From 1946 to 1948, the 11 states of the Malay peninsula formed a single British crown colony known as the Malayan Union. Due to opposition from Malay nationalists, the Union was disbanded and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which restored the symbolic positions of the rulers of the Malay states. Within the Federation, while the Malay states were protectorates of the United Kingdom, Penang and Malacca remained British colonial territories.
The photo above is that of the Malay Rulers at the signing ceremony of The Federation of Malaya Agreement on 5 August 1957. In the middle is the British High Commissioner to the Federation, Sir Donald MacGillivray.The Agreement signed on this day between the governments of the United Kingdom and the Federation of Malaya was part of the constitutional machinery devised to bring the 1957 Constitution of the Federation of Malaya into force (later ratified 27 August 1957). Transfer of power from British rule took place, as we all know, on 31 August 1957.