Sunday, 24 August 2014

History: Sabah & The Formation of Malaysia - 31 August 1963

History of Sabah
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Self-Government and The Formation of Malaysia

Tun Fuad Stephens declaring the joining of Sabah to the Federation of Malaysia at Padang Merdeka, Jesselton (known as Kota Kinabalu today) on 16 September 1963.

On 31 August 1963, North Borneo attained self-government.

The idea for the formation of a union of the former British colonies, namely, Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo was mooted as early as in late 19th century, but it was Tunku Abdul Rahman who officially announced the proposal of wider federation in May 1961. It also seemed that this idea was supported by the British. There was a call for complete independence on that date by it was denied by the British Governor who remained in power until Malaysia Day.

In 1962, the Cobbold Commission was set up to determine whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak favoured the proposed union. The Commission had found that the union was generally favoured by the people but wanted certain terms and conditions incorporated to safeguard the interest of the people. The Commission had also noted some opposition from the people but decided that such opposition was minor.

The Commission published its report on 1 August 1962 and had made several recommendations. Unlike in Singapore, however, no referendum was ever conducted in Sabah.

Most ethnic community leaders of Sabah, namely, Tun Mustapha representing the Muslims, Tun Fuad Stephens representing the non-Muslim natives, and Khoo Siak Chew representing the Chinese, would eventually support the formation. An agreement was signed by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Harold MacMillan, the British Prime Minister, and William Goode, the last Governor of North Borneo, signed on behalf of the territory on 1 August 1962 putting to paper the agreement to form the union.

The intention had been to form Malaysia on 31 August 1963 but due to objections from the Philippines and Indonesia, the formation had to be postponed to 16 September 1963. At that point North Borneo, as Sabah, was united with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore, to form the independent the Federation of Malaysia.

"To safeguard the interest of North Borneo in the new federation, a 20-point agreement was entered into between the federal and the state government."

#ProudToBeASabahan #BuliBahKalauKau #PrayForSabah

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