Hornbill Unleashed

October 1, 2014

‘Malaysia Agreement should be abrogated after S’pore’s departure’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM
Tags: , , , ,

aylaa @ Mkini

Former Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) vice-chairperson Simon Sipaun believes that the Malaysia Agreement should have been abrogated following the separation of Singapore from Malaysia.This is because Singapore, being one of the five signatories, had ceased to be a party to the Agreement, said Simon at a forum titled ‘Revisiting the Malaysia Agreement 1963’.

The Malaysia Agreement was signed in 1963 between United Kingdom, Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore whereby the four latter parties formed a union named Malaysia. Two years later, Singapore left Malaysia to become an independent state.

“Some say the Agreement is [still] valid, some say it is not. I personally think it should be abrogated,” said Simon at the forum organised by Negaraku, which was attended by around 60 people.

He also argued that the Agreement should be revisited.

“It’s not that I am convinced that the government would be prepared to do this. But instead of brandishing the Sedition Act to intimidate people, the government should try to understand the people.

“If the people are happy, why would they go against the government?”

Simon, who is also one of the patrons of Negaraku, however, is confident that the future of Sabah and Sarawak is with Malaysia.

“We do not need to separate from Malaysia, what we need is fair treatment from the government,” he said.

Star Sabah chairperson Jeffrey Kitingan, meanwhile, recounts a conversation he had with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he questioned the Malaysia Agreement.

“He told me not to try to teach the people what they do not know. And while I was in detention (under the Internal Security Act), the police [too] told me not try to teach people history.”

‘Gov’t not listening’

Pointing out that the constitution today was based on the Malayan constitution, he was also of the belief that the Malaysian Agreement should be revisited.

“The government should listen to the people, revisit the Agreement or draw a new agreement.

“People are making noise because they are fed up that the government is not listening. They are only asking for their rights but instead they are labelled as separatists and secessionists,” he said.

Jeffrey was detained under the ISA in the 1990s for raising the rights of Sabahans under the 20-point memorandum, earning himself the “secessionist” label.

Research fellow from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Helen Ting meanwhile, said that one of the challenges to national cohesion was the socio-economic disparity where it was apparent how the overall poverty rate is much higher in East Malaysia.

“In terms of academic, only 30 percent of the Orang Asli complete secondary school education compared to the 72 percent of non-Orang Asli who complete secondary school,” she said.

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