Friday, September 28, 2007

A Big Malaysian Debate

I own a rather worn out glossy color comic with the title "Judge Colt". It's about a judge who's known as "The Hanging Judge" dispensing merciless justice in the Wild, Wild West but unfortunately, he does it with a zeal in his hunt for the murderers of his family.

I've had the comic for over 30 years and today the words that were used in his delivery of his judgment fills my head "You shall be taken out and hung till you're are dead, dead, dead".

So you can see it can be rather dramatic to play the role of a just judge.

Well here's a debate by mail to Malaysiakini that allows you and I to be the judge as to who's right or wrong ...

Do bear in mind though, that this "Uncle Yap" seems to be a "Malaysian republican" as he takes the stand that East Malaysians are not accepted as partners in the formation of Malaysia.

Sabah, Sarawak could have ended up Indonesian
Uncle Yap
Sep 18, 07 3:38pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini article 916 – A personal testimony. I am indeed honoured that an eminent person like Sim Kwang Yang (whose writings in Malaysiakini I have long admired) has taken note of my slightly different perception of the formation of Malaysia.

I have always been an adherent of the concept of ‘substance over form’ and whichever way you look at it, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak joined the other 11 states of the Federation of Malaya and this enlarged nation was renamed ‘Malaysia’. Each of the three added one more point to the star and one more stripe to the erstwhile flag of the Federation of Malaya.

The then Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (the Raja of Perlis) became the head of Islamic affairs of these three states that did not have a Malay ruler, just like Malacca and Penang and later, Wilayah Persekutuan. The constitution of Malaysia was essentially identical to that of the Federation of Malaya.

People who argue for the form would have you believe that the local leaders of Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak negotiated with the independent Federation of Malaya as equals. Yet none have addressed the issue that the sovereignty of these three states- pre-Aug 31, 1963 - rested with Queen Elizabeth II. All three were British possessions whereas the Federation of Malaya was an independent country and a member of the United Nations.

May I ask Sim what would happen if Brunei one day were to join Malaysia, say on Jan 1, 2009? Would Brunei be celebrating Malaysia's centenary on Aug 31, 2057 or would it be the 48th anniversary? No one has yet to cast a dent on my drawing of a parallel of the formation of Malaysia with that of the United States of America.

Many East Malaysians often forget that in the early 1960s, the effete Britain (after the debilitating WWII) was anxious to get out of the Far East and of other far-flung colonial possessions and was desperate to offload its Borneo burden. If Tunku had not been pressured to take on this burden, it was an accepted hypothesis that if North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei were to be somehow allowed to become independent, they would not last six months with rapacious and avaricious Sukarno's Indonesia next door.

We have traveled the same road for nearly five decades and our destinies are somewhat, for better or for worse, entwined. Problems we have many but surely we do not need to add another by this annual parade of denial and whining about the date of independence and nationhood.

The name ‘Malaysia’ was coined to be a better, fitting name for an entity enlarged to include the Borneo states. Prior to Aug 31,1957, the term ‘Malaya’ included the nine Malay states and the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca and Singapore. (Even the term, ‘University of Malaya’ was first used for the union of the Raffles College and King Edward School of Medicine, both of which were located on the island of Singapore.)

That slight name change is now being quoted to support this erroneous perception that North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore ‘formed’ Malaysia as equal partners with the Federation of Malaya in 1963. To any thinking person who look not merely at the form but at the substance, this cannot be further from the truth.

All three joined the federation as three additional new states to the existing 11 and that is the substance.

Here's the rebuttal by "Tanak Wagu":
Sabah, S'wak would not have fallen to Indonesia
Tanak Wagu
Sep 28, 07 2:10pm

Uncle Yap in his letter ‘Sabah and Sarawak could have ended up Indonesian’ tries to suggest that if Sabah and Sarawak were allowed to be independent, they would have ended up being invaded by Indonesia.

This is simplistic thinking, and also the type of propaganda churned out in Malaysian school textbooks. If Sabah and Sarawak were allowed to go independent, the British would have taken appropriate measures to ensure that these states would not be easily colonised by Indonesia. A case in point would be Brunei, which despite its small size still exists independently. But please bear in mind, there is still British military presence in Brunei up to this day.

In his arguments, Uncle Yap also fails to look at the importance of the Malaysia Agreement. If Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore were to be merely added as the 12th, 13th and 14th states of Malaya, then there would be no need to draw up the Malaysia Agreement. Please also note that the creation of Malaysia necessitated the United Nations to send a fact finding mission
to this country.

When Singapore joined Malaysia, it already had an internal self-government with Lee Kuan Yew as the prime minister. Two weeks before Malaysia was formed, Sabah had become an independent state.

Uncle Yap asks what if Brunei was to join Malaysia now. Should we celebrate Malaysia day on another date he asks if that happens? Do remember that if Brunei is to join Malaysia, we do not need to celebrate Malaysia day as beginning from any new date. This is because Malaysia was already formed 44 years ago. Unless of course Malaysia intends to change its name to Malaysianei. Then yes we should celebrate Malaysianei as beginning from the date Brunei joins us.

Flashback into an event that could but did not occur following the Japanese occupation of Malaya.

Click to enlarge!


Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

Getting Right With What's Wrong

Most people claim they know what's right or seriously wrong
But to get them to do something about it they rather sing another song
Reasons being 'to wash their hands clean' and 'not so strong'
Forgetting that deep within each soul lies a spirit that's strong

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng Sat. 290907

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