Report of the Commission of Enquiry, North Borneo and Sarawak, 1962/CHAPTER 1

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CHAPTER 1

ENQUIRY IN SARAWAK

Section A,——Background

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 mountaln 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 fonin the principal means of communication. Large areas of Sarawak are practically uninhabited (overall density: 15 per square mile) and neatly 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 shitting 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 sage.

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"[1] formed part. The present Constitution, which replaced that of 1941, incorporates the Nine Cardinal Principles and provides for the appointment of a Governor and Cornmander-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 Lhe 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 or the itinerary are contalned 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 remote 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 o f conditions in the interior and to visit some longhouses.

14. Apart from one mishap caused by the weather, which did not seriously interefe 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 at comprehensive tour in such a relatively short space of time. This question ot‘difi‘ioulty of communications in Sarawak is all important one and one which in our opinion has a definite bearing on the problem which we were asked to examine

l5. The Sarawak Govenrments 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. lnevitably 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 problern was a different one. The atmosphere since the idea ofa Federation of Malaysia had first been mooted in May 1961 had been conducive to the instansification of political discussion and greater awakening of political consciousness The task of the Government's adrninistrative 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


l7. Before proceeding with more detailed cosideration of our findings, It may be useful to draw attention to a few ofthe more salient features of the situation as we have found it in Sarawak. 18. A most fundamental question in the multirracial 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 efficlency 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‘: hands there is little conflict of interests between the indigenous people on the one hand, and the immigrant races, in Ihis 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 3 transfer of power is contemplated in spine 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. Unetasiness 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 rm 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 poposals 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 bean Important force in a new Federation of Malaysia, is antl-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 Communist, 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 lmve 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 Lefl-wing groups, the liard core orwliicli consists ofthe younger Chinese, have antagonised the other comn-limities and indeed many Chinese and have drawn tlte 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 tlte concept of the Head of State is all 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 as Governor, who wielded excecutive 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 confusition of mind, however, about the transfer ofautltority 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 tre return of the power of government trom the British Goverment 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 bcingthe Head or 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 omce or 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 relalioiis At the same time both the natives and the non-natives are fully aware that the administrative machinery must continue to depend upon British omcials for the proper and eflicient discharge or 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. Althouglt 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 ooiintry 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 or 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 or 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 crtlie population ofSarawak; 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 rim 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,[2] representing the opinion of imformed 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 multl-racial society the quality of impartiality, and the better 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 its from almost every quartet 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 qualification.

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 mainttained 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 countinuous 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 witlt 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 thelr 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 uteir admitration 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 saline time the ideological position of the present leadership in the Federation is also arr important factor in tile 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 factory 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 tor the Malaysian proposals and would prefer things to go on as they are. The same is trite ofa large section or the Chinese buslness 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 ill those groups who were not prepared to discuss Malaysia at all


34. Those who favour Malaysia expressed it general ddesire—

(a) that the fonriatioii of Malaysia should be brought about as soon as possible This arises from a feeling that the present proposals have set in train on intensification of political activity which requires a clear indication of Sarawak's constitutional future as soon as possible. At the same time it is felt that the formation of Malaysia is urgently necessary to combat the increasing threat of Communist subversion and to accelerate efforts to improve the economic future of the natives. Delay might indicate that a disproportionate weight was being given to the views of the opponents of Malaysia;

(b) that the new Federation whould haves strong Central Government which could deal efiectively, in particular, with matters relating to external relations, defence, internal security and economic development.


35. Groups from all native populations expressed a general desire—

(a) that special privileges should be given to the natives. They were extremely anxious that their position in the new Federation should be analogous to that of the Malays in the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya. There was general agreement that economic development should be accelerated and increased attention plaid to education, with particular reference to the needs of the natives;

(b) that land, forestry and agriculture should be subjects to be controlled by the State Government Great emphasis was also laid on the need to safeguard customary rights and practices.


36. Groups from all races, other than outright opponents of Malaysia, expressed a genenl desire, in addition to the point already mentioned about the retention of British officers—

(a) That immigration into Sarawak from other territories of the proposed Federation should be under the control of the State authorities. This springs from the fear that, on the estzlblishinent of Malaysia. the people of Malaya and Singapore in particular would migrate in large numbers to Sarawak to take advantage of land and opportunities available, to the detriment of the people of Sarawak themselves Coupled with this general anxiety, there IS particular concern about the possible entry or undesirable elements from outside;

(b) That there should be no rapid change in the administrative arrangements affecting the daily life of the people, or in such matters as

taxation.


37. Regarding the Head of Sarawak Smle, to which referece has been made earlier, there was some conflict between the indigenous people on the one hand, and the Chinise the other, each group was, nevertheless, near-unanimous in its views. The natives have insisted that only nativss 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 dlfierences of opinion—

(a) Some elements favour the arrangement that the Head of State of Sarawak should also be eligible to be the Head of the Federation of Malaysia, while others, a smaller element, favour a popularly elected Head of the Federation.

(b) There were differences in attitude towards the acceptance of Islam as the national religion for Malaysia as a whole, and towards its particular application to Sarawak.
(c) There were similar differences attitude towards Malay as the national language for Malaysia as a whole and towards its appllcation to Sarawak; and also as to official language or languages for Sarawak.
(d) There was conflict regarding the Constitutional allocation of the legislative powers between the Federal and the State Governments in the new Federation, to which is related the question of at formula for representation in the new Federal Parliament.

39 These points of agreement and disagreement are further discussed later.


Section E.—Summay 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 settlng out the evidence and it is noteworthy that the great majority of groups which appeared before us were composed of people ofthe 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 supponers 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 royoured the scheme. The fact that, in the following pages, much space is devoted to conditions and reservations reflecs 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 roresrly reallsation of Malaysia.

4l. The Ibans form the largest single group of the population and by far the largest native group. They are primarlly 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 l5th February, 1962, to discuss the proposals for s 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 Comimission visited Kapit on the l9th March. The resolutions were the following:

“l. The Head of the State of Sarawak to be a native of Sarawak.

2. The Head of each State in the Federation of Malaysia to be eligible in due course to be the Mead of the Federation of Malaysia.

3. Adat Lama (traditional custom) to remain under the control of the Goventment of the State of Sarawak as it has until to-day.

4. Land to lie tinder the control of the State.

5 English to remain the official language of the State of Sarawak and to continue to be one of the official languages of Malaysia.

6 Freedom of religious worship.

7. There is to be adequate representation for Sarawak in the Federal Government.

8. British officers to remain until replaced by properly qualified local people. Natives to have a fair share of Government employment.

9. Sarawak natives to enjoy the same status and privileges as Malays in Malaya

10. Education to he a Federal subject and to be equalised throughout Malaysia as seen as possible Sarawak natives to have a fair share of overseas scholarships.

10. Immigration to remain under the control of the State of Sarawak.

12. Powers reserved in the Constitution to a State may not be changed without the agreement of the State.

13. Development in Sarawak to be accelerated“


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 ll2,000 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 [balls 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 or the recommendations in the report of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Commmittee.

45. In many places, more especially in the more remote areas and ill areas where the Ibans form aproportionately 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 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/18 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/19 53. The Malays rorm the next largest native group atter the loans. Rather over hair or the total number live in the First Division. ehietiy in the neigh-bourhood of Kuching, and in the rest of the eeuntry they live mainly in down-river areas or near the towns. They all adhere to the Muslim religion.

54 Almost without exception the Malays who appeared beiore 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 propotion of them supported the recommendations made by the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee The points to which Malay opinion attached most importance were the following:

(a) The Head of State should be a native of Sarawak While most of the groups accepted the position that the Head of Slate could never become the Head of the Federation, one group was emphatic that the Head of State for Sarawak should be put on a level Willi the Rulers of the States in Malaya and so be eligible to be elected as Head of the Federation.

(b) Customary land and other native rights should be protected

(0) Immigration from other parts ofthe new Federation should be strictly controlled by the Sarawak State Government.

(II) The special privileges in favour of Malaya in the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya should be extended to the natives of Sarawak. Several groups asked that these special privileges should be under the control of the Head of State in Sarawak.

(cl The legitimate rights or n<7n—natives should be respected.

(0 Malay should be adopted as the national languageand its use should beencouraged in the Legislature: but it should be pennissible for other languages, e.g., English or Iban, to be used. English should be retained as one of the ofiicial languages at least for a number of years.

(g) There weredirreringviews on the question oflhe medium or instruction in schools. Most Malay groups wished English to continue to be used as the medium of instruction in schools but we received written representations from one group asking that a time limit of 10 years should be set for the transition from English to Mfilayi The same group wished Malay to be made a oompulsory subject in all schools immediately

(ll) “ Borneanisation" of the Public Services should be accelerated but the presentexpalriate Govemmenl ofiieers should remain until natives of Sarawak have had the education and training to take over from them If necessary, further expatriate staff should be obtained on contract to bridge any gap before sufficient natives were available,

(i) Education facilities for natives should be improved to the standard provided for Malays by the Government or Malaya and should include free primary, and also, it possible, iree secondary education Natives should be given preference in the award of scholarships ior higher edueaiien. The Federal Government should be responsible for education at all levels Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/21 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/22 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 FourLh and Fifth Divisions. The majority are Muslims and their attitude towards Malaysia dffered little from that of the Malays. They were concerned that local customs should be safeguarded.

70 There were wily 5,200 Muruts in Sarawak at the 1960 census. They live in the Fifih Division (there are much larger numbers over the border in lndonesia 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 or 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 workshipnbut of freedom to propagate their faith.

71. There are approximately 2,300 Bisayahs living in the Firth Division Few representatives were seen by the Commission. Some were members or 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 I946. 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 Funans 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 it few years they will become the largest. At the time of the I960 census, the quite remarltahle 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 or rubber and pepper. About 80 per cent of the total numbers of Chinese In the country were born in Sarawak and, of the remaining 20 per cent a high proportion have been settled in Sarawak tor many years.

Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/24 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/25 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/26 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/27 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/28
(d) Representation in the Federal Parliament

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.


(e) Language

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 conclmerice of the State Legislature.


(f) Migration

The party consider it essential that control of migration into Sarawak should be vested in the State.


(g) Federal Citizenship

The party agrees with the views of the M.S.C.C. on this subject. but does not wisht a test of permanent residence to be applied to a person who is indigenous to Sarawaks.


(h) Special Privileges

These should be granted [0 the indigenous peoples In Sarawak as they are to the Malays in Malaya but, as the latter are more advanced than Lhe natives iit Samwztk, 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 assistattce, 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.


(i) Armed Forces

The party wished these to be confined to natives as at safeguard against infiluation by Communists and their agents.









  1. See Appendix C.
  2. See: Appendix F.


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