Monday, January 23, 2012

Sabah & Sarawak in Malaysia in 1963

Sabah & Sarawak in Malaysia in 1963

History Paper for University Malaysia Sabah - May 17-18, 2006
Sabah & Sarawak in Malaysia in 1963 ISBN 983-2653-22-3
This is an account of records in history of the recent development in Borneo and yet much is not told as far as Borneo is concerned. The available history books on Asia, South East Asia has scanty references on Borneo in the early centuries when foreigners came to Asia for trades and adventures. Would the British as colonial masters tell us of any other reasons for the sudden change of direction since North Borneo and Sarawak were made new colonies post the 2nd World War only in 1946, although there maybe pressures from the United Nations and others for freeing the colonies? In a short 15 years, they wanted to give away Brunei, North Borneo and Sarawak in a paradigm shift and yet retained Brunei until 1984.
The Announcement
Sarawak (47,500 sq miles) Sabah (29,388 sq miles) with a 1960 Population of 744,000 and 454,000 respectively. were responding to a proposal mooted by the Tengku Abdul Rahman on 27 May, 1961 for the formation of Malaysia including Malaya (50,700 sq miles), Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. That proposal was announced in Singapore with the consent of the British Government.
The Reasons of the Federation and the reasons otherwise
In 1961, the Tunku mooted the idea of forming "Malaysia", which would consist of Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei, all of which were then British colonies. The reasoning behind this was that this would allow the central government to control and combat communist activities, especially in Singapore. It was also feared that if Singapore achieved independence, it would become a base for Chinese chauvinists to threaten Malayan sovereignty. To balance out the ethnic composition of the new nation, the other states, whose Malay and indigenous populations would balance out the Singaporean Chinese majority, were also included. At the same time, the three British Borneo territories faced a threat from their neighbours that had territorial ambitions. On the other hand, the Russians favoured British North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei to join Indonesia.
Most political parties in Sarawak were also against the merger. The rationality of Sarawak leaders in the Federation were (1) lack of expertise on their own; (2) lack of financial resources (3) The Clandestine Communist Organisation Threat (4) The Indonesia Soekarno Threat and (5) Confidence in Singapore and Malaya.
In Sabah, where there were no political parties, community representatives also stated their opposition. Despite that there were other reasons like cultural, economic and historic ties that would make the Federation work. Similar rationality like that of Sarawak except that of the CCO threat but Sabah faced the Claim by the Philippines.
Although Singaporean Chief Minister Lee Kuan Yew supported the proposal, his opponents from the Singaporean Socialist Front resisted, arguing that this was a ploy for the British to continue controlling the region. Again the regional proximity and other traditional links with Malaya both under the British was working in favour of the Federation.
Although the Sultan of Brunei supported the merger, the Parti Rakyat Brunei opposed it as well. Brunei pulled out after Parti Rakyat Brunei staged an armed revolt, which, though it was put down, was viewed as potentially destabilising to the new nation.
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 1961, the Tunku explained his proposal further to its opponents. In October, he obtained agreement from the British government to the plan, provided that feedback be obtained from the communities involved in the merger. The Cobbold Commission, named after its head, Lord Cobbold, conducted a study in the Borneo territories and approved a merger with Sabah and Sarawak; however, it was found that a substantial number of Bruneians opposed merger. A referendum was conducted in Singapore to gauge opinion, and 70% supported merger with substantial autonomy given to the state government.
For Sabah and Sarawak being comparatively backwards, they tried to find safeguards within the proposed Federation.
The major process of moving into that Federation
With that a series of discussions and meetings were held in different places to weight the pros and cons of that proposal. The first Malaysian Solidarity Consultative Committee meeting was held in Jesselton on 24th January 1961.
Malaysian Solidarity Consultative Committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 6th January 1962 with the Sarawak delegation comprising Dato Abang Haji Openg, Temenggang Jugah ak Barieng, Ong Kee Hui, Yeo Cheng Hoe (leader), Ling Beng Siew, James Wong, Pengarah Montegrai ak Tugang and Remiguis Durin ak Nganan.
This attitude resolved itself into the policy of "confrontation". In an endeavour to resolve the confrontation amicably and so ensure that Malaysia was born with the active sympathy and support of its neighbours (Indonesia and Philippine) the government of Malaya represented the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, accepted the invitation of President Macapagal to attend a "summit" conference in Manila on July 31, 1963 at which Dr Sukarno had also agreed at the last moment to be present.
As a result of this conference, which was officially described as "frank and cordial", the three leaders agreed to send a joint letter to the United Nations Secretary-General or his representative to ascertain the people of the Borneo Territories. U Thant quickly responded by agreeing to hold an assessment of popular feeling which he confidently expected to be completed in about six weeks.
The "Summit" conference had ended on August 5, 1963 with the adoption of what was known as the Manila Declaration setting out the basic principles for the eventual formation of "Maphilindo" (a hybridism coined for the proposed confederation of Malaya, the Philippines and Indonesia). I believe this proposal was not accepted by the Malayan and the British governments.
The agreement to request a United Nations Mission to visit Sarawak and North Borneo appeared to mean at the time that the Federation of Malaysia could not be inaugurated on August 31st, 1963 as had been decided in London.
On Aug 8, the North Borneo Legislative Council voted unanimously that the colony should become independent on Aug 31st under the name Sabah irrespective of whether or not Malaysia had been formed by that date.
On Aug 8, 1963, the Secretary General of the United Nations informed the three Foreign Ministers of the countries concerned that he would be willing to appoint a representative assisted by two working teams to carry out the task of assessing the views of the peoples in the Borneo Territories, provided the British Government consented.
Following on the consent of the British Government and the Governments of the Borneo States, the Secretary General announced the composition of the 10-man mission on Aug 12, 1963.
It was led by Mr Lawrence Michelmore, Deputy Director of Personnel at the United Nations, acting as the personal representative of the Secretary General with Mr George Janacek, Head of External Relations Division of the United Nations Office of Public Information as his Deputy.
The mission arrived in Sarawak on Aug 16, 1963. Immediately it split into two. The team destined to undertake the investigation in North Borneo, under Mr. Janacek, (but accompanied on its arrival by Mr Michelmore) was greeted at Jesselton airport on Aug 19, 1963 by the biggest demonstration ever held in the country at which 7,000 people turned out carrying banners and slogan such as "Tunku Yes, Sukarno No", similar slogans were plastered on cars, lamp posts and walls throughout Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu).
The United Nations Mission's findings were published by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Sept 14, 1963. He reported that he found the Elections had been properly conducted and held throughout Sabah in a free atmosphere, that the electors had full opportunity to express their attitude towards Malaysia and that the majority of them had shown their desire to join in the Federation of Malaysia.
He concluded in his Report the emergence of dependent territories by a process of self-determination to the State of self-government, either as independent sovereign States or as autonomous component of larger, has always been one of the purposes the Charter and the objectives of the United Nations.
The Final Decisions and terms of Malaysia
Inter-Governmental Committee (I.G.C.) 20 Points.
Sabah and Inter-Governmental Committee (I.G.C.) and incorporated into either the Federal or State Constitution and in the Malaysia Agreement. The Malaysia Agreement was signed in London by representatives from the United Kingdom, Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo, but Brunei was not included since they opted out at the last minute. Therefore, so-called 20-points memorandum was included in the Malaysia Agreement or in the Federal and State Constitutions.
This could be resolved if the British territories join the proposed federation. The British, therefore, were very supportive of the Malaysian proposal. Sabah leaders, thus, had two choices - either join Malaysia and have secured future or face uncertainties in face of external threats. The leaders chose Malaysia with the best bargains one could get under the prevailing circumstances at that time.
Immediately after the Tunku's announcement, Sabah leaders, who were then all nominated members of the Legislative Council, began consultations with the British as well as Malayan leaders. On the advice of the Malayan leaders, they formed political parties in Sabah. The parties were: the United National Kadazan Organisation (UNKO), the United Sabah National Organisation (USNO), and the Chinese-based United Party (UP). The parties vigorously debated the formation of Malaysia. When they realised that the formation of Malaysia was a foregone conclusion, they worked out safeguards. These safeguards culminated into the 20-Points memorandum for the State. At some stage, Malayan leaders seem to have been consulted on the 20-Points. The requested safeguards, with some modifications agreed by all parties, were incorporated in the Federal and State charters. Thus, legally the 20-Points Accord does not exist. The 20 Points memorandum has served its purpose for it presented the safeguards demanded by the people of the State.
On 30th August 1962, the parties jointly presented the Memorandum to the Inter - Governmental Committee (I.G.C.) at its first plenary meeting in Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu) chaired by Lord Lansdowne with Tun Abdul Razak as his deputy. The North Borneo delegation was led by Governor Sir William Goode.
The local leaders in the delegation included Tun Datu Haji Mustapha bin Datu Harun, Tun Haji Mohd Fuad Stephens, Datuk Khoo Siak Chiew and Datuk G.S. Sundang. After thorough discussions, the safeguards were incorporated with some modifications in the I.G.C. report. The modifications included that the State shall have control over education and health services for 10 years before they revert to the Federal Government. Eventually, the recommendations by the I.G.C. were included in the Malaysia Act, the Federal Constitution and the State Constitution.
The education and health services were handed over to the Federal authorities within seven years because the financial burden to maintain the services was heavy for the State to bear.

The following are the 20 Points as presented to the I.G.C. and published by the Annual Report of the Colony of British North Borneo of 1962:

Religion: While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo. (This was incorporated into the Constitution. However, it was amended in 1971 by the Sabah Alliance Government. The amendment was passed unanimously by the Legislative Assembly).
(a) Malay should be the national language of the Federation;
(b) English should continue to be used for a period of ten years after Malaysia Day; and
(c) English should be the official language of North Borneo, for all purposes State or Federal, without limitation of time. (This was incorporated into the Constitution. It was unanimously amended by the State Legislative Council in 1971 in line with the agreed National Policy).
Constitution: While accepting that the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya should form the basis of the Constitution of Malaysia, the Constitution of Malaysia should be a completely new document drafted and agreed in the light of a free association of States and should not be a series of amendments to a Constitution drafted and agreed by different States in totally different circumstances. A new Constitution for North Borneo was, of course, essential. (Done)
Head of the Federation: The Head of State in North Borneo should not be eligible for the election as Head of the Federation. (Not a safeguard but merely a statement of intent).
Name of Federation: "Malaysia" but not "Malayu Raya". (Not a safeguard)
Immigration: Control over immigration into any part of Malaysia from outside should rest with the Central Government but entry into North Borneo should also require the approval of the State Government. The Federal Constitution should not be able to veto the entry of persons into North Borneo for State Government purposes except on strictly security grounds. North Borneo should have unfettered control over the movement of persons, other than those in Federal Government employ, from other parts of Malaysia into North Borneo. (Included in the Malaysia Agreement).
Right of Secession: There should be no right to secede from the Federation. (Not a safeguard but ikat Mati sendiri. says Harris Mohd Salleh).
Borneonisation of the public service should proceed as quickly as possible. (This indeed is unsatisfactory. The Federal Government is still reluctant to appoint Sabahans as heads of Federal Departments. Members of Parliament from Sabah should make a strong cse and representation on this matter).
British Officers: Every effort should be made to encourage British Officers to remain in the public services until their places can be taken by suitably qualified people from North Borneo. (Lapsed).
Citizenship: The recommendations in paragraph 148(k) of the Report of the Cobbold Commission should govern the citizenship rights in the Federation of North Borneo persons subject to the following amendment:
(a) subparagraph (i) should not contain the proviso as to five years residence:
(b) in order to tie up with our law, subparagraph (ii) (a) should read "seven out of ten years" instead of "eight out of twelve years";
(c) subparagraph (iii) should not contain any restrictions tied to the citizenship of parents - a person born in North Borneo after Malaysia must be a Federal citizen. (Incorporated into the Federal Constitution with some modification).
Tariffs and Finance: North Borneo should have control of its own finance, development funds and tariffs; (Incorporated into the Federal Constitution).
Special Position of Indigenous Races: In principle, the indigenous races of North Borneo should enjoy special rights analogues to those enjoyed by Malays in Malaya, but present Malaya formula in this regard is not necessarily applicable in North Borneo; (Incorporated into the Federal and State Constitutions).
State Government:
(a) The Chief Minister should be elected by unofficial members of Legislative Council;
(b) There should be a proper Ministerial system in North Borneo. (Done)
Transitional Period: This should be seven years and during such period legislative power must be left with the State of North Borneo by the constitution and not be merely delegated to the State Government by the Federal Government. (Lapsed)
Education: The existing education system of North Borneo should be maintained and for this reason, it should be under State control. (State handed it over, together with health services to the Federal Government in 1970 due to heavy financial burden to run it).
Constitutional safeguards: No amendment, modification or withdrawal of any special safeguards granted to North Borneo should be made by the Central Government without the positive concurrence of the Government of the State of North Borneo. The power of amending the Constitution of the State of North Borneo should belong exclusively to the people in the State. (It has been determined that the Federal Parliament has the power to make amendments to the State Constitution without the consent of the State).
Representation in Federal Parliament: The should take account not only of the population of North Borneo but also of its size and potentialities and in any case should not be less than that of Singapore. (Overtaken by events).
Name of Head of State: Yang di-Pertua Negara. (Not a safeguard. Done and amended to Yang di-Pertua Negeri).
Name of State: Sabah. (Done)
Land, Forests, Local Government etc: The provisions in the Constitution of the Federation of the powers of the National Land Council should not apply in North Borneo. Likewise, the National Council for Local Government should not apply in North Borneo. (Done)
The safeguards granted to Sabah are permanently enshrined in the State and Federal Constitutions and will always be there unless, of course, they are changed by the legislatures as in the case of religion and language. Some changes have also occurred concerning tariffs and finances.
The safeguards dealing with the special position of the indigenous people, land, forests and Local Government and internal immigration control are still intact and enshrined in the State and Federal Constitutions.
It must be acknowledged and recognised for all intent and purposes that the power of the Federal Parliament is supreme. It can amend Federal and State Constitutions. This has been tested in Sarawak and Kelantan.
"Malaysian leaders, too, thus far have been fair and reasonable. There is not a single shred of evidence to prove that the Federal Government has forced either the State Government or the people of Sabah to agree or accept any proposal that is detrimental to the people of Sabah" Says Harris Mohd Salleh.

Special Report by Harris Mohd Salleh. 30th January, 2005. DAILY EXPRESS
A. MALAYSIA - Agreement between Malaya and Brunei on Brunei Entry - Sarawak Approval of Malayan - U. K. Draft Agreement on Sarawak's Entry - Report of Lansdowne Committee on Constitutional Arrangements for North Borneo and Sarawak, - World Bank Mission on Economic Implications of Merger.
It was announced in Kuala Lumpur on March 8 that the Malayan Federal Government and the Sultan of Brunei had agreed on the conditions for Brunei's entry into the proposed Malaysian Federation. The announcement followed talks between representatives of the two countries lasting for over a month.
On the same day the Legislative Council of Sarawak approved a draft agreement between the Malayan and British Governments on Sarawak's entry into Malaysia.
The report of the inter-governmental committee on constitutional arrangements for North Borneo and Sarawak, in connection with the forthcoming establishment of the Malaysian Federation, was published on Feb. 27, 1963. The committee was under the chairmanship of Lord Lansdowne and included representatives from Malaya, North Borneo, and Sarawak [see page 18937, column one, item (3). The recommendations of the committee, which had held meetings in Jesselton, Kuching, and Kuala Lumpur between August and December 1962, are summarized below:
Establishment: The Federation of Malaysia would comprise Malaya, Singapore, Sabah (North Borneo), Sarawak and Brunei if it agreed to join. A formal agreement between Britain and the Malayan Government would embody safeguards fir the Borneo territories in a Constitution which would be based on the present Malayan Constitution. The report outlined the main amendments which should be incorporated; they would be discussed by the Legislative Councils of North Borneo and Sarawak before a draft agreement was drawn up.
Religion. While Islam would be the religion of the Federation of Malaysia, there would be no State religion in either of the Borneo States, which would retain constitutional guarantees for religious freedom.
Immigration. This would be a Federal matter, subject to entry into the Borneo States being approved by those States. No amendment of the legislation would be possible without the approval of those States.
Education. This would also be a federal subject, though the system and administration of education in the Borneo States would for the present remain under State control.
Citizenship. In accordance with the recommendations of the Cobbold Commission any citizen born, naturalized, or registered in North Borneo and Sarawak and resident there when the Malaysian Federation came into being would be a citizen of the Federation. Others over 17 years might apply for registration, subject to residence during seven out of the preceding 10 years.
Federal Legislature. Each Borneo State would elect two members to the Senate, and six additional appointed members would represent Sarawak and North Borneo. The House of Representatives would be increased from 104 seats to 159, allowing 24 seats to Sarawak and 16 to North Borneo. (Fifteen seats have already been agreed for Singapore.)
Head of State. A Head of State for each State would be nominated by the Queen and the Malayan Head of State jointly.
Finance. Taxation would be a federal subject. Taxation in the Borneo States would be raised to Malayan levels by gradual stages. Revenues to cover State expenditure would include additional revenue from Customs duties on petroleum products, timber, and minerals.
It was stated that the Malayan Government hoped to provide Malayan $300,000,000 (about £35,000,000) over the first five years for capital development in Sarawak, and Malayan $200,000,000 (about £23,300,000) for North Borneo. A British promise had been made of 1,500,000 a year for five years to both States combined, provided that aid from the Malayan Government continued over the same period.
Elections. Initially members at the Federal Legislature from the Borneo states would be elected indirectly by the State Legislative Assemblies, to which election is also indirect. But direct election to the Legislative Assemblies of each Borneo States and to the Federal Legislature should be introduced within five years of Malaysia's establishment.
Judiciary. In addition to the Supreme Court of the Malaysian Federation there would be a High Court in each State. Native law and custom remain a State subject.
Public Service. Branches of the Federal public service commission would be set up in Sarawak and North Borneo in addition to separate State public service commissions. Existing officers, including expatriate officers, might be seconded, transferred, or promoted in the Federal service, but need not serve outside the Borneo States without their consent.
Language. Malay should be the national language of the Federation, but for a period of 10 years in the first instance, and thereafter as long as the State Legislature agreed, English would remain an official language and might be used in all Government business.
Indigenous Races. The provision in the Federal Constitution applying to Malays would be applied to natives of the Borneo States as if they were Malays.
The President of the World Bank, Mr. Eugene H. Black, announced on Oct 5, 1962, that M. Jacques L. Hueff, Inspector-General of Finance for the French Government and one of Europe's leading economists and jurists, would lead a mission to study the economic implications of the merger of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak into the Federation of Malaysia. (Times- World Bank, Washington). KEESING'S CONTEMPORARY ARCHIVES - March 23-30, 1963 - page 19311.
The Objections - Claim and Confrontation
The process of negotiation
This attitude resolved itself into the policy of "confrontation". In an endeavour to resolve the confrontation amicably and so ensure that Malaysia was born with the active sympathy and support of its neighbours (Indonesia and Philippine) the government of Malaya represented the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, accepted the invitation of President Macapagal to attend a "summit" conference in Manila on July 31, 1963 at which Dr Sukarno had also agreed at the last moment to be present.
As a result of this conference, which was officially described as "frank and cordial", the three leaders agreed to send a joint letter to the United Nations Secretary-General or his representative to ascertain the people of the Borneo Territories. U Thant quickly responded by agreeing to hold an assessment of popular feeling which he confidently expected to be completed in about six weeks.
The "Summit" conference had ended on August 5, 1963 with the adoption of what was known as the Manila Declaration "setting out the basic principles for the eventual formation of "Maphilindo" (a hybridism coined for the proposed confederation of Malaya, the Philippines and Indonesia). I believe this proposal was not accepted by the Malayan and the British governments.
The agreement to request a United Nations Mission to visit Sarawak and North Borneo appeared to mean at the time that the Federation of Malaysia could not be inaugurated on August 31st, 1963 as had been decided in London.
On Aug 8, the North Borneo Legislative Council voted unanimously that the colony should become independent on Aug 31st under the name Sabah irrespective of whether or not Malaysia had been formed by that date.
On Aug 8, 1963, the Secretary General of the United Nations informed the three Foreign Ministers of the countries concerned that he would be willing to appoint a representative assisted by two working teams to carry out the task of assessing the views of the peoples in the Borneo Territories, provided the British Government consented.
The Claim on Sabah
The Philippines made a claim for Sabah, arguing that it had historic links with the Philippines through the Sulu archipelago. Filipino President Diosdado Macapagal revived the long-dormant Filipino claim to Sabah, once part of the Sultanate of Sulu. This claim was mostly to do with Filipino domestic politics. In 1966 the new president, Ferdinand Marcos, dropped the claim and recognized Malaysia.
Then President Ferdinand Marcos hatched a plan to take over the oil-rich Sabah, which was earlier annexed to Malaysia through a referendum in the early 1960’s. Malaysia was still a young state at that point, just weaning itself from its British colonizers when it regained its independence in 1957, and just reeling from the secession of Singapore in 1965.
The plan was dubbed “Operation Merdeka.” It involved recruiting 200 young Tausugs and Samas and train them to become elite commandos. With the promise of high stipend and the prospect of owning a gun, the military was able to gather a sizable number of eager recruits.
They were brought to Corregidor Island for training. Their codename was Jabidah.
But the recruits realized their true mission; that they would have to kill their Muslim brothers in Sabah and even some of their own relatives living there. Coupled with the low pay, the recruits turned mutinous.
The military’s response was menacing in its finality.
The trainees were led out of their barracks on the night of March 18, 1968. The confused recruits were taken to a nearby airstrip and sheared down by gunfire. Only one man survived to recount the story. Another rose to become the head of the Moro National Liberation Front.
Twenty-three members of the Jabidah group faced court martial proceedings but the matter was relegated to the dustbin of the cluttered legal system and over time, the people forgot.
The Philippines brought the dispute to the United Nations through a Policy Statement in the United Nations during its 23rd Session, New York, Tuesday, 15th October 1968. That policy statement stated the Sultan's annual income from his dominions in North Borneo was 5,000 Malayan Dollars - 3,000 from his pearl fisheries and 2,000 from his birds' nest caverns.
The Confrontation
This move was opposed by the government of Indonesia; President Sukarno argued that Malaysia was a puppet of the British, and that the consolidation of Malaysia would increase British control over the region, threatening Indonesia's independence.
Left-wing and communist cell groups, which grew rapidly among Sarawak's urban Chinese communities since the 1950s (which later became the nucleus of the anti-Malaysia PARAKU and PGRS guerrilla forces), supported and propagated the unification of all British Borneo territories to form an independent leftist North Kalimantan state, an idea originally proposed by Dr. Azhari, leader of the Parti Rakyat Brunei, who had forged links with Sukarno's nationalist movement, together with Ahmad Zaidi, in Java since the 1940s. The North Kalimantan (or Kalimantan Utara) proposal was seen as a post-decolonization alternative by local opposition against the Malaysian Federation plan. Local opposition throughout the Borneo territories was primarily based on economic, political, historical and cultural differences between the Borneo states and the Malayan peninsula, and the refusal to be subjected under peninsular political domination.
The War and its end
The War
On January 20, 1963, Indonesian Foreign Minister Subandrio announced that Indonesia would pursue a policy of Konfrontasi with Malaysia. On April 12, Indonesian volunteers — allegedly Indonesian Army personnel — began to infiltrate Sarawak and Sabah, to engage in raids and sabotage, and spread propaganda. On July 27, Sukarno declared that he was going to "crush Malaysia" or in Indonesian Malay "Ganyang Malaysia". On August 16, troopers of the Brigade of Gurkhas clashed with fifty Indonesian guerrillas.
While the Philippines did not engage in warfare, they did break off diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
The Federation of Malaysia was formally formed on September 16, 1963. Brunei decided against joining, and Singapore separated later.
Tensions rose on both sides of the Straits of Malacca. Two days later rioters burned the British embassy in Jakarta. Several hundred rioters ransacked the Singapore embassy in Jakarta and the homes of Singaporean diplomats. In Malaysia, Indonesian agents were captured and crowds attacked the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Along the remote jungle border in Borneo, there was an ongoing border war; Indonesian troops and irregulars tried to occupy Sarawak and Sabah, with little success. On 28 September 1963 a small successful, though strategically irrelevant, raid was waged by the Indonesians on the village of Long Jawe, almost wiping out the entire Gurkha Rifles garrison. In early 1964, Indonesian attacks managed to deem the strategic Tebedu - Serian - Kuching road unsafe for months, and additional small scale air raids were waged in the Kelabit highlands on civilian settlements. One Indonesian raiding party enroute to the small town of Song were captured by locals and handed over to the Malaysian authorities in April 1964.
In 1964, Indonesian troops began to raid areas in the Malaysian peninsula. In August, 16 armed Indonesian agents were captured in Johore. Activity by regular Indonesian Army over the border also increased. The British Royal Navy deployed a number of warships, including aircraft carriers, to the area to defend Malaysia and the Royal Air Force also deployed many squadrons of aircraft. Commonwealth ground forces — 18 battalions, including elements of the Brigade of Gurkhas — and three Malaysian battalions, were also committed to the conflict. The Commonwealth troops were thinly deployed and had to rely on border posts and reconnaissance by light infantry and/or the two commando units of the Royal Marines. Their main mission was to prevent further Indonesian incursions into Malaysia.
On August 17, Indonesian paratroopers landed on the southwest coast of Johore and attempted to establish guerrilla groups. On September 2, more paratroopers landed in Labis, Johore. On October 29, 52 soldiers landed in Pontian on the Johore-Malacca border and were captured by New Zealand Army personnel.
When the United Nations accepted Malaysia as a non permanent member at the Security Council, Sukarno withdrew Indonesia from the UN and attempted to form the Conference of New Emerging Forces (Conefo) as an alternative.
In January 1965, after many Malaysian requests, Australia agreed to send troops to Borneo. Australian Army contingent included the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment and the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. There were fourteen thousand British and Commonwealth forces in Borneo by this time. According to official policy, Commonwealth troops could not follow attackers over the Indonesian border. However, units like the British Special Air Service and the Australian Special Air Service did so in secret (see Operation Claret). (The Australian government officially admitted these incursions in 1996.)
On March 10, 1965, Indonesian saboteurs carried out the MacDonald House bombing in Singapore killing 3 people and injuring 33.
In mid-1965, the Indonesian government began to openly use Indonesian army forces. On June 28, they crossed the border into eastern Sebatik Island near Tawau, Sabah, and clashed with defenders.
It was later revealed that the lack of success of Indonesian raids could also be attributed by the covert consensus among the Indonesian army leaders, still receiving U.S. military funding as late as 1965, to deliberately play down the military situation in the field. The best Indonesian army battalions were not even sent to Borneo - and it is largely speculated that the Army, with U.S. and British backing, were covertly held back on Java in preparing the right-wing coup of October 1 1965, which consequently ended the Confrontation and ousted Sukarno from power in 1966. Of special note is the fact that even during the course of Confrontation, a number of Indonesian army officers were still undergoing military training in Australia.
Towards the end of 1965, General Suharto came to power in Indonesia, following a coup d'tat. Due to this domestic conflict, Indonesian interest in pursuing the war with Malaysia declined, and combat eased.
On May 28, 1966 at a conference in Bangkok, the Malaysian and Indonesian governments declared the conflict was over. Violence ended in June, and a peace treaty was signed on August 11 and ratified two days later.
The declaration of Independence
At midnight on 15th September 1963, the British flag was lowered for the last time in Jesselton and the North Borneo Governor, Sir William Goode, prepared to leave on board a British Naval ship.
The Malaysia Declaration:-
The Proclamation of Malaysia has this clause “Whereas by an Agreement made on the ninth day of July in the year one thousand nine hundred sixty three between the Federation of Malaya, the United Kingdom, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore it has agreed that there shall be Federated the State of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore with the Federation of Malaya comprising the States of Pahang, Trengganu, Kedah, Johore, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, Selangor, Perak, Perlis, Penang and Malacca and that the Federation shall thereafter be called “Malaysia”.
That Proclamation of Malaysia was made publicly on 16th September, 1963 in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching after the relevant Constitution was approved in Parliament.
Even in the learned article “What indeed is Malaysia” in the series- THE BENCH MARK- by Harun Hashim, he did illustrate some difference of the States of Sarawak and Sabah when compared with the States of Malaya. (NST 4th July 1996).
Tunku Abdul Rahman decided to name the nation simply "Malaysia" rather than Federation or a Confederation according to Harun Hashim.
Sarawak's preparation
Preparations in the form of important Constitutional changes were carried out prior to Sarawak's entry into Malaysia. This was to ensure that Sarawak would have a fully democratic legislature and a ministerial system of Government before entering Malaysia.
Early in 1963, the 1956's Constitution was modified to give Sarawak a fully democratic legislature. The number of elected representatives were increased from 24 to 36 while the number of official and nominated members decreased to three each.
The new Constitution meant that political leaders elected directly by the people, would take over control of the Government from the Colonial civil servants. In the light of these constitutional changes new elections for the three tiers were held between April and July 1963.
1963 Elections
The elections were contested by three political parties: SUPP, the Sarawak Alliance, and PANAS as well as a large number of independent candidates. The Sarawak Alliance was formed by Pro-Malaysia parties in October-November 1962. It originally consisted of PANAS, SNAP, BARJASA, Party Pesaka and Sawarak Chinese Association (SCA), PANAS withdrew from the Alliance in April, 1963 due to certain disagreements, and contested the election separately. The Pro-Malaysia parties - the Alliance and PANAS - did well at all levels of the elections and had a strong majority in the first Council Negeri. The Alliance having secured 19 seats, PANAS five seats, Independents seven seats, and later joined the Alliance, and SUPP five seats. With the completion of elections in July 1963, Encik Stephen Kalong Ningkan of SNAP was elected Sarawak's first Chief Minister.
1969 Direct Elections
After the new boundaries in 1965, there were 48 State Constituencies and these members were to be elected directly by the people. There were no more ex-officio and nominated membership to the State Assembly. The May 1969's direct elections were suspended and delayed for a year because of the May 13's incident in Peninsula Malaysia. The State election results gave the Alliance (Party Bumiputra, SCA and PESAKA) a total of 24 seats in the Council Negeri (State Assembly), with SNAP securing 12 seats and SUPP - 11. The remaining seat was won by an Independent, who later joined the Alliance giving it a majority in the House. When the Government was formed with the Chief Minister Datuk Haji Abdul Rahman Ya'kub, SNAP was excluded in the new Coalition despite it applied to join.
Sabah's transition of power
The lowering of British flag was witnessed by Tun Mustapha as the Governor designate at midnight 15th September, 1963, and with the departure of the British Governor Sir William Goode for North Borneo at the same time, the Ceremony of declaration of Malaysia was held in the morning of 16th September, 1963 at the Merdeka padang when North Borneo was renamed Sabah.
The Proclamation of Malaysia by the first Prime of Minister of Malaysia was read out by the Chief Minister of Sabah Tun Fuad Stephens witnessed by Tun Mustapha - Yang DiPertua Negeri and Tun Abdul Razak the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. The same Proclamation in Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Kadazan was read out by other leaders.
Later on in the day, the first State Cabinet of seven members was formed at the Legislative Assembly building by direct appointments. The first State's Legislative Assembly was formed in 1964. The first State General Elections was held on 8th April, 1967 to directly elect the members to the State's Legislative Assembly.
The final result of the first State General Elections were United Sabah National Organisation (USNO) 14; United Pasok Momogun Kadazan Organisation (UPKO) 12; Sabah Chinese Association (SCA) 5 and Independent 1. None of them achieved 17 out of the 32 seats by its own, hence a Coalition was needed.
The exit of Singapore
The sometimes turbulent relationship between the People's Action Party (PAP) and United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which were, and still are, the ruling parties respectively of Singapore and Malaysia, has impacted the recent history of both states.
After heated ideological conflict developed between the state government formed by PAP and the Federal government in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore was expelled from the federation on August 7 1965. It gained official sovereignty two days later on August 9, 1965 with Malaysia the first country to recognise it as an independent nation, a date became Singapore's National Day
In addition to racial unrest, thorny issues concerning Singapore's rights as an autonomous state further put a dent in relations, such as the failure of a common market to be set up between the Federation and Singapore, and the heavy tax burden placed on Singapore, which was seen as unfair. Such issues catalysed the impending secession: On August 7, 1965, Tunku Abdul Rahman announced to the Malaysian Parliament in Kuala Lumpur that the Parliament should vote yes on the resolution to have Singapore to leave the Federation, choosing to "sever all ties with a State Government that showed no measure of loyalty to its Central Government" as opposed to the undesirable method of suppressing the PAP for its actions. Singapore's secession and independence became official on August 9, 1965
De jure, Singapore withdrew of its own accord. De facto however, the PAP had no true authority to influence whether Singapore should leave or not, despite having pressured Tunku Abdul Rahman not to take such a course of action. The separation agreement was signed to maintain friendly relations, trade agreements, and mutual defence ties. These were left intact, although federal ties to Singapore as a state were cut off.
The other developments
The 1965-1970 Plan represented as ambitious and imaginative start to the development efforts of the new State Government. The sizeable Federal contribution also affirmed their commitment, expressed in the 1963 Agreement, to hasten the development of the State and bring it up to the level od the other States in the Federation. (page 246 of CHS).
6.1.5 The First Malaysia Plan -Sabah :1966-1970
As Stated earlier, the 1965-70 ( 6 years) Plan was superseded a year later by the 1966-70 (5 year) First Malaysia Plan into which the 1965-1970 Plan was incorporated. Although no major changes in policy and objectives were apparent between the two plans, there were some significant differences in the sectoral allocations of expenditures and the relative proportions to be financed by the Federal and State Governments. Even more pronounced changes in the respective Federal and State shares took place after the Mid-term Review in 1969. Table 15 shows that of the revised allocation to Sabah of $538.44m (as compared with the original allocation of $377.02m), 43.6% was to be from Federal funds as compared with 83.6% in the original allocation. The reasons given for this major shift in financing responsibility included the slow release of Federal funds. To quote " ...since many (Federal) projects were tied to external aid or loans and these had not been forthcoming on the scale envisaged, the slow release of Federal Funds become one of the most serious constraints on the efforts of the State Government to accelerate the pace of development. Accordingly, the State Government reviewed its financing policy and, in view of the large budgetary surpluses in 1967 and 1968, agreed to accept a greater share of the financing burden. The ratio had therefore changed drastically since the First Malaysia Plan (Sabah) was first drafted (thus) the real impetus, in terms of implementation, only came after 1968 when the State Government took over the financial responsibility for many projects previously financed from Federal Funds." (Second Malaysia Plan - Sabah). this is shown clearly by Table 15 which shows that the Federal share of actual expenditure was only 21.8% of the total $413.48m (Commemorative History of Sabah 1881-1981).
National Petroleum Policy
PETRONAS, established under the Petroleum Development Act (1974) as a state-owned enterprise, has exclusive rights of ownership, exploration and production. Through the Petroleum Development Act, 1974, The Federal Government vested all petroleum resource of Malaysia to a wholly owned Government company called Petroleum National Berhad. Sabah is only given an oil royalty of 5% in an agreement signed in 1976.
The compliance of terms of Formation
We may have to re-visit history on the way to Malaysia as far as terms of Formation are concerned if the compliance of all the terms has been justly done to all parties concerned. Apart of financial aspects as shortchanged, other areas may have violations.
An area such as this need to be mentioned. Kuala Lumpur and London Talks on Malaysia- Agreement on Establishment of Federation by Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah (Source: Keesing’s Contemporary Archives- November 2-9, 1963)
The financial questions previously in dispute between Singapore and Malaya were settled in the following manner: (1) 60 per cent of the Federal revenue collected in Singapore would be paid to the Singapore Government and 40 per cent to the Federal Government: (2) to assist development in the Borneo territories, Singapore would make available to the Federal Government a 15-year loan of 100,000,000 Malayan dollars, free of interest for the first five years, and a 15-year loan of 50,000,000 Malayan dollars at current market rates in the Federation (i.e. 150,000,000 Malaya dollars in all or about £17,500,000). Were the portions to Sarawak and Sabah fulfilled? Why the sharing proportion as with Singapore not applied to Sabah?
The short history of Malaysia has significant impact of the livelihood of Sabah and Sarawak. How would the present and future generations judge Malaysia with the Borneo States would depend how the Malaysia Act is implemented fairly and justly?
New Straits Times 4th July 1996.
Commemorative History of Sabah 1881-1981.
Malaysia Agreement Cmnd 2094
The Birth of Malaysia by Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min, September 1993
Sarawak Report (1963-1983) compiled by the Malaysian Information Services, Sarawak
The Report of the Commission of Inquiry - North Borneo and Sarawak 1962 (Cobbold Report)
The Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee 1962 (I.G.C. Report)
Sabah History in Pictures (1881-1981) Johan M. Padasian 1981
The Kadazans at the Crossroads, by Dr. Gimfil James (MD) 1983.
Special Report by Harris Mohd Salleh. 30th January, 2005. DAILY EXPRESS
1 Mackie, J.A.C. 1974. Konfrontasi: The Indonesia-Malaysia Dispute 1963-1966. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press.
2 Poulgrain, G. 1998. The Genesis of Konfrontasi: Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia 1945-1965. London: C. Hurst & Co. ISBN 1-85065-510-3
3 Jones, M. 2002. Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: Britain, the United States and the Creation of Malaysia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80111-7
4 Porritt, V.L. 2004. The Rise and Fall of Communism in Sarawak 1940-1990. Victoria: Monash Asia Institute. ISBN 1-87692-427-6

Other Sources
Anonymous. 1964. Gelora Konfrontasi Mengganjang Malaysia. Djakarta: Departemen Penerangan. (Contains Joint Statements of the Manila Agreements, Indonesian presidential decrees and all transcripts of Sukarno's public speeches from July 1963 to May 1964 pertaining the Konfrontasi)
Mindanao Times - Editorial - Remembering Jabidah

(NB: There are two versions of 20 points mentioned in this paper for history records can differ with different sources. Once it was considered sensitive to discuss 20 points but if these were part of the terms to Malaysia, how can we ignore the fact?).

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