Updated: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:46:57 GMT | By The Malaysian Insider : Malaysia

Malaysia Agreement 1963 invalid, claims Sarawak NGO

The Malaysia Agreement 1963 is invalid and has been repudiated by Malaya through 51 years of non-compliance and failure to honour the treaty, Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration (Sapa) told a forum today. Sapa president Lina Soo (pic) said the agreement that united Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah into one country was in breach of customary...

Malaysia Insider

The Malaysia Agreement 1963 is invalid and has been repudiated by Malaya through 51 years of non-compliance and failure to honour the treaty, Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration (Sapa) told a forum today.

Sapa president Lina Soo (pic) said the agreement that united Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah into one country was in breach of customary international law, which states that only sovereign states can enter into international treaties.

“The Malaysia Agreement 1963 was not inked between five sovereign states, but entered into between only two independent sovereign states – the United Kingdom and Federation of Malaya – with one semi-colonial Singapore state and the two colonies of North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak,” said Soo.

She said the five individuals who signed for Sarawak – P.E.H Pike, T. Jugah, Abang Haji Mustapha, Ling Beng Siew and Abang Haji Openg – had no mandate from the people of Sarawak, which at that time was still a colony without any representative government.

Soo said this was in violation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties Customary International Law, 1980 (VCLT 1980) – an international treaty concerning the international law on treaties between nation-stated entered into force on January 27, 1980.

“VCLT may not be retro-action that it is applicable to treaties made prior to this date such as the Malaysia Agreement 1963, yet it is a useful reference to established principles of customary international law and established precedents,” said Soo.

She added that the treaty also breached Article 5 of the United Nations Decolonisation Declaration 1960 (UNDD 1960).

The article states that territories which have not yet attained independence should have all powers transferred to them “without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom”.

Soo said: “Britain and Malaya’s pre-determined plan to transfer sovereignty of the Borneo colonies over to Malaysia violated Article 5 of the UNDD 1960, as it failed to transfer all powers to the people, and is in denial of the people’s rights to complete independence and freedom.”

She also said that Malaya, as a foreign power, had no legal right, mandate, standing or authority to interfere in Borneo affairs, according to the UN Charter on Self-Determination.

Britain, meanwhile, had committed a breach of trust by failing to honour their 1946 Cession Treaty to restore independence to Sarawak when the people were ready to rule themselves, said Soo.

“The component states of a federation possess no powers in relation to foreign policy, and so they enjoy no independent status under international law.

“Sarawak is not independent and has no sovereignty to call its own,” said Soo.

She also called the bases for Malaysia’s foundation, the Cobbold Commission Survey and the United Nations Assessment Mission, as “shams” because neither were conducted properly.

“The Cobbold Commission met with 4,000 people from Sabah and Sarawak in a population of 1.2 million and claimed to receive 2,200 memos and letters from the people.

“Before commencement of the UN Assessment Mission, the new Malaysia date of 16 September was already announced,” Soo told the forum.

The assessment report also said a grassroots survey found “little evidence of articulate and organised opposition to the federation”, despite thousands protesting around Sarawak and the arrests of anti-Malaysia leaders as well as banning of Chinese newspapers at that time, said Soo.

Soo added that if authorities still insisted the Malaysia Agreement was valid despite these points, it should have been abrogated by Singapore’s separation and independence from Malaysia in 1965.

“An international treaty cannot be changed without the agreement and consent of all the parties.

“The bilateral Singapore Separation agreement between Singapore and Malaya in 1965 was made without active involvement of the other three signatory parties,” said Soo.

She also claimed that Malaya had repudiated the agreement by its 51 years of non-compliance and failure to honour the treaty.

“The most basic principle of customary international law is that an international treaty must be made and kept in good faith.

“But the Malaysia Agreement and concept of Malaysia was made in bad faith and changed three times without referendum or the people’s consent,” said Soo.

She noted that Brunei refused to sign at the last minute, Singapore had seceded from Malaysia without consulting Sarawak and Sabah, and the Federal Constitution was amended on August 27, 1976 to change the status of Sarawak and Sabah into the 12th and 13th states.

“Malaysia has deviated from its original concept as a Federation of three nation-states to a unitary state of 13 states where all powers and sovereignty is solely held by the central government.
“This in effect would mean a fundamental breach of the Malaysia Agreement,” said Soo. – June 15, 2014

Jun 15, 2014 3:59PM

Lina Soo's stance here is that Malaysia cannot be claimed as consisting of Peninsula Malaysia plus Sabah and Sarawak because both East Malaysian states were not independent of their colonial masters at time that the agreement was made.

Neither was Singapore. Therefore if Singapore was able to have a mutual agreement to separate itself from Malaysia, it could also be used as a precedent for both Bornean states to follow suite if they so wish. And that would not be considered as a secession.

Not that surprising to know that there are such talks nowadays. The East Malaysians must be getting rather nervous at the way that Putrajaya is running the show at Peninsula Malaysia. Especially with the recent case of the body-snatching by the Muslim authorities; the tussle between the secular and Muslim authorities over the release of the confiscated bibles and so on and so forth, ad nauseum.

Jun 15, 2014 7:36PM
This problem arises out of the disregard of human rights, the parochial politics practice by BN, the supremacy attitude of our present leaders and penansular population in general,the disrespect to religious freedom  and the one sided policies base on Islam..the interpretation of the our law without regard to fairness and justice.when there are other religions around as well. The worse part of the deal is that most West Malaysians do not want to respect the rights of the East malaysians.because we are more superior?????If we dont think Malaysia.. the first state to succeed will be done by the very people who Mahathir put in place to dominate a certain race.for the benefit of BN.. I said within 40 years ..from 1990..Maybe in 2020.. Mahathirs dream will come thru.. Sabah and Sarawak out of Malaysia.Thanks to M.
Jun 15, 2014 10:52PM
Mr Najib will be very worried man if both Sarawak and Sabah decide to separate from Malaysia.

He will not have enough MP to form the Goverment. They give me over 50 MP from the 2 states.

There go BN fixed deposit in the election.Mr Najib amd UMNO will make sure the 2 states stay 

in Malaysia.

   They will be better off if the 2 states join together o form a new country. Both states are so rich

in resources.Malay race is not a majority in both states.
Jun 23, 2014 8:36PM
How come U know so much Lina ?
When were u born ?
Could as Well said yr great great grandfather won Sabah & Sarawak
That will make You A Princess
Jun 15, 2014 9:44AM
Interesting take by Lina Soo of SAPA.   This is too big of a bite to be chewed by laymen - it's the stuff for Constitutional lawyers.  But even if the Malaysia Agreement has been invalidated as claimed, Malaysia as a nation-state is not illegal as it has it's own written Constitutions as the Supreme Law of the land and is internationally recognized by all other nation-states as well as being an accepted member of the United Nations.
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