This conspiracy would have begun eight years before Ah Choon was born. Those who drafted the Federal Constitution knew that Ah Choon would be born in Malaysia on the 31st October 1965, and then apply for a PR status in Australia on 5 May 1994 after entering the country using a student visa on 7 May 1994.
However, he had his application rejected on 3 April 1995. In 2007 and 2008, Ah Choon bought substantial number of properties and set up many companies, and then applied for an Australian citizenship under the INVESTMENT category.
Hari ini Shafie Apdal, Ahli Parlimen Semporna telah membuat pembohongan di Parlimen. Di antaranya ialah:
1) Shafie mendakwa 60% daripada Bandar Malaysia telah dijual kepada China.
Ini tidak benar. 60% daripada Bandar Malaysia telah dijual kepada 60% konsortium Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) dan 40% kumpulan China Railway.
Pegangan saham IWH ialah 40% Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ – Johor State Govt) dan 60% Sumber Kepercayaan (Tan Sri Dato ‘Lim Kang Hoo).
A. 40% 1MDB atau MOF Inc (sekiranya saham dipindahkan), 36% IWH dan 24% CREC. Oleh itu, pemilikan projek utama adalah 76% Malaysia dan 24% China.
2. Shafie mendakwa 1MDB sahaja menggunakan Arul Kanda dan tidak mewujudkan peluang pekerjaan manakala bail-out untuk Proton dan MAS menyelamatkan pekerjaan.
Pertama, tidak seperti Proton dan MAS, 1MDB tidak pernah diselamatkan oleh kerajaan.
Mungkin Shafie Apdal tidak pernah pergi ke Sendayan untuk melihat pangkalan udara baru sedang dibina atau 7 kemudahan tentera di seluruh negara yang sedang dibina sekarang dibiayai oleh 1MDB sebagai sebahagian daripada perjanjian pertukaran mereka dengan MINDEF?
Atau beribu-ribu pekerja di TRX sekarang ini yang sedang berusaha menyiapkannya atau puluhan ribu pekerjaan yang akan diwujudkan apabila TRX mula beroperasi, dalam suasana pelaburan asing telah diterima daripada Australia, Indonesia dan Hong Kong?
Ia sudah pasti bukan hanya Arul Kanda sahja bekerja di sana😃
3. Shafie mendakwa bahawa Sabah dan Sarawak adalah negeri-negeri yang paling miskin dan mereka sedang disalah urus😂
Sabah mencatatkan pertumbuhan gaji kedua tertinggi 37.5% dan Sarawak mencatatkan 26% pertumbuhan gaji sejak 2010 – berbanding dengan hanya 17.2% bagi Pulau Pinang dan 20.8% bagi Selangor.
Berasaskan pendapatan isi rumah, Sabah sekali lagi mencatat pertumbuhan pendapatan isi rumah kedua tertinggi 81.3% manakala Sarawak mencapai 57.8% – kedua-dua outreached Selangor dan Pulau Pinang.
Pada KDNK asas per kapita, Sarawak dan Sabah bukanlah negeri-negeri yang paling miskin. Sarawak sebenarnya negeri ke-4 terkaya dan mempunyai KDNK per kapita sebanyak RM44k – bersamaan dengan Pulau Pinang. Walaupun Sabah mencatatkan RM19,700 – lebih tinggi daripada Kedah dan Kelantan.
Kadar kemiskinan tegar di Sabah juga menurun daripada 19.2% pada tahun 2009 kepada hanya 3.9% pada tahun 2014.
Manakala di Sarawak, kadar kemiskinan tegar juga berkurangan daripada 5.3% kepada 0.6%.
Malah, Sabah mempunyai rizab negeri RM2.33 bilion pada 2014 – hampir dua kali ganda daripada Pulau Pinang manakala Sarawak mempunyai rizab sebanyak RM27 bilion pada tahun 2014 – atau kira-kira 8 kali lebih tinggi daripada Selangor.
Malah Sabah dan Sarawak telah menerima bantuan dan pembangunan yang lebih besar daripada Kerajaan Persekutuan sejak 2009.
Jadi, bagaimana Shafie Apdal mewajarkan bahawa Sabah dan Sarawak adalah negeri termiskin dan sedang disalah urus?
Hanya kerana Shafie mempunyai imuniti parlimen maka dengan sewenang – wenangnya bercakap berdasarkan fakta media tanpa fakta sebenar?😂
Every time I read Mahathir’s postings on his blog, I would imagine him writing it himself and then pass it to probably his trusted aide, Sufi, to do some research and fill in the blanks before passing it back to him for the final touch before the article is posted at chedet.cc. The URL used to be chedet.com if I am not mistaken but due to some dispute with the previous administrators the URL is now the current one. The administrators, while working for him, displayed their support for another contender for the Ketua Pemuda UMNO post instead of for Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz. Anyhow, the contender they supported lost the race, and so did Mukhriz. Mahathir was furious when he found out that they did not support his son and as the story goes, the two quit without ever disclosing the password for chedet.com.
I have never worked for Mahathir or for any other politician for that matter. I just write whatever I feel like writing. But I don’t have the same privilege that is someone to do the research for me. So when I read his latest post The 2017 Budget I felt disappointed that the research done was just as good as mine if not worse.
5. Why will the Government not have the money? It is because Government money is not used for good governance, for the development of the country and the well-being of the people.
This is like shooting blanks. The East Coast Highway began construction in 2001. The project was first announced in 1994 for a new highway that would stretch from Karak to Kuala Terengganu but construction was delayed due to the Asian Financial Crisis. When construction commenced, the highway was shortened to only Kuantan as a lesson by Mahathir to the people of Terengganu whom had voted PAS instead in 1999. You should remember what I wrote in a previous article on how vindictive Mahathir was towards the people of Kelantan and Terengganu for their support for PAS then. So, Mahathir too never spent money for the well-being of the people. Only his cronies prospered whenever projects are implemented.
The 11th Malaysia Plan has lined up many projects that would benefit the youth, the handicapped, the minorities and those who live in traditional villages. Three pilot projects will be implemented for the youths under the 1Malaysia Youth City program in the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak. For children between the age of 13 and 18 residing in welfare institutions they would be given the opportunity to undergo the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) to provide them with skill sets for them to face the world when they become independent. A micro-credit scheme would be introduced to the Chinese community under the Chinese New Villages Special Loan Scheme program while a blueprint for the betterment of the Indian community will be prepared.
Six new hospitals will be built while three hospitals namely the Tawau, Kota Marudu and Miri Hospitals would be upgraded. As it is, the Sri Aman Hospital would be completed as soon as possible. On top of that, 165 new Klinik 1Malaysia will be built nationwide to provide basic medical care for those in the rural areas.
Unlike under Mahathir, the Pan-Borneo highway that has begun construction will be toll free. Mahathir had had to make the people pay for the construction of highways despite claiming that the government had much more money under his administration and we in KL especially are still paying for the sins of Mahathir in the form of extended toll concessions to his cronies. And for 22 years the people of Sabah and Sarawak had to endure endless ferry rides to get from one place to another while bridges have been and are being built under Najib’s administration despite not having any money as claimed by Mahathir. AND NO TOLL EITHER!
More Mass Rail Transit and proper extension of the Light Rail Transit to benefit the people in the Klang Valley have and are being constructed as compared to the time under Mahathir’s 22 years when the government seemingly had more money. Double-tracking rail project, High-Speed Rail project and most recent was the announcement on the new East Coast Rail Link that would benefit the people of the very region Mahathir hated very much.
So where was your good governance or your concern for the well-being of the people back then?
7. For this the Prime Minister has created sinecure jobs for a lot of loyalists. There are now nine Ministers, three Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department.
8. There are now 51 divisions in the Prime Minister’s Department. The budget allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department has risen from RM5.2 billion in 2000 to RM20 billion in 2016, a four folds rise. It is 13 per cent of the 2016 budget of RM267 billion. It was less than four per cent between 2000 and 2008.
The Prime Minister’s Department is being run by the Chief Secretary to the Government. It now includes agencies that were not there during Mahathir’s time such as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA/APMM) whose jurisdiction goes beyond the 12-nautical mile statutory limit of most of our Acts, enforces the EEZ but is not under the Ministry of Defence as it is not a military force. So who is to look after the development and the legislative requirements of the agency if not a Minister? The same goes for the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) which looks after the security of Sabah’s east coast from intrusion by foreign paramilitary units. The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) also falls under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department and that has to be headed by a Minister as given by the Act. The Istana Negara, the Parliament, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, the Elections Commission, the Economic Planing Unit, they all come under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department. Not forgetting Mahathir’s own Secretariat Office for the Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad which did not exist prior to his resignation as the Prime Minister. So is he complaining about the budget that the Prime Minister’s Department is giving his people so they can write lies and bite the hand that feeds them? Maybe Mahathir’s cook needs to be pulled out. I don’t know what has the cook been feeding the old man that his mind has gone from that of a statesman to that of an estate’s man.
10. Under BR1M, 7 million people got initially RM500 each. Now they are promised RM1,000. There will be more increases next year.
11. At RM500 it will cost the Government RM3.5 billion. At RM1,000 it will cost RM7 billion.
12. Perhaps the very poor would benefit but for most of the recipients RM500 for a year is meaningless. The better thing to do is to give the really needy, the hard core poor sufficient monthly allowances to support their lives. For the rest create jobs and train them. But the Government is not encouraging job creation. Local industries are not supported. But imports are encouraged.
RM7 billion it would cost the government to give out BR1M.
BR1M would be chicken-feed for Mahathir. His cronies spend RM1,000 at Chawan in front of Bangsar Village or at the Bangsar Shopping Centre to feed his bloggers.
It may be a one-off thing but that means a staggering amount of RM7 billion gets circulated in the economy. Being a layman my understanding of that would be that when there is more money in circulation, jobs are being created as people have more spending power. At RM500 or RM1,000 per person it may not seem much, but by having that extra money to spend encourages spending. Purchases will be made, demand is created, production needs to be increased, more business opportunities for new industrial players, and therefore more jobs are created.
It may not matter to Mahathir that it increases the disposable income of the lower income groups; it boosts consumer sentiments as it increases domestic consumption – the higher the amount of BR1M, the higher the domestic spending. With subsidy cuts and spending more on BR1M Malaysia’s deficit has been reduced with a much larger chunk of the economic wealth going to those who need it the most.
And under the 11th Malaysia Plan the government is committed towards having 11,000 physically-challenged individuals to work for the government while in the five economic corridors in the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak alone 470,000 jobs will be created.
19. The level of borrowings by the Government has reached record levels. Future generations will have to pay these loans.
20. All these will not show up in the budget. But the people will know as they struggle to make ends meet.
Singapore has a US$1.76 Trillion external debt with a Debt to GDP ratio of 106%. Our debt stands at RM630.5 billion (US$150.6 billion) while our GDP is at RM1.157 Trillion (US$276 billion) making our Debt to GDP ration 54.5%. If Singapore is not panicking then why should we?
In fact, if we compare the first seven years of Mahathir’s administration against Najib’s we can see that we should have gone bankrupt (in the words of Mahathir’s lackey Kadir Jasin) when our Debt to GDP ratio was well over 100% for two years in a row!
We could see that not only debt had increased during Mahathir’s first seven years, GDP also fluctuated and was at its highest point in 1987 yet debt was much higher!
Compare that to Najib’s first seven years and we can see
As a matter of fact, the bad performance of Debt to GDP ratio during the 1986-1987 period under Mahathir was not the only time when the economy was in a critical situation going by Kadir Jasin’s definition, the country’s GDP was at negative 7% when Mahathir carried the country through the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998 – which was worse than when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ran the country during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 which was at negative 1.5%!
So is Malaysia on the verge of bankruptcy? “Although we were faced with the drastic fall in global crude oil prices in 2015/2016, which caused the government to lose more than RM30 billion in revenue, the country still recorded a positive economic growth which was 6% in 2014, 5% in 2015 and 4.1% in 2016 (6 months),” said Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.
And despite losing that much revenue, the government could still finance its projects – thank you in large to the implementation of the GST which has allowed the government to have an alternative source of income and reduce the dependency on the the price of oil. To add the strawberry on top of that cake is that the inflation rate of 3.43% upon the implementation of the GST program has been reduced to less than 2% this year.
Perhaps Mahathir ought to fire whoever it was who helped research for that article of his. Such a waste of allocation from the Prime Minister’s Department. Seriously!
Small in numbers, about 5% of the total Mamak population but rather loud and “glaring”. Though mostly from the 3rd Graded colony, they have graduated well and have an ability of a Chameleon (or think they can) with the Malays. Some examples of these low dignity Melayu Celups are Ahmad Rizal Naina Merican, Sheik Hussein Mydin and Zambry Kadir carrying the Mamak trade mark glaringly. But if they are lucky they will look like the controversial Sharifah Zobra or Mahathir Mohamed. Let me give you a secret, any names that ends with Naina, Kadir, Mydin, Merican, Pakir, Jabeen, Shaik, Mubarakh, Mohammad (no reference to the Prophet Mohamed S.A.W.) are downright, flat out, no doubt, true blue Mamak Tongkang or the immediate descendant’s.
“… there is no doubt about the wishes of a sizeable majority of the peoples of these territories to join the Federation of Malaysia.” (UN Secretary-General U Thant, 13th September 1963]
After World War 2, the British was economically and financially strained to maintain its colonies especially those east of Suez. It would be a matter of time before Britain would have to give up all of its colonies abroad, save for some of the smaller ones. The Cobbold Commission’s report agreed unanimously that a decision in principle should be taken by governments as soon as possible; that the new state should be called Malaysia; that the constitution of the Federation of Malaya should be adapted for Malaysia, instead of drafting a completely new one; that there should be no right to secede from Malaysia after merger.
Although the Tunku had asked the Malayan Commissioners to sign the report, he was still apprehensive about what “Malaysia” would do to his political position, and what kind of repercussions “Malaysia” would have on Malaya’s relationship with Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Malaysia Agreement was signed on the 9th July 1963. Although not sovereign nor self-governing, the leaders of both North Borneo and Sarawak were invited to sign it. Annexed to the Agreement were a number of Constitutional instruments that included admission to the federation of the three former British dependencies; state constitutions for Sabah (as North Borneo would be called), Sarawak and Singapore; a scheme to compensate officers retiring from government service in North Borneo and Sarawak.
A separate legislation ending British jurisdiction in North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore was enacted at Westminster. It did not provide for the separate independence of the three territories but transferred sovereignty to the new Federation of Malaysia (Commonwealth Relations Office and Commonwealth Office Briefs for Malaysia Bill, 1963 – Dominions Office DO 169/329). Therefore the self-rule given by the British to Sarawak on the 22nd July 1963 and the declaration of independence by Sabah on the 31st July 1963 were not a recognition of the independence of either Sarawak or Sabah, but an independence of the states in adherence to Malaysia (Ghazali Shafie’s Memoir on the Formation of Malaysia, p438). For all intents and purposes, both North Borneo and Sarawak remained as Colonies of Great Britain until the coming into operation of Malaysia.
If the appointment of a Chief Minister is to be taken as the point when independence had been achieved, Malaya would have been independent in July of 1955!
The late President Wee Kim Wee of Singapore, then a young Straits Times reporter, covered Sabah’s Merdeka Day and filed a report that, from all the obvious evidence, it was a declaration of independence within Malaysia.
Malaysia Day was supposed to have happened on the 31st August 1963. However, several last minute events forced Malaysia Day to be postponed.
1) a last-minute interference by British officials prevailing upon Iban leaders to demand for the post of Sarawak Governor whilst also keeping the post of Chief Minister, thus reneging on an earlier understanding that for the first two years, the post of either the Chief Minister or Governor should go to a Malay if the other was given to an Iban. The Tunku was livid and decided that Malaysia would happen without Sarawak. All the cabinet ministers of Malaya except Tun Razak agreed with the Tunku. Through Ghazali Shafie, Razak negotiated with the leaders of Sarawak and in the end Abang Haji Openg was the Governor designate, Stephen Kalong Ningkan as the Chief Minister, and Temenggung Jugah as a Federal Minister in-charge of Sarawak Affairs. Had it not been for Razak’s persistence, the Tunku would have had things go his way and Sarawak would not have been in Malaysia.
2) the protest by both the Philippines and Indonesia at the United Nations against the formation of Malaysia. They requested that the UN secretary-general, or his representative, should ‘ascertain’ the extent of support in the Borneo territories for Malaysia, that observers from all three governments should accompany the UN mission, and that the formation of Malaysia should be postponed until the completion of the UN report.
Led by Lawrence Michelmore (the American deputy director of the UN Office of Personnel) the mission consisted of Argentinian, Brazilian, Ceylonese, Czech, Ghanaian, Pakistani, Japanese, and Jordanian members of the UN Secretariat. It was accompanied by observers from Indonesia and the Philippines—an arrangement which the British government grudgingly accepted. From 24th August to 4th September they held public hearings in widespread locations and reconvened in Kuching on 5th September, past the 31st August 1963 deadline. This forced Malaya to change the date for Malaysia Day to 16th September 1963.
The UN report, which was published on the 14th September, was generally favourable to Malaysia. In his assessment of the mission’s findings, U Thant was in no doubt that ‘a sizeable majority of the peoples’ wished to join Malaysia, although he also rebuked the Malayans for fixing a new Malaysia Day before the mission had completed its work. Even before the survey was finished, however, Indonesia and the Philippines were attempting to discredit it and, on its publication, they rejected the report and refused to be bound by its findings.
3) was of the PAS Government in Kelantan wanting the Malaysia Agreement and Malaysia Act to be declared ‘void and inoperative.’ Kelantan argued that the Act would abolish the Federation of Malaya, thereby violating the Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1957; that the proposed changes needed the consent of each state of Malaya and that this had not been obtained; that the Sultan of Kelantan should have been a party to the Malaysia Agreement in the same way as the Malay rulers had been signatories of the Malaya Agreement of 1957; that constitutional convention called for consultation with the rulers of individual Malay states regarding subsequent changes to the constitution; and that the federal parliament had no power to legislate for Kelantan in this matter.
On the 14th September 1963 the Chief Justice ruled that both the Malaysia Agreement and the Malaysia Act were constitutional (Tan Sri Mohamed Suffian bin Hashim, An introduction to the constitution of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, 1972) pp 13–14).
By 16th September 1963, we are all Malaysians.
Looking back, I remember an article quoting Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Gilong relating his experience visiting Kuala Lumpur on the invitation of the Tunku, he said:
“Kami naik kenderaan yang dipandu. Bagi sesetengah anggota delegasi saya, itulah kali pertama mereka menikmati air paip dan tandas berpam.”
“Kami dibawa ke beberapa tempat dan kampung yang sudah mendapat pembangunan seperti jalanraya dan sebagainya. Saya sendiri apabila balik ke Sabah telah berkempen menyokong penubuhan Persekutuan Malaysia dengan memberitahu kawan-kawan mengenai pembangunan yang ada di Malaya ketika itu.
Katanya satu kejadian lucu ialah apabila ada anggota rombongannya tidur di lantai dalam bilik hotel mereka dan bukan di atas katil yang empuk.
“Apabila saya nampak, mereka memberitahu saya mereka ingatkan katil itu adalah untuk ‘tuan’, seolah-olah hanya orang kulit putih boleh tidur di atas katil dan anak tempatan tidur di atas lantai sahaja.”
“Saya beritahu mereka katil itu mereka punya untuk tidur di atasnya.”
(“We rode on a vehicle that came with a driver. For some members of my delegation, that’s the first time they enjoyed tap water (running water) and flushing toilets.”
“We were taken to several places and villages that have received development such as roads and so on. When I went back to Sabah I campaigned in support of the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia by telling my friends about the existing development in the then Malaya.
He said that one funny scene was when there were members of his entourage who slept on the floor in their hotel room and not on their comfortable.
“When I saw, they told me they thought it was a bed especially for the ‘master’, as if only the white people could sleep on the bed while the local people sleep on the floor.”
Such was how inferior the people of Sabah and Sarawak felt of themselves before Malaysia existed, and it was not that long ago.
I believe that there has been progress that has been made in both Sabah and Sarawak although there should be more. When I was working offshore, most of my drilling and marine crew are from Sabah and Sarawak, especially the Ibans. My last Chief Mate is a Kelabit from Bario, while one of our vessels’ Captain is a Kedayan from Limbang. In my opinion, both the Merdeka Day on the 31st August and Malaysia Day on the 16th September are equally important to us. Without the 31st August 1957 event, Malaysia would not have happened and I shudder to think what ill-fortune would have befallen the people of Sabah and Sarawak, especially with China, Indonesia and the Philippines staking a claim in both the states.
I also believe that the current Federal Government is doing all it can to fulfill the promises made back in 1963, an uhill task given that previous Prime Ministers, especially a particular former Prime Minister for 22 years, did not do much for the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
Let us concentrate on nation-building, and put aside state-nationalism as that brings about nothing beneficial to any of us. And let us not let hatred destroy us. Our forefathers who agreed to form Malaysia did so following the democratic system, and not through violent nor nonsensical demonstrations or coups.
And let us remember the famous words by the great Temenggung Jugah ak Barieng:
“Anang aja Malaysia tu baka Tebu, Manis di pun, tabar Di ujung”
(Let’s hope Malaysia does not end up like a sugarcane. Sweet at the beginning, bland at the end)
In Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia the communists were making advances while the number of American servicemen in Vietnam tripled the number sent in 1950. In Indonesia, the influence of the Partai Komunis Indonesia on President Sukarno was strong. In Singapore, all the political parties except Singapore UMNO accused the PAP of having carried out negotiations to be merged with Malaya without first consulting the people. This gave ammunition to the communists in Singapore and their sympathisers to attack both Lee Kuan Yew and the Tunku.
In British Borneo, the communists and their sympathisers tried to intimidate the natives thinking that it would work as it did in Singapore. Truth be told, it had quite the opposite effect. Lee Kuan Yew observed that as in Singapore, those anti-Malaysia in Sarawak were the Chinese communists, chauvinists and their sympathisers, while in North Borneo, they were Chinese businessmen and Chinese who were under the influence of individual British officials who were opposed to the Malaysia Concept, or ignorant of it. Kuan Yew noted that the direct links between the Chinese in Perlis throughout Malaya and Singapore to the British Borneo are the Chinese newspapers. Hence, Kuan Yew suggested to the Tunku for the Chinese chauvinists be separated from the Chinese communists and the two groups should be separated.
Members of the Cobbold Commission arrived in Kuching in the morning of the 20th February 1962. The members were:
Sir Cameron Fromanteel Cobbold, former Governor of the Bank of England, also Chairman of the Commission of Enquiry,
Sir Anthony Foster Abell, former British Governor of Sarawak and the High Commissioner to Brunei,
Sir David Watherston, the last British Chief Secretary of Malaya,
Wong Pow Nee, the Chief Minister of Penang, and,
Ghazali Shafie, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaya.
They were first brought to the Astana, a house that was built in 1870 by the second White Rajah, Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke as a wedding gift for his wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt. It had been occupied by the British Governor since 1946. Ghazali Shafie could not help but notice a Jawi inscription at the entrance of the Astana left by one of the Brookes “BERHARAP LAGI BERNAFAS, (Have Hope While There Is Still Breath)” perhaps an apt motivation for the colonial officials who did not want Sarawak to be part of the Federation of Malaysia.
The Brookes had built the Astana on the northern bank of the Sarawak river because it was where the Malays were. The Brookes depended on the Malays for safety and security, the Chinese for prosperity and trading, while the natives were not entirely trusted. The same compartmentalisation was practised in Sarawak by the colonial officials after taking over the state from the Brookes in 1946.
The first groups of interviewees were interviewed in Kuching on the 21st February 1962. The first group amongst these interviewees was extremely pro-Malaysia. They were led by Abang Mustapha, Datu Bandar of Kuching. The second group was led nby Ong Kee Hui from SUPP. This group was against the special rights to be accorded to the natives of Sarawak unless if it is not stated in the to-be-formulated Constitution. This group had a contempt for the backwardness of the natives and had regarded their leaders as men of no consequences. This stand prompted an Iban by the name of Jonathan Bangau whom the SUPP had nominated as the party’s leader in Sibu to resign.
The next day, another group of Chinese in Kuching were interviewed. Their spokesperson, a Chinese woman, twisted and distorted events in Malaya into something truly hateful. She accused the Malayan Government of policies that turned very young girls into prostitutes and had labour laws that accorded workers not more than Ringgit 1.50 per fourteen-hour working day without holidays! When these allegations were countered by Ghazali and Wong Pow Nee, she informed the Commission that she had read the stories from Chinese newspapers to which Wong Pow Nee murmured that these must have been communist publications.
In Bau and Simanggang (now Sri Aman), banners and placards expressing anti-Malaysia slogans in Chinese characters plastered the town in anticipation of the Commission members interviewing residents there. The scene was different in Kanowit and Kapit. People shook the hands of the Commission members, especially the Malayan ones. One of the Tuai Rumah even held Ghazali Shafie’s hand as they walked through Kapit town. They were all awaiting the arrival of Malaysia!
However, Ghazali learnt that under the colonial administration the Iban had suffered oppression and suppression. This began when Sarawak was under the Brunei Sultanate and continued under the Brookes and subsequently the British. When they faced the Commission, they were all for Malaysia and some even emphasised on the need for a speedy arrival of better education and development for the Iban community.
At Binatang (now Bintangor), the division between the wishes of the natives and the Chinese was most prominent. The natives were all for the speedy arrival of Malaysia while the Chinese were divided into two groups: one favouring a referendum, while the other favouring a Federation of North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak – a line maintained especially by the communists.
In North Borneo, the only negative views were given by the British officials and expatriates as well as the rich local businessmen. At this juncture, Ghazali noted that these British officials knew nothing or chose to disregard Harold MacMillan’s famous “Wind of Change” speech in Cape Town made on the 3rd February 1960.
Cobbold, not having any experience in dealing with the Far East, succumbed to the ideas of these officials that in his draft, he recommended that both the British and Malayan Governments should have executive powers over the British Borneo states for five years. Both Wong Pow Nee and Ghazali believe that the Malayan Government would never agree to perpetuate colonialism in any form. However, the two governments should discuss the matter should they want the British officials to stay on in Borneo in the service of the two territories. Wong Pow Nee quoted the state of Penang where he was once a Chief Minister to demonstrate the point that the British fears were groundless and that the Tunku, the Malayan people as well as the 70 percent who advocate the creation of Malaysia in the North Borneo and Sarawak would not agree to Cobbold’s suggestions as it would still be a form of colonialism. What more that the communists in Malaya, Singapore, Indonesia, China and the Soviet Union had branded the Malaysia Concept as neo-colonialism. Interesting also to note here is that in April 1962, the Philippines House of Representatives had made a formal claim on North Borneo. On the 20th January 1963, Drs Subandrio, and alleged communist and also Sukarno’s Foreign Minister and Second Deputy Prime Minister announces Indonesia’s “confrontation” towards Malaysia.
In the end, on the 31st July 1962, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan told the Malayan delegates that Her Majesty’s Government was just as anxious to see Malaysia succeed. Soon after, an Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) was set up by the Malayan and British Governments that would include the North Borneo and Sarawak Governments. On the 12th September 1962, the North Borneo Legislative Council adopted the following motion:
“Be it resolved that this Council do welcome the decision in principle of the British and Malayan Governments to establish Malaysia by the 31st August, 1963…”
Then on the 26th September 1962, the Council Negri of Sarawak adopted the following motion without dissent:
“This Council welcomes the decision in principle of the British and Malayan Governments to etablish Malaysia by the 31st August, 1963…”
The Federation of Malaysia that would include the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak was to come into operation by the 31st August 1963. All in all, the IGC made recommendations in its report pertaining to the States’ Constitutions, legislative powers, financial provisions, elections, the Judiciary, public service, citizenship, immigration, religion, education, the National Language, status of existing laws, the position of the indigenous races and transitional arrangements prior to the formation of Malaysia.
North Borneo was thoroughly satisfied with the IGC report and the North Borneo Legislative Council unanimously adopted the Report on the 13th March 1963. The Sarawak Government was satisfied and considered that the Report contained “generous terms of safeguards for Sarawak.” Stephen Kalong Ningkan as the Secretary-General of the Sarawak Aliance said that his party “fully endorses the Report.” Leong Ho Yuen, the Vice-Chairman of the SUPP said: “All in all, the Report is quite satisfactory. Though we cannot get all we asked for, at least we have been given a high percentage.” The Sarawak Council Negri voted unanimously to adopt the Report on the 8th March 1963, five days before North Borneo.
Donald Stephens who was the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the North Borneo Alliance said: “The whole of North Borneo will now welcome with joy the creation of Malaysia.”
Tomorrow, on Malaysia Day, we shall look into the self-rule granted to the State of Sarawak and why was Malaysia formed on the 16th September 1963 instead of on the 31st August. We will also look at what was said by those who were involved in parts of the process.
During the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of Asia (CPA) meeting in Singapore on the 23rd July 1961, a conference resolution to establish a Malaysia Consultative Committee led by North Borneo’s Donald Stephens and Sarawak United People’s Party’s Yeo Cheng Hoe. Both would become members of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee and hasten the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
We see today how some foreign plenipotentiaries act in contravention of Article 41(1) and (2) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961 where the diplomat should not interfere with the internal affairs of the Receiving State and all businesses by the mission of the Sending State must be coordinated with the Foreign Ministry or any other relevant ministries of the Receiving State. However, we see today various anti-government NGOs being courted by these foreign missions, even to the extent of having the number one diplomat attending and participating in the programs executed by these NGOs.
Things were not much different back in 1961 – especially for Singapore, although Singapore was still a Crown Colony with self-rule. George Douglas Hamilton, the 10th Earl of Selkirk (Lord Selkirk) was often observed by Lee Kwan Yew to be making special efforts to court left-wing politicians especially PAP’s left-wing politician Lim Chin Siong, who are opposed to the Malaysia Concept. This relationship grew stronger and especially after the Hong Lim by-election in April 1961 where an Independent thumped PAP’s candidate by a 4,927 majority, and later the Anson by-election in July 1961 where the Worker’s Party’s David Saul Marshall trounced PAP’s Mahmud Awang by a 546 majority. Because of Lim Chin Siong’s ties with the communist-oriented Anti-British League, the PAP leadership began to be openly challenged by the pro-communist members of the PAP and were now prepared to assume leadership. Tunku’s grouse with PAP is not that it is a pro-communist party, but that it is not anti-communist.
For the British, they did not mind if Singapore was governed by a pro-communist government as long as they are allowed to keep their base for use by the South-East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). To the communist, it was a good rallying point for the British to continue keeping Singapore as a colony and a base in order to attract more anti-colonial supporters to Singapore and the Borneo territories, and intensive anti-merger campaign was undertaken by the communists in Singapore. Lee Kwan Yew believed that the British authority in Singapore had encourage the communists in the PAP to revolt against the non-communist leadership in PAP. Kuan Yew coud not take action by imprisoning the communists for fear that he would be branded a British stooge and that would exacerbate the revolt by the communist against the PAP leadership. Merger with the Federation of Malaya was now central in his struggle against the communists.
The mood for Malaysia in Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu) however was very good. When Ghazali Shafie arrived there, Sir William Almond Condrington Goode, the British Governor for North Borneo who was leaving for Sandakan told Ghazali to use his car to get around Jesselton for the Commonwealth Committee meeting. As he got into Goode’s car, Ghazali noticed that the driver had not removed the state pennant from the car and asked the driver to do so, so he (Ghazali) could travel correctly in the car. The driver turned around and replied that because of “Malaysia” he would drive Ghazali with the state pennant flying, and drove off with policemen saluting.
The Committee agreed that its aims and objectives should be to collect and collate views and opinions concerning the creation of Malaysia; to disseminate information on the question of Malaysia; to initiate and encourage discussions on Malaysia; and to foster activities that would promote and expedite the realisation of Malaysia. While Donald Stephens chaired the meeting, North Borneo was represented by Datu Mustapha, Singapore by S Rajaratnam, and Sarawak by Yeo Cheng Hoe. All of them agreed with the grand plan.
William Goode was not happy with Donald Stephens’s statement on Malaysia, in particular the latter’s target date of 1963 for the formation. Lord Selkirk had prior to this expressed that the people in British Borneo were not ready to govern themselves as they were still headhunters twenty years earlier. Therefore, Selkirk opined that it would be better for the people of British Borneo to come under a Federation of North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak for five to ten years before they could decide whether or not to merge with Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia. Sir Alexander Waddle, H.C White and Sir William Goode, the Governors of Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo respectively made mention on how the idea of Malaysia is being received warmly by the people of the respective states; however they were worried that the Singapore Chinese especially, would swamp them.
On the 26th and 27th August 1961, Ghazali Shafie met with Kadazan leaders as well as leaders from the United Kadazan National Organisation (UKNO) to explain to them the Malaysia Concept, and after hearing about the special position accorded to the Malays in the Federation of Malaya Constitution, they all agreed that Malaysia would be the best solution to protect especially the interests of the Kadazans.
Later at night on the 27th August 1961, the British District Officer had invited Ghazali for drinks with British, European as well as Chinese leaders. Ghazali had suspected that it was more of an exercise to intimidate him. True enough some asked what was the advantage that the Federation of Malaya would get from Malaysia to which Ghazali replied saying that the question of advantage to Malaya would not arise as Malaya would simply cease to exist with the formation of Malaysia. Another pointed his finger at Ghazali and poked him in the chest asking why is Malaya in a hurry to form Malaysia since the people of British Borneo were not yet ready and to let the states of Borneo form their own Federation first? Ghazali pointed his finger back at the person and reminded him that the Tunku had merely made a mention about the Malaysia Concept once in Singapore and one or two more statements after that, and if the person felt that he was being pressured it was not because Malaya had pressured him but that he had been caught in a new political whirlpool within the Borneo territories and he had little knowledge of and was not keen on adjusting himself to the new order.
Back in Kuala Lumpur, Lee Kuan Yew was in absolute hurry for Singapore to be merged with Malaysia. The threat of the communist was real. In a discussion, he agreed with the Tunku that the rights of the Malays in Singapore would take precedence as the Malays in Malaya and Singapore, together with the “sons of the soil” in North Borneo and Sarawak, would form the single largest entity in the new Federation. The Tunku lamented to Kuan Yew that Malaya was very short of effective Chinese leaders. Tan Siew Sin of the MCA was a very sincere and clever man but could not speak any Chinese dialect to be really influential among the Chinese masses. It was no secret then that the Tunku would prefer to have Kuan Yew to assist him in managing the politics among the Chinese in the new Malaysia.
Back in North Borneo, trouble was brewing. The British Government had sent Donald Stephens to the UK to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting, while colonial officials in North Borneo worked on to split the Kadazan by saying that Donald Stephens was not a real Kadazan. As a result, UKNO was split into three factions: one following Donald Stephens, another following Abdul Ghani Gilong, while the other following Orang Kaya-Kaya GS Sundang. Datu Mustapha himself was offered two million Ringgit by a wealthy Chinese to form a political party that would espouse the Malaysia Concept but at its own pace, prefering to hang on to the colonial administration. On hearing this, Ghazali advised Mustapha to form a firm relationship with Donald Stephens in order to bring together the natives of North Borneo. Once a strong base was established, the Chinese would have no choice but to capitulate.
It was not an easy task. Donald Stephens was from the Kadazandusun community. The Kadazans and Dusuns were naturally biased towards the colonial officials and the white rulers who served the North Borneo Company before them. These white rulers’ laws protected them from pirates and coastal marauders who plundered their homes and treated them with no respect – the Suluks. Since Mustapha was a Suluk, the Kadazans and Dusuns treated him with fear and distrust though not without awe and respect. That was how the British applied the divide et impera policy to keep them apart.
On the 27th September 1961, the British High Commissioner to Malaya, Sir Geofroy William Tory, called upon Ghazali Shafie to inform the latter that the Governors of North Borneo and Sarawak reported that the people of North Borneo were thinking along the thoughts of the Governors – that is to form a North Borneo Federation instead. When pressed for further explanation, Tory admitted that the Governors were talking in terms of what the Chinese businessmen said.
On the 9th October 1961, Donald Stephens, Mustapha and with about thirty people in the North Borneo delegation arrived in Kuala Lumpur at the invitation of the Tunku who spoke to them both about the need to forget past quarrels and work together for the people of North Borneo. The Tunku also spoke to them about the Chinese community in North Borneo who very much supported the colonial administration there but told them to not be hostile towards the Chinese.
After dinner that night, Mustapha spoke to the attendees about how he and Donald Stephens had decided to form a political movement that would devote itself towards the independence of North Borneo through the Malaysia Concept. He also confessed to have regarded Donald Stephens as a rival for the leadership of the natives, but must now be brothers for the sake of North Borneo and encouraged the other community leaders in the delegation to do the same to one another.
Donald Stephens was more emotional. Tears were rolling down his cheeks when he admitted he had not trusted Mustapha before and asked for the latter’s forgiveness. There was a thunderous applause and both Mustapha and Donald Stephens embraced each other and announced to those present that they were now blood brothers and pledged to work together for the well-being of the people through the Malaysia Concept.
A North Borneo Chinese by the name of Chan also spoke in support of the Malaysia Concept and thought the Chinese should also form a political party. He, Donald Stephens and Mustapha then held hands together with everyone else and shouted Merdeka Malaysia ten times in keeping with the feng shui of the double ten – it was already the 10th October 1961, and this happened inside the Federal Hotel on Jalan Bukit Bintang.
After much deliberation at the second Malaysian Solidarity Consultative Committee meeting in Kuching, as well as some political maneuvering to get the support of Kalong Ningkan and his Sarawak National Party (SNAP) as well as to neutralise the opposition to the PAP within UMNO led by Aziz Ishak, it was decided that an Enquiry Commission, as envisaged by the Tunku and Harold MacMillan, to be appointed to gauge the desirability of the Malaysia Concept among the people of North Borneo and Sarawak.
In Part Three, we shall look into the Cobbold Commission’s work and findings, and reaction by our neighbours.