Status Quo Side: Malaysia
Non-Status Quo Side: Indonesia
Region: Pacific, East Asia & SE Asia
Conflict Type: Interstate
Issues in Dispute: Territory
A Federation of Malaysia, to include the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, and the British territories of Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei on the predominantly Indonesian island of Borneo, was planned for 1963. President Sukarno of Indonesia was suspicious of plans for retaining British bases after federation. At the same time he was also in quest of prestige to avoid crises with his Army and with Indonesian Communists.
As part of Indonesia's policy of "confrontation" Malaysia was termed hostile by Indonesia after two divisions were reported to have volunteered for training to assist a Brunei revolt.
Small Indonesian bands infiltrated Sarawak. The Pan-Malay Manila Accord was signed in August, but the Federation came into being in September before a UN on-site survey was completed. The latter confirmed local support for the Federation, but Sukarno promptly affirmed his intention to "crush Malaysia" and extend military action to the mainland. In September 1964 a UNSC resolution following a Malaysian complaint was vetoed by the USSR. Early 1965 saw political turmoil preceding the August separation of Singapore from the Federation. Mainland incursions ceased, though Borneo raids continued.
The aborted coup in Indonesia ended the confrontation, and hostilities were formally terminated at Bangkok on June 1 1966.
Copyright © 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton