Malaysia Agreement: One-way street

James Jemut Masing

The partnership and politics that helped in the formation of the country needs to be reappraised after several wrong turns  

The Borneo Insider

KUCHING: James Masing is among many in Sarawak and Sabah who believe the Malaysia Agreement signed by Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak to formalise the formation of Malaysia in 1963 should be reviewed.

“We must never fear to negotiate, but do not negotiate out of fear,” Sarawak Land Development Minister said yesterday, when repeating his call for a review of the agreement by quoting former US president, the late John F. Kennedy, during the 1963 Cuban crisis.

Speaking at the Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) dinner here last night, Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, said: “The Federation of Malaysia was created with the best of intentions and objectives.

“Consequently, clear understandings were formulated, agreed and to be respected and kept by all signatories – Malaya (11 States), North Borneo (now known as Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore – of the Malaysian Agreement.

“And it was witnessed by the United Kingdom on the July 9, 1963. The Federation of Malaysia was officially declared on 16th September 1963,” he said.

He said as Sarawak and Sabah were among the four entities to sign the agreement, they are not the 12th and 13th states in Malaysia.

Masing said that there is a need to know the political history of Sarawak, especially on the formation of Malaysia.

“Some of you who are born after 1963 may have dim memories of certain facts on how Malaysia was created, why and who were involved.

“Many a times when we talked with or read on what our Malayan neighbours said and write, they tend to assume that Sarawak and Sabah joined Malaysia.

“The word “join” assumes a position of inferiority. Inferior we are not, ladies and gentlemen,” he said.