The State Reform Party (Star) is taking the position that there’s no Malaysia without four important constitutional documents and/or conventions viz. the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), the 20/18 Points, the Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR) and the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR).
It’s not possible to ever ignore, drop, do away, annul and/or amend these documents or claim that they have already been incorporated in the Malaysian Constitution and/or alternatively overtaken by events, whatever that means, said the party in a statement.
“Whether or not the contents of the four constitutional documents and/or conventions have been incorporated in the Malaysian Constitution, the said documents/conventions continue to exist,” said Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun in the statement after emergency consultations via telephone with party chairman Jeffrey Kitingan who’s away in Kuching for a party function in the Mas Gading parliamentary constituency.
Incorporation, reiterated Daniel, cannot do away with the four documents/conventions and advised those genuinely interested in the issue to research and study the development of the “unwritten” British Constitution.
“The aforesaid four are important historical, political and constitutional documents which supplement/complement the Constitution and must be read together with it,” he added. “Half-truths distort the true picture and does a grave disservice and injustice to our people.”
He was commenting on a statement by Sabah state assembly speaker Salleh Keruak in the local media on Sun on the 20 Points of Sabah.
Salleh claimed that the 20 Points are no longer valid as they have been incorporated in the Malaysian Constitution.
The same Salleh report in the local media went on to claim that many of the 20 Points were “annulled” under the Usno Government.
Daniel urged Salleh not to create a “constitutional crisis” by suggesting things which were not only untrue but not in the interest of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
He asked how it would benefit the people of Sabah and Sarawak by denying the existence and/or validity of constitutional documents and/or conventions which provide the very basis for Malaysia to come into being in the transition from independence on 31 Aug 1963 to Federation just 16 days later.
The transition, he reminded, was “without so much as providing a decent breathing spell for self-determination to at least work for some time and the people enjoy the fruits of that very independence”.
“We know that Salleh is trying to please his political masters in Malaya,” said Daniel. “But he should remember that these are the very people who have been squatting on us since Malaysia and claiming that we obtained independence through Malaysia.”
If the suggestion is that we should be grateful for Malaysia, continued Daniel, “it’s certainly not true”.
Sabah and Sarawak, he stressed, were independent 16 days before Malaysia was rushed into being “and thereafter left in a limbo for us on this side of the South China Sea”.
The Star deputy chairman advised Salleh and other members of the parti parti Malaya operating in Sabah and Sarawak to leave the unresolved status of the two states in Malaysia to local parties and hold their peace on the issue.
“The vested interests in Malaya(Peninsular Malaysia) only want to pit us local people against each other so that they can continue to divide and rule us forever,” said Daniel. We must be careful not to continue swallowing the bait set by them for us or we will get nowhere.”
He warned that it would be counter-productive to accept that something that exists doesn’t exist as “that would mean that we are back to square one before the formation of Malaysia”.
Taking up the cudgels again on the issue, Daniel belaboured the point that the Federal Government’s non-compliance with the four constitutional documents and/or conventions makes Malaysia inoperable to the extent of the non-compliance “and merely further facilitates the internal colonization that we are experiencing”.
“Non-compliance cannot be half-hearted or a cherry-picking exercise,” said Daniel. “Either there’s compliance or there’s non-compliance.”
Asked whether his party was suggesting that the Federal Government has been in non-compliance on the said four documents/conventions, Daniel replied that “the evidence of non-compliance is all around us in internal colonization”.
For starters, he claimed that the proof of non-compliance lies in the fact that Malaysia was not functioning as a two-tier Federation i.e. one at a lower level among the states in Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) and another at the higher level as a Federation of three equal partners viz. Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.
“Singapore was also a partner but was kicked out in 1965 when it complained that Malaysia was not functioning as a Federation of equal partners,” said Daniel. “For example, Kuala Lumpur kept insisting that the Prime Minister of Singapore should call himself Chief Minister as in Sabah, Sarawak, Penang and Malacca and that there can be only one Prime Minister i.e. in Kuala Lumpur.”
The Star deputy chief, on a point of clarification, ventured that the head of government in Sabah should also be Prime Minister as in Singapore and the Australian states “but we were not allowed to follow this provision”.
He vowed that a Sabah state government initiated, formed and led by Star would refer to the head of government as Prime Minister and not Chief Minister as at present and, likewise, “there would other re-visitations on Malaysia in Sabah”.
“Non-compliance is a very long list and not related to just one or two matters,” said Daniel. “We are duty-bound to bring these matters to the attention of the people, the younger generation in particular, as they have been kept in the dark so long by the ruling party’s control of the media.”
Touching on Salleh’s suggestion that non-compliance, if any, be put on the back-burner while focusing more on bringing development to the people, Daniel said his party begs to disagree.
“This is a self-serving suggesting by leaders who are more interested in their pockets,” said Daniel. “Compliance should come first to ensure justice, democracy, self-determination and thereby bring about genuine development in the process.”
Daniel was also at a loss to understand what the ruling party means by development when the World Bank labelled Sabah in Dec 2010 in Kota Kinabalu as the poorest state inMalaysia, and Sarawak the second poorest.
“Putrajaya and its proxies in Sabah have been talking themselves hoarse about development since 1963 but we are still poor despite the wealth of our natural resources,” said Daniel. “So, that’s why we are harping on the theme that non-compliance and internal colonization go together. This is reflected in our grinding poverty brought about by chronic under-development as a result of internal colonization.”