Malaysia was never colonised by the British
Malaysia was never a British colony and those who waged war on Malaya and subsequently Malaysia are nothing less than traitors to their homeland, wrote blogger John F. Seademon.
The blogger wrote that the Malay states which were collectively known as British Malaya were never colonised by the British unlike the British India which started off as a business venture by the East India Company when it established a factory in Bengal in 1612.
In this second article for the Road To Merdeka series, Seademon explains what comprises the Malay states and how the advisors or better known as residents were appointed and what their main roles are.
He wrote, "The Malay states comprised of three groups namely the;
1) Federated Malay States: a group of four states – Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Perak, that formed a federation that enjoyed the protection of the British in exchange for an “Advisor”;
2) Unfederated Malay States: Johor, Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah (and later Perlis after it was independent of Kedah) that did not form a single grouping. Johor signed a treaty of protection with the British in 1885, while the rest became the British Protected States after Bangkok transferred its rights over these states to the British via the Bangkok Treaty of 1909. The Unfederated Malay States lacked common institutions and were not recognised as a single state under International Law;
3) The Straits Settlements – areas along the Malay Peninsula that came under direct British Crown rule (Pulau Pinang, Melaka and Singapore) after being taken over from the East India Company. Initially, the Dindings and Pangkor islands formed part of the Straits Settlements via the Treaty of Pangkor in 1874, but the British gave it up as Pangkor did not serve the British’s economic interest. It was established in 1826 by the East India Company following the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, but became a Crown Colony on 1st April 1867.
Therefore, the Malay states were never colonies save for Pulau Pinang, Melaka and Singapore that came under direct British rule.
The Federated and Unfederated Malay States appointed “advisors” or better known as Residents who came under the the respective Sultan’s or Raja’s payroll to advise on the management of the state’s day-to-day affairs.
The Residents were there in exchange for the protection provided by Britain and do represent an indirect rule by the Crown. However, the blogger did stress that this may come on a case-to-case basis , using examples such as the infamous JWW Birch who was killed by the locals in Perak , while others were more dedicated in promoting development and positive changes, such as Frank Sweetenham who was the first resident in Selangor.
“Swettenham brought about development to the four states and introduced better civil administration. He was one of close to 40 former British Empire officials who were OPPOSED to the Malayan Union on the grounds that the Malayan Union went against the Atlantic Charter (the Atlantic Charter among others stated that there was to be NO territorial aggrandisement after the Second World War). Swettenham, as other Advisors, were on the payroll of the Sultans.”
The blogger gave a few examples to strengthen his view that British Malaya is a collection of independent states, one of which was the donation of the people of Malaya towards the construction of a battleship called “HMS Malaya” during the First World War which was launched in 1915.
“Among all the battleships that served the Royal Navy, only HMS Malaya flew a different ensign: the red-white-black-yellow ensign of the Federated Malay States!”
Seademon also pointed out that the United Kingdom recognised Sultan Abu Bakar as the reigning sovereign of the country of Johor, deemed as the protectorate of the Crown of the United Kingdom .
He wrote: Sultan Abu Bakar and Queen Victoria became lifetime friends; not as a subject, but as real friends who corresponded with each other on a frequent basis.
The blogger raised the issue about whether or not the advisors or Residents were the real rulers of the Malay states must be looked at with an open mind.
“Comments on history are often made by people who are emotionally-scarred, and may be biased as to how they see things, but history cannot be based on emotions – it must be based on facts.” he wrote.
For more of the above article read HERE.
(The Mole will be publishing the Road to Merdeka series in the run up for our Merdeka Day. )