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Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

Old Feb 12th 2019, 12:09 am
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Default Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

I wonder what this means, in practical terms? Merely a symbolic gesture or the power structures will change?: CM confident of return of ‘one territory’ status | Daily Express Online, Sabah, Malaysia.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is confident that the Federal Government will approve the proposal to return the status of Sabah and Sarawak as one territory in Parliament in March.

“We have discussed the matter with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a meeting on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). I am confident the Federal Government will approve this because it has been enshrined in the constitution and does not require any vote,” he said.
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Old Feb 13th 2019, 4:41 am
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Default Re: Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

"Return the status of Sarawak and Sabah as one territory"????

They were never one territory and the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 makes no statement on unifying Sarawak and Sabah at all. I don't know what Apdal is taking about. It makes about as much sense as saying that Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore should be unified. None of these had any shared governance, even under the British.

The Malaysia Agreement treated EACH of the separate units (Sarawak, Sabah, Singapore and Malaya) as distinct...and requiring the concurrence of each to accept unification. Sarawak was even, very briefly, returned to independent status, in order to assure that the agreement was "consensual".

There were side-letters that were different for each entity- the "20 point Agreement" and "16 points Agreement".

During the Cobbold Commission interviews there were some locals that expressed interest in making Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei a single nation. That idea was suppressed when the Sultan of Brunei opted out of the "union"...and with the British concern that a weak Sarawak and Sabah might be absorbed into Sukarno's leftist Indonesia. It was better to make sure a strong anti-Communist Malay core existed.

I don't think there is any discussion in Sarawak at all about joining Sabah as some sort of "Sabah-wak" or "Sar-abah". It would actually weaken their powers as two distinct sub-units of the Malaysian confederation. They'd only have one State parliament, one Flag, one, anthem, one "King". Sarawak (which was a Rajahdom run by the Brookes in consultation with a Council consisting of Malay, Chinese, and Dayak leaders) has a long and distinct history from Sabah (which was run by a Chartered Company).

I cannot see this flying in Sarawak.
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Old Feb 13th 2019, 7:05 am
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Default Re: Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

Thanks for providing some of the history behind this. It seems to come down to interpretation of translations between Malay and English and possibly semantics, too, according to this later article:
https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/ca...says-activist/

Sabah rights activist and MA63 champion Zainnal Ajamain said Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister James Jemut Masing was incorrect in saying that Sarawak and Sabah were two separate regions in the Federation of Malaysia.“Actually, the MA63 clearly states that both the Bornean states are a territory under Annex A Part II Section 1(3). I think in this case, there was a misconception on the part of Masing about the word ‘territories’.“I would blame this on the weakness of the Malay language (interpretation) and Masing’s understanding of the English term used in the Annex,” he told FMT.
Clearly this is a political hot potato that doesn't concern us, and I have no opinion or preference, but I just thought it was an interesting issue.
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Old Feb 13th 2019, 9:30 am
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Default Re: Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

Here is the actual Malaysia Act of 1963 with all the Annexes.

https://www.slideshare.net/mbl2020/m...agreement-1963
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Old Feb 13th 2019, 9:56 am
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Default Re: Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

Originally Posted by RedApe View Post
Here is the actual Malaysia Act of 1963 with all the Annexes.

https://www.slideshare.net/mbl2020/m...agreement-1963
Thanks. Here's the relevant section:



It seems some confusion has been caused by Clause (3). My personal interpretation of the English used is that it simply means the areas and boundaries of the States are defined as those existing immediately before Malaysia Day, and not those pertaining at any other time; it does not imply that the Borneo States are one territory.
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 5:23 am
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Default Re: Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

Sarawak will not allow that to happen.
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Old Feb 17th 2019, 3:59 am
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Default Re: Sabah and Sarawak to become one territory?

There is also confusion over the term "territory". It can mean 1) the land and sea (and air) areas over which a political entity have full or partial sovereignty. In that case a city, county, State, or Nation (or other confederated entity) can have a "territory". Usually that is territory with a small "t". A Territory (capital "T") is a subdivision of a sovereign political unit and thus has lesser powers than that larger entity.

In this case "territory" is clearly referring to land and sea areas "OF THE Borneo States (namely Sarawak and Sabah)". Note the plural at the end of "States". That means there are TWO...not One. If it were ONE it would be phrased "A Bornean State" and probably be "(comprising Sarawak and Sabah)".
There are places whee "A Bornean State" is used in the MA63...but it is usually in a contrasting sense...such as "These restrictions shall apply to a Malayan State, but not to A Bornean State". In this usage there is ambiguity, but while it could mean a singular political entity...it could also mean "shall not apply to either Sarawak or Sabah."

Except for references to a common Bornean High Court (which the British imposed postwar to reduce costs) there is no mention of a common Territory or Bornean State or the means to accomplish such. Throughout the MA63 there is a recognition that Sabah and Sarawak are different units, with different legislatures, different State Ministers, different civil services, different immigration departments, etc.They even publish the different Constitutions of Sarawak and Sabah as codicils. Sarawak had been independent for 100 years before the Japanese invasion and was not affiliated with the North Borneo Company. Sarawak was NOT a colony of Great Britain until briefly after WW2. And because Britain did not want to be seen as imposing the MA63 UPON the Sarawakian people, independence was, briefly, granted in 1963 so they could sign as an independent nation.
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