Sunday, September 25, 2016

Treaty of London 1956

In July 1955 the first federal elections were held for seats on the new Federal Legislative Council; 51 of the 52 unofficial seats were captured by Alliance, which consisted of UMNO, the MCA and MIC. Tunku Abdul Rahman as president of UMNO and head of the Alliance became chief Minster.

Tunku Abdul Rahman and his alliance now pressed hard for a timetable for independence within the Commonwealth. A mission was led by Tunku Abdul Rahman to London to negotiate for independence.

A Federation of Malay Constitutional Conference met in London in January 1956, attended by representatives of the Malay rulers, the Alliance and the United Kingdom.

In was announced on February 6 that an agreement had been reached. Tunku Abdul Rahman signed an agreement, The London Treaty on 8 February 1956.

Tunku Abdul Rahman
He later announced the date of the Malayan independence and cried the historic Merdeka victory cry at Pandang Banda Hilir in Malacca on 20 February 1956. Again he cried the Merdeka victory cry at Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur in 31 August 1957.

A draft constitution for independent Malaya was published in February, 1957. The new constitution was included provisions for the following:
*The establishment of a new strong central government with the states and these settlements enjoying a measure of autonomy
*The safeguarding of the position and prestige of the Malay rulers
*The constitutional head of state for the Federation to be chosen from among the Malay rulers
*A common nationality for the whole of the Federation
*The safeguarding of the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interest of other communities

Under the terms of the treaty the United Kingdom would be given the right to maintain in the federation the forces necessary to fulfill its Commonwealth and international obligation.
Treaty of London 1956
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