Si Rat Malai

Si Rat Malai
Subdivision of Thailand



  Thai occupation zones (Si Rat Malai)
Historical era World War II
  Japan hands over the four states to Thailand 18 October 1943
  Thailand returns annexed territories to the United Kingdom 2 September 1945
Today part of  Malaysia
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Si Rat Malai (Thai: สี่รัฐมาลัย 'Four Malay States') is a former administrative division of Thailand. It included the four northern states of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, and Terengganu in British Malaya annexed by the Axis-aligned Thai government after the Japanese invasion of Malaya.[1]

The Thai authorities made Alor Setar the centre for the administration of the territory. Thailand administered the states as Syburi (ไทรบุรี), Palit (ปะลิส), Kalantan (กลันตัน) and Trangkanu (ตรังกานู) provinces[2] from 18 October 1943 until the surrender of the Japanese at the end of the war.


On 14 December 1941 General Plaek Phibunsongkhram, then Prime Minister of Thailand, signed a secret agreement with the Japanese Empire and committed the Thai armed forces to participate in the planned Burma Campaign. An alliance between Thailand and Japan was formally signed on 21 December 1941.

On 25 January 1942, the Thai government, believing the Allies beaten, declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom. As a reward for entering into a military alliance with the Japanese, the latter agreed to return to Thailand the four British Malayan provinces of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, and Terengganu which had been ceded to the British in 1909.

After occupation on 20 August 1943, an agreement on the surrender of the four states was signed in Bangkok, between Phibunsongkhram and the Japanese ambassador, Teiji Tonbukami. Among the conditions found in the agreement it was stated that Japan would hand over the administration of the four Malay states to Thailand within 60 days after the signature of the document.[3]

On 18 October 1943, the four Malay states were transferred to Thailand. On the occasion Prime Minister Phibunsongkhram declared that the citizens of the annexed states were to be granted equal treatment to the inhabitants of other parts of Thailand.[4] The Japanese authorities, however, retained a great degree of control. Japanese troops and Kempeitai continued to be stationed in the four states. Rail services would be run by Thai officers only in Kelantan, while the rail links in Kedah and Perlis would remain in Japanese hands. The Japanese also had the full control of the telegraph, post and telephone services over the nominally Thai territories.[5]

Thailand was still allied with Japan when the war ended, but the United States proposed a solution. In 1946 Thailand agreed to hand back the territories occupied during Japanese presence in the country as the price for admission to the United Nations, consequently all wartime claims against Siam were dropped and the country received a substantial package of American aid.[6] On 1 April 1946 the former Thai-occupied states joined the Malayan Union.


1942 Japanese map of the Malay Peninsula.

The Thai administrative service in the northern Malay states was relatively small and the officers were more concentrated in carrying out military and police duties, and foreign relations. The administrative service was carried out by civil servants who were under military supervision.


See also: Syburi

Japanese Governors

Thai Military Commissioner

Thai General-commissioners

Administering Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu:[7]


Japanese Governors

Thai Military Commissioners


Japanese Governors

Thai Military Commissioner


Japanese Governors

Thai Military Commissioner

See also


  1. The Deseret News - Jul 5, 1943
  2. Annexed territories (in Thai)
  3. Saiburi Samuk
  4. Paul H. Kratoska, The Japanese Occupation of Malaya: A Social and Economic History. p. 88
  5. Prof. Madya Dr. Mohd. Isa Othman The Second World War and the Japanese Invasion of Kedah
  6. David Porter Chandler & David Joel Steinberg eds. In Search of Southeast Asia: A Modern History. p. 388
  7. Malay States

Coordinates: 6°30′N 100°30′E / 6.500°N 100.500°E / 6.500; 100.500

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