This was the way the British divided and ruled. Eventually, swayed by the profit they were earning from the Malay States that they forgot their promise to the Sultans which was to protect the interest and welfare of the Malays. The bulk of the Malays lived in rural areas and they had very minimal contact with the other races, the Chinese were basically in towns and tin mines, while the Indians were in rubber plantations. The effect to this was that the Malays remained backwards and were told to stay as peasants or tillers of the soil, the Chinese inherited all the tradings in the Malay States and became the richest residents, and the Indians remained as rubber-tappers without proper infrastructure. The Malays, according to Chai Hon-Chan: “…merely retreated from the tide of commercial activity and material prosperity…whereas the British, Europeans, Chinese and Indians had the lion share of the country’s wealth…”
As a result, the Malays who were given land to cultivate, forced by economic disadvantages, began charging or creating a lien (collateral) over their land to the Chettiars. The Malays, already in a disadvantaged position, cried foul and started the “Malaya for Malays” movement in the late 1800s. EW Birch, the 8th British Resident of Perak, recognized this dire situation and quickly proposed a policy of preserving the Malay land. The only way to him to preserve the Malay race was to “free them from the clutches of those people who now remit to Indian large sums of money, which they bleed from the (Malay) people.”
The Malays were in a very disadvantageous position just before Merdeka, one of the reasons the Malayan Union was rejected so as to protect the rights and position of the Malays then.
FELDA was created 60 years ago to provide organised smallholders farming through resettlement of rural Malay poor who did not own any land. A year later Tunku Abdul Rahman launched the first settlement in Air Lanas, Kelantan where 400 settlers were relocated.
FELDA has grown into a very respectable organisation and has diversified its activities. FELDA Global Ventures, although separated in terms of its structure, is the third largest palm oil company in the world by acreage that also has downstream activities in oleochemicals.
Of late, FGV has not been performing well. Being in Malaysia, the government gets the blame although FGV has its own board. And the Opposition pins the blame on one person and one person only: Najib Razak.
Reading Raja Petra’s latest instalment does make me wonder if Isa Samad who is both the Chairman of FELDA and FGV is aware of the damage FELDA is causing to UMNO.
It is still not too late for Najib Razak to act, and act he must! It would be sad to see a legacy left by his late father and the Tunku before that, that started in Air Lanas, be ruined by greed and irresponsible behaviours.
And what more if it is true as Raja Petra alleged that FELDA is being used to destroy UMNO in the upcoming general elections.
Dua bulan yang lepas saya telah menghadiri perjumpaan bekas Pegawai Kadet Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia yang dilatih di Sekolah Pegawai Kadet TUDM di TUDM Kinrara dan TUDM Subang. Antara perkataan yang terbit dalam ucapan-ucapan pada malam tersebut adalah perkataan MANTAN.’ Salah satu teori yang diketengahkan mengenai perkataan tersebut ialah ianya berasal dari Indonesia dan membawa maksud ‘Mundar mANdir tanpa jawaTAN.’ Teori kedua mencadangkan maksud ‘Manusia Tanpa Nafsu.’ Apa jua maksud yang tersirat nukilan saya pada malam ini adalah mengenai rengekan mantan Ketua Puteri UMNO Bahagian Sepang dan mungkin kini ahli Pergerakan Wanita UMNO Cawangan Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, Rina Mohd Harun di dalam laman Facebooknya.
Begitulah rengekan Saudari Rina mengenai kepayahan hidup yang dialami oleh orang ramai. Saya yakin sebagai mantan ketua sebuah pergerakan di peringkat UMNO Bahagian, beliau pernah menghadiri kursus-kursus jatidiri di pusat-pusat latihan UMNO terutamanya di Janda Baik dan Kemensah. Beliau juga telah diberi ilmu dan cara-cara untuk menjawab pertanyaan serta menangkis tohmahan yang dibawa pihak pembangkang. Berlatarbelakangkan sebuah sekolah berasrama penuh yang berprestasi tinggi serta latihan-latihan yang telah diterima dari UMNO saya lebih mengharapkan Saudari Rina mempunyai kemantapan daya juang yang tinggi, matang pemikiran dan lebih bijaksana.
Malangnya, setelah habis beribu nampaknya hasilnya tiada. Bagai minyak habis sambal tak enak.
Seperti penulisan saya tempoh hari, saya telah menjelaskan (biarpun dalam bahasa yang mungkin sukar Saudari Rina fahami) bahawa pihak Kerajaan telah memberi subsidi kepada 23 pengeluar minyak masak utama untuk mengeluarkan 85,000 tan minyak masak untuk kegunaan rakyat setiap bulan. Kajian mendapati rakyat Malaysia hanya menggunakan sebanyak 45,000 tan minyak masak sebulan manakala 40,000 tan lagi hilang atau tidak dapat dikesan dan dipercayai diseludup oleh pengedar ke negara-negara jiran.
Rasional penghapusan subsidi bagi semua jenis minyak masak kecuali minyak masak 1kg yang dijual di dalam polybag adalah supaya kegiatan penyuludupan minyak dapat dikurangkan dan dihapuskan kerana ianya lebih sukar untuk menyeludup keluar minyak masak di dalam polybag. Subsidi boleh ditukarkan ke bentuk lain yang lebih tepat disaluran kepada golongan sasaran. Golongan berpendapatan rendah dan juga peniaga restoran dan gerai kecil-kecilan lebih gemar menggunakan minyak masak dalam polybag 1kg maka ini bermakna bahawa kos sara hidup golongan-golongan tersebut tidak berubah, dan makanan yang mereka jual juga tidak patut dinaikkan harga. Bukankah ini lebih baik dari wang subsidi hasil cukai rakyat dimanafaatkan oleh rakyat Malaysia sendiri dan bukan oleh warga asing?
Mengenai kesukaran mendapatkan bekalan minyak masak, sesiapa yang mempunyai akal dan logik yang baik pasti tahu adalah mustahil untuk negara alami kekurangan bekalan minyak masak sedangkan penggunaan bulanan hanyalah 45,000 tan sedangkan minyak masak yang dihasilkan adalah sebanyak 80,000 tan. Sekiranya Saudari Rina dan para pengomen statusnya itu mempunyai akal yang baik maka sudah tentu mereka boleh mengagak bahawa kekurangan bekalan minyak masak adalah disebabkan oleh perbuatan sorok oleh para peniaga agar 1) para pelanggan membeli minyak 5kg sahaja, atau, 2) stok yang sedia ada boleh dijual apabila harga siling minyak selain minyak polybag 1kg naik pada bulan Januari 2017.
Sekiranya Saudari Rina dan para pengomen mendapati sukar untuk tiba ke logik tersebut maka saya cadangkan supaya mereka lakukan carian Google untuk berita yang berkenaan perkara tersebut. Yang itu paling mudah. Cuma saya ingin menbuat suatu perbandingan di sini: saya mempunyai 10 mulut di dalam rumah saya yang perlu diberi makanan setiap hari. Minyak masak 5kg yang berharga RM15.25 boleh bertahan selama tiga minggu di rumah saya. Ini bermakna saya hanya berbelanja sebanyak 71 Sen sehari untuk minyak masak. Adakah Saudari Rina serta para pengomen menggunakan minyak masak lebih dari saya setiap hari?
Harga sayur naik, petik di belakang rumah.
Saya amat tertarik dengan kenyataan ini, Sebagai seorang politikus yang terpelajar pasti Saudari Rina peka dengan masalah bekalan makanan di Malaysia. Malaysia mempunyai 30 juta penduduk yang memerlukan 2.9 billion tan metrik beras setiap tahun, dan permintaan untuk beras dan lain-lain bahan makanan bertambah setiap tahun dengan bertambahnya bilangan penduduk negara ini iaitu pada kadar 3.9 peratus di antara 2012 dan 2013. Walaupun kita mengimport makanan terutamanya beras, kita masih belum dapat mencapai 100 peratus Self-Sufficiency Level (SSL) terutamanya untuk beras.
Memetik sayur di belakang rumah sendiri bukanlah suatu perkara yang baru. Saya sendiri mempunyai tanaman keperluan harian di laman rumah saya seperti cili, limau kasturi, limau purut, belimbing buluh, pandan, serai, pisang, daun sup dan lain-lain. Pada tahun 1974, untuk mengurangkan kesan inflasi Perdana Menteri Kedua, Tun Haji Abdul Razak telah melancarkan Kempen Buku Hijau dengan menambahkan hasil pengeluaran makanan dengan memaksimumkan penggunaan tanah. Melalui rancangan ini rakyat dikehendaki bergiat cergas dalam memajukan bidang ekonomi terutamanya dalam sektor pertanian. Antara rancangan yang telah diberi penekanan ialah galakan tanaman jangka pendek dan penternakan ayam itik dan juga pemeliharaan ikan air tawar serta sistem pemasaran yang lebih licin melalui agensi-agensi seperti FAMA, LPP, RISDA dan Jabatan Pertanian.
Memetik sayur yang ditanam sendiri di belakang rumah bukanlah bererti kemunduran. Negara-negara Barat seperti Amerika Syarikat, Kanada, Kesatuan Eropah telah lama sedari betapa pentingnya keselamatan makanan (food security) dalam mengurangkan kos sara hidup dan kos makanan yang dijual.
Jika kita tidak mempraktikkan penanaman sayur-sayuran di rumah atau kebun maka kita akan rasa tertekan. Malaysia mengimport sebanyak RM45 billion makanan dari luar negara dan jenis makanan yang diimport adalah tembikai, pisang, rambutan, bawang, bawng putih, ubi keledek, tomato dan cili! Ini semua merupakan makanan yang boleh kita petik di belakang rumah. Dan harga makanan ini semua tertakluk kepada harga matawang asing! Kalau tak mampu, maka ubahlah cara hidup dan tanam tanaman-tanaman yang dinyatakan di atas. Jangan kita jadi pemalas. Malah saya sendiri menunggu siapnya rangkaian LRT dan MRT sepenuhnya supaya boleh saya beli sebuah basikal untuk saya gunakan dari rumah atau pejabat ke stesen LRT/MRT yang berhampiran.
Begitulah kisahnya ya Saudari Rina. Saya yang tiada latihan UMNO pun rasanya boleh memberi penjelasan yang agak baik berbanding dengan Saudari Rina yang cepat putus asa dan jumud minda. Saya tidak boleh bayangkan bagaimana Saudari Rina menjadi seorang ketua/pemegang jawatan sedangkan Saudari Rina hanya menunggu untuk disuap jawapan dan tiada langsung inisiatif untuk menghuraikan persoalan dan tangani segala kegusaran yang ada. Sebaliknya, Saudari Rina merendahkan marabat Saudari Rina sendiri dari kedudukan seorang ketua kepada seorang pengikut. Ada sebab Saudari Rina memegang jawatan – ianya menunjukkan ada yang percaya Saudari Rina boleh berfikir dan fikirkan cara-cara untuk membantu yang tidak boleh naik ke atas. Bukannya sama-sama membuntu dengan yang sepatutnya dipimpin.
Kesian UMNO dan kesiankan mereka yang memilih anda untuk memimpin mereka kerana sikap anda telah menggagalkan impian mereka buat anda.
“… 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)
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.
That is how the idiom goes. Muhyiddin was the first one to admit that there was a conspiracy to topple Najib Razak. Then recently Mahathir himself named the conspirators as former Governor of Bank Negara Zeti Aktar Aziz, former Attorney-General Gani Patail, and former head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Abu Kassim. Mahathir’s favourite news portal Sarawak Report has now joined in and underscored the role of the three in trying to bring down Najib Razak. This time around, the Sarawak Report (SR) has gone overboard by including His Majesty The Yang DiPertuan Agong into the conspiracy.
The SR claims that by middle of 2015, all three conspirators agreed that Najib Razak had embezzled billions from public funds “not only to fund lavish frivolities for the PM and his wife and family, but also influence the outcome of a very tight election.”
First and foremost, the investigation into the 1MDB was far from over in the middle of 2015. A quick check of SPRM’s press statements archive found no such announcement being made. Furthermore, Najib Razak as the accused had not been called to give his statement regarding the 1MDB, and it was only in December 2015 that Najib Razak was summoned to do so. How a charge sheet was drafted before investigation was completed is beyond me. When investigations were completed and submitted to the 20-member Public Accounts Committee, the PAC released its findings on 7th April 2016 that there is absolutely no truth in billions having gone missing, and that the 1MDB issue is solely governance in nature. This findings was also agreed and signed by six Opposition members of the PAC including Tony Pua himself.
As for influencing a very tight election, the SR’s myopic reporting means that nothing is ever mentioned about journalist Nile Bowie’s report on the millions of USD channeled to the Opposition and/or Opposition-friendly organisations annually to fund activities that would destabilise the ruling government.The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has channeled millions to beneficiaries such as SUARAM, BERSIH, Merdeka Center for Opinion Research through the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI). The IRI, said Nile Bowie, received $802,122 in 2010 to work with “state leaders in Penang and Selangor to provide them with public opinion research, training and other resources to enable them to be more effective representatives of their constituents”. IRI claims that it “does not provide direct funding to political parties” in Malaysia, but their lack of transparency, significant budget and emphasis on helping broaden the appeal of political parties in opposition-held states suggests at the very minimum that funding is taking place indirectly.
The SR also claims that Najib Razak is the sole shareholder and decision-maker in the 1MDB and the only man able to sign off investment decisions such as the Joint Ventures with Petrosaudi and Aabar,
Perhaps, the SR does not know that the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) was passed in an Act of law in 1957 through the Minister of Finance (Incorporation) Act, 1957 that was revised under Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure in September 1987. Its objectives are to ensure sustained and continuous economic growth; to strengthen national competitiveness and economic resilience; to ensure effective and prudent financial management; to pursue a more equitable sharing of national wealth; and to improve quality of life and well being of society. It is headed by one Encik Asri of Bahagian Menteri Kewangan (Diperbadankan). And mind you, Najib Razak is not the only Minister of Finance. There is a dedicated Minister of Finance whose time is 100 percent there unlike Najib Razak. He is NOT a Deputy Minister, he is a FULL Finance Minister.
Of course, according to the SR, the conspirators then had no choice but to bring the matters to His Majesty Yang DiPertuan Agong, and the Yang DiPertuan Agong agreed that Najib Razak should step down “while prosecution took its course.” Like I mentioned above, how was it possible for prosecution to proceed when Najib Razak himself had not been questioned on his involvement by the very agencies claimed by SR to have decided to prosecute? Furthermore, what Constitutional powers does the Yang DiPertuan Agong have to tell Najib Razak to step down? Even Lim Guan Eng, already investigated and charged in court on two counts of corruption, has not left office to let prosecution take its course!
On the 28th July 2015, Gani Patail was removed as the Attorney-General and was replaced by Mohamed Apandi Ali. SR pointed that the act of removing the AG was unconstitutional. Allow me to go slightly deep into the Federal Constitution of Malaysia to comment on this claim.
The Federation of Malaya was born on 31st August 1957, adopting a new Constitution that replaced the Federated Malay States Constitution of 1948. During that time, the Attorney-General was Cecil Majella Sheridan, a practicing solicitor who joined the Colonial Legal Service to help reopen the courts in 1946 after World War Two. He was posted to Kelantan and Terengganu to become the States’ Legal Adviser and Deputy Public Prosecutor. In 1955, he became the Legal Draftsman for the Federation. Upon Indepence, Sheridan was made the Solicitor-General and subsequently the Attorney-General in 1959. Sheridan then began to prepare for the enlargement of Malaya into Malaysia (with the accession in 1963 of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak). In the process, he worked closely with Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, and Lee Kuan Yew, of Singapore.
During this time, Article 145 of the Federal Constitution was limited to five clauses only. Article 145(5) then provided that “the Attorney-General shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court.” This Article was drafted by the Reid Commission and subsequently passed to be included in the Federal Constitution of 1957. A Government White Paper explained the need for Article 145(5):
“It is essential that , in discharging his duties, the Attorney-General should act in an impartial and quasi-judicial spirit. A clause has therefore been included to safeguard the Attorney-General’s position by providing that he shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a Judge of the Supreme Court.”
This is still maintained in Articles 105(3) for the Auditor-General and 125(3) for the Judges.
With the imminent formtion of the Federation of Malaysia, Sheridan amended Clause 5 of Article 145 and added Clause 6 to facilitate his eventual removal from the AG’s position. Article 145(6) of the Federation of Malaysia Constitution, 1963 reads:
“The person holding the office of the Attorney-General immediately prior to the coming into operation of this Article(note: specific reference to Sheridan) shall continue to hold the office on terms and conditions not less favourable than those applicable to him immediately before such coming into operation and shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court.”
And Clause 5 of the Article was changed to the following:
“Subject to Clause (6), the Attorney-General shall hold office during the pleasure of the Yang DiPertuan Agong and may at any time resign his office and, unless he is a member of the Cabinet, shall receive such remuneration as the Yang DiPertuan Agong may determine.”
Article 145 was amended for two reasons according to Sheridan’s successor, Abdul Cadir Yusoff: one is the desire to have “the most suitable person available for the performance of the onerous tasks” of the AG’s office regardless whether the person was from the pubic service or not, and secondly the impartiality of a political appointee could be assured by conferring on him “untrammelled constitutional discretion.” Bear in mind that Abdul Cadir was both a lawyer and a politician and could not have been appointed under the previous version of the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution, in its present form, requires for the formation of a tribunal to remove or replace an Attorney-General as applicable to the Auditor-General and Judges via Articles 105(3) and 125(3).
Therefore, Gani Patail’s removal was not unconstitutional.
I refuse to comment on the rest of the fairy tale that Clare Rewcastle Brown had conjured because she seemed excited plucking these stories from a very low sky that her nipples probably scrape the ground giving her that pleasure. Like the story about the fire that had occured at the Royal Malaysian Police Headquarters in Bukit Aman, as she claimed “destroyed evidence of money laundering” when the division that was investigating the 1MDB issue is housed in a different building in a different part of the Bukit Aman complex. Also on the murder of DPP Kevin Morais whom she said was the one who had drafted the charge against Najib Razak when the poor sod was confirmed by his own brother and by authorities not investigating 1MDB.
You can choose to believe Sarawak Report if you wish to. All Clare Rewcastle Brown does is to repost trash and expands on it, grabbing more invisible low hanging fruits while her nipples harden at being scraped against the asphalt. Must make her wet teling lies. But it’s funny how the white trash seem to have conveniently omitted Justo from the equation.
A little over 50 years ago, Tun Razak persuaded my father who was then a Special Branch staff officer in Bukit Aman, to accompany him to Bangkok for the negotiations to end the confrontation with Indonesia. My father was reluctant to leave my elder sister Juliana who was suffering from Thallasemia Major and had been given not long to live. “Just one night,” said Razak to my father.
It was during the negotiations with Adam Malik from Indonesia that my sister passed on. Tun Razak was told by his Aide-de-Camp of the news and he quietly went up to his room and locked himself in. My father knocked on the door to request permission to leave for Kuala Lumpur, but Razak never opened the door. In the end, my father climbed up the hotel wall and entered Razak’s room theough the window. Razak quickly held a newspaper in front of his face, replying to my father’s request only with a grunt. Razak was crying but did not want my father to see.
My father has always put the nation before himself. He knew that his first-hand information among others into the Kalabakan massacre of members of the 1st Platoon, ‘A’ Coy of the 3rd Battalion Royal Malay Regiment on the 29th December 1963 would come in handy during the negotiations.
I, too, was a sickly child. Diagnosed with Thallasemia Minor, I also suffered from Acute Glomerulonephritis. My father was the Officer in-Charge of Police District (OCPD) in Ipoh when the 13th May 1969 tragedy broke out. Tun Razak instructed my father to report to the National Operations Council (MAGERAN). With Ipoh being a Chinese-majority town, my father felt it was important he defused the situation in Ipoh first. He asked Razak to give him two days. With three of his men, he went to a sawmill in Lahat where hundreds of Chinese, armed to the teeth, had gathered. He persuaded them to put down their weapons. The Chinese representatives told my father that Malays from the surrounding kampungs were preparing to attack them and had sent their families to seek protection at police stations – an advantage the Chinese did not have. My father immediately called police stations under his charge to evict the Malay families seeking refuge there. As a result, the Malays did not attack the Chinese community in Lahat and a potentially bloody tragedy was averted.
When we finally moved to KL to be with him, my father would carry me on his shoulders in the middle of the night from our house jn Jalan Bukit Guillemard (now Jalan Bukit Ledang) to the playground at the Lake Gardens just to spend quality time with me. He did not want to miss any opportunity like he did when my late sister was around.
All that ended abruptly on 8th June 1974, the day after his predecessor was gunned down in cold blood near where the present Jalan Raja Chulan meets Jalan Tun Perak the day before. He spent his life as a police officer 20 years thereon combatting the communist terrorists, visit frontliners to boost their morale, and console family members whenever a policeman was killed.
When his brother Ainuddin passed away as a result of a motorcycle accident in August 1975, my father was away in Sandakan due to a critical situation. Tun Datu Hj Mustapha, the then Chief Minister of Sabah, offered to send my father back in his private aircraft. Upon arrival in KL, my father went straight to the Prime Minister’s residence to report the situation.
When done, my father asked Tun Razak, “May I take an emergency leave for one day, sir?”
“What for?” asked Razak.
“My brother passed away yesterday and I want to attend his funeral today.”
Tun Razak was aghast, asked my father why didn’t he attend the funeral first. Razak ordered an Air Force Allouette helicopter to fly my father back to his hometown in Teluk Intan. He made it just in time for the burial.
By the time he retired, his children were mostly married and had moved out.
My brother, the youngest in the family, passed on three years ago. After visiting my brother’s grave, my father sat a while inside my car and told me how he wished he was not the Inspector-General of Police so he could see his children grow up. He lamented how he cannot remember ever sleeping and hugging my late brother when he was little. I pointed out to him that he had saved tens of thousands of lives by doing what he did as the IGP. And due to the respect the police force still have for him, my late brother was accorded an escorted police hearse which made his final journey to his resting place smoother, and that at least 400 people joined during the jenazah prayer.
I don’t know if I managed to appease him. I hope I did. What he never realised is that it is because of people like him, millions in Malaysia still have a father to wish on this auspicious day.
But as a father, he still cries whenever he visits and recites the Surah Yaasiin at my brother’s grave. The IGP everyone knew him as, is just another father after all.
Happy Father’s Day, Ayah. You’ve sacrificed a lot for the nation and your children are proud of you nevertheless.