The risk for the Malays was very huge; risk of loosing the whole country with the Malay Rulers altogether in place of singular government under the British King or Queen.
Malayan Union could have brought in catastrophe for the Malays as they were certain to loose their basic identity with the demise of the power of the Malay Rulers.
As I have mentioned in my last posting the Malay Congress which was held on the 1st of March 1946 was the catalyst to the birth of UMNO.
The Congress came up with strong stand against the British among the few which I still remember through my bits of readings of history were:-
1. The agreement that was signed by the Malay Rulers was unconstitutional as it was against the Malay wish and the said agreement was automatically null and void. The Malays did not recognize the agreement totally.
2. The agreement was signed without the knowledge of the Malays and it was going against the basic democracy that the British themselves practiced.
3. The proposed Malayan Union denied the power of the Malay Rulers over their respective states and instantaneously repealed the various agreements that had previously been signed between the British and the Malay Rulers. In effect it went head-on with the Atlantic Charter.
4. The formation of one single government through the Malayan Union was meant to do away with the 9 Malay Rulers and this was too hurting for the Malays.
5. The Congress also demanded the British Government to do serious and actual survey among the Malays in the Malayan Peninsular to find out whether Malayan Union was really accepted by the Malayan population.
6. And lastly the Congress demanded with firm assertion to withdraw the idea of Malayan Union totally.
The resolutions of the 4 day Congress was immediately conveyed to the Secretary to the British Colony in White Hall, London.
The British however was not taking the resistance by the Malays seriously as they believed that the Malays would not have the stamina to revolt against the idea of Malayan Union.
While the Malays were fighting hard to get back their states for their Malay Rulers, the immigrants who were not the citizen were supporting the idea of Malayan Union proposed Constitution as that was the only opportunity for them to get citizenship.
As long as they were not citizen they couldn’t participate in politics and to decide together for their future.
They were demanding that they being treated and provided the same of everything that the Malay Sultanates provide for their indigenous subject.
Emergency Malay Congress was called on the 30th of March in Kuala Lumpur to deal with the arrogance of the British.
Among the names of historical values who attended were Dato' Onn Ja'afar, Dato’ Hamzah Abdullah and Encik Zainal Abidin Ahmad(Za'aba) from Selangor, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra and Dato’ Nik Ahmad Kamil.
The emergency Congress on the 30th March was to decide on the next course of action to react against the impending installation of Sir Edward Gent as the Governor General of Malayan Union on the 1st of April.
On the day of the Congress some of the Malay Rulers were already at the Station Hotel in preparation to witness the installation of the Governor General of Malayan Union, who was to take over all their power and immunity as Rulers of their respective subjects for the past decades and centuries.
If my memory of history is still fine, there were 5 resolutions that the Congress decided.
1. The Malays must boycott the inauguration of Malayan Union and the Installation ceremony of the Governor General of the Malayan Union.
2. To put pressure on the 9 Malay Rulers to be absent on the Installation of the Governor General of the dubious Malayan Union.
3. The Malays were to mourn for 7 days by wearing on songkok with white stripe around it as a show of disapproval for the formation of the Malayan Union.
4. Electing Dato' Onn Ja'afar, Panglima Bukit Gantang Abdul Wahab, Dato’ Nik Ahmad Kamil and Za’aba to seek audience of the Malay Rulers who were already then in the Station Hotel Kuala Lumpur. They were to convey the very strong message of the Malays that they insisted the Malay Rulers not to attend the installation ceremony of the Malayan Union Governor General schedule just a day after that.
5. To call on all the Malays who were in any Legislative at the state and Federal level to boycott all meetings and not to cooperate with the British completely.
The Congress representatives went to seek the audience of the Malay Rulers at the Station Hotel in the early morning of the 1st April just before the installation of Sir Edward Gent as the Governor General of Malayan Union.
The 9 rulers went to the balcony of the hotel watching the exasperated Malays who came in thousands from every part of the Peninsular shouting ‘Daulat Tuanku, Daulat Tuanku, Daulat Tuanku!’.
They demanded for the Rulers abstention from attending the function that would admonish and obliterated the Malays in totality. It was only then that the Malay Rulers acknowledged how serious the Malays were and they really understood how the Malays loved and sacrificed for them.
It was only then that they realized that they cannot be a Ruler without their loyal subjects.
Meanwhile, the installation of the Malayan Union Governor still went on as usual without the representation of the Malay Rulers and every Malay organization. The sole Malay who attended was the ADC of the Governor Edward Gent, who was from the Malay Regiment.
At the same time there was massive demonstration nationwide by the Malays condemning the British for the heinous act of dismantling the Malays and their nation to fragmentation.
The Malays demanded the British to surrender the country back to the Malay Rulers and ruled the country like how it was before the Malayan Union was formed.
Simultaneously back in London the opposition Parliamentarians from the Conservative party were criticizing the ruling Labour party and the party was for maintaining the Malay status and condemned the British Government for their intention to give the immigrants the same status as the Malays in Malaya.
That intention to them would put the Malay indigenous in political oblivion and that was too immoral for the Conservative to stomach.
The Conservative were demanding that the British government to send British Parliamentarians from the major parties in England to see and evaluate the situation in Malaya especially the feelings of the Malays who were then continuously protesting at every corner of Peninsular Malaya.
In end of May 1946, a month after Malayan Union was formed two representatives from British Parliament was sent to Malaya for that purpose. They were Captain L.D Gammans from the Conservative and Lieutenant Colonel David Rees Williams of the Labour Party.
The 2 Parliamentarian went to meet the Malays and their leaders in Johor Baru, Batu Pahat, Muar, Seri Menanti, Seremban, Kuala Lumpur, Kelang, Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar and Alor Setar.
They witnessed the protest of the Malays were very strong against the British Malayan Union and they began to submit that the newly formed Malayan Union and its Constitution couldn’t last long.
The 2 members of Parliament went back to England to submit reports of their findings that Malayan Union in the end may faced revolts from the Malays and the Union will not function well.
In actuality the Malayan Union was malfunctioning when all the Malays were not cooperating as expected by the British when they started initiating the Union.
In my next posting we should be able to visualize the consequences of event that follows to the dismantling of Malayan Union and the path towards the formation of the Federation and subsequently moving towards the independence.
Understanding the basic historical facts would not make us quarrel among ourselves if we are civil enough to appreciate each other in this already independent nation.
The only hick up this nation is facing is that it is not civilly managed by leaders who are not supposed to be leaders.