Asal-usul perjuangan Masyarakat sivil Cina di Malaya tentang persoalan perlembagaan kemerdekaan terutamanya persoalan jus soli

Translated title of the contribution: The genesis of Malayan Chinese civil society’s struggle for constitutional equality in particular jus soli

Helen Mu Hung Ting, Chang Yee Siew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article is a historical study of the genesis of the struggle of the Chinese civil society for their place in an independent Federation of Malaya. The fundamental principle underlining their concern for various issues was the principle of equality. Equal application of the principle of nationality by right of birth (jus soli) was a central issue, yet most scholars either misunderstood or ignored the issue and labelled them simply as extremists or chauvinists. In the mainstream historiography, the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) was regarded as representative of the Chinese community then. Nonetheless, the Alliance intercommunal compromise in the Federal Constitution fell short of the aspiration of the Chinese community. In fact, it was the concern over the inability of the highest MCA leadership to defend the interests of the Chinese community that had caused a split in MCA and triggered the efforts to unite outside the MCA. A national rally attended by delegates of Chinese associations took place at Chin Woo Stadium, Kuala Lumpur on 27 April 1956. The four demands that were approved to be submitted to the Reid Constitutional Commission received endorsement from 1,094 Chinese associations throughout the federation. This article examines the specific context and process which had brought about the mass rally, as well as the respective role played by specific Chinese leaders in March and April 1956. This event marked an awakening of the Chinese community to struggle for a place in an independent Malaya and their aspiration for a multicultural form of nation. Despite their lack of success in getting their demands met, this struggle over differring nationviews continue to shape the post-independence ethnic politics. Sources used include newspaper cuttings from The Straits Times, The Singapore Free Press and Nanyang Siang Pau among others, official colonial documents, documents from Tan Cheng Lock Collection in Arkib Negara and H.S. Lee Collection in ISEAS Singapore as well as the memoirs of Lim Lian Geok.

Original languageMalay
Pages (from-to)113-146
Number of pages34
JournalKajian Malaysia
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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equality
federation
Singapore
community
Genesis
Equality
Solo
nationality
historiography
compromise
Aspiration
Federation
civil society
constitution
newspaper
leadership
leader
politics
event
lack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Asal-usul perjuangan Masyarakat sivil Cina di Malaya tentang persoalan perlembagaan kemerdekaan terutamanya persoalan jus soli. / Ting, Helen Mu Hung; Siew, Chang Yee.

In: Kajian Malaysia, Vol. 36, No. 2, 01.01.2018, p. 113-146.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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