Monday, April 14, 2008

Malaysia Day Silver Jubilee, Malaysia 25th Year of Independence 1957-1982

Malaysia Day Silver Jubilee, Malaysia 25th Year of Independence 1957-1982

Date of Issue: 1982-08-31
Denominations: 10 cents, 15 cents, 50 cents, 80 cents
Stamp Sizes: 40 mm x 30 mm
Paper: White unwatermarked coated postage stamp paper
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Messrs. Brunder Rosenbaum Wein, Austria
Designer: Visual Section, Information Ministry, Kuala Lumpur

Stamps in this Series:

First Day Cover:

Malaysia achieved independence 25 years ago. Malaysia has now reached maturity and is ready to face any challenges. Once a colonized country, Malaysia now stands strong through the policies of her people. The economic and political stability which is the result of the practice of parliamentary democracy has carried her a pride of place amongst the international community.
Her success in implementing various development projects during her 25 years of independence has brought prosperity to her people.

Independence and sovereignty which were achieved without bloodshed have not only earned Malaysia international respect, but it has also enabled Malaysia to progress and develop in a manner which has impressed the world.

Political Consciousness
The Japanese Occupation of Malaysia 1941 – 1945 was significant in the context of Malaysian History. It generated political consciousness and was later the process of nationalism.

Unhappy over the way the British tried to seek agreement of their Rulers for the establishment of the Malayan Union, the Malays were the first to oppose such as proposal. Malay newspapers expressed the view that opposition against the Malayan Union would be much more effective if all Malay Associations throughout the Malay States were united. As a result a meeting was held where 41 Malay Associations were represented to form a Malay Congress which later led to the formation of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) on 11th May, 1946 under the leadership of the late Dato Onn bin Jaafar.

UMNO organized mass rallies and demonstrations against the Malayan Union. By the will of Allah and with strong determination, the Malay effort succeeded in frustrating the efforts of the British to establish the Malayan Union. A parliamentary delegation from Britain visited the Malay States in May and June 1946 and decided against the establishment of the Malayan Union. Thus the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers and the rights of the Malay subjects were retained.

The British Agreement
Following this success, an agreement was reached with the British Government for the formation of the Federation of Malaya in 1948 consisting of the Malay States, Penang, and Malacca.

With the Malayan successfully out of the way, UMNO then took on the fight for the independence of Malays. Dato Onn, then the President of the Party, left UMNO due to policy differences. However, UMNO under the new leadership of YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj continued the struggle for independence.

Tunku Abdul Rahman realized that independence cannot be achieved without the support of the other loyal races of Malaya. Tunku had discussions with the Chinese represented by the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and succeeded in obtaining the cooperation of the MCA under the leadership of Tun Tan Cheng Lock and as a result an UMNO-MCA Alliance was formed.

Meanwhile Malaya was facing the threat of armed communist insurgency which led to the declaration of a State of Emergency in 1948. however the solidarity of the leaders of the various communities in the country helped to reduce the threats of the communists.

Towards Independence
In 1951, a Member System of Government was introduced. It was an important step towards self-government. Under the system, part of the Executive Council or a number of Executive Councilors were appointed as Ministers to carry out Government responsibilities.

The year 1955 was crucial in so far as independence of Malaya was concerned. It was during 1955 that the first general election of the Federal Legislative Council was held on a nation-wide basis. Under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Alliance of UMNO-MCA-MIC won 51 out of 52 seats contested. Tunku Abdul Rahman as Chief Minister formed a self-government in August 1955.

A constitutional committee led by Lord Reid was appointed to draft a Malayan Constitution based on parliamentary democracy.

In December 1956, a delegation consisting of representative of the ruling Alliance Party and representatives of the Malay Rulers left for London to obtain a final decision on the Independence of the Federation of Malaya, and a decision was made that the Federation of Malaya would gain its Independence on 31st August 1957.

Independence was achieved through the Constitution and the spirit of goodwill that exists amongst the different communities. Due to the unity of the various communities and ready acceptance of the Constitution by the people, independence and sovereignty was finally achieved on 31st August 1957.

Under the Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, a Ruler appointed by other Rulers, acts as Head of the Federation of Malaya for five years consecutively. Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Muhammad, the Yang di-Pertuan Besar, Negeri Sembilan was chosen to be the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong. YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj was appointed the first Prime Minister.

Second Episode
With the independence of Malaya, nationalism entered its second phase and this was a period of fulfillment towards achieving a meaningful independence. As an emerging country and an ex-colony, the country had to face and overcome various difficulties and problems. The administrative machinery of the Government was restructured and a national development policy was formulated.

Under the guidance of the late Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Hussein or better known as the ‘Father of Development’, the Government focused its attention more on underdeveloped areas. Operation Rooms were established and the planning and implementations of the ‘Red Book’ plan helped the Government to provide the nation with infrastructure such as roads, bridges, community centers, mosque, etc. as well as educational, health and social amenities which are important in the process of nation building.

The Formation of Malaysia
Malaya progressed a step further when Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman proposed the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, consisting of Peninsular Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei at a speech given at the Foreign Correspondents Association of South East Asia in Singapore on 27th May 1961. The proposal received encouraging support from the parties concerned.

Malaysia was formed on 16th September 1963, though without the British Colony of Brunei and despite refusal of recognition by the Governments of Indonesia and Philippines.
However, Singapore separated from Malaysia on 9th August 1965 with the agreement of both parties.

Dark Events
Years of independence, however, saw the tragic events of 13th May 1968 which resulted from the atrocities of racially extreme political parties. These events were brought under control by the endless effort, perseverance, wisdom and leadership of the Government in re-inculcating harmony and solidarity among the people.

Following these tragic events, Parliament was suspended and the administration of the country was placed under the National Operation Council (NOC) under the leadership of the late Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Hussein.

In 1970 a National Consultative Council was formed, consisting of members from every level of community. Its main task was to create a sense of goodwill and solidarity among the people. The Council created the RUKUNEGARA as a national ideology consisting of principles for guidance in all actions in order to create a united, democratic, impartial, liberal and pragmatic country.
The 13th May incidents were the consequence of the feelings of discontent amongst certain groups; thus a new policy was planned known as the New Economic Policy. This realistic and far-sighted policy was conceived with a two-pronged objective – to improve the standard of living of the people irrespective of race and to restructure society towards achieving national unity.

The country has succeeded in overcoming setbacks and at the same time progressed through the implementation of development projects. Following the success of the country’s struggle against communist insurgency which ended the period of emergency in 1961, Malaysia was faced by the confrontation by Sukarno between 1963 and 1965; there was guerilla action on the Sarawak border, dropping of paratroopers in Labis, Johor and the landing of Indonesian solders in Pontian, Johor. These situations were, however, brought under control by the vigilance of our armed forces.

Further, the country returned to society 600 terrorists in Sarawak. In Peninsular Malaysia, communists terrorists were forced to starve when they attempted to create trouble in 1974; today the communist backbone, represented by the underground movement, has been practically crushed.

Progressive Development
Though faced with difficulties, Malaysia has made significant progress in every field. Under the leadership of the third Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Hussein Onn, whose emphasis was on political stability and social justice, Malaysia’s economy prospered through the various development projects undertaken, thus benefiting the people regardless of race especially those in rural areas.

In the planning and implementation of economic projects, the Government as far as possible has been careful to ensure that economic conditions in industrialized countries do not adversely affect foreign trade and as a consequence the domestic economy. The Government has made every effort to protect the welfare of the nation from being affected by the ever changing conditions of world trade. The Government has planned for an increasing degree of economic diversification in its commodity exports so that a drop in the export of one or two commodities does not adversely affect the economy. Such positive actions by the Government have helped keep down domestic inflation which is the result of world economic inflation today.

During the period 1971 – 1980, more than 866, 100 hectares of land have been developed for those landless under the FELDA and FELCRA projects which in turn have benefited about 58,800 families. Another 35,800 hectares of land have also been developed under the Territorial Land Development Scheme such as the Development Authority for Pahang Tenggara (DARA). Development Authority for Johor Tenggara (KEJORA) and Development Authority for Southern Kelantan (KESEDAR) in 1978, 6,000 hectares of land have been set aside for development.

Smallholders are encouraged to replant their rubber and coconut plantation with the aid of high quality seedlings, subsidies and other incentives to provide better yields. Various programs are conducted by the Government for padi planters to upgrade their income level, provide more job opportunities and increase national rice production. These include infrastructure facilities in padi producing areas of KADA and MADA.

The Integrated Agricultrual Programme which has just been introduced in several areas and which include the Krian/Sungai Manik Project, Trans Perak, North Kelantan, West Johor and Kemasin/Semerbak, will increase income of farmers with the provision of integrated input facilities through the Agricultural Development Center.

In line with the policies and promises of the Government as regards the objective of the New Economic Policy of restructuring society, a program to transfer equities held in trust by Government Agencies to the Bumiputra has been implemented through the National Trust Scheme (Sekim Amanah Saham Nasional) which was launched in April 1981. Bumiputras from every level have shown very good response to the Scheme with a view to the realization of the development of the overall Bumiputra community.

International Relations
Malaysia’s foreign policy which welcomes friendship of any country regardless of ideology or geographical considerations, has not only successful in maintaining national sovereignty and political maturity throughout the 25 years of independence but has also earned the respect of the world.

In keeping with this concept, the Government is determined to remain among the Organization of Non-Alliance Countries and together with ASEAN members, to fight for justice and regional prosperity.

ASEAN has never moved away from its concept to create a zone of peace, freedom and neutrality (ZOPFAN) as contained in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration. As a strong supporter of this five nation organization, the concept has been the underlying consideration in the implementation of Malaysia’s foreign policy. The ASEAN struggle to uphold the ideal is recognized by many foreign countries and has received attention at the United Nations Assembly.

As a member of the United Nations Organization, Malaysia has played an active role in the deliberations of the Organization, Malaysia frequently participates in international seminars and meetings besides organizing them in Malaysia itself, so as to foster better understanding and relations with other countries participating in such seminars. Seminars between Islamic countries are also organized to bring about unity and better relationship among Islamic nations.

During the 25 years of independence, Malaysia invariably has experienced changes in its Heads of State and Prime Ministers. However, such changes have not altered the country’s administrative structure which is based on parliamentary democracy; in fact the country has gone politically strong enabling the country to proceed smoothly with its developments.

Malaysia’s Head of State, the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong has changed seven times with Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuankua Mohamed (The Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan) being the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, dollwed by Almarhum Tuanku Hisamudin Alam Shad Alhaj ibni almarhum Sultan Alaidin Sulaiman Shah (The Sultan of Selangor), Tuanku Syed Putra Alhaj ibni Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail (The Ruler of Perlis), Almarhum Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin (The Sultan of Terengganu), Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badishah (The Sultan of Kedah), Almarhum Tuanku Yahya Petra ibni Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim (The Sultan of Kelantan) and the current and the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri’ayatudin Al Mu’Adzam Shah (The Sultan of Pahang).

Ever since independence, Malaysia has had four Prime Ministers, the first being Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj, the second the late Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Hussein, the third Tun Hussein Onn and the current and fourth, Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Although there are no basic differences between the four Prime Ministers as regards their pattern and style of administration, the effort made by Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir to streamline the public service is said to be commendable as this has never been attempted before. The public service is the backbone of the national administrative machinery and very slackness or flaw in the public service will certainly affect the overall Government efficiency.

Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir who has emphasized discipline in the public service to create an efficient, smooth and clear Government, the future of the country will be brighter. More progress will be achieved in the years to come under the leadership of our Prime Minister.

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