(In reply to statement by Tan Sri James Masing appeared in Dayak Daily -16 September, 2021) Tan Sri Dr. James Masing is ill advised if he said that Sarawak could not seek independence or secede from the federation of Malaysia when he said this was not provided for in the federal constitution. Tan was Sri James Masing may need to know that there is no provision in the federal constitution to say Sabah and Sarawak could not secede from the federation.
Before Malaysia was formed, Tunku Abdul Rahman, when he was prime minister of Malaya, had made it clear that Sabah and Sarawak were free to leave the federation if the federation brings no benefit to Sabah and Sarawak – see Borneo Times 18 July 1963.
Dr. James Masing may wish to be informed that the Malaysia Agreement 1963(MA63) that led to the formation of Malaysia was an invalid international agreement or treaty. International legal experts, including a law professor from Canada whom I consulted recently when he was in Sarawak, opined that without a valid treaty, the formation of Malaysia was tainted with fraud under international law.
The Chagos Islands case decided by the International Court of Justice recently was clear on this point of law, in which, the court opined that a colony could not make a valid treaty with her parent colonial masters. At the time the MA63 was signed, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore were still colonies of UK. This made the MA63 Treaty invalid. Even if valid, the fundamental breaches of the Treaty had caused the Treaty to collapse and Malaysia should by right, disintegrate.
Dr. James Masing also spoke about unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) by Kosovo. ICJ opined that the exit by Kosovo in 2008 from Serbia by unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) did not go against international law. Kosovo is now an independent nation.
Sarawak has many grounds to enable herself be freed from the federation. Since Malaysia was formed, Sarawak had annually lost more than RM100 billion ringgit in terms of her wealth and revenues to the federal government and to Petronas with a return of about RM4 billion only as her annual development fund.
Dr. James may wish to visit the schools in the rural areas and he may find that we have too many dilapidated schools left unrepaired with many schools which are in very poor conditions.
In rural areas there are many areas with no treated water, electricity and roads. Instead of Borneosation of the civil service, what we now see most government departments are occupied by officers from Malaya. We do not, unlike what Malaya has, any highway, but, a dual carriageway with potholes, uneven surfaces with dangerous bends creating death traps along the way from Sematan to Lawas. People are poor and we have too many families hardly have enough good meals every day.
Are not these oppressions and suppressions, Dr. James? These are all against human rights.
Sarawak had lost her oil and gas, continental shelf to Malaya and to Petronas and why had GPS been doing for the past 58 years to take them back?
All these are good grounds under international law to seek exit from the federation. If the federal government could not put things right, the federal government could not stop Sabah and Sarawak to exit. When a marriage failed or could no more be patched up, there is nothing a court will not allow the divorce.
Parti Bumi Kenyalang will pursue Sarawak independence by peaceful and legal means and this the party line of campaign at the moment.