Sunday, 20 December 2015
The feedback from headquarters is that the local chapters in Borneo should take “baby steps” in seeking greater autonomy from national leaders in the peninsula.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Opposition Leader and the head of the local chapter of the peninsula-based PKR, Lajim Ukin, who defected from the Barisan Nasional (BN) before the last General Election, has thrown down the gauntlet with party headquarters. This follows the realisation that the rural voters in Orang Asal country refuse to have anything to do with the party.
“Many Sabahans think that just as in Umno Sabah, PKR Sabah leaders have little say on how the state should be run.”
Taking a leaf from former PKR vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan, Lajim is demanding that PKR Sabah and Sarawak be allowed to have their own annual congresses separate from that held in the peninsula by the headquarters.
“We don’t want people going around saying that we are a parti Malaya and that we have no business being in Borneo,” said Lajim.
“We want to dispel the notion that we are puppets like the BN component parties in Sabah who are puppets of Umno and like the puppets in Umno Sabah.”
Lajim was explaining to the local media the stir he created in Shah Alam recently when he turned up with a 270-strong delegation from Sabah with placards demanding that Sabah and Sarawak be allowed to hold their own separate annual congresses.
“This is in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63),” said Lajim. “We must have autonomy from the headquarters.”
“If we can hold our own annual Congress, it will help us cut down on expenses travelling to the peninsula on party matters.”
He claims that the party headquarters may agree, in principle, that the Sabah and Sarawak chapters of the party have more autonomy. However, the feedback from the headquarters is that the local chapters in Borneo should take “baby steps” in seeking greater autonomy from the national leaders in the peninsula.
Lajim, who was appointed by jailed de facto Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, isn’t sure whether the PKR Sabah Chief should be elected.
Jeffrey left PKR when his demand that the PKR Sabah leader be elected was rejected by Anwar. The de facto PKR Chief also rejected Jeffrey’s demand that he make good his promise to honour the Tambunan Declaration which includes MA63.
PKR won seven state seats in 2013 but three of the lawmakers have since defected from the party. The party also holds the Penampang parliamentary seat.
The peninsula-based opposition parties in Sabah, as in Sarawak, are bogged down by local opposition parties splitting votes when it comes to election time. The peninsula-based opposition parties in Borneo claim that local opposition parties are being sponsored by BN, a charge which they have denied.
Source: Free Malaysia Today
Saturday, 12 December 2015
Ini yang dinamakan Resit Pengenalan JKM yang Dikeluarkan Oleh Jabatan Ketua Menteri Untuk Diberikan Kepada PTI yang masuk ke Sabah secara HARAM. Untuk Pengetahuan anda semua Resit ini lah yang memberi jaminan kepada Rakyat Filipina yang lari dan masuk secara haram, tinggal bebas di Sabah tanpa rasa takut untuk dicekup oleh Pihak Berkuasa..pernah terjadi dimana suatu operasi dijalankan pemegang Resit ini dibebaskan kerana mendapat Jaminan daripada 'orang kuat SABAH'( guess who ) sedangkan kategori yang disahkan sebagai dokumen pengenalan adalah kad pengenalan dan pasport..alahai...para pemimpin sedarlah anda telah menjual Negeri anda sendiri
**Dokumen yang dikeluarkan kepada rakyat Filipina iaitu resit pengenalan drpd Jabatan Ketua Menteri untuk menukarkan ia kepada kad IMM13 seterusnya ditukarkan kepada kad pengenalan taraf penduduk tetap..anehnya resit pengenalan sementara yang dikeluarkan kepada rakyat Filipina cuma sekeping kertas yang tidak ada sebarang ciri keselamatan dan dikeluarkan kepada PENDATANG TANPA IZIN ini..boleh menukarkan ia kepada kad IMM13..Sedangkan ramai diantara mereka baru 2 minggu 'berlari' dari negara mereka untuk mndapatkan kertas bodoh ini..untuk pengetahuan anda semua ramai antara mereka ini mempunyai anak-anak yang bekerja di Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia khususnya di Sabah dan mempunyai pelbagai peringkat jawatan dari bawahan sehinggalah atasan (sejarah ibu bapa daripada Filipina mempunyai status penduduk tetap,masih memiliki IMM13..anak status warganegara)..**
Kredit to : Wartawan bebas
Source: 1 Suara Sabah
Thursday, 10 December 2015
Thursday, December 10, 2015 Agreement of Malaysia , Federation of Malaysia 16 September 1963 , News , Sarawak No comments
IT is not wrong for the state to revisit what its forefathers have agreed to when the Malaysia Agreement was penned on July 9, 1963.
Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah said there were various factors that ought to be looked into especially when Sarawak attained independence through Malaysia more than 50 years ago.
“What they have agreed to at that time, what safeguards the state has got, whether these terms and conditions they have agreed to at that moment of time…were they followed through by the leaders of post Malaysia after the leaders that helmed this beloved nation of ours through the years?
“These are natural questions that come to us especially now with the increase in social media where people are able to access information easier and with a population with a good eduction background, there’s a lot of questions being asked,” he said in his debate to support the motion calling on the state government to be fully committed in safeguarding the special interest of the state which was tabled by Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing at the State Legislative Assembly yesterday.
Abdul Karim (BN Asajaya), who seconded the motion, said Sarawakians had experienced many levels of unhappiness throughout the years on issues concerning the rate of infrastructure such as the condition of schools, hospitals, clinics, roads, electricity and clean water supplies in the state, and the insufficient funding given by the federal government among others.
“There is also unhappiness of certain policies such as the usage of English, the use of the word ‘Allah’, and the right to practise one’s faith through the years as well as unhappiness over erosions of the rights of our territory especially on the ‘continental shelf’ which even before we formed Malaysia, are recognised as ours.”
“I won’t go into the very details on what are the areas that have been eroded but suffice for me to say that some of these matters have been highlighted by Our Right Honourable Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem) in his speeches across the state, in Peninsular Malaysia as well as by members of this august House,” he said.
Abdul Karim also said it was enlightening that the state government had set up several committees to discuss these issues with the federal government.
“It is enlightening to see that the state government is looking into this and we have got our own way of trying to address this problem so it will be a win-win situation for the state and the nation.
“The answers to these have not come about but slowly, we can see that the federal government is giving what we have requested for such as the (Pan Borneo) Highway, which is already undergoing construction now in Teluk Melano-Sematan and another in Bintulu while the request for increase in oil royalty as well as contracts of the oil industry to be given to local or state-linked companies seemed to be getting attention from Petronas and the federal government,” he said, adding that with the committees being set up, hopefully there’s light at the end of the tunnel for the state to be given more empowerment from the federal government.
Abdul Karim also took the opportunity to make a playful jab at the opposition stating that they had been trying to jump on the ‘popularity bandwagon’ that Adenan has created.
“It cannot be denied that Our Right Honourable Chief Minister has been steadfast in his efforts to get back the rights that are rightfully ours and which have through the years been taken away or diminished from us and unfortunately the opposition has tried to jump on the bandwagon as (prior to this) we have not heard them talking about this.
“It is probably because the election is near and they might have run out of issues. This is the first time I’ve seen so many motions (from the opposition) practically related to the same subject matter which is on the state-federal relationship,” he said.
Coincidently, opposition members Chong Chieng Jen (DAP Kota Sentosa), David Wong (DAP Pelawan) and See Chee How (PKR Batu Lintang) also filed the same motion that contained the same subject matters to what Masing had tabled.
Source: The Borneo Post
THE State Legislative Assembly yesterday unanimously approved a motion tabled by Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing who called on the state government to be fully committed in safeguarding the special interests of the state.
The motion also incorporates three other motions from Chong Chieng Jen (DAP Kota Sentosa), David Wong (DAP Pelawan) and See Chee How (PKR Batu Lintang) that contained the same subject matter to what Masing tabled.
Chong called for the appointment of a Special Select Committee to consider and review the terms of the Malaysia Agreement and the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution on four areas, namely Education, Healthcare, Internal Security and Taxation, while Wong tabled a motion on the use of English as the official language of Sarawak.
The motion tabled by See was to call on the august House to preserve and uphold the territorial integrity of Sarawak and Rejection of Territorial Sea Act 2012 as well as on the setting up of a commission to look into the constitutional and legal framework for devolution of powers to Sarawak.
Prior to the passing of the motion tabled by Masing, it was debated and supported by Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Chong as well as See.
Masing, who is also Baleh assemblyman, proposed that the august House mandates the state government to take all measures and action under Article VIII of the Malaysia Agreement with the federal government to ensure the complete implementation of all the recommendations of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report for the advancement and safeguard the special interests of the state and the peoples of Sarawak.
“We also called on the state government to realign federal policies on education, health and official language so that they are consistent with the constitutional safeguards and the terms of the IGC Report.”
He also called for a review of the grants and other revenues assigned to the state shall be initiated and the discharge of financial burdens by the federal government on subject matters in the Concurrent List and additional sources of revenues be made available to the state government to carry out its constitutional functions and responsibilities to the people.
“We propose for the delegation of federal functions and powers to the state to ensure the efficient and effective monitoring or supervision, and timely implementation, of federal works and infrastructural projects in the state or projects designed to improve the welfare of the rural communities.”
Masing called for a review of all legislations that affect the state’s rights to its natural resources of the exercise powers and functions in relation thereto, under the Federal Constitution, within its boundaries and upon such review, to amend or repeal such legislation.
Finally, he called for a review of those federal government’s decisions or policies which were found to be inconsistent with the aspirations of the people of the state as noted in the Cobbold Commission Report and the IGC Report at the time of the formation of Malaysia.
According to Masing, the state government was firmly committed to accelerate the economic and social progress made by the state since Malaysia Day to enable the state to reach the level of development of the states in Peninsular Malaysia and be part of a developed nation by 2020.
“The state government is also fully committed to safeguard the special interests of the state as enshrined in Part XIIA of the Federal Constitution, the executive and legislative powers vested in the state and the revenues assigned to the state under the Tenth Schedule of the Federal Constitutions; the terms of the Malaysia Agreement and the recommendations of the IGC Report.”
He also said the state government was desirous that the state shall continue to have the authorities vested in the state under the Federal Constitution and additional sources of revenues, and full and meaningful consultation on all decisions, actions, plans, programmes, projects and policies which affect or concern or impact the state and its peoples.
Masing said the state was firmly committed towards strengthening the relationship between the state and federal governments in order to realise the goals of accelerating economic and social progress in the state particularly in the rural areas and to improve the welfare and well being of all communities in the state.
“The continued progress and advancement of Sarawak and the respect for the constitutional safeguards and special interests of the state will promote and strengthen national unity and contribute towards a strong and prosperous Malaysia.”
In his winding up speech, he thanked all the elected representatives for supporting the motion, adding it was important for all of them to speak on the same page on ways to preserve Sarawak’s rights.
“I would like to thank the member for Batu Lintang who spoke on territorial rights. There are two Acts that are very important to us; one is Territorial Sea Act 2012 and Continental Shelf Act 1966,” he said, adding that the Petroleum Mining Act 1966 was also equally important that the state government would look into.
Source: The Borneo Post
1. Mahdzir Khalid sekali lagi menimbulkan kenyataan kontroversi apabila berkata bahawa hanya bangsa Melayu dari Malaya yang layak memegang teraju pemerintahan negara ini dan mendominasi kuasa politik negara.
2. Menteri Pendidikan ini pernah mengeluarkan kenyataan kontroversi yang dikecam hebat apabila mengaitkan laporan Sarawak Report ke atas Najib Tun Razak sebagai usaha yang dirancang oleh agama Yahudi dan Kristian.
3. Kenyataan tidak bertanggungjawab menteri yang baru dilantik tersebut dilihat sangat berbahaya kerana melaga-lagakan bangsa dan penganut agama di negara ini yang boleh mencetuskan perbalahan kaum. Kenyataan ini adalah fitnah dan hasil karya Mahdzir sendiri yang tidak disokong oleh mana-mana bukti; namun sehingga sekarang tidak ada tindakan yang diambil ke atasnya.
4. Ini menyebabkan Mahdzir lebih berani bersuara lantang membelakangkan sumbangan kaum-kaum lain dalam proses pembentukan Malaysia. Mahdzir berkata: “UMNO lah yang membina negara ini dengan bantuan MCA dan MIC”
5. UMNO tidak membina negara Malaysia.
6. UMNO mungkin memberi sumbangan besar ketika Tanah Melayu menuju kepada proses kemerdekaan dari British tetapi bukan instrumental dalam pembentukan Malaysia. Malaysia terbentuk dengan penyertaan Sabah dan Sarawak sebagai negara-negara kongsi yang mempunyai taraf yang sama dengan Tanah Melayu pada ketika itu.
7. Kegagalan Madhzir memahami fakta sejarah ini bukan sahaja menunjukkan bahawa beliau tidak layak menjadi menteri tetapi tidak berhak bersuara membelakangkan sumbangan kaum-kaum lain. Apabila pelampau seperti ini dijadikan Menteri Pendidikan Malaysia, maka masa depan negara ini kelam dan ketegangan kaum bakal tercetus.
8. Keluasan tanah Sabah dan Sarawak adalah lebih besar daripada Malaya. Walaupun hanya 5.7 juta rakyat Malaysia tinggal di Sabah dan Sarawak berbanding 22.5 juta di Malaya, namun Malaysia tidak akan wujud di muka bumi ini tanpa Sabah dan Sarawak. Kekuatan maritim Malaysia tidak akan ke mana tanpa Malaysia timur, dan Malaysia tidak akan semaju hari ini tanpa Sabah & Sarawak.
9. Penduduk berbilang bangsa dan agama dari Sabah & Sarawak berjumlah 5.7 juta orang. Sementara orang Melayu dari Malaya berjumlah 9 juta orang. Bumiputera Sabah & Sarawak mempunyai hak yang sama dengan Melayu.
10. Persoalannya mengapa rakyat bumiputera Sabah & Sarawak harus bertuankan Melayu?
BENTANG USUL: Masing ketika membentangkan usul pada Persidangan DUN semalam.
KUCHING: Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) semalam sebulat suara meluluskan usul agar kerajaan negeri diberi kuasa penuh untuk mengambil segala langkah dan tindakan melindungi hak dan kepentingan Sarawak dengan mendesak kerajaan pusat melaksanakan sepenuhnya Perjanjian Malaysia 1963.
Usul itu dibentang oleh Menteri Kemajuan Tanah Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Masing bersama empat lagi usul dikemukakan Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa), See Chee Haw (PKR-Batu Lintang) dan David Wong (DAP-Pelawan) kerana ia merangkumi perkara sama.
Masing ketika membaca usul itu berkata Artikel VII Perjanjian Malaysia 1963 memberi jaminan bahawa hak-hak kerajaan negeri akan dilindungi menerusi ‘semua pengesyoran dalam Laporan Jawatankuasa Antara Kerajaan (IGC) untuk menambah baik dan melindungi kepentingan-kepentingan istimewa negeri dan rakyat Sarawak’.
“Oleh itu, Dewan ini memberi mandat kepada kerajaan negeri melakukan rundingan dengan kerajaan persekutuan untuk menyemak serta menyusun semula dasar-dasar persekutuan dalam pendidikan, kesihatan dan bahasa rasmi.
“Semakan dan susunan semula itu penting supaya ia selaras dengan melindungi perlembagaan dan terma-terma Laporan IGC,” ujarnya.
Selain itu dengan lulusnya usul tersebut, mandat turut diberi kepada Ketua Menteri Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem menyemak semula semua undang-undang persekutuan termasuk meminda atau memansuh undang-undang yang menjejaskan hak-hak Sarawak terhadap sumber aslinya.
Undang-undang yang terlibat ialah Akta Pelantar Benua 1966, Akta Laut Wilayah 2012 dan Akta Petroleum 1966.
Akta Laut Wilayah 2012 mengehadkan wilayah perairan Sarawak iaitu dalam lingkungan tiga batu nautika dari pantai manakala Akta Pelantar Benua 1966 dan Akta Petroleum 1996 boleh menjejaskan tuntutan kerajaan negeri untuk mendapatkan pendapatan daripada sumber petroleum.
“Semakan semula ini boleh juga merangkumi keputusan dan dasar kerajaan persekutuan jika ia didapati tidak seiring dengan aspirasi rakyat Sarawak seperti ditulis dalam Laporan Suruhanjaya Cobbold dan Laporan IGC.
“Mandat ini juga boleh digunakan untuk memulakan kajian semula geran dan pendapatan lain yang diberikan kepada Sarawak,”ujarnya.
Sementara itu pada persidangan sama, Dewan menolak beberapa usul dibangkit pembangkang antaranya usul dikemukakan Baru Bian (PKR- Ba’Kelalan).
Baru mengemukakan usul agar kerajaan negeri melaksanakan dasar-dasar tetap untuk mencapai ‘Borneonisasi’ dan pembahagian perkhidmatan jawatan dalam sektor awam yang seimbang dalam kalangan etnik di Malaysia terutama 90 peratus rakyat Sarawak dalam sektor pendidikan dan jawatan pengarah serta timbalan pengarah jabatan kerajaan pusat menjelang 2018.
Selain itu Dewan turut menolak secara bertulis usul Baru yang mahu Biro Tata Negara (BTN) disemak semula.
Baru yang ditemui selepas itu memberitahu, antara alasan dikemukakan Speaker DUN Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar menolak usul pertamanya ialah perkataan ‘Borneonisation’ tidak sesuai digunakan.
“Manakala usul berkaitan BTN, alasan ia ditolak ialah perkataan digunakan ketika membentangkan usul itu boleh mewujudkan perasaan niat jahat yang boleh menyebabkan permusuhan dalam kalangan berlainan kaum di Sarawak atau melanggar Perlembagaan Negeri Sarawak atau Perlembagaan Persekutuan atau Akta Hasutan 1948,” jelasnya.
Source: Utusan Borneo
Monday, 23 November 2015
The PKR vice-president has hurt the sensitivity of the Sabah people who had lost their loved ones during the intrusion by the Sulu sultan's soldiers in the state, says its president.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) vice president Japiril Suhaimin wants the state government to bar PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar from entering Sabah following her meeting with princess Jacel Jamalul Kiram, the daughter of the Sulu Sultan.
Japiril said this in a Facebook posting following Nurul’s meeting with the princess who was the spokesperson for Sultan Kiram during the Lahad Datu armed intrusion by soldiers from the Sulu Sultanate in 2013.
“Nurul Izzah has hurt the sensitivity of the people of Sabah who had lost their loved ones during the intrusion by soldiers loyal to Jamalul Kiram during the armed battle with Malaysian security forces in Tanduo. Stop her from entering Sabah,” he said.
One comment received on Facebook urged all PKR reps in Sabah to stop supporting the party.
“If Nurul Izzah remains in contact with Princess Jacel, all reps in Sabah must quit PKR and don’t expect the people of Sabah to support the party,” said Mohd Norazman Injah.
“Say No to PKR,” said another posting on Facebook.
Several pictures of Nurul Izzah and Princess Jacel were uploaded in social media and have gone viral, drawing criticism.
Source: Free Malaysia Today
Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya being together appear to be a Trust Arrangement under UN Resolution 1541 (XV) Principle IX.
KOTA KINABALU: Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar’s threat to bring “treason” charges against Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar for appearing in a picture with Jacel Kiram of the defunct Sulu Sultanate is easier said than done, said a human rights activist in Sabah. He cautioned against stirring a hornet’s nest on Malaysia in Borneo. “The Lahad Datu intruders from Sulu, for one, claimed that they were promised land, by the authorities, in eastern Sabah. That’s already ‘treason’, from the Borneo perspective.”
“Besides, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague did not allow Manila to be a party to its hearings on Sipadan (and Ligitan), thereby refusing to consider the so-called Sabah claim.”
Daniel John Jambun, who heads the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim), assumes that what Khalid probably means is that he will recommend, and that the Attorney General will bring, treason charges against Nurul.
In any case, added Daniel, perhaps AG Mohd Apandi Ali should first get a point of law ruling from the Federal Court, sitting as the Constitutional Court, on what the framers of the Federal Constitution meant by treason (and sedition) and whether they apply to Sabah and Sarawak. “Article 160 of the Federal Constitution defines Federation as the Malayan Federation.”
“Sabah and Sarawak never entered the Malayan Federation. They are not signatories to the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948 and therefore do not come under the Federation of Malaya Independence Act of 1957.”
If Article 160 means that the Malayan Federation is the basis of the greater Malaysian Federation, argues Daniel, the question that arises is whether this greater Federation still remains the Malayan Federation with Sabah and Sarawak “incorporated” therein, knowingly or unknowingly, or whether the greater Federation is a Federation of Malaya (now known as Malaysia), Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak. “We can leave Singapore out of the equation since it actually merged with Malaya in 1963, Sabah and Sarawak facilitating the process, and besides it has since exited the merger.”
The point of law ruling is important, stressed Daniel, since the Malayan Government has been in non compliance on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), and related constitutional documents, the basis for Sabah and Sarawak to be in Federation with the peninsula (with or without Singapore).
Seeking the point of law ruling, continued Daniel, can also help decide whether treason charges can be brought based on the contents of the Royal Commission Inquiry (RCI) Report on the illegal immigrant phenomenon in Sabah and Jamalul Kiram turning up at the Umno General Assembly in 2012. “The jury is still out on whether Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak shaking hands recently with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can be included as well in all the potential treason charges the AG has to consider.”
Indeed, in proceeding further he said, the 1MDB scandal and the RM2.6 billion political “donation” controversy can also be settled in Court through treason charges.
Daniel expressed confidence that the Constitutional Court would not be able to interpret the Federal Constitution as including Sabah and Sarawak within its ambit for treason or sedition. “The Court should not stop there, and in giving written grounds for its ruling, must touch on the constitutional issue of Malaya (now Malaysia) being in Borneo.”
If the Court finds that Sabah and Sarawak are members of the Malayan Federation (now Malaysian Federation), then Sabah and Sarawak would come within the ambit of the Federal Constitution on treason (and sedition), conceded Daniel.
Again, that would raise two constitutional issues.
Firstly, the Malayan/Malaysian Government’s non-compliance on MA63 and the related constitutional documents on Sabah and Sarawak being in Federation with the peninsula (with or without Singapore).
Secondly, said Daniel, it would raise the constitutional issue of the Intention of the Founding Fathers in Borneo on the 1963 Arrangements with Malaya, Singapore and the United Kingdom with or without the UN Secretary-General.
The bottomline, urged Daniel, is to exercise caution in Borneo, indeed not open Pandora’s Box, but instead put the past behind and proceed with Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s push for Sabah and Sarawak to regain their full autonomy. “That’s the status that Sabah and Sarawak had in 1963 and in line with MA63.”
“The idea of Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya being together, with or without Federation, may not have been envisaged to be a permanent arrangement. It appears to be a Trust Arrangement under UN Resolution 1541 (XV) Principle IX.”
Source: Free Malaysia Today
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The regional parliament of Catalonia launched a plan Monday to set up a road map for independence from Spain by 2017, defying warnings from the central government in Madrid that it is violating the nation's constitution.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy pledged to halt the effort.
The chamber, based in the northeastern city of Barcelona, passed the secession resolution in a 72-63 vote.
The proposal was made by pro-secession lawmakers from the "Together for Yes" alliance and the extreme left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP). The groups together obtained a parliamentary majority in regional elections in September that they presented as a stand-in plebiscite on independence after the central government in Madrid refused to allow an official referendum.
Spain's government reacted swiftly Monday. In a nationally televised address, Rajoy said his government will appeal the decision at the Constitutional Court, which has in the past blocked moves toward independence.
"Catalonia is not going anywhere. Nothing is going to break," Rajoy said.
He added he would meet with the leader of the main opposition Socialist Party, Pedro Sanchez, to forge a common front against the separatists.
The resolution passed by the Catalan parliament in its first postelection session declared "the start of a process toward the creation of an independent Catalan state in the form of a republic" and a "process of democratic disconnection not subject to the decisions by the institutions of the Spanish state."
While separatist lawmakers celebrated the result in the chamber, opponents held up Spanish and Catalan flags.
"There is a growing cry for Catalonia to not merely be a country, but to be a state, with everything that means," said Raul Romeva, head of the "Together for Yes" alliance.
Catalan branches of Spain's ruling conservative Popular Party and the Socialist and the Citizens opposition parties had filed appeals to halt the vote, but Spain's Constitutional Court ruled last Thursday that it could proceed.
"You want to divide a country by raising a frontier within the European Union," Citizens regional leader Ines Arrimadas told separatist lawmakers.
The Constitutional Court is expected to quickly rule that the law is illegal, but the resolution specifically orders the regional government not to heed the decision of Spain's highest court. It gives the incoming government 30 days to start working on a new Catalan constitution, which would later be voted on in a referendum by the summer of 2017, and begin establishing a new tax office and social security administration.
Pro-secessionist parties won their majority in September on the strength of just 48 percent of the vote. Anti-independence lawmakers say that denies separatists a legitimate democratic mandate to break away from Spain.
As well as warnings from the EU that an independent Catalonia would have to ask to be admitted to the bloc, separatist forces also face an internal dispute that could slow or even derail the independence push.
Later Monday, the parliament began what is expected to be a long, heated debate over whether Artur Mas should continue for a third term as regional president.
While his "Together for Yes" alliance backs him with 62 votes, it is short of the required majority of 68. The anti-independence parties are against him, and the CUP has said it won't support Mas because of his conservative austerity policies and the corruption investigations involving his Convergence Party.
The parliament has until Jan. 9 to form a government or a new election must be called.
By then, Spain will have held a national election — on Dec. 20 — and the issue of how to handle the situation in Catalonia will play a crucial role in whether the Popular Party can hold onto power.
Polls consistently show that while the majority of the 7.5 million Catalans support holding an official referendum on independence like Scotland, they are evenly divided over whether to break centuries-old ties with the rest of Spain.
Separatists have held massive pro-independence rallies since the Constitutional Court struck down key parts of a law that would have given more power to the wealthy and industrialized region in 2010.
The ranks of lifelong secessionists, who feel that the Catalan language — spoken along with Spanish in the region — and local traditions can only flourish in an independent state, have been joined by those suffering through Spain's economic problems and who believe that Catalans pay more than their fair share in taxes.
"The Spanish state has consistently frustrated our aspirations. That's why we are where we are," Mas said. "Catalonia is a country on the move. No lawsuit, threat or fear can stop the desire of millions of people."
Analysts say that with the regional and central governments on a collision course, they will eventually be forced to negotiate a way out of the impasse.
"The social and political pressure from Catalonia will provoke a political response in Madrid," said Jordi Matas, professor of political science at the University of Barcelona
KUCHING, Nov 18 ― Sarawak has adopted English as the official language of the state administration, apart from Bahasa Malaysia, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said today.
Adenan told the state civil service gathering this morning that official government correspondence can be in both languages, adding that it was a practical and logical step.
“There is no need for any official correspondence between government departments to be in Bahasa Malaysia all the time, you can use English in your correspondence at the same time,” he said in his speech at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.
“I have been labelled as not being nationalistic or patriotic enough by others when I advocate for the use of English in Sarawak. I am just being practical and logical,” he said.
The chief minister said the use of English is necessary and unavoidable, also pointing out that it is the language of science.
He cited recent reports claiming that graduates here have been finding it hard to get employment because of their poor command of English and said this proves his point on the need to be proficient in the language.
“I do not know who made the decision not to use English in the past, but it has adversely affected other people now,” he said.
Adenan then urged the state’s civil servants to be skillful in English, reminding them that it is a universal language used as a communication tool across the globe.
On a separate matter, the chief minister issued a reminder to federal officers from other states to serve Sarawak well when they are posted here.
“You are in Sarawak to serve the people here. If you don't, we will file complaints with your big bosses in Kuala Lumpur, and we have every right to complain,” he said.
He said he will ask federal lawmakers from Sarawak to complain to Parliament if federal departmental heads here do not adequately serve the state.
“The complaints will then become political issues,” he said.
Federal officers not happy with serving in Sarawak can always request for transfers, he added.
“We have no problem with that, but we must insist that you must serve the state well,” he said.
Source: The Malay Online
Monday, 16 November 2015
KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Umno must emulate the bravery of a Middle Eastern militant group that defeated an Iraqi force outnumbering it nearly 30 to one if the Malay nationalist party is to survive, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday.
The Umno president and prime minister was listing virtues that were needed to allow the Malay nationalist party to continue in power, during a dinner to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its Cheras branch yesterday.
“For example, when someone dares to fight to their death, they can even defeat a much bigger team.
“As proof — whether we agree or not is another matter — the group ISIL with the strength of just 1,300 people, can defeat an Iraqi army of 30,000 soldiers, until four, five generals with three, four stars run for their lives, jump out the window at night. Why? Because they are afraid of those who are brave,” he told more than 1,000 Umno members in attendance.
He also stressed the importance of being loyal to god, the party, and friends.
Najib said having wisdom and foresight in battles as well as the ability to organise is also crucial in strengthening the party.
The Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) is a splinter group of al-Qaeda that wants to set up an Islamic caliphate encompassing both Iraq and Syria.
ISIL is viewed as a terror organisation by authorities both here and abroad.
A Malaysian suspected of being a member of ISIL was believed to have been the suicide bomber who killed 25 members of an Iraqi police team last month.
Earlier this month, three local men were arrested by police for suspected links to ISIL.
Source: The Malay Online
Friday, 13 November 2015
- Autonomi Untuk Sarawak - dahulu semasa perjanjian Malaysia 1963, kita telah mensyaratkan beberapa perkara untuk survival bangsa Sarawak di dalam Gagasan Malaysia. Sekarang kami mahunya kembali kerana kami boleh menguruskannya sendiri. Autonomi yang dituntut bukannya autonomi yang diminta-minta secara begitu sahaja SEBALIKNYA ianya sudahpun tertulis di dalam perjanjian Malaysia. Bukan bermakna meminta autonomi kita hendak KELUAR MALAYSIA tetapi kita hanya menuntut apa yang telah dimeterai dahulu. Jadi tiada isu hendak keluar Malaysia dan tiada yang perlu ditakuti oleh Kerajaan Persekutan kerana sejarah membuktikan keberadaan Sarawak membentuk Gagasan Malaysia adalah untuk bersama-sama mempertahankan diri daripada ancaman komunis dan sebagainya. Kami bukan orang yang tidak tahu sejarah itu semua. Autonomi Pendidikan: Dasar Pendidikan sekarang adalah satu dasar flip-flop polisi yang dikeluarkan oleh Menteri Pendidikan telah menghancurkan dasar pendidikan yang sepatutnya boleh melahirkan bijak pandai generasi muda dari Sarawak. Malah penempatan guru-guru juga menjadi satu yang mustahak kerana hanya orang Sarawak yang lebih mengenal apa itu adat budaya orang Sarawak.
- Toleransi Kaum - In order you want to be tolerate, you need to respect each other. Di Sarawak, kaum bumiputera bukan hanya beragama Islam malah juga beragama lain misalnya Kristian dan Pagan. Kami ada lebih 30 etnik dengan beratus-ratus bahasa dan dialek seperti juga kepercayaan. Jika tiada dasar keterbukaan yang tidak diamalkan malah akan hancur satu negara. Kami tidak mahu seperti di Malaya yang seperti ada master in races.. we in Sarawak all adalah satu bangsa.. Sarawak cukup luas untuk semua. Dan menghormati agama lain juga adalah satu yang menjadi pengukuhan kepada satu bangsa.
- Bahasa Inggeris - Mengapa kita harus ketepikan bahasa Inggeris jika kita tahu ianya bahasa dunia. Bukan bermakna kita belajar bahasa Inggeris kita akan mengenepikan bahasa Malaysia. Orang Sarawak misalnya lebih fasih berbahasa Inggeris berbanding dengan orang di Semenanjung kerana sejak dahulu lagi kami sentiasa memastikan ianya digunapakai kerana kami mahu bangsa Sarawak satu bangsa yang global.
- Sejarah - Apa yang dibelajar sekarang memihak kepada sejarah Melayu sahaja yang mana ianya tidak adil sama sekali kepada bangsa Sarawak. Kami juga mempunyai sejarah sendiri yang harus anak bangsa kami mengetahuinya. Subjek sejarah sekarang HARUS DIROMBAK SAMA SEKALI.
- Royalti - kami mahu royalti lebih daripada apa yang kami ada kerana sejajar dengan waktu ianya langsung tidak mencukupi. Tuntutan sekarang 10% dan kalau boleh 20% itu penting untuk membangunkan Sarawak lagipun ianya kepunyaan kami.
- Kuasa jabatan - Mengapa harus ada pengagihan kuasa yang bertimpa-timpa. Jika JKR Sarawak boleh membuatnya kenapa harus ada campurtangan dari JKR Persekutuan. Kadang-kadang kontrak yang kita orang Sarawak tidak mengetahuinya kerana adanya campurtangan daripada orang yang bukan orang Sarawak.
- Isu 1MDB, we Sarawakian don't care about it kerana kami lebih mementingkan bagaimana untuk hidup dengan keadaan ekonomi sekarang. So tidak payahlah mempengaruhi pemikiran yang tidak ada kene mengena dengan kita.
- Pembalakan Haram - Pencuri tok ingat macam neneknya pun hutan..oohaa.. perlu dihentikan. Kita kehilangan banyak daripada pencuri-pencuri balak ini. Ianya akan diteruskan sehingga tiada lagi pembalak haram termasuk sawmill yang bersekongkol.
BENDERAnews, 10/11/15 (JAKARTA) - Sudah sangat jelas dan tegas, Indonesia bukanlah Negara agama. Tetapi Indonesia adalah Negara yang berdasarkan Pancasila dan UUD 1945. Negara yang menghargai pluralitas termasuk dalam bidang agama.
Menteri Dalam Negeri (Mendagri), Tjahjo Kumolo menegaskan itu pada acara pelantikan Pengurus Pusat Pemuda Katolik, di Aula Universitas Atma Jaya, Jakarta, Minggu (8/11/15) kemarin.
“Indonesia adalah negara berdasarkan Pancasila dan UUD 1945, titik. Indonesia bukan Negara agama. Saya adalah orang yang paling tidak suka istilah mayoritas dan minoritas. Kita semua adalah warga negera Indonesia,” tandasnya lagi.
Dalam konteks tersebut, demikian Tjahjo, Negara mempunyai kewajiban untuk hadir memberikan kedamaian, rasa tenang dan kebebasan kepada seluruh rakyat Indonesia yang majemuk. Pemerintah, katanya harus memastikan dan menjamin setiap warga Negara dapat beribadah sesuai dengan agama dan keyakinannya.
“Ini harus terus-menerus dipertegas kita semua. Saya kira ini adalah prinsip-prinsip yang harus terus dikumandangkan, kalau tidak ini akan membahayakan persatuan dan kesatuan,” tegasnya.
Tjahjo pun meminta kepada semua elemen bangsa agar menjaga Indonesia sebagai Negara yang berdasarkan Pancasila dan UUD 1945 yang menghargai kemajemukan. Dengan demikian, setiap warga Negara saling menghargai, adanya kebersamaan, setiap orang dapat beribadah sesuai dengan agama dan keyakinannya. Demikian Tjahjo Kumolo, mantan Ketum DPP KNPI.
“Saya harapkan jajaran Pemuda Katolik dan seluruh pemuda, seluruh bangsa Indonesia harus berani menentukan sikap siapa kawan atau lawan terhadap organisasi, kelompok atau peorangan, atau siapa pun yang mencoba mengingkari bahwa Negara kita adalah Negara Pancasila, negara kita adalah negara majemuk, dan negara yang menjunjung tinggi nilai-nilai agama dan keberagamannya,” demikian Tjahjo Kumolo, mantan Ketum DPP KNPI. (bsc-jr/B --- JR Pro Jakarta/foto ilustrasi istimewa)
Source: Bendera News
Kalau rakyat negara Sarawak masih mahukan pkr, dap mahupun amanah, maka jangan pula salahkan rakyat negara Sarawak yang lain kerana inginkan umno di negara Sarawak. Ini kerana kamu tidak mahu mengambil pengajaran yang berlaku di negara Sabah. Apabila ditegur, anda semua dengan bongkaknya mengatakan bahawa "ada hati mahu menasihat orang lain sedangkan diri-sendiri tidak terjaga".
Apabila rakyat negara Sabah memberikan nasihat tentang mengapa bangsa negara Sarawak perlu menolak pengaruh-pengaruh parti malaya di negara Sarawak adalah kerana mereka tidak mahu nasib malang itu menimpa bangsa negara Sarawak.
Kini, negara Sabah berada didalam momentum untuk menyingkirkan pengaruh malaya tetapi bangsa negara Sarawak bermati-matian mahu membawa dan menyebarkan fahaman dan ideologi malaya.
Jikalau itu sudah memang kehendak dan impian bangsa negara Sarawak untuk merasa diri dijajah secara langsung oleh kuasa politik daripada malaya, maka niat, keinginan serta impian itu dihormati.
Apa yang penting, bangsa negara Sabah sudah tekad untuk menyingkirkan ideologi perosak bangsa ini kerana sudah memahami sepenuhnya bahawa kedatangan mereka bukan untuk kepentingan bangsa negara Sabah tetapi untuk kepentingan kelangsungan parti mereka semata-mata.
Disaat bangsa negara Sabah mahu keluar daripada sangkar penjajahan halus ini, disaat itu pula bangsa negara Sarawak berusaha untuk masuk sangkar.
Ini adalah realiti yang sedang berlaku sekarang yang tidak mampu dilihat dengan jelas oleh kebanyakan bangsa negara Sarawak yang pro ideologi malaya.
Sistem "divide and rule" (pecah dan perintah) yang dilakukan oleh pihak British terhadap Persekutuan Tanah Melayu di mana Tanah Melayu dipecahkan kepada TIGA SISTEM pemerintahan yang berasingan, iaitu Negeri-negeri Selat, Negeri-negeri Melayu Bersekutu dan Negeri-negeri Melayu Tidak Bersekutu. Selain itu, masyarakat Melayu, Cina dan India diasingkan atau dipecah-belahkan mengikut sistem politik, sektor pekerjaan dan penempatan. Dengan sistem ini, amat sukar dan mustahil masyarakat berbilang kaum di Tanah Melayu pada masa itu boleh bersatu padu. Kaum-kaum tertentu terikat dengan parti-parti khusus yang mewakili mereka. UMNO dan PAS hanya untuk parti orang Melayu, MCA & GERAKAN khusus untuk orang Cina dan MIC untuk masyarakat India. Versi baru, lahirlah PKR, DAP dan AMANAH.
Sistem dan konsep British ini diwujudkan di Sabah era Tun Mahathir, di mana pemimpin-pemimpin serpihan PBS dipecahkan melalui penajaan beberapa parti seperti Parti AKAR (Mark Koding), SAPP (Yong Teck Lee), PDS/UPKO (Bernard Dompok), PBRS (Joseph Kurup) , LDP (Chong Kah Kiat). Impak daripada kewujudan parti yang banyak ini telah jelas memecah-belahkan rakyat Sabah untuk mengikuti parti-parti tertentu 'mengikut citarasa', bukan mengikut kepada komuniti seperti konsep awal di dalam Perikatan Sabah. Kebanyakkan rakyat akan lari ke sana dan lari ke sini untuk mendapatkan peluang dan habuan tertentu yang ditawarkan oleh parti-parti yang ada. Sistem 'Pecahkan dan Perintah' berjaya diimplimintasikan terhadap rakyat Sabah dan sehingga kini UMNO-BN bernafas lega menikmati segala sumber kekayaan dan keistimewaan yang terdapat di Sabah yang sepatutnya milik rakyat Sabah.
Demikian juga pada era ini, di mana selepas PRU-13 dicatatkan oleh laman web FreeMalaysiaToday (FMT) yang bertarikh 25 Mac 2014, bahawa Jabatan Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Malaysia (JPPM) telah meluluskan secara rasmi 13 parti politik baru bagi Sabah. Jika dicampurkan dengan parti politik sedia ada seperti SAPP, PBRS, LDP, PBS, UPKO, STAR dan parti penjajah UMNO, DAP & PKR, ianya menjadikan 23 buah Parti Politik Di Sabah sebagai medium memecah-belahkan rakyat Sabah. Lihat Senarai lengkap ini dan fikirkanlah hasil kecekapan otak pemimpin Malaya lakukan kepada Sabah:-
01. Parti PBS
02. Parti SAPP
03. Parti PBRS
04. Parti LDP
05. Parti UPKO
06. Parti STAR
07. Parti UMNO
08. Parti DAP
09. Parti PAS
10. Parti PKR
11. Parti Bersatu Bugis Sabah (PBBS)
12. Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS)
13. Parti Damai Sabah (Parti SPP)
14. Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sabah (PERS)
15. Parti Gagasan Bersama Rakyat Sabah (PARTI BERSAMA)
16. Parti Kebangsaan Sabah
17. Parti Kebenaran Sabah (KEBENARAN)
18. Parti Pembangunan Warisan Sabah
19. Parti Sejahtera Angkatan Perpaduan Sabah (SAPU)
20. Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Sabah Bersatu (BARU)
21. Pertubuhan Perpaduan Rakyat Kebangsaan Sabah (PERPADUAN)
22. Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS)
23. Parti Kerjasama Rakyat Sabah (PKRS)
Perkara ini sepatutnya diambil serius oleh para pemimpin politik Sabah dan rakyat, di mana melalui banyaknya parti di Sabah akan membuka ruang yang sangat lebar bagi pemimpin dan rakyat Sabah berpecah, berpuak-puak, mendominasi, mempersalahkan, syak wasangka, iri hati, saling menyalahkan, mengungkit-ungkit, parti ini mengambil orang dari parti itu untuk menjadi ahlinya dengan cara yang tidak sihat dan semua perkara yang berlaku banyak mengarah kepada hal-hal negatif. Kelihatannya ruang untuk rakyat Sabah bersatu padu ketika era USNO, BERJAYA & PBS musnah serta sangat tipis keberangkalian rakyat Sabah bersatu lagi.
Thursday, 12 November 2015
O Canada.....What a cabinet:
Minister of Health is a doctor.
Minister of Transport is an astronaut.
Minister of National Defense is a Sikh Veteran.
Minister of Youth is under the age of 45.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is a former farmer.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was a Scout.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development was a financial analyst.
Minister of Finance is a successful businessman.
Minister of Justice was a crown prosecutor and is a First Nations leader.
Minister of Sport, and Persons with Disabilities is a visually impaired Paralympian.
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Canadian Coastguard is Inuit.
Minister of Science is a medical geographer with a PhD.
New titles include
Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees was an Immigration critic.
There are scientists in the cabinet, and it is made up of 50% women.
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
BARCELONA, Spain – Spain’s autonomous Catalonia region on Monday passed a historic resolution supporting independence, with the separatist alliance that tabled the motion saying this could happen within 18 months.
The resolution calls for separation from Spain by 2017.
The controversial bill was approved with 72 votes against 63, a year after the Catalan government held an informal referendum on independence, which Madrid declared illegal.
MPs from the coalition Junts pel Si (Together for Yes), which includes acting prime minister Artur Mas’ center-rightist CIU party and the small leftist CUP, threw their votes behind the resolution.
Both parties together hold the majority in the chamber since local elections in September.
Monday’s historic resolution ended with ceremonies in which regional representatives from both sides waved Catalan and Spanish flags inside the chamber.
The resolution says the parliament is not beholden to decisions by the Spanish central government – the first time in Spanish history that this has happened.
The motion gives Catalan lawmakers 30 days to start working on a new Catalan constitution that will be put to a vote in a later referendum, and on legislation to create a new tax and social security administration.
The end result would be a fully independent republic.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned in a televised speech that his government would appeal the decision at the Constitutional Court.
“The government will not allow this to continue,” he declared.
“Catalonia is not going to disconnect from anywhere, and there is going to be no break-up,” he said.
Catalonia, a region of 7.5 million people in Spain’s northeast, has its own distinctive culture and language.
A long-running separatist movement in Catalonia has been fueled by politicians who protest that the rich, industrialized region is contributing too much to the national budget in order to subsidize the country’s poorer provinces.
Catalonia’s regional parliament has approved a plan to set up a road map for independence from Spain by 2017, in defiance of repeated calls by the central government in Madrid, which has branded the secessionist campaign as totally illegal.
Lawmakers on Monday passed the motion by 72 to 63 votes. The proposal was initially handed in by pro-independence MPs from the Together for Yes alliance and the extreme left-wing Popular Unity Candidacy.
The two parties submitted the proposal to the parliament after gaining a majority in September's regional elections.
This was the first session of the legislature, which is based in the northeastern city of Barcelona, since the September election. Following the Monday vote, pro-secession lawmakers lauded the approval of the motion as a great victory.
There is a growing cry for Catalonia to not merely be a country, but to be a state with everything that means,” said Raul Romeva, the head of the parliamentary majority behind the motion.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had threatened to take legal action if Catalan lawmakers opt for independence.
The government in Madrid has pledged to ask the Constitutional Court to declare the resolution void if it is passed. The Court had on Thursday ruled that the vote could go ahead. Spanish media said, however, that the body would quickly rule the plan illegal, although lawmakers have reportedly inserted a measure into the law which allows the regional government to ignore such a ruling.
The road map also gives a 30-day ultimatum to the incoming government to start drafting a new Catalan constitution, which would later be voted on in a referendum. The regional government would then begin establishing a new tax office and social security administration.
The pro-secessionists face not only internal pressure, which could seriously derail or slow down their bid to break away from Spain, but also a call from the European union which has said that an independent Catalonia will have to apply separately to join the 28-nation bloc.
Catalonia is home to 7.5 million people and accounts for a fifth of Spain’s economic output. Many Catalans have accused the government of siphoning off their tax money, saying the regional state will be more prosperous in economic terms if it gains secession.
A symbolic referendum on independence was held in 2014 with more than 80 percent voting in favor in what Madrid described as an unconstitutional move.
Saya sempat bercerita dengan pegawai imigresen Singapura.
Dia cakap, Johor dalam proses mau keluar Malaysia, dan Saya cakap Sabah juga sama.
Saya kata pada dia, sekali Sabah Merdeka tetap Merdeka.
Dia cakap, "Johor Such a big Country", terus saya balas, Sabah far more bigger country than Johor. Dia terus bilang "You are very Proud about Sabah ya", Of Course Saya bilang.
Last dia tanya, Do you think Sabah better without Malaysia?
Then saya jawab, we will become one of the richest country once we are "out" from Malaysia.
Paling last dia jawab, Your Time Will Come, like Us...Dont Worry!! ^^ Amen.
Source: DS Chazy Chaz
Sunday, 8 November 2015
Despite the recent stability among Europe’s nation-states, the continent has for generations been incredibly divided. In addition to wars and centuries-long rivalries, the demographic composition of the states themselves has often been a source of conflict. As alliances, conquests, and marriages merged the territories of Europe’s many kingdoms over the centuries, minority groups were invariably caught in the middle, leading to internal conflicts and competing territorial claims that worsened existing conflicts among European states. Notable examples include Scotland, Catalonia, Flanders, Wallonia, Alsace-Lorraine, Northern Ireland, and the Basque Country.
Few European minorities, however, are more relevant today than the Scots and the Catalans, as they have launched high-profile independence movements that have captured global attention and threaten to permanently alter European geopolitics. These movements have significant backing among their people, whose existing regional governments provide an organized power structure capable of supporting and sustaining independence movements. Most importantly, these movements are having a large impact on two incredibly important European states: the United Kingdom and Spain. While the governing structure of the European Union (which requires unanimous consent for new members) would likely leave an independent Scotland or Catalonia looking from the outside in, thus harming the viability of these potential states, these movements should not be ignored. The rise of Scottish and Catalan nationalism and the resulting responses by their governments contains important lessons for EU member states and will be an important political issue in the EU for years to come as both peoples pursue political independence.
On September 18, 2014, Scotland voted 55%-45% to remain in the United Kingdom, ending, at least temporarily, the efforts of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) to bring about an independent Scotland. During the referendum, Britain’s three major political parties formed a coalition that encouraged Scots to vote no and remain in the U.K. Among the issues used to convince Scots to vote no was the uncertainty of an independent Scotland being able to join the EU. This argument was effective for several reasons, and it demonstrates why the existence of the EU is a major obstacle for any independence movement within the EU. First, since the process for new states to join the Union requires the unanimous consent of all existing member states, the new state’s former state (or any other hostile member state) could easily derail its membership. This gives significant power to member states with separatist movements because they can both deny an independent state within their former territory EU membership and similarly deny membership to any other new, independent state within the Union in order to discourage a separatist movement within its own borders. Second, the denial of EU membership would, in itself, likely derail most independence movements. Losing the Euro, membership in European Economic Area (EEA), and the benefits of open borders would cause any newly independent European state to experience long-term economic challenges, as easy access to other European markets through the EEA’s free trade zone, open borders with other EU member states, and membership in the EU’s strong currency would be cut off upon gaining independence. While some of these challenges would not be applicable to Scotland or would apply in different ways, the prospect of these difficulties was a potent weapon deployed by the No-vote coalition in Scotland. As a result, it also strengthened the appeal of another common obstacle for independence movements: the promise of more regional powers by the central government.
A popular solution for dealing with separatist movements in recent times has been giving regions with a desire to seek independence more devolved powers over regional affairs. This can range from empowering the regional governor to creating an entirely separate regional parliament and government, as Britain has done in Scotland and as Spain has done in Catalonia. National governments also have a wide range of additional devolutionary tools at their disposal to give more powers to existing regional governments in order to create greater self-rule, including more spending and taxing powers and greater local say over how national laws apply to the region. This strategy is effective because it maintains national unity while satisfying the grievances of increasingly separatist regions that want more local control over their own affairs.
Separatists can use the prospect of independence as an excellent bargaining chip to seek greater regional autonomy. For instance, the Scottish referendum forced Westminster to offer Scotland more devolved powers, and, despite the referendum’s failure, the Scottish people strengthened their regional government by electing 56 members of the SNP to the British Parliament at the polls this past May. As a result, all but 3 MPs from Scotland are members of the SNP. If Parliament follows through on its promises, a strengthened Scottish regional government will satisfy many Scots who might otherwise have considered supporting independence. The appeal of gaining more regional powers is a potent obstacle for independence movements because many grievances can be remedied without independence. This, coupled with the prospect of being left out of the EU, makes independence an extremely hard sell. However, if central governments are unwilling to consider expanding regional powers and address the concerns of minority groups, they fuel separatist movements because independence (and the threat of it) becomes the only way to address regional concerns.
Despite important differences between the two regions, these lessons from Scotland are equally applicable to Catalonia’s quest to be independent from Spain. While Catalonia has a much larger share of its nation’s population than does Scotland and has an even more disproportionate amount of its nation’s economic activity, it would still face many of the same issues that have deterred Scottish independence. Though Catalonia could be categorized as Spain’s economic powerhouse, a departure from Spain and the EU could have dramatic economic consequences, making it difficult to trade with its former countrymen and France to the north and forcing many multinational corporations doing business in Barcelona to relocate in order to remain in the EU. This, combined with the loss of the Euro and membership in the open-border Schengen Area, would make independence a hard sell to Catalans, particularly if Spain decides to offer Catalonia more regional powers.
But Catalonia is also a perfect example of how central governments should not handle independence movements. Spain, in an effort to deny legitimacy to Catalan calls for independence, has ignored referendum attempts and refused to offer more regional powers beyond the current constitutional arrangement. By stifling overwhelming calls for a referendum and failing to offer Catalans an alternative to independence, the Spanish Government is only fueling the rise of Catalonian separatism and deepening the distrust between Catalans and the Spanish Government stemming from decades of difficulties during the Franco regime. When independence movements like those in Catalonia and Scotland are supported by legitimate historical claims, cultural identity, and growing popular support, national governments should take them seriously and have confidence that the desire for national unity will trump separatist aspirations in a popular vote. Failing to do so is undemocratic and will only strengthen the legitimacy of calls for independence. As Scotland’s referendum showed, putting the question to a vote can have positive results for national unity; the national government earned a democratic mandate to keep Scotland in the U.K.
Another interesting European example of separatism is the situation of Flanders and Wallonia in Belgium. The Dutch-speaking Flemish and French-speaking Walloons both have sought independence at various times in Belgium’s history since its independence from the Netherlands in 1830. However, as Flanders has grown in population and prospered economically, Flemish calls for independence have increased in recent years despite Flanders and Wallonia already having their own regional governments in Belgium’s federal system. Flanders now contains over 60% of Belgium’s population and three-quarters of its economic activity, meaning that Flanders effectively subsidizes the less-wealthy Wallonia region in terms of government programs. And as a result of mounting Flemish frustration, the pro-separatist New Flemish Alliance won a plurality in Belgium’s parliament in the 2014 elections. The existence of two incredibly distinct peoples in two different regions of the country makes Belgium’s situation very complex, since independence for Flanders would effectively mean the end of the Belgian state. The Belgian government thus faces an immense dilemma; it can neither allow an independence referendum, as a ‘yes’ vote would tear apart the Belgian nation, nor can it afford to ignore the New Flemish Alliance and its supporters.
Despite the difficulties that the EU creates for independence movements, they should not be ignored or written off. Scotland was less than half a million votes from leaving the United Kingdom after three centuries of unity with England, and the Tory government in London is now confronted with the problem of how to deal with the issues surrounding Scottish calls for more autonomy. How it does so will determine whether support for Scottish independence wanes or continues to grow. With the possible exception of Belgium, European nations dealing with independence movements should heed the lessons of Scotland, for the democratic principles that form the foundation of modern liberal democracies and the EU demand that the legitimate grievances of separatist citizens receive due consideration. As the past year has shown in Ukraine, separatism can be incredibly dangerous to the stability of nations and even lead to war in extreme circumstances when it is ignored or left unchecked. While devolution of powers to regional governments and independence referendums are often controversial and may have unintended consequences not discussed here, they often offer the best chance for keeping a state together despite the centrifugal forces pulling it apart from the inside.
Connor Pfeiffer is a sophomore from San Antonio, Texas, tentatively majoring in the History Department. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Source: The Prince Tontory