KENINGAU: A longtime Borneo rights advocate urged in a statement in conjunction with Malaysia Day this year, September 16, that the governments of Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak resolve the issue of non-compliance on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
Failure to do so, warned Jeffrey Kitingan, would be to play into the hands of the separatist “Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia” (SSKM) mooted by the UK-based Sabah Sarawak Union – United Kingdom (SSU-UK).
The non-compliance on MA63, added Jeffrey who is Bingkor Assemblyman and heads the Parti Solidariti Tanah AirKu (Star), risks the disintegration of the Malaysian Federation.
Briefly, he called for the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) to be re-activated with the participation of the UK Government as well for the long-delayed review of MA63, and for the Federal Constitution to reflect Batu Sumpah (Oath Stone) and MA63 in their entirely.
The question that arises, he stressed, was where the Federation of Malaya was now.
“If Malaya is now Malaysia, then it’s clear that Borneo has been misled,” said Jeffrey. “Being the 12th and 13th states in Malaya was clearly not the Intention of the Founding Fathers in Borneo.”
Moving forward, the Borneo’s rights advocate who did a spell in detention without trial in the early 90s, reiterated that Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak must come together to restore the Federation in line with MA63.
A J Stockwell in his book, “British Documents at the End of Empire”, which included recently de-classified colonial documents, said the “ultimate objective of Malaysia was a Confederation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei”, he noted.
Even the Proclamation of Malaysia stated that “…. it was agreed that North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore are to be federated with the Federation of Malaya …” and not with the existing States of Malaya, he continued.
Article 8 of MA63 also clearly spelt out the obligations of the merging entities including the government of the Federation of Malaya, he added further.
He recalled the signs of disintegration, given possible non-compliance, were already there in 1962/1963.
Jeffrey recalled statements by Lord Cameron Fromanteel (Kim) Cobbold, Chairman of the Cobbold Commission, and Sir William Goode, the last Governor of British North Borneo, painting a bleak future for the Federation of Malaysia.
In conjunction with Malaysia Day, Jeffrey led the Oath Renewal Ceremony at Batu Sumpah in Keningau on Friday.
The Oath Renewal ceremony was presided over by Chief Bobolian (High Priestess) Longut Gulim and Chief Bobolian Muri Gulim. They declared that the Batu Sumpah Oath has been renewed and revitalised.
“Leaders who are responsible should take steps to honour and fulfill the Oath Pledges and the terms of the formation of Malaysia,” they advised.
Their failure, the two Chief Bobolian cautioned, risks a historical curse befalling them.