Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Sabah, Sarawak activists petition the UN

The Petition on Self-Determination is expected to gather several hundred thousand signatures in Sabah and Sarawak before making its way to the UN Secretary General.

MIRI: Sabah, Sarawak activists, NGOs and politicians, have drawn up a Petition, addressed to the UN Secretary-General, on re-visiting the self-determination issue for Sabah and Sarawak.

The Petition is being copied to the UN Special Committee of 24 (C-24), or Decolonization Committee, and the UN Human Rights Committee.

The Petition, signed in Miri over the weekend by about 100 participants is expected to gather several hundred thousand signatures in Sabah and Sarawak before making its way to the UN Secretary General.

“It’s obvious from Article 160 of the Federal Constitution that Malaysia was not formed as was earlier promoted by the British and Malayan Governments,” said Daniel John Jambun, the President of the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia (BoPIM) in explaining why he signed the Petition.

“Sabah and Sarawak were dragged into the Malayan Federation on 16 Sept 1963 by the British and Malayan Governments to facilitate the merger of Singapore with Malaya. The Malayan Federation changed its name to Malaysian Federation.”

The Petition, at the outset, points out that the UN did not address an earlier Memorandum on the issue, dated 9 Sept 1962, and signed by Sarawak United Peoples’ Party, United National Pasok Momogun Party North Borneo (Sabah) and Parti Rakyat Brunei.

In calling for a review on self-determination, the Petition deplores “the arbitrary and indecorous surrender of our sovereignty by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland under Command of Her Majesty the Queen of England, to the Federation of Malaysia on 16th September 1963”.

The Petition notes without comment that this surrender of sovereignty “was without exercise of the right to self-determination in contravention of the spirit and letter of the United Nations and Decolonization Declaration adopted by the General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) of the 14th December 1960”.

Brunei attained independence, Sarawak and Sabah under ‘change of status’ stature

It’s this right, self-determination, which the organisers behind the Petition and signature campaign want to pursue in following up the Memorandum dated 9 Sept 1962.

“Whereas Brunei attained independence on 1st January 1984, Sarawak and Sabah have remained under ‘change of status’ stature without national independence up to today,” notes the Petition. “This has been documented as such in the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement listed by the General Assembly as Non-Self-Governing Territories.”

Besides BoPIM, other participating organisations include the Borneo Heritage Foundation headed by Jeffrey Kitingan, the Sarawak People’s Organisation headed by Lina Soo and Borneo Rights International headed by Kanul Gindol.

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