Monday, 2 February 2015

Anwar’s ‘No Secession’ plea misleading

The Opposition Leader avoided mentioning the intention of the Founding Fathers in Borneo and Article 1 of the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

KOTA KINABALU: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s take on Friday in Kota Kinabalu on the unhappiness in Sabah and Sarawak with Malaysia was not about “the truth being stranger than fiction” but vice versa.

That’s the stand taken by the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim).

“Anwar claimed during a session with the local media that the Federal Constitution does not allow for secession,” noted Bopim President Daniel John Jambun in a phone call. “If this was the case, Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail would have mentioned it during the recent Opening of the Sabah, Sarawak Law Year in Kota Kinabalu.”

“Instead, the AG referred to Point 7 of Sabah’s 20 Points, a constitutional document on Malaysia, which states that ‘there would be no secession’ from Malaysia.”

The AG did concede nevertheless, pointed out Daniel that — presumably notwithstanding Point 7 — the people can decide (on secession).”

Two points must be mentioned on secession, stressed Daniel, besides the AG literally advocating but not as a Sabahan that “the people can decide (to secede)”.

The first is that “the Bible states that God made man in his own image and with Free Will. The concept of Free Will allows for the kind of self-determination that facilitates secession”.

Secondly, stated Daniel, Article 1 of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was never implemented. Article 1 called for a new Federation, called Malaysia, as An Equal Partnership of Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya (with Singapore incorporated through merger with the peninsula), and a new Malaysian Constitution.

Both — new Federation, new Constitution — were never done in 1963.

“The present Malaysia is, in fact and in law, the Federation of Malaya based on the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948. The definition of Federation under Article 160 of the Federal Constitution refers.”

Article 1(1) of the Federal Constitution, continued Daniel, clearly shows that Sabah and Sarawak were dragged into the Federation of Malaya (known as Federation of Malaysia since August 31, 1963 and/or September 16, 1963) as the 12th and 13th states.”

“This was not the intention of the Founding Fathers in Borneo and was not in line with the intention of the framers of Article 1 of MA63.”

Where both Anwar and the AG seem to agree, said Daniel, was that “a minority was driving the Agenda on Sabah, Sarawak rights.”

“We beg to disagree with both gentlemen on the struggle for Sabah, Sarawak rights being one waged by a minority,” said Daniel. “The Sabah, Sarawak struggle for their rights could not be the Agenda of a minority after a half century of the plight of both nations in Malaysia. After these more than five decades, everyone in Borneo is aware that something is not quite right about Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia.”

The bottomline, said Daniel, is that Malaysia as per Article 1 of MA63 has no legitimacy in Borneo. “The Federal Government has also been party to illegalities in Borneo, especially in Sabah, as evident from the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) Report released in December last year.”

States are of course integral to a Federation as Anwar pointed out, said Daniel, “but that doesn’t mean no secession”.

Singapore had to leave Malaysia in 1965 after it realised that it’s merger with Malaya would still not give it access to the Malaysian Common Market, he recalled.

“No Common Market, NO Malaysia, Singapore decided.”

Likewise, Daniel reiterated that Sabah and Sarawak being the 12th and 13th states in Malaya (renamed Malaysia) was not the “intention” of the Founding Fathers in Borneo, nor was it in line with Article 1 of MA63.

“No Equal Partnership of Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya, NO Malaysia. Sabah and Sarawak can decide.”

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