57 years ago, leaders around the world sent well wishes to congratulate the newly independent Malaya. At the time, they used telegraph cable. Short messages took about a day to be delivered. No wonder it’s obsolete now.

A selection of the messages were published in The Straits Times in 1957. But let’s imagine that Twitter existed and world leaders didn’t need to use cable. Here’s what we think they would have tweeted (the original messages are underneath).


“I am glad Malaya has decided to remain within the Commonwealth. This free choice demonstrates that we share together those values and ideals which are a common bond between the sister nations of the Commonwealth.”



“We welcome your notable political achievements. We will always be ready to further our understanding of your problems and to help you in whatever ways we can.”



“As the first self-governing member of the Commonwealth in South East Asia, Malaya will have the opportunity to play a distinctive and useful part in this association of states.”



“This is an occasion of gladness and rejoicing, not only for the people of Malaya, but also for all the other peoples of the world, to whom freedom is the cherished ideal.”



“Our warmest greetings and congratulations on your independence.”



“This is a great day, not only for Malaya, but for Asia.”



“I am confident that free Malaya will not only achieve progress and well-being but will also take her place in the comity of nations as a bulwark of world peace and human liberty.”



“Our troops are stationed in Malaya as part of the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve. We are willing to continue to cooperate in defence against the threat of aggression in this part of the world. Most sincere congratulations to you all and the best wishes for the future.”

Words by Michelle Chong. Graphics by Ummi Shaharun.
Source: The Straits Times, 31 August 1957.