Report of the
Commission of Enquiry,
North Borneo and Sarawak,
I beg to refer to your letter of the 3rd February, 1962, conﬁrming, with the concurrence of the Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya, my appointment as Chairman of a Commission of Enquiry to visit Sarawak and North Borneo and setting out the Terms of Reference.
I have the honour to submit herewith a Report signed by myself and the four members of the Commission, together with a signed copy for transmission to Ihe Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|The Right Hon. Lord Cobbold||Chairman|
|Sir Anthony Abell, K.C.M.G.|||
Nominated by the Government
of the United Kingdom
|Sir David Watherston, K.B.E., C.M.G.|
|Dato Wong Pow Nee, P.M.N.|||
Nominated by the Government
of the Federation of Malaya
|Enche Muhammad Ghazali bin Shafie|
TERMS OF REFERENCE
"Having regard to the expressed agreement of the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Federation of Malaya that the inclusion of North Borneo and Sarawak (together with other territories) in the proposed Federation of Malaysia is a desirable aim in the interests of the peoples of the territories concerned—
(a) to ascertain the views of the peoples of North Borneo and Sarawak on this question; and
(b) in me light of their assessment or these views, to make recommendations."
1. The idea of a political association between Malaya, Singapore and the three Borneo territories of North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei has been discussed many years.
2. On the 27th May, 1961, the Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman, in a speech at a Press luncheon in Singapore, spoke favourably about the practical possibility of such an association. Tunku Abdul Rahman's constructive proposals were welcomed by the British Government, and it was announced on the 13th October that he had accepted an invitation to come to London in November 1961 for discussions with the object of reaching an understanding on the broad issues and to prepare the way for consultation with the Borneo territories without which no commitment could be entered into.
3. In the meantime, on the 23rd August, 1961, broad agreement had been reached in principle between the Prime Ministers of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore for a merger of the two territories. A Memorandum setting out Heads of Agreement for the proposed merger was published as a Singapore White Paper on the 15th November, 1961.
4. The London discussions were held from the 20th—22nd November, 1961, and a Joint Statement by the British and Malayan Governments was issued on the 23rd November, 1961. An extract from the text of the Joint Statement is reproduced below:
“In a series of meetings in London this week British and Malayan Ministers examined the proposal to create a 'Federation of Malaysia' which would embrace the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei.
2. In the light of a full study of the problem which has been going on for some months, the British and Malayan Governments are convinced that this is a desirable aim.
3. The Ministers took note with satisfaction of the Heads of Agreement recently negotiated between the Goverments of Malaya and Singapore for the merging of the State of Singapore with the Federation.
4. Before coming to any final decision it is necessary to ascertain the views of the peoples of North Borneo and Sarawak. It has accordingly been decided to set up a Commission to carry out this task and to make recommendations. The Commission will be composed of a Chairman and four members, two nominated by the British Government and two by the Malayan Government. In the light of the Commission's report the two Governments will decide what further steps should be taken. (The terms of reference of the Commission are attached at Annex A.)
5. At the same time the views of the Sultan of Brunei are being sought.
6. In regard to defence matters it was decided that, in the event of the formation of the proposed Federation of Malaysia, the existing Defence Agreement between Britain and Malaya should be extended to embrace the other territories concerned. It was, however, agreed that the Goverment of the Federation of Malaysia will afford to the Government of the United Kingdom the right to continue to maintain bases at Singapore for the purpose of assisting in the defence of Malaysia, and for Commonwealth defence and for the preservation of peace in South—East Asia (The text of the arrangements agreed is attached at Annex B.
The appointment of the Chairman and members of the Commission was announced by the British and Malayan Governments on the 16th January, 1962. Great Public interest had been aroused by Tunku Abdul Rahman's statement in May, and the Governments of North Borneo and Sarawak issued papers  explaining the purpose of the Commission and setting out the idea of Malaysia in simple terms in order to assist people to understand the issues on which their views would be sought. There had been much discussion on the subject in the local Press which continued throughout our visit. The setting up of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee following a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Regional Conference in Singapore in July 1961 also resulted in useful unofficial exchanges of views between representatives from Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak (including unofficial members of the Legislative Council and Council Negri), together with observers from Brunei. A copy of the committee's “ Memorandum on Malaysia ", dated 3rd February, 1962, was submitted for consideration by the Commission.
5. The chairman and British members of the Commission met the Malayan members in Singapore on the 18th February, and the whole Commission arrived at Kuching by air on the 19th February. We held our first full meeting the same afternoon, and began hearings in Kuching on the following day. Prior to our arrivaI, the Governments of North Borneo and Sarawak had made preparatory arrangements for our travel and accommodation in the two territories. Our Secretary had also visited Kuching and Jesselton during the preceding week.
6. All persons who wished to submit written memoranda to the Commission were invited to do so, In response to this invitation we received some 2,200 letters and memoranda (nearly 600 in North Bonteo and over 1,600 in Sarawak) from town boards, district councils, associations of many kinds, political parties, chambers of commerce, trade unions, religious leaders, members of executive and legislative councils, native chiefs and community leaders, and large numbers of individual members of the public. From these memoranda we obtained much valuable material and assistance.
7. An open invitation to appear before the Commission was extended to all persons who wished to give oral evidence. We are glad to be able to record that full advantage was taken of this invitation and that as a result we were able to meet and talk with large numbers of representative individuals and bodies, many of whom had submitted written memoranda which we were able to discuss with them. The willingness of the public to come forward and stale their views quietly and responsibly was almost everywhere impressive and gratifying. Our itinerary (Appendix A) had been so planned that representatives from every District in each Territory had an opportunity to meet the Commission at selected District centres. We thus held 50 hearings at 35 different centres (20 centres in Sarawak and 15 in North Borneo).
8. Over 4,000 persons appeared before us in some 690 groups which varied in size from 1 to over 50. Most groups appointed one or more of their number to act as spokesman, and we took pains to ensure as far as possible that anyone else who wished to state a different view, or to contribute additional points, was given full opportunity to do so. All our hearings were conducted in private. Assurances were given that evidence and memoranda submitted to us would be treated as confidential to the Commission; where views are attributed in this Report to particular organisations or bodies, they had already been made known in the Press by the organisations or bodies themselves.
9. During our tour we paid an informal courtesy call on His Highness the Sultan of Brunei, who graciously received us with his principal Ministers.
ENQUIRY IN SARAWAK
10. Sarawak occupies the north—western part of Borneo and is bordered on the east and south by Indonesian Kalimantan, and on the north by Brunei and North Borneo. The country is 47,500 square miles in area (compare North Borneo 29,388 square miles, and Malaya 50,700 square miles), three—quarters of it covered by tropical evergreen rain forest. Behind a coastal fringe of mangrove and nipah palm, there is a belt of swamp forest, in some places extending far inland. Beyond this lies rugged hill country and the complex mountain ranges and forested ravines along the Indonesian border. Large muddy rivers and a maze of tributary streams and channels flow north-westwards into the South China Sea and form the principal means of communication. Large areas of Sarawak are practically uninhabited (overall density: 15 per square mile) and nearly a quarter of the population is concentrated on about 3 per cent. of the total land area in the Kuching and Serian District. Only 6 per cent of the country is under settled cultivation, and a further 18 per cent. under shifting cultivation. The climate is hot, wet and humid. The economy depends on agriculture. forestry and ﬁsheries; the principal exports by value being rubber, timber, pepper and sago.
11. Evidence of human activity in Sarawak dates from prehistoric times, but its growth as an integral State began with the landing of James Brooke in 1839 and his installation as Rajah in 1841. Under the Brooke family the frontiers of Sarawak were extended many times until the country is now over 20 times its original size.
12. Sarawak became a Crown Colony in 1946 when it was ceded to Britain by the third Rajah. In 1941, just before the Japanese occupation, the Rajah introduced a new Constitution of which the "Nine Cardinal Principles of the rule of the English Rajah" formed part. The present Constitution, which replaced that of 1941, incorporates the Nine Cardinal Principles and provides for the appointment of a Governor and Commander-in-Chief, a Supreme Council (the executive council), and a Council Negri (the legislature). The Council Negri consists of 24 elected members, 14 ex officio members, 4 nominated members and 1 standing member who was appointed for life before cession. The Supreme Council consists of 5 elected members elected by Council Negri, 3 ex officio members, and 2 nominated members. There is a well—established system of Electoral Colleges and Sub-Electoral Colleges under which members are elected to Council Negri by Divisional, Municipal and Urban District Councils.
Section B.―Arrangements for Commission's Visit
13. Arrangements had been made, before our arrival, for the members of the Commission to visit all five Divisions of Sarawak. The Commission held sittings in all but one of the Districts and saw representatives from the other. Details of the itinerary are contained in Appendix A and it is sufficient to record here that hearings were held at 20 different places over a total period of four weeks. This involved us in an extensive programme of travelling by air, river and road. Although it was not possible for us to reach the remoter areas, the flight to Long Akah on the Baram River and the journey by the M.V. Zahora up the Rejang River provided an opportunity for us to see something of conditions in the interior and to visit some longhouses.
14. Apart from one mishap caused by the weather, which did not seriously interfere with our programme, the arrangements went smoothly throughout. We recognise, however, that the Sarawak Government had provided us with the best and most rapid means of transport, including chartered aircraft and the use of the Governor's and other launches and river craft, and that it would not otherwise have been possible to carry out such a comprehensive tour in such a relatively short space of time. This question of difficulty of communications in Sarawak is an important one and one which in our opinion has a definite bearing on the problem which we were asked to examine.
15. The Sarawak Govenrment's Paper on Malaysia had been published early in January some six weeks before we arrived in Kuching. It had been translated into the major local languages, and instructions had been issued to Residents and to District officers that it should be distributed as widely as possible and every effort made to ensure that the implications of the proposals were understood. We were much impressed with the energy with which these instructions must have been carried out. The task was no easy one. Away from the towns, we have already drawn attention to the slow means transport and to the distances to be covered, but there was the further difficulty that a high proportion of the people in the interior are illiterate and that it takes time and perseverance to explain a complex subject to them. Inevitably there were some areas where knowledge of the Paper was slight; but with only a few weeks available between the issue of the Paper and the arrival of the Commission, it was remarkable, judging from the evidence given to us, how much had been achieved.
16. In the towns, the problem was a different one. The atmosphere since the idea of a Federation of Malaysia had first been mooted in May 1961 had been conducive to the intensification of political discussion and greater awakening of political consciousness The task of the Government's administrative staff was not so much to foster discussion of the proposals for a Federation of Malaysia as to endeavour to see that the public was not misled.
Section C.―Poiitical Developments and Racial Relations
17. Before proceeding with more detailed consideration of our findings, It may be useful to draw attention to a few of the more salient features of the situation as we have found it in Sarawak. 18. A most fundamental question in the multi-racial society of Sarawak is that of race relations. In recent years relations between the different communities have been excellent and Sarawak has clearly had the good fortune of being a very happy country. It is true that under a colonial administration, where power manifestly rests not with any one racial group but with the colonial Power which is held in regard for its efficiency and impartiality, the harmony of racial relations on the surface may tend to conceal latent friction. So long as the reins of power are ﬁrmly in the colonial administration's hands there is little conflict of interests between the indigenous people on the one hand, and the immigrant races, in this case the Chinese, on the other, who are on the whole satisﬁed to go their separate ways.
19. However, this state of affairs could only last as long as political power remains with the colonial authority. We saw in Sarawak the conflict arising when a transfer of power is contemplated in some form and the indigenous people become aware of the prospect of having to share political power with the immigrant races at a time when they feel themselves still economically backward.
20. Uneasiness was felt at the time after the first elections when the first political party, the Sarawak United Peoples Party (S.U.P.P.) was formed with predominantly Chinese leadership. Taken as a signal for the beginning of the bid for power by the non-natives at a time when the natives felt themselves not yet in a position to compete, this set in motion the strain in race relations springing from the imbalance in economic power. The emotional identiﬁcation by races became intensiﬁed as a result of fear of, and the desire for protection against, the domination of the other race groups. For this reason the Party Negara (Panas) and later the Sarawak National Party (S.N.P.) with native leadership came into being followed by the formation of Barisan Anak Jati Sarawak (Barjasa) and its proposal to enter into an alliance with S.N.P. The present proposals for a Malaysian Federation and the prospect of independence within the Federation have served to accentuate these developments. We, therefore. fully understood the reasons for the alignment of political forces along racial lines. Nevertheless, it is a matter of the gravest concern.
21. The position in Sarawak is further exacerbated by the fact that the present Government in Malaya, which would clearly be an important force in a new Federation of Malaysia, is anti-Communist. In the absence of some project like Malaysia, the Chinese, with their rapidly increasing population and their long start over other races in education, could expect, when independence came, to be in an unassailable position in Sarawak. This, in turn, could put the Communists, with their highly developed organisation to work on the fears and frustrations of the great body of non—Communist Chinese, in an equally unassailable position. The Malaysia proposals would interfere with this development. Communist elements have therefore worked ceaselessly to exaggerate the fears which the Chinese community as a whole and members of other communities have of Malay domination and to make capital out of every possible issue, e.g., special position for the natives, citizenship, national language and religion. They have also worked on the emotions of a large body of younger Chinese, who have been educated in Chinese schools, who are strongly nationalistic and who have feelings of frustration and anxiety about their prospects. The activities and the methods adopted by the extreme Left-wing groups, the hard core of which consists of the younger Chinese, have antagonised the other communities and indeed many Chinese and have drawn the attention of the country as a whole to the possibility of communal friction, which is being deliberately fanned by Communist elements.
22. The attitude of the indigenous population on the one hand and of the immigration race, on the other, to the concept of the Head of State is an interesting reflection of the communal conflict to which we have drawn attention above. The constitutional niceties of the concept may not be fully understood by many sections, except the more politically sophisticated, of a population which has been accustomed in the last l20 years to a Head of State, a Rajah or a Governor, who wielded executive powers. There is therefore a confusion in the popular mind between the functions of a constitutional Head of State and those of the officer who actually wields executive authority. There is no confusion of mind, however, about the transfer of authority in the new Federation from the British Government to the peoples of the territories, and the Head of State has become a symbol of this transfer of power. The native races therefore have insisted that the Head of State should be a native, reflecting their concept of the return of the power of government from the British Government to themselves, and the immigrant races have likewise insisted that anyone born in Sarawak should be eligible for the office, reflecting their concept of the transfer of power from the British Government to the people of Sarawak. The native population's insistence on a native being the Head of State stems in the main from the anxiety to utilise what they believe are the political powers of the office to correct the imbalance of economic power between themselves and the immigrant races. It is clear also that in the minds of both the natives and the non-natives of Sarawak the office of the Head of State or Governor or whatever other title it may be given, carries with it a prestige which is an important consideration in the context of race relations. At the same time both the natives and the non-natives are fully aware that the administrative machinery must continue to depend upon British officials for the proper and efficient discharge of its responsibilities.
23. In the above paragraphs we have considered the question of relations between the Chinese and the natives. While on the subject of race relations, mention must also be made of the relations between the Malays and the other indigenous people. Although there are no ideological overtones here, we have found that the prospect of Malaysia is viewed by non-Malay natives in certain parts of the country within the framework of their unhappy recollection of Brunei domination in the past, which is regarded as Malay domination, and of their fear of its return with the new Federation. The suggested name of Malaysia for the new Federation, and of Malay as the national language and Islam as the national religion have tended to emphasise these misgivings.
24. We have been conscious of these political forces which are at present active in Sarawak and are most anxious to emphasise that the new constitutional arrangements should be designed not only in full awareness of these factors but also with the deliberate intention of removing the fundamental causes of these disharmonies in so far as they can be removed by constitutional arrangements. The indigenous peoples and the Chinese are both an integral part of the population of Sarawak; both have played their part in the past and both have their part to play in the future; it is essential that they should live and work in harmony. If these things can be achieved, the intensiﬁcation of political consciousness arising out of the Malaysia proposals will in the long run prove beneﬁcial. Although some kind of association between the Federation of Malaya and the Borneo territories has long been discussed, the degree of interest taken in Sarawak, both by supporters and by opponents of the present proposals, has been a most encouraging indication of their concern regarding their political future. In this connexion, the deliberations of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee, representing the opinion of informed and responsible sections of the population of Sarawak, have made a most useful contribution.
Section D.—General Observations on Evidence.
25. We have noted earlier the high esteem in which the colonial administration is held in Sarawak. Generous tributes were paid by all communities to the impartiality of colonial administrators and to the progress which has been made since the war. In a multi-racial society the quality of impartiality, and belief in such impartiality, is exceedingly important. The present officials, moreover, have an intimate knowledge of the people and of the requirements and possibilities of the country. For these reasons, the wish was expressed to us from almost every quarter that any new arrangements should not cause an exodus of the present oﬁicials, but should rather encourage them to remain in service in Sarawak until their places can be taken by the local people with the necessary qualifications.
26. We were made aware of the high respect and affection in which Her Majesty The Queen is held, more especially among native populations in the interior. There was genuine gratiﬁcation that the Commonwealth links would be maintained with Malaysia.
27. On a number of occasions during our tour, we were reminded of the “Nine Cardinal Principles of the rule of the English Rajah”. These Principles which had long been observed were enacted by the then Rajah of Sarawak in 1941, and since the cession of the territory to the Crown, have been enshrined in the First Schedule to the Sarawak (Constitution) Order-in-Council, I956. They are reproduced in Appendix C. The eighth of these Principles, to which our attention was most frequently drawn, reads as follows:
- “That the goal or self-government shall always be kept in mind, that the people or Sarawak shall be entrusted in due course with the governance of themselves, and that continuous efforts shall be made to hasten the reaching of this goal by educating them in the obligations, the responsibilities and the privileges of citizenship."
The argument was used by those who opposed the Malaysia proposals that it would be inconsistent with the British Government's obligation to agree to a scheme which did not ﬁrst grant independence to Sarawak. The Malaysia proposals are regarded in some quarters as an indication that the British Government are no longer prepared to shoulder their responsibilities or honour their commitments. We should record, however, that some of the native population, who at the time of cession had found assurance in these Principles, were at pains to explain to us that they would not wish them to stand in the way of the achievement of Malaysia.
28. We have found that a very large number of the supporters of Malaysia were inﬂuenced by their admiration for the Malayan Prime Minister and his colleagues for their ﬁrm leadership and their imaginative policies in rural development. In particular those who had visited the Federation of Malaya were much impressed by the economic and social progress which they had found there and they were anxious that Sarawak should enjoy similar progress within Malaysia. We might, in parenthesis, draw attention to the unfortunate repercussions which may follow if these hopes are not realised.
29. The ﬁrm opposition or the present Malayan Government to Communist designs has also won the admiration of many people of all races. They are increasingly aware of the threat of Communist subversion and inﬁltration to which we have drawn attention. As transfer of political power in due course is inevitable. they see advantage in independence within a larger community.
30. At the same time the ideological position of the present leadership in the Federation is also an important factor in the opposition to Malaysia. We have drawn attention earlier to the threat which Malaysia poses for those Chinese who are emotionally or ideologically inclined to China, and to the sedulous efforts of Communist elements to foster opposition among this group and among the Chinese population generally.
31 Another important factor, giving rise in some cases to opposition and in other cases to doubt, is a dislike of change and a fear of the unknown. The present administration is well liked, considerable economic and social progress has been made, and law and order is maintained. Many people among the native populations see no need for the Malaysian proposals and would prefer things to go on as they are. The same is true of a large section of the Chinese business community.
32 Last but not least, a major strand in the opposition to Malaysia lies in the demand for independence, after the achievement of which there was general readiness to consider the possibility of Malaysia. This expression of opinion merits serious consideration. It springs from a genuine fear of discrimination after Malaysia, a feeling among the Chinese that their status would be reduced to that of " second-class citizens" and among the natives that their customary laws and practices would be affected. Similarly, there is concern that Malaysia would entail migration from the other territories of the new Federation, and also that such safeguards as may be given could be removed at a later stage by the Central Government. Assurances were therefore sought on these points. If their misgivings and reservations are met, many of those (both Chinese and native) who are now hostile or doubtful might well come round to support. Malaysia.
33. We have found near-unanimous agreement on some points among those who favour Malaysia; on other points, among all the native populations whether or not strong supporters of Malaysia, and on other points again, among all races except in those groups who were not prepared to discuss Malaysia at all.
34. Those who favour Malaysia expressed a general desire—
35. Groups from all native populations expressed a general desire—
36. Groups from all races, other than outright opponents of Malaysia, expressed a general desire, in addition to the point already mentioned about the retention of British officers—
37. Regarding the Head of Sarawak State, to which reference has been made earlier, there was some conflict between the indigenous people on the one hand, and the Chinese on the other: each group was, nevertheless, near-unanimous in its views. The natives have insisted that only natives should be eligible to be Head of State, while the non-natives have expressed with equal emphasis their desire that the office should be open to anyone born in Sarawak.
38. On a number of other points there were differences of opinion—
39. These points of agreement and disagreement are further discussed later.
Section E.—Summary of Evidence from Various Racial Groups and Political Parties
40. In this section we record the evidence submitted to us by the various racial groups and political parties. We have found this a convenient method of setting out the evidence and it is noteworthy that the great majority of groups which appeared before us were composed of people of the same race. But an over—emphasis, as much as a denial, of the communal element in the affairs of Sarawak would be unfortunate and misleading. There should not be too rigid of final identification of particular communal groups with particular attitudes towards Malaysia. The analysis by races should therefore be read fully with the general observations set out above. It should also be noted that in this section we lay considerable emphasis (as did witnesses themselves) on the various qualifications and conditions which were put up for our consideration by supporters and opponents of Malaysia alike, as well as by those who had not entirely made up their minds. It was to the particular matter which they wished to see covered that witnesses called our attention, rather than to the reasons for which they favoured the scheme. The fact that, in the following pages, much space is devoted to conditions and reservations reflects the anxiety or witnesses and of ourselves that every point raised should have full consideration. It should not obscure the fact that, among very many groups of supporters who appeared before us, there was great enthusiasm for early realisation of Malaysia.
41. The Ibans form the largest single group of the population and by far the largest native group. They are primarily, country people and few take to town life. Although they are to be found throughout the country, nearly 75 per cent, of their total number live in the Second and Third Divisions.
42. Probably the most important single centre of the Ibans is at Kapit in the Third Division. A conference(or "aum") of 51 elected Chiefs (Pengarahs and Penghulus) had been held there on the 15th February, 1962, to discuss the proposals for a Federation of Malaysia set out in the Sarawak Government's Paper. The conference reached general agreement that the scheme should be supported, subject to certain conditions: and their resolutions (which had been published in the Press) were formally presented to us when the Commission visited Kapit on the l9th March. The resolutions were the following:
43. This was an expression of opinion to which we attached very great weight. The 51 Chiefs at the conference together were said to represent some 112,000 lbans out of a total population of nearly 238,000 and many delegations of lbans who came before us at different centres in the Third Division confirmed that they supported the Kapit Resolutions. In a small number of cases a demand was made that they should either be accepted without alteration or that any changes should be made only after there had been opportunity for further discussion with the Iban people.
44. While the great majority of the Ibans in the Third Division who were in favour of the Malaysia plan took their stand on the Kapit Resolutions, there were sortie groups who gave their full support to the scheme on the basis of the recommendations in the report of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Commmittee.
45. In many places, more especially in the more remote areas and in areas where the Ibans form a proportionately smaller section of the population, a feeling of general uncertainty was apparent. It was represented to us by Ibans and others who had given the matter careful thought, that the Kapit Resolutions had to be considered against a background of implicit trust in the British Government. Hitherto, the lbans had been looking forward to the self-government which had been promised to them, and the principal reason why they were ready, on conditions, to accept the Malaysia proposals, despite their uncertainties, was because they were confident that the British Government would not recommend the scheme if it was not going to be beneficial to them.
46. Some of the younger men in predominantly Iban areas were less ready than their chiefs to accept the proposals, even on conditions, and a number were definitely opposed to it. We were reminded that the second of Brunei rule in Borneo in past centuries was far from encouraging and fears were expressed that the relative backwardness and inexperience of the Ibans might be used to their disadvantage by the more advanced and sophisticated Malays. They wanted to be treated by the Malays as brothers, but not as younger brothers. They were opposed to the idea that Sarawak should be treated as only one of 15 States in a Federation of Malaysia; they maintained that this would give her too small a voice in the new Federation's affairs. There was fear too that a large proportion of Sarawak's revenue would be handed over to the Federal Government without a corresponding return in the shape of services to the people of Sarawak.
47. The question of the right to withdraw from the new Federation was raised with us at Kapit and elsewhere. It was suggested to us that in certain circumstances there should be such a right at least for a period of five years, and that this should be specifically stated in the Federal Constitution. Some felt that this was a desirable provision in a new venture about which they felt some doubts. Others suggested that it should apply only in certain circumstances such as:
48. One group from the Baram River hotly opposed the creation of a Federation of Malaysia but recognised that the decision might go against them. They insisted that, if this was so, certain conditions should be met. These were much the same as those set out in the Kapit Resolutions, but went further in some respects and the group was not prepared to discuss any modification of them.
49. The Second Division Ibans were nof represented at the Kapit "Aum " but most of the many groups whom we saw supported the idea of Malaysia, though they asked for safeguards. These differed little from those which had been suggested by Ibans in the Third Division but in some respects were rather more specific. The following points were raised, many of them repeatedly:
50. As in the case of the Third Division, the Iban groups in the Second Division who supported the Malaysia plan included some who did so on the basis set out in the report of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee. They were, in most cases, members of Party Negara.
51. A considerable number of groups were uncertain what attitude to adopt towards Malaysia. There were perhaps more of these in the Second Division than in the Third. There were some too who presented the standard S.U.P.P. demands with which we deal in paragraphs 79-85. One letter suggested that the Brooke regime should be restored before Malaysia is considered.
52. Finally, the view was expressed to us by in many centres that it was of great importance that a decision on Malaysia should be reached as soon as possible. Political activity had been stimulated to an alarming degree during recent months by the Malaysia proposals and many Ibans were afraid that there might be violence not only between different races but between Ibans who supported the Malaysia plan and those who opposed it.
53. The Malays form the next largest native group after the Ibans. Rather over half of the total number live in the First Division, chiefly in the neighborhood of Kuching, and in the rest of the country they live mainly in downriver areas or near the towns. They all adhere to the Muslim religion.
54. Almost without exception the Malays who appeared before the Commission, or who sent their views to us in writing, were wholly in favour of the creation of a Federation of Malaysia. A large proportion of them supported the recommendations made by the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee. The points to which Malay opinion attached most importance were the following:
55. Some of the more thoughtful groups of Malays said that they were convinced that in present circumstances the creation of a Federation of Malaysia would give Sarawak the best possible guarantee of effectively combating the dangers of Communism and possible predatory designs of other countries in the area. They asked that opportunities should be provided for Sarawak natives to be recruited in the armed forces.
56. Emphasis was placed too on the importance of speed, on the grounds that political parties with Communist affiliations or leanings would be making every effort, against the true interests of Sarawak, to induce the people—more especially the illiterate—to oppose the plan. A few persons mentioned, as a possible target date, the 31st August, 1962, being the fifth anniversary of Merdeka in the Federation of Malaya, but they gave no evidence of having given serious thought to the legal and constitutional difficulties of moving so fast.
57. In the Fifth Division, the attitude of the Malays was affected by the desire of some of them to be reunited with Brunei. More than one group of Malays, including some younger men, opposed the creation of a Federation of Malaysia for this reason. Some said that they wished first to have a Federation of the three Borneo territories, and claimed that the whole of Sarawak and North Borneo had formerly been part of the Sultan of Brunei's dominions and should be returned to His Highness. Only then should the possibility of a merger with Malaya be considered.
58. Although not the next largest group in point of numbers, it will be convenient to deal next with the Melanaus, as their attitude towards the Malaysia proposals is almost identical with that of the Malays. The Melanaus live in kampongs mainly in the coastal areas of the Third and Fourth Divisions and just over 70 per cent of them are Muslims.
59. The views of many of the groups whom we saw were clearly influenced by the hope that the coming of Malaysia would bring them benefits and privileges, for example free primary education, a larger number of scholarships and places in the Public Service and opportunities in trade, which are not available to them now. Some of them recognised that special privileges for natives should continue only until the natives have had time, through education and training, to be able to compete on equal terms with the other races. They suggested a term of 20 years after which the privileges should be abolished.
60. The Melanaus' support of the proposal to create a Federation of Malaysia was subject to the same conditions as are set out in paragraph 54 dealing with the Malays. Indeed in many cases Malays and Melanaus came together to see us in a single delegation. In one respect only was there any divergence of view: most non-Muslim Melanaus were opposed to a State religion for Sarawak.
61. The Land Dayaks live almost entirely in the First Division of the country. In relation to their numbers (57,619) not many came forward to give us their views, but we saw some groups of Land Dayaks in each of the four districts which we visited in the First Division and we were able to obtain more information about their attitude towards Malaysia from other reliable sources.
62. Some of the Land Dayaks whom we saw were members of Party Negara and. gave their support to the proposals set out in the report of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee; others appeared as members of S.U.P.P. delegations and opposed the Malaysia plan.
63. But our impression generally of Land Dayaks' opinion was that they had less understanding of the Malaysia proposals than the other major native communities in Sarawak. They wish to be given more time to consider a scheme which they recognise is of great importance to them and to the future of Sarawak as a whole. They know that they are educationally backward and that they cannot at present hold their own, but they can also see that the rising generation is getting an education which was not available to them when they were young, so that the position of their community should improve within a foreseeable space of time.
64. All this, combined with an innate dislike of change and a distrust of new ideas, leads the majority of the Land Dayaks to wish to remain under British guardianship for at least a number of years longer. They pointed out that Sarawak was their only home and that they wanted to run no risks that it might be destroyed by others, as they feared it would be if people came in from outside. They did not think they were ready for independence but, if it had to come, they wanted Sarawak to become independent on its own and to remain in the Commonwealth.
65. Another important factor in Land Dayak thinking on the Malaysia scheme is the recollection—handed down from earlier generations of rule by Brunei and Kuching Malays. This arouses antipathy to any proposals which might involve the return of Malay hegemony in any form and leads them to view Malaysia (particularly under that name) at best with considerable reserve.
66. While this was the general attitude, there were some exceptions among the more thoughtful of the Land Dayaks who appeared before us. These had studied the Government Paper and agreed that the idea of Malaysia was a good one, but asked that matters should not be hurried. Particular points in which interest was shown were the position of the Head of State who, it was asked should be eligible for election to the position of Head of the Federation; the safeguarding of customary land rights; and the strict control of immigration.
67. The Kenyah and Kayan peoples total just under 16,000 persons and they live in the Third and Fourth Divisions. The majority live in the middle and upper reaches of the Baram River.
68. The views expressed to us by these peoples were that they did not want independence and that they relied on the British to continue to provide the help and guidance which they felt they still badly needed. They did not understand the Malaysia Plan and could not avoid the impression that the British, who had ruled them so well, were preparing to desert them. They wanted the British to stay until they were able to look after themselves. We were referred to the petition which had been addressed to Her Majesty The Queen in 1959, to which a reply had been sent giving an assurance that it was implicit the Eighth of the Cardinal Principles that Her Majesty's Government would not surrender ﬁnal responsibility for the development of Sarawak until they were satisfied that the people as a whole were able to play their full part in the government of the country, and that in pursuing this goal sight would not be lost of the best interests and desires of the indigenous communities.
69 There were 7,200 Kedayans in Sarawak at the time of the 1960 census and they live in the Fourth and Fifth Divisions. The majority are Muslims and their attitude towards Malaysia differed little from that of the Malays. They were concerned that local customs should be safeguarded.
70 There were only 5,200 Muruts in Sarawak at the 1960 census. They live in the Fiﬁh Division (there are much larger numbers over the border in Indonesia and in North Borneo). Their attitude to Malaysia was that they were very happy and peaceful as they were and, although they could see the advantage of belonging to a larger and stronger unit, they felt that they needed more time to think the matter over in view of its very great importance for their future. They very much feared the effects of the British leaving Sarawak. A large proportion of the Muruts in Sarawak are fervent Evangelical Christians and emphasis was laid on the importance not only of freedom of workship but of freedom to propagate their faith.
71. There are approximately 2,800 Bisayahs living in the Firth Division. Few representatives were seen by the Commission. Some were members of S.U.P.P., some of a Malay youth organisation, and no clear racial attitude towards the Malaysia proposals was apparent.
72. There are rather over 2,000 Kelabits living in the uplands in the extreme interior of the Fourth and Fifth Divisions. Until an air strip was put in last year, the journey up river to reach them took two to three weeks. Their representatives paid tribute to the great progress which had been made since the cession of Sarawak to Britain in 1946. They had discussed the Malaysia proposals fully and had reached the conclusion that they were not yet ready for them. Their attitude was identical with that of the Kenyahs and Kayans.
73. No groups representing the Punans, a nomadic race in the far interior, appeared before the Commission, although one or two Punans appeared as individual members of other groups.
74. The Chinese are the next largest community in Sarawak after the Ibans and it is probable that within a few years they will become the largest. At the time of the 1960 census, the quite remarkable ﬁgure of over 50 per cent of the Chinese population was under the age of fifteen and this is bound to create an acute employment problem in a few years' time, particularly among those whose education has been solely in Chinese-medium schools. The Chinese live largely in the towns where they are shopkeepers, artisans, clerks and labourers, and in the environs of towns where they are market gardeners and small holders. A number are growers of rubber and pepper. About 80 per cent of the total number of Chinese in the country were born in Sarawak and, of the remaining 20 per cent a high proportion have been settled in Sarawak for many years.
75. The bulk of the evidence submitted to us from Chinese sources did not favour Malaysia. Numerically a very high proportion of the Chinese who actually appeared before us came in groups putting S.U.P.P. views which we record later.
76. In comparison with North Borneo, fewer Chinese associations or individuals in Sarawak submitted evidence which did not closely follow party lines. We attribute this partly to a feeling that they might be wasting their time and that decisions had already been taken, but even more to fears that the submission of evidence to us might expose them to retaliation and intimidation by extreme Left-wing elements. We therefore felt it necessary in arriving at the general considerations set out earlier in this Chapter to rely to some extent on indirect enquiry and individual contacts.
77. The main points put to us from Chinese sources other than those appearing in S.U.P.P. groups or expressing similar views were the following. In some cases they were put to us as reasons for opposition to Malaysia: in others as matters which, if Malaysia came into being, it was hoped would receive earnest consideration.
- (a) Citizenship
- (b) Special Privileges for Natives
- (c) Position of Sarawak in Relation to the Federal Government
by the delegation from the party's headquarters, was such as to deserve careful and sympathetic examination. Many members of the party delegations throughout the country were responsible persons, presenting serious views to which we have given due weight. But at a very early stage we had evidence that a large section of the party's supporters had other motives for its opposition to Malaysia. It is clear to us that, although the origin and leadership of the party are in no way Communist, there has recently been a high degree of Communist infiltration and influence in the party. It was equally clear that the Communist elements have worked on two other elements which form the main components of the party—those Chinese who are fearful that Malaysia would reduce their status in Sarawak in comparison with other races, and the younger Chinese who are educated, nationalistic, and suffer from a sense of frustration.
83. Some of the party's delegations were aggressive; in other delegations the spokesman was sometimes unable to answer the Commission's questions and sometimes unwilling or afraid to do so. On such occasions it was usually possible to pick out another member of the delegation who was watching carefully what the spokesman said. In a number of instances, delegations consisting almost entirely of Chinese were headed by a spokesman of another race and we could only assume that this was done to convey the impression that the delegation was multi-racial. One argument which some of the more aggressive delegations advanced was that conditions in Malaya were thoroughly bad; that there was much unemployment and that daily wages were far below those current in Sarawak. They said that they had read this information in Chinese newspapers.
84. We should refer here to the signature campaign which was a prominent feature of the party's programme. We were presented by the headquarters' delegation and by the party's branch delegations, at nearly every place we visited, with one or more volumes of signatures and thumbprints of persons who, it was claimed, were opposed to the Malaysia plan and supported the party's stand. The thumbprints vastly outnumbered the signatures and the total number of both from the whole of Sarawak amounted to over 112,000. Without extensive official enquiries, which did not seem to us desirable or likely to be conclusive, we were not able to verify these signature or thumbprints, nor to check that the same thumbprints were not impressed on the document more than once or that they were all of them of adults. It is perhaps sufficient to draw attention to the ease with which illiterate persons may be induced to place their thumbprints on a piece of paper without being aware of its contents. The very number of thumbprints and signatures alone, when considered in relation to the population of Sarawak, led us to be very doubtful of their value in view of the weight of opinion in favour of the Malaysia proposals which has been described elsewhere in this Chapter. Moreover from enquiries which we made in many responsible quarters, we derived the impression that the methods by which this signature campaign had been conducted included misrepresentation of the question being asked and a degree of intimidation. For these various reasons we have unanimously concluded that we should not be wise to attach undue importance to these columes of signatures and thumbprints as a true expression of public opinion on the issues before us.
85. Before concluding this section, and to avoid any possible misapprehension, we should make it clear that we do not in any way question the sincerity of very many thinking people, both Chinese and others, who opposed the Malaysia plan when appearing before us as members of S.U.P.P. delegations. It would be quite wrong to describe all these people as Communist or as being knowingly under Communist influence, and we had much sympathy with those who took exception to being so described.
- Party Negara (PANAS)
86. This party was formed in April 1960. Its total membership towards the end of February 1962 was stated to be 52,795 of which Malays and Ibans provided approximately 20,000 each and Land Dayaks another 10,000. The party claimed to have established 65 branches and sub-branches throughout the State, and party delegations did in fact appear before us at a number of places.
87. The party's attitude towards Malaysia is based on the recommendation in the report of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee that Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei should each become States in the present Federation which would include in addition the 11 States in the present Federation of Malaya and the State of Singapore. It recognises that Sarawak is not yet ready for independence on her own but welcomes the opportunity to gain independence as part of a strong Federation, particularly in view of the cultural, economic and historical ties that exist between Sarawak and Malaya. The party agrees generally with the reservations contained in the M.S.C.C. report. Points which were particularly emphasised to us were the following:
- Sarawak National Party
88. This party was formed in 1961 by Ibans in the Second Division, and its influence up to the time of the Commission's visit had not penetrated to any appreciable extent to the other Divisions. The membership claimed was then 46,000, predominantly Iban. It is, of course, difficult to judge but our impression, based on the evidence we heard and on information from reliable sources, leads us to think that the active membership probably falls substantially short of this figure.
89. Despite initial misgivings, the party has come down firmly in favour of Malaysia which it now considers to be a " vital necessity ", for the reasons that it recognises that Sarawak cannot stand alone, and that Malaysia will bring greater prosperity and will provide protection against the threat of Communism.
90. The main points which the party has asked shall be considered in drawing up a plan for a Federation of Malaysia are the following:
To be called Rajah; to be from one of the indigenous races; and to be elected by the people of Sarawak.
Each Head of State in the new Federation to be eligible for nomination in rotation as Head of the Federation.
No alteration of boundaries of any State, especially between Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo.
Preservation of both to remain a State responsibility.
Malay to be accepted as the national language in Malaysia but Iban to be one of the secondary languages. English to remain the official language not only in Sarawak but also in the new Federation for at least 15 years. English also to remain the medium of instruction in schools, provided that the study of other languages is not prevented.
To remain until suitable people from Sarawak can replace them.
Adequate constitutional safeguards to ensure that State powers are not changed without the agreement of the State.
To be under State control.
The indigenous peoples to enjoy the same privileges as the Malays in Malaya, including a fair share of Government employment and of overseas training and scholarships. Preferential treatment for indigenous peoples should not, however, be made " hard and fast ".
The Constitution of the new Federation to guarantee freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice and propagate any religion freely.
Each State to be permitted to make a fair contribution of manpower to the armed services of Malaysia.
91. On all other matters, the party supports the recommendations made in the report of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee.
92. Finally, the party regards it as most important that a clause should be included at the beginning of the Constitution that any State that finds it not acceptable shall have the right to withdraw from the Federation.
- Barisan Ra'ayat Jati Sarawak (BARJASA)
93. This party was formed only a short while before the arrival of the Commission in Sarawak. It is composed of Malays, Ibans, Land Dayaks and Chinese, but it was difficult to assess the extent to which it was attracting substantial support. Its headquarters, and its principal source of strength at the time of our visit, was in Kuching.
94. The party is in full support of the proposal to create a Federation of Malaysia and with most of the recommendations in the report of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee. Particular points made by the party are the following:
The party considers that he should be a person who is indigenous to Sarawak and that he should be styled the Yang di-Pertuan Negara. The party does not consider it appropriate that a Sultan or Rajah should be appointed for the purpose of making the Head of State in Sarawak eligible for appointment as Head of the Federation.
While agreeing with the recommendation of the M.S.C.C. that the Chief Minister must be someone who has the support of the State Legislature, the party considers that, if Malaysia comes into being before the next General Election in Sarawak, the votes of the official as well as the unofficial members of the Council should be taken into account in deciding this question.
The party considers that the existing system of indirect elections should continue at least until the next General Election.
The party wishes Sarawak to be given at least 17 seats in the House of Representatives. For the Senate, they agree with the present arrangements in Malaya under which each State elects two members.
Malay is accepted as the National Language. but the party considers that English should be used for oﬁicial purposes in Sarawak for at least l5 years from the day on which Malaysia comes into existence. The party considers too that the present policy of the Sarawak Government on the use of English as a medium of instruction in secondary schools should not be changed without the concurrence of the State Legislature.
The party consider it essential that control of migration into Sarawak should be vested in the State.
The party agrees with the views of the M.S.C.C. on this subject, but does not wish a test of permanent residence to be applied to a person who is indigenous to Sarawak.
These should be granted to the indigenous peoples In Sarawak as they are to the Malays in Malaya but, as the latter are more advanced than the natives in Sarawak, the party considers that the ratio of scholarship awards for Sarawak should be seven for natives to every one for non—natives; and that the same ratio should apply to the public services. The indigenous peoples should also be given special treatment in the economic ﬁeld, and assistance, including ﬁnancial assistance, to encourage them to enter into business. These special privileges should, however, continue for a limited period and the party suggests 20 years. The party makes clear its opposition to any suggestion that non-native should be deprived of their vested rights.
The party wished these to be conﬁned to natives as at safeguard against inﬁltration by Communists and their agents.
ENQUIRY IN NORTH BORNEO
95. North Borneo is bordered on the south-west by Sarawak and on the south-east by Indonesian Kalimantan. From Jesselton, the capital, it is 1,000 miles to Singapore and 1,200 miles to Hong Kong. The country is smaller than Sarawak (29,388 square miles, or roughly the size of Ireland) and more compact, though mountainous and densely forested. Mount Kinabalu (13,455 feet) can be seen from many parts or the Colony. Great rivers ﬂow from the mountains, the largest towards the east coast. The coast is indented, with many offshore islands, and we saw busy deep water harbours at Jesselton, Sandakan, Tawau, Kudat and Labuan. Wide stretches of grassland are found in the interior plains. Over 40 per cent. of the population is concentrated in the west coast agricultural belt where the land is clearer and more fertile and communications are easier. The interior plains are less populous, whilst the east coast, comprising over half the country, has large areas of uninhabited rainforest behind a few coastal centres of population and economic activity such as Sandakan and Tawau. As in Sarawak, the basis of the economy is agriculture, forestry and fisheries; the principal exports being timber, rubber and copra.
96. The country's finances have improved rapidly during the last few years. This has made it possible to embark on a development plan which includes a number of major new roads. These will open up new areas where the soil is known to be excellent for such crops as wet rice, oil palms, cocoa, abaca and rubber. The atmosphere in North Borneo is an exhilarating one. Production of the main export crops of timber, rubber and copra has been expanding rapidly and there is full employment. Indeed, the industries on the east coast in the Tawau and Sandakan Residencies attract immigrant labourers in large numbers from Indonesia and to a lesser extent from the Philippines. The chief towns have been rebuilt on imaginative lines since the destruction at the end of the war with Japan, and the country as a whole is looking forward to a bright and prosperous future.
97. North Borneo was governed by the British North Borneo (Chartered) Company from 1881 until 1942 when it fell to the Japanese. In 1946, the territory became, with , the new Crown Colony of North Borneo. The Government is administered by a Governor and Commander-in-Chief appointed by the Crown. The Constitutional Instruments provide for Executive and Legislative Councils, both presided over by the Governor. Recently an unofficial majority was introduced into the Legislative Council, which now consists of the Governor as President, 4 ex officio Members, 3 official Members and 18 nominated (unofficial) Members. Unofficial Members are at present appointed by the Governor after considering recommendations by Local Authorities and other bodies. The Executive Council consists of the Governor as President, 4 ex ofifcio Members, 2 official Members, and 6 unofficial Members.
Section B.—Arrangements for Commission's Visit
98. As in the case of Sarawak, the Government of North Borneo had arranged before our arrival for the Commission to make an extensive tour covering most of the Districts in all four Residencies in the Colony. The itinerary is contained in Appendix A. We held hearings altogether in 15 different places over a total period of just under four weeks. On one occasion (on Friday, 13th April) the weather prevented us from landing at Ranau where we were due to hold hearings, but the people concerned were brought to Jesselton to see us two days later. This was the only engagement during the whole of our tour of Borneo that we failed to keep. Where it was impossible for us to travel ourselves to some of the remote districts, arrangements were made for representatives from those districts to come into one of the centres which was on our programme.
99. We were given every facility by the North Borneo Government to make what inevitably was a strenuous exercise as little tiring as possible. We travelled nearly everywhere by chartered aircraft but we made full use too of the North Borneo Railway. Only on two days did we travel by road, and on one by launch and motor boat.
100. The Government Paper on "North Borneo and Malaysia" was published at the end of January 1962, a few weeks later than the publication of a similar Paper by the Government of Sarawak. Although the Government did everything possible to have the Paper distributed widely and speedily, it appeared to us that there was insufficient time before the Commission's arrival for a careful study to be made by every section of the population regarding the implications of the Malaysia proposals for North Borneo.
Section C.—General Observations
101. Both on our first visit to the main centres and on our second visit to the rest of the territories, our tour in North Borneo followed immediately on our tour in Sarawak. We were therefore always conscious of the similarities and dissimilarities between the two territories. We have found it often convenient in this Chapter to refer back to the previous Chapter. We have felt that this method not only avoids unnecessary repetition but is also helpful in giving a general picture of the attitude to Malaysia in the two territories. The paragraphs which follow should therefore be read with Section C and D of Chapter 1.
102. A newcomer to the territories is struck by the fact that there is surprisingly little "come and go" between the two territories themselves. This is doubtless due largely to the difficulty of communications and to the low level of import and export between the two territories. Contact between the territories is increasing with developing air services, with common political interests, with an integrated judiciary and progress in integrating other public services, and with the formation of a free trade area. In their relations with the outside world there are many similarities and some dissimilarities. In both territories Malay is the nearest approach to a "lingua franca", Islam is the religion of around a third of the population, and there are the cultural and historical links of the Malayan Archipelago. The commercial interests of North Borneo, however, particularly in the flourishing Chinese business communities of Sandakan and Tawau, lie more with and eastwards than with Singapore. Moreover, the indigenous races in the two territories are different, although there are naturally some races living on both sides of the boundary.
103. In North Borneo, as in Sarawak, we were greatly impressed with the background of friendly race relations which clearly has existed in the past and which to a large degree still exists to-day. As we have said earlier, this atmosphere of racial harmony is very precious in a multi-racial country and one which must at all costs be preserved if the country is to have a happy and prosperous future. We should like here to draw attention to a most encouraging development. We refer to the process of assimilation by inter-marriage and social contacts generally which has been taking place in the interior between the Chinese and the Dusun or Kadazan peoples. While the offspring of such marriages may require special attention in the constitutional definition of "native", we are much heartened by this development.
104. We have drawn attention to the disturbance to race relations in Sarawak arising at the time of the first elections, which marked the earliest moves towards a transfer of power from the British Government to the people. The subsequent bid for power, as reflected in the formation of political parties, was intensified by the proposals for Malaysia. In North Borneo, on the other hand, the struggle for power had not yet begun, as there had been no elections or any other suggestion of a transfer of power until the Malaysia proposals were put forward. Only recently have plans been made for election to District Councils and Town Boards, with the intention that this will lead to a system of indirect election, on the Sarawak pattern, to the Legislative Council.
105. The conflict of opinion after the Malaysia proposals were put forward follows broadly similar lines to that in Sarawak with the important and fortunate difference that it has not been bedevilled by the intervention of Communist influence.
106. In North Borneo, as in Sarawak, a major strand in the opposition to Malaysia among the Chinese lies in genuine fear of discrimination, which they believe would be practised on them, affecting their education, language and culture generally, and reducing them to the status of what is popularly known as "second-class citizens". These anxieties are honestly held and should receive serious consideration. At the same time, there is fear among the Chinese business community that Malaysia would involve a new and heavier tax structure. At present also, as a racial group, the Chinese enjoy educational, economic and commercial superiority over the indigenous population. They are wary of the prospect that, with Malaysia, they might suffer from competition with Singapore or from discriminatory arrangements made in the process of correcting the present imbalance of economic status between themselves and the indigenous people.
107. There exists, too, though not to the same extent, the sense of frustration among younger Chinese to which we have called attention in the Chapter on Sarawak. Educated in Chinese schools, ambitious and often with emotional inclinations to China, they foresee few outlets for their abilities and fear that Malaysia would prejudice such prospects as they now have.
108. With these factors and with the intensification of political activity, it must be recognised that, whilst Communist influence has not yet made itself felt to any extent, there exists fertile material on which Communist infiltration could work in the same way as it is already working in Sarawak. The Communist danger cannot be excluded for the future.
109. It is in fact the hope that Governmental action would help to correct the present imbalance of economic status between the Chinese and themselves which constitutes a strong argument among many indigenous people in favour of Malaysia and of its early realisation. In the face of the inevitable prospect that at some time they would have to share political power with the Chinese, they are extremely anxious that they should be able to compete on an equal footing in the economic and commercial fields. There was therefore a unanimous demand by the indigenous people that their position under Malaysia should be analogous to that of the Malays under the present Malayan Constitution.
Equally, there was great emphasis on the need for an even more vigorous programme in rural development and in education and great interest in the achievements of Malaya in these directions.
110. At the same time there is general awareness among the leaders of the principal political parties, many native leaders and not a few Chinese, that an independent North Borneo on its own would be threatened both internally by disruptive tendencies of racial conflict and externally by her more powerful neighbours.
111. We are bound to record that, even more perhaps than in Sarawak, there are large sections of the population in the interior who have no real appreciation of the Malaysia proposals. This is partly due to the late publication of the North Borneo Government Paper, partly to the difficulties of communication, and partly to the general level of political consciousness. To these people, any change is necessarily to be looked upon with great suspicion. They are happy under the present colonial administration, they have a high regard for the efficiency and impartiality of the British officers, and they entertain high hopes of progress under their present Government. Their predominating desire therefore is that there should be no radical change in the present way of life. There is a definite fear that any change may bring about a deterioration of conditions.
112. We have found near-unanimity on some points, and differences on others, on lines identical with those in Sarawak set out in paragraphs 33-38 of Chapter 1, and for the same reasons. Thus those who support Malaysia agree that Federation should come quickly and should have a strong Central Government to deal in particular with external relations, defence, internal security and economic development. All native populations agree that they should be given analogous treatment to that of the Malays in Malaya, that land, forestry and agriculture should be controlled by the State Government, and that customary rights and practices should be safeguarded. Groups of all races agree that immigration from other parts of the Federation should be controlled by the State Government, that British officers should be encouraged to stay on, and that there should be no rapid change in administrative arrangements affecting the daily life of the people. There is the same unanimous approach by the indigenous people on the one hand and the Chinese on the other to the question of a Head of State for North Borneo. There are the same differences on such matters as the Head of the Federation of Malaysia, national religion, national and official languages, and allocation of powers between Federation and State.
113. The differences of opinion in North Borneo do not, however, follow quite such marked divisions between each indigenous group, whose attitudes may therefore be considered together. The position and attitude of the Chinese call for separate consideration.
Section D.—Summary of Evidence from Indigenous and Chinese Populations and Political Parties
114. The indigenous races in North Borneo together make up a total of 306,498 out of a total population of 454,421 at the time of the 1860 census. The Dusuns (or Kadazans) are numerically the largest group with 145,229, followed by the Bajaus (59,710), the Bruneis (23,450), and the Muruts (22,138). More detailed figures are in Appendix B. We have already stated that many indigenous people are averse to any change because of their lack of knowledge of the proposal and their satisfaction with the present way of life. This general feeling of uneasiness was particularly emphasised by Murut groups in the Interior Residency. At the same time there was often readiness to agree to the Malaysia proposals, although they were not fully understood, on the grounds that they would not be recommended by the British Government if the true interests of the people of North Borneo were to be jeopardised thereby.
115. These remarks should not be taken as any adverse comment on the quality of native leadership, for which we have a high appreciation. Although elections have not been held in North Borneo, it is clear to us from the leadership at present shown in the various District Councils and Town Boards, in the Legislative and Executive Councils and at the deliberations of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee, that the present leaders represent native interests with ability and responsibility. Difficulty is admittedly experienced in finding candidates among the indigenous people of the necessary calibre for appointment to the more responsible posts in Government service: but there are gratifying signs that increasing experience and the extensive training schemes now under way will help to remedy this position in a few years' time. Although among much of the indigenous population there is evident satisfaction with the present way of life and suspicion of change, there is increasing recognition among many of their leaders, who are better able to understand the wider aspects of these questions, that it is not possible for the present arrangements to continue for much longer. They are aware that in a few years at the most and possibly even sooner, other countries in East and South-East Asia might cast envious eyes on a prosperous country such as North Borneo with its rich undeveloped resources and small (but rapidly growing) population; the fact that it was still a Colony of the United Kingdom would provide an excuse for assuming a cloak of respectability in proposing to "liberate" its inhabitants from the "shackles of imperialism". Some of the leaders of the political parties are much concerned about this possibility and, after careful thought and despite initial misgivings, have reached the conclusion that the prospect of gaining independence through becoming a partner in a Federation of Malaysia is North Borneo's best hope for the future. In most cases, however, they are insistent on the necessity of obtaining certain assurances and safeguards.
116. Particular reference must be made to the Muslim section of the
indigenous peoples. At the time of the 1960 census as many as 172,324 or about 38 per cent of the population of North Borneo were Muslims. The largest group are the Bajaus (over 59,000) who are virtually all Muslims. Next come the Bruneis (about 23,000), and other smaller communities such as the Bisayas, the Sulus and the Orang Sungei. The total of 172,324 also includes the great bulk of 24,000 Indonesian immigrant labourers. Of the other indigenous races, only some 10,000 out of over 145,000 Dusuns are Muslims and the number of Muruts who are Muslims is negligible.
117. To this substantial Muslim minority there was a decided attraction in the idea of joining up with the Federation of Malaya, where Islam is already the national religion. The attraction was even greater when it was realised that there was a prospect that more would be done in the way of improving the position in society of the indigenous peoples. We found that there was almost complete unanimity of support among these communities for Malaysia, and in most cases they expressed agreement with the recommendations made in the report of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (see Appendix F), A point which was frequently mentioned to us by representatives of these communities was that a Federation of Malaysia would provide protection against the menace of Communism. One or two groups expressed a desire to be reunited with Brunei.
118. The safeguards which were suggested to us varied considerably in importance. In setting them out below, we shall endeavour to indicate the degree of importance which was attached to each of them and the extent to which they represented the views of substantial sections of the indigenous population. The suggestion was sometimes made that safeguards should be symbolised, following tradition, by a stone monument as lasting reminder of the assurances given.
Whenever this matter was raised by delegations of indigenous peoples, the request was made that the Head of State should be a "Bumiputera" (or native). Much less frequently, the appointment of Chief Minister was mentioned, and it was clear that there was some confusion of mind regarding the division of functions between these two posts. While some groups asked that the Chief Minister too should be a native, others were ready to agree that he might come from any race, provided that he was a citizen.
On the question of the eligibility of the Head of State for the post of Head of the Federation, few opinions were expressed. Some were ready to accept a situation where the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would continue to be elected from among the Rulers of the States in Malaya, so that the Head of State in North Borneo could never be eligible; some considered that their Head of State should also be eligible.
There was a general demand that îmmigration from other parts of the Federation should be controlled by the State Governments.
The request came from the Muslims that Islam should be the national
religion, as in the Federation of Malaya. There was everywhere agreement, however, that there should be no restrictions on complete freedom for other religions.
On the other hand representations were made by many persons of other religious faiths that, as Muslims were in a minority in North Borneo, there was no case for forcing Islam on the country as the religion of the State; nor should Islam be the national religion in the new Federation. Some of the non-Muslim groups expressed the anxieties which we had already heard in Sarawak about possible preference for Muslims over non-Muslims.
Many groups who appeared before us displayed great anxiety that North Borneo should be adequately represented in the Federal Parliament and that, in this and in other respects, she should not be treated as equivalent in status to one of the States in the present Federation of Malaya, for example, Penang or Malacca. The point was made that North Borneo's size alone justified special treatment and that the much greater distance between the Borneo territories and Kuala Lumpur also had a bearing on the matter. A number of persons expressed the view that the new Federation should consist of five units the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo-and not 15 units as would be the case if the Federation of Malaya disappeared as such, and was regarded as 11 separate States which would each join the new Federation on equal terms with the four new units. The reason for this attitude was clearly a fear that North Borneo's interests might be overlooked or given too little weight.
For somewhat similar reasons, a number of groups proposed that a limited number of subjects only should be federalised", at least in the initial stages. Some suggested that external affairs and defence only should be Federal subjects in the first instance, together with those aspects of internal security which were necessarily allied to external affairs. At the same time there were many who held high expectations of the practical benefits which Malaysia would bring, such as free education and accelerated rural development; they wished to see a strong Central Government which would be in a position to carry out these schemes as soon as possible.
Still others recognised the advantages to be gained from the federalisation of a number of subjects in due course, but were anxious that the change should be a gradual one. The desire for careful consideration, during a transitional period, before any subject was made Federal, was undoubtedly influenced too by the fear that the immediate transfer of authority over shch subjects as education and health services would be likely to carry with it the necessity for contributions from North Bornea in the form of heavier taxation.
Among the indigenous peoples there was a general acceptance of the proposition that Malay, which is already the lingua franca of North Borneo, should become the national language. This was combined, however, with the strong request that English should continue to be recognised as an official language, and that the Government's present policy regarding the use of English as a medium of instructions should be continued. Some groups asked that other native languages should be given official status so that they could be used in the future elected Councils.
There was unanimous agreement among native groups that, in addition to the customary rights over land and to certain other existing privileges, the special position accorded to Malays under the Federation of Malaya Constitution should be extended to the indigenous peoples in North Borneo to enable them to obtain educational and other qualifications, or to gain experience in business, in order to compete on equal terms with the other races in the country.
In a few cases it was proposed that the special privileges should continue for a limited period of years only.
Some groups expressed concern at the possibility that after a Federation of Malaysia had been established, the Constitution might be amended by the Federal Parliament in Kuala Lumpur to North Borneo's disadvantage and without her consent. These views were sometimes put forward in conjunction with those already referred to in (e) above as justification for specially favourable treatment over representation in the Federal Parliament.
A number of groups considered that, during an initial period (usually put at 3-5 years), North Bomeo should be at liberty to withdraw from the new Federation if her elected representatives became convinced by experience that the arrangements were not in her long-term interest.
- The Chinese
119. It is desirable to consider the Chinese separately, first because their position in North Borneo to-day is different in law from that of the indigenous peoples. Certain privileges are already reserved for natives, for example in regard to land, and special measures have been taken in recent years to ensure that better facilities are available for the education of natives, including priority for scholarships overseas. The Chinese have supported the need for these measures in view of the general backwardness of the indigenous peoples.
120. A second reason for dealing separately with the Chinese is that their attitude towards the Malaysia proposals is influenced by the fear that their position as non-natives will be further subordinated to that of the indigenous peoples, particularly in regard to citizenship, entry in to the Government services and in the commercial field.
121. The total number of Chinese in North Borneo was 104,542 at the time of the 1960 census. They form the second largest racial community, the Dusuns being the largest, and make up 23 per cent. of the total population. The rate of increase over the nine years since the previous census in 1951 has been as high as 40.6 per cent. and none of this is due to immigration. At the time of the 1960 census approximately 46 per cent. of the Chinese were under the age of 15, and 77 per cent. of the total were born in North Borneo.
122. The general attitude of the Chinese in North Borneo towards the proposals for the creation of a Federation of Malaysia was very similar to the attitude of the Chinese in Sarawak; but with the important difference that there was no sign in North Borneo of the extreme views which were expressed to us in Sarawak in opposition to the scheme by some of the delegations from the Sarawak United Peoples Party which were undoubtedly influenced by Communists. Generally, the views held by the great majority of the many intelligent and responsible Chinese who came to see us were that Malaysia was a desirable aim, but that it was premature. Many felt that the British Government would be failing to carry out their obligations if they forced North Borneo into a Federation of this kind before she had reached the stage when her own elected representatives could decide the issue.
123. Many Chinese were, however, realistic enough to recognise that external factors might make it impossible for the present colonial system of administration to continue-perhaps for a number of years until North Borneo could be granted self-government. It was therefore necessary to regard the early establishment of a Federation of Malaysia as a distinct possibility. They asked that, in this event, their views on the following matters should be given careful consideration before any final decision was taken.
The request was made that this post should be open to any local citizen of North Borneo and should be filled by election, not by appointment by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
A number of Chinese told us that they did not regard it as satisfactory that the Head of State in North Borneo should never be eligible for the position of Head of the Federation.
The Chinese took the same stand as the indigenous peoples on the necessity of control by the State Government.
There was a universal request from Chinese for complete freedom of religion, as at present. Some groups also expressed the opinion that not only should there be no State religion in North Borneo, but that Islam should not be the national religion of a Federation of Malaysia. In general the views of the Chinese on the question of religion were the same as those of the indigenous peoples, other than Muslims, which are recorded in paragraph 118 (d) of this Chapter.
There was little difference between the views expressed to us by the Chinese on this subject and those of the indigenous peoples (see paragraph 118 (e) above). They were concerned that North Borneo should be in a position to exert effective influence on the Federal Government in Kuala Lumpur.
On the specific question of representation in the Federal Senate, some groups proposed that North Borneo should have more than the two seats allotted to each State under the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya. Some asked for as many as eight seats.
The general view among the Chinese was that Malaysia should be a "loose" federation and that the only Federal subjects should be external affairs, defence and internal security. Many Chinese wished to be assured that Malaysia would not bring any increases in taxation and wanted North Borneo to retain control of her own finances, apart from an agreed annual contribution to the Federal Government towards the cost of services provided by that Government.
The view most frequently expressed to us by Chinese was that there was no objection to the acceptance of Malay as one of the national languages in North Borneo, but that English should also be recognised as a national language. Some Chinese, however, were of the opinion that there should be no national language.
On the question of official language, there was a general request that English should be an official language for all time. Some asked that, for purposes of debate and discussion in Councils, other languages, in addition to English and Malay, should be recognised as official languages-for example, Mandarin and Kadazan.
Some Chinese groups referred to and supported the Government's policy of converting all schools to English-medium instruction and were opposed to any change to Malay-medium instruction for children whose home language was not Malay.
The view of responsible Chinese was that there are sound reasons for granting special privileges to the indigenous peoples, especially in the fields of education and overseas scholarships. They are less disposed to agree to special treatment over business licences. In most cases, however, the Chinese considered that such privileges should be temporary only and subject to review from time to time, and that they should be granted as a matter of administration by the Government of North Borneo. They objected strongly to their being incorporated in the Constitution, with the implication that they were there for all time, and to the authority for giving directions in regard to special privileges being the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
(i) Amendments to the Constitution and the Possibility of Secession
The views of the Chinese were identical with those of some indigenous groups which have already been recorded in paragraph 118 (i) of this Chapter. Various suggestions were made as to how North Borneo could be secured against amendments of the Federal Constitution which were not in her interests. In the case of the State Constitution, it was proposed that a two-thirds (some said four-fifths) majority should be required for amendments. A further point made was that where there was a conflict between the Federal and State Constitutions, the State Constitution should prevail.Many Chinese proposed that there should be a trial period during which North Borneo would be free to decide to leave the new Federation if she wished.
This is a matter on which the Chinese in North Borneo, as in Sarawak, feel very strongly indeed. They do not always understand fully the situation in Malaya and entertain various fears of discrimination against the Chinese in the acquisition of Federal citizenship. There was also the question of a test in the national language; if that is to be Malay without the option of English, such a condition would not be acceptable.
A request was made to us by many groups of Chinese that the conditions for the acquisition of citizenship which at present apply in North Borneo should not be changed for persons who are. already in the country at the date of establishment of the new Federation. No similar request was made on behalf of persons who might be admitted to the country after that date.
- Political Parties
124. In the following paragraphs we set out the views of the main political parties which appeared before us or sent us written memoranda.
- United National Kadazan Organisation (U.N.K.O.)
125. The United National Kadazan Organisation was formed in August 1961 and was based on earlier Kadazan Associations. At the time of our visit it was claimed that a total of 60 branches had been established or were in the process of being established. The great majority of these are in the West Coast and Interior Residencies, where the party undoubtedly commands substantial support among the non-Muslim native population, especially perhaps in the areas within easy reach of Jesselton. The membership of the party is estimated at 20,000.
126. The party's attitude towards the Malaysia proposals has undergone a considerable change since it was first formed, but the earlier fears and misgivings have steadily been dissipated and the party now fully supports the proposals, subject to the acceptance of a number of safeguards which it considers to be of great importance to the Kadazan people. The president of the party was elected chairman of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (see Introduction, paragraph 4) and, although satisfied with the assurances given by representatives of the Federation of Malaya Government who were members of that Committee, and in full support of the recommendations made in the Committee's report, the party felt it desirable to restate its case in favour of Malaysia in full to the Commission. The main arguments put forward were:
territories from elsewhere.
127. The more important of the safeguards and recommendations which the party would like to see adopted, in addition to the recommendations of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee, are the following:
A clear statement should be made in the new Constitution that although Islam may be the religion of the Federation, it will not be forced on North Borneo as the religion of the State.
Malay is acceptable as the national language, but English should be used as an official language without any time limit. In Kadazan areas, Kadazan should be taught in the schools.
The many Kadazans of mixed blood should be eligible for the special privileges to which the indigenous peoples will be entitled if the recommendations of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee are accepted.
Customary rights to land and Kadazan customs, traditions and culture should be fully respected and protected.
To be under State control.
This should be much larger than any of the States in the present Federation of Malaya and much larger than Singapore.
In the Senate, North Bomeo should have eight members.
Changes to bring about parity with the other States in Malaysia should be made gradually.
Everything possible should be done to encourage British officers to remain in North Borneo after Malaysia, until the indigenous peoples are qualified to take their place.
- United Sabah National Organisation (U.S.N.O.)
128. This party is open to all races but depends for its strength on the Muslim community. One estimate of the membership of the party was 21,000 but the party headquarters claimed a membership of 60,000.
129. The party is a strong supporter of Malaysia particularly as a defence against Communist encroachment. The following points were emphasised:
130. The party supports the recommendations made by the M.S.C.C. 131.
131. Other points made by U.S.N.O. groups in various parts of the country were: The protection of the British should not be withdrawn and British officers should remain until local men can be trained to take their places. The State religion should be Islam and more Islamic schools were required. There should be no change in the Constitution of the Federation unless with the overwhelming agreement of the people. More vigorous plans for the education of natives and for rural development were required. The special position of Malays in the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya should be accorded to the natives of North Borneo in the Constitution of Malaysia.
- The National Pasok Momogun Organisation or National True Sons of the Soil Association
132. This party, predominantly composed of non-Muslim Dusuns, was formed in Keningau in opposition to U.N.K.O. It has an estimated membership of 10,600. The party draws most of its upport from the Keningau and Tenom areas. It is not possible to give any accurate figures of membership, particularly since a struggle for the leadership of the party has led to a splinter group being formed. There appeared to us to be little difference in the point of view put forward by the two leaders.
133. The party's attitude to Malaysia is that while appreciating the merits of the concept, they feel that the people of North Borneo are politically too immature to make a proper contribution to such a Federation. They ask that the British Government should continue the process of education of the people and development of the country. When North Borneo has gained its independence it will be in a better position to make a decision on this matter. In the meantime the British Government should concentrate the resources of the country on a more vigorous programme of education and do more to train the political leaders of the future.
- The Democratic Party
134. The party is open to all races and is supported in the main by small traders, wharf labourers and transport workers and operators in the Jesselton and Tenom areas. One estimate of the membership was 2,120 but the party claimed a membership of between 22,000 and 24,000.
135. The party considers that North Borneo should be independent before she is asked to consider the proposals for Malaysia. The following points were made to the Commission.
- The United Party
136. This party has emerged from a multi-racial organisation formed by Chinese business men in Sandakan. The party commands a great deal of support among the Chinese in Sandakan and of many influential Chinese business men and landowners throughout North Borneo. The estimated membership of the party is 11,400. The policies of the party are supported by the Borneo Times, a daily newspaper which has a Chinese edition.
137. The party opposes the Malaysia plan on the ground that the proposal is premature and should not be considered until North Borneo has gained her independence. The party considers that North Borneo should have self-government in 1963 and that thereafter it is a matter for the people to decide whether or not they wish to enter an association with Malaya, Singapore andthe other Borneo territories.
138. The party submitted a comprehensive and carefully drawn up memorandum which set out their views and then went on to criticise in detail the recommendations of the M.S.C.C. Report with an examination of its implications. The Memorandum also contained a statement of the terms on which the United Party would, after North Borneo had achieved self-government, be willing to consider an association with Malaya, Singapore and the other Bomeo territories.
- Liberal Party
139. This party was in process of formation when the Commission visited Sandakan, No ﬁgures of membership were available but we were informed that the party was multi~racial.
140. The party is against Malaysia and feared that a closer association between North Borneo and Singapore and Malaya would increase the risk of Communist inﬁltration. The party preferred to see a merger of the three Borneo territories, the United Nations develop the natural resources of the countries, and Britain and the United States of America protect them from the Communists or any outside threat. The party spokesman feared that there would be no independence through Malaysia but rather than that: Borneo territories would become dependency of Malaya
ASSESSMENT OF EVIDENCE
141. The arguments for participation by North Borneo and Sarawak in a Federation of Malaysia are well set out in the official Papers published by the Governments of the two territories (see Appendix E). The case for and against participation has been widely debated in the respective territories at meetings, in newspapers and in such forums as the Conference or the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee. indeed on a less formal level, Malaysia has been a major topic of conversation in the bazaars, clubs and coffe houses, homes and longhouses throughout the two territories. All this has contributed in no small measure towards an understanding of the Malaysia proposals.
142. The tasks set out in our Terms of Reference were to ascertain the views of the peoples of the these territories and to submit our recommendations. We have therefore attempted to the best of our ability to seek the opinions of the peoples of these two territories regarding the proposals for a Federation of Malaysia. This has been no easy task. We have given indications earlier that for a number of reasons opinions tend Io run all racial and communall lines. Even on lh: basis of communal interests there are often various shades opinion concerning a single subject on which there is general agreement in principle. Furthermore. it was not unusual for groups appearing before us to make exaggerated claims, sometimes bordering on the fantastic, of the number of their suppoters.
143. In assessing the opinion of the peoples of North Borneo and Sarawak, we have only been able to arrive at an approximation, We do not wish to make any guarantee that it may not change in alto direction or the other in the future. Making allowance for all the difﬁculties and for our inability to reach every part of these large territories, we have arrived at a general consensus or opinion with reasonable conﬁdence, based on individual and representative evidence presented before us.
144. Although, in such circumstances, individual judgment is bound to vary in emphasis, the Commission as a whole endorse, as a general approximation not far wide of the rnark, the following assessment which is made by the Chairman. About one-third of the population in each territory strongly favours early realisation of Malaysia without too much concern about terms and conditions. Another third, many of them favourable to the Malaysia project, ask, with varying degrees of emphasis, for conditions and safeguards varying in nature and extent: the warmth of support among this category would be markedly influenced by at firm expression or opinion by Governments that the detailed arrangements eventually agreed upon are in the best interests of the territories. The remaining third is divided between those who insist on independence before Malaysia is considered and those who would strongly prefer to see British rule continue for some years to come. if the conditions and reservations which they have put forward could be substantially met, the second category referred to above would generally support the proposals. Moreover once a firm decision was taken quite a number of the third category would be likely to abandon their opposition and decide to make the best of a doubtful Job. There will remain a hard core, vocal and politically active, which will oppose Malaysia on any terms unless it is preceded by independence and self-government; this hard core might amount to near 20 percent. or the population of Sarawak and somewhat less in North Borneo.
145. We have reached a considerable measure of agreement on the appropriate basis for entry of the Borneo territories into a Federation of Malaysia. There is, however, a fundamental divergence on tile question of phasing, as to whether the Federation should be formed in one stage or in two
stages. This divergence of opinion involves a different approach to a number of subjects, on many of which there may nevertheless be a high degree or unanimity. It has therefore been found convenient to set out the arguments and recommendations on these Subjects separately.
146. There are certain general matters not aﬂeeted by this divergence or opinion on some of which views are unanimous and on others, to sortie extent, divergent.
147. We have therefore divided this Chapter into four sections:
Section A.—Recommendaiions on certain general matters.
148. We make the following general recommendations, wich are unanimous except where otherwise stated:
We therefore recommend that the existing Constitution of the Federation of Malaya should be taken as the basis of the Constitution of the new Federation with such amendments and safeguards as may be necessary. We also recommend that no amendment, modiﬁcation or wlthdrawal or any special safeguard granted should be made by the Central Government without the positive concurrence of the Government of the State concerned.
We encountered strong feelings among some communities that the Heads of Sarawak and North Borneo States should be eligible for appointment as Head of the Federation, Whilst we sympathise with this feeling we see no way of meeting it without undue disturbance to the existing arrangements in Malaya. we therefore limit ourselves to recording the point.
We encountered some opposition to the name "Malaysia", particularly from a number of non-Muslim elements of the population in Sarawak. This opposition stems from the same cause as the anxieties about Religion, Language and the Head of Federation, with which we deal elsewhere in this Section. They all reflect the fears held by the non-Malays and non-Muslims that the effect of Malaysia will be to put them in a position inferior to that of the Malays and Muslims. We cannot see, however, that any other name would be appropriate in view of the geographical historical relevance or the name of Malaysia and its wide current usage, We believe moreover, that in fact objections to the name would not persist for long. We recommend, however, that the word "Malaysia" should be generally incorporated into the Malay language; at present it is widely into Malay as "Melayu Raya".
Feeling on the point ran much stronger. There are differences of opinion among the Commission.
The non-Muslim communities are most insistent that there should be complete religious freedom as to woship, education, and propagation, in the Borneo territories.
We recommend the provisions in the exiting Federal Constitution of Malaya that Islam is the national religion and that certain public expenditure may be incurred for Islamic purpose. All Muslim communities would welcome the provision that Islam should be national religion of the Federation. But even with guanrantees of freedom of religion for the Borneo States, we have met with strong resistance from many non-Muslim communities to the idea that these Federal provisions should apply to the Borneo territoties. We consider (which have a non-Muslim majority) to decide for themselves at a later stage when fully elected representative bodies have been constitued. We recommend therefore that the Borneo territories in the meantime.
We think that all Muslim communities would welcome a provision that Islam should be the national religion of the Federation. Amongst the non-Muslim who appreared before us there was a substantial number who would not object to the present practice in the Federation of Malaya, as they are satisfied with provisions for fundamental liberties and freedom of religion in the Malayan Constitution. There were, however, a number of non-Muslim who most anxious that there should be no national religion for the Federation; a great many of them, however, would be prepared to consider that Islam might be made the national religion provided that it should not be the religion of their particular State.
Taking these point fully into consideration we are agreed that Islam should be the national religion for the Federation. We are satisfied that the proposal in no way jeopardises freedom of religion in the Federation, which in effect would be secular.
There remain, however, some objection to the provisions in the existing Constitution of the Federation of Malaya that certain public expenditure may be incurred for Islamic purposes. We feel unable to make any positive recommendation in this respect as this resistance, though strong, is small and any recommendation for a Constitutional provision to meet this objection will do violence to present provisions in the Malayan Constitution which the weight of opinion does not require. We therefore limit ourselves to recording the point.
The Constitution of the Federation of Malaya provide that Malay is the national language. Objection is felt in some quarters to the idea this provision should apply to the Borneo territories and the British members of the Commision consider that this a matter for the peoples of the Borneo territories to decide for themselves when fully elected representative bodies have been constituted. The Chairman and the Malayan members feel that, as in fact Malay already approached more nearly than other language to a "lingua franca" in Borneo, this point need not give any offence to the non-Malay population, and that no derogation from the Federal
With regard to official languages, a majority of opinion favours Malay and English as official languages without any time limit in the Borneo States. The Chairman and the British members recommend that a provision to this effect be made in the Constitution.
The Malayan members feel that from consideration of Malaysia taken as a whole, such a provision as a permanent feature cannot be readily acceptable without doing undue violence to the existing provisions of the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya. They recommend, therefore, that provision should be made which. while not affecting the position of Malay as the national language for the Federation of Malaysia, would ensure the continuance of English as an oﬂicial language in the Borneo territories along with Malay for it period of 1O years after the establishment of Malaysia and to continue thereafter until such time as the Central Government in consultation with the State Governmnent of the territory concerned provides otherwise. The Central Government should not institute any move without prior consultalion with the State Government.
It has been widely represented to the Commission by all races and communities in North Borneo and Sarawak that the small population of the two territories in relation to their size makes it essential to provide them with protection against unrestricted movement of people from other
parts of the Federation, We have no doubt that this is a legitimate and
essential requirement. We think, however, that control over immigration into any part of Malaysia from outside should rest with the Central Government. subject to the provise that such entry into Sarawak or North Bomeo should also require the approval of the State Govenment concerned. The Federal Government should guarantee the unrestricted entry for purposes of employment of persons recruited by the State Government, except on grounds of security.
In relation to the question of entry from any other Malaysian territories into Sarawak or North Borneo, we recommend that it should be subject to the control of the respective States. The free movement or persons in the service of the Centra| Government such as Federal officials, should, however, be guaranteed by the State Government
The Federal Government will have a clear interest in the movement or, for example, persons known to be subversive The State Government will be well aware of security aspects and will be able to take this into account in controlling entry into their States
We consider that the present Visitor's Permit valid for three months should be retained in order to encourage exchange of visits among the peoples of Malaysia and the creation of a Malaysian sense of national unity. We would recommend also that there should be no restrictions on movement from the Borneo territories into Malaya.
We are aware that the provision relating to the restricted freedom of movement of Citizens would conflict with the Fundamental liberties as guaranteed under the Constitution, but in view of the very special nature of the situation, we strongly recommend that appropriate constitutional provision be made to facilitate such arrangement.
A number of witnesses suggested that there should be 2 trial period with a right to secede from the Federation after a stated number of years. We believe that inclusion of a secession clause would mean a constitution throughout the trial period of political and perhaps racial divisions. We feel that if it is decided to create a Federation, the decision should be made wholeheartedly and without reservations We do not recommend inclusion of a secession clause.
We have already made it clear in Chapters l and 2 that this is a matter to which the Chinese communities in both Sarawak and North Borneo attach such importance that it inﬂueitces the attitude of many of them towards the Malaysia proposals as a whole. They fear that the arrangements under the pre—Merdeka Constitution of the Federation of Malaya might be applied to them.
At present persons of any race born in either of the two territories are automatically citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies; and aliens. regardless of race, who have resided in either territory throughout the I2 months preceding their applications and also have milled there or in the United Kingdom or one of its other dependencies for four years out of the seven preceding that 12 months and intend to continue such residence are eligible to apply in the Governor for natutraiisatian as citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies. Additional requirements are evidence of good chamcter and a sufficient knowledge of the English language ora language recognised in the territory as being on an equality with the English language. In practice Malay has been accepted.
Although the great majority of the Chinese in both Sarawak and North Borneo have either been born in one or other territory or have resided there for a substantial number of years, only 3 small proportion of those who were not born locally have in fact applied for citizenship. It is necessary to secure sponsors; some expenseis involved; and there has up to now been no particular advantage in bewining a citizen. Moreover. many Chinese might not have been able to pass a language test in any language other than their own. It was on behalf of iliis considerable body of non-citizens that requests were made to its that the qualiﬁcations for citizenship in Sarawak and North Borneo aﬁer Malaysia names into being should remain the same, or approximately the same, as those now in force for citizenship of the United Kingdom and Colonies. There was readiness in some cases to agree to a rather longer qualifying period residence such as seven or eight years Instead of live.
We have considerable sympathy with these requests, although we believe that the fears of the Chinese are usually based on a misunderstanding of the present position in Malaya.
Our attention has been drawn to the memorandum in setting out the Heads at Agreement for a merger between the Federation of Malaya and Singapore (Singapore Command Paper No. 33 of 1961) in which it has been agreed that 2 Singapore citizenship will be retained which will atttomatically carry with it nationality of the new Federation of Malaysia. We have considered Whether on this analogy there is a case for creating a separate citizenship for the Borneo territories which would carry with it nationality of Malaysia We have found no special reason to suggest such a separate citizenship tor the Borneo territories. There is no local legislation on on ensliip at present in either Sarawak or North Bomeo—as there is ill Singapore—and we believe that the recommendations that we make below will meet the more important of the points which have been made to us.
We recommend as follows:
For the purposes or such an application a person should be deemed to be of good character in the circumstances provided in Article 18 (4) of the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya, i.e., unless he has during the three preceding years been convicted of a criminal offence for which he has been sentenced to death or imprisonment for twelve months or more and in respect or which he has not received a free pardon
Again, as with the previous category, we consider that the formalities for obtaining citizenship should be reduced to the minimum so that as few difficulties as possible are put in the way of people who have made their homes in the Bomeo territories and who wish to remain in Malaysia as citizens. During the period of the application of these arrangements we recommend that the existing provision in Sarawak and North Borneo regarding a language test should apply we also recommend that there should be a waiver For a limited period of the language test in respect of persons above a certain age.
We also recommend that such an applicant should take the citizenship oath In the term prescribed in the existing Constitution of the Federation of Malaya.
We further recommend that it a person obtains a certificate of citizenship under this arrangement it should be possible for him to app|y, at the same time that he obtains his own certiﬁcate, for the grant of a certificate of citizenship in respect of any of his minor children born before that date and ordinarily resident with him in Malaysia.
This will mean, inter alia , that all persons born in the Borneo territories aﬁer Malaysia will be citizens of Malaysia by operation of law, provided that one of their parents is a citizen, or is a permanent resident of the Federation. If our recommendation is approved. we regard it as important that adequate publicity should be given to this point in order to dispel the doubts that were frequently expressed to us about the position of the non—natives.
Section E.—Recommendation by Sir Anthony Abell and Sir David Watherston
149. We would make it clear at the outset that, on the basis of the assessment of opinion in the territories which is recorded in earlier chapters of this report, we have reached the conclusion that, on appropriate conditions, Malaysia is an attractive and workable project, and would be advantageous to all parties concerned. 150. Before coming to this conclusion, we have felt it our duty to consider whether it offers to tlte Borlleo territories a better future than other possible solutions. such as indefinite continuation of British rule, early independence on their own, or the creation of an independent Federation of the Borneo territories by themselves. We are conviced that, provided it can be achieved with due regard to the special position of these two territories, to the racial complications, to tile physical distance from Kuala Lumpur and to their political immaturity as compared with Malaya and Singapore, the Malaysia project offers Sarawak and North Borneo better prospects of security and prosperity than any other solution in view. opponents or Malaysia have often alleged to us that the project has been devised merely to help in dealing with the Malaya-Singapore situation, and that North Borneo and Sarawak are being treated as political pawns. This view is particularly strong in some quarters in North Borneo, where traditional links of trade have been moie with Hong Kong, Japan and Australia than with Singapore or Malaya. This argument goes on to say that the Borneo territories have been comparatively free of Communist and that a link-up with Malaya and Singapore would involve them unnecessarily in struggles between communisls and anti-communist. This view seems to US to disregard the impact which a change or regime in Singapore would inevitably have on Sarawak immediately, and on North Borneo very shottly thereafier. it does not lead us to modify our opinion that, both on economic and on security grounds, a successful realisation of Malaysia would be to the advantage of the two territories.
151. We recommend that a decision ot principle on the Malaysia project should be taken as soon as possible by the British and Malayan Governments, subject to debate, and support by a majority of‘ unofiieial members, in the Sarawak and North Borneo Legislatures. Once this decision of principle has been reached, we consider that a first step should be taken within l2 months at the most, and that this step should comprise the creation of a Federation of Malaysia. For the reasons set out in the following paragraphs we recommend, however, that the full realisation of Malaysia should be achieved in two distinct phases. we recognise and endorse tiie desirability moving forward as quickly as possible but we feel that there is a definite need for a transitional period during the early part or which there would no as little change as possible and which would allow time for the complicated machinery of federation to be worked out to the best advantage both of the Borneo territories themselves and of the Federal Government we believe that the proposals that we put forward would go 3 long way towards reassuring tiie opponents and critics or Malaysia in the Borneo territories, and would enhance the possibilities of bringing the different races together in a constructive partnership with the other parts of Malaysia, without in any way prejudicing the final achievement of a strong and single-minded Federation. our reasons for recommending a transitional period are based on our strong conviction on the following points.
(a) We feel that Her Majesty's Government have very clear obligations towards the peoples of the two territories, both general and, in Sarawak, deriving particularly from the Cardinal Principles (Appendix C) and the reply to the Petition to Her Majesty The Queen referred to in paragraph 68, to ensure that the political institutions of the territories can be carried to a stage where the people are able to play a full part in their own Government.
152. The considerations in the preceding paragraph lead us to the View that, during the transitional period which we have recommended. the general pattern should be the following:
Under the general supervision of this Committee we recommend that there should be such Joint Working Patties as are found to be necessary to examine certain ﬁelds lin detail. We visualise that formal Working Parties will be required at least to consider the Judicial, educational, and economic ﬁelds, and the public services, and there will certainly be others. In those cases where separate Working Parties are needed for each territory, there should be equal representation of the Federal Government and of the State Government concerned.
The Joint Committee and the working Parties should give the highest priority to their task so that it can be completed and the new arrangements introduced with the least possible delay.
153. Having described the main features or the arrarigeineitts which we recommend for the transitional period. it remains to consider oonistitutional proposals which would provide the framework within which these arrangements could operate smoothly and could move forward progressively towards the full realisation of Malaysia. We recommend that on the creation of Malaysia, the United Kingdom should by Agreement surrender sovereignty over the two territories, which would be admitted as States of the new Federation. At this stage agreement would be reached as to the ultimate division of powers between the Federal Government and the Governments of the two States and we have made certain recommendations on the subject in paragraph 157 below. The Federal Government would at once assume responsibility for Defends, External Affairs and Internal Security (anti-subversive aspects). By Agreement, powers and functions in respect of all other matters that are ultimately to be allocated to the Federal List or the Concurrent List would be delegated to the new States for a speciﬁed period of from three to seven years. During this transitional period the new States would by Agreement between the United Kingdom and the Federation be administered by a Governor to be appointed by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on the joint nomination of His Majesty and of Her Majesty The Queen, under transitional State Constitutions. These Constitutions would allow for rapid progress towards a full Ministerial system of responsible govenment with a constitutional Head of State, and would be replaced at the end of the transitional period by permanent Constitution on the lines of those provided for Penang and Malacca.
154. Turning now to the shape of long-term arrangements after the transitional period, we consider that the aim should be to strike a balance in the common interest between two conflicting requirements on the one hand, the Federal Parliament must have sufficient powers to ensure alignment of policies in matters essential to the creation and maintenance of a real and strong Federation. On the other hand, the Borneo territories should be enabled to maintain their separate identities within the Federation, Racial and other problems in the two territories are quite different from those in Malaya, and distances are so great as to make day-to—day administration from the Federal centre impracticable and undesirable.
155. Whatever the division of formal and legal powers between Federation and State. the practical administration of Federal subjects must largely be carried out on the spot. We recommend that the Joint Committee, whose appointment we have suggested in paragraph 152(f), should oonsider the desirability or regionalising the more important of the Federal posls and services in the Borneo territories. We believe that there may be a strong case for certain Federal Departments having a regional head in Borneo with sufﬁcient authority to deal with local problems. In this connexion a suggestion has been made to us that in due course the Federal Government should appoint a Minister for Borneo affairs with a general responsibility for Federal subjects in the two territories on the analogy of the Secretary of State for Scotland; this suggestion seems to its to merit serious consideration.
156. Many witnesses have insisted that the Borneo territories should not join just as two States of the new Federation but in some way which would give more recognition to their identities and to their comparative size. We agree that it is important that the identity and prestige of Sarawak and North Borneo should be maintained but we consider that this would be achieved by maintaining a high degree of local administration and by allocating to them a quota of seats in the Federal Parliament which takes into account their size as well as their population.
157. There are one or two matters which we feel require special mention, either because we hold divergentviews from our colleagues or because they are of special signiﬁcance to the Borneo territories and are referred to in the record of evidence.
- Head of State
158. We recommend that the Head of State should be aippointed by the Head of the Federation acting in his discretion but after consultation with the Chief Minister of the State. His constitutional position should, we oonsider, be the same as that of the Governors of Penang and Malacca. In View of the strength of the opinions expressed to us in the Borneo territories, we consider it is desirable that the first Head of State after the transitional period should be a member of the indigenous races. We feel that thereater this matter should be decided by the State Legislatures.
- The Judiciary
159 The distance between Borneo and Malaya leads us to believe that it would be wise to maintain for the Borneo territories a separate High court presided over by its own Chif Justice, and we would recommend that appeals from this Court should lie to a Federal Supreme Court. It might be advantageous if Judges or the Malayan High Court could be made available to sit as Judges of the Borneo High Court and when required and vice Versa. We have recommended the appointment of a Working Party to examine the details of new arrangements which would be necessary including the method of appointment and removal of Judges in the Borneo territories, consequent on the new Federation. We cannot exclude the possibility that Brunei may be interested in this Working Party.
- Special Position of Indigenous Races
160. As we have recorded earlier, native witnesses in both Sarawak and North Borneo asked that, in the matter of special privileges and opportunities, they should be put in a position analogous to that of the Malays in the Federation of Malaya, The Chinese, while opposing any suggestion that this privileged position should be written into the Constitution, agreed that in practice the native races should be given, at least for a period of years until they reached a more competitive level, the Favoured treament which they have in fact enjoyed under the Colonial Government.
161. We ﬁnd this at difficult problem and various differing views have been expressed in our discussions of it. One of us feels that Malaysia as a whole would be better without constitutional provisions of this kind and that in so far as the Borneo territories are concerned, they are in contradiction with the policy of equal opportunity for all races, which has been the basis of British policy since the war, and that they are not in the best interests of racial harmony or of the natives themselves, who would more easily be spurred to competitive. effort without constitutional preferences. Me believes that better opportunities rather than privileges are required by the indigenous people of the Borneo territories.
162. The other British member considers that in the light of the existing provisions relating to Malays in Malaya, the native races in the Borneo territories could not be given less favourable treatment, and recommends therefore that they should be given analogous treatment to the Malays in Malaya provided it is understood that these provisions are not a permanent feature of the Federal Constitution.
163. If a decision is taken that the provisions in the existing Federation of Malaya Constitution in this regard should apply to the natives of Borneo, we recommend that the question should be reviewed after l0 years in the light of the progress made by the native races. We further recommend that the provisions should apply to those citizens who are regarded as natives within the meaning or the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance of North Bonieo (see Appendix D) and in the case or Sarawak those who are regarded as natives within the meaning of Section 3 of the Interpretation Ordinance, 1953 (see Appendix D). We recommend that the Ordinances in the two territories should be examined with the object of bringing them into line. it is to he noted that the provisions in the existing Federation of Malaya Constitution apply to Federal matters only unless State Legislatures decide to adopt similar provisions for State matters. We recommend that the some distinction should apply in respect of the Borneo territories.
164. We agree with our Malayan colleagues that an Advisory Board, as recommended by them in paragraph 190(h), will be required to advise on the interpretasion and administration of this complex and thorny subject.
- Representation in Federal Parliament
165. We have mentioned in earlier Chapters the strong desire everywhere expressed that the representation of the Borneo territories in the Federal Parliament should take account not only of their potentialities bill also of their size and potentialities. We strongly recommend that these desires should be met.
166, We concur in the proposals made by our Malayan colleagues in paragraph l90 (g).
- Allocation of Functions between Federation and State
167. While specific powers will be exercised by the Federation the residual powers will remain with the State and, suhieoi to general observations made earlier in this chapter and to the particular observations which roilow, we feel that the division or subjects between the Federal, State and Concunent Lists in the existing Constitution of the Federation of Malaya would provide a reasonable basis.
For the longer term we entirely concur in the proposals made by our Malayan colleagues in paragraphs 216 to 217. We suggest that in any final arrangement room should be left For Sarawak and North Borneo to borrow on their own credit and that sufficient revenues should be left in State hands to assure the service of such borrowings
Here again progress would have to be gradual in order to avoid constant disturbances, but alignment of the tariff structure throughout the Federation should be the final objective and a Joint Working Party should be set up as early as possible to study ways and means.
Shipping and navigation on the high seas and in tidal arid inland waters, and ports and harbours. are of great importance to the Borneo territories, particularly to Sarawak. Whilst we agree that in general these matters should remain on the Federal List we think that there is a case for distinguishing between large port and harbour works on the one hand, and jetties and smaller installations on the other, and we consider that the latter would be more appropriate to the Concurrent List. Where the dividing line should be drawn is a matter for an expert Working Party.
We consider that ﬁsheries are appropriate to the Concurrent List. On the one hand international complications sometimes arise which are the concern of the Federal Government; on the other hand there is the need to ensure that day—to—day administration is on a local basis and that traditional fishing grounds and local rights are fully protected, and this is properly the concern of the State Government
We think that some degree or concurrence may be appropriate is regards legislation affecting trade unions and labour disputes in the case or territories such as North Borneo and Sarawak, which are so far from the Federal centre. Similar considerations apply in the case of charities and charitable institutions, where responsibility for day-to-day dministration is very much a local matter and should clearly remain so.
We consider that the inclusion of this item in the Federal List would nor be appropriate in me case of North Borneo and Sarawak.
- Public Service
168.—(i) One effect of the transfer of a number of subjects to a Federal list and of the transfer of the departments dealing with those subjects from the State Governments to the Federal Government, will be that the officers of the Borneo services in those departments will come under the control of the Federal Government. We recommend that such officers should not be come transferable to other parts of the new Federation without their consent nor should the terms and conditions of the Federal service be applied to them, unless they opt to join that service and accept liability for transfer throughout Malaysia.
We recommend that officers of the Sarawak and North Borneo Governments in these departments who possess the necessary qualifications should be considered, if they so desire, for admission to the appropriate joint service provided that they accept liability for transfer throughout Malaysia.
169. Both in Sarawak and North Borneo the Commission were able to meet delegations from the associations and unions which represent the majority of officers in the senior and Junior branches of Government service. We were very impressed and encouraged by the responsible attitude of these delegations; although primarily interested in the future of the Government staff this did not conceal their real concern for the future welfare of the people of the Borneo territories.
170. One of the main attractions of the Malaysia proposals to the rural population of Sarawak and North Borneo is the vigorous programme of rural development in Malaya which has been given much publicity and has been seen and admired by the many people who have undertaken sponsored visits to Malaya. We are in agreement with the views of our Malayan colleagues in this matter (paragraph 220-223), and we recommend that at Development Board should be set up in both territories as soon as possible after Malaysia is formed with representation of the Federal and State Governments. These Boards should provide a focus for the continuation of the very valuable help which is being given in many ﬁelds by the Commonwealth Governments, by the Colonial Development Corporation, through the Colombo Plan and by various international organisations.
C.—Recommendations by Dato Wong Pow Nee and Enche Mohammed Ghazali bin Shalie.
171. The Commission‘s assessment of the state of opinion in the Borneo territories about Malaysia has been recorded in Chapter III
172. The conditions and saieguarcis asked for by persons in the secondcategory referred to in paragraph 144 therein relate mainly to privileges of natives and the protection oflegitimatc interests ofothers. citizenship. assurance on religious freedom, appointment of Heads of their respective States. and their eligibility to he the supreme Head or state in Malaysia, national and omcizil languages, immigration control, representation in Parliament, zccelcrttlcd programmes in economic, particularly, rural development and Ill education, and assurances on State rigltls, Everyone in this category expressed the wish that the expatriate officers now serving in Sarawak and North Bomco should be retained tirttit they, the Borneo people, could undertake the responsibilities or administration. This reflects their trust in the present. British offictals, whose advocacy or any plan for Malaysia would help to inslil confidence in the future.
173. support for Malaysia was very clearly expressed in North Borneo by the United Sabah National Organisation (U.S,N,O,) and the United National Kadazat-i Organisation (U N,K,0,) who command the support of the maiority of the natives, including those of mixed parentage, and some of the noitnaltvcs In Sarawak. the Party Ncgara (Panas), Baiisatt Ariak Jatr Sarawak (Batrjasa) and the Sarawak National Party (S.N P.) have come out verystrongtyinravottr or Malaysia Besides these groups, other organised nompolitiml groups like the Batisan Pcrnuda of Sarawak and native and Muslim Associations both in North Borneo and Sarawak have indicated their stlppbrt or the idea. Individual groups trim the interior and representatives oistrch groups as thosc which passed the Kapit Resolutions all have signified their acceptance or the concept olcloser association in Malaysia. A large number ofdelegations from organised representatives or local govcmmcnts also came out in layout or Malaysia.
174. We would also wish to draw particular attention here to the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (M.S.C,C.) which had gone very thoroughly into the subject and submitted its recommendations to its. We observed that nearly every aspect of the proposal was discussed by the Committee, which unanimously declared their acceptance oraiid stipportror Malaysia, and the vital necessity for its early realisation.
175. Some comments were made during the hearings or the Commission regarding the M.S.C.C., which was said to be non-representational in character. It was suggested that theii views should accordingly be disregarded. We find it difficult to accept this suggestion. Most of the participants were leaders in their own right either as leaders or political parties or as the accepted heads of their respective communities. The fact or their membership or the State Legislatures and in some cases, also oflhc Executive Council or the Supreme Council of the respective territories, remirtdzd us that the Governments concerned have placed high value in respect of theirjudgment and ability of their influence and leadership. Their opinions, therefore, demand serious consideration. 176. Turning lo the elements which are in opposition to Malaysia, attention has already been drawn in Chapter I to the attitude of the Sarawak United People's Party (S.U.P.P) in Sarawak, the United Party, the Pasok Momogun and irs splinter group, the Democratic Party, and the Liberal Party of North Borneo. Among the non-political groups, a large numbers of Chinese Chambers of Commerce, Clan Associations, Alumni Associations in both territories have come out against Malaysia. Their opposition springs mainly from the demand for independence. after the achievement of which, there was general readiness among some to consider the possibility ofcloser association with the Malayan and other Borneo territories.
177. The only organisation of any consequence with predominantly native support in opposition to Malaysia either in Sarawak or North Borneo is the Pasok Momogun of North Borneo, which advocated in line with the other organisations in opposition to Malaysia that independence should ﬁrst be gained before consideration of any wider federation in this particular instance, however, we have reason to believe that its opposition springs basically from a fear of domination by the Federation of Malaya and that the party would be more receptive to the idea of Malaysia if these fears can be set at rest.
178. Many other groups and individuals, usually from the more remote areas, have also expressed their misgivings on these lines. They feel that they are being rushed into some adventure, of whose outcome they are uncenain. Fear is the dominating factor among them —fear of Malay domination, fear of Muslim subjugation because of the proposal that Islam should be the official religion of the Federation of Malays fear of being swamped by people from Malaya and Singapore who would deprive them of the land and opportunities in Government and other enterprises, fear of the threat to their language and cultures and so on These are genuine and understandable fears. Bitter memories of their experience of civil and interncine strife, and of the unhappy relationship which they had with the former Brunei Administration have served to accentuate these fears. They are furthermore satisfied with the present colonial administration. and entertain expectations of more progress in the future.
179. In the course of the intervlews wiih them, we found their candour most refreshing and we were deeply impressed by the trust they showed for the present colonial administration, Nevertheless, they are not categorically opposed to Malaysia; they are merely puzzled and afraid, we feel therefore that it their apprehensions for the future could be allayed by positive assurances. and their misapprehensions of the scheme removed by patient explanations and tangible demonstrations, the bulk or these people would ﬁnd it possible to withdraw their oiryeoiions. We have no doubt that any lingering misgivings which they may have could be removed if the colonial administration could unequivocally commend the Malaysia proposals to them.
180. We are therefore left with the body of resistance to Malaysia which though small in number is extremely vociferous and active in character. This opposition springs either from an ideological identiﬁcation with the Communist cause, or an emotional identiﬁcation with Chinese chauvinism, or from an ardent belief in independence on their own on the basis of an ultra nationalism in the narrowest sense. Our estimation of their views whish we considered with great care must therefore be made within the framework of their basic attitudes.
181. The challenge posed by these different elements of opposition require different responses. We are confident that, if the response is satisfactory, the ultra-nationalists would realise that Malaysia is not contrary to their convictions and the chauvinists would reconcile themselves to the new structure. It would be an error of the gravest kind if these two strands of opposition, which require appropriate responses, were considered and treated together with the opposition of the Communist elements.
182. The Commission received evidence from a number of people, including officials of these two territories, to the effect that while a Federation of Malaysia is an excellent concept, it is premature and would be more acceptable and more successful if it were delayed for some years, the intervening period being devoted to active preparation for federation and to the development of a complete electoral and ministerial system. They advanced the arguments that the political and electoral systems in these territories are immature and that any other solution would fall short of the British Government's obligations in Sarawak as laid down in the Cardinal Principles and the reply given to the petition addressed to Her Majesty The Queen in 1959.
183. We accepted these submissions with the greatest respect for the spirit and sincerity with which they were made, but on the basis of our observations and study during our tour, we cannot find ourselves in agreement with these sentiments as it pre-supposes a lack of leadership of the necessary calibre among the people of the territories concerned.
184. We, on the other hand, were impressed with the quality of leadership shown both in Sarawak and North Borneo. In Sarawak there have already been elections and the Council Negri includes members elected by the people by a system of electoral college. Political parties are playing a vital role in the lives of most of the people. In North Borneo there has been an awakening of political consciousness in the most heartening manner since the proposals for Malaysia were enunciated. One of the most significant developments in these territories is the emergence of political leaders of high calibre with the growth of political parties. These are men of good sense and responsibility with high regards for the principles of democracy and freedom, whatever their views may be regarding Malaysia. We have no doubts that with the prospect of elections and political advancement in Malaysia, these trends will become even more intensified. Their relative inexperience in working a system of govern- ment within the framework of the Federation should not, in our view, be an insurmountable factor.
185. We are therefore convinced that the present leadership both in Sarawak and North Borneo is in a position to guide and lead their peoples not only towards responsible Government but also self-Government within Malaysia.
186. Indications have been given earlier to explain why the majority of the natives of North Borneo and Sarawak support the realisation of Malaysia as early as possible. It may be summarised here that they are motivated by the need to assure the security of the country as a whole from Communist subversion and to bring about accelerated progress in economic development, education, as well as better opportunities for participation in the political and commercial life of the country. We give further consideration to the question of economic development later in this Chapter. The non-natives who support the idea of Malaysia advanced the argument that, in the context of the present world situation, Malaysia offers the best possible solution to their problems. They are fearful that the Communists would find more fruitful grounds for exploitation if they remain in their present status. They are also aware from the experience of the Federation of Malaya that Malaysia would not jeopardise their legitimate interests.
187. Both natives and non-natives who support Malaysia have stressed to us that Malaysia must come about as quickly as possible since feelings were already running high between groups opposing and those supporting Malaysia. They feared the danger of racial conflict if there was unnecessary delay regarding the establishment of Malaysia.
188. We are in complete sympathy with this feeling and share their fears about the possibility of racial strife. We are also convinced that any delay would expose these territories and their people to dangerously disruptive influences both internally and from outside. We feel most strongly therefore that the transfer of sovereignty must take place within the next 12 months.
189. The view of the Commission has been recorded in Section A above that the Federation of Malaya Constitution could be taken as a basis for the purpose of the creation of Malaysia. The Federation of Malaya is the result of the formation of the Malay Protected States and the Settlements of Penang and Malacca into an independent Federation of States within the Commonwealth. The Commission's recommendations that North Borneo and Sarawak should be admitted as constituent States of the new Federation would in our view serve as a major political advancement for these territories. They will then be the constituent parts of a sovereign nation which derives its independence from the status of its constituent parts.
190. We turn now to a consideration of the constitutional provisions for the Federation of Malaysia under the following categories:
Our views are already indicated in Section A of this Chapter.
Our views are already indicated in Section A of this Chapter.
Our views are already indicated in Section A of this Chapter.
Our views are already indicated in Section A of this Chapter.
Our views are already indicated in Section A of this Chapter.
Our views are already indicated in Section A of this Chapter.
Earlier Chapters have recorded the strong desire everywhere expressed
that the representation of the Borneo territories in the (illegible text)ment should take account not only of their populations but also (illegible text) size and potentialities. We strongly recommend that these (illegible text) should be met.
The combined population of the territories is some 17.5 per cent of the population of the present Federation of Malaya and (illegible text) 14 per cent of the combined population of Malaya and Singapore (the population of Brunei accounting for about a further 1 per cent of the latter figure). The combined area of the two territories (illegible text) approximately one and a half times the size of Malaya (to which proportion the accession to the Federation of Singapore or Brunei would make very little difference).
We do not wish to recommend any precise formula for the allocation to the Borneo territories of seats in the Federal House of Representatives. We feel that this should be left to the Election Commission the membership of which should, we recommend, be increased by addition of a representative from the Borneo territories. We hope that in fixing their quota of seats the Election Commission will take account not only of the population of the territories but also of their area, their distance from the centre, and the difficulty of internal communications.
If, as we have recommended, the general request of the Borneo people is met that the people of Malaya and Singapore should not be allowed unfettered entry into their territories lest their way of life be unduly disturbed, we recommend that only those citizens who are normally resident in their territories should be allowed to vote and stand for elections in their respective territories for the Federal as well as the State Legislatures. Conversely, we consider that citizens who are normally resident in either of the Borneo territories should likewise be prevented from voting and standing for elections in any Federal or State elections outside their respective territories
We recommend that, in the initial stage, and until a more completeb electoral system is introduced, election to the Federal House of Representatives should be by the State Legislatures from among their own unofficial members.
We recommend that the number of unofficial members of the State Legislatures should be increased, in order to meet the additional duties which members will be called upon to undertake.
We recommend that representation of the Borneo territories in the Senate should also take account of other factors than population. We feel that it would be difficult to allot more than the normal two seats for election by each State Legislature, and we therefore recommend the addition of, say, eight (four to be appointed from each territory) to the number of members appointed by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong from persons who have achieved distinction or who are representative of racial minorities.
(h) Special Position of Indigenous Races
As recorded in earlier Chapters, native witnesses have unanimously asked that the native races of Sarawak and North Borneo should be put in the position analogous to the Malays ill the Federation of Malaya.
This demand springs from their Feeling that they should be able to
enjoy the concommitant privileges and opportunities which the Federal
Constitution affords to the Malays. and that any treament of them
different from the Malays would be anomalous.
The great majotlty were em liatic that this osillun should be
written into the Constitution. like Chinese, Wlll equal unanimity,
have opposed the siiggestion that this privileged position should be
written into the Constitution. though the great majority have ayeed
that in practice the native races should be given, at least for a period of years until they reach a more competitive level, the favoured treatment which they have in tact enjoyed wider the colonial governments.
We have found this an exacting problem. We have given the
matter our serious attention and we are agreed that the native races
in the Borneo territories cannot be placed Ill 3 position any other than
analogous to that ofllie Malays iii the Constitution of the Federation
of Malaya as both are generally regarded as the native groups in their respective countries On this basis, it would be inconsistent and
anomalous that the special position oftlte native races in Borneo
should not likewise be written into the Constitution or once written
that it should be subject to review separately from any review of the
pOSlIl0Il of the Malays as a whole This provision does not imply, of course, that the constilultonal definition of a Malay in the present
Malayan Constitution should apply to the native races of the Borneo
We recognise that the subject would he more Cmllpllcfiled in a new Federation than in the existing Federation of Malaya. In the new Federation it would not only be necessary to consider relations between the natives and the non-natives but also to hold a balance between the tlilTerent native races in the Borneo territories, and at the same time between the native races as a whole in the Borneo territories and the Malays in Malaya.
This special position of the native races, more particularly as it relates to special treatment in the matter of permits and licences in trade and business, would need very careful handling. We recommend that an Advisory Board, including representatives of the principal races, should be appointed in each territory, to advise on its interprelation and a minisimtion.
We recommend that the provisions should apply to those citizens. who are regarded as natives wiiliin the meaning or the Interpretation (Definition or Native) Ordinance of North Borneo (see Appendix D), and in the case of Sarawak those citizens who are regarded as natives within the meaning of section 3 of the interpretation Ordinance, 1953 (see Appendix D.) We recommend for consideration that the Ordinance in the two territories should be reviewed with the object of bringing them into line for this purpose and we suggest that it might he advantageous to widen slightly the application so as to include certain other categories.
It is noted that the provisions in the existing Federation o. Constitution apply to Federal subjects only unless State Legislature decide to adopt similar provisions for State subjects. We recommend that the same distinction should apply in respect of the Borneo tories.
Our views are already indicated in Section A of this Chapter.
191. In our present proposal the executive authority in each State shall & the 'Head of the State appointed by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agongafte consultation with the Chief Minister. In the exercise of his functions, excep those relating to his discretionary powers, he shall act only in accordance wit the advice of a Council of Ministers or Executive Council or Supreme Council, whatever the name may be, which is answerable to the State Legislature. The Head of State should be independent of any control from the Central authority, as are the present Rulers and Governors in the Federation of Malaya, with similar status and functions. There has been some suggestion that for North Borneo and Sarawak, the respective Head of each State should be elected. Wel think that it is sufficient if he owes his appointment indirectly to election, as is the case to-day in the Federation, where the Governor is appointed by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a period of years, and the appointment may be terminable after a resolution by a two-thirds majority of the State Legislature concerned. Although we have some reservations regarding the! appropriateness of the designation of Governor for the Head of the State in view of the possible confusion of his status and powers with that of the present Governor, we feel that any other designation, such as Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Yang di-Pertua Besar, may create an unfavourable impression that his position is not similar to that of the present Governor of Penang or Malacca.
192. In view of the present status of the two territories, some transitional arrangement will have to be devised for the appointment of the first Heads of these States on their admission as States within the Federation. It will not be possible to have a Chief Minister duly appointed without the existence of a Head of State. We have considered several formulae. On balance, however, the most attractive and practical arrangement to overcome the difficulty is for the first Head of State to be appointed by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on the joint nomination of Her Majesty The Queen and His Majesty, for a period of not less than two years, during which the provision in the State Constitution regarding appointment to the office should not apply.
193. It has already been noted in paragraphs 22 and 122 that the native population who are in favour of Malaysia have insisted that the Head of the State should be a native, reflecting their concept of the return of the power of Government from Her Majesty's Government to themselves and their anxiety to utilise what they believe are the political powers of the office to correct the imbalance of economic power between themselves and the immigrant races. We have considered this demand carefully. It would appear to us that a realisation that the office of the Head of State carries with it only constitutional position and an assurance of other means to improve their economic position within the country would reconcile the natives to the idea that it should be possible for someone other than a native to be eligible for the office. 194. Each State would also have a Chief Minister appointed by the Head of the State from among members of the State Legislature who commands the confidence of the House. Regarding representation in the State Legislature, while we feel that elections should be introduced as soon as possible, we are of the opinion that the present electoral college system should be maintained in Sarawak and that this system should also be introduced into North Borneo so that there would be as smooth a transition as possible from the present position to a fully-elected Legislature. We have already recommended in paragraph 190 (g) above that the number of unofficial members in the State Legislature should be increased on Malaysia to meet the additional responsibilities. Until there is a fully-elected Legislature we recommend that the State Secretary, the State Legal Adviser and the State Financial Officer should be ex officio Members of both the State Legislature and the State Executive Council, or the Supreme Council as the case may be.
195. The State would have its own Constitution and the Government would enjoy autonomy in those matters provided for in the IXth Schedule of the Federal Constitution and in such other matters as may be specially retained in the particular State concerned arising from the recommendations made in the following paragraphs. While specific powers will be exercised by the Federa- tion, the residual powers will remain with the State.
196. We now consider the Federal, State and current legislative responsibili- ties on the basis of the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya. In order to realise a strong, stable and united Federation and to meet the special circumstances of the entry of the Borneo territories to form the new Federation of Malaysia, we feel that the Central Government should exercise authority in the matters enumerated in the IXth Schedule subject to the follow- ing reservations and comments.
Our views are already indicated in Section A of this Chapter.
We recognise the importance to the Borneo territories, particularly Sarawak, of shipping and navigation of the High Seas and in tidal and inland waters, and of ports and harbours. While we recommend that in general these matters should be in the Federal List, we feel that a case may be made for distinguishing between large port and harbour works on the one hand, and jetties and smaller installations relating to river transport on the other, which latter we consider would be more appropriate to the Concurrent List. The detailed arrangements for this may well be an appropriate subject for examination by an expert Working Party.
We are agreed that fisheries (as defined above) should be in the Federal List. We would emphasise, however, that nothing should be done to prejudice the exclusive rights enjoyed at present by the fishermen from the Borneo territories in their traditional fishing grounds.
We are agreed that education should be a Federal matter. There is need, however, for a detailed examination of the problems connected with the integration of the educational systems and policies of the two territories and of the Federation of Malaya, for which we recommend the setting of a Working Party (Education). Details of this Working Party are considered in paragraph 230 below.
197. We have already expressed the view that Sarawak and North Borneo should be admitted as States as early as possible within the next 12 months. We believe that a mere blue-print however clear and firm the decision may be to put it into effect in full at some future date would only provide the oppor- tunity for disruptive elements, both internally and from outside, to render the scheme abortive. It will not be appropriate furthermore for the Central Government to assume responsibility for any matter concerning the territories until a transfer of sovereignty has been made.
198. We have made certain observations and recommendations regarding State, Federal and concurrent responsibilities, on the basis of the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya. On the basis of these separate responsibilities it is essential that with the transfer of sovereignty, the legislative and executive authority in Federal matters should also be simultaneously transferred.
199. We think that such a step is vital for the purpose of creating a complete, strong and single-minded Federation. A graduated constitutional and legal transfer of powers would only provide an opportunity for protracted delays as a result either of reluctance on the part of the State Government to transfer some of its powers or of the Central Government to assume the necessary responsibilities. The door will then be left open for destructive elements to impede the creation of a strong central authority by exploiting differences among various races and creating frictions between the Central Government and the States.
200. It would be an extraordinarily cumbersome process if both the State Government and the Central Government have to refer to their respective legislatures each time that a transfer of responsibility is to be effected. In any case, the subjects which are of immediate, everyday concern to the people, such as land, adat, agriculture, forestry, local government and other services of a local character, all remain in the State list.
201. The majority of the people în Borneo have expressed their desire for Malaysia and if they are not to be frustrated and disillusioned regarding those matters on which they have placed such emphasis, for example, progressive economic development, increased attention to education, upliftment of rural standard of living, and so on, the Central Government should from the outset be made to feel responsible for these matters and should be provided with the opportunity and the means to meet these rising expectations. This is particularly împortant in the immediate years after Malaysia. Such an arrangement would also avoid the difficult problem of having to work out some provisional devices to ensure proper and adequate representation and financial contribution from these States commensurate with each transfer of power as it takes place. We are convinced, therefore, on the evidence of our findings and of the hopes and expectations which the Malaysia proposals have aroused that any other scheme would not meet with the wishes of the people.
202. We are of course aware of the possible dangers of a complete break- down in the machinery of administration if immediate and precipitous steps are taken to transfer the Federal functions to the Central authority simultaneously with the legal transfer of powers. It is most important that there should be a transitional period during which arrangements for the transfer of functions. should be worked out carefully and gradually. We therefore strongly recom- mend that the Central Government having been legally and Constitutionally vested with the Federal powers simultaneously with the transfer of sovereignty, should immediately delegate to the Chief Minister of the respective States the exercise of as many executive functions as may be necessary for the maintenance of good administration. Whether by separate legislation or by using the relevant Articles in the Constitution, provision should be made to enable the respective State authorities to execute certain functions for the administration of specified Federal laws.
203. We would also most emphatically urge that there should be a general continuance of existing State laws which would become Federal laws on Federal matters after Malaysia, until repealed, amended or modified by the Central Authority, notwithstanding any conflict with the provisions of the Constitution. Thus, during the transitional period, nothing in the administration would change for purposes of ordinary business. The same laws would continue to apply and the same officials would continue to carry out the executive functions.
204. At least three subjects however must be excluded from such an arrange- ment namely, External Affairs, Defence and Internal Security. These are subjects of great importance in order to ensure a strong Central Government.
205. These transitional arrangements should continue for as long as it is considered necessary in order to avoid any breakdown in the administrative machinery. We recommend therefore that a Joint Working Party (Administra- tion) for each of the States should be appointed, if possible, before the entry of those States into the Federation, comprising an equal number of officials nominated by the State Government concerned and the Central Government respectively, and a Chairman to be agreed upon by the two Governments, for the purpose of examining and making recommendations on the manner and timing of the integration into the Federal system of the laws and practices relating to those subjects included in the Federal List. This Joint Working Party for each State should not be concerned with financial, fiscal and economic subjects or with the integration of educational policies or with those matters relating to the judicial and legal departments since these merit separate attention.
206. In view of the remoteness of the Bomeo territories from the Federal Centre we recommend that the Federal posts and services in these territories should be regionalised. When necessary and possible each Federal department should have a regional head in Borneo with sufficient authority to deal with local problems. We would advise that the titles of heads of departments should not be changed immediately and that suitable titles for these regional heads should be coined. It must be clear, however, that the control of the Federal Public Service throughout the Federation of Malaysia should remain with the appropriate Federal Service Commission which will have jurisdiction over all officers in services which become Federal services on Malaysia day. We would strongly urge that the appropriate Federal Service Commission should take steps to enable the exercise of any of its functions in the Borneo region by a Borneo officer of the Federal service or a Board composed of a representative of the Commission concerned and some Borneo officers of the service to which its jurisdiction extends. Internal control recruitment and promotion of Federal officers within the region should be carried out by such a Board.
207. We have dealt with the question of the transfer of powers and the need for the gradual transfer of functions from the State Government to the Central Government in Federal matters. The relationship between State Governments and a Central Government often give rise to various difficulties which require patient and careful adjustments. We have no reason to expect that they will be fewer or less difficult in this instance, but we are confident that on the basis of our recommendations and with a reasonable approach by all concerned these difficulties can in time be overcome. We would like however to make one or two observations which might be helpful not only for the purpose of meeting immediate requirements but also as a long-term and permanent arrangement.
208. As a result of the transfer of powers, certain officers connected with the subjects transferred to the Federal List will be regarded as Federal officers and their posts would likewise become Federal posts. This implies that their scheme of service and the regulations governing their employment will be subject to Federal arrangements. We feel, however, that an officer so affected should not be made transferable to any other part of the Federation without his consent nor should his terms and conditions of service be affected unless he decides to opt for the terms of the general Federal service. His promotion prospects within the area of his original service should likewise not be pre- judiced as a result of Malaysia.
209. Although it should, of course, be the ultimate aim that there should be uniformity in terms and conditions of service, we recognise that to subject the Federal posts in Sarawak and North Borneo to any general Federal arrange- ments immediately on Malaysia would present certain problems. For example, certain conditions regarding the recruitment of officers to the Federal Public Service for the existing Federation, such as the application of a quota system, may not be appropriate in the case of the Federal Public Service in Borneo. We think, therefore, that subject to any recommendation of the Advisory Board regarding the special position of the indigenous people which we recommended above (paragraph 190 (h)) and of the Joint Working Party (Administration), regarding the existing qualifications for appointment and conditions of service of officers who would become Federal officers in Borneo territories, the present practice should continue.
210. In the case of the uniformed services, we think that nothing should be done until after a suitable period to standardise their uniforms with the rest of the Federation and that in any case this should only be done if considered absolutely necessary. We regard this as particularly important in relation to the Police Force. 211. Occasions may arise, perhaps not during the early stages but at some future date, when it would be possible for Federal officersto be transferred from one State to another either within the Borneo region or throughout Malaysia. We would like to make an observation here that in such a situation the receiving State Government should be allowed to request for confidential reports of the officers concerned before deciding whether or not to accept them. We are aware that there is a convention of consultation in the Federation of Malaya between the Federal and State Governments. This should likewise be extended to the new States of Malaysia.
212. We have not dealt with the position of the State Civil Service because this does not raise new issues. We would, however, venture to suggest that the Bomeo States should not find it too difficult to co-operate with each other with regard to the sharing of employment of a State officer, e.g., Agricultural Officer. The principle we advocate is that wherever necessary such a practice may be adopted and the cost of employing such officers borne on a proportionate basis.
213. We would now like to turn our attention to the legal and judicial services, for which we feel that regional arrangements should also be applied. There should be one Supreme Court for the Federation of Malaysia with un- limited jurisdiction, appellate and original, throughout the Federation and in cases between the constituent States and between any one of the constituent States and the Central Government. There should be a High Court in the Borneo region with unlimited original jurisdiction in all matters arising in the area except those reserved for the Supreme Court. The High Court should also be a Court of Appeal. The domicile of the Supreme Court should be in the Federal capital but we think that its meeting elsewhere in the Federation whenever convenient would be well received. We also feel that it should be the aim to establish a uniform system of Magistrate Courts of different grades.
214. The legal and judicial services should come under the jurisdiction of a Commission, with the Chief Justice of Malaysia as the Chairman. We do not think that the Commission should deal with the appointment of Judges, who should be appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federation. Posting to individual territories, subject to our observations in paragraph 211 above, should be made by the Chief Justice of Malaysia in the case of judicial officers and by the Federal Attorney-General in the case of legal officers.
215. Obviously we are not in a position nor are we competent to go further into the details of the arrangements which may be necessary. But we have ventured to express our views because of our awareness of the need for paying special attention to these problems. We would therefore recommend that a Joint Working Party (Judicial) be set up with representatives of the two Borneo territories on the one hand and representatives of the Central Government on the other, equal in number and a Chairman to be agreed upon by the three Governments. We cannot at the same time exclude the possibility that Brunei may be interested in this Working Party. It would be its task to examine and recommend the manner and timing of the integration of the legal and judicial services into the Federal system. We would also urge that, subject to the recommendations of the Advisory Board on the special position of the in- digenous people (paragraph 190 ()) and of this Joint Working Party, the existing practice regarding recruitmeut, terms and conditions of service should continue.
216. In view of our recommendation that Sarawak and North Bomeo should be admitted as States in the new Federation (although with certain variations regarding their autonomy as against the other States), it follows that on financial matters the new States would be subject to the same arrangements as are applicable at present to the existing 11 States. It cannot be over- emphasised that in order that the Central Government should remain strong and able to bear its responsibilities, it should be vested with the necessary powers which can be applied effectively and promptly to ensure the maintenance of a sound and stable economy. However, in view of the novel situation in which these Borneo territories would find themselves as States in Malaysia, we think that certain unequivocal assurances and safeguards must be given by the Central Government. While it is accepted that those services which are transferred to the Central Authority would cease to be financed by the State Government, although administered by it during the transitional period, there must inevitably arise a feeling that much of the revenue earned at present by the State would be retained by the central Treasury.
217. State Governments are assigned revenue proceeds as specified in Part III of the Xth Schedule of the Constitution. These sources may be inadequate to meet the expenditure of the various State services which the Borneo territories would have to maintain and which they want to improve. In view of their remoteness from the Federal capital, these territories may feel that their require- ments would not be fully understood and sympathetically considered, We strongly urge therefore that a formula should be worked out whereby the new States would be assured of an annual grant such that the total revenue of the State after the addition of this grant would generally meet its total expenditure. The formula so devised should be flexible enough to take account not only of the need to maintain existing services but also of changing situations and thereby ensure provision for expansion and development in time to come. Some arrangement should also be made which could assure the Borneo territories that such of their establishment requirements as may need the concurrence or assistance of the Central Authority would be met as expeditiously as possible.
218. We would also like to consider the question of the power of the State to borrow. We think that the present arrangement existing in the Federation of Malaya is adequate. In general terms, the practice at present is that the State Governments may borrow with the approval of the Central Government. We are of the opinion that there should be some co-ordination of borrowing plans and efforts by the constituent States of the Federation. Such co-ordination will avoid competition between States in the loan markets in regard to terms and at the same time enable the Central Government to have overall res- ponsibility so that it will not unwittingly have the responsibility of rescuing a State which may be in difficulty at a later stage with regard to repayment of its loans.
219. We have advocated in paragraph 203 that the existing State laws of North Borneo and Sarawak should be inherited by the Central Government and regarded as Federal laws during the transitional period. It should be clearly understood however that during this period existing Federal laws and practices relating to taxation, trade and tariffs will not apply to these States. The exercise of functions in these fields may similarly be delegated to the Chief Minister. Procedures should be worked out whereby common tariffs and changes in tax structure would be introduced by gradual stages allowing for adjustments of the various differences in order to avoid any difficulties and undesirable consequences during the transitional process.
220. We therefore recommend that a Joint Working Party (Economic) should be set up for each of the new States with the task of examining in detail and of making recommendations as soon as possible regarding the timing and manner of the integration into the Federal system of the laws and practices relating to taxation, trade, tariff and other economic and financial matters in the States concerned. We suggest that the Joint Working Party for each State should consist of three members nominated by the Central Government and three members by the State Government concerned and a Chairman to be agreed upon by both the Central and the State Governments.
221. Great expectations have been engendered among the rural populations by the publicity given to rural development in Malaya, through sponsored visits to Malaya and otherwise. By the great majority of the population, who are little concerned with the developments of world politics, Malaysia will be judged by whether or not it delivers the goods in the form of rural improve- ments, schools, and medical and other social services. It is essential that, from its inception, Malaysia should offer, and be seen to offer, definite advances in these fields. It will be no less important to step up rapidly training schemes for young men and women for professional, technical and administrative posts, with the objective that the standard of technical skills may be raised and a firm basis provided for accelerated economic growth.
222. We recognise that Districts, Residencies and Divisions, and the States concerned in the Borneo territories should have the power to decide in the initial level the aims and the best methods of development in accordance with local needs within the framework of the national goal. We also recognise that it should be the responsibility of the Central Authority to formulate and implement an over-all and integrated development programme in the interest of national unity, utilising such resources as are available in the most efficient way. Such a programme may sometimes be beyond the resources of a single State and may cut right across boundaries of individual States. However, we are agreed that the Central Authority should not be allowed a completely free hand in this matter, which might give rise to frictions.
223. We therefore do not envisage for the Borneo territories, at least during the early stages, centralised planning in the strictest sense of the word. We would wish to see much of the present organisational pattern in North Borneo and Sarawak continue. We would also wish to see these local plannings coordinated and collated in a Development Plan for Malaysia enjoying advice and assistance in finance as well as technical experience from the Central Authority.
224. We have stressed the need for co-ordination because we firmly believe that the co-ordination of the development programme of the States is necessary to avoid any inconsistency and competition which may lead to wasteful use of resources. Some States should not lag behind others in economic and social development and we urge that the Central Authority should see to it that there will be an equalising of opportunities for development in all States, particularly in North Bomeo and Sarawak, and that they will be well provided with the necessary resources and technical knowledge.
225. In the field of industrial development, we are of the opinion that increased opportunities should also be given to these new territories of Malaysia and that every effort should be made to reduce any effect which the free play of economic forces may have of widening the gap between these States and the other more industrially advanced States of Malaysia. In this respect we would strongly recommend that there should be joint consultation between the Central Authority and the States concerned on industrial location to ensure that development will be well co-ordinated and distributed. Such co-ordination, we feel, is also vital in the efforts to attract foreign investments.
226. We are pleased to note in North Borneo and Sarawak that valuable help is being given in many fields by other Commonwealth Governments, by the Colonial Development Corporation and by such international organisations as the United Nations Specialised Agencies and the Colombo Plan. We also understand that there are non-Governmental bodies which are involved in providing technical assistance in these territories. We are most anxious that the flow of such assistance should not in any way be reduced by reason of the change of status of the two territories. We hope that the independent status of these States within Malaysia would facilitate a greater measure of assistance from Governmental and non-Governmental sources alike, and that the Central Government would see to it that the assistance and co-operation given would be channelled in their direction.
227. In the light of the objectives outlined above, to which we attach the greatest importance, we recommend that the Joint Working Party (Economic) should examine the subject in detail and devise appropriate measures by which they may be realised.
228. Before we conclude, we would wish to stress the importance of the contributions which British sources have made to the development of these territories and the necessity for the continuance of such financial and technical assistance. We would urge most strongly therefore that Her Majesty's Government and the Federation Government should arrive at some arrangement whereby North Borneo and Sarawak would continue to benefit from these sources. This may well be a subject which could appropriately be examined by the Working Party (Economic) referred to above.
229. We encountered strong feelings among the people of the Borneo territories that they should be given priority in education in Malaysia, primary, secondary and high level, and that the aim should be a parity of educational facilities and opportunities for them with the rest of the Federation. There was also a strong feeling that the present policy in education in each territory relating to the teaching of English and English as the medium of instruction should be retained.
230. We are agreed that education should be a Federal matter. This is particularly important in view of the progress in education which the Borneo territories expect with their entry into Malaysia. We think therefore that special attention must be given to the question of Federal scholarships and other educational training schemes both at home and abroad for the benefit of the people of these territories. Care should also be taken to ensure that the dialects of the indigenous people are preserved and that measures are introduced to enable the teachings of these dialects. At the same time we are anxious that due heed must be paid to the wishes of the people of these territories regarding the policies to be adopted. These many and complex problems would require close and detailed examination and we recommend therefore that a Joint Working Party (Education) should be formed for each of the territories to examine and make recommendations on the problems of integration of the educational systems and policies. Each Joint Working Party should be comprised of the representatives of the State Government and the Central Government equal in number and a Chairman to be agreed by both Governments. The problems connected with the administrative arrangements regarding recruitment, postings, terms and conditions of officers in the Educational Service should perhaps be left for the consideration of the Joint Working Party (Administration)
231. We would like to make some observations regarding the position of the present expatriate officials, including technical and professional officers in these territories after Malaysia. We have noted the high regard in which these officers are held and the unanimous expression of views that they should beencouraged to stay until they can be replaced by the local people. We are aware of the dangers that the administrative machinery and the various plans for development would suffer very considerably with the immediate departure of any substantial number of these officers. While we see no objection to the recruitment of officers from overseas to replace any vacancies which may arise out of the retirement of the present expatriate officers, we are reluctant to advocate the secondment of officers from Malaya or Singapore, unless there is a very definite request from the Governments of these territories.
232. In the course of the Commission's interviews, we have been encouraged by the responsible and reasonable attitude which expatriate members of the Public Services in Borneo have taken towards the Malaysia proposals. Their concern with any change in the terms and conditions of their service arising from the transfer of sovereignty with Malaysia is understandable and we note with satisfaction their willingness to consider serving in these territories provided satisfactory terms can be agreed upon, irrespective of the constitutional arrangements which may be devised.
233. In order to meet the concern of the present members of the Civil Serivce about their future we have attempted to provide for interim arrangement and for Regionalisation. However, we recognise that we are not in a position to go further into the ways and means about terms and conditions which would retain the services of these officers. We would therefore strongly urge that Her Majesty's Government and the Federation Government should direct their attention specially to this problem, with a view to encouraging the officers to remain in service in Borneo.
234. These are characteristics of the new Federation and of its constituent States, in particular, Sarawak and North Borneo, which we recommend. Fully mindful of the responsibilities placed upon us and in the light of our experience both before and after independence in our own country, we are confident that Sarawak and North Borneo are now ready to assume their new responsibilities and take their places as States with the Federation of Malaysia. We are equally convinced that the political and administrative arrangements which we advocate for these territories are fair to all concerned and the most practicable in existing circumstances.
D.—Summary of Recommendations in Sections B and C, and Comments, by the Chairman.
235. In Section A of this Chapter recommendations have been made on certain general matters. On some of them there is unanimity, and on others there is some divergence of opinion which can only be resolved by Governments.
236. For reasons explained in paragraph 145 it has been necessary to set out other proposals separately, in Sections B and C above respectively. Owing to the different views taken in the Commission about the phasing of the creation of Malaysia. many of these proposalsare seen by the British members of the Commission as objectives which should start to taken effect immidiately on the creation of Malaysia. Subject to this qualification, there is unanimity or near-unanimity in the Commission on most of these recommendations, which I summarise below:
Representation of the Borneo territories in the Federal Parliament should take account not only of their populations but also of their size and potentialities.
The native races in the Borneo territories should be placed in a position analogous to that of the Malays in the Constitution of the Federatian of Malaya. Ad Advisory Board should be set up, including representatives of the principal races, to advise on the interpretation and administration of these provisions. The Malayan members feel that the provisions for the special position of indigenous races should not be subject to review separately from any review of the position of the Malays as a whole. The British members, with whom I agree, feel that the provisions should be reviewed not later than 10 years after they come into force. One British member is opposed to any constitutional provision in this matter.
Special and urgent attention should be given to development in the fields of rural improvement, education, medical and other social services, and training of candidates for administrative and technical posts. The Malayan members see the proposals on development as an integral part of their whole approach. The British members concur generally in these proposals and suggest that, if their recommendation for a transitional period is accepted, development boards should be set up at the outset.
should be under the sole control of the State Government.
(b) On a number of other matters dealt with in Sections B and C there was full discussion in the Commission and general agreement, subject only to the method of approach and to certain minor divergences.
A separate High Court should be maintained in the Borneo territories and a Federal Supreme Court should have appellate jurisdiction throughout the Federation. A number of more specific recommendations are made on this subject by the Malayan members: the British members have preferred to leave most of the details to the proposed Working Party.
Somewhat divergent recommendations are made, reflecting the different approach on the question of phasing. It is unanimously recommended that in the first instance the appointment should be made by His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the joint nomination of Her Majesty The Queen and His Majesty.
Near-unanimous recommendations are made, with some divergences reflecting the different approach on the question of phasing.
The division in the New Constitution between Federal, State and Concurrent lists should broadly follow the lines of the existing Constitution of the Federation of Malaya. Amendments should be made to the list in the case of Shipping and Navigation, and Fisheries. The British members, with whom I agree, advocate that special consideration should be given to the question of Labour and Social Security, and that the provision regarding Welfare of Aborigines should not apply to the Borneo territories.
These matters should be on the Federal list, but integration of Federal and State practice should take place gradually and after careful study by a Working Party. Detailed arrangements are proposed by the Malayan members, with which the British members generally concur.
Education should be on the Federal list, but integration of Federal and State practice should take place gradually after careful study by a Working Party. The British members with whom I agree, stress the importance of maintaining existing policies regarding the use of English as a medium of instruction.
The Federal services in the Bomeo territories should be regionalised and officers should be appointed in the territories with sufficient authority to deal with local matters. I add a personal recommendation that, when expatriate officers are no longer needed for these posts, they should normally be filled by officers from the Borneo territories.
237. The British and Malayan members have both concluded that, on the lines of their respective approaches, a Federation of Malaysia is an attractive and workable project and is in the best interests of the Borneo territories. On the assumption that Singapore also joins in the Federation, I strongly endorse this view, adding that the inclusion of the Borneo territories would also be to the advantage of the other participants in the Federation. It is a necessary condition that, from the outset, Malaysia should be regarded by all concerned. as an association of partners, combining in the common interest to create a new nation but retaining their own individualities. If any idea were to take root that Malaysia would involve a "take-over" of the Borneo territories by the Federation of Malaya and the submersion of the individualities of North Bomeo and Sarawak, Malaysia would not, in my judgment, be generally acceptable or successful. I recommend that, in forthcoming negotiations, Governments should pay close attention to this point, both in its psychological and in its practical aspects.
238. The principal difference of approach between the British and Malayan members of the Commission, as set out in Sections B and C above, relates to the phasing of arrangements for the new Federation. I consider that a transitional period is most desirable. I agree generally with the arguments and recommendations set out in Section B, though I feel that the precise constitutional and other arrangements to govern a transitional period, and in particular the arrangements relating to Internal Security, must be matters for discussion between Governments. I urge most strongly that any arrangements made for the early years after Federation should provide for continuity of administration in the Bomeo territories and should not result in any weakening, either real of apparent, of authority in Kuching and Jesselton.
239. We were not required by our Terms of Reference to discuss these matters with the Government of the Federation of Malaya or to consider them in relation to the general situation in the area. I therefore recommend that the Governments concerned should discuss these matters as soon as possible in the light of the findings in this report and of the views expressed in the Report about the special problems of the years immediately following Federation. I regard it as vital that Governments should reach an early decision of principle, subject to debate in, and approval by, the legislative chambers in North Borneo and Sarawak.
240. I strongly endorse the recommendations that consultative machinery, including joint working parties, should be set up as soon as possible after a decision is taken to proceed with the Malaysia project, in order to work out the details of integration of the Borneo territories into a new Federation. 241. Finally, I underline what has been said in earlier Chapters about the gratifying way in which the peoples of the territories came forward to make their views about Malaysia known to the Commission. Apart from a few groups in Sarawak which took a somewhat aggressive attitude and were, as could be clearly recognised, under Communist influence, groups of all races and of every shade of opinion expressed their support, their opposition, or their doubts in a reasoned, thoughtful and constructive way.
242. We should not regard Federation of the Borneo territories as an alter- native which would offer prospects as attractive as Malaysia. Nevertheless we should see every advantage in closer association within a Malaysian Federa- tion between the Borneo territories. Progress is already being made in several fields, including Customs and tariffs. Closer association will be an advantage in itself and will also give useful experience for alignment of policy and practice in the wider Federation.
243. We recognise that great efforts have already been made in the short time available to explain the Malaysia proposals to the public. When this Report is published and when Governments have taken decisions of principle, these efforts will need to be redoubled. We suggest that every possible step should be taken to spread information as widely as possible through Press and Radio, and, most important of all, that extensive touring should be undertaken by Government officers in the native areas which they know best, at the risk of some interruption for a few months to the normal work of Government.
244. We should not wish to conclude this report without making an appeal to the leaders of public and political life-in North Bomeo and Sarawak, very many of whom we had the pleasure of meeting during our tour. These have for many years been countries blessed with great harmony in racial and personal relations. In recent months, partly because of the natural development of political parties, but more particularly because of the controversy arising from the somewhat sudden introduction of the Malaysia proposals, this harmony has been disturbed and there are unwelcome signs of division on racial lines, going so far as to prejudice long-standing personal friendships. Whatever decision may be taken about Malaysia, Sarawak and North Borneo cannot afford to allow these divisions to continue or to widen. We suggest to the leaders of public and political life that they could make no greater contribution to the future of the territories than by joining in a determination to arrest these tenden- cies and to re-establish the racial harmony which has distinguished the territories for so long.
THANKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
245. We have referred in earlier chapter to the arrangements made for us by the Governments of North Borneo and Sarawak. We shoild however like to add our personal thanks to the Governors and to the officers of the two Governments both in the Secretariats and in the several Residencies and Divisions, from whom we received kindness and invaluable help.
246. In particular we record our gratitude to Mr. D. C. Walker, for his work in connexion with our Sarawak tour, to Mr. Yao Ping Hua, who accompanied us on most of our tour in Sarawak and helped us in very many ways, and to Mr. H. George, our liaison officer in North Borneo, whose arrangements were a model of forethought and efficiency. Our thanks are also due our interpreters and we should like to mention especially in addition to Mr. Yao, Mr. Abdul Karim, our principal Malay interpreter in Sarawak, Mr. Ho Yu Lin, our principal Chinese interpreter in North Borneo, and, Miss Raiting B.T.E. Sunggak, a very talented interpreter in Malay and Murut.
248. Finally, we offer our sincere thanks to our Secretary, Mr. I.H. Harris, whose devoted services and tireless efficiency, often in difficult and unusual circumstances, have won our unanimous admiration.
|A. ABELL||||WONG POW NEE|
|D.C. WATHERSTON||||GHAZALI SHAFIE|
21st June, I962
|Travelling||Hearings held at|
|22||Kuching—Bau—Kuching (road)||....||(a) Bau|
|9||Jesselton—Lawas—Limbang (air and)||....||Lawas|
|Sunday||11||Limbang—Lawas—Limbang (river and air)||....|
|(1) Miri—Long Akah (air)||....||(1) Long Akah|
|(2) Miri—Marudi—Miri (air)||....||(2) Marudi|
|14||(1) Long Akah—Marudi—Miri (outboard and air)||....||(1)—|
|(2) Miri—Bintulu—Sibu (air)||....||(2) Bintulu|
|15||(1) Miri—Mukah—Sibu (air)||....||(1) Mukah|
|Travelling||Hearings held at|
|||26||Kabong—Tanjong Assam—Betong—Simanggang (launch, outboard, jeep track, and launch)||....||Betong|
|||28||Simanggang—Engkilili—Simanggang (outboard and launch)||....||Engkilili|
|||3||Jesselton—Papar—Beaufort (rail)||....||(Commission divides)|
|||11||Tawau—Lahad Datu—Sandakan (air)||....||(Commission divides)|
(2) Lahad Datu
(1) Sandakan—Labuk River— (launch and outboard)
(2) Sandakan—Kinabatangan River—Sandakan (outboard and launch)
|....||(1) Kolapis and Kg. Tungud|
|||14||Jesselton—Kota Belud—Jesselton (air)||....||Kota Belud|
(1) Jesselton—Singapore (air)
|||(2) Jesselton—Labuan (air)||....||(2) Labuan|
|||18||(2) Labuan—Singapore (air)||....|
Table 1 — TOTAL POPULATION BY COMMUNITY AND SUB-GROUP
|All communities||....||454,421||All communities||....||744,529|
|Other indigenous||....||79,421||Other indigenous||....||37,931|
|Other Chinese||....||8,768||Hailam (Hainanese)||....||28,304|
|Native of Sarawak||....||1,911||Indian, Pakistani, Ceylonese||....||2,355|
|Indian, Pakistani, Ceylonese||....||24,784|
|Natives of Philippines||....||7,473|
Table 2.——PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN POPULATION, 1951- 60
|Per cent |
|All communities||....||36.0||All communities||....||36.3|
|Other indigenous||....||28.7||Land Dayak||....||36.6|
Table 3.——TOTAL POPULATION BY AGE
|Total under 15||....||197,826||331,096|
|Total under 20||....||231,518||397,576|
Table 4.——RELIGIOUS PERSUASIONS OF THE POPULATION AS
RECORDED AT THE CENSUS OF 1960
Table 5.—LITERACY of Population Aged 10 Years AND over
|Total population aged 10 years and over||....||72,919||227,739|
| Dusuns aged 10 years and over||....||9,671||86,545|
| Muruts aged 10 years and over||....||1,504||14,452|
| Bajaus aged 10 years and over||....||2,810||31,978|
| Other indigenous aged 10 years and over||....||8,819||41,443|
| Chinese aged 10 years and over||....||38,158||30,691|
| Others (including Europeans) aged 10 years and over||....||11,957||19,630|
|Total population aged 10 years and over||....||124,420||367,903|
| Malays aged 1 year and over||....||20,989||64,514|
| Melanaus aged 10 years and over||....||5,471||25,186|
| Sea Dayaks aged 10 years and over||....||11,549||151,344|
| Land Dayaks aged 10 years and over||....||3,883||32,858|
| Other indigenous aged 10 years and over||....||2,827||22,684|
| Chinese aged 10 years and over||....||77,198||68,349|
| Others (including Europeans) aged 10 years and over||....||2,503||2,968|
A.—Secondary and University Education by Communities: Position in 1960 of Population aged 10 Years and Over
|Other indigenous||....||44||45||—||Other indigenous||....||3||7||—|
|European and others||....||1,048||103||187||European and others||....||547||64||334|
|All communities||....||2,318||317||304||All communities||....||2,829||394||548|
B.—Total Population aged 10 Years or Over Who are not Receiving, or Have not Received, any Education
|Ages 10-19||Ages 20-29||Ages 30 and over|
|North Borneo||....||611 per 1,000||724 per 1,000||822 per 1,000|
|Sarawak||....||525 per 1,000||729 per 1,000||861 per 1,000|
NINE CARDINAL PRINCIPLES OF THE RULE OF THE ENGLISH RAJAH
- That Sarawak is the heritage of Our Subjects and is held in trust by Ourselves for them.
- That social and education services shall be developed and improved and the standard of living of the people of Sarawak shall steadily be raised.
- That never shall any person or persons be granted rights inconsistent with those of the people of this country or be in any way permitted to exploit Our Subjects or those who have sought Our protection and care.
- That justice shall be freely obtainable and that the Rajah and every public servant shall be easily accessible to the public.
- That freedom of expression both in speech and in writing shall be permitted and encouraged and that everyone shall be entitled to worship as he pleases.
- That public servants shall ever remember that they are but the servants of the people on whose goodwill and co-operation they are entirely dependent.
- That so far as may be Our Subjects of whatever race or creed shall be freely and impartially admitted to offices in Our Service, the duties of which they may be qualified by their education, ability and integrity duly to discharge.
- That the goal of self-government shall always be kept in mind, that the people of Sarawak shall be entrusted in due course with the governance of themselves, and that continuous efforts shall be made to hasten the reaching of this goal by educating them in the obligations, the responsibilities, and the privileges of citizenship.
- That the general policy of Our predecessors and Ourselves whereby the various races of the State have been enabled to live in happiness and harmony together shall be adhered to by Our successors and Our servants and all who may follow them hereafter.
LEGAL MEANING OF THE TERM "NATIVE"
1. SARAWAK (Extract from the Interrpretation Ordinance, 1953)
"......˝native˝ means a British subject of any race which is now considered to be indigenous to Sarawak as set out in the Schedule:
Races which are now considered to be indigenous to Sarawak and therefore natives within the meaning of this Ordinance:
|Kenyahs (including Sabups and Sipengs)|
Kajangs (including Sekapans, Kejamans, Lahanans, Punans, Tanjongs, and Kanowits)
And any admixture of the above with each other.
2. NORTH BORNEO (Extract from the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance 1952, as amended by the Interpretation (Definition of Native) (Amendement) Ordinance, 1958
2.—(1) Wherever the native', used as a substantive, occurs in any written law in force at the commencement of this Ordinance, other than the Ordinances set out in the Schedule to this Ordinance, or in any written law coming into force after the commencement of this Ordinance, unless expressly otherwise enacted therein, it shall mean either—
No claim by any person to be a native by virtue of the provisions of paragraphs (b), (c), or (d) hereof shall shall be recognised as valid unless supported by a appropriate declaration made a Native Court under Section 3"
NORTH BORNEO AND SARAWAK GOVERNMENT PAPERS
- 1.—"NORTH BORNEO AND MALAYSIA" PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF NORTH BORNEO, JESSELTON, FEBRUARY 1962.
The British and Malayan Governments have agreed that the creation of a "Federation of Malaysia", embracing the 11 States of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei is a desirable aim. They have not gone beyond this. Before coming to any final decision the two Government agreed that it would be necessary to ascertain the views of the people of the North Borneo and Sarawak and decided to set up a Commission of Enquiry to carry out this task and to make recommendations. Within the next few weeks the Commissition will be visiting North Borneo for the specific purpose of finding out opinion in this country by an enquiry on the spot. Opportunity will be afforded for all shades of opinion to heve their say. It is indeed in everyone interest to take advantage of this opportunity as it will in the light of what the Commission recommends that the final decision will be taken. The people of North Borneo should now think carefully about the future of this country so that they will ready to express considered views to the Commission when it comes.
2. The declared aim of the British Government is to grant independence to all its Colonial territories as soon as they are ready fot it. Hitherto this has been thought of simply as independence for North Borneo standing itself, or, more recently, in association with Sarawak. But two stark political facts must be faced. These are:
3. Against this background, it is the view of the British Government that, provided satisfactory terms of merger can be worked out, the plan for Malaysia fers the best chance of fulfilling its responsibility to guide the Borneo territories to self-government in conditions that will secure them against dangers from any quarter. This is the overriding political argument in favour of North Borneo and Sarawak joining Malaysia. The British Government is firmly of the opinion that from the standpoint of economic development and in general of the future welfare and happiness of their peoples the best hope of the Borneo territories lies in their forming part of a larger unit. Economically as well as politically, small countries are rapidly becoming out of place in the stren- uous conditions of the modern world. Where nations are concerned, combination creates a unit that is much more powerful, more effective, more efficient and more capable of making life better for its members than the sum total of their individual strengths would ever suggest. By itself, or even in association with Sarawak, North Borneo would find it very expensive to exist as an independent territory, and its voice in the councils of the world would be small. The peoples of Malaya and Borneo have cultural, economic and historical ties which make them fit naturally together as a group. Malaysia offers for them all the prospect of sharing in the destiny of what the British Government believes will be a great. prosperous and stable independent State within the Commonwealth.
4. Within recent weeks there has been strong criticism, much of it analytical and constructive, in sectors of the local English and Chinese Press of the concept of Malaysia on the basis of North Borneo joining the Federation of Malaya as a State under the present Constitution of the Federation. As was made clear at the last meeting of the Legislative Council in December, the Commission of Enquiry is not committed to any detailed terms of merger already proposed, and there is no question of its acting as a rubber stamp for a decision already taken. In fact. as indicated above, no decision has yet been taken beyond that Malaysia is a desirable aim. Furthermore, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya. has given a number of assurances that his original proposal that the Bomeo territories should enter Malaysia as States equal in status with the existing States of the Federation of Malaya does not represent his final word on the subject. For example, in his speech to the Federal Parliament on the 16th October, he stated that in our future constitu- tional arrangements the Borneo people can have a big say in matters on which they feel very strongly, such as immigration, customs, Borneanisation, and control of their State franchise rights". In conversation with members of the North Borneo dele- gation to the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee he has made it abundantly clear that he has no wish to interfere in the internal affairs of North Borneo and is willing to consider sympathetically any proposals for the management by the people of this country of their own internal affairs.
5. There is clearly, therefore, room for manoeuvre in determining the extent of powers to be vested in the Central Government of the proposed new Federation of Malaysia. However, when considering what form these future constitutional arrange- ments should take, it is reasonable to take the Constitution of the present Federation of Malaya as a basis from which to start.
6. The present Federation of Malaya comprises 11 States, each of which has its own State Constitution and Government with certain powers reserved to it, the principal of which are control over local government. land, agriculture, forestry and State public works. The Federal Government controls external affairs. defence, internal security, civil and criminal law and the administration of justice, Federal finance, trade, communications, education, health, labour. co-operatives and Federal public works, to mention the most important. There is also a list of subjects on which both Federal and State Governments can legislate but the Federal law prevails if it conflicts with any State law. The list includes social welfare, scholarships, town and country planning, protection of wild life, sanitation, drainage and irrigation. The residual power of legislation rests with the State, i.e., the State retains the power to make laws with respect to any subject not specifically allocated to the Federal Government. Each State has its own Ruler or Governor or Head of State, and its own State public service. In short, the Constitution provides for a strong Central Government where the great preponderance of power rests, and which, in view of its wide responsibility, spends about three-quarters of the total revenues.
7. Assuming that the concept of Malaysia is accepted, the crux of the problem. which it will be the task of the Commission of Enquiry to solve, is to devise terms acceptable both to the Malayan Government and to the peoples of North Bomeo and Sarawak for the entry of these two territories into a new Federation of Malaysia. In any event, substantial amendments to the Constitution of the present Federation of Malaya will be necessary to provide for the merger with Singapore, the terms of which have already been broadly agreed between the Governments of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore.
8. It is necessary, therefore, for the people of North Bomeo to consider what powers they are prepared to concede in order to bring Malaysia into being. It is understandable that there should be widespread apprehension lest, in practice, Malaysia would mean that the people of North Romeo would have far less control over their own affairs than they exercise already, and that North Borneo would be relegated to the position of a relatively powerless province of a strong Central Govern- ment situated 1.000 milles away. It is natural. therefore, that the first instinct of the people of North Borneo should be to require a much greater measure of local self- government than is afforded to the States of the present Federation of Malaya. To press this too far, however, might not, in the long run, be in the best interests of North Borneo. It is fundamental to the concept of Malaysia that the Federal Government should be endowed with substantial powers; without them it will have no real or en- during strength and will fail in its purposes as indicated in paragraph 3 above.
9. It will be generally conceded that the Federal Government must exercise control over external affairs, defence and internal security. North Borneo would thereby have through the Federation representation abroad, participation in the armed forces of the Federation (which in due course would no doubt contain units from North Borneo) and overall Federal authority for the maintenance of law and order. There is. moreover. likely to be little argument regarding the transfer to the Federal Govern- ment of control over the Judiciary, which is at present operating as a combined Judiciary for the three Borneo territories, and such departments as Geological Survey, Audit, Health, Posts and Telegraphs. Marine and Civil Aviation (subject to safeguards for regional interests). Far less easy of solution are the subjects at present controlled by the Federal Government of the Federation of Malaya in respect of which there is strong feeling in North Bomeo that safeguards need to be imposed and a wide measure of local autonomy assured. These subjects include religion, language. finance, the public service, education, citizenship, immigration and land development. It will be perhaps the most difficult part of the task of the Commission of Enquiry to make recommendations which would reconcile local needs and wishes with what the Malayan Government is prepared to concede. But there is no reason to suppose that the task is insuperable, for, as a demonstration of the sincerity of his intention to interfere as little as possible with the internal affairs of the Borneo territories, Tunku Abdul Rahman has already agreed that immigration to North Borneo from the other States of Malaysia should be a matter over which the North Borneo State Government should maintain control, and the door is clearly not closed to proposals in regard to other subjects. It would, indeed, be against the long-term interest of the Malayan Government to insist on excessive control against the wishes of the peoples of the Borneo territories, which would over the course of the years build up resentment and discontent leading to a repetition within Malaysia of the internal stresses and strains which in recent years have become apparent within the framework of Indonesia, and, more recently still, have culminated in the secession of Syria from the United Arab Republic. It may well be found that, on closer examination, the gap between opposing conceptions is not as wide as might at first sight appear. For example, in practice. many aspects of the present education policy in North Borneo are broadly similar to their counterparts in Malaya, and, while acceptance of education as a Federal subject without strong safeguards clearly presents difficulty, it is hoped that the Commission will be able to hammer out an acceptable solution, Similarly, Malay is the national language of the present Federation of Malaya and it is the lingua franca" of the Borneo territories. In Malaya English is the main medium of education and is taught in all schools. The Constitution of the Federation of Malaya provides that for 10 years from Merdeka Day and thereafter until Parliament otherwise provides, the* English language may be used for official purposes. It has been explained that this period of 10 years or longer applies only to existing States of the Federation. A longer period could be applied to new States of the Federation of Malaysia if desired. Theacceptance of Malay as the national language would not prevent the use, teaching, or learning of any other language nor would it prejudice the right, of any State of the Federation of Malaysia to preserve and sustain the use and study of other languages. The question of language. like that of the other matters listed earlier in this paragraph, is one that will no doubt engage the close attention of the Commission.
10. The deliberations of the Consultative Committee have done much to clarify the position of religion in Malaysia. Islam is the official religion of the Federation of Malaya. Although Malaysia would have Islam as the official religion of the enlarged Federation no hindrance would be placed on the practice of other religions. Complete freedom of religion would be guaranteed in the Federal Constitution. North Borneo, which at present has no established religion, would not be required to accept Islam as its State religion.
11. There has been much concern locally at the prospect of North Borneo losing control of the greater part of its revenues and expenditure and of the rate of economic development being retarded rather than accelerated. The finances and economic aspects of the incorporation of North Borneo into a Federation of Malaysia are com- plex and will require expert examination beyond the scope of this publication. Just as North Borneo and Sarawak, however, have recently thought it advantageous to conclude a free trade area agreement, so may a larger common market provided by Malaysia be expected to help to produce some economic advantages to all parts of the area. Since Merdelca there has been very extensive capital development in Malaya, which would no doubt continue in Malaysia and from which North Borneo would benefit. Malaya is at present engaged in carrying out an intensive and rapid pro- gramme of rural development which, with adaptations, seems well suited to the needs of North Borneo and is indeed based on principles similar to those which are being followed here. Development in the Federation of Malaya is a joint subject (i.e.. shared by the Federation and the States) and each State has its own development board. With independence, grants from Britain under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act would cease. Britain has, however, been ready to give financial assistance when this has been shown to be necessary to, other Commonwealth territories after independence, and there is no reason to suppose she would not be willing to consider the case of North Borneo in the same way. Aid under the Colombo Plan would continue to be forthcoming as at present. Aid from other sources such as the Inter- national Bank of Development and Reconstruction, would still be available for North Borneo as part of the independent Federation of Malaysia. The local and international standing of the currency of North Borneo (the Malayan dollar) rests on the combined strength and viability of all the territories which would make up the Federation of Malaysia, and would not be impaired by their entering into a permanent association.
12. The probability of increased taxation in the event of North Bomeo joining Malaysia has also been a target for criticism. But on reflection this will be seen to be a probable corrollary of independence, whether or not North Borneo enters Malaysia and, if she should attain independence on her own, or simply in association with Sara- wak, the cost of paying for her own defence and representation abrosd would be proportionately heavier. Irrespective of whether Malaysia is brought into being or not, there is a growing demand for improved social services. communications, and development in the rural areas which is not to be denied and must inevitably lead to an increased burden of national and local taxation.
13. Of all the matters that will fall to be considered by the Commission of Enquiry perhaps the most crucial for the future well-being of the country is that of the Public Service. In the present Federation of Malaya there are two civil services, the Federal and the State. That there should be apprehension locally lest Malaysia should lead to Malayans taking over the best appointments in the North Borneo Public Service is understandable: but it has been made clear that these fears are not justified and, while control over the Federal Service would naturally rest with the new Federal Government, in all Federal Service appointments made to the Borneo territories the people of Borneo would be given priority. There would also be opportunities for Borneo Federal officers to serve in other parts of Malaysia and in external affairs posts over. It is clearly to the advantage of all that there should not be any breakdown in services caused by staff dislocations, and present serving officers would carry on in their posts. The progress of Bomeanisation of the local service would continue. There are special provisions in the present Federation of Malaya's Constitution relating to scholarships, training and civil service posts for Malays. Similar provisions could be made applicable to the indigenous peoples of Borneo. But the process of Borneanisation, however much it is accelerated, cannot be achieved overnight, and the need for overseas staff will continue for many years to come. This is recognised by Tunku Abdul Rahman, who has expressed the hope that they will remain to guide the peoples of North Bomeo after independence as they have done in the past. Arrangements will have to be worked out whereby they will be encouraged to remain in their posts while the process of Boreanisation continues on the principles already established.
14. When the Federation of Malaya was formed transitional arrangements were devised to permit the States to join the Federation gradually and smoothly. Similar transitional arrangements, extended perhaps over a longer period, will be necessary with the Borneo territories. The intention would be to cause as little dislocation in the daily life of the people as possible, and drastic immediate changes are not contemplated.
15. The main issue before the people of North Borneo is simply this. They must assess the future advantages of Malaysia; they must weigh up the prospects Malaysia offers of security from external aggression and internal Communist subversion, of stability and prosperity; and they must consider how far they are prepared to give powers to the Central Government of Malaysia to achieve these benefits. The Central Government must be strong and provide security; it must have powers sufficient for its purpose. But local aspirations and needs must also be recognised and safeguarded. The State Government must be able to protect vital local interests. Some there are no doubt who prefer no change in the existing order of things; to them the answer is that the" winds of change " are blowing and blowing hard, and no good can come out of refusing to face up to this fact, however unpalatable it may be to them. Some would prefer to achieve self-government first before entering into negotiations over Malaysia; this would indeed be attractive if there was a guarantee that the opportunity now presenting itself would still be there to grasp in a few years' time. But there can be no such guarantee. Events in the outside world are moving fast and unpredictably and the danger is that the opportunity, once missed, will not recur. It may indeed be a case of And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures". Those who would put self-government before Malaysia would do well to reflect on the consequences if the Malaysian ptan should come to nothing. Of one thing they may be certain, that there are forces in the world which will not be slow to take advantage of the situation.
16. It is hoped that this publication will help the people of North Borneo to understand the issues on wich the Commiccion will seek their views. It will be the task of the Commission in the light of those views to work out a plan for Malaysia which will be acceptable to the people of North Borneo and Sarawak. There is no reason to suppose that this cannot be successfully accomplished. The people of North Borneo will be given a fair hearing, and it is hoped that after listening to their representations and assessing what modifications of the present Federal Constitution are necessary to meet local conditions, the Commission will be able to commend a plan that will be worlable, endurable, and acceptable to all participants, not least the of North Borneo.
Jesselton, North Borneo.
31st January, 1962
- II.—"MALAYSIA AND SARAWAK" PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF SARAWAK, KUCHING, JANUARY 1962.
The British and Malayan Government have agreed that the creation of a "Federation of Malaysia", embracing the 11 States of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei is a desirable aim. the view of the British Government is that, is responbility to guide the Borneo territories to self-government in conditions that will be visiting North Borneo and Sarawak in the near future to ascertain the view of the peoples these two territories on this proposal and to make recommendations, It will be for the Commission, in the light of the evidence the receive to work out a plan which they believe will be accaptable to the peoples of both territories.
2. The object of this publication is to explain in simple terms what " Malaysia " means and to assist the people of Sarawak in making up their mind what views they should present to the Commission when it comes. There has already been much disscusion on this subject in the newspapaers, and there have been some very useful exchange of views in the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee, but there is general demand for a factual and objective exposition of Sarawak place in the Federation of Malaysia.
3. The declared aim of the British Government is to grant independence to all Colonial territories as soon as they are ready for it. Hitherto this has been thought of simply as independence for Sarawak standing by itself or, more recently. In association with North Borneo. Now an opportunity is provided for independence as part of a larger Malaysian unit. There are obvious advantages in this. In area Sarawak is not much smaller than the Federation of Malaya but its population is under three-quarters of a million compared with 7 million in the Federation. It would find it very difficult and very expensive to stand alone as an independent territory. The peoples of Malaya and Borneo have cultural, economic and historical ties which make them fit naturally together as a group. This is universally recognised and at the recent Solidarity Consultative Committee meeting at Kuching all the delegates supported the concept of Malaysia. What is more difficult to is decide in what way Sarawak can best fit into this concept.
4. The first thing to be clear about is that Sarawak is not merely being invited to join the present Federation of Malaya as one of the States equal in states with the other existing States of the Federation. The present II States of the Federation of Malaya will be merged in the Greater Federation of Malaysia and the Federation of Malaya as a political entity will cease to exist., This has already been partly achieved, to the extent that the Governments of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore have already agreed on the terms on which Singapore will join the larger Federation. The Prime Minister of Malaya has stated that in the future constitutional arrangements, the Borneo people can have a big say in matters in which they feel very strongly ". However, when considering what these future constitutional arrangements should be it is reasonable to take the Constitution of the present Federation of Malaya as a basis for which to start.
5. The present Federation of Malaya comprises 11 States each of which has its own State Constitution and Government cetrain powers reserved to it. the principle of which are control over local government, land, agriculture, forestry and State public works. The Federal Government controls external affairs, defence. internal security, civil and criminal law and the administration of justice. Federal finance..trade, com- munications, education, health, labour co-operatives and Fedealr public works, to mention the most important. There is also a list of subjects onwhich both Federal and State Governments can legislate btu the Federal law prevails if it conflicts with any State law-the list includes social welfare, scholarships, town and country planning protection of wild life, sanitation, drainage and irrigation. The residual power legislation rests with the State, i.e., the State retains the power to make laws with respect to any subject not specifically allocated to the Fedearl Government. Each State has its own Ruler or Governor or Head of the State, and its own State public service.
6. This Constitution provides for a strong Central Government where a great deal of power rests and which, in view of its wide responsibility, spends about three-quarters of the total revenues. The first instinct of people in Sarawak will be to require a much greater measure of local self-government than is afforded to the States of the present Federation. This is a natural instinct but it should not be pressed too far. To the extent which Sarawak demands a greater say in its local affairs it will have a lesser say in Federal affairs. This may not, in the long run, be in the best interests of Sarawak. We have been assured that representation in the Federal Legislature will not be based purely on population ratios but that account will also be taken of the extensive size and rural nature of the country. This means that Sarawak will have a larger voice in Federal matters than its population strictly warrants. All matters which it reserves to itself will have to be looked after by itself. Federal matters will be the responsibility of the Federation as a whole and will have the whole Federal resources behind their handling.
7. It is generally agreed that a Federal Government must have control over external affairs, defence and internal security. Sarawak would thereby have, through the Federation, representation abroad, participation in the armed forces of the Federation (which would certainly contain Sarawak units), and the Federal authority for the maintenance of law and order. What other Federal powers would Sarawak like to keep as State powers? The Prime Minister of Malaya has already agreed that migration to Sarawak from the other States of Malaysia is a matter on which the Sarawak Government can maintain control. The method by which this may be achieved can be devised by constitutional experts. If it becomes necessary for the development of the economic potential of Sarawak to have more people from other parts of Malaysia this will be decided by the people of Sarawak themselves.
8. It would be an odd Federation which did not have a common system of ad-
ministration of justice. Justice is at present administered in Saray by a combined
judiciary covering North Borneo and Brunei. The extension of this to a Federal
judiciary should present little difficulty.
9. Communications" is a comprehensive word which covers the transportation of people and goods by land, air and water and the transportation of messages by sinular channels. Postal. telegraphic and radio communications are natural Federal subjects, so are air, road and water transportation as between States. Air, road and water transportation within Sarawak might well however, be a matter in which both State and Federal Governments have functions and responsibilities. In other words it would be a joint subject.
10. Education is a subject which greatly exercises the people of Sarawak. It is also the largest single item in the budget of expenditure, and the item which is growing fastest. Education in Malaya is more advanced than in Sarawak but is developing on similar lines. The school-leaving age there is 15 and this year free universal primary education will be introduced. It may be thought that the quickest way to achieve parity, and to accelerate educational advance in Sarawak would he to leave this as a Federal subject with such reservations as local circumstances may require. This would not affect the present Government policy on the language of instruction in schools.
11. Health lends itself naturally into a division between State and Federal administration, as is at present the case in the Federation of Malaya.
12. It would be desirable that labour legislation should be uniform. Generally speaking, Sarawak is less advanced in this sphere than Malaya and could therefore benefit much from Federal experience.
13. The financial and economic aspects of the incorporation of Sarawak into a Federation of Malaysia are complex and will require expert examination beyond the scope of this paper. Just as North Borneo and Sarawak have recently found it advantageous to conclude a free trade area agreement so will the larger free trade area of Malaysia help to develop the economy by providing a bigger home market for local products. A unit of 10 million people is obviously more viable economically than a unit of 1 million. Sarawak is short of capital. There has recently been very extensive capital investment in Malaya which would no doubt continue.in Malaysia and from which Sarawak would benefit. At the recent Consultative Committee meet- ing the Malayan Delegation has stated that the rate of economic and capital develop- ment of the Borneo territories as part of Malaysia would be faster than at present. Malaya has an intensive and rapid programme for rural development which, with adaptation, seems well suited to the needs of Sarawak. Development is a joint subject (.e., shared by the Federation and the States) and each State has its own development board. With independence, grants from Britain under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act would cease. Britain has been ready to give financial assistance, when this has been shown to be necessary, to other Commonwealth territories after independence and there is no reason to suppose she would not be willing to consider the case of Sarawak in the same way. Aid under the Colombo Plan would continue to be forthcoming as at present. Aid from other sources, such as the International Bank of Development and Reconstruction would be directly available to the Federa- tion of Malaysia as an independent territory. It is important for the individual and for businessmen to remember also that the local and international standing of the currency of Sarawak (the Malayan dollar) rests on the combined strength and viability of all the territories which would make up the Greater Federation and would be secured by entering into a permanent association.
14. On the other hand there would be additional expenses. Sarawak would have to bear its share of the cost of Federal representation abroad and of defence-it would have to do that anyway when independent, and it will be less as part of a larger unit than of a small one. Taxation in some categories is higher in the present Federa- tion of Malay than in Sarawak. The probability is that as part of Malaysia national taxes as distinct from State and local taxes in Sarawak would have to go up. The Financial Secretary. in his recent budget speech, has said that this is inevitable even if Sarawak continues for the time being as a colony. Improved services and communications have to be paid for and the price of independence is invariably a bigger budget. 15. People have wondered whether the fact that Islam is the official religion of the Federation of Malaya would affect religious freedom in Sarawak as part of Malaysia. This has been clarified at the recent Consultative Committee meeting. Although Malaysia would have Islam as the official religion of the enlarged Federation there would be no hindrance placed on the practice of other religions. Complete freedom of religion would be guaranteed in the Federal Constitution. Sarawak has at present no established religion and it would not be required to accept Islam as its State religion.
16. The matter of a national language was also discussed in the Consultative Committee. Malay is the national language of the present Federation of Malaya and it is the lingua france of this region. The Constitution provides that for 10 years from Merdeka Day and thereafter until Parliament otherwise provides, the English language may be used for official purposes. It has been explained that this period of 10 years or longer relates only to the existing States of the Federation, A longer period could be applied to new States of the Federation of Malaysia if desired. The acceptance of Malay as the national language would not prevent the use, teaching or learning of any other language nor would it prejudice the right of any State of the Federation of Malaysia to preserve and sustain the use and study of other languages.
17. As part of Malaysia there would be two civil services functioning in Sarawak. The State service, over which Sarawak would have complete control, and the Federal service. Control over the latter would naturally have to rest with the new Federal Government but in all Federal service appointments made to the Borneo territories the people of Borneo would be given priority. There would also be opportunities for Bornean Federal officers to serve in other parts of Malaysia and in external affairs posts overseas. Clearly it would be to no one's advantage that there should be any breakdown in services caused by staff dislocations, and present serving officers would carry on in their posts. The progress in Borneanisation of the local service would continue. There are special provisions in the present Federation of Malaya's Constitution relating to scholarships, training and civil service posts for Malays. There could be similar provisions applying to the indigenous peoples of Borneo. The services of overseas officers will still be needed and it will be necessary to devise arrangements whereby they will be encouraged to remain in their posts while the process of localisation continues on the principles already established.
18. The question which the average kampong and longhouse dweller is most likely to ask is "How will I be affected if Sarawak joins Malaysia?" He will not notice any immediate change. When the Federation of Malaya was formed transitional arrangements were devised to permit the States to join the Federation gradually and smoothly. Similar transitional arrangements will be necessary with the Borneo territories. In the long term he may expect to reap the benefits of partnership in a vigorous, young community of independent peoples. If he finds the idea of Sarawak joining Malaysia still too novel he should stop to ask himself a second question, "What is the alternative?" Independence will come to Sarawak within a measurable period of years. This is promised and inevitable. The present state of world opinion suggests that the period will be shorter rather than longer than we anticipate. This opportunity to attain independence by joining Malaysia is unlikely to recur and Sarawak may be left with no other alternative than a perilous existence as a small defenceless country in a large and predatory world.
19. This paper has endeavoured to set out the framework of the Federation and to direct attention to the special interest Sarawak has in such matters as religion, land development, migration, education, language and the civil service, and to indicate a approach to the solution of such problems with the intention of assisting the public to put to the Commission constructive proposals for acceptable plan.
4th January, 1962.
The following Memorandum, dated 3rd February, 1962, was submitted by the chairman of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee on 23rd February, 1962, for the consideration of the Commission of Enquiry.
MALAYSIA SOLIDARITY CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE MEMORANDUM ON MALAYSIA
The statement made on the 27th May, 1961, by the Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya, Y.T.M. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, on the concept of Malaysia at a Press Luncheon in Singapore sparked off a lively interest in Malaya, Singapore, and the Borneo territories in the idea of Malaysia resulting in all manner of speculation on what plan and form Malaysia might take. While views welcoming the proposal were expressed in the territories concerned, the idea of Malaysia became the target of serious criticisms from certain quarters. In view of the indeterminate way in which the subject of necessity had been launched, there was uncertainty in the minds of many of the people, particularly in the Borneo territories. However, one point was clear; few could claim to be apathetic to this vital subject.
Formation of Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee
2. Malaysia was first jointly discussed by the leaders of the Borneo territories, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association regional meeting which was held in Singapore in July 1961. During the Conference, misgivings regarding local interests were expressed and views exchanged. As a result of a preliminary examination, delegations from North Borneo and Sarawak took the initiative to propose the formation of a Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Their joint statement said inter alia" we have decided to form a Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee consisting of representatives from each of the five territories. The object of the Consultative Committee would be to continue the explanations and discussions initiated at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and ensure that the impetus given to Malaysia is not slowed down.. What emerged clearly from the conference (C.P.A.) was that the delegates who shape and mould public opinion in their respective territories were convinced both of the necessity and inevitability of Malaysia.",
Aims and Objects of M.S.C.C.
3. The aims and objects of the Committee as formulated and agreed upon at its first meeting in Jesselton on the 24th August, 1961, are:
- (a) To collect and collate views and opinions concerning the creation of Malaysia consisting of Brunei. North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak. Singapore and the Federation of Malaya.
- (b) To disseminate information on the question of Malaysia.
- (c) To initiate and encourage discussions on Malaysia; and
- (d) To foster activities that would promote and expedite the realisation of Malaysia.
4. The Committee met four times, namely, in Jesselton on the 21st August, 1961, in Kuching on the 18-20th December, 1961, in Kuala Lumpa on the 6th-8th January, 1962, and in Singapore on the Ist-3rd February, 1962.
5. Brunei did not participate at the Jesselton meeting but attended as observers during the Kuching, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore meetings.
Concept of Malaysia Supported
6. At these meetings delegations submitted reports on the progress made by them in their respective territories with regard to explaining and furthering the concept of Malaysia among the people. The Committee, while reiterating its acceptance of and support for the concept of Malaysia, recognised the need for the widest dis- semination of all information relating to Malaysia among the peoples of the territories so that all would appreciate the vital necessity of the realisation of Malaysia as soon as possible. Not Unitary
7. In view of the fact that all delegations acknowledge the desirability that all component States should retain their identity and autonomy, the possibility of Malaysia being formed as a unitary State was never considered.
8. The Committee envisaged an association of several sovereign States with a central organ invested with powers directly over the citizens of the member State and in certain defined circumstarices over the member States themselves. There would be a Central Government and also State Governments, but from the view-point of international law, the collection of States forming the Federation would be recognised as one Sovereign State within the family of nations.
Strong Central Government Vital
9. The Committee in the course of its deliberations has come to the conclusion that External Affairs, Defence and Security of Malaysia should be vested in the Central Government and it also supports the objective of an effective Central Govern- ment as vital to sustain Malaysia. Accordingly, the Committee arrives at the only logical answer that Malaysia should be in the form of a Federation. And, in view of the special problems relating to Singapore, the Committee appreciates the need for special arrangements for Singapore. It was agreed that, like Singapore, the three Borneo territories should have certain local safeguards-in the case of the Borneo territories, in respect of such subjects, for example, control of migration, Borneanisation and special provisions for taxation, customs and other fiscal matters to ensure that the less developed economy of the Bomeo territories is not suddenly upset by the application of a unified Malaysian customs and excise duty and other national taxation but should only be made uniformgradually as the development of the economy of these territories progresses-but could otherwise be placed on equal footing with the other States of the present Federation of Malaya.
Wishes of People Respected
10. The Committee. of course. is of the opinion that whatever safeguards might be provided for the Borneo territories must conform with the expressed wish of the Borneo people themselves but that such arrangements should not prejudice the principle of a strong Central Goverment or curtail the fundamental liberties of the nationals of the Federation of Malaysia.
11. The Government notes with satisfaction the Heads of Agreement negotiated between the Governments of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore for the merging of the State in the Federation of Malaysia.
Status of Brunei
11a. The Committee recognises the fact that Burnei is a self-governing State and not a colony as in the case of Sarawak and North Borneo, that the Commission of Enquiry's jurisdiction does not extend to Brunei and that the State is competent to negotiate direct with the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Federation of Malaya.
12. There is no doubt in the mind of the Committee that, from the international point of view, sovereignty rests with the Federation of Malaysia. Thd Committee accepts the principle that the Federation of Malaysia should have a constitutional Head of State and there is no reason to discontinue the system of the appointment of Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The sovereignty of the Ruler of each State of the Federation of Malaysia will be guaranteed. Within the concept of Malaysia the Sultan of Brunei will be eligible for nomination to be Supreme Head of the Federation while Sarawak and North Borneo will each have a Head of State. Each State will have a Constitution of its own and its powers defined. Islam as the Religion of the Federation and Religious Freedom
13. The Committee directed a great deal of its attention to the question of Islam as the religion of the Federation. It is satisfied that the acceptance of Islam as the religion of the Federation would not endanger religious Freedom within Malaysia nor will it make Malaysia a State less secular. The present Constitution of the Federation of Malaysia, which would serve as the basis of the new Federation, has adequately guaranteed that other religions can be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation. Every person will have the right to profess and practise his religion. No person will be compelled to pay any special tax for purposes of a religion other than his own. Every religious group will be assured of its right to manage its own religious affairs to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes and to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with the law. There would be freedom to establish and maintain institution for religious education. No person in the Federation of Malaysia will be required except in accordance with the laws of his own religion, to receive instruction, or take part in any ceremony or act of worship of any religion. All these rights which are in fact universally enjoyed at present in the Federation of Malaya will be enshrined in the Constitution of the Federation of Malaysia.
Islam in Relation to a State within the federation
14. The Committee examined the position of Islam in relation to a State other than a Malay State and finds no objection to the present arrangement for Penang and Malacca being adopted in the future States of Sarawak and North Borneo, and Singapore. Each of these States will have in its Contitution provision for confering on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the position of Head of the Muslim religion in the State whose legislature would make laws for regulating Muslim religious affairs for constituting a coucil to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in matters relating to the Muslim religion. The Committee obseves that in pratice these three territories are already to some extent concerning themselves with affairs of Muslim religion and the adoption of this principle on a formal basis would present no difficulty.
15. The present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya has firmly established constitutional guarantees for the people. The Committee has taken it for granted that these provisions in the Constitution safeguarding the fundamental liberties of the people of the Federation of Malaya would be extended to the people of the Federation of Malaysia whose rights could be enforced by the courts which could countermand and invalidate any attempt to undermine any of those rights whether by legislative or executive action or otherwise
Elections of Representatives to the Federation Parliament and State Legislature
16. In view of the fact that political advancement in the Bomeo territories is at the moment in varying stages of development, the Committee is convinced that it would not be possible to apply at once on merger the general practice adopted in the Federa- tion of Malaya regarding elections to the Federal Parliament and State Legislatures. The Committee is of the opinion that, although the pace of these developments should be accelerated, no precipitate step should be taken lest some unforeseen and un- desirable consequences might ensue. The Committee therefore appreciates the suggestion that for the time being in Sarawak the electoral college system may be retained under Malaysia for the State Legislature and the representatives for the Federal Parliament may be elected by the Council Negri from among its members. In the case of North Borneo, the question of representation to the State Legislature and the Federal Parliament should be a matter for consideration by the Commission of Enquiry.
The Chief Executives
17. With regard to the appointment of the chief executive of the State. namely, the Chief Ministers in North Borneo and Sarawak respectively, the Committee has not applied its mind on how this should be effected. Undoubtedly the Chief Minister will be someone who has the support of the State Legislature. It will be his respon- sibility to select persons from among the members of the State Legislature to assist and advise him as members of the Executive Council or the Supreme Council, as the case may be. Brumei is in somewhat a different position and it is envisaged that until a new Constitution is introduced and other arrangements made, the Mentri Besar, members of the State Legislature, as well as the Executive Council, will continue to be appointed in accordance with the present arrangements.
Direct Elections for Future Consideration
18. It is accepted that these arrangements in the Borneo territories must necessarily be temporary in nature and should not be allowed to continue indefinitely if these territories are to keep in step with the other States of Malaysia in their political advancement. As soon as possible, consideration should be given to the desirability of introducing at the proper time the system of direct elections in respect of State and Federal representatives.
Adequate Representatuon in Parliament
19. In regard to the question of representation in the Federal Parliament, the Committee is satisfied with the assurance that the Borneo territories would be given adequate representation and that the universal democratic practice of giving weightage to representation for less densely populated areas would be adopted. The present arrangement in the Federation of Malaya regarding the appointment and election of members of the Senate should be adopted for the new States of Malaysia.
20. The Committee accepts the view that the Federation of Malaysia should have a national language and places no objection to the adoption of the national language of the present Federation of Malaya, Singapore and Brunei which is also the lingua franca of this region. The Committee is aware that in the present Federation of Malaya Constitution it is provided that for 10 years from Merdeka Day the English language may be used for official purposes. However, Parliament may also provide that the period be extended. In any case this period of 10 years is applicable to the Federation of Malaya and it is reasonable to expect that this period should only apply to the new States of the Federation of Malaysia with effect from the day Malaysia comes into being. The Committee is satisfied with the assurance that this period would be extended if so desired and the acceptance of Malay as the national language would in no way prevent the use, teaching or learning of any other language nor would it prejudice the right of any State of the Federation of Malaysia to preserve and sustain the use and study of other languages.
Position of English
21. English as an international language would maintain its place in Malaysia.
English as Medium Instruction
22. It has been very much in the minds of the people of Sarawak and North Borneo that the acceptance of Malay as the national language might create problems relating to the policy of making English as the medium of instruction in schools. There has been uncertainty of the rule of English in schools in the Bomeo territories. The Committee welcomes and accepts the explanation that the use of English as medium of instruction in schools will in no way conflict with the acceptance of Malay as the national language of Malaysia.
Complete Intergration Desirable
22. It has been very much in the minds of the people of Sarawak and North Borneo that the acceptance of Malay as the national language might create problems relating to the policy of making English as the medium of instruction in schools. There has been uncertainty of the rule of English in schools in the Bomeo territories. The Committee welcomes and accepts the explanation that the use of English as medium of instruction in schools will in no way conflict with the acceptance of Malay as the national language of Malaysia.
24. The Committee dealt very extensively with the question of immigration into the Borneo territories. While the concept that the Central Government should be responsible for immigration is acceptable in view of the excellent control and fortun- ately similar laws that exist to-day in the Bomeo territories, Singapore and Malaya. it is a matter of great apprehension to the delegations from the Borneo territories that there might be free movements from Singapore and the peninsula into the Bomeo territories. At the moment these territories are very sparsely populated and therefore may attract settlers from the over-crowded and densely populated areas of Singapore and the peninsula States. The Borneo territories are anxious to protect their lands, trade and employment from being taken up by people from the other parts of Malaysia. They are also anxious to see that no undesirable elements from other parts of Malaysia are allowed entry into the Bomeo territories, and noted that there are now adequate security arrangements for this purpose.
25. The Committee is not oblivious of the fact that if the future States of Bomeo desire quick progress and development they will need to attract labour and technical men and these should be obtained at reasonable rates. However, in fairness to the Bomeo territories the Committee feels that the territory concerned should be given an opportunity to determine the rate and scope of development it may wish to adopt, having taken into account the population problem such development may create and at the same time keeping in step with the general tenor and trend of the general development of the whole Federation of Malaysia in accordance with the national plan. There are of course certain safeguards which are available to the States in view of their autonomy in matters of land, agriculture and the machinery of State government and control over local governments. The adoption of certain policies in regard to these matters can have the effect of discouraging or even preventing the migration of people into these States. But the Bomeo territories will not be completely happy unless they are provided with constitutional safeguards.
Control to be Devised
26. The Committee therefore welcomes the statement from the Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya that he is extremely sympathetic with the view of the Bornco delegations in this matter. The Committee is therefore satisfied with the assurance that there would be no unimpeded migration into the Borneo States from the other States of Malaysia and the constitutional provisons whereby such control will be affected can be devised by constitutional experts.
27. The Committee dealt with the question of citizenship at some length since this subject is of paramount importance to the peoples concerned. The position is further complicated in that the people of the Borneo territories, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya are governed by distinct and different citizenship and nationality laws. The Committee has noted that with regard to Singapore there is already an under- standing reached with the Government of the Federation of Malaya whereby on merger all Singapore citizens and Federation of Malaysia citizens would automatically acquire Federation of Malaysia nationality and will, as nationals, have equal rights, carry the same passport, enjoy the same protection and be subject to equal duties and responsibilities under the Constitution of the Federation of Malaysia. The Committee agrees with the view that there should be a single Malaysian nationality.
Brunei Subjects as Citizens of Malaysia
28. With regard to Brunei the Committee is satisfied with the proposal that a subject of His Highness the Sultan should automatically become à citizen of the Federation of Malaysia.
Position of British Subjects Permanently Resident in Sarawak and North Borneo
29. In the case of North Bomeo and Sarawak the Committee has accepted the formula that on the date on which the Federation of Malaysia comes into existence, every British subject born in either Sarawak or North Borneo or naturalised before that date will become a citizen of the Federation of Malaysia, provided he is per- manently resident on that date in the territory in which he was born or naturalised or in one of the other territories of Malaysia. Person Absent
30. However, subject to paragraph 33, no person shall become a citizen of the Federation of Malaysia on the appointed day who has been absent from the territories comprising the Federation of Malaysia for a period of seven years upwards immediately prior to the appointed day.
Position of British Subjects not Permanently Resident
31. A British subject born before that day in either Sarawak or North Borneo, whose father was himself born in the same territory or was a permanent resident of the territory concerned, will also be entitled to Federal citizenship. The word "father referred to means father by blood but not by adoption of a child.
32. A suggestion was made that a person shall be deemed to be "permanently resident" in a territory who has completed a continuous period of 15 years residence in that territory. This presumption would not of course exclude persons who have not completed the specified period from establishing permanent residence. The period it is felt, would be a matter for consideration by the Commission of Enquiry.
Continuity of Residence
33. In calculating the period of residence, periods of absence which are not incon- sistent with essential continuity of residence should not be taken into account. The Comminee appreciates that the question of "permanent residence" is a judicial matter and acknowledges the fact that in practice it is subject to a liberal interpretation which would prevent any miscarriage of justice in cases where a citizen lives abroad but maintains substantial connexion with his home in the territory concerned.
Citizenship by Registration, etc.
34. The Committee is generally satisfied with the proposal that the provisions of the present Federal Constitution mutatis mutandis will apply after merger to citizen- ship by operation of law, registration or naturalisation. Some transitional arrange- ments might be desirable in regard to citizenship by registration.
Arrangement for Persons Born during Brooke and Chartered Company Régimes
35. The attention of the Committee was drawn to the fact that Sarawak became a colony only on the 1st July, 1946, while North Borneo was transferred from the Chartered Company on the 15th July in the same year. Before those dates the people did not have the status of British subjects. The Committee therefore accepts the arrangement that a person who would have been a British subject if the territory in which he was born had been a British Colony, in the case of Sarawak from the commencement of the Brooke régime, or, in the case of North Borneo, from the date of the commencement of the Chartered Company régime, will be regarded as a British subject. This formula would obviate any future difficulties relating to this very important and complex subject.
Position of Indigenous Peoples
36. It is acceptable to the Committee that on the creation of Malaysia the indigenous peoples of the Borneo territories should be placed in the same position as the Malays under the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya. They are the "founder citizens and to place them in a position different from that of Malays from the constitutional point of view would only create anomalies. The special provision in the present Federation of Malaya Constitution relating to Malays should be extended to the indigenous peoples of the Borneo territories so that they would equally share whatever advantages might be derived therefrom. These provisions relate to the reservation of such proportion as may be deemed reasonable of positions in the public service. scholarships and other similar educational or training programmes and special facilities relating to trade or business in order that they may be able to take their rightful places along with the other communities.
Legitimate Interests of Others Safeguarded
37. The Committee is satisfied with the guarantee in the existing Constitution of the Federation of Malaya that the rights and legitimate interests of the other com- munities in the Federation of Malaysia will adequately be safeguarded. State, Federal and Concurrent Lists Applicable
38. Having accepted the principle that all the Borneo territories would join the Federation of Malaysia as States equal in status with other existing States of the Federation, the Committee is cognisant of the arrangement that State list, Federal list and Concurrent list of the present Federation of Malaya Constitution defining the present powers and responbilities of the State and the Federal Governments will subject to local autonomies and paragraph 41, be applicable in the new Federation of Malaysia. There may of course be some administrative problems in the case of intergration of services and such like matters but the Committee is confident that all those could be resolved by joint working party of officials. In this regard the Committee is of the view that nothing should be done so as to disrupt the machinery of Governments and reduce the effiency of the services concerned.
Assurance on Civil Service
39. With regard to the public services in the Borneo territories it is agreed that all State civil service appointments would be under the control of the respective State Governments. In the case of Federal services, the Committee welcomes the assurance given by the Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya on the 6th January at the Kuala Lumpur meeting of the Committee when he stated, "I can also give a categorical assurance that there would be a progressive Borneanisation of the public services in the Bomeo territories and in addition the people of the Borneo territories would have new opportunities to serve in high appointments in the Federal service. Of course, as I have declared before, nothing should be done to disrupt the present machinery of Government. Expatriate officers who are now serving the various territories would continue to do so until suitable local officers are found to take their places."
Service in Armed Forces
40. The Committee also welcomes the staternent of the Prime Minister in the same speech that the local people of the Borneo territories should participate in the defence of Malaysia. "Their young men should be encouraged to enlist in the army, navy or the air force of the Federation of Malaysia and take a legitimate pride in being officers and other ranks in such forces. Programmes will have to be arranged whereby those in schools who aspire to make the armed forces their career will be given suitable training either in our own military college or overseas. The warriors of the Borneo territories should stand shoulder to shoulder with their compatriots in the peninsula in the protection of Malaysia,"
41. In the course of its deliberations, the Committee referred to the fears entertained by some delegates that it would be possible for the Federal Government to amend the Constitution and withdraw whatever powers it had agreed to give to the States. The Committee is of the opinion that when an individual State is given autonomy in respect of a particular matter which is not conceded to all States some form of safeguard will be desirable. The assurance in this regard was most welcomed. The form such safeguard will take is a matter to be worked out by constitutional experts.
Existing Laws to Continue until Replaced
42. With regard to the question of the validity of the existing laws in the Borneo territories until replaced by Federal law, the Committee is satisfied with the explanation that, subject to modifications, existing laws on Federal matters would continue until amended or repealed by Parliament. Existing laws on State matters will continue until amended or repealed by the State legislature.
Economics Aspects of Malaysia
43. The Committee made a thorough study of the papers relating to the economic
aspects of Malaysia which were tabled by the Federation Delegation vide Appendices
A and B. The Committee is adequately assured that the future economic and trade
policy of the Federation of Malaysia would not deviate from those precepts which are
admirably suited for the purpose of the common prosperity and welfare of the people of Malaysia.
Allocation of Development Funds and Scholarships
44. Assurances on the allocation of development funds were most welcome. The Committee endorsed the principle that the amount should not depend on the size of the State but on priorities, so that the less developed State would get a greater share of such funds. In regard to the Federal and Colombo Plan scholarships, candidates would be selected on a fair basis depending on merits. State scholarships would remain purely a State matter. Account will be taken in the allocation of Federal, Colombo Plan and other overseas scholarships and training facilities of the need to narrow the gap in educational and technical standards amongst people in various States.
We, the members of the delegates to the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee from Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya, having completed our deliberations in Singapore this day do hereby attest this Memorandum:
Done at Singapore this third day of February, 1962.
BRUNEI DELEGATION (Observers):
Leader: Dato Setia Pengiran Ali bin Pengiran Haji Mohd. Daud
Dato Setia Pengiran Haji Mohd. Yusuf
Haji Jamil bin P.U.K. Awang Haji Umar
Dato Temanggong Lim Cheng Choo
Dato Abdul Aziz bin Haji Mohd. Zain
Leader: O.K.K. Datu Mustapa bin Datu Harun
Pang Tet Tshung
O.K.K. G. S. Sundang
Lai En Kong
Leader: Yeo Cheng Hoe
Ong Kee Hui
Temenggong Jugah Anak Barieng
Pengarah Montegrai Anak Tugang
Dato Abang Haji Openg
Ling Beng Siew
Remigius Durin Anak Nganau
FEDERATION OF MALAYA DELEGATION:
Leader: Mohammed Khir Johari
Mohamed Ismail bin Mohd. Yusof
Dr. Burhanuddin bin Mohd. Noor
Lee Siok Yew
Syed Esa bin Alwee
Abdul Ghani bin Ishak
Leader: Lee Kuan Yew
Akmad bin Ibrahim
Dato Abdul Hamid bin Haji Jumat
- As set out in Annex A of Cmnd.1563.
- Published in Singapore as Cmnd. 33 of 1961.
- Published in the United Kingdom as a White Paper (Cmnd. 1563).
- See page vi.
- Not reproduced.
- "North Borneo and Malaysia". Jesselton, February 1962; "Malaysia and Sarawak" Kuching. January 1962 (reproduced in Appendix E.)
- Reproduced in Appendix F.
- See Appendix C.
- See Appendix F.
- Reproduced in Appendix E.
- Abstracted from "Report on the Census of Population taken on 10th August, 1960" (North Borneo), and "Report on the Census of Population taken on 15th June, 1960" (Sarawak).
- Defined for the purposes of the Census as ability to read and write a letter
- The Cardinal Principles are set out in the First Schedule to the Sarawak (Constitution) Order in Council, 1956. They originally formed part of the Preamble to Order No. C-21 (Constitution), 1941, enacted by the Rajah of Sarawak.
- *Not reporoduced
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