Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sabah's 20 Point Agreement

On 16 September and 45 years ago, Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak joined in this day to create a Federation of Malaya. Today, only Sabah and Sarawak celebrate the Malaysia Day with a special holiday and no mention about it except the codename 916 by the Pakatan Rakyat to taken over the power from the BN ruling government.

It was discussed many times in the newspaper about the 20 Point Agreement, but few knew what really it is. I only knew few points myself and not remembered most of it after reading about it many years ago during last time this was discussed. Not until today, I surf and found this wikipedia entry that listed out the point but i can't really verify it because i can't verify it with the real document.

Basically the 20 points are:

Point 1: Religion

While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo

Point 2: Language

* a. Malay should be the national language of the Federation
* b. English should continue to be used for a period of 10 years after Malaysia Day
* c. English should be an official language of North Borneo for all purposes, State or Federal, without limitation of time.

Point 3: Constitution

Whilst 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 (Sabah) was of course essential.

Point 4: Head of Federation

The Head of State in North Borneo should not be eligible for election as Head of the Federation

Point 5: Name of Federation

“Malaysia” but not “Melayu Raya”

Point 6: 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 Government 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 movements of persons other than those in Federal Government employ from other parts of Malaysia into North Borneo.

Point 7: Right of Secession

There should be no right to secede from the Federation

Point 8: Borneanisation

Borneanisation of the public service should proceed as quickly as possible.

Point 9: British Officers

Every effort should be made to encourage British Officers to remain in the public service until their places can be taken by suitably qualified people from North Borneo

Point 10: Citizenship

The recommendation in paragraph 148(k) of the Report of the Cobbold Commission should govern the citizenship rights in the Federation of North Borneo subject to the following amendments:

* a) sub-paragraph (i) should not contain the proviso as to five years residence
* b) in order to tie up with our law, sub-paragraph (ii)(a) should read “7 out of 10 years” instead of “8 out of 10 years”
* c) sub-paragraph (iii) should not contain any restriction tied to the citizenship of parents – a person born in North Borneo after Malaysia must be federal citizen.

Point 11: Tariffs and Finance

North Borneo should retain control of its own finance, development and tariff, and should have the right to work up its own taxation and to raise loans on its own credit.

Point 12: Special position of indigenous races

In principle, the indigenous races of North Borneo should enjoy special rights analogous to those enjoyed by Malays in Malaya, but the present Malays’ formula in this regard is not necessarily applicable in North Borneo

Point 13: State Government

* a) the Prime Minister should be elected by unofficial members of Legislative Council
* b) There should be a proper Ministerial system in North Borneo

Point 14: 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

Point 15: Education

The existing educational system of North Borneo should be maintained and for this reason it should be under state control

Point 16: Constitutional safeguards

No amendment modification or withdrawal of any special safeguard 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. (Note: The United Party, The Democratic Party and the Pasok Momogun Party considered that a three-fourth majority would be required in order to effect any amendment to the Federal and State Constitutions whereas the UNKO and USNO considered a two-thirds majority would be sufficient)

Point 17: Representation in Federal Parliament

This should take account not only of the population of North Borneo but also of its seize and potentialities and in any case should not be less than that of Singapore

Point 18: Name of Head of State

Yang di-Pertua Negara

Point 19: Name of State


Point 20: Land, Forests, Local Government, etc.

The provisions in the Constitution of the Federation in respect 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.

Looking at this point, i would like to refer to Point 7 as quote;

Point 7: Right of Secession

There should be no right to secede from the Federation

I really want it to be a typo, unless it written at the original documentation that technically seal the future faith of Sabah to the federation that when think about it not a good deal. Why do our past leader could sign and agreed on this point when it means "once you in, no way you out", unless the federal government got fade up with the state such as Singapore, they just need to kick them out.

After reading this 20 point agreement, i really felt that our previous leader was advocated in a very unfair agreement especially Point 7. Other point agreement was terribly violated and ignored due to our local leader failure to let the people know the and didn't put a fight over the violation by the UNMO controlled federal government.

Other legitimate discussion about the 20 Point Agreement was raised by the DAP Lim Kit Siang during the Ma Tzu statue controversy as i quote:

Point 1: Religion

While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo.

If Point One of the Twenty-Points had been strictly and scrupulously observed, Sabahan and Malaysians would have been spared the many divisive issues which had polarized Sabahans and Malaysians – such as the confiscation of printed materials for Christians in Sabah because of the unconstitutional ban of the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims or the half-way stop-work order for the construction of the world’s tallest RM5 million Mazu statue in Kudat because of a fatwa by the Sabah mufti that it is haram in Islam to construct the Mazu statue.

source: Keynote Speech by Lim Kit Siang when launching the DAP Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) Declaration at a DAP KDM convention at Ruby Hotel, Kota Kinabalu on Saturday, 19th January 2008

With this point, i believe that Sabah is a socialist state within a federal coalition. This point is important to secure a free religion state to the people of Sabah not even when the majority of the people are muslim. The declaration of Malaysia constitution that stated Islam is the state religion doesn't mean it can interfere with the legal status quo of the nation. Attempt was made by some people to change the Malaysia civil law to a syariah law should be assumed as an attempt to revoke the federation coalition and Sabah and Sarawak should be excluded from the transformation and given the rights to renegotiate to reestablish back the federation coalition or not.

I personally think that Sabah can't really be an independent nation due to the mistake and ignorance that was done by the past leaders. If any chances that Sabah able to be an independent nation, there will be some other problem that needed to be solved. The first problem that will instantly be is the recognition from the Philippine Government and the Sulu Royalty to demand the return of this nation back to them. This will create a greater arm conflict that was long time infested in the provinces due to the overwhelming illegal that was rooted in this state.

The better solution for Sabah is to renegotiate the federation coalition with Malaya, and reconstitute this federation into a fair power sharing and economic wealth distribution that benefit fair and just among the coalition state. The Prime Minster post should be rotated between the federation states that only consisted between Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak with a time limit of term allowed. Malaya should be consider and was considered as one entity in the federal coalition and not the small states within the Malaya itself. If that so to recognize those small states, Sabah and Sarawak should have at least the same amount in total of states compared to Malaya to secure a fair representation of the federation.

I believe that Malaysia needs a new overhaul of its constitution problem due by loop hole and inconsistency that bring to the violation of the rights of the member state of this federation. In the meantime, Happy Malaysia Day!


Zi said...

interesting !

I just know about it ! lol

Jefferi said...

:D yaa.. lots of ppl dun know. now they should know before it too late.

lynnx01 said...

Hey, thanks for posting this up. So much of me having this cita-cita to bebaskan Sarawak dari Malaysia when I was young. HAHAHAH.. I knew nuts about all these stuffs..

Jefferi said...

sad but true. independent to sabah or sarawak will not bring any good to the state. we're so dependent to the malaya pointing and govern us. the worst this was the local leader never give a care of the state just filling in their pockets with money that supposed to went back to the country. maybe not now, i hope after some awareness in the mindset of the people of sabah and sarawak, we will be in good situation and condition to renegotiate what supposed to belong to us.

Aj said...

Many sabahan and sarawakian don't know about this.. Even the government now whoring our educational systems. This suppose not to happen.. We still have the right on Sabah Education Syllabus.. theres a exam questions asking about KLCC but most our students never been there. Why don't they ask about jambatan tamparuli kah.. logic lagi.. When our students fail, they blame us for being not dilligent teaching our pupils..

Jefferi said...

i don't think the education is the most priority, it just the awareness and the willingness for the sabahan people to fight for their rights that was given at the beginning. no matter how the education syllabus change to sabahan favor or not, it will be the same if the local still have the dependent mentality to let other to govern the state. malaysia education system far long gone and beyond repair with those ultra malay mentality that tend to think for themselves in a delusional malay mind. we need to catch up with the reality of the world with now a possible black american president and woman vice president, everything seem can be happen.

most of sabahan MP still not willing to touch this point of fear their "periuk nasi" will be gone. what a waste!

kisin said...

I actually posted this comment in another blog:

I did some research comparing the original "Agreement concluded between the UK and N Ireland, Fed of Malaya, N Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore" and our 'current' Malaysian Constitution. I've found that some articles pertaining to the agreements when Sabah and Sarawak 'joined' Malaysia have been repealed. So the 18 or 20 point agreement really is just for show. It can be changed, and it has been changed.

Look at the case of Stephen Kalong Ningkan - eventhough we had these 'Safeguards', it didn't stop the Feds from legally booting him out of office, and taking full reign over Sarawak via a declaration of a State of Emergency.

... to add: for your info, the article about freedom of religion for Swk/Sbh (article 161D) has been repealed in 1976. Actually, I think it's more accurate to look at the constitution of Malaysia, as opposed to the 20-point agreement. Coz the 20-point agreement is very general. Those who want the whole original agreement can try searching (the library?) for "Malaysia : agreement concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore". Compare it with the current Constitution of Malaysia and see for yourself what changes have been made.

Jefferi said...

i do aware that the 20 point agreement has been changed. the point of this post is the let people know what was changed thou i'm really detailed about it. the sabah and sarawak constitution was rapped and changed by our dear trusted local leader of their greed in power and money.

even if the 20 point agreement no more legal to the malaysian constitution, it can served as a reminder and benchmark that today generation need to know and fight for more better deal compare to our previous generation that was duped into this bad deal.

anyway, thanks for the lead and i hope you can give me more information about this best keep secret by malaya to the sabahan and sarawak.

the truth is at there!


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