During World War II, the Japanese army invaded and subsequently occupied Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore for over three years. During this time, ethnic tensions were raised and nationalism grew. After Malaya was reconquered by Allied Forces, popular support for independence grew. Post-war British plans to unite the administration of Malaya under a single crown colony called the Malayan Union met with strong opposition from the Malays, who opposed the weakening of the Malay rulers and the granting of citizenship to the ethnic Chinese. The Malayan Union, established in 1946 and consisting of all the British possessions in the Malay peninsula with the exception of Singapore, was dissolved in 1948 and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which restored the autonomy of the rulers of the Malay states under British protection. During this time, rebels under the leadership of the Malayan Communist Party launched guerrilla operations designed to force the British out of Malaya. The Malayan Emergency, as it was known, lasted from 1948 to 1960, and involved a long anti-insurgency campaign by Commonwealth troops in Malaya. In 1963, Malaya along with the then British crown colonies of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, federated to form Malaysia. The proposed date of federation was 31 August 1963, however, the date was delayed until 16 September 1963 due to opposition from Sukarno who was supportive of the Manila Accord and the Sarawak United Peoples' Party.
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