“Conduct fresh referendum to determine if Sabahans, Sarawakians wish to remain part of Malaysia”

A referendum will finally achieve what should have been done in 1963, noting that there were three occasions when the rights of Sabahans and Sarawakians were denied by the then Malayan and British governments

(Focus Malaysia) – A JOINT Sabah/Sarawak NGO grouping has warned that the Philippines could approach the United Nations’ (UN) Decolonisation Committee to resurrect the Manila Accord 1963 by asserting that the then Malayan and British governments had breached the pre-Malaysia formation accord agreed to by Malaya with Indonesia and the Philippines on July 31, 1963.

Moreover, the Philippines’ submission to the UN to formally recognise the extent of its continental shelf projecting from Sabah’s baseline can be construed as a prelude to claiming Sabah, according to the grouping made up of social/human rights activists from both Borneo states.

“The Philippines may argue before the UN Council that the formation of Malaysia was conducted hastily and without the consent and free will of the people of Sabah through a referendum,” the NGO grouping pointed out in a media statement.

“The Cobbold Commission’s conclusion that 1/3 were for Malaysia, 1/3 wanted independence first, and another 1/3 wanted total independence after seeking opinion of some 4,000 Sabahans and Sarawakians was merely an inquiry as opposed to a referendum.

“This could not in any way be used to represent the views of over 1.5 million Sabahans and Sarawakians at the time, of whom half of whom were not adults. Nor was the inquiry actually a process of directly obtaining the consent of the adult voters as required by the UN Decolonisation laws.”

Source: The ASEAN Post

Conduct fresh referendum

Beyond that, both Sabah and Sarawak could raise the issues of internal colonisation by Malaysia.

“Colonisation stands defined by international law as a criminal enterprise for accumulating capital by transferring wealth from those who have no power for those who have power,” asserted the 11 signatories of the joint Sabah/Sarawak statement.

“Although we do not believe that the Philippines has a solid claim, the matter should be finally laid to rest by an agreement to conduct a referendum for Sabahans.

“Three options can be presented to them, namely (i) to remain in the Malaysian Federation; (ii) join the Philippines (an outcome we consider highly unlikely); and (iii) exit the Malaysian Federation for independence.”

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