Monday, 2 May 2016
The issue of secession was not included in the IGC report because “any State voluntarily entering a federation had an intrinsic right to secede at will”.
The view put forth by a constitution expert and a former Law professor from the International Islamic University recently is arguable.
The professor claimed that Sabah and Sarawak cannot leave Malaysia because of Article 2 of the Malaysia Constitution.
Well this Article was never amended ever since it was written into the Constitution which means that this Article was there when Singapore was “expelled” as he claimed from Malaysia in 1965.
The same Article 2 is still present today in the Constitution, not amended what-so-ever.
The Kota Belud MP and federal minister asserted that talking about seceding from Malaysia is seditious under the Malaysia law and that Sabah and Sarawak cannot secede from Malaysia.
Let me state that anyone who wants to talk about the Malaysia Agreement 1963 without showing their own stupidity must at least read the following primer:
The Cobbold Commission Report 1962
The Inter-Government Committee Report (IGC) 1963
The Malaysia Agreement 1963
There are two things that everyone must learn from the IGC. Firstly, the IGC is where five political parties from Sabah submitted their memorandum on the 29th August 1962.
Today this memorandum is commonly known as the 20 points. The 20 points is a memorandum and NOT an agreement as asserted by the Minister.
As a memorandum the 20 point document was submitted to the IGC for consideration by the committee members.
The IGC was headed by Lord Lansdowne the British Minister of State for Colonial Affairs.
Its tasks was “to work out the future constitutional arrangements, including safeguards for the special interest of North Borneo and Sarawak to cover such matters as religious freedom, education, representation in the Federal Parliament, the position of the indigenous races, control of immigration, citizenship and the State Constitution”.
Therefore, the 20 points memorandum was incorporated into the IGC report. The IGC report has 37 points and NOT just 20 points.
Secession is not seditious
Based on the above, the IGC report is the framework to formulate the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
The IGC is NOT the Malaysia Agreement 1963. It is just a report and accepted by the governments.
The IGC has similar function to the Reid Commission which drafted the Constitution for the Federation of Malaya. The IGC report was accepted and signed on Feb 27, 1963 by the United Kingdom, North Borneo, Federation of Malaya and Sarawak
Secondly, the 20 point memorandum submitted by the five political parties contain a secession clause which is point No. 7.
In this clause it was specified that there shall be no secession which means that Sabah cannot secede from Malaysia.
However, the issue of secession was not included in the IGC report.
The reason given by Lord Lansdowne was that “any State voluntarily entering a federation had an intrinsic right to secede at will, and that it was therefore unnecessary to include it in the Constitution”.
Basically what it means here is that Sabah and Sarawak is free to form Malaysia, it is also therefore free to leave.
Sabah and Sarawak does not need the approval of each of the states to leave. Sabah and Sarawak does not need the support of the Rulers Council to leave.
All Sabah and Sarawak need to do is to pass a resolution in their respective Dewan Undangan Negeri to leave and Sabah and Sarawak will become a sovereign nation.
I hope the above explanation is sufficient to clear any confusion about the content and usage of terms pertaining to the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
It is an embarrassment and shameful to see, read and hear Ministers, Professors and ordinary man in the street talking about the formation of Malaysia without them really knowing what the subjects is all about.
There is also nothing seditious about talk son secession. These are real issues based on the IGC, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and after five decades of forming Malaysia.
These are options available to the people in Sabah and Sarawak and to avoid these discussions all the government needs to do is simply fulfill its obligations as per the agreement “nothing more, and nothing less”.
Source: Hui Lim Wee