List of High Commissioners of the United Kingdom to Malaya

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In 1896, the post of High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States was created; the High Commissioner represented the British Government in the Federated Malay States, a federation of four British protected states in Malaya. The High Commissioner's official residence was King's House (now part of a hotel, Carcosa Seri Negara), located inside the Perdana Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur, then the capital of the Federated Malay States. King's House served as an important place for royal dignitaries and distinguished guests.

The Governor of the Straits Settlements had always been ex-officio the High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States; the Governor's official residence was in Singapore, the capital of the Straits Settlements, and was known as Government House (now Istana, the official residence of the President of Singapore).

In each of the five protected states of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Johore (usually collectively referred to as the 'Unfederated Malay States'), the British government is represented by an Adviser: the Adviser to the Government of Perlis; the Adviser to the Sultan of Kedah; the Adviser to the Government of Kelantan; the Adviser, Trengganu; and the General Adviser to the Government of Johore.

The Straits Settlements was dissolved in 1946. Singapore became a Crown colony in her own right. The rest of the Straits Settlements (i.e. Penang and Malacca) was merged with the Federated Malay States, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Johore to form the Malayan Union, another Crown colony. The native rulers in the Federated Malay States, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Johore ceded their power to the United Kingdom, thus turning these territories into British colonies. The new Crown colony of the Malayan Union was headed by a Governor – the Governor of the Malayan Union.

In 1948, the British government returned power to the native rulers of the former protected states, and the Malayan Union was transformed into the Federation of Malaya – a federation of protected states and Crown colonies (Penang and Malacca had remained Crown colonies throughout the Malayan Union era). The Federation of Malaya was headed by the High Commissioner for Malaya.

When Malaya gained independence from the United Kingdom, the position of the High Commissioner for Malaya as the de facto head of state was replaced by the Paramount Ruler, or the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, of Malaya, appointed by the rulers of the nine Malay states. The title 'High Commissioner' became that of the senior British diplomat in the independent Malaya (and later in Malaysia), as is normal in Commonwealth countries.

List of High Commissioners for the Federated Malay States (1896–1946)[edit]

Picture Name From Until
Charles Mitchell.jpg Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell 1896 7 December 1899
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg James Alexander Swettenham 8 December 1899 18 February 1901
GovernorSwettenham.jpg Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham 26 September 1901 12 October 1901
Sir john anderson.gif Sir John Anderson 15 April 1904 9 April 1911
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Arthur Henderson Young 9 September 1911 24 August 1920
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Laurence Nunns Guillemard 3 February 1920 5 May 1927
Hugh Charles Clifford (The Straits Times, 15 October 1929).jpg Sir Hugh Charles Clifford 3 June 1927 20 October 1930
SirCecilClementi.jpg Sir Cecil Clementi 5 February 1930 16 February 1934
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Shenton Whitelegge Thomas 9 November 1934 15 August 1945
British Military Administration 15 August 1945 30 March 1946

List of Governors of the Malayan Union (1946–1948)[edit]

Picture Name From Until
Sir edward gent.jpg Sir Gerard Edward James Gent 1 April 1946 30 January 1948

List of High Commissioners for Malaya (1948–1957)[edit]

Picture Name From Until
Sir edward gent.jpg Sir Gerard Edward James Gent 1 February 1948 4 July 1948
Sir Henry Lowell Goldsworthy Gurney 1 October 1948 6 October 1951
Sir gerald templer.gif General Sir Gerald Walter Robert Templer 15 January 1952 31 May 1954
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg Sir Donald Charles MacGillivray 31 May 1954 31 August 1957

See also[edit]