PUTRAJAYA: Eleven Sarawakians have filed a suit in the Kuching High Court to remove the territory from the Federation of Malaysia.
Led by Dorus Katan Juman, they filed the action last year but only served the amended writ and statement of claim to the defendants, Putrajaya, the British and Sarawak governments, recently.
They are seeking damages for suffering mental and emotional stress, loss and damage from the unlawful or illegal acts of the three defendants jointly or severally.
During an online case management this afternoon before judicial commissioner Alexander Siew, Putrajaya and the Sarawak government said they would file an application to strike out the suit.
“Both governments requested a month to file a striking out application and, at the same time, requested that the filing of defence be deferred pending the hearing of the striking out application,” said senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan when contacted.
Both governments have been given until April 15 to file the application to annul the suit.
Another case management will be held on June 30.
The plaintiffs were represented by Tiong Ing Ning while state counsel Khairul Kabir Abdul Kadir appeared for Sarawak. The British government has not entered an appearance despite the writ being served on the embassy.
The statement of claim sighted by FMT revealed that the plaintiffs, among others, want the following relief:
- A declaration that the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was prima facie void from the beginning and not a binding international agreement by virtue of its failure to comply with the requirement of international law;
- A declaration that the United Kingdom government’s purported decolonisation of Sarawak and Sabah in 1963 by transferring the two colonies to the Malayan Federation (renamed Malaysia) was not lawfully completed in a manner consistent with the right of the people to unconditionally exercise self-determination as required by the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions (UNGAR) 1514XV and 1541XV and international law principles, nor in accordance with the Manila Accord 1963, which required that the UK and Malaya seek the consent of the people in compliance with the UNGAR 1541 to hold a referendum before establishment of the proposed federation and resolution of the Philippines’ claim on a part of Sabah;
- A declaration that as a consequence of the said breaches of international law, the integration of North Borneo and Sarawak into the Malayan Federation was wrongful and unlawful and that the Malaysian government’s continued control of the sovereignty of the two states and their territories was unlawful and the two territories must forthwith be decolonised for independence.
- Alternatively, a declaration that if MA63 was validly made in accordance with international law, it was terminated by the federal government’s multiple wilful breaches of the agreement (acknowledged by the federal and state governments), together with the neglect and failure to faithfully comply with the treaty amounting to “wilful discontinuance” of the treaty over five decades covering the following violations whereby inter alia,
(i) the foundational terms of the treaty were amended, altered or repealed since it was signed in 1963 including the 1965 Singapore Separation Agreement, the 1966 Continental Shelf Act (CSA), the Petroleum Development Act 1974 illegally seizing Sabah and Sarawak maritime resources, the Territorial Seas Act 2012 repealing entrenched MA63 terms on seat allocation and replacing a secular state with a religious state and the failure to review MA63 in 1973 as agreed, or by
(ii) consensual termination by (a) lapsing of the treaty through disuse; (b) consensual implied termination and (c) renunciation of rights, rendering MA63 no longer binding on the parties; and
- As a consequence of the breaches, the treaty has been terminated and is no longer binding on Sabah and Sarawak and that they are entitled to forthwith exit from the Federation of Malaysia for independence.