The UK National Archives has put on public display a memorandum dated 21 February 1956 by the UK ‘Secretary of State for the Colonies’ on the ‘Conference of the Constitutional Advance of Malaya’.
From the memo, you can sense the colonial anxiety that Malaya should continue to be open to and protect ‘overseas investments’ and defend the ‘Sterling Area’, which partly depended on rubber and tin for its resilience. That was probably linked to the imperative of protecting British economic interests in Malaya in the face of the rising tide of nationalism and struggle for economic sovereignty around the world. After all, the colonialists were heavily involved in the extraction of resources, especially rubber and tin, in Malaya.
Have a look at the .pdf file here. (Thanks to blog reader Rasputin for the link.)
These days, attempts at exerting economic control and influence come in all shapes and forms. Have we spent any time analysing the impact of the proposed EU-Asean FTA on our economy, for instance?