kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Happy birthday Malaysia

MALAYSIA, an idea broached in 1961, was very much a thought not easily received by the member states themselves. Great Britain was under pressure to divest its colonial territories, including those in Southeast Asia. Obviously reluctant to lose what were valuable overseas possessions, London needed a mechanism that would allow it continued economic access. The tiny island of Singapore was, however, proving to be difficult because the early 1960s witnessed the ascendancy of the left wing Socialist Front and the waning fortunes of Lee Kuan Yew’s PAP. Indeed, more than any other factor, the fear of communism pushed Britain and its territories of North Borneo and Sarawak to fall in with the plan to constitute the Federation of Malaysia, a manoeuvre primarily to secure Singapore’s independence from Britain.

For, the Federation of Malaya would not want any form of union with merely Singapore. The British persuaded and cajoled, especially Sarawak, but in the end, the fear that a possibly communist Indonesia might absorb it persuaded the latter that Malaysia was the lesser evil. And so, on Sept 16, 1963, the new state of the Federation of Malaysia was born and the story told and retold over and over of Singapore’s exit in 1965, leaving the country as it is today: Peninsular Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. 51 years down the line, its ethnic plurality notwithstanding, Malaysia is a nation that has been cemented enough to run ahead of the pack in the race for a fully developed nation status. A small country of some 30 million, it has started making waves on the regional and international arena, its voice heard where it matters.

Today, Malaysia claims a strong per capita income to build on through further transformation at all levels of society and in every respect. 1Malaysia is proving to be an inspirational national philosophy that even an opposition leader recognises, albeit complaining that, with his redesigned blog, the prime minister has abandoned the 1Malaysia logo; from which can be inferred an acceptance of the policy as positive.

Once accused of being a neo-colonial construct, Malaysia has proven its independence and resilience, as demonstrated in the recent Malaysia Airlines tragedies when, in both instances, the country found itself caught between the world’s major military powers, but unafraid of staying resolutely neutral.

Unlike its neighbours, for the most clearly aligned to the United States, this country has remained non-aligned, cultivating close relations with friendly nations, including the US. Economically, Malaysia is a model emulated by many. Its transformation programmes, the Economic Transformation Programme and Government Transformation Programme, which uniquely incorporate quantifying instruments that lend themselves to report cards, thus making possible close monitoring, accommodating adjustments when needed, is much applauded. Malaysia has then come a long way from the colonial backwaters of agrarian separate development to an industrial modern nation state of integrated social and economic development. 1Malaysia is, more than ever, a reality half a century into Malaysia’s history.
NST Editorial 13 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:06 AM
Tags: malaysia

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