After Malaysia gained it's independent from British colonial on 31st August 1957, the country still facing lots of threat from the communist. It was a common problem faced by most of Southeast Asian countries around Malaysia such as Thailand and Indonesia. In Malaysia, Communist gained its influence through Parti Komunis Malaya (PKM) and they tried to gained more support from the peoples. Feared of the increasing support among the peoples, the government take actions against PKM by banning the party movement. Government actions against PKM however resulted them go against the government through guerrilla war to topple the government.
Neighbors countries such as Thailand and Philippine also faced the same problem with communist. PKM had been using the border between Malaysia-Thailand as their base and therefore made it harder for both countries to remove and weaken the guerrilla movement. Philippine also faced the same problem as Malaysia.
The birth of Association of Southeast Asia (ASA)
Malaysia wanted to have collaboration with neighbors countries to control the influence and the movement of PKM. Therefore, Tunku Abdul Rahman had decided to suggest the establishment of Association of Southeast Asia (ASA). The association was hoped to protect the member countries from communist threat and made collaboration in economy and agriculture.
July 31st 1961, a meeting was held at Bangkok between Malaysia, Thailand and Philippine and ASA had been born. There were a few objective of the association:
- To have a close collaboration between country members in economy, science and social.
- To share the knowledge by accommodating training facilities and research in science and technology between country members.
- To maintain and secure political stability within country members.
However, the objective of the association can not be achieved because of the loose relationship between county members. ASA was thought to work against the Indonesia president, Seokarno. This was due to the close relationships between Malaysia and US. Besides that, the disassociation of ASA also happened because of the bad relationship between Malaysia and Philippine who tried to claim Sabah from joining Malaysia. ASA also failed to work because of the Ganyang Malaysia movement from Indonesia. ASA was officially disassociate in 1963, almost three years after it was founded.
Malaysia learnt a lot from this and brought us further in having a better collaboration in the future.