Malaya achieved independence on 31 August 1957 with a minimalist bill of rights. The main local pressure for the bill of rights came from the Malayan Indian Congress, which was supported in its demand by the majority Malay and Chinese political parties under the umbrella of the Alliance Party. The decision to include a bill of rights in the Malayan independence constitution was made by the Reid commission. The influences on the Malayan bill of rights were primarily Asian; the rights in the constitutions of India, Pakistan, Ceylon, and Burma all figured prominently. The Reid commission conceived the bill of rights as the central feature of a fundamentally non-communal constitution. However, as the majority Malays favoured special rights for Malays in a communal state, they opposed the commission's scheme to safeguard the minority Chinese and Indian communities.
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