No provision in Federal Constitution to allow Sarawak’s and Sabah’s secession, says Masing 

Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing

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KUCHING, Sept 16: There is no provision in the Federal Constitution to allow Sarawak and Sabah to secede from the Federation of Malaysia.

This is the view of Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing who also pointed out that despite constant bickering between the two Borneo States with Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah cannot simply secede from Malaysia.

He acknowledged that the ‘marriage’ between Malaya and the two Borneo states was never a smooth union as misunderstandings between Malaya and its two eastern States in Borneo crept up again and again.  


“Because of this misunderstanding and constant bickering, involving among others, the distribution of resources, some Sarawakians as well as Sabahans feel the only way out is divorce or in political terms, secession.

“There is, I am told, no provision in our Federal Constitution for secession. There is a recourse in international law which allows for a referendum. This is easier said than done,” said Masing, who is also Infrastructure and Port Development Minister.

Masing went on to elaborate that the International Court of Justice (IJC) would not grant secession if there is lack of proof to show oppression by the Federal government.  

As Malaysia is celebrating Malaysia Day today, he went on to say that the birth of Malaysia 58 years ago on 16 September 1963 was a momentous historical event for Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah. 

To him, it was a birth amidst a firestorm originating from Indonesia and the Philippines. In 1965 Singapore left the union and in the 70s, Sarawak was under attack by Communist terrorists.

“Under this acrimonious relationship the best approach was to try keeping the union stable, understanding our partners’ characteristics and living in peace and harmony,” Masing concluded. 

Masing’s view is contrary to those advocating for Sarawak’s independence, citing the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) under the United Nations Resolution 1514 which involved Kosovo, when the country unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. — DayakDaily