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Separation of Singapore from Malaysia, Year 1965.


On 16 September 1963, Singapore merged with Malaya together with Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia. This indicates that the period of British colonization in Singapore for 144 years have expired, beginning with Sir Stamford Raffles in the Year 1819.

Since Singapore was in Malaysia, many of the conflicts that arise between the governments of Singapore and the federal government in Kuala Lumpur. This discrepancy becomes more complicated and involves many issues that have no end. In fact, it is not possible for Singapore to remain in Malaysia, without cause tension that can lead to violence. The leaders of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman particularly appropriate in the opinion that Singapore’s separation from Malaysia as the best way to overcome the various crises that arise, in the interest of racial harmony, economic stability and to avoid political conflict continued.

By May 1965, which strained relations between Singapore with federal government came to a climax concern Tunku Abdul Rahman. He contacted two leaders in the cabinet, the Tun Abdul Razak and Dato ‘Dr. Ismail bin Dato ‘Abdul Rahman to inform the decision to remove Singapore from Malaysia. However, various efforts have been made to reunite Singapore into Malaysia, but all have failed as Singapore continues to aggravate the existing situation.

Finally on August 7, 1965, Lee Kuan Yew and Tunku Abdul Rahman signed the agreement to separate. On August 9, 1965, Tunku Abdul Rahman made the official announcement in Parliament and to present a bill of Singapore separation. The bill was approved by 126 representatives of support and none against or abstain. The decision was taken, the absence of the delegates from Singapore. Therefore, Singapore was expelled from Malaysia and set up their own country.

This separation ends the prolonged political dispute between the government of Singapore and the federal government. The dispute, if allowed to continue to worsen until triggered riots and ethnic bloodshed. After the separation of Singapore, Malaysia is made up of the Federation of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

The separation of Singapore: HOW?

After all efforts have been made and many obstacles have been facing to see the idea of Malaysia is moving forward and harmony, but all that dream and desired only an empty dream, Singapore, formerly quite so difficult to create this idea withdraw from the organization.

Various internal events that have occurred and hit Singapore. The string of events that happened was the internal enmity and conflict between Singapore and Malaya.

The following observations of Herold Wilson about the separation of Malaysia with Singapore, he wrote in his book entitled The Labour Government 1964 – 1970:

“But new problems and potential dangers are there in Southeast Asia. Around three or four months before, we have received warnings that the Tunku Abdul Rahman, prime minister of Malaysia, has lost patience for his parliamentarian friend, Lee Kuan Yew (Harry Lee), the leader of Singapore, to a point when Lee faces danger apprehended and imprisoned. Tunku became increasingly angry with his opponents that motivated it. A few weeks before the Commonwealth conference, we heard about the approaching crisis, which involve the possibility of a coup for Harry Lee and his friends. I feel the need to act to inform the Tunku if he took the same action, it is not wise for her show face at the Commonwealth conference, as many counterparts – including myself – feel that such an action is completely contrary to what we believe in the Commonwealth.

“There is nothing happening, but at the end of the week 13 to August 15, spread the news that the Federation had broken up. Appear angry atmosphere between Tunku and Lee. This led to Singapore removed from the Federation and was told to bring their own destiny. Lee is in a choked, unable to restrain tears in front of television cameras of this separation and regret it. However, he is determined to ensure the success of the newly independent Singapore. We take the necessary decisions and do what must, by sending a strong message to both the leaders to avoid any action that could lead to the outbreak of the conflict, or subversion of the state. We allow the negotiations held to review the Anglo-Malaysian Defence Agreement, on the basis of justice for all parties involved. “

That’s what happened because the Head has reported on May 15, 1965 to the minister, Arthur Bottoimmley, that:

“Some people in UMNO want to heat the atmosphere up to a stage when they have reason to do what they deem ’deal’ and I mean incarcerate Lee. I felt that Lee now has an international reputation and, unless there is a reason strong enough to really ‘deal’ to him, such action will send a lot of loss to Malaysia. Despite the Tunku did not say anything, I based some kind of conspiracy in their mind. “

On May 17, 1965, notes a letter was sent to the Office of the Commonwealth that the prime minister had read the telegram, was last sentence was underline below and recorded in the minutes: “On the X, if there is a trick, I hope Tunku aware that this means a painful re-evaluation of us. HW “

On June 1, 1965, Head send wire that he had asked the Tunku whether he still serves Lee Kuan Yew and create a kind of peace.

“Tunku said no, he is determined to no longer be tried and serve the Lee Kuan Yew, which he does not trust and feel disappointed at all. I said how all this will end, the Tunku said ‘I know my job and would not hesitate to do so. “

“It sounds suspicious, so I think it is the best time to intervene and said that among others, the British Government is gravely concerned to hear the discussion in the press about Lee Kuan Yew will be arrested.What Tunku refer to this possibility? He said yes.

“I said, if Lee Kuan Yew detained for any reason other than the events on their heels, it will frighted and embarrassed the British government and no doubt will have a huge impact on world opinion.

“When I said that I think such a move, if done without reasonable cause, to cause serious retaliation against the British attitude, he said ‘okay, if so, I will make peace with Indonesia.”

“An hour after I met Tunku, Lee Kuan Yew came to my house. I found him in a very emotional. I told him that I am very scared about what is happening now. What seems to me is unless efforts are made, the current situation can only lead to two possibilities. One is the increasing political turmoil and led to the expansion of racial tension and anxiety. Another is a situation where the federal government felt that the worsening political tensions can not be left alone and therefore lead to the arrest of Lee. I think we need to find ways to avoid the current trend of continuous and its consequences are inevitable. Lee said the time has come now to strive for a Malaysia that is not dominated by the Malays alone. This, according to his view, is the reason why he has formed a new opposition grouping, and if the federal government decided to keep him, he will be welcome because it will be reinforcements position.

“Lee said, the time for patience and accepted already passed. In addition, he has moved so far to take the road. There is truth in the answers Lee.

“Without too exaggerate things, I hope, be my view that we are now facing a serious crisis. Unless something can be done to cool down the situation now, I think eventually all this will lead to serious trouble. “

Message from the Head Office of the Commonwealth on June 3 read:

“If Lee arrested, we can not consider that it will arrive quietly in Singapore. Tunku might have own, but according to our view there is the risk of serious disturbances will occur there, which would affect the territory of Borneo. If conditions worsen following the arrest of Lee to require the use of British troops in Singapore, once extremely difficult to get agreement and support of British public opinion. “

On June 4, Head to report on the meeting with the Tunku:

“After reading what is implied, the more clear that the Tunku had told his men to spy to see if there are any opportunities to replace Lee PAP leaders from among the leaves and get a PAP of the leading figures to take over from Lee.” Lee had been aware of this and have already told me about it. Tunku told me I did not put much hope for such action. He then said, “Tell your government do not worry.This is the situation in the state that I need to finish. You do not need to be involved in our domestic affairs. Americans have done in Vietnam and see the commotion they raise. “

On June 5, Head received a telegram:

“The prime minister had to see telegram No. 960 on June 1 he had to make two comments:

  1. Should I send a message to the Tunku?
  2. Should the High Commissioner quietly suggested to Lee that disappeared (abroad) for a week or two? We do not want him to be arrested before the conference the Prime Minister.

HW “

After that, there is little progress to report by the Head. Tunku Abdul Rahman is abroad in London and the Tun Abdul Razak quietly negotiating with Goh Keng Swee on “separation” of Singapore.

(The above article taken from the book ‘Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew’)

On this day 09/08/1965, Singapore was separated from the Federation of Malaysia. Singapore’s entry into the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 has been freed from the yoke of British Singapore and make Singapore a sovereign independent state and the Federation of Malaysia. In an agreement reached between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore government declared earlier this separation, YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj as Prime Minister of Malaysia has agreed and declared that Singapore continues to exist separate and independent from the Federation of Malaysia. Action separation of Singapore from Malaysia is the only way out is the best for racial unity, economic stability and prevent ongoing political conflict between the governments of Malaysia and Singapore. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, amongst other reasons for separation that is the attitude of some political leaders of Singapore who championed the concept of “Malaysian Malaysia” deny the existence of the institution of the Malay sultanate, against the rights of privileges of the Malays and the Bumiputera and non-existence Understanding the opinion of the rise and development of trade policies and the division of taxation and industry. However, the separation of Singapore from Malaysia was made with the understanding that Malaysia and Singapore will continue to work in the fields of defense and commercial businesses. An agreement on these areas have been signed by the federal government of Malaysia and Singapore governments. However, Malaysia will continue to comply with the agreements on water supplies that have been made between Singapore and Johor until today. Malaysia-Singapore Separation on this day in 1965 to record its own history. All rights and liabilities, property and citizenship, previously shared with now handed back to be.

(The above article taken from the website )

From the article above, we can discuss that there are four factors that cause the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, constitutional factors, political rivalry People Action Party (PAP) with the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the problem of racism and different approach to the Alliance and the People Action Party (PAP ).


Constitution in this discussion is closely related to economic and financial issues. By the Treaty of Malaysia, Singapore, is authorized to collect customs duty, excise duty and income taxes. Besides a few exceptions, all revenue collected will be divided based on the rate of 60 per cent for Singapore and the remaining 40 percent for the federal government.

As the lightest tax burden and increase Singapore’s defense spending, as a result of confrontation with Indonesia, the federal government intends to review the distribution and Singapore to deliver 60 percent of total revenue instead of 40 percent as agreed previously. This proposal raises the objection of the leaders of Singapore.

According to the Malaysia Agreement, there is an agreement that up to December 1968, the federal government should get the Singapore government approval before imposing a new import tax. Permission may be delayed, if a particular type of tax that may affect Singapore free trade. This Agreement may be reviewed every two years.

In December 1964, the federal government to present the budget for the year 1965, there were many new taxes imposed. Singapore Government objected to the introduction of new taxes because the federal government is said to not be consulted beforehand.

At the end of February 1965, Finance Minister, Tan Siew Sin gives instructions to operators in Singapore to their first consultation with the federal government on tariff protection, before opening the factory.These instructions are angry about the operators in Singapore to receive widespread media coverage, due to political conflict has already established.

Competitive Politics People Action Party (PAP) and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA)

Nine days after the establishment of Malaysia, the elections were conducted in Singapore and the results People Action Party (PAP) won 37 out of 51 seats contested. All candidate United news National Organization (UMNO) in Singapore died at the hands of the Alliance candidate People Action Party (PAP). These results are disappointing Tunku Abdul Rahman as a result of the defeat of United news National Organization (UMNO) by Alliance of Singapore.

Immediately from the event, People Action Party (PAP) has established a strong government and decided to spread its wings to Peninsular Malaysia. These results are very disappointing Tunku Abdul Rahman for violating the agreement that was agreed on 9 September 1963.

On 9 September 1963, Lee Kuan Yew said that the political activities of People Action Party (PAP) is limited in Singapore and the People Action Party (PAP) does not intend to take part in elections in Malaya in the period of five years after unification.

People Action Party (PAP) has been contested in the election UMUN in 1964 by placing nine candidates against the candidates of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA). People Action Party (PAP) also announced their manifesto for the general election which is to create a socialist country that is united Malaysia. As a result of the action, the People Action Party (PAP) is getting a seat Parliament (representatives in Bangsar – Devan Nair).

Therefore, the Prime Minister stressed that the People Action Party (PAP) is not required in Malaya in his capacity as a Chinese racist party. Involvement of People Action Party (PAP), which is too early in the political activities in Malaya affect racial unity, especially the relationship of the United Malay National Organization (UMNO) of Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA). Moreover, People Action Party (PAP) is said to want to replace the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) to represent the Chinese people in the government alliance.

Racial Problems

The relationship between the United news National Organization (UMNO) in People Action Party (PAP) became more distant, as a result of several events that occurred in Singapore. After joining Malaysia, the Malays in the state of the feel themselves ignored and the Singapore government does not take action to improve their position. The situation creates a lack of love among the Malays in the state.

As a result, several organizations representing the Malays find Tunku Abdul Rahman to report the matter. The situation became more complicated after the Secretary General of United news National Organization (UMNO), Syed Jaafar Albar accused the leader of People Action Party (PAP), Lee Kuan Yew try to break the unity of the Malay community in Singapore.

Moreover, the government often criticize those deemed as ‘extremists’ in the federal government, especially Syed Jaafar Albar accused by the leader of People Action Party (PAP) as the person responsible for the outbreak of racial riots in Singapore on July 21, 1964 and September 1964.

Attitude of political leaders in Singapore who championed the concept of “Malaysian Malaysia” unpopular leaders United news National Organization (UMNO). This concept seems to ignore the monarchy and the institution to challenge the special position of Malays.

On 27 April 1965, Singapore declared a convention to form a ‘United Front opposition.’ This body was formed is to fight for equality between the races in Malaysia. They have used the slogan “Malaysia for Malaysians” to assert that there are no people were in Australia that can claim that they were indigenous to this country.

The position of the states in Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia was also raised by the leaders of Singapore. They encourage the states raises the question of economic status differences and the principles of the constitution that was agreed upon to some leaders in Sabah, Sarawak and other states to respond.

Given the bulk of the opposition consists of the non-Malays, the situation seems to reflect their opposition to the Malays who dominate the government. The situation is not the form of a dispute between the People Action Party (PAP) with United Malay National Organization (UMNO), but more focused on political power grabs between the Malays and non Malays.

Differences Approach Alliance With People Action Party (PAP)

Alliance and the People Action Party (PAP) has difference to the problem of racism in Malaysia. People Action Party (PAP) aims to create a society is not a racist ‘and immediately think of conflict arise, due to the existence of two different forms of community. People Action Party (PAP) are interested talk openly in almost all political issues and implement new policies as soon as possible.

The Alliance, especially the United Malay National Organization (UMNO) is the party that formed the structure of racism based on the existence of a plural society in Malaysia. The Alliance considers an open discussion about racial differences can cause tension and unrest. Differences in approach in the face of racial issues has led to friction between the Alliance dangan People Action Party (PAP).


From our analysis was based on several factors, namely the separation of Singapore from Malaysia’s constitution, the political competition between the People Action Party (PAP) and the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), the problem of racism and perdekatan difference between the Alliance and the People Action Party (PAP), we can be concluded that the separation of Singapore from Malaysia occur in stages as a number of issues. Although the separation of Singapore from Malaysia to the impact of the grief of his people but as Tunku Abdul Razak said that ‘we had to remove Singapore from Malaysia and this is a very historic moment, because although we feel sad and sorrow for the state was forced out, but we pleased to have been able to remove the thorn in our flesh. “ Excerpt – Tun Abdul Razak.

If the review of Singapore at the moment, separation of Malaysia Malaysia is lost if viewed in terms of economy, controlled by Singapore. Singapore became a major importer and exporter of goods due to its strategic position between Malaysia and Indonesia. Although the separation of Singapore from Malaysia caused outrage in some quarters, but over time it has been accepted by all parties. Now Malaysia and Singapore established diplomatic relations between the good and each other. Malaysia and Singapore, each of them save face and not give chance to other powers to intervene as the Malayan colonized by other foreign powers in the past. History will be a good example or teaching of all States.