PBK president: Regarding Sarawak, Sabah as regions undermines original country status

Voon Lee Shan

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KUCHING, Jan 17: To regard Sarawak and Sabah as regions is unacceptable, says Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan.

According to a press statement issued today, he said that under international law, a region has no fixed boundaries, unlike a country. By declaring Sarawak and Sabah regions in this way, they have lost their country status.

“It has to be made known that Sabah and Sarawak were once countries independent from Malaya but were as a result of neo-colonialism engineered by the British to protect its interest in this region which at the same time engineered by the British to deny the rights of Sabah and Sarawak to gain independence by procedures laid down under the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514.

“The British deprived the rights of Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore to gain independence by handing them to Malaya by having the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) signed on July 9, 1963,” he asserted.

Therefore, Voon said, to say that Sarawak is independent by joining the federation of Malaya to form the federation of Malaysia is legally misleading because, under international law, there could not be a country independent within another country.

He further elaborated that if the federal government is genuine in reverting Sarawak and Sabah’s status to their original state, they should not be called ‘regions’ but ‘countries with equal status with Malaya’.

“Only in this way could equal partnership be enforced, provided that there would be equal distribution of seats in Parliament and federal Cabinet posts between Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak.

“At that same time, all resources and land taken by the federal government have to be returned to Sabah and Sarawak. Furthermore, there should not be any political parties from Malaya allowed to contest in any parliamentary seat in Sabah and Sarawak because this was what the intention of our forefathers that enticed Sabah and Sarawak to join the federation to form Malaysia,” he said.

Therefore, he hoped the federal and Sarawak governments would re-look into the legality, desires, and intentions of how Malaysia was formed.

“This is because what I know (is that) there is nothing to show that the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak had wanted Sabah and Sarawak to be merged, absorbed or annexed by the Federation of Malaya to enlarge the territories of the Federation of Malaya and have the federation of Malaya be renamed as the Federation of Malaysia. If there is, the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak have the right to demand proof,” he said. — DayakDaily