“Sarawak allowed to leave Malaysia on own free will”

Voon Lee Shan

KUCHING, July 3: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) holds the stand that Sarawak joined voluntarily to form Malaysia and is allowed to leave on her own will.

In rebutting a statement by Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chairman Baru Bian, PBK president Voon Lee Shan said the former needs to analyse the federal constitution carefully.

“We entered into Malaysia voluntarily and we have the right to get out voluntarily too. It is just like entering into a toilet and we have a right to come out the toilet. There is no point to stay in the toilet to enjoy your business when the toilet is filthy.

“What I am saying is that we have a right to exit from Malaysia when things are not right and it is for this reason the Chairman of Inter-Governmental Committee, Lord Lansdowne said there is no need for an exit clause in the federal constitution.

“Lord Lansdowne said, ‘Any state voluntarily entering a federation has an intrinsic right to secede at will, and that it was therefore unnecessary to include it in the constitution’,” said Voon in a statement yesterday.

He said basically what Lord Lansdowne was saying was that if Sabah and Sarawak are free to join to form Malaysia, it is also therefore free for them to leave.

Voon thus concluded that the two East Malaysian states do not need the approval of each other or other states in Malaysia as well as the permission of the Conference of Rulers to secede from Malaysia.

“It is also opined by legal experts that an exit could also be done like what Kosovo did in which Kosovo declared independence unilaterally from Serbia and the International Court of Justice in 2010 concluded that international law does not prohibit declarations of independence provided no unlawful use of force been used in proclaiming independence unilaterally,” said Voon.

Voon was responding to a statements made by Baru who was approached by media during the launch of the Pan Borneo Dashboard in Kota Kinabalu.

Baru rejected the idea of Sarawak seceding Malaysia, saying that it was “legally difficult” and “will not be that simple”.

Voon told Baru that there is no prohibition in the federal constitution to exit.

“Dr Mahathir (Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad) when asked in New York in September 2018 never said Sabah and Sarawak have no right to exit. His words are an encouragement to seek exit.

“What we need to do is to follow what Singapore had done on how to exit. There was a negotiation with Malaya to patch up the economic and political differences between Singapore and Malaya. The differences could not be reconciled and this led Singapore to part ways from the Federation of Malaysia. Malaysia then granted Singapore independence under Act of Parliament No. 53 of 1963.

“There is no need for a referendum to seek the mandate of the people to negotiate exit because we do not have a Referendum Act for this purpose.

“The government of the day is obligated to negotiate exit. The failure of the federal government to agree to the demands or requests of the Sarawak government to amend the federal constitution according to what the Sarawak government wants is a good political ground to exit from the Federation of Malaysia,” said Voon.

He said another way to exit is to seek the advisory opinions of the United Nations’ International Court of Justice under Article 65 paragraph 1 of its Statute through a member nation of the United Nations concerning among other matters, the legality of the formation of Malaysia in which many legal experts opined that the formation of Malaysia had not properly been constituted in accordance with international law.

“At the same time, United Nations Resolutions 1514 allows decolonisation of colonies and Sarawak, being a colony of Britain, had not been given the opportunity to decolonize by Britain before Sarawak became part of the Federation of Malaysia.

“Therefore, legal experts opined that the handing of Sarawak to Malaya was against inalienable right of the people of Sarawak to the exercise of their sovereignty and integrity of the own national territory.

“Legal experts also opined that the recent advisory opinion delivered on 25 February 2019 by the United Nations’ International Court of Justice on the Chagos Archipelago case is very relevant to Sabah and Sarawak in seeking justice to their people,” Voon claimed. — DayakDaily