The British Labour Government and Malaya and Sarawak, 1945-1948 : the impact of public comment on government policy



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In the aftermath of the Second. World War the newly elected British Labour Government attempted to carry out a reorganization of the British colonies and protected territories in the Malayan area. Conceived by the wartime Coalition Government, the Malayan Union plan provided for a union of the nine Malay States and the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca under one centralized administration. The plan also contemplated the creation of a common citizenship, without regard for race or religion, for all those who made Malaya their permanent home. The government planned to constitute the island of Singapore, with its predominantly Chinese population and its economic and strategic value, as a separate colony. In a related action, the government began negotiations with the British protected territories on the island of Borneo; Sarawak, Brunei and British North Borneo (Sabah), to bring those territories under direct Colonial Office administration. [...]