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Author: savemalaysia   |   Latest post: Fri, 16 Nov 2018, 06:52 PM

 

Malaysia, the early years. Part 3: Lee Kuan Yew's anguish, peace at last (VIDEO)

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — Malaysia weathered turbulent early years of regional unrest and racial tensions, even losing a member state before finally starting to settle down.

As Malaysia turns 55 this year, Malay Mail takes a look back at two major events just shortly before the country celebrated its second and third anniversaries.

Here's the timeline of key events:

Singapore's then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew shares his anguish at the thought of Singapore ceasing to be part of Malaysia. ― Screengrab from Reuters archive footage
Singapore's then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew shares his anguish at the thought of Singapore ceasing to be part of Malaysia. ― Screengrab from Reuters archive footage

Neighbours part ways

August 9, 1965 —  Singapore is expelled from Malaysia. This was less than three years after most Singaporeans voted to join the federation and also less than two years since its formation.

At 10am, the separation is announced both over Radio Singapore and by Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in Parliament, before a Bill is tabled to amend the Malaysian constitution to allow Singapore's expulsion to become an independent country.

Both the lower and upper Houses of Parliament unanimously approve the Bill.

At noon, Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew in a press conference spoke of his anguish at Singapore's separation from Malaysia, sharing his belief that there were other ways to reduce communal tensions in the country.

Lee said he met the Tunku the previous day to express that some of the Singapore ministers felt strongly against the separation idea, but said the latter was adamant on the expulsion.

At night, Tunku Abdul Rahman reportedly confirmed it was his idea for Singapore to removed from Malaysia as there would otherwise be “no hope for peace” and “no end to bickerings” with Singapore.

The heartbreaking farewell was preceded by the deadly 1964 race riots in Singapore, which contributed to the eventual decision for Singapore to cease becoming part of Malaysia.

Close of a chapter

The armed conflict between Indonesia and Malaysia since 1963 due to the former's policy of Konfrontasi (Confrontation) spurred a US attempt to try and mediate.

US Attorney-General Robert Kennedy had in January 1964 sought to encourage a peaceful resolution to the Indonesia-Malaysia conflict. His peace tour of almost two weeks saw him meeting Indonesian president Sukarno in Tokyo, Japan, besides also flying to Kuala Lumpur, Manila and also Jakarta.

The signatures in Jakarta, Indonesia that restored peace between Indonesia and Malaysia in 1966. ― Screengrab from Reuters archive footage
The signatures in Jakarta, Indonesia that restored peace between Indonesia and Malaysia in 1966. ― Screengrab from Reuters archive footage

August 11, 1966 — Indonesia's Konfrontasi finally ends when Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak and Indonesia's Foreign Minister Adam Malik sign a peace agreement to repair the two countries' relations.

The peace treaty, which takes effect on this day, saw both countries agree to immediately restore diplomatic ties and cease “hostile acts”.

The next day, Tunku Abdul Rahman tells the Indonesian delegation that Malaysia prays that the now-restored peace between the two countries will be “maintained forever”.

“We should now do away with whatever misunderstandings of the last three years and look forward to a bright new future.”

The end of the two nations' conflict brought a close to the troubled first three years of Malaysia's history, but the country would remain resolute and determined in the face of future challenges.

Watch this video for Malay Mail's full recap of key events in Malaysia's early years:

For the preceding years of Malaysia’s tumultuous start, Part 1 of Malay Mail's recap of the country’s challenging journey in the initial years, featuring Reuters archive footage.

See also Part 2 of Malay Mail's recap of Malaysia's turbulent early years as it dealt with regional hostility and race relations.

* This is the third and final part of Malay Mail's recap series on Malaysia's first few years.

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1672543/malaysia-the-early-years.-part-3-lee-kuan-yews-anguish-peace-at-last-video
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