Sarawak Reform Party has disputed Law Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman’s recent speech in Parliament on the political status of Sarawak and Sabah in the Federation of Malaysia.
Its president Lina Soo, in a press statement, said they took exception that Azalina’s definition that the concept of Malaysia was a federation where all the states of Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah were of equal status.
“Quoting para 237 of the Cobbold Commission Report, the minister stated that there was no historical document supporting the contention that the formation of Malaysia was based upon equal partnership between the Malayan states, Sarawak, Sabah (and Singapore),” Soo said.
She asked one simple question: If indeed the concept of the political association is of a federation where all states are of equal status, then why did none of the 11 Malayan states sign the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), together with Sarawak, North Borneo (and Singapore)?
”If indeed, Malaysia is a federation where all states are of equal status, each and every state should also be the signatory to the Malaysia Agreement.
Instead, the Malaysia Agreement was signed between five governments – United Kingdom and Ireland, Federation of Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo (Sabah) and Singapore which opted out in 1965.”
Soo added that since the 11 states of the Federation of Malaya did not sign the MA63, it was obvious the Federation of Malaysia was a political association of equal standing between the Federation of Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo (Sabah) and Singapore (which left the federation in 1965).
”Why were the 11 states of Malaya left out and not made signatories to the Malaysia Agreement,” questioned Soo.
She said that Sarawak signed the international treaty with the Federation of Malaya as equal component and not with each of the 11 Malayan states.
”As the Malaysia Agreement is an International Treaty, it is not the done thing to introduce extrinsic elements, here meaning the 11 Malayan states, into the agreement after the treaty had been signed, sealed and delivered.”
She further said the conception that we had to refer to the Cobbold Commission Report was erroneous.
She claimed that based on her research and on the two books she had written on the formation of Malaysia ‘Sarawak Real Deal and Sarawak Chronicle’ which were based on declassified colonial documents sourced from the British Archives, the Cobbold Commission Report was a sham and a farce,and should not be treated as a constitutional document for the definition of the Federation, nor appropriate to refer to it for State rights.
Source : The Borneo Post Online