‘Even in ’63, we were Umno’s fixed deposits’


The federation of Malaya’s reason for wanting Sarawak to join them in 1963 was because the Chinese and the “other non-Malays” outnumbered the 4.8 million Malays in the peninsular.

(FMT) – “The people saw how development progress had been carried out in Malaya and wanted the same to be brought over to the two states.

The Chinese and non-Muslim indigenous communities in Sarawak were were not entirely in favour of of signing the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, according to former ambassador John Tenewi Nuek.

He said the Chinese, Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) and the non-Muslim community’s opposition to the agreement was largely based on three arguments.

“Firstly they wanted Sarawak to attain independence first. Secondly they felt that the people of Sarawak were still politically “too immature” to make a proper contribution to the proposed federation, and thirdly there was a fear that eventually the federation would result in the domination by Malays as had happened during the Brunei domination in the past,” he said.

He added however that after the initial opposition, most political parties in Sabah and Sarawak changed their positions and supported the proposal.

“They decided to go with the agreement after realising that neither Sabah, then known as neither North Borneo. nor Sarawak could stand on its own especially in light of prevailing communist and Indonesian threats,” he said.