Kesatuan Melayu Muda

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Kesatuan Melayu Muda (Jawi: كساتوان ملايو مودا ;KMM; roughly Young Malays Union in Malay) was the first national political establishment in British Malaya. Ibrahim Yaacob played a huge role in founding the union in 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, then the capital of the Federated Malay States. The main goal of the union was to unite all Malays regardless of origin and fight for Malay rights. Specifically, KMM held an ideal known as Panji Melayu Raya or Greater Indonesia which calls for the unification of British Malaya and Indonesia.[1] The union was vehemently against British imperialism.[2]

The establishment of KMM was closely related to the atmosphere of Sultan Idris Training College for Malay Teachers (SITC), currently known as Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris. Through lectures and writings at the college, anti-colonialism influenced the students there. Ibrahim Yaacob himself was an alum of the college. Along with him, other alumni of the college that were active in KMM were Hassan Manan, Abdul Karim Rashid and Mohd. Isa Mahmud. It is because of this that SITC is known as the birthplace of Malay nationalism.[2]

After the establishment of its main branch in Kuala Lumpur, Malay school teachers most of which were the graduate of SITC continued to spread KMM's wings throughout Malaya.[2]

KMM and several other Malay organisations later organised a Malay Congress in August 1939 in Kuala Lumpur. The second congress was held in Singapore in December 1940 while the third meeting was planned in Ipoh in 1941. The third congress however never took place due to Japanese occupation.[2]

During the eve of World War II, KMM, Ibrahim Yaacob and his colleagues actively encouraged anti-British sentiments. The Japanese also aided KMM and financed Ibrahim Yaacob's purchased of an influential Malay publication called Warta Malaya in Singapore. By 1941, the British began observing the activities of KMM as they perceived KMM as a radical left-wing association. By the end of the year, Ibrahim Yaacob, Ishak Muhammad and many other KMM leadership were captured and imprisoned. KMM was severely weakened by the action taken by the British.[2]

During the Battle of Malaya, KMM was one of many organisations that aided the Japanese as they belief that Japanese will give Malaya independence and actively assist them through fifth column activities.[3] This pro-Japanese anti-British tendency made KMM very close to the Japanese force. All of KMM members that were imprisoned by the British earlier were released by the Japanese during the occupation.[4] In January 1942, KMM requested the Japanese to grant Malaya the independence the Japanese had promised earlier. This was the first request for Malayan independence by a Malaya-wide political body. The request however was turned down.[5] The Japanese authorities instead disbanded KMM and established the Pembela Tanah Ayer (also known as the Malai Giyu Gun or by its Malay acronym PETA) militia in its stead.

With the surrender of Japan in August 1945, former KMM cadres formed the nucleus of the emerging political movements like the Malay Nationalist Party, Angkatan Pemuda Insaf, and Angkatan Wanita Sedar.[6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Japanese-Trained Armies in Southeast Asia, By Joyce Lebra
  2. ^ a b c d e Zainal Abidin bin Abdul Wahid; Khoo, Kay Kim; Muhd Yusof bin Ibrahim; Singh, D.S. Ranjit (1994). Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah Sejarah Tingkatan 2. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. pp. 208–209. ISBN 983-62-1009-1. 
  3. ^ Southeast Asian Culture and Heritage in a Globalising World: Diverging ... By Ooi Giok Ling
  4. ^ b. Peninsular and Island Southeast Asia. 2001. The Encyclopedia of World History
  5. ^ Insun Sony Mustapha. Review of Malay nationalism before UMNO. Malaysia Today. Retrieved 1 February 2007.
  6. ^ Ooi, Keat Gin (2004). From PKI to the Comintern, 1924-1941: The Apprenticeship of the Malayan Communist Party. Oxford: ABC-CLIO. p. 1791. ISBN 1-57607-770-5. 
  7. ^ Mohamed Amin; Malcolm Caldwell; Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation (1977). Malaya: The Making of a Neo-colony. Nottingham: Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. p. 265. ISBN 0-85124-190-5. 
  8. ^ Vasil, R. K.; Australian Institute of International Affairs (1971). Politics in a plural society: a study of non-communal political parties in West Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press for the Australian Institute of International Affairs. p. 338. ISBN 0-19-638127-4.