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Monday, October 17, 2016

Revoke the 1976 Constitutional Amendments and restore Equal Status

KENINGAU - “Kudos and hats off to CM Adenan Satem for calling a spade a spade that Sarawak is equal to Malaya and that the 1976 constitutional amendments downgrading Sabah and Sarawak to be the 12th and 13th States as null and void” said Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, the Assemblyman for Bingkor, in supporting CM Adenan’s stand and reiterating that it reflected his and his United Borneo Front’s (UBF) stand as spread throughout Sabah, Sarawak, Malaya and internationally through UBF’s Borneo Tea Parties since December 2010.

It needs to be re-emphasized that the ultimate objective of the British government was to form a confederation of five (5) territories comprising the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, North Borneo (now Sabah) and Brunei, although Brunei declined the merger eventually.

It was also on this basis that the then Prime Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and his entourage of Malayan Ministers agreed with the Prime Minister of Britain, to create a Federation of Malaysia embracing the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, North Borneo (now Sabah) and Brunei at the Anglo-Malayan London Talks in November 1961.

This agreement to create the Federation of Malaysia was affirmed in the joint British-Malayan statement after the conclusion of the London Talks and also recorded in the British Parliament as reported by the Hansard on 28 November 1961.

Further, when the Cobbold Commission was formed in 1962 and tasked to seek the views of Sabahans and Sarawakians on the Malaysia proposal, the Chairman of the Cobbold Commission, Lord Cobbold, had forewarned that:-
    “If any idea was to take root that Malaysia would involve a takeover of the Borneo Territories by the Federation of Malaya and the submersion of the individualities of North Borneo and Sarawak, Malaysia would not, in my judgment, be generally acceptable or successful.”

The Federation of Malaysia was never about Sabah and Sarawak joining the Federation of Malaya as the 12th and 13th States.   If it was, there was no necessity for the signing of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) as all that was required would be for Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore to subscribe to the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957 signed by the eleven (11) Malayan States.

If it was even told to the Sabah and Sarawak founding fathers that Sabah and Sarawak would join as the 12th and 13th States of Malaya, they would have respectfully declined and there would have been no Malaysia today.

One can only ruefully imagine would Sabah and Sarawak be today if they had not agreed to form Malaysia back then.    In all probability given their oil and gas wealth, Sarawak contributing RM55 billion and Sabah another RM20 billion annually, they would be like Singapore and Brunei, the 3rd and 5th richest nations in the world.   Instead, Sabah and Sarawak are languishing as the poorest and second poorest State in Malaysia with almost all their wealth siphoned off to develop Malaya.

Be that as it may, Sabah and Sarawak did agree to form Malaysia as equal partners, for better or for worse.

The Federation of Malaya now masquerading as the Federation of Malaysia and its federal government has no business to make the 1976 constitutional amendments lumping Sabah and Sarawak with the other 11 States of Malaya and downgrading them to be the 12th and 13th States of Malaya and renamed as the Federation of Malaysia.  The amendments are obviously untenable and null and void and smells of a vicious and sinister plot to colonize Sabah and Sarawak and “steal” their resources and wealth.

The time has come for past mistakes to be rectified if the Federation of Malaysia is to survive and move forward.   To do so, it is only appropriate for the 1976 constitutional amendments to be revoked and the original basis of the formation of Malaysia as reflected in the 1963 Federal Constitution be restored.

If the Federation of Malaya and the Federal government does not do so, it is only appropriate and fair that Sabah and Sarawak should be given the option to kick the Federation of Malaya out of Malaysia since it does not wish to honour the basis of the formation of Malaysia.

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