Sabahans and Sarawakians have to examine statements made politicians and also a recent statement made by DPM Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi when they said Sabah and Sarawak are now accorded the status of regions and no more regarded as states in Malaysia – see World of Buzz January 13, 2023. It has to be made known to Sabahans and Sarawakians that Sabah and Sarawak were once countries independent from Malaya but was as a result of neo-colonialism engineered by the British to protect its interest in this region which at the same time engineered by the British to deny the rights of Sabah and Sarawak to gain independence by procedures laid down under the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514.
The British deprived the rights of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore to gain independence by handing Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak to Malaya by having Malaysia Agreement 1963 signed on 9 July 1963.
Therefore, to say that Sarawak is independent by joining the federation of Malaya to form the federation of Malaysia is legally misleading. This is because under international law, there could not be a country independent within another country.
At the same time, Sabah and Sarawak could not therefore, be called regions within Malaysia. To be called as regions should not be acceptable because under international law, a region has no fixed boundaries, while a country has. By making Sarawak and Sabah as regions in this way, Sabahans and Sarawakians have lost their countries.
Such a political arrangement between nations like what the British and Malaya had done without a referendum to determine the wishes of the colonized people was against the natural and inalienable right of the people of the land to determine their future own future and the future of their country.
The manner of decolonization of Malaya by the United Kingdom and the subsequent creation of Malaysia was neo-colonization at work. The research work of Professor AJ Stockwell and the analysis of President Soekarno of Indonesia of neo-colonialism engineered by the British and Malaya at that time that led to the armed confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia should be taken seriously by Sabahans and Sarawakians so that such historical records could not be swept under the carpet for the knowledge and information of future generations as to how Malaysia was formed and why there was an armed confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia from 1963-1966.
It was noted that, Tunku Abdul Rahman declared Malaya “Merdeka”(independence) on 31 August, 1957 and this was then followed by the British merging North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore with the federation of Malaya to form Malaysia by having Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak signed the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) thus circumventing the right of self-determination of colonized people under the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514. To say that there was an end of colonialism of Sabah and Sarawak by the British and that this could be done this way was misleading the citizens or is incorrect.
All things were therefore to make things look good by the British and Malaya to the expense of illiteracy and ignorance of our people of their rights at that time as if Sabah and Sarawak were granted independence, when it was not. To grant independence to colonies, there must be an Act of Parliament passed by United Kingdom Parliament. The independence Act passed by the United Kingdom should be like the ones passed to grant independence to Malaya.
Be it know to Sabahans and Sarawakians that under international law States or countries may become extinct through merger (North and South Yemen in 1990). The States or countries may also become extinct by absorption or annexation by another country. When countries merged or been absorbed or annexed by another country, then, the country that had been merged, absorbed or annexed lost their identity. They could be extinct in this way under international law.
Many legal experts opined that MA63 was not a valid treaty or agreement and if this is correct, how could Malaysia be legal and how could Sabah and Sarawak be legally part of Malaysia? Many legal experts consider that MA63 was an instrument used to absorb or be used to merge, absorb or annex Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak by the federation of Malaya with collusion of the United Kingdom.
The analysis of legal experts could be correct if we see what was said by Tunku Abdul Rahman in a book, titled, CONVERSATION WITH TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN written by AbdullahAhmad, when Tunku said the British colonies of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak were a gift by the British government to the federation of Malaya. As a result of this, the territories of the federation of Malaya were enlarged. This enlargement of Malaya seemed was by way of merger, absorption or annexation by signing of MA63. The federation of Malaya was then renamed as the federation of Malaysia effective 16 September, 1963. The United Nations Secretariat was informed of the change of name in a letter sent by Dato Ong Yoke Lin to the United Nations Secretariat. Therefore, Malaysia is not a new nation. The truth hurts, but, the truth sets us free.
If truly the federal government is sincere to revert, Sabah and Sarawak to their original state, then, Sabah and Sarawak should not be called as regions, but, as countries with equal status with Malaya. Only in this way, could equal partnership be enforced, provided that there would be equal distribution of seats in parliament and federal cabinet posts between Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. At that same time, all resources and land taken by Malaya or federal government have to be returned back to Sabah and Sarawak. There should not be any political parties from Malaya be allowed to contest in any parliamentary seat in Sabah and Sarawak because this was what the intention of our forefathers that enticed Sabah and Sarawak to join the federation of Malaysia to form Malaysia.
There was a declassified document dated 15th June, 1963 from the Secretary of State for Colonies to the British Governor of Sarawak which states, “It would be undesirable and in any event impracticable to confer independence on new states before Malaysia. Lee’s point might however be met by allowing Singapore North Borneo and Sarawak to be parties to the agreement. This would involve changing form of agreement from a Heads of State agreement to an inter-state agreement.”
Article 1 of Malaysia Agreement 1963 mentioned clearly that Sabah and Sarawak were colonies at the time the MA63 was signed on 9 July 1963. The Agreement did not say Sabah and Sarawak will cease or change its status to independent countries upon signing of the treaty.
Therefore the MA63 was an agreement to hand Sabah and Sarawak to Malaya and how could there be any federation of Malaysia formed? Since MA63 did not say Sabah and Sarawak would upon signing will no more be colonies, logically MA63 was allowing Sabah and Sarawak to-be colonies of the federation of MALAYA.
May the federal and Sarawak governments re-look into legality, desires and intention of how Malaysia was formed. This is because what I know there is nothing to show that peoples of Sabah and Sarawak had wanted Sabah and Sarawak be merged, absorbed or annexed by the federation of Malaya to enlarge the territories of the federation of Malaya and have the federation of Malaya be renamed as the federation of Malaysia. If there is, the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak have the right to demand proof.
VOON LEE SHAN
Parti Bumi Kenyalang.