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Star: Forget internal colonization, self-determination the way out

By Daniel John Jambun
KOTA KINABALU: The polemics on Putrajaya’s internal colonization policies in Sabah and Sarawak appears to be getting increasingly shrill and out of hand and needs to be brought to a swift end and buried for good. Instead, it’s felt that it’s best to let bygones be bygones and “focus on regaining self-determination along the lines of 31 Aug 1963” for Sabah and Sarawak.

Self-determination in this form for Sabah and Sarawak would be “the best way forward and out from internal colonization”. Self-determination, in international law, “has come to mean the free choice of one's own acts without external compulsion”.

This is the growing consensus within the State Reform Party (Star), a Borneo-based national party which initiated, formed and leads the United Borneo Alliance (UBA) to work towards a 3rd Force in the Malaysian Parliament.

“We feel it’s pointless, indeed counter-productive, to engage in further polemics on the issue of internal colonization in Sabah and Sarawak,” said Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun in a press statement. “We should stop participating in further polemics on the issue. It serves little purpose to debate anyone on internal colonization.”

He was commenting on a statement on Wed this week in the local media by the Yayasan Islam Sabah (YIS) virtually denying the basis on which Sabah and Sarawak formed Malaysia. The welfare body also claimed, “in defiance of international law”, that Sabah does not have the right to leave Malaysia.

Former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh heads the YIS and recently challenged Star chairman Jeffrey Kitingan to a public debate on internal colonization. Jeffrey accepted the dare subject to Harris proving locus standi and “something more than hot air coming out of the debate”. Harris, in turn, called Jeffrey “chicken”, a label which the latter threw back at the former.

Daniel explained that UBA had hoped that a public debate on internal colonization would not be about scoring points or turning heroes into zeros or vice versa but instead facilitate the process of reversing the phenomenon in the two Borneo states in Malaysia.

“We feel that this – reversing internal colonization -- is not going to happen now given denials and counter denials being issued daily by Putrajaya’s proxies in Sabah and Sarawak,” said Daniel. “These proxies have any number of stooges with them who are willing to sell their souls to the devil himself.”

Asked for the basis on which the party is in consensus on regaining self-determination, he replied that “it would facilitate us getting out of the quicksand being created by others on the issue of internal colonization”.

“International law is clear,” he said. “We have the right to get back our self-determination of 31 Aug 1963 and any number of traitors among us is not going to derail the process.”

Again, he reiterated that Sabah and Sarawak exercised the right of self-determination and won independence on 31 Aug 1963. Self-determination, explained Daniel, is the principle in international law that “nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion – think Malayan, British -- or external interference”.

However, this freedom was taken away 16 days later by “a bad British idea called Malaysia”, he added. “We were blackmailed into Malaysia by claims that Indonesia and the Philippines are like crocodiles waiting to swallow us once the British leave. No one swallowed Brunei.”

“Sabah and Sarawak should go back to 31 Aug 1963 and reclaim the independence that we won that day,” said Daniel. “That’s our right to self-determination.”

Malaysia, according to Daniel, is not working out at all for Sabah and Sarawak just as it did not work out for Singapore and was a non-starter for Brunei.

“Brunei stayed out from Malaysia at the 11th hour and Singapore left two years later,” noted Daniel. “Look, where they are now! Meanwhile, Sabah and Sarawak are the poorest states in Malaysia. This is not what we bargained for when we were literally blackmailed by Malaya and Britain into Malaysia.”

Malaysia, claimed Daniel, had in retrospect nothing to do with the welfare of the people of Sabah and Sarawak and was mooted purely to protect the British commercial empire in the wake of decolonization. It was a time of the Cold War and communism terrorism raging in the region, he noted.

He lamented that the security promised Sabah by Malaysia did not materialize and instead it had been seriously compromised by the influx of illegal immigrants continuing to enter the electoral rolls, the changing demographic make-up and character and the increasing disenfranchisement and marginalisation of the local people.

“We can’t continue to live in a state of denial,” said Daniel. “It’s time to call a spade and spade so that we can move into the future that we all want for our children and grandchildren.”

Sabah, reiterated Daniel, needs to forge its own destiny in the community of nations instead of being tied to an unhappy relationship with Peninsular Malaysia on the other side of the South China Sea, several thousand kilometers away.

The Star deputy chief conceded that his state chapter had yet to discuss re-gaining self-determination with the Sarawak chapter of the party and their allies in UBA.

Besides Star, UBA includes the Sarawak National Party (Snap), the Borneo Heritage Foundation, Borneo Forum, Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMA), KoKaKoBa, the Oil For Future Foundation and various NGOs who are on the verge of signing up with the alliance.

“We will first finalize the consensus within Star Sabah before reaching out to Star Sabah and our other allies in UBA,” disclosed Daniel. “We can only make an official announcement once we are ready.”

It’s crystal clear, said Daniel in citing various reactions so far, that Putrajaya will not play ball on the issue of complying with the four constitutional documents and/or conventions on Malaysia.

He cited the four documents/conventions as the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63); the 20/18 Points (20/18 P); the Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR); and the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR).

Putrajaya’s non-compliance of the four constitutional documents/conventions, claimed Daniel, rendered the Malaysian Constitution and Malaysia inoperable to the extent of the non-compliance and placed Sabah and Sarawak’s participation in the Federation as “non-existent”.

“The issue of whether we are in or out of Malaysia no longer arises,” said Daniel. “We are out and have been out since Putrajaya has been in non-compliance. This means we have gone back to the status we had on 31 Aug 1963.”

Constitutional lawyers familiar with the issue of compliance are in broad agreement that there’s no law on compliance and no mechanisms on compliance and therefore the Federal Government cannot be said to be acting unlawfully by being in non-compliance.

The other side of the coin is that the Federal Government can be said to be acting unconstitutionally by being in non-compliance, and by extrapolation and logical deduction, not acting lawfully on the issue of the participation of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

The bottomline, it’s acknowledged, is that it’s difficult to argue with the consensus that non-compliance has meant that Sabah and Sarawak are not in Malaysia, and therefore, the two countries have the same status that they had on 31 Aug 1963 i.e. before Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963. In short, Putrajaya’s non-compliance has meant that the status of 31 Aug 1963 has never been taken away from Sabah and Sarawak or ceased to exist and has continued and continues to this day.



    (posted from SSKM comment)

    Part 1

    This "Enquiry in North Borneo" was conducted in a highly questionable manner.

    It did not take into account the anti-Malaysia opposition in Brunei and Sarawak, and to a lesser extent in Sabah.

    Did they ask the many thousands who were in the streets of Kuching to demonstrate against the British/Malayan "Malaysia Plan" because it was “neo-colonial plan” in the early 1960s?

    What sort of opinion poll was it? How far did they go to assess public opinion?

    How can you determine the fate of 2 countries by just consulting a few hundred (OR thousand for what it was worth) people?

    What proper framework of inquiry and rules did they use to "gauge" people's "feelings"?

    (It was not a UN conducted enquiry- But would still be questionable in those days when the UN was manipulated by the major colonial powers).

    Should they not have slowed down and held a general referendum instead of rushing Sabah and Sarawak into "Malaysia"?? Even the British Governors of Sabah and Sarawak expressed similar views and said the people were not ready for the Malaysia idea.

    It was the fate of many people and the British failed to exercise due care and responsibility to determine whether the people wanted to be in Malaysia and only after the colonial master had carried out a programme to educate and fully inform the people of what they would be walking into.

    The massive anti-Malaysia opposition in Northern Borneo erupted including mass demonstrations, the Brunei independence Uprising leading to the protracted Sarawak guerrilla independence war from 1962 to 1990.

    These are just some of the questions not thrashed out in the early 1960s. They were in a rush and did not give us a fair chance!

    This new colonisation plan was based on many false assumptions and rationales. The 2 main ones are:

    1. The British rationalisation for Malaysia was that it would like a combination of 5 countries for joint security against the spread of communism ("red scare") and foreign invasion (original plan included Brunei) fundamentally to defend their economic and strategic interests in South East Asia.

    It could be argued that this original idea had already broke down when Brunei was not included in Malaysia and when Singapore left in 1965.

    Neither Brunei or Singapore were invaded.

    But if we wake up one day we can see that Sabah and Sarawak were INVADED and taken over by Malaya (this was the UMNO & Tunku's private joke played us poor innocents at the time!) The Malayan government in its most patronising way- openly said they would "protect" us - from what?

    The British rationale failed. They helped Malayan UMNO invade Sabah and Sarawak not protect them from Malayan invasion despite (Sabah and) Sarawak having a “protectorate” Treaty with Britain in 1888.


    (posted from a comment on SSKM Webpage)

    Part 2

    2. The Malayan UMNO rationalisation was the issue of "racial balance"- combining the Malays and Sabah Sarawak "natives" numbers to counter balance the bigger Singaporean Chinese numbers.

    The argument fell flat when Brunei did not "join" - thus the numbers of natives would have been deflated. Then Singapore left in 1965- this means Malays become the majority. It benefitted UMNO's plan for Malay supremacy under the NEP apartheid system now in place since 1969.

    The whole Malaysia concept had broken down by 1965. We were left stranded in Malaysia without ever being given the opportunity to say "we also want to get out!"

    The fundamental fears many of use still alive and our predecessors feared and expressed openly was being re-colonized by Malaya.

    So Tunku A Rahman (who did not dream up "Malaysia" but the British did) wrote to assure us that Malaya would never colonize Sabah or Sarawak.

    The 18/20 Points Agreement also reflected this fear of re-colonization.

    But assurances and signed guarantees proved useless.

    Malaya went ahead to Malayanize the 2 colonies and took control of our destiny and resources. They used our oil resources to develop the Malayan economy and gave us back crumbs! “Bornenonization” and all other rights guaranteed by the Agreements were broken.

    In 1973 when Sabah and Sarawak demanded a review of the Malaysia Agreement, this was arbitrarily refused by Razak. How could he deny us our right which was in the Malaysia Agreement? Sweep it under the carpet the usual UMNO way of doing things!
    We can ask ourselves what benefit is there for Sabah and Sarawak to remain in Malaysia?

    Many of us will agree there is absolutely NONE! Looking at Brunei and Singapore we can only envy them as prosperous and independent little states while Sabah and Sarawak the richest territories have been rdeuced to be the most poverty strickened colinies in Malaya!

    The sooner we take Sabah Sarawak out of Malaysia the better!

    For Sarawakians remember that 22 July on Sunday is our "independence day".

    The British "gave" us our independence on this date in 1963 (Sabah got its independence on 31 August 1963) and by 16 September 1963 this was taken away when Sabah & Sarawak were ANNEXED and colonized in Malaysia under UMNO rule.

    SSKM has organised private commemoration of this day in London, Kuching and other Sarawak towns, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

    If you wish fly the Malayan colonial flag upside down (as a sign of distress) and raise the Sarawak flag of your choice.

    Hidup Sabah Sarawak Independence!

    Historical Tree Map tracing Sabah & Sarawak independence & colonization to 2012


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