I had been asked on many occasions by many Sarawakians on how Sarawak can unilaterally gain independence from the Federation of Malaysia and as a politician and lawyer, I have an obligation to answer this question for the benefit of Sarawakians on how Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) will be able or wish to do this.
To achieve this legally and peacefully, there are a few strategies that need to be followed. We need to follow how Lee Kuan Yew did it for Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew planned Singapore independence when he was still studying law in England. He fought for Singapore independence when he came back from England. He even was in the mission led by Singapore Chief Minister David Marshall to United Kingdom to seek independence, but, the mission failed. The reason for the mission failed was because the British wanted Singapore, Brunei, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak to join Malaya to form Malaysia.
Lee Kuan Yew worked hard to have Malaysia formed because this was what the British wanted. After Malaysia was formed, Lee Kuan Yew, did not make it easy for Tunku Abdul Rahman to handle him on Malaysian Malaysia issue.
Negotiations between Singapore and Malaya led to exit of Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew then unilaterally declared Singapore independence on 9 August, 1965 without going for a motion in the Singapore Parliament to decide this.
There was no joint declaration of independence by Singapore and Malaya for the exit. Both sides for political reasons, saved own face on how the break up came about. Malayans said Singapore was kicked out from the federation but Singaporeans said Singapore kicked out Malaya by unilateral declaration of independence of Singapore by Lee Kuan Yew.
I see this as a betrayal on the part of Lee Kuan Yew on how he brought Singapore to independence by leaving Sabah and Sarawak still struggling for independence. This is because Lee Kuan Yew was instrumental in bringing Sabah and Sarawak into Malaysia but left without a word, leaving Sabah and Sarawak struggling in Malaysia.
Now, we already know the true story on how this could be done.
I urge Sarawakians to give Parti Bumi Kenyalang the mandate to take over from GPS and form the Sarawak government during this coming 12th Sarawak Elections so that Parti Bumi Kenyalang shall be able to execute the strategies to set Sarawak free and independent.
For Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI), there are two strategies that Parti Bumi Kenyalang has to choose. That is, either to follow how Singapore or Kosovo did it.
I speak first, about how Singapore did it. If Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) forms the government we want to negotiate with the federal government on terms workable for the federation if Malaya still wants us.
If Malaya cannot fulfill what we want, then, there is nothing to prevent Sarawak to declare independent unilaterally.
This was what Singapore did.
Singapore did it after the Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965 was sealed between Malaya and Singapore on 7 August, 1965.
I suggest, we need not have the Independence of Sarawak Agreement from the federal parliament to do this. If there is an Independence of Sarawak Agreement passed by the federal parliament, this will put Sarawak in a better position to declare independent and the Sarawak Cabinet led by a PBK government can declare independence without going to the Dewan Undangan Negri (DUN). The Cabinet decides and like how Lee Kuan Yew did for Singapore, there will be no need for DUN to decide.
We can also do like what Kosovo did. Kosovo by a vote taken in Kosovo Assembly detached herself from her colonial master, Serbia in 2008. International Court of Justice in 2010 headed by Mr. Hisashi Owada, made it clear in Kosovo’s case that, Kosovo could declare independence unilaterally as international law does not prohibit such a declaration by Kosovo. Sarawak can take Kosovo’s case as an international law precedent to declare independence unilaterally in Sarawak Dewan Undangan Negeri without any independence Act passed by the federal parliament.
Again, from the Chagos Islands case delivered on 25 February, 2019 by the International Court of Justice, it is clear that Malaysia Agreement could be declared invalid on the ground that Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore at the time the Malaysia Agreement was signed by them with the United Kingdom and Malaya, were still colonies of United Kingdom. And being still colonies, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore had no legal capacity to sign the Malaysia Agreement.
A PBK government can, guided by the Chagos Island case, bring to court to declare Malaysia Agreement as invalid. If declared invalid, Malaysia has to disintegrate or based on the judgment of the court, PBK government can unilaterally declare Sarawak independent from the federation of Malaysia.
VOON LEE SHAN
Parti Bumi Kenyalang