar. 1946. Gent Department. 8 Mar. the Malayan Union government.231 Union Citizenship Malayan As it turned out. 18 Mar. A Creech-Jones. 50823/34/7.. UMNO called for a campaign of non-recognition of. CO 537/1529 of Health 97Gent surprised (Governor Dominions (1941-46). Col. 1946. 50823 Pt I. CO 537/1528 no. 96Given General Debates. 1938^13. Malay 4 had Gent concluded that the Union road By May now was he warned the Colonial Office. This content downloaded from 103. Cmd.C. 11 May the Eastern of Jamaica. 70-71. and himself of Nigeria. CO 537/1554 ^Parliamentary 93Ibid.. When London ignored the to of the rulers consider their alternative proposal of a Federation94 and proceeded pleas to establish the Malayan Union on 1April 1946. (1935-38) Minister to Hall. 4 May 98Gent to Hall. 94Newboult 95Gent's to go post is roused opinion desirable highly selves Stockwell. 1946.97 Neither the Chinese nor the Indians. that of Malcolm MacDonald was no longer viable. later.96 and. the establishment should of both be appointed MacDonald his appointment. however. Malay dignitaries consequently boycotted the installation of Gent95 as Governor as the new Governor-General. to Gater.92 On 18March the Straits Settlements (Repeal) Bill was finally passed in parliament with a further package of concessions93 to out a division after Creech-Jones announced soothe the opposition. He reaffirmed. such a concession was necessary. these were announced in parliament. The latest concessions failed to assuage Malay feelings. that there could be no "whittling down" of the principle of common citizenship: cannot We conceive of any forward advance unless that principle is acknowledged. the Parliamentary insufficient to pacify the opposition Under Secretary of State.26. But will be part in developing if this awakened unfortunate and interest consciousness extremely political gets rail roaded into extremist and anti-British channels. 727. 1565. and non-cooperation with.. no. Secretary in Canada High Commissioner and UK (1940-41) no. Although the Colonial Office had some minor concessions in a new White Paper91 on 4 March. the See the Malayan and Singapore Union it was felt that a Governor the policies of British in Southeast Prior territories Asia. 6749 1946). appointment to Sir Arthur as Governor Richards pp. consequently agreed to defer the Malayan Union Citizenship Order inCouncil pending local consultations.190 on Mon.196. Malay opposition hardened.. to coordinate had been Colonial (1935 and 1938-40). expected 1934-47). Col.. By so as to prepare conscious them politically to play appropriate self Governing institutions. had displayed any preference for either the Malayan Union or Federation: they were interested only in popular representation and in the retention of their separate nationality along with their Malayan Union citizen and urged the Colonial ship. "widely stirred" and London risked opposition. 1946. The House should be under no illusion that the British Government must push on with this policy. of and likelihood serious and facing "very organised widespread non-cooperation disorder on the part of the Malay people" which could play into the hands of the MCP and the pro-Indonesian radicals in their efforts to foment violence. 27 Mar. 50823 Pt II. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Secretary to . H. 1946. Union that Malays and before. become Singapore: Summary of Proposed Constitutional Arrangements.

For those acquiring citizenship by application. 101Gent to Hall. 21 Jun. 6749. (c) of the Malayan Union). were prepared to open constitutional discussion but only on the basis that.99 anti-European By 5 July Hall reluctantly conceded that some "amended or new agreement"100 could be the rulers on 20 July signalled Gent that they considered. and who years preceding to Government to and the be faithful the oath of allegiance loyal (i. ibid. 1946. ibid. who the Order Union resided in theMalayan Union or Singapore for a period of ten years during the fifteen or takes or affirms swears the 15th of February. 102Cmd. born in the Malayan person Any comes into force. With this major concession.e. 1942. and language.196. 1946. Gent formally invited public comments on the deferred citizenship proposals which had appeared in the March White Paper. 1946. that applicants must satisfy the Governor: Section 24 of the White Paper proposed one (a) that they have resided in theMalayan Union or Singapore for a period of year immediately preceding the date of application and for a further period of four years during the last eight years before application. 5 Jul. upon the a new constitution would then be a successful conclusion of satisfactory arrangement. ibid.26. birth and person's a Malayan Union of naturalization.: born under children or persons in categories (a) and (b) will also be Malayan Union citizens. as a first step to the opening of consultation. Then Malay nationalist of can prevent secure and movement in possession of agree is likely to be friendly with the administration here and to cooperate with us in political affairs instead of into swept being Indonesian currents.102 Section 23 of the latter proposed that the following categories of persons be automa tically conferred (a) (b) citizenship: or Singapore the the date when before Union born in the Malayan person Any or in the Malayan comes Union resident is ordinarily into force. This content downloaded from 103. who Order on that date.190 on Mon. the main constitutional struggle held centre-stage Although the citizenship question was not entirely ignored during the same period.101 executed replace the MacMichael from April to July 1946. On 18 April. to treaties.232 Albert Lau as a result in Britain we ment the present negotiations this. to Hall. The on or after or Singapore Union Union whose on or after the date and Singapore at Union citizen is a Malayan father either citizen minor the date when was or in the Malayan Union a or had above obtained (b) under children eighteen) (viz. (b) that they are of good character and have an adequate knowledge of theMalay or English "MacDonald l00Hall to Gent. 20 Jul. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Singapore in the Malayan resident of eighteen years of age or over ordinarily person Any comes on the date when has or Singapore into force. the Order (d) born Any person the Order when the time that of or was Singapore certificate the Malayan outside comes into force.

This content downloaded from 103. the representatives more to Gent's invitation. if the application is granted.Malayan 233 Union Citizenship (c) that they intend.109 On 8May an ad hoc committee was appointed by Gent to "consider and make recom on the qualifications mendations" for Malayan Union citizenship. 106"Joint Criticism by His Excellency the matter of the upon 1946. and of requiring a Singa pore citizen to affirm allegiance to the Union government which was in effect a separate in its memorandum. BMA/HQ S Div 311/45. 1May 1946. the committee included 103See "Interim make Report recommendations Union Malayan 104Ibid. Turning to the exclusion of the period of Japanese occupation of the residential requirement the MCP asserted that this had been proposed delibe rately to sweep away the "meritorious" war record of the MPAJA105 fighters and to rob them of citizenship rights.". freely responded subjects. organizations expressed concern about their status and rights.108 The other lead and boycotted Gent's invitation however. 474/46. followed UMNO's Malay organizations. arguing that itwould be fruitless to debate about citizenship when the main problem of British "annexation" had not been resolved. only the Malay Nationalist Party (MNP)107 submitted full proposals. 105Malayan People's pation. British for instance.106 rights" of election and participation Of the Malay organizations. CSO 474/46. appointed the Government 2 Jul. Would dual nationality be allowed or would the acceptance of Malayan Union Citizenship entail the renunciation of their British nationality? What were the special rights conferred by citizenship and what were the disabilities of non-citizenship?103 Doubts were also expressed by the MDU which pointed to the anomaly of making persons "ordinarily resident" in Singapore Malayan Union citizens.196. thus giving them political rights in the Union. almost all the Malays refused to submit their views pending the settlement Although of the main constitutional of the other communities and issue. 107The MNP was 108See "Summary 109Ibid. For persons qualifying for automatic citizenship under birth or residence the MNP recommended that a "sufficient knowledge" of the Malay and English languages should be demanded. to reside in theMalayan Union or Singapore.. political entity.104 The MCP.190 on Mon. the abolition of the language requirement for naturalization. charged that all discussion on the for citizenship were "meaningless" without the clear expression of "civic qualifications in the calculation rights". William Linehan. Revealing its pro-Indonesian sympathies the MNP also urged that the birth qualifications should not be restricted to the Malayan Union and Singapore but extended to cover persons born in any part of the Malay Archipelago. CSO 1945.26. founded of Views" by a group of Malay in "Interim Report radicals in mid-Oct. the MCP called for citizenship to be open to persons over eighteen years of age. Chaired by Dr. to submit proposals. and the extension of "civic in politics to all Malayan Union citizens. of the Committee to Citizenship".. Anti-Japanese and Proposals Army of ? City to consider appropriate arm of the MCP the military the Singapore the Governor qualifications Committee and during the Johore of theMCP on the Rights of Citizenship". . Applicants must also take the oath of allegiance before the certificate of naturalization could be granted at the discretion of the Governor. with the residential qualification reduced to five years (including the three-and-a-half years of Japanese occupation). 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions the Japanese State and to occu Committee . a senior Malayan Civil Service (MCS) officer. In its own counter-proposals.

113 granted Malayan Union Citizenship was also generally expressed with regard to the residential and allegiance Agreement criteria in the White Paper's proposals although the committee made two additional it advised that the period of residence (ten years out of fifteen) recommendations: of the Order in Council and not should be calculated from the date of implementation 1942 but with the added stipulation from 15 February that. W.190 on Mon.R.C. and unnecessary since "even if every race is stringent controls112 as discriminatory by birth the Malays will never be swamped". Although the MNP Malays whose members had boycotted it invitation to nominate one person to the committee. the committee argued for Turning to the subject of citizenship by naturalization.A. S.C. by the tide of Malay the Governor of the Second Meeting of the Committee by His Excellency appointed 112"Proceedings for Malayan of the qualifications to consider recommendations and make upon the matter appropriate 1 and 2 Jun.196. Gor The MCS was represented Jomaron. followed by subsequent meetings on 1. of the Advisory Council H. resentment to change its mind against Union. nated as the representative niThe MNP was forced were Colonel H. The committee was satisfied with the birth criteria as a sufficient condition for citizen to impose more including Linehan. The of intent to reside in the Malayan Union was also retained although declaration to emphasize Some discussion trans the resolve to settle "permanently".H. from the MCS and a nominee each from three representatives again were Singapore government and the Eurasian associations. 113Ibid. but until such time comes it seems to me that to give citizenship to people Two Union n0The Dr Tan 9 unofficial Cheng Abdool members Leng. ship and rejected the attempts by some members. Cader. augmented pired regarding the advisability of the language requirement and only narrowly did the committee vote in favour of it. W.L. for persons who were the period of the Japanese occupation could be evacuated before the fall of Singapore. Soo Kim Lan. more stringent conditions by raising the period of residence immediately before appli cation from one to two years so that the total residential period in the Union would be increased to six instead of five years during the last eight years before application. it also for citizenship. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Williams: can come in. it agreed. Doraisamy Aiyer. Dr Ong Chong Keng.S. further issues were considered: the admission of Singapore residents toMalayan and the question of dual nationality. Williams don-Hall. initially accepted Gent's the the the had sub lead in boycotting the committee.111 sequently changed itsmind and followed UMNO's on 16 May. Dr and M. by A. Adkins of the Eurasian was the nominee from Singapore and CF.C. The committee voted unanim Citizenship abstaining) to recommend the exclusion of the ously (with the Singapore representative The argument which proved decisive was Island from the scope of Union membership. Tan Eng Chye. Blunn. the residential requirement taken into account in calculating ? the declaration of an intention to settle "per sought the insertion of a new condition in the country. however.B. Lee. manently" concession.110 Unrepresented the Advisory Council. Palmer. 2 and 28 commenced Discussions June. 1946.26. the time when Singapore "We naturally welcome succinctly summed up by A. So as not to impose "too many conditions" before applic to drop the "good character" phrase as a ants for naturalization. and A.S. Gomes was nomi Associations. This content downloaded from 103. Union Citizenship".234 Albert Lau the nine unofficial members of the Advisory Council which had been set up under new constitution.G. (Miss) E.

however.116 Although generally favoured pleased with the "very thorough and valuable document" which represented authorita tive non-Malay opinion. 121 the government Representing and D. 50823 (Kelantan) attended and Dato by H. 1946. Pt II. framed after Malay And Gent cautioned.117 in from the Linehan report. Proceeding on the assumption that the citizenship proposals ? a reasonable supposition given the provided the framework for a "national status" ? the committee White Paper's stipulations of oaths and affirmations of allegiances ? found itself unable to offer any recommendation apart from recording its disapproval ? as to whether a Malayan Union citizen ought to of the principle of dual nationality be required to renounce his other nationality or citizenship. were: W. H5Hall A. was represented as Secretary. Haji Mohammed (Kedah). to Gent. Jaafar UMNO by: Dato Onn were: The rulers' representatives Abdul b. 1946.K. Mahmud were also meetings Braddell (for UMNO).T. CO 537/1530 1 Aug. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Osman Dato Nik (Perak). 118Gent to Hall. Most of its were acceptable to the Colonial recommendations Secretary although Hall himself who including "ordinary residence" for those born in the Union territories prior to the introduction of the Order in Council to prevent local-born Chinese from "returning after. K.118 the differ substantially" proposals "may participation. the Colonial Office noted that it took no account of Malay as the final recommendations. forty years and claiming full citizenship rights". 50823/15 50823 Pt I.190 on Mon. Adams (for the rulers) and This content downloaded from 103. Watherston Williams (Johore) and Dato R. CO 537/1529 1946. b. 116Minute by Bourdillon. W. say. 119Gent to Hall. Newboult. 25 Jul. 27 Jul. In addition the Com (Selangor). Pt III. continued to vex the committee and eluded any satisfactory solution. Abdullah (for MacDonald).121 on citizen On 15 and 16August theWorking Committee considered a memorandum to forwarded its members that confine ship Malay sought by citizenship only to British to of the rulers. ibid.115 The Colonial Office did not see any need to resolve the dual nationality issue as "citizenship" was "something less than nationality" and should not be equated with the latter. ibid. opinion. no. T. The Colonial Secretary informed to draft the Malayan Union's Committee two days later that the principle of common citizenship was "funda the Governor mental" and that he was not hopeful of any agreement unless the Malays retreated from Gent's rejected their "extreme" position. 117Hall to Gent. b.120 From 6 August theWorking Committee met behind closed doors for discussions which lasted until November 1946.196. But the and accommodate persons "who are subjects Malay subjects the Malays also introduced two other new categories: persons truly Malaya minded" .119 The following day the British and on the establishment of Anglo-Malay Malay parties reached agreement Working successor.Malayan 235 Union Citizenship are not here and have no intention of coming here does not really make sense.14Ibid. Linehan.S. 2 Aug.D. 1946. ibid.C. 2 Aug. Hamzah Hone b. Mohammed Yasin Rahman (Johore).26. no. 120Hall to Gent. Raja Kamaralzaman Ahmed Kamil b. mittee's no. CO 537/1542 1946. Raja Mansur Sheriff b. The initial Malay proposals submitted on 24 July the conception of common citizenship. O'Connor. VI caution was soon vindicated. The committee's report was submitted to the Colonial Office on 2 July. 1946. 14 Jun. Godsall. A."114 The problem of dual nationality.R.

196. The latter category was eventually dropped because of the per ceived problems of restricting the definition of British Protected Persons to that of an were generally "internal status".124 their position evaporated on Any hope that the Malays would moderate when the revised Malay citizenship proposals submitted to the Working retreated even further from the position agreed on 9 September. of CWC. 9 Sept. on to which the Committee 9 acceptable September submitted a redraft of the Working for three categories of "Federal" citizens: (a) British clauses providing citizenship and subjects subjects of the rulers born and "permanently resident" (i. (c) any other applicant with a longer residential period of fifteen out of twenty years.125 A further attempt to only necessary extend the same conditions equally to both the subject of the rulers and British subjects 294/A/46. would presumably discriminate in favour of Indonesian immigrants who would automatically be regarded by the rulers as their subjects. must not be born locally and resident there for bleaker: both parents less than twenty years. 26 Oct. of permanent settlement and take the citizenship oath. would not be so considered. completing a of in the "Federation". The Colonial Office believed that these proposals would be "impossible to defend" in parliament and would almost certainly antagonize the Chinese and encourage "racial bitterness". 124Hall to Gent. This content downloaded from 103. 1946. it reducing the residential terms to fifteen years and making accepted a compromise for the father to be born in the Federation.122 The other categories. CO 537/1530 131. Chinese born in Penang or Malacca would furthermore qualify under category (a) but not those born in the Malay states. 1946. 24 Sept. with slight modifications.123 readiness to discuss citizenship. the citizenship proposals were "unaccept able". ibid. Additionally. command of the Malay or English language and assurance of intention to settle. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . however long resident inMalaya. and British Protected Persons ? defined narrowly to include only the subjects of the rulers and persons one of whose parents was a subject of the ruler ? after a period of resi dence to be agreed. The "subjects of the rulers" in category (a). 1946. l25Minutes of CWC. the Colonial Although encouraged by the Malays' Office assessed that theWorking Committee's proposals still fell "far short" of affirming the principle of "common citizenship". no. A British subject need to have both his parents either born locally or resident there for at 26 October Committee citizenship would now least twenty was even For born the criterion all other persons years. whereas Chinese immigrants. 1946.190 on Mon. Automatic would be granted only to the Malay subjects of the rulers. In short. for instance. Warned ation of Chinese the Malay members qualifications would be strongly opposed by the Straits Chinese.236 Albert Lau "domiciled" who applied for citizenship and fulfilled the conditions of good character.. As they stood.e. including the character and all applicants would have to make a declaration language requirements. MU of CWC. his "good character" and "adequate knowledge" of Malay or English. MU 122Minutes 123Minutes 50823 Pt III. 16 Aug.26. fifteen years' residence) period (b) any person applying for as to his birth in the "Federation" and citizenship who satisfied the High Commissioner local residence for ten out of the fifteen years preceding his application. locally (mainly Chinese). the new proposals effectively excluded nearly all but the second gener that the parental and Indians from Federal citizenship.

131Minutes of CWC. there towards they point Already ments gunning for them for having gone so far. 1946. 1946.127 In an account which the Colonial Office described as "disturbing"128 Gent had warned of the "noticeable increase of nervous tension" among Malay political opinion in gen eral. was reluctant to negotiate accepted by HMG". surmising that the Chinese and Indians were likely to accept the proposals "if they are a however. the High Commissioner must consult the confer that. Gent urged explosiveness "quick settlement" with the Malays.126 rights were other ? and Onn warned that he was quite prepared to "risk the whole negotiations" break off all discussions if pressed further to broaden the citizenship categories. in turn.196. ibid. 131. This content downloaded from 103. ibid. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 16 Nov. 1946. thus narrowing the distinction between himself and the Malay subject of the ruler to only the fifteen years residential qualification for the former. agreed that British subject needed only to be born to be conferred automatic Federal citizen and permanently resident in the Settlements ship. 15 Nov. Dato Onn bin Jaafar: There was it seemed also make talk about to be trouble forgotten trouble if what from the Straits Chinese and the vast majority of the people as their they regarded legitimate that but communities. 30 Oct. the Working Commit tee.26.131 The latest citizenship cabled proposals. represented "a substantial advance. requiring the father to be either born or resident for fifteen years 126Minutes of CWC. 1946." Dato the Malays would then "pass into the hands of the Indonesian forces of the MNP. The Malay members of theWorking Committee." Given a of the situation. These will be only too happy if the local proposals are rejected on any substantial point which will give the Malays gener The leadership of ally an opportunity of backing out and definitely non-cooperating. ? could the Malays not met. ibid. ibid.. been the of government.132 The Working Committee's report. 50823/15 Pt III. the Governor.. ence of rulers. 29 Oct. 1946. CO 537/1543 no. 1946. CO 5 Nov.. We are convinced that it now is the best we can get". sup the ported for so long as it suits them by the Malayan Communist Party. anxious solution. he reported. 1946.130 A further bid to break the deadlock on 15 November yielded fruit: the Malay mem a a also for bers. had "come as far as our were "considerable Malay ele dare of view". were taken to London by MacDonald the Working Committee's for different categories of "first generation" proposals with the British citizenship compatible government's expressed objective of common saw to The Colonial Office little need citizenship? quarrel with the additional residential ? for British born in the Settlements devised to exclude transitory qualification subjects ? elements but found the strictures for British subjects born in the Malay states ? ? "hard to justify".190 on Mon. 13 Nov. 130Creech-Jones Pt II. 128Minute by Bourdillon. settlement with the Malays without sufficiently consulting the other communities. 129Gent to Gater.129 The Colonial Office. 537/1530 no. 50823 to Gent. together with the draft Federation Agreement. Were leaders on 18 November. 127Minutes of CWC. 8 Nov.Malayan a menacing elicited 237 Union Citizenship riposte from UMNO's leader and representative. MU 132Gent to Creech-Jones. accepted their demands that any peninsular Malay born outside the states would be granted citizenship automatically if his father was a subject of the ruler and on Federal immigration policy. rulers and UMNO having Plenary Conference accepted by on 22 November.

1947). C. Gomes (Eurasian). with some minor amendments. (Kuala Lumpur). 139See Constitutional Proceedings Considered and Committee and Letters This content downloaded from 103. 50823/15 22 Nov.139 Gent. 134Gent to Lloyd.S. 168 clauses to recommend five schedules amendments it considered. including most of the Chinese born in the Malay the that birth and residence might be insufficient given Colonial Office conceded states. China.B. at the date of that any of the Malay person's birth. (Kuala Lumpur). would grant citizenship only to those who tee's recommendations. maintained that "nothing in those clauses . Goonting. Turner Leong Yew Koh and Dr J. (Kuala (Penang). 1946. 22 Nov. 50823 Pt IV.E.190 on Mon.S. CO 537/1543 of 4 members of the Malayan Union Council 136The nucleus consisted of the Committee Advisory ? Palmer M. and (c) any person whose father was.196. (European). prompting the two dissenting Chinese members ? to issue aminority recommendation in favour Colonel H. by the Committee (Kuala Lumpur.134 the Colonial Office. (b) any person who was either a British subject or resident in either of the Settlements or born in the Malay states who was permanently states.R. and 11 Mar. Menon. January and March 1947. 135Minute by Bourdillon. The on 21 March..135 On 5 December endorsed the Federation proposals. Lee and Leong Yew Koh of more liberalized qualifications that would confer automatic citizenship on (a) any subject of the ruler born in his state. Consultative Committee's report. the Consultative held a series of six public meetings137 during the Director of Education) Cheeseman. letters and memoranda which it considered some eighty-one and oral representations from interested associations and individuals on the Working Committee's report. 1946.F. The publication of theWorking Committee's report on Christmas Eve ? on the same day? set the stage and the establishment of a Consultative Committee for the next phase of the constitutional discussions: consultation with all Malayan opinion and communities which had so far exerted no influence over the Anglo-Malay constitutional negotiations. concurred with the majority view that any broadening of the citizenship categories would risk the outright rejection of the Consultative Committee's report by the Malays. in endorsing the proposals. 20 Feb. Lumpur). found it Committee the Consultative 11 clauses and some of these on points of minor impor which to only Report of the Consultative Proposals for Malaya: a Summary Made of Representations of Six Public Meetings. 137These were held on 28 Jan. Pt III. 1Mar. reverting to the history of many Chinese. 138Of the necessary tance.L. Colonel H. 13 Feb.238 Albert Lau For all others born in the Federation. which were referred back to theWorking Committee and subsequently approved by the Plenary Conference on 20 December. (Malacca). 22 Nov. no. Lee S. VII Between Committee136 (chaired by H.P. on his part. the MCS was appointed Secretary. (Ipoh).R. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions together with the and Memoranda .. Arbuthnot. They (Chinese) from A. 1946. which was submitted to the Governor own proposals138 even on from the Working Committee's did not depart fundamentally ? the controversial citizenship clauses. 133Minute by Bourdillon.26. respectively. fundamentally affects the situation as previously understood the Cabinet by us". Doraisamy Aiyer appointed by a member in turn nominated from their own community: and C. The retention of theWorking Commit on the other hand. 5 Mar. ibid. G. CO 537/1531 no.133 Pressed by Gent to promptly approve the proposals "without permitting any 'clever' points to be made either of a legal or political nature".S.R. a Federal citizen. even after prolonged periods of residence. Gent (Indian).

of His High (b) any British subject born in either of the Settlements before. MU 24 Apr. MU 145Proceedings 146Memo. at the date of the birth of such British subjects. 141Proceedings Pt territories. 1947. of Malaya Agreement. This content downloaded from 103. Gent tion of the local Chinese Consul-General argued. 1947. prepared to reopen the was on considered 18 April. was reconvened on 17 Apr. was amended 144Minutes of CWC. I. nor Malay members were of the reconvened142 Working the government Neither in examining the Consultative Committee's Committee. by Creech-Jones. 294/X/46. 10 Apr. through had "fulfilled" its "pledge" of full and free consultation the Consultative Committee. Furthermore. "provides a warning of the dangers that attend an indiscriminate extension of Malayan citizenship to Chinese". 7 Apr. involving members of both theWorking Committee was to Committee's but forced the Consultative discuss Council. the Ruler of any State. 28 Jun. 124. with all interested parties. now to be comprised in the Federation". tee's revised report145 for submission to the Colonial Office which. now to be comprised in the Federation. report because of Malay resistance to any association with the Advisory Council. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions to read of "in any 15 years resi .144 On 24 April the Plenary Conference quickly approved the new in the Working Commit constitutional terms. as a formality. Apart from some minor143 amend citizenship issue when it report of the dissenting they saw no need to take into account the minority Chinese members. pp. in tative Committee's report was consequently only cursorily debated on Council which. prised on or after the appointed born before.146 The citizenship provisions that were finally included in the Fede of 1948 retreated significantly from the liberal terms issued ration of Malaya Agreement was restricted to only the following in 1946. of the territories 1947. or thereafter became or becomes. 1947. 147See The Federation 1948. 1947. XII Sect. At it also resolved that the British government. the period of residence 143For British subjects born in the Settlement. CO 537/2141 of the Advisory Council of the Malayan Union.Malayan 239 Union Citizenship the inclina could claim that their real home and loyalty were inMalaya. 142TheWorking Committee 1947. to interfere inMalayan Chinese affairs. including the citizenship amendments. of the Plenary Conference. 52243 140Gent to Creech-Jones. before. 18 Apr. territories whose father either (i) was himself born in any of the territories now to be comprised in the Fede or ration. endorsed en bloc its recommendations the Advisory to back away The Consul the Advisory 10 April.190 on Mon. Automatic "Federal Citizenship" ments categories:147 (a) any ness born whether subject. B61-B72. (ii) was or is. the Governor's recommendation. also expressed satisfaction that the proposals had fulfilled the objective of "com mon citizenship".196. permanently resident in such no. on or after the (c) now to be com in the territories is permanently resident148 appointed day who in the Federation. anxious for a solu tion. on or after the appointed day. Pt. a a to who resident" referred continuous person completed 148"Permanently period dence. report.26.140 For the next stage of the discussions Gent had initially envisaged the possibility of a and joint conference.141 By 10 April itwas apparent that Gent had decided against any further representations by the non-Malays. in any of the any British subject day. 294/A/46. FO 371/63517.

partly ticipation non-Malays. Malayan replace organize to ensure that non-Muslim added mainly to citizenship. The veil of secrecy153 which had shrouded the Anglo-Malay talks effectively precluded the par of also by official assurances that the Until becalmed then. at the date of that a Federal birth. and (b) that he is of good character. by suggesting Anglo-Malay an to had been started the anti-Federation Union reached. 153The confidentiality tee on 7 Aug. were of the Working Committee's leaked by the London press 155Fairly accurate proposals on 7 Oct. 1948. and (c) that he has an adequate knowledge of theMalay or English language. 50823. printed in Tan Cheng Problems Lock. Lock.154 But from mid-December 1946. and that.152 years preceding he has been in any one or more resident of such territories for eight out of the twelve (ii) territories for fifteen years out of the twenty years immediately preceding his application. "all circles concerned" would be consulted before final decisions were reached. of Malaya 149This clause was Malays would not be discriminated in their entitlement 152This was agreed years. on or after the appointed day in any of the territories now to be comprised in the Federation who habitually speaks theMalay lang to Malay and conforms custom. 1947). if his application is approved. at the date of the birth of such per in any of such territories and were or become.196. statement 1946 dismissing them as having forcing Gent no. he iswilling to take the Citizenship Oath in the form set out in the First Schedule to thisAgreement. Committee's by the Malay recommendation members of 5 out of of the Working 10 Commit 25 Jul.150 who Those by application citizenship acquired must the the High satisfy Commis sioner:151 (a) that either (i) he was born in any of the territories now to be comprised in the Federation and has been in any one resident or more of such or his application. 1946. any other person day in any of the terri appointed tories now to be comprised in the Federation. both of whose born parents were or are. to issue an official in early October. from a Chinese Point Cheng of View summaries This content downloaded from 103. "no official See Gent 8 Oct. resident sons. person's Citizen. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1946. as a compromise of the proceedings to Tan 154See Newboult to the Consultative was insisted Committee on 26 Oct.26. to Creech-Jones. and a Declaration (d) that he has made (e) the First Schedule to thisAgreement. became in such territories. of Permanent in the form Settlement set out in VIII Until December 1946 the Colonial Office had encountered little overt opposition from the non-Malays as it engaged in confidential discussions with the Malays. to adopt a wait-and-see Malayan opinion had been generally encouraged posture pend of the secret talks. 1946.190 on Mon. CO 537/1530 authority".149 on or after the born before. Malayan (Singapore.240 Albert Lau (d) any person born before. 1946. sections of ing the outcome an news that aroused leaks155 accord to Malayan opinion. 150This was conceded of the Working by Malay members 151See Sect. or thereafter permanently uage (e) any (f) father whose person is. pp. 164-65. 125 of The Federation Agreement.

This content downloaded from 103. The People's Constitution. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Gent had already decided by April 1947 that Federation was irreversible. as we have seen. Union. Singapore Singa of Commerce and Singapore Tamils Association. Gent 4 Oct. of whom not only seriously weakened by ideological to Bourdillon. was which did not have to reconcile was the MCP strongly force" which was opinion opinion. On 4 Oct. 1947). 4 Oct.Malayan 241 Union Citizenship to protest against the perceived fait accompli. 1947 which paralysed and PUTERA 158This was made towns in Malaya. to appoint a Royal Commission issued its own government to the Anglo The People's Constitutional Proposals for Malaya159 as an alternative and staged strikes160 and demonstrations in protest ? all Malay federal arrangements. was on 3 Jul. observed the Colonial Office's O. Morris. 1947. 164See fn. rivalries. which interpreted "Malayan" of radical Malay to UMNO. in Singapore 1946 as the Council "Pan initially established was added to give it a more explicitly focus.196.166 came too late to deflect the government from its chosen course. 165The Federation 166The People's . interests". 160Themost successful was the country-wide hartal on 20 Oct.164 The Colonial Office had also crossed the Rubicon by July 1947. Gent because to Bourdillon. of Joint Action. the MDU. represented Service which believed that the MCP was by the Malayan Security united action" by all the other "subsidiary forces". p. which make Malayan politics so confused and on 14 Dec. no. MSS/PIJ 30 "engineered suspected 1947. Singapore 1947. by the Cabinet at a mass rally at Farrer Park in first presented on 21 Sept. PUTERA coalition representations 162Gent noted 163Although nevertheless the "driving Oct.26.165 The AMCJA-PUTERA's People's Constitution. 161 Unlike UMNO. the real difficulties of personal and racial and of economic animosities. 1.158 (AMCJA)157 on Consultative called the British the government-sponsored Committee. The coalition's recommendation of aMelayu161 citizenship ? proposing that citizenship should connote nationality and ? further confirmed British offering automatic citizenship to all those born inMalaya doubts about the movement's political realism. to no avail since its overtures were deliberately disregarded by the government which not only had serious doubts about the movement's programme.161 internal cohesion162 and left-wing ? and possibly communist ? inspiration163 but which the practicability of fundamental changes so late in the day. 141. 52243/2/1. popular strength. under some its wings.190 on Mon. published only inOctober 1947. up of a number groups opposed 159See The People's Constitutional Proposals for Malaya (Kuala Lumpur. also questioned Indeed. their different all the main nearly the AMCJA directed differences 1947. had mobilized all Malay almost the support of all non-Malay the Consultative Committee. boycotted to draft a new constitution. or unwilling to face. pore Indian Chamber ? to assuage two of its later coalition 157The change in name was made the Associated partners ? Chinese Chambers of Commerce which felt that the term "Pan-Malayan" domi denoted communist 156Itwas Malayan" Council nation to include only the non-Malays. The organizations in the "Malayan" represented included Indian Congress. 1947 Gent were that the AMCJA-PUTERA a draft about" still "pulling reported of their inability to agree on a final version. CO their but also 537/2148 not directly in the AMCJA-PUTERA its influence coalition. CO 537/2148 52243/2/1. through that the coalition by their "inability no. the General Labour Union. was "but an academic exercise" drafted by people "either unaware of. the Singapore Women's the MNP. Clerical the Straits Chinese British Association. Led by the Pan-Malayan movement ? later renamed the All Malaya Council of Joint Council of Joint Action (PMCJA)156 ? the movement and Pusat the Action Tenaga Raayat (PUTERA). CAB 128/10 CM (47) 59. Malayan Federation. 1947.H.67The term was scheme Constitution used endorsed was at the insistence of the PUTERA members.

The Colonial Office consequently devised. "we might as well clear out of Malaya tomorrow". CO 537/2146 in Indonesia and Revolution 17?See G. CO 537/2146 no. had assessed that the situation inMalaya was potentially explosive. unwittingly discredited "the methods of peaceful political evolution" and. judging from pre-war perceptions but from the claims of the Malayan Chinese to political rights in view of their numerical ? a claim which the British power and political organization strength. 52834.169 From July 1947 the Colonial Office. 1947. as opposed to peninsula progress in friendship with Bri development.190 on Mon. looking to unfolding events in Indonesia. 18 Sept. ibid.175 On 1 February the Malayan Union and effected a of Malaya 1948 the Federation finally displaced revised. were already under intense pressure to mobilize Malay sympathy themes. the Indonesians. The failure to imple and the onset of Dutch "police action" in the NEI on ment the Linggadjati Agreement 20 July 1947170 had.171 The moderate nial Office noted.M. II This content downloaded from 103. 196-212. interpretation of the Colonial Office's original conception of "common citizenship". 52243/2 Pt." towards to show their true feelings Malaya 173Ibid. 172On 27 Jul.196. for a new policy that would anticipate. 175Minute by Bourdillon. 1947. towards anticipated icy war to not from was arise after the for Britain Malay likely primarily problem ? was diffused and ? nationalism which disunited. European) tain". Chinese post-war demands for Malaya and necessarily so. enhanced the "heady attractions of a revolutio the Colo leaders inUMNO. the "only satis strengthened course open to Britain at the moment. The Second World War not only led to the Factor". a strong KMT China as a major regional power in post-war Southeast Asia. more restrictive.d. no. 171Note by Morris. 174Minute by Bourdillon. Jaafar declared. and secured Cabinet sanction. of "Chinese British perception by a reorientation of Anglo-Malay relations but had also precipitated a shift in British pol the that in Malaya Office The Colonial the Chinese. 52243/2 Pt II. 1947.173 Any impression that Britain was not factory" into "playing straight with them" could "radically" change existing Malay quiescence the Colo more extreme modes of political dissent. 1947. rather ? a policy which corres than be induced by. 18 Sept. as we have seen. Contrary a united Malay nationalism emerged after the war to no. (Ithaca. economic could not ignore given the wartime sacrifices of the Chinese and the prob government able emergence of.242 Albert Lau so intractable". were overturned by post-war developments. to British planning perceptions. on the other. These assumptions. 52243/2/1. Nationalism 1952). Dato Onn b. nial Office warned. 1947. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions of . (and anti Malay. and the political pressure exerted by.174 If such an eventuality developed. Malays.. CO 537/2177 "Now is the time for the people for example. CO 537/2148 no. on the one hand. however. detracted from the pre-war policy that favoured the pondingly. nary struggle on the Indonesian model". pp. Kahin. was principally motivated Planning for Malayan Union Citizenship. 13 Nov. n. 168Minute by Morris. 169Minute by Bourdillon.172 It was therefore important that the Malays should be behind pan-Indonesian in their commitment to the peaceful constitutional process.26. 13 Nov.168 A second British volte the problem of settling a stable constitution to soothe the anti-Federation opposition would almost certainly erode completely face in British sincerity and good intentions and might well force the Malay confidence "into channels of 'pan-Indonesian' reasoned the Colonial Office. Ibid.

196. MCP the British saw the importance of a local base of mass support to ? a base they found in the Malays who were less sus underpin their regime inMalaya the citizenship categories to ceptible to the ideological pull of communism. 14 Apr 2014 13:07:42 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Con Instead. Bowing toMalay that the original citizenship provisions had pressure. would not become anti-British Indonesia who were in open and armed resistance against the Dutch.26. A united and strong KMT government in a civil war with the Chinese communists.190 on Mon. The British were consequently induced to enter into negotiations. This content downloaded from 103. seemed once again ready to open up old wounds in the Malayan regional environments. so far mod in and adopt the example of their brethren erate. body politic. with the Malays in order to ensure that Malay opinion. at first exclusively. to soothe Malay only lukewarm interest from the Chinese. feelings. facilitating their withdrawal also did not materialize in China. Broadening embrace the "Chinese Factor" made little sense when the unresolved issues of divided fuelled by developments in the international and loyalties and ideological antagonism. the KMT was embroiled fronted with the uncertain situation in China and the serious challenge mounted by the in Malaya. Contrary also to British perceptions. Britain was forced to acknowledge been too broadly drawn and compelled to whittle down these terms to accommodate the citizenship proposals evoked Malay demands.Malayan Union Citizenship 243 challenge the logic of the British Malayan Union policy and its liberal interpretation of common citizenship.