Donald MacGillivray

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Donald Charles MacGillivray
British High Commissioner in Malaya
In office
31 May 1954 – 31 August 1957
Preceded by Field Marshal Gerald Templer
Succeeded by none (post abolished)
Personal details
Born 1906
Died 24 December 1966
Religion Roman Catholic

Sir Donald Charles MacGillivray, GCMG, MBE was the last Colonial Administrator to serve in Malaya. He was the British High Commissioner in Malaya.


Born in 1906, Scotland, he was educated at Sherborne School and Trinity College, Glasgow. He died on 24 December 1966 at the Nairobi Hospital, after a long illness.


Donald MacGillivray was the only colonial administrator who openly discussed Malaya's independence with the Malays. He served Malaya from 1954 until 1957. After celebrating Malaya's independence (Hari Merdeka), MacGillivray was accompanied by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of Malaya and his consort, together with Malaya's first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman to board the plane in Sungai Besi Airport. MacGillivray also served as the Chairman of the State Council of British Colony of Kenya, which has five European and six Non-European members. This is almost similar with what he chaired during his administration in British Malaya, where a Legistrative Council for the Federation of Malaya was formed, with appointed local and European council members. Before that, he was the Colonial Secretary in Jamaica (1947), Deputy High Commissioner of Malaya, until he became the British High Commissioner in Malaya. On 5 August 1957, he signed the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1957.

In 1960, he was appointed to the Monckton Commission to review the constitution of the Central African Federation.


  • Knight Commander of the Order of St.Michael & St.George (KCMG), later Knight Grand Cross (GCMG)
  • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)