Colonial memo on pre-Merdeka talks


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?

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
26 Oct 2010 2.03pm

on the matter of history, I understand our learned Education Minister has demanded history be made mandatory as a requirement for passing the Malaysian school cert. of Education.
I am a bit puzzled though whose history will we be studying. Well it might be the history of UMNO and how UMNO warriors fought the british and made Malaysia a great place to live in culminating in the twin towers which some say are Mahatirs’s two fingers to the West.

27 Oct 2010 7.15pm
Reply to  Sewel

…History is a study of facts and deeds or misdeeds of political, social, cultural and economic happenings, not to be twisted, hidden or misrepresented, much less racially biased against personalities or glorious contributions.
In fact, history must not be a concoction of self-fancy facts, but a truthful representation and rich learning platform for all, irrespective of race, deeds or misdeeds in the history. There is no face to lose but to learn from the rich cultural diversity of original Malaysian History.
Unless we decided to decree our original history into historeeee!

25 Oct 2010 2.48pm

As Sejarah will be a compulsory SPM subject, MCA and MIC must make sure that the contribution of Chinese & Indians in the fight for Mederka is not neglected in the syllabus.

Be careful of Prof Khoo KK has he has got a … biased view…

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
26 Oct 2010 5.36am
Reply to  Kumaran

Where is DAP then ??? What is DAP contribution then ???

26 Oct 2010 8.57am
Reply to  Gerakan K

DAP’s memorable contribution to Penangites:
Bringing about the 308 Tsunami Downfall of … Gerakan in Penang stronghold!

26 Oct 2010 12.09pm
Reply to  tunglang

and dont forget to include the raping of sabah & sarawak forest and oil to uplift the pride of malaya who was dependent on rubber revenue. we were made poor so that malaya looks good today.

25 Oct 2010 1.49pm

A good source of information to be incorporated in our school Sejarah syllabus now that it has been made compulsory for SPM.

25 Oct 2010 1.04pm

“protecting British economic interests in Malaya”
I imagine they were substantial and well-connected at the time. Just out of interest – what’s left now? My feeling is ‘not much’, but I’d be interested to know.

semuanya OK kot
semuanya OK kot
25 Oct 2010 12.43pm

The “Emergency” was not declared a War in order to facilitate insurance claims by large English businesses. For at least 1 decade after Independence, we had very little availability of consumer goods here other than from Britain.

25 Oct 2010 1.11pm

I’m sure that was a consideration – but is that the only reason? If they’d declared a war, wouldn’t they have had also to declare an aggressor? Isn’t that the ‘elephant in the room’ in this region? …