Malaysia was formed and consisted of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (now Sabah). Relieving Singapore of colonial rule and becoming an autonomous state within the Malaysian Federation. Brunei opted out. Indonesia and the Philippines opposed the merger. President Sukarno of Indonesia worked actively against it during the three years of Indonesian confrontation.
The leaders of the Peoples Action Party (PAP), including Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Keng Swee, believed that Singapore’s future lay with Malaya. They felt that the historical and economic ties between Singapore and Malaya were too strong for them to continue as separate nations, and campaigned vigorously for a merger. On the other hand, the sizeable group of pro-communist wing of the PAP were strongly opposed to the merger, fearing a loss of influence; the government in Kuala Lumpur, headed by ruling party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), was staunchly anti-communist, and would support the PAP in such an event against them