Before 1963 and before signing of Malaysia Agreement 1963 by 4 equal partners namely Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak, Tanah Melayu was actually referring to the land held together under the umbrella of Federation of Malaya 1957 (eleven Malaya states, that is nine Malay states and two of the British Straits Settlements, Penang and Malacca).

After Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) signed by 4 equal partners (Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak) and changed its name Federation of Malaya to Federation of Malaysia at United Nations with the inclusion of Singapore Island, Sabah and Sarawak Territories making the term “Tanah Melayu” obsolete and irrelevant. Land areas of Sabah and Sarawak is about 60% of Federation of Malaysia and both territories of Sabah and Sarawak natives are non-Malay which further confirmed Federation of Malaysia is not Tanah Melayu.

Based on Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia grants the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) responsibility for "safeguarding the special position of the 'Malays' and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak” further clear all doubt that Tanak Melayu is no longer relevant under Federation of Malaysia.

Some even questioned the validity of Malaysia Agreement 1963 based on the fact that Federation of Malaya was an independent country at the time of signing the Malaysia Agreement while Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak were colonies of Great Britain making MA63 null and void. Even if MA63 was a valid agreement, with the separation of Singapore from Federation of Malaysia on 9 Aug 1965, legally speaking the new situation should automatically nullify Malaysia Agreement 1963 relinquishing Sabah and Sarawak the obligation to remain in Federation of Malaysia.

UMNO MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman reported by Free Malaysia Today (July 20 2020) saying in Parliament "the rights of the Malays should not be questioned, they are the original people of Malaysia" and “Some may not want to accept that this is Tanah Melayu, and maybe some people from the outside do not want to accept this," However, a Sabah Tuaran MP Wilfred Madius Tangau rightly rebuked Tajuddin statement as “historically and factually wrong and bad for national unity as well as the 2030 Shared Prosperity Vision. " (Free Malaysia Today 22 July 2020) and further reiterated that “the peninsula ceased being called Tanah Melayu after 1963 when Malaysia was formed with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore."

The purpose of UMNO MP Tajuddin’s Tanah Melayu “historically and factually wrong” statement is more likely just to gain political support from Malay groups which has inevitably created racial disharmony among all races in the process and should be avoided at all cost.

Arthur Wong
Publicity and Information Chief
Parti Bumi Kenyalang Central Committee

Topic Related Online Article:
It’s Malaysia now, no longer Tanah Melayu

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