By Ravinder Singh
There goes another one, this time from the lofty seat of a professor from Universiti Malaysia Perlis. We had got sick of hearing school teachers telling non-Malay children to “balik India” and “balik Cina”. Although we haven’t seen such news in the media for a while, it doesn’t mean this sort of taunting has completely stopped.
Prof Ramlah Adam, who still may be a Perkasa leadership council member, recently went to Kuching to tell Sarawakians that if any of them wanted to raise questions about the position of their homeland in Malaysia, they should just get out of the country.
Why? Where is the crime in seeking clarifications about the status of Sarawak in Malaysia?
Sabah and Sarawak say they are not two out of 13 states of Malaysia but are equal in status with the Federation of Malaya.
Leaving aside legalities, let us just use common sense to see if they are wrong.
The Malaysia Agreement was signed by the British Government and the governments of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore in 1963. Singapore left the federation about two years later.
What the East Malaysians are saying is that the agreement was not signed by all the eleven states of the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, making a total of 13 signatories.
The document is there to be seen by all. It shows the signatures of the representatives of the giver of independence and the receivers, the latter being the governments of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak, now forming one entity called Malaysia.
Is it therefore not legitimate for the East Malaysians to wonder how their status has changed to show as if the Malaysia agreement was signed by them and eleven peninsular states?
It’s kindergarten maths, but the professor does not seem to see the point. Three signed the Malaysia Agreement, but by some sleight of hand, it’s made to to look like 13 signed it.
If three signed it, then there are three equal partners.
Ravinder Singh is an FMT reader.