Report of the Commission of Enquiry, North Borneo and Sarawak, 1962/CHAPTER 4/Wong Pow Nee and Ghazali Shalie

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C.—Recommendaiions 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, rcpresentatlon in Parliament, zccelcrttlcd programmes in economic, particularly, rural dcvelopn-tent and Ill education, and assurances on State rigltls, Everyone in this category expressed the wish that the expatriate olficers 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 olfictals, 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. Indivi- dual 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 ntccssity for its early realisation

175. Some comnicnts wcri: tirade during the hearings or the Commission regarding the M.s.C.C., which was said to be not-i~represct'ilalion2I| in character. It was suggested that theii views should accordingly be disregarded. We lirid it difiicult to accept this suggestion Most ofthe participants wtrc leaders in their own right either as leaders or political parties or as the accepted heads oftheir rtzspcctive 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 leader- ship. 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 lingeringmisgivings 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 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/65 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/66 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/67 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 wliicli 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 ofthe 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 territories.

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, I953 (see Appendix D.) We recommend to. consideration that the Ordinance in the two territories should be reviewed with the object of bringing them iiita line for this purpose and we suggest that it might he advarilageous to widen slightly the application so as to include certain other categories.

Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/69 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/70 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/71 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/72 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/73 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/74 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/75 Page:Report of the commission of enquirynorth borneo & sarawak & igc 1962.pdf/76 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.

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