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Johor Was The First State To Sign The MacMichael Agreement, Says Tun Mahathir

Johor Was The First State To Sign The MacMichael Agreement, Says Tun Mahathir

The MacMichael agreement was a treaty signed during the British colonisation.

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Johor Regent Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim recently called for reforms in the federal system advocating for Johor to be treated as an equal federal partner.

He also proposed the unification of political parties in the state under a “Gabungan Bangsa Johor” coalition to safeguard the state’s interests.

READ MORE: TMJ Says Johor Should Be Treated As “Federal Partners” Like Sarawak – Here’s A History Of MA63

@abgman59 Terima Kasih TMJ atas penghargaan Tuanku kpd Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak dan rakyatnya. #DaulatTuanku #TMJ #sarawakmajumakmur #Sarawak #JDT #gabunganpartisarawak ♬ Motivation – neozilla

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a social media post pointed out that Johor was the first state to sign the MacMichael Agreement, effectively handing the state over to the British.

On his Twitter account, under @chedetofficial, Dr Mahathir asserted that under the agreement, only issues related to Islamic administration and some Malay customs were under the control of the sultans.

These statements are seen as a response to TMJ’s suggestion on federal reforms.

According to Dr Mahathir, the agreement was nullified when Malays across the entire Peninsula united under the Umno organisation, protesting and rejecting both the MacMichael Agreement and the Malayan Union.

“When the Malay people from various states united, the British were forced to accede to their demands. The people demanded that the Federation of Malaya replace the Malayan Union,” he tweeted.

Malay Rulers Restored as Constitutional Monarchs

Dr Mahathir further explained that after the agreement was nullified, the Malay rulers regained their authority as Constitutional Monarchs within a Parliamentary Democracy.

“This is history. (All of this is documented in the verbatim report on the Malayan Union by the British Archives),” he added in another tweet.

MacMichael Agreement

The MacMichael Agreement, signed in 1945 between the British and Malay rulers, was a treaty aimed at centralising British control over the Malay states and unifying them under a single administration, the Malayan Union.

Fun fact: When the agreement was signed, Dr Mahathir was a 20-year-old lad.

The treaties were said to have been negotiated under duress, with the Malay rulers fearing dethronement and potential accusations of collaboration with the Japanese.

Malayan Union Flag

The creation of the Malayan Union sparked significant opposition from the Malays, particularly against the loss of sovereignty and proposed liberal citizenship laws.

This led to the birth of Malay nationalism and the formation of Umno under Datuk Onn Jaafar.

The strong opposition eventually forced the British to abandon the Malayan Union in favour of the Federation of Malaya in 1948, which restored the Malay rulers’ status as constitutional monarchs within a parliamentary democracy.


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