The international treaty Malaysia Agreement of 1963 was designed as a non-military federation between Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak, ostensibly, to discourage and prevent the spread of communism in the region.
Imagine containing the spread of aggressive communism without military force! The situation in Indo-China was worsening as were the relations between Malaya and Indonesia notwithstanding Seato (Manila Pact of 1954).
One of the founders of Seato was John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State under President Dwight Eisenhower. His brother Allen Dulles — CIA director under several American presidents — was hell-bent in frightening all dependent and newly independent nations in South East Asia using communism as a threat.
Allen Dulles had one principal and predominant aim — to secure the management of oil and gas, gold, and other precious inground assets for the Rockefeller Foundation. He was prepared to kill for it.
An excellent read about this dangerous Dulles is ‘The Incubus of Intervention,’ by Greg Poulgrain. An unprecedented record of how two influential people were killed — one by a carefully planned air crash in The Congo, and the other by snipers’ bullets in Dallas, Texas.
Another interesting read is Peter Grose’s ‘Gentleman Spy – The Life of Allen Dulles’ which showcases this diabolical Dulles whose machinations affected the birth of MA63. The role of intelligence in a democracy through covert political action is excellently documented.
By the time MA63 was conceptualised, the Dulles Diatribe was well-developed, sturdy, believed and relied upon as the sine qua non of freedom and independence by many weak and newly created independent nations.
MA63 is an international treaty endorsed and ratified by the United Nations Resolutions 1514 and 1541 prescribing decolonisation guided by the UN Charter Chapter XI, particularly Article 73. In other words, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak were to be treated as separate sovereigns with the tacit acquiescence of the UK.
Decolonisation and self-determination are alien concepts to joining a new federation. Colonial records indicate that Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore had no plans to become “States” like the eleven existing in Malaya.
UN Resolution 1514 (1960) specified the formulae for granting independence to colonial peoples and their countries. Resolution 1541 dealt with ensuring decolonisation and complete compliance with the principle of self-determination under customary international law principles.
Plainly stated, MA63 must lawfully be guided with both UN Resolutions 1514 and 1541. That is the soul, spirit, substance and structure of decolonisation and self-determination.
Fifty-seven years later, self-styled and self-appointed pro-government ‘experts’ wail and bemoan that this treaty is not akin to legislated purloining. These ‘experts’ refuse to accept the fact that many laws have inherent human inflicted flaws.
Brunei decided not to join the federation because it wanted total control of its wealth. Why Sabah and Sarawak were not swayed by the same decision is tellingly obvious today.
The native leaders of Sabah and Sarawak wished for nothing less than to have total control of their God-given wealth, and were willing to give limited concessions to experts who could extract, produce, refine and distribute their in-ground assets.
The PDA 1974 decided to put a damper on MA63 when all concerned parties deliberately stayed quiet, nonchalant and non-committal. Staying silent also means MA63 is screaming, kicking and fighting to stop being choked and strangled to death.
Seeking judicial relief in Malaysian courts aside, Sabah and Sarawak’s destinies should develop into an international treaty violations issue in international forums. Small wonder the UK’s constitutional eardrums are shattered. The Magna Carta of 1215 is still relevant today — like sign language to blind politicians.
International law must play a role in firmly rooting MA63 as a workable political formula with a sturdy footing. The self-inflicted slippery slope wound by politicians willing to bleed the other because of ever-increasing greed must be robustly challenged.
Thus far, the international law enforcement has forgotten about fixing treaty violations like MA63. Instead, concentrates in combatting drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, organised crime and human trafficking.
John Austin, a leading writer on jurisprudence pointed out that international law has only moral force without sanctions and authority for enforcement.
Sun Yat-sen grasped it well: “The government should help and guide the weak and small racial groups within its national boundaries towards self-determination and self-government. It should offer resistance to foreign aggression, and simultaneously, it should revise foreign treaties in order to restore our equality and independence among nations.”
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.