Greater Malayan Confederation

From Wikipilipinas
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Greater Malayan Confederation,[1] or Maphilindo (for Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia), was a proposed, nonpolitical confederation of the three Southeast Asian countries in the Malay Archipelago.[2]


The original plan for a united state based on the concept of the Malay race was attempted by Wenceslao Vinzons during the Philippines' Commonwealth Era. Vinzons had envisioned a united Malay race, which he termed Malaya Irredenta (later another name for the union). In his 1959 book Someday, Malaysia, Major Eduardo Abdul Latif Martelino (later operations officer in the infamous Jabidah massacre) also cited the vision of then-President of the Philippines Manuel L. Quezon for integrated, pan-Malayan nationhood in the region. The president envisioned creating a better state which was united. Having a united race at the time would pave way for the development of the Malay. The united state would however, be achieved by the contribution of the people living in the region. The president was determined to make his intentions known to the people so that the vision could be easily achieved in the future.[3]


Maphilindo was initially proposed as a realization of Filipino national hero Dr. José Rizal's dream of uniting the Malay peoples, seen as artificially divided by colonial frontiers. Uniting the Malay people was highly prioritized resulting in many events occurring within the region. Dr. José Rizal significantly contributed to creating and officiating events designed to unite the people. In July 1963, Quezon's later successor, President Diosdado Macapagal, convened a summit in Manila where the three countries signed a series of agreements to resolve controversies over the former British colonies of North Borneo and Sarawak joining Malaysia. The treaties paved way for new developments in the region which would later contribute to the development of the country to what it is now.[4]

While the union was described as a regional association that would approach issues of common concern, it was also perceived as a tactic employed by the Philippines and Indonesia to hinder the formation of the Federation of Malaysia as Malaya's successor state. The Philippines had its own claim over the eastern part of Sabah (formerly British North Borneo), while Indonesia protested the formation of Malaysia as a British imperialist plot. The Indonesians and the Filipinos categorized the signing of the treaty between Britain and the Malaya country as a plot for the former to establish a colony within their borders. The assumption later resulted in heated conflicts between Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines.[3]

The union was dismantled a month later[5] when Sukarno, President of Indonesia, adopted a policy of Konfrontasi (Indonesian, "confrontation") with the newly constituted Malaysia.[6] The Indonesians claimed that the Malayan Government had announced on August 29 that Malaysia would be formed on September 16, 1963, before the result of the referendum of the wishes of the people of Borneo was known.[7][8] The proclamation of Malaysia was postponed until September 16 to give the UN team time to report. The UN team reported in favor of Malaysia, but the Philippines and Indonesia refused to recognize the new federation. On September 16, Malaysia severed diplomatic ties with the two countries. Indonesia retialated by cutting off trade relations with the new nation.[8]

The US under John F. Kennedy appeared to have given encouragement to Maphilindo as it had hoped that it would reduce the chances of Indonesia from turning communist.[9]


  1. Archived copy.
  2. (2004) Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor (in en). ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-770-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sussman, Gerald (1983). "Macapagal, the Sabah Claim and Maphilindo: The politics of penetration". Journal of Contemporary Asia. 13 (2): 210–228. doi:10.1080/00472338380000141. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  4. de Viana, Augusto V. (2017). "THE DREAM OF MALAYAN UNITY: PRESIDENT DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL AND THE MAPHILINDO". SEJARAH: Journal of the Department of History. Retrieved 1 December 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. Weatherbee, Donald E. (2005). International relations in Southeast Asia. Rowman & Littlefield, 68–69. ISBN 0-7425-2842-1. 
  6. (1981) Open Self-reliant Regionalism: Power for ASEAN's Development (in en). Institute of Southeast Asian. ISBN 978-9971-902-26-1. 
  7. (1994) Indonesia in ASEAN: Foreign Policy and Regionalism (in en). Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-3016-77-4. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 (1963) Military Review (in en). Command and General Staff School. 
  9. (26 August 2003) The Transformation of Southeast Asia: International Perspectives on Decolonization (in en). M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-3185-5.