Septem­ber 16 the day all Malaysians should cel­e­brate

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

KOTA KIN­A­BALU: The Malaysia Agree­ment 1963 is the foun­da­tion of the ex­is­tence of the Fed­er­a­tion of Malaysia.

The MA63 was signed in Lon­don on 9th July 1963 and orig­i­nally in­tended to come into force on 31st Au­gust 1963, said Es­ther Golingi, chair­per­son of Per­pad­uan Anak Negeri Sabah (PAN Sabah).

How­ever, due to the de­lay in com­ple­tion of the United Na­tions' mis­sion to Sabah and Sarawak, it was post­poned to 16th Septem­ber 1963, she said.

Es­ther: “The agree­ment ef­fect­ing this post­pone­ment was signed on 28th Au­gust 1963 in Sin­ga­pore by the five sig­na­tory coun­tries of MA63.

“Be­tween 31st Au­gust - 16th Septem­ber 1963, the Gover­nor of North Bor­neo re­mained in Jes­sel­ton and the Union Jack was still fly­ing.

“How­ever, Lee Kuan Yew uni­lat­er­ally de­clared the in­de­pen­dence of Sin­ga­pore on 31st Au­gust 1963 caus­ing con­fu­sion to the peo­ple of Sabah.

“The front page of the then Bor­neo Times on that day read ‘Sir Wil­liam's Sabah Day Mes­sage'.

“Some old pic­tures cap­tured an arch with the words ‘Sabah Hails In­de­pen­dence 31.8.63' and writ­ings on a stone ‘Ke­nang Ke­nan­gan Menyam­but Hari Ke­merdekaan Sabah 31st Au­gust 1963'.

“These pic­tures of­ten become the sup­posed proof that Sabah has gained in­de­pen­dence.

“What is wrong must be set right. The true ac­count of our his­tory needs to be told in our his­tory books and proper records must be made avail­able in our pub­lic li­braries.

“Im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal records are lack­ing in our li­braries for ex­am­ple the book on the Bri­tish Doc­u­ments on the End of Em­pire (Se­ries B Vol­ume 8), en­ti­tled Malaysia edited by A.J. Stock­well is not avail­able in our pub­lic li­braries.

“This book con­tains im­por­tant cor­re­spon­dences lead­ing up to the for­ma­tion of Malaysia. Why is this book not avail­able in our li­braries?

“A tele­gram with the for­warded mes­sage of the Sec­re­tary of State for the Colonies, Mr. Dun­can Sandys in re­sponse to Lee Kuan Yew's uni­lat­eral dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence records as fol­lows:

“(a) That a grant of in­de­pen­dence to a ter­ri­tory un­der Bri­tish sovereignty re­quires an act of Par­lia­ment at West­min­ster.

(b) That the Bri­tish Malaysia Act (which comes into force on 16th Septem­ber) pro­vides for the trans­fer of Bri­tish sovereignty over Sin­ga­pore, Sabah and Sarawak to the new Fed­er­a­tion of Malaysia but does not pro­vide for the sep­a­rate in­de­pen­dence of these ter­ri­to­ries.”

Es­ther said when Sin­ga­pore de­cided to sep­a­rate from the Fed­er­a­tion, the Bill for its sep­a­ra­tion was passed hur­riedly by the Malaysian Par­lia­ment on 9 Au­gust 1965.

How­ever, the sep­a­ra­tion was not legally ef­fec­tive un­til the Sin­ga­pore Act 1966 was passed in West­min­ster in which the sep­a­ra­tion was en­forced ret­ro­spec­tively.

Es­ther said: “For Sabah to gain in­de­pen­dence, we would need to go through the same process. As for now, we are only self-gov­ern­ing.

“16th Septem­ber is the day the Fed­er­a­tion of Malaysia was formed and this is what we should be cel­e­brat­ing.

“This day should be cel­e­brated by all Malaysians - Malayans, Sarawakians and Saba­hans.

“If one truly un­der­stands the sig­nif­i­cance of MA63, one will not dis­pute the ab­hor­rence of Saba­hans in be­ing made to cel­e­brate 31st Au­gust, a date which has no sig­nif­i­cance to this land and its peo­ple.

“It is shock­ing to read what Tunku Ab­dul Aziz wrote say­ing that Sabah and Sarawak should cel­e­brate 31st Au­gust and not 16th Septem­ber!

“This is an ex­am­ple of a per­son who lacks the fun­da­men­tal knowl­edge of the struc­ture of our na­tion and its his­tory. It is a shame but this is the re­al­ity of many Malaysians who have been fed with dis­torted his­tory.

“Our hope is that the peo­ple of Sabah and Malaysia will pro­gres­sively be made aware of the truth of our his­tory by tak­ing the ini­tia­tive to dig and read true records of our his­tory - not re­ly­ing solely on so­cial me­dia!

“We pray that the truth of MA63 shall be ac­knowl­edged and es­tab­lished - be­gin­ning with the restora­tion of the true sta­tus of Sabah as a ‘Ne­gara' and not ‘Negeri'.

“Once the Gov­ern­ment of Sabah boldly takes the step to re­store this truth then we be­lieve that all other align­ment of our na­tion ac­cord­ing to MA63 will fol­low suit.

“We want to pray for and bless Sabah and Malaysia. Our de­sire is to see that Sabah and Malaysia em­brace their true iden­tity and en­ter into their des­tiny. God Bless Sabah & Malaysia,” she said.

Es­ther

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