Puneet Varma (Editor)


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Formation  July 1963
Extinction  Konfrontasi
Type  International defence organisation
Membership  Malaya Philippines Indonesia

The Greater Malayan Confederation, or Maphilindo (for Malaya, the Philippines, and Indonesia), was a proposed, nonpolitical confederation of the three Southeast Asian countries.



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 an integrated, pan-Malayan nationhood in the region.


Maphilindo was initially proposed as a realisation of Filipino national hero Dr. José Rizal dream of uniting the Malay peoples, seen as artificially divided by colonial frontiers. 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.

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 union was dismantled a month later when Sukarno, President of Indonesia, adopted a policy of Konfrontasi (Indonesian, "confrontation") with the newly constituted Malaysia. The aim of the Konfrontasi was to prevent Malaysia from achieving full sovereignty, and was introduced to President Sukarno by the Communist Party of Indonesia or PKI. The PKI had convinced President Sukarno that the formation of Malaysia was a form of neo-colonisation that will later affect Indonesian stability.

The subsequent establishment of the larger Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 1967 changed the dynamics of regionalism, from insular and linguistic oriented to one that rallied against domino theory communist advance, which included Indochina. Economically, US ally Japan played a regional role in consolidating and developing trade links both within the region and between regions. ASEAN has maintained a rather neutral and conciliatory stance since the end of the Vietnam War with regards to the PRC. However, with recent rising Chinese economic and political power, along with waning US appetite for foreign wars, suddenly there is a split within ASEAN among those with territorial disputes with China and those without. These very sea disputes encompass the Maphilindo sphere, plus Vietnam.


Maphilindo Wikipedia