Are Sabah, Sarawak colonies of the Federation of Malaya? 

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING, Jan 1: Former Batu Lintang assemblyman Voon Lee Shan has been doing a bit of digging around and he uncovered that the Federation of Malaya 1963 took a new name — Federation of Malaysia — after the Federation of Malaya had acquired Sabah and Sarawak from the British Empire as part of the Federation of Malaya.

“The changed of name in the United Nations’ official record shows the acquisition of Sabah and Sarawak, which at that time still colonies of the British Empire. 

“To my humble reading, which I hope is correct, this made Sabah and Sarawak colonies of the Federation of Malaya,” he said in a statement today.

The acquisition of the British colonies by the Federation of Malaya put the Federation of Malaya as caretaker for the British Empire, the colonial responsibility of Sabah and Sarawak from the British.

Voon, who is a practising lawyer, opined that from the legal interpretation of the United Nations, the acquisition of Sabah and Sarawak, which caused the enlargement of the Federation of Malaya, did not change the status of the membership of the Federation of Malaya.

He advised readers that they could read this information from the United Juridical Yearbook 1963 – Britain’s Gift to the Federation of Malaya.

Voon said he extracted `The Queen of England’s message to Tunku Abdul Rahman’ on the inauguration of Malaysia as conveyed by Mr Sandys, Commonwealth Secretary on Sept 18, 1963. It reads as follows:

“I have the pleasure in presenting to you this gift from the British government to the government of Malaysia. This piece of modern silver, especially designed by British craftsmen for the occasion, brings with it the greetings of the people of Britain.”

He also extracted Tunku’s reply of acceptance of Britain’s Gift to Mr Sandys on Sept 19, 1963

“I am grateful for the confidence of Her Majesty’s Government in passing their rights over the Territories (Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah) to us. We shall do everything possible to justify the trust you have placed in us.”

Voon further disclosed that these are parts of the texts between the British government and Tunku concerning the handing and taking over of Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah on Sept 18-19, 1963.

He believed the general perceptions and argument of many Sabahans and Sarawakians and some legal experts are that by taking the gift from Britain, the Federation of Malaya assumes the responsibility of taking care of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak as colonies of the Federation of Malaya under a new name, that of the Federation of Malaysia.

In this matter, Voon stressed that by the legal opinions of the United Nations, as recorded in the United Nations official record, the Juridical Yearbook 1963 came to the conclusion that there was no change of identity and status by the Federation of Malaya as member of the United Nations when the Federation of Malaya enlarged its territory by taking or acquisition over the territories of Great Britain under the new name, the Federation of Malaysia.— DayakDaily