The Case Against Sulu Sultanate’s Claim on Sabah

I’m going to set the record straight on the following issues regarding Sultan Kiram (and the 2 other claimants to the throne)’s allegation that they are the landlord, we are paying rent, and so they want the land back. That is pretty much the justification of current terrorist/militant attacks of innocent civilians in Sabah. I humbly warn you that I’m no academic or a historian. I’m a young lawyer, and so I will only interpret the law.

Credit to The Malaysian Insider

1. The 1878 Agreement

It is claimed that there are two versions of the 1878 Agreement between the Sulu Sultanate and Spain. The generally accepted as a valid document is the British version which can be found here.

The second version, allegedly the original is in Sulu dialect and written in Arabic alphabet. I have made requests to Filipino lawyers as well as the trusty world of Google, but the only clear version I received is from a man via Twitter and it is a photograph of a photocopy.

It is trite law that a photograph of a photocopy of a document is not admissible in Court except when both parties are in agreement or where the maker of the documents will be called to testify in Court of its legitimacy. Both obviously not the case here. For obvious reasons, I will analyze the matter with the premise that the second version is nonexistent.

Note: The Americans kept their original copy of the original Declaration of Independence since 1776 in pristine condition today. If it truly existed, the Sulu Royal Family should have had the presence of mind to keep it in at least fair condition until today.

2. Rent/lease or cession?

This is the translation of the 1878 Agreement between the then Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan Mohamet Jamal Al Alam Bin Sri Paduka Al Marhom Al Sultan Mohamet Fathlon Sultan of Sulu , Gustavus Baronde Overbeck of Hong Kong and Alfred Dent Esquire of London:

A WE Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan Mohamet Jamal Al Alam Bin Sri Paduka Al Marhom Al Sultan Mohamet Fathlon Sultan of Sulu and the dependencies thereof on beha lf of ourselves our heirs and successors and with the consent and advice of the Datoos in council assembled hereby grant and cede of our own free and sovereign will to Gustavus Baronde Overbeck of Hong Kong and Alfred Dent Esquire of London as representatives of a British Company co-jointly their heirs associates successors and assigns for ever and in perpetuity all the rights and powers belonging to us over all the territories and lands being tritutary to us on the mainland of the island of Borneo commencing from the Pandassan River on the north-west coast and extending along the whole east coast as far as the Sibuco River in the south and comprising amongst other the States of Paitan, Sugut, Bangaya, Labuk, Sandakan, Kina Batangan, Mumiang, and all the other territories and states to the southward thereof bordering on Darvel Bay and as far as the Sibuco river with all the islands within three marine leagues of the coast.

B In consideration of this grant the said Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent promise to pay as compensation to His Highness the Sultan Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan Mohamed Jamal Al Alam his heirs or successors the sum of five thousand dollars per annum.

C The said territories are hereby declared vested in the said Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent Esquire co-jointly their heirs associates successors or assigns for as long as they choose or desire to hold them. Provided however that the rights and privileges conferred by this grant shall never be transferred to any other nation or company of foreign nationality without the sanction of Her Britannic Majesty’s Government first being obtained.

D In case any dispute shall arise between His Highness the Sultan his heirs or successors and the said Gustavus Baron de Overbeck or his Company, it is hereby agreed that the matter shall be submitted to Her Britannic Majesty’s Consul-General for Borneo.

E The said Gustavus Baron de Overbeck on behalf of himself and his Company further promises to as ist his Highness the Sultan his heirs or successors with his best counsel and advice whenever His Highness may stand in need of the same.

F Written in Lipuk in Sulu at the Palace of His Highness Mohamet Jamal Alam on the 19th Moharam A.H. 1295, answering to the 22nd January, A.D. 1878.

Under contract law, you always read the clauses and documents in entirety, and in its natural and ordinary meaning. Let’s analyze the agreement. Under Clause A, it says in one line “grant and cede of our own free and sovereign will” and in another “assigns for ever and in perpetuity all the rights and powers belonging to us over all the territories and lands being tritutary to us”.

In Clause B, it says “In consideration of this grant the said Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent promise to pay as compensation to His Highness the Sultan Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan Mohamed Jamal Al Alam his heirs or successors the sum of five thousand dollars per annum.” Again, basic offer, acceptance and consideration principle in a contract.

This clearly shows that the Sultan of Sulu willingly surrendered all his sovereign rights and powers on the land over to North Borneo Company for a then handsome sum of $5000.00.Simple. It’s given to Baron de Overbeck and Alfred Dent Esquire “co-jointly their heirs associates successors or assigns for as long as they choose or desire to hold them.”

They also had the option to transfer ownership to anyone else, as long as Her Britannic Majesty’s Consul-General for Borneo gives sanction (not the Sulu Sultanate), which they eventually exercised.

Indonesia once brought Malaysia to the International Court of Justice over the nations’ jurisdiction over Pulau Sipadan and Ligitan in Sabah. In the 2002 Decision the International Court of Justice said at para 113 at page 675 & 676 that the 1878 Agreement does not cover Pulau Sipadan and Ligitan in Sabah, which is irrelevant here but most importantly they commented and affirmed that the Sulu Sultan surrendered all his rights of the territory as mentioned in Clause A:

“13. The Court therefore cannot but conclude that there is no evidence that Spain considered Ligitan and Sipadan as covered by the 1878 Protocol between Spain and the Sultan of Sulu or that Germany and Great Britain recognized Spanish sovereignty over them in the 1885 Protocol. It cannot be disputed, however, that the Sultan of Sulu relinquished the sovereign rights over all his possessions in favour of Spain, thus losing any title he may have had over islands located beyond the 3-marine-league limit from the coast of North Borneo.”

There was a subsequent agreement which the Sulu Sultan at the material time signed in 1903, which the ICJ said he had no right to sign as he had granted and ceded his rights in 1878.

Credit to http://images.tvnz.co.nz

3. Who owns Sabah?

No one does. Sabah is an independent State. Pre-1963 before the joining of Sabah into Malaysia, a gentleman by the name of Lord Cobbold executed the Cobbold Commission. There were referandums ran in the State, asking the people of Sabah and Sarawak what they wanted. The question then was whether they wanted to join Malaysia.

At that crucial time in history, Sabahans had many options; they could join Sarawak and build an independent Borneo, they could have joined Brunei, they could have joined Indonesia, or they could have joined the Phillipines, or they could have said, be damned with the whole lot of ye and became the Republic of Sabah if they wanted to.

The Commission released its findings, report and recommendations on 1 August, 1962. The summary of its findings is as follows:

“About one-third of the population of 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 a firm expression of 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 per cent of the population of Sarawak and somewhat less in North Borneo.”

—Lord Cobbold, Cobbold Commission

Sabah chose Malaysia.

The referendum’s finding was that 2/3rds of Sabahans wanted to join Malaysia. Do you know that this year will be the 50th year since Sabah and Sarawak joined Malaysia on 16th September 1963? 50 years after Cobbold Commission’s findings that 2/3 of Sabahans are favourable towards joining Malaysia. After 12 General Elections, once every 5 years. Sure, Malaysians in general have issues, but Sabahans prior to this invasion by the Sulu Sultanate was eagerly anticipating the 13th General Elections just like us in Peninsular Malaysia.

This was what S.O. Franck in the World Court Digest said about Sabah’s self-determination in para 13-15 when the Phillipines applied to intervene in the matter between Indonesia and Malaysia based on ICJ’s Case Concerning Sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indonesia v. Malaysia) Application by the Philippines for Permission to Intervene Judgment of 23 October 2001 which can be found here:

“13. The independence of North Borneo was brought about as the result of the expressed wish of the majority of the people of the territory in a 1963 election. The Secretary-General of the United Nations was entrusted under the Manila Accord of 31 July 1963 with the task of ascertaining the wishes of the people of North Borneo, and reported that the majority of the peoples of North Borneo had given serious and thoughtful consideration to their future and:

[had] concluded that they wish to bring their dependent status to an end and to realize their independence through freely chosen association with other peoples in their region with whom they feel ties of ethnic association, heritage, language, religion, culture, economic relationship, and ideals and objectives.” (Quoted by the Representative of Malaysia to the General Assembly, 1219th meeting, 27 September 1963, Official Records of the General Assembly, 18th Session, UN Doc. No. A/PV.1219.)

14. In 1963, Britain filed its last report to the United Nations on North Borneo as an Article 73 (e) Non-Self-Governing Territory (Note by the Secretary-General, Political and Constitutional Information on Asian Territories under United Kingdom Administration, UN Doc. No. A/5402/Add.4 (4 April 1963)). Thereafter, the United Nations removed North Borneo from the list of colonial territories under its decolonization jurisdiction (see Yearbook of the United Nations, 1964, pp. 411-435, which omits North Borneo from the Committee’s list of territories), thereby accepting that the process of decolonization had been completed by a valid exercise of self-determination.

15. Accordingly, in light of the clear exercise by the people of North Borneo of their right to self-determination, it cannot matter whether this Court, in any interpretation it might give to any historic instrument or efficacy, sustains or not the Philippines claim to historic title. Modern international law does not recognize the survival of a right of sovereignty based solely on historic title; not, in any event, after an exercise of self-determination conducted in accordance with the requisites of international law, the bona fides of which has received international recognition by the political organs of the United Nations. Against this, historic claims and feudal pre-colonial titles are mere relics of another international legal era, one that ended with the setting of the sun on the age of colonial imperium.”

The Court further states that if the Philippines stake a claim on Sabah, this is what it is:

“16. The lands and people claimed by the Philippines formerly constituted most of an integral British dependency. In accordance with the law pertaining to decolonization, its population exercised their right of self-determination. What remains is no mere boundary dispute. It is an attempt to keep alive a right to reverse the free and fair decision taken almost 40 years ago by the people of North Borneo in the exercise of their legal right to self-determination. The Court cannot be a witting party to that.”

Until today, I, a peninsular Malaysian need my International Passport to enter Sabah and Sarawak, just like I would have to do the same for Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. By right Malaysia is not one Federal State Government controlling all 13 States. The division of autonomy or sovereignity is one chunk of Peninsular Malaysia, one chunk Sabah and one chunk Sarawak. That’s how it should be based on the 18-point agreement.

By right due to Sabahans’ self-determination prior to joining Malaysia, Malaysia should have stopped payment to the Sulu Sultanate family. I presume the amount was paid to honour the agreement for the sake of diplomacy and to respect the complex ethnic ties between South East Asians.

Based on all of the above, clearly, the Sulu Sultanate has no right at all to claim Sabah. Please withdraw your terrorist militants and leave Sabah. Enough is enough.


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This young lawyer harbours hope that one day Malaysians irrespective of ethnicity and religion have equal rights under the law, as we all are before the eyes of God. She is moving with UndiMsia! (http://UndiMsia.com) and will always be an Anak Bangsa Malaysia. (http://SayaAnakBangsaMalaysia.net)

Posted on 8 March 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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81 Responses to The Case Against Sulu Sultanate’s Claim on Sabah

  1. Historian

    Pehin Jamil Umar writing in his book, Tarsilah Brunei II: Period of Splendour and Fame (2007), countered all of the above. Pehin Jamil did not deny the fact that the Sulus were invited and promised the northern Brunei territory by Sultan Muhydin if they helped him win the civil war against Sultan Abdul Mubin. However, during the battle for Pulau Cermin, the Sulu forces who were supposed to attack the island from Pulau Keingaran and from the sea, did not do so. They were terrified by the resistance of Sultan Abdul Mubin's forces in Pulau Cermin. It was only after Sultan Muhydin had won the battle did the Sulu forces landed and took the opportunity to seize a number of war booties.

    According to Pehin Jamil, Sultan Muhydin refused to cede the territories claimed by Sulu. Pehin Jamil noted that the area was only "claimed" and not "ceded", as Sir Stamford Raffles, in his book "History of Java" (1830), had noted "on the north-east of Borneo proper (Brunei) lies a very considerable territory (Sabah), the sovereignty of which has long been claimed by Sulu Government".

    Pehin Jamil further noted that according to the oral tradition, Sulu continued to press their claim. In 1775, one of their chiefs came to Brunei pretending to seek fresh water. What they really wanted was to seek an audience with the Sultan regarding Sabah. However, the Sultan ordered one of the chief wazirs to see them and he threatened that if they wanted to pursue their intention, he will kill them all. The Sulus immediately left. Despite that setback, the Sulus continue to maintain their claims.

    The argument that Brunei has not ceded Sabah to Sulu is supported by LR Wright in her book The Origins of British Borneo (1970). She wrote: "indeed, the legitimacy of the Sulu claim to the territory (North Borneo) is in considerable doubt partly because of the unreliability of tarsilas such as 'Selesilah', which in many cases are nothing more than written-down legends to enhance the status of the royal house which produced them. Succeeding Sultans of Brunei have denied that northern Borneo was given to Sulu, and only the weight of Sulu tradition supports the claim. The weight of Brunei tradition challenges it".

    The Sulu claim is currently resting on that treaty which was mentioned at the beginning of this article signed by Sultan Jamalalulazam of Sulu appointing Baron de Overbeck as Dato Bendahara and Raja Sandakan on 22nd January 1878. But at the beginning of this article, there is, in fact, another treaty which was signed earlier by Sultan Abdul Momin appointing Baron de Overbeck as the Maharaja Sabah, Rajah Gaya and Sandakan signed on 29th December 1877. In 1877, the Brunei Sultanate then still believed and maintained that the territory was in fact still under the control of the Brunei Sultanate.

    Another interesting document is the British North Borneo Treaties Protocol of 1885 signed in Madrid, which is also known as the Madrid Protocol of 1885, a copy of which can be found on Sabah State Attorney General's website. It was signed by the British, Germany and Spain who was the predecessor government of the Philippines. The two most important articles are Article I British and Germany recognising the sovereignty of Spain over the Sulu Archipelago and Article III Spain relinquishing all claims to Borneo.

    This article serves only to point out that past events have repercussions on the present and more so if the past events were not clearly defined as in this particular case.

  2. mahar

    ICJ Rules Out Malaysia’s Claim On Sabah

    CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – F.B. Harrison is one of the major streets in Metro Manila but I wondered why. I only learned lately from a fellow Filipino cyberfriend, Jose Sison Luzadas, that when the Philippines’ seventh civilian American Gov. Francis Burton Harrison died in Flemington, New Jersey in 1957, he left a will that his remains be repatriated to the Philippines and be buried at the Manila North Cemetery in La Loma.

    When he was no longer the U.S. Governor General, Harrison became an advisor to Philippine Vice President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Elpidio Quirino. He presented to Quirino on Feb. 27, 1947 a copy of the Sabah Lease Treaty document in Malay language written on Arabic script translated by American anthropologist H. Otley Beyer of the University of the Philippines. Austrian Baron von Overbeck and British lawyer Alfred Dent told the Royal Colonial Institute on May 12, 1885 that the agreement they obtained from the Sultan of Sulu on Jan. 22, 1878 was for the lease of North Borneo and did not forfeit the Sultan’s sovereign rights.

    On June 26, 1946, the British North Borneo Company entered into an agreement with the British Government, transferring its interests, powers and rights over to the British Crown to become State of North Borneo. It became a British colony. Harrison called this arrogant and baseless move as British “political aggression.” He advised the soon to become young Philippine Republic to take the matter up before the United Nations.

    It caught the U.S. off-guard to protest the British violation of the 1907 Exchange of Notes between the U.S. and Great Britain and the subsequent Jan. 2, 1930 Convention. According to the International Court of Justice in a 2002 ruling in the dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia over the islands of Ligitan and Sipadan, the 1907 Exchange of Notes was “a temporary arrangement between Great Britain and the U.S. that did not involve a transfer of territorial sovereignty (but) merely provided for a continuation of the administration by the British North Borneo Company of the islands situated more than three marine leagues from the coast of North Borneo.”

    NO NEED FOR COBBOLD COMMISSION

    In rejecting a conditional surrender of the Sultan of Sulu’s Royal Army, who want Malaysia to settle the Sabah dispute, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak ruled out any negotiation on the dispute “that has been determined legally as far back as 1878 and subsequently by the referendum conducted by the Cobbold Commission ahead of the formation of Malaysia.”
    The Prime Minister might not have been told by his advisers that referendum for self-determination as far as Philippines’ claim to Sabah is concerned is out of the question.
    Based on the Indonesia-Malaysia dispute, the ICJ ruled that “effectivities” and sentiments of the people in the area for self-determination will only be at play if parties in the dispute do not have “treaty-based title” to support their claim. Both Indonesia and Malaysia did not have any documentary evidence to show in their claims. So the court turned to “effectivities” in coming up with the decision in favor of Malaysia.

    If the Philippines comes to ICJ, it will only be armed with the copies of the Lease Agreement of the Sultan of Sulu with Overbeck and the 1907 Exchange of Notes and the Jan. 2, 1930 Convention that ICJ had already ruled did not cause the transfer of sovereign rights from Spain to Great Britain. Malaysia would have the burden of overturning these evidence.

    In its case before the ICJ, Malaysia said “it was successor to the Sultan of Sulu, the original title-holder to the disputed (Sabah) islands, further to a series of alleged transfers of that title to Spain, the United States, Great Britain on behalf of the State of North Borneo.” But the ICJ said this argument cannot stand.

    After obtaining a lease treaty from the Sultan of Sulu, Overbeck relinquished his rights and interest over to Dent’s British North Borneo Company (BNBC). Dent applied for a Royal Charter with United Kingdom on Dec. 2, 1878 based on the lease treaty signed away by the Sultan of Sulu on Jan. 22, 1878.

    But in an official letter of Jan. 7, 1882, Earl Granville, then, head of the United Kingdom Foreign Office, stated, “The British crown assumed no dominion or sovereignty over the territories occupied by British North Borneo Company, did not grant the company any powers of government and (it) recognized the delegation of powers by the Sultan of Sulu in whom sovereignty remained vested.”

    When the U.S. pressed for the Sultan’s property under the 1898 Treaty with Spain, Great Britain did not object but rather sought an arrangement with the U.S. that would ensure continuity of BNBC’s administration of the Sultan of Sulu’s North Borneo that resulted in the Exchange of Notes of July 3 and 10, 1907 and the Jan. 2, 1930 Convention. The convention did not involve any transfer of sovereignty, according to ICJ. ([email protected])

    • Amr

      ICJ did not rule out Malaysia you donkey they made a ruling which the author of this blog already pointed out made a judgement in 2002 confirming the wishes of the people was to form malaysia stop being a dill weed and posting idiotic malarkey.
      The ICJ cannot over rule the wishes of the people regardless of ancient treaties this was clear in the ICJ judgement where you pulled this rubbish out from is beyond any rational person.

    • ANON

      COBBOLD COMMISSION WAS ONLY AN ENQUIRY.

      P.M. Najib doesn't even know his history.

      The Cobbold Commission of Enquiry was not a "referendum" but no more than a poll taken of some 4,000 people in the British Colonies of North Borneo and Sarawak in 1962.

      There was not referendum.

      This comment by Anaksarawak from Wikisabah news

      THERE WAS NO “COBBOLD COMMISSION REFERENDUM”! NO EXERCISE OF FREE CHOICE!

      THERE WAS NO “COBBOLD COMMISSION REFERENDUM” ON THE MALAYSIA QUESTION. There was never an exercise of free choice or “YES or NO” vote by the Sabah and Sarawak people on whether or not to become part of Malaysia.

      There was only a “Cobbold Commission of Enquiry on Malaysia” in North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak to find out whether the people here supported the British Malayan 1961 proposal to incorporate 5 countries (Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, North Borneo and Sarawak as equal partners) under the “Malaysia Concept”.

      The word “enquiry” in plain English does not mean a “referendum”. The Thesaurus defines “enquiry – a systematic investigation of a matter of public interest”.

      This enquiry was carried out by British and Malayan colonial officials and ex-officials appointed by the British government which was a clear conflict of interest.

      The Commission was therefore not an independent body conducting an assessment of views. This was done to avoid complying with the UN de-colonisation protocol of a referendum and side stepping the strong local and international opposition to the Malaysia proposal.

      1. COBBOLD COMMISSION’S BRIEF WAS CALLED AN “ENQUIRY”. .

      The Commission conclusions were called “findings”. This means this was no more than taking an opinion poll on the “Malaysia concept/proposal”. It was Britain’s a response to the widespread local and international opposition to their neo-colonial idea.

      It is to re-define the dictionary meaning to call an “enquiry” a “referendum” and actually done to mask the real history behind the formation of Malaysia.

      A “referendum” is an independently supervised vote on a question or issue of national or public importance affecting a group of people or nation. Examples of East Timor and Southern Sudan which had independence referendums. But there was never such a vote in Sabah or Sarawak on the Malaysia proposal which had far reaching disastrous impact on the people!

      2. COMMISSION INTERVIEWED 4,000 PEOPLE

      The Commission “interviewed” about 4,000 in the 2 colonies being less than 4% of the total population in 1962. This was hardly a vote.

      If it were a “referendum” all the people of adult age in the 2 colonies should have been allowed to vote on the question after a reasonable period of education so they could make an informed consent or decision. This was the very objection raised by the 2 British colonial governors who said the Borneo people were not ready for the federation.

      4,000 people cannot by any stretch of imagination be called a representative “vote” or referendum.

      • ANON

        Cont'ed from above Analsarawak comments in Wikisabah News

        3. WIDESPREAD OPPOSITION TO MALAYSIA

        The Malaysia proposal aroused immediate opposition in the 3 Borneo colonies with people expressing fears of being re-colonised by a transfer of power to Malaya. The independence movement in the 3 Borneo colonies led a delegation to he UN to expressed their opposition to Malaysia.

        In Sabah only the Suluks and Bugis who were then only a tiny minority interest group supported the Malaysia Concept. In Brunei and Sarawak the opposition to Malaysia was even more strongly articulated and widespread with unprecedented huge demonstrations against Malaysia in Sarawak.

        Around the same time when the Commission “findings” were released, the Brunei of people elected the anti-Malaysia Brunei People’s Party with a landslide majority in an open general election held by the British colonial authorities.

        The BPP put forward 3 resolutions for the first Legislative Council meeting:
        1. Reject the Malaysia proposal.
        2. Reunite North Borneo and Sarawak with Brunei
        3. Form the independent Borneo Federation (North Kalimantan)

        The BPP proposals were rejected by the British and on December 8 1962, the BPP led Brunei anti-Malaysia Uprising for independence broke out with the declaration for an independent North Kalimantan.

        The fighting spread to parts of Sabah and Sarawak and later developed into a guerilla war for national liberation and independence in Sarawak which lasted till 1990. At the same time Indonesia launched its “Ganyang Malaysia” campaign with “Konfrontasi” to “smash Malaysia”.

        4. MALAYSIA NOT FREELY & VOLUNTARILY “FORMED”

        Malaysia was hastily declared on September 16 1963 while there was an anti-Malaysia independence armed uprising in progress and before the people were give time to properly and fully consider the implications of the federation.

        Prior to that the concept had changed into a new concept because Brunei declined to be part of the federation over lack of real “equal partnership”. This is changed the racial balance justification for forming Malaysia.

        Further, North Borneo and Sarawak were still colonies when the Malaysia Agreement was signed on July 9 1962.

        Sarawak regained its independence on July 22 1962 (independent state from 1841 to 1941). Sabah got an even shorter independence on August 31 1962. They were still colonies which could not have validly sign an international treaty like Malaysia Agreement. They did not even have properly elected representatives.

        This means that the signing was not an informed and free and voluntary act by both colonies.

        CONCLUSION:

        This is the historic background of the opposition to Malaysia. The argument that there was a “referendum” is an overstated big lie and false argument used to mask the facts and legitimise the formation of Malaysia.

        The Cobbold Commission was only an “enquiry”.

        THERE WAS NEVER A REFERENDUM ON MALAYSIA!

  3. Hussein Melino

    The word was using in the Contract of Agreement is "PADJAK" in bahasa Tausug, and Indonesia / Malay can relate that said word.

    PADJAK means CHARTER, LEASE or RENT, but never could be PADJAK is CEDED.

    Think twise please….facilitate

    • Sabahan

      Okay, we will give that one to you. 'Padjak' means 'ceded'. Happy? Now, move on from that one word and have a look at the rest of the historical events.

      At any rate, in this age of human rights and democracy, the so-called Sultan of Sulu wants to take over Sabah by force. The people of Sabah say, we want to remain with Malaysia. So the Sulu Army comes in with guns and say, "This land is ours".

      So you are just going to ignore what the people living there want? Now who is being unreasonable?

  4. Maharaja Buwal

    To all concern Muslim over the Muslim Ummah:

    Regarding the issue of Sabah and Suntan of Sulu, please restore the rightful Sultan of Sulu over the Sabah to establish his own government in the place, but do not release the Sabah to the Sultan who controls/governs by the Philippines Government.

    We know that Allah knows everything about the said place. The Tausug is now looking for peaceful means to govern their own land with shari'ah of Allah.

    • raja

      He has no rights if he wishes to be a true Muslim he should seek unity with his brothers and join Malaysia first gaining independence don't use the Ummah for your own greedy goals and agenda
      The Tausugs should seek independence for Sulu,basilan and Tawi Tawi and its lands of palawan and southern Mindanao and then join the ummah and speak of the Ummah no Muslim supports a hypocrite liar who bows to Christians

  5. Maynard Keenan

    Historically, the "cessation payment" i.e. RM5,000.00 has much to do with the findings of Macaskie J in a suit instituted by the heir of the Sultan Jamalul Kiram in the court of Borneo, for the purpose of collecting the money due to them under the 1878 Grant.

    And it is confirmed that, the government of Malaysia has since made payments to the Sultan's heir see Tun Mahathir's comment in NSTP reported by Zarina Zakariah, which contradicts the 'self-determination' agruement, don't you think?

    Worthwhile to ponder.

    • Amr

      The government of Malaysia has been paying cession fees if you don't know what that means I suggest you get yourself a proper education. The 1878 grant BTW was 5000 M$ the 1903 grant was 5300 this is the one they wanted to seek even if 1878 was mentioned.

      Nothing contradicts the self determination argument the people of Sabah including the Orang Suluks do not want to join Philippines OR Sultanate of Sulu so the "argument" of self determination is strengthened

  6. nemours

    The original contract – in Malay but written in Arabic script – used the word padjak or lease, Kiram said. But the British later chose to translate it as "cession"ory) recounted by Low explains that Sultan Miaddin sent a letter to the

    • Amr

      Sulu confirmed the cession in 1903 and it cannot be argued at all that Sulu ceded its rights over to the Spanish who DID cede North Borneo to the British
      FIN!

  7. nemours

    First of all ''(T'he Brunei Selesilah (history) recounted by Low explains that Sultan Miaddin sent a letter to the
    Batara (Sultan) of Sulu" in which he requested military assistance and promised that '''from the
    North far west as Kimani" would belong to Sulu (Low 1880, 17).)'''

    agreement between american and sulu(USA will protect sulu sultante) Department Of Mindanao And SuluOffice Of The Governor Zamboanga, P. I.
    March 22, 1915 Memorandum:

    • Amr

      He sent a letter but never ceded the land to Sulu as the help did not come as he had wished therefore the terms of the alliance had been violated

  8. nemours

    im malayisan historians sulu has right to reclaims sabah,please read this agreement.

    Department Of Mindanao And SuluOffice Of The Governor Zamboanga, P. I.
    March 22, 1915 Memorandum:

    The Governor of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, Frank W. Carpenter dulyauthorized by His Excellency, the Governor-General, and the Sultan of Sulu, HadjiMohammad Jamalul Kiram, together with the other officers of the Government as wellas various consellors of the Sultan, after due discussion of the declarations of theGovernor-General and President of the Philippine Commission Luke E. Wright, and thesaid Sultan of Sulu, and their respective associates, in certain hearing held in Manila onJuly 19th, 20th and 26th, 1904, following the abrogation of the so-called Bates Treaty bythe President of the United States, March 21, 1904, reach the following mutualunderstanding of the result of said hearing:WHEREAS, the Sultan of Sulu is the titular spiritual head of the MohammedanChurch in the Sulu Archipelago with all the-Mohammedan rights and privileges whichunder the government of the United States of America may be exercised by such anecclesiastical authority and subject to the same limitations; which apply to the supremespiritual heads of all other religions existing in American territory, including the right tosolicit and receive voluntary popular contributions for the support of the clergy rites andother necessary lawful expenses of an ecclesiastical character;The Sultan of Sulu on his own account and in behalf of his adherents in the Sulu Archipelago and elsewhere within American territory without any reservation or limitation whatsoever, ratifies and confirms his recognition of the sovereignty of theUnited States of America, and the exercise by His Excellency the Governor-Generaland the representative of that government in Mindanao and Sulu of all the attributes of sovereign government that are exercised elsewhere in American territory anddependencies including the adjudication by government courts or its other dulyauthorized officers of all civil and criminal causes falling within the laws and orders of the Government.The Sultan of Sulu and his adherents and people of the Mohammedan faith shallhave the same religious freedom, creeds, the practice of which is not in violation of thebasic principles of the laws of the United States of America.In testimony of the above mutual understanding, the Government of theDepartment of Mindanao and Sulu and the Sultan of Sulu, do hereby affix our signatures in permanent record thereof.(Sgd.) HADJI M. JAMALUL KIRAM
    Sultan of Sulu
    (Sgd.) F. W. CARPENTER
    Department Governor

    Witnesses to above:(Sgd.) DATU RAJAMUDA(Sgd.) HADJI BUTU
    Sp. Assist. to the Prov.Gov. of Sulu
    PETER E. FRANK
    Col., U.S.A. District Chief, P.C.
    DATU MOHMAMMAD ISIDRO VAMENTA
    Deputy Secretary
    ABDULLA AWARIG PONCIANO REYES
    Department Attorney
    HADJI MOHAMAD GUY N. ROHRER
    Prov. Gov. of Sulu
    PANGHINA TAHUL GULAMU RASUL
    Aide-de-Camp of the Dept. Gov.
    I hereby certify that the foregoing is full, true and correct copy of its original.ISIDRO VAMENTA
    Department Secretary

    • Amr

      I doubt you are Malaysian and if you are then you are a traitor Malaysian!
      BTW Sulu has no rights to Sabah as it ceded its rights to many people it also confirmed the cession of Sabah to the British in 1903 AND Brunei never ceded them Sabah this is why Sulu has no title deeds to Sabah.

      What an American envoy says does not matter at all
      BTW this treaty is an agreement between Sulu and America how does this even affect Sabah?
      In 1878,1885 and 1903 Sulu rights over Sabah had been ceded so by 1915 (the date of the treaty you have copied and pasted) he had no more rights over Sabah So Sulu has no rights

      typical Americans "Mohammedan" yeah Muslims don't worship a man like Christians

  9. DanieLoHH73

    It's really hypocritical of Filipinos to want to claim Sabah as belonging to Philippine. The historical facts that the Sulu Sultanate based on is that the Sultanate own part of Sabah as a colony. The Sulu Sultan was the imperialist colonial master of the North eastern part of North Borneo… The Filipinos fought long and hard for their independence, we would have thought that they would value self-determination of a state, but alas, they are in support of the self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan in claiming Sabah and wanted the Sulu Sultan to rule over Sabahan… and I thought imperialism died in the 50`s… looks like it's still alive and kicking in Philippine.

    • amr

      What they don't realise is Sulu no longer wishes to be apart of their little fascist republic they assumed they can claim Sabah and steal its oil riches for themselves what they don't know is that if Sabah is returned on the basis of a 1878 treaty they would lose any rights to Sulu because Sulu ceded its powers and rights to Spain who ceded North Borneo to Britain if they succeed in reversing the matter would reverse their own control over Sulu

    • SARAWAKIANS

      INTERESTING POINT BUT HAVE YOU CONSIDER THAT IT WAS MALAYA WHICH ACTUALLY COLONISED SABAH AND SARAWAK?

      This is part of a comment by Anaksarawak taken from Wikisabah:

      ANAKSARAWAKMarch 27, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      3. WIDESPREAD OPPOSITION TO MALAYSIA

      The Malaysia proposal aroused immediate opposition in the 3 Borneo colonies with people expressing fears of being re-colonised by a transfer of power to Malaya. The independence movement in the 3 Borneo colonies led a delegation to he UN to expressed their opposition to Malaysia.

      In Sabah only the Suluks and Bugis who were then only a tiny minority interest group supported the Malaysia Concept. In Brunei and Sarawak the opposition to Malaysia was even more strongly articulated and widespread with unprecedented huge demonstrations against Malaysia in Sarawak.

      Around the same time when the Commission “findings” were released, the Brunei of people elected the anti-Malaysia Brunei People’s Party with a landslide majority in an open general election held by the British colonial authorities.

      The BPP put forward 3 resolutions for the first Legislative Council meeting:
      1. Reject the Malaysia proposal.
      2. Reunite North Borneo and Sarawak with Brunei
      3. Form the independent Borneo Federation (North Kalimantan)

      The BPP proposals were rejected by the British and on December 8 1962, the BPP led Brunei anti-Malaysia Uprising for independence broke out with the declaration for an independent North Kalimantan.

      The fighting spread to parts of Sabah and Sarawak and later developed into a guerilla war for national liberation and independence in Sarawak which lasted till 1990. At the same time Indonesia launched its “Ganyang Malaysia” campaign with “Konfrontasi” to “smash Malaysia”.

      4. MALAYSIA NOT FREELY & VOLUNTARILY “FORMED”

      Malaysia was hastily declared on September 16 1963 while there was an anti-Malaysia independence armed uprising in progress and before the people were give time to properly and fully consider the implications of the federation.

      Prior to that the concept had changed into a new concept because Brunei declined to be part of the federation over lack of real “equal partnership”. This is changed the racial balance justification for forming Malaysia.

      Further, North Borneo and Sarawak were still colonies when the Malaysia Agreement was signed on July 9 1962.

      Sarawak regained its independence on July 22 1962 (independent state from 1841 to 1941). Sabah got an even shorter independence on August 31 1962. They were still colonies which could not have validly sign an international treaty like Malaysia Agreement. They did not even have properly elected representatives.

      This means that the signing was not an informed and free and voluntary act by both colonies.

      CONCLUSION:

      This is the historic background of the opposition to Malaysia. The argument that there was a “referendum” is an overstated big lie and false argument used to mask the facts and legitimise the formation of Malaysia.

      The Cobbold Commission was only an “enquiry”.

      THERE WAS NEVER A REFERENDUM ON MALAYSIA!

  10. Pawns

    Malaysia like Israel..

    • Amr

      If Malaysia was like Israel they wouldn't have asked them politely to leave they would have barged with nuclear war heads and none of them would be alive at all.

  11. Pawns

    lol… hei litle girl. are you kidding about this:
    "I have no answer to why the Sulu Army are poor military strategists. I only know that they are facing our best men on the ground. From the History Channel "History Channel Documentary – Special Forces Malaysia Commando GGK" – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXvpbp9ytlo "

  12. Darksoul

    The so called Sultan of Sulu claim to Sabah is utterly nonsense. Sabah is Malaysia, not part of it. Hell I think the Johore Sultanate have more legitimate claim over parts of Indonesia because of Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 has ripped off part of its empire, and the Johore Sultanate still exists today as a sovereign entity.

  13. Oh, on a further note on Cobbold Commission from the Malaysia Nation Archives [http://www.arkib.gov.my/en/penubuhan_malaysia]:

    "The formation of Cobbold Commission on 17 January 1962 is to give freedom and justice to all parties. The Commission was formed as an outcome from negotiations between the Federation of Malaya government and the British Government in November 1961. The purpose of this Commission is to explore the views of communities in North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak on the idea of Malaysia. The Commission comprises of five members, chaired by Lord Cobbold, a former governor of the Bank of England, its members comprises of Dato’ Wong Pow Nee and Encik Mohd Ghazali bin Shafie, representing the government of Malaya, while Sir Anthony Abell and Sir David Watherston , the representative of the British government. Mr. H. Harris acted as the Secretary.

    Throughout February to April 1962, the Commission has met more than 4,000 people and received 2,200 memorandums from the various groups that consisted of political parties, members of Government and Legislative Assemblies, the chiefs, the natives and the leaders of the country, municipal councils, religious leaders, trade unions and members of the public who gave their views. The results of this report show that 80 percent of the population of Sarawak and North Borneo support the establishment of Malaysia. Public support is clearly evident by the Cobbold Commission report, which was approved by the representatives of the United Nations Secretary. In addition, the report also includes recommendations from members of the Commission on several matters specified in the memorandum received."

    I apologize that the other sources for the entire Cobbold Commission Report requires subscription, but I found the next to the best thing here, PDF of the 115 pages of the report signed by the Commission on Scribed -> http://www.scribd.com/doc/100902891/Cobbold-Commi

    • Bonit

      Was there a representative coming from the Philippines? What to be expect in that referendum who organize by the British and Malaysian and without third party involved?

    • ANTI-COLONIALISM

      YOUNG ASPIRING LAWYER- WE BEG TO DIFFER

      GOOD TRY- BUT PLEASE DO MORE RESEARCH ON THE BACKGROUND ON FORMATION OF MALAYSIA AND PUT THE VIEW OF THOSE WHO OPPOSED MALAYSIA SO AS TO BALANCE YOUR COMMENTS.

      EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST !

      And in this case never the two will ever meet physically no matter how much Malayans desire to colonise Sabah and Sarawak and claim them like the Sulus as their property. We are an ocean apart!!!

      Malaysia only exists for a simple reason- Sabah and Sarawak are occupied by the Malayan army as Malaya's colonies.

      Malayans are no different from the Sulus in their outrageous land claim. Malayans have in 1963 skipped across the sea to claim what is not theirs!

      They use all sorts of bankrupt arguments to justify their illegal occupation of the 2 Borneo colonies.

      The UMNO gov't had 50 years to make good all their pre-Malaysia promises and undertakings but it broke all of them without exceptions.

      For example one of the main justifications for formation of Malaysia was that its would provide Sabah and Sarawak security from foreign invasion.

      The Sulu invasion is just a prominent example of how Malaya never honoured its promises to protect Sabah and Sarawak.

      The reason for forming Malaysia failed from the beginning when Malaya invaded Borneo to help the British suppress the people's anti-Malaysia independence uprising in Brunei in December 1962. (You may not have read or heard of this uprising and the guerrilla war of independence in Sarawak from 1962 to 1990 to expel the Malayan occupation army for national independence. These facts are unlikely to be in Malayan history books)

      The Sulu invasion also raises the question- why was the Sabah sea borders not properly patrolled?
      (Read Din Merican's article on this point)

      The Sulus could have been stopped before they landed on Sabah shores. But we know now if you don't yet know that UMNO was sponsoring the Southern Philippines insurgent movements for over 40 years and allowing the Moro rebels free access, safe haven and training in Sabah by opening up the sea borders to them..

      Sorry to disappoint you. Your pro-Malaysia views are only shared by Malayans.

      We in the East welcome you as guests and friends but never as our colonial masters.

      We want Malaya to withdraw its occupation army from Sabah and Sarawak and de-colonise the 2 colonies for independence!

      • Sabahan

        "We want Malaya to withdraw its occupation army from Sabah and Sarawak and de-colonise the 2 colonies for independence!"

        'We'? Who is 'we'? From context, I gather that it refers to Sulu people living in Philippines. Did you ask the Sabahans if they want to leave Malaysia?

        Stop deciding for yourself how people elsewhere want to live their lives. The people of Sabah have made their decision.

        • ANTI-COLONIALISM

          "WE" refers to the people of Sabah and Sarawak if you care to re-read the comments!

          IT IS SABAHANS LIKE YOU WHO LOVE BEING COLONISED BY MALAYANS?

  14. greg

    This is the translation of the 1878 Agreement. you mentioned the magic word " translation" . The question now is where is the original copy? That is what we want to see….

  15. Dear all,

    I have used sources from my own government's website, actual judgments from the International Court of Justice and World Court Digest official websites, and you give me links from online news portals, and blogs. I will only accept if the alleged microfilm copy of the Agreement from the Public Offices of London is published in the Phillipino equivalent of the Malaysian Attorney General Chamber's website (Lawnet, CLJ, Lexis Nexis, lawyers would get the drift).

    Even so, I will need you all to romanize it from Jawi in entirety, the vowels etc. The whole document. I can read the alphabets but don't speak Sulu. Our Malay Jawi vowels have different markers, 'tajwid, harakat etc you see and I want to be able to read it proper. Trite law under any country's laws, you don't pull out one word and say that's what it means, you have to take into consideration the entire contract, the sentence the word is in, etc. It's a simple study of construction of contract.

    Southeast Asia is unique. Our languages have shared words which each culture carries difference nuance or meanings. In Indonesia, padjak means taxation, in my native Malay, padjak means pawn (pajak gadai = pawn shops). It would be interesting for me to consult the Suluk Malaysians (yes, we have Sulu who are Malaysians as well, voted in our elections, likes that we achieved self determination in 1963 from the British) on what the whole document means.

    Either way, I would like to emphasize that the entire discussion on the 1878 Agreement is purely academic in nature. As Chris rightly pointed out, before Malaysia was formed Sabah was already an independent State by the wishes of its own people.

    If you contest so much about the referandum, Sulu Sultanate & the Phillipine government, prior to this invasion could have suggested that a new referandum is made within Sabah on the question of whether the people wants to be governed by the Sulu Sultanate. If you do the referandum now, the sentiment amongst the people in Sabah is the same as mine which is to ask the so-called Sulu Army to leave.

    I have no answer to why the Sulu Army are poor military strategists. I only know that they are facing our best men on the ground. From the History Channel "History Channel Documentary – Special Forces Malaysia Commando GGK" – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXvpbp9ytlo

    I don't understand what you mean by Malaysia not honouring the Manila Accord [From the UN Treaty Database : http://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volum… ]

    Para 11, on asking the wishes of the people of North Borneo has been complied with by way of the Cobbold Commission.

    Para 12 says here, the Phillipines are free to pursue claim in North Borneo "in accordance with international law and the principle of the pacific settlement of disputes." Phillipines did put forward their claim to Sipadan & Ligitan Islands as I cited in my article. The application was dismissed because Sabah, as I find myself repeating, achieved self independence.

    The Phillipino government never tried to put forward a claim for the entire of Sabah because they are aware of the self-determination achieved by Sabah. It's the Sulu Sultanate's beef against their own government for not putting forward the claim peacefully. Why do my country have to pay for this with our people's own lives?

    Both the Phillipino and Malaysia government have complied with the terms as per the provisions therein.

    • Maharaja Buwal

      Lady Missazira,

      Your own understanding about translation of PADJAK means TAXATION and definitely not CECED in meaning, therefore, the British Company paid before their TAX to the owner that's Sultanate of Sulu. So even the malaysian Government followed the way of payment of what British Company has done to the Sultanate of Sulu.

      Now, I think that mandatory to the Sulu Sultan to get back and restore his authority and sovereignty over Sabah and Sulu Archipelago. And obligation of Sultan to increase the TAXATION FEE and Malaysia must also pay the proper payment to the Sultanate of Sulu but not in personal interest. We know that Sabah is own by the TAUSUG, but not Sultan Alone. The payment of Taxation must be for the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam, and not for Sultan himself.

      I hope that the mediator will see the truth.

      I hope that the both parties reconcile all this issue. Remember, Tausug is not FILIPINO. It is two different things Tausug and Filipino. Tuasug is a citizenship under the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam and Filipino is also a citizenship under the Phil. Government.

      • This is the Malaysian Bar's position on the issue. I, too, duly support it. The Agreements were not limited to the one I mentioned in the article. [http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/press_statements/press_release_continue_to_protect_and_defend_our_international_borders_within_international_human_rights_norms.html] :

        Continue to Protect and Defend our International Borders Within International Human Rights Norms

        "The International Court of Justice, in the course of adjudicating a territorial dispute between the Governments of Malaysia and Indonesia over the islands of Ligitan and Sipadan off the coast of Sabah, and in delivering its decision[2] on 17 December 2002, had set out the antecedents and history pertaining to the territory, and which effectively recognised the rights and sovereignty of Malaysia over the state of Sabah and its surrounding islands.

        In essence, these antecedents show that the Sultanate of Sulu had, by its several actions and by various separate instruments between 19 April 1851 and 26 June 1946, relinquished and ceded all of its rights, interests and dominion over what was previously referred to as North Borneo (now known as the state of Sabah, Malaysia). These various instruments are:

        (1) The Act of Re-Submission between Spain and the Sultan of Sulu dated 19 April 1851, which was confirmed by the Protocol dated 22 July 1878, whereby the island of Sulu and its dependencies were annexed by the Spanish Crown;

        (2) The Cession and Agreement dated 22 January 1878 between the Sultan of Sulu, and Mr Alfred Dent and Baron von Overbeck as representatives of a British company, whereby the Sultan of Sulu granted and ceded to the latter all of his rights and powers over the mainland of the island of Borneo;

        (3) The Commission dated 22 January 1878 whereby the Sultan of Sulu appointed Baron von Overbeck the “Dato Bëndahara and Rajah of Sandakan”, and ceded all of the Sultanate's rights to Baron von Overbeck as the “supreme ruler over the said dominions”;
        (4) Baron von Overbeck and Mr Alfred Dent in turn relinquished all their rights to a British company, later the British North Borneo Company;

        (5) The Protocol dated 11 March 1877 between Spain, Germany and Great Britain;

        (6) The Protocol dated 7 March 1885 between Spain, Germany and Great Britain whereby, inter alia, the Spanish Government relinquished to the British Government all claim of sovereignty over the territories of the continent of Borneo and its islands;

        (7) The Agreement dated 12 May 1888 between the British Government and the British North Borneo Company for the creation of the State of North Borneo;

        (8) The Treaty of Peace of Paris dated 10 December 1898 between Spain and the United States of America whereby Spain ceded the Philippine Archipelago to the United States of America;

        (9) The Confirmation of Cession dated 22 April 1903 between the Sultan of Sulu and the British Government expanding the scope of the Cession and Agreement of 22 January 1878 between the Sultan of Sulu and Mr Alfred Dent and Baron von Overbeck;

        (10) The Convention dated 2 January 1930 between the United States of America and Great Britain delimiting the boundary between the Philippine Archipelago and the State of North Borneo;

        (11) The Agreement dated 26 June 1946 between the British North Borneo Company and the British Government whereby the British North Borneo Company relinquished and transferred all of its interests, powers and rights in respect of the State of North Borneo to the British Crown, whereby the State of North Borneo became a British colony; and

        (12) The Agreement dated 9 July 1963 between the Federation of Malaya, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore relating to Malaysia, which entered into force on 16 September 1963, whereby the colony of North Borneo was to be “federated with the existing States of the Federation of Malaya as the [State] of Sabah”.[3]

        Although the Philippines was not a party to this litigation before the International Court of Justice — it did apply to intervene, but the application was rejected — it is clear from this judgment that the Sultanate of Sulu, even if such an entity were to legally exist today, has no subsisting legitimate claim to Sabah. In any event, as a matter of post-colonial self-determination, the people of Sabah voted overwhelmingly to join Malaysia in a referendum held in 1962, which was organised by the Cobbold Commission."

    • Hussein Melino

      Pls…Understand properly the word "PADJAK "in bahasa Tausug, Malay / Indonesia. PADJAK means CHARTER, LEASE, AND RENT. but never could be PADJAK is CEDED.

      THEREFORE, the Sultanate of Sulu has a right over the Sabah but not the Philippine Government.

      • raja

        He doesn't (whomever that may be) the land through their own actions (of their forefathers) was ceded time and time again in the Madrid protocols it was clear Spain held Sulus lands and ceded it to the British so its getting a bit old singing the same song about the meaning of the word "padjak" when since 1878 other events took place thus ending all his dominion and rights over Sabah if ever he had any.

        • Hussein Melino

          Brother Raja,

          You are just corrupting your own proper understanding in the word so called "PADJAK". Again, my public understanding about the meaning of PADJAK is a CHARTER, LEASE OR RENT but not CEDED in meaning. Allah knows well our knowledge about that. anyway, in the future the truth will prevail all over the world. Remember, our ilmu and judgement will bring us to the hereafter if where we belong to Jannat or Nar.

          Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

  16. Albert Saud Anderson

    Ceded? Leased only my friend. Do not twist history. You are a young lawyer, be fair and honest. Thank you.

    • pengtuck

      "It cannot be disputed, however, that the Sultan of Sulu relinquished the sovereign rights over all his possessions in favour of Spain, thus losing any title he may have had"

      SOLD OUT. That's pretty much what happened, this doesn't even remotely resemble the term lease in any definition whatsoever. It's too bad they did that but things like that have happened over here in the straits settlements.

      If you have the case for leasing spit it out and let's hear it.

  17. mahar

    The documents were reproduction of two treaties taken from microfilm kept at the Public Record Office in London.

    Original 1878 Agreement written in Arabic
    http://www.bt.com.bn/sites/default/files/imagecac

  18. Maharaja Buwal

    Talking about agreement between Sultan of Sulu and British Company that the real word’s utilizing in the contract was Tausug version so called PADJAK. It means RENT (Padjak-Rent or Rent means Padjak).

    The question is: who was the authorize person to translate the word PADJAK? Was he/she a tausug to authorize by the authority to translate or non tausug who translated the version?

    Please, double check that word so called PADJAK to the authorize tausug.

    • Amr

      The meaning of the word is irrelevant as over riding matters took over in 1885 Spain having acquired rights over Sulu and her lands ceded North Borneo to the British.
      Why continue to whine about the same drivel

  19. Maha

    Did Najib lie to the Malaysian nation?
    Vidal Yudin Weil
    | March 9, 2013

    According to the Manila Accord signed on July 31, 1963 and registered in the United Nations as document No. 8029, then Malayan deputy prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein (late father of the present Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak) met up with foreign minister Dr Subandrio of Indonesia, and vice-president Emmanuel Pelaez of the Philippines in Manila for five days from June 7 to 11, 1963, to discuss about the status of Sabah.

    Consequently, it was agreed in writing by former Malayan prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman together with president Soekarno of Indonesia and president Diosdado Macapagal of the Philippines in paragraph 12 thereof:

    “The Philippines made it clear that its position on the inclusion of North Borneo in the Federation of Malaysia is subject to the final outcome of the Philippines’ claim to North Borneo. The ministers took note of the Philippines’ claim and the right of the Philippines to continue to pursue it in accordance with international law and the principle of the pacific settlement of disputes. They agreed that the inclusion of North Borneo in the Federation of Malaysia would not prejudice either the claim or any right thereunder. Moreover, in the context of their close association, the three countries agreed to exert their best endeavours to bring the claim to a just and expeditious solution by peaceful means, such as negotiation, conciliation, arbitration, or judicial settlement as well as other peaceful means of the parties’ own choice, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Bandung Declaration.”

    Subsequently on Aug 5, 1963 in a joint statement released to international media, the same also agreed in writing under paragraph 8 thereof:

    “In accordance with paragraph 12 of the Manila Accord, the three Heads of Government decided to request the British Government to agree to seek a just and expeditious solution to the dispute between the British Government and the Philippines Government concerning Sabah (North Borneo) by means of negotiation, conciliation and arbitration, judicial settlement, or other peaceful means of the parties’ own choice in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations. The three Heads of Government take cognizance of the position regarding the Philippines claim to Sabah (North Borneo) after the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia as provided under paragraph 12 of the Manila Accord, that is, that the inclusion of Sabah (North Borneo) in the Federation of Malaysia does not prejudice either the claim or any right thereunder.”

    It was undoubtedly stated from the above provisions of the Manila Accord and joint statement that:

    the inclusion of Sabah into the formation of Malaysia is subject to the Philippines claim; and
    the Philippines’ claim on Sabah must be settled in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) run by the United Nations.

    Therefore, until such time when the ICJ has decided, Malaysia does not have absolute ownership of Sabah.

    Yesterday, Najib made the following statement at a press conference in Lahad Datu: “The question of Sabah within Malaysia should not be disputed by anyone. Let not anyone underestimate Malaysia’s commitment to have Sabah within Malaysia forever. No one can dispute this, from within and outside the country. We will uphold the principle and fact of Sabah within Malaysia absolutely”.

    Now, with the involvement of the two late former prime ministers of Malaysia – Tunku Abdul Rahman and Abdul Razak Hussein – in the Manila Accord and joint statement which contained straightforward and unambiguous stipulations, the question that begged to be answered now is: why did Najib lie to the whole nation without even blinking his eyes?

    By refusing to honour the Manila Accord and backtracking on the joint statement, has Najib not figuratively slapped the Philippines and Indonesia which were signatories to the historic documents?

    Internationally, is Najib not telling the whole world, especially foreign investors, that what Malaysia agrees and signs at any time may not be fulfilled or respected at Malaysia’s whims and fancies?

    How are Malaysians going to face anyone overseas when our own prime minister has made us the butt of jokes and the laughing stock of the world?

    Effectively, he has also slapped each and every Malaysian who has an ounce of dignity.
    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion

    • raja

      What honour? By not respecting the decision of the free peoples of Sabah to join and remain apart of Malaysia you people are making a mockery of international law.
      Colonialism is dead and no old sultan can keep "ceding" his claim over Sabah to anyone with money.
      He ceded the land to Spain ICJ ruled that Sulu had ceded his lands to Spain end of story stop with cut and paste rubbish

  20. proud2bmalaysian

    Wouldn't it be a great twist when the Sultan of Brunei comes out to deny that his ancestor had ever ceded North and East Borneo to the then Sultan of Sulu? All documentation seems not to be in order and what is now known is clear that PH or Sulu have no claims forever and in perpetuity on Sabah.

    Interesting JC comments too. Anyway, events have overtaken much of the arguments and the present invasion of Sabah is really a suspect indeed. If they actually caused a real invasion, they wouldn't have just landed and grouped, right? They would have attacked the critical points of Sabah like airports, power plants, water plants, communication towers, bridges, etc. They seemed to have just waltzed in and be spotted? Very strange invaders indeed.

    One last point. Sabah gained independence from the British Commonwealth and joined Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia. Shouldn't the people of Sabah have a say too?
    http://proud2bmalaysian.wordpress.com

    • saud anderson

      Sorry but Sultan of Brunei did cede North Borneo.

      • raja

        Nope Brunei did not cede Sabah in any parts to Sulu this is shown by an article in the Brunei times and successive Brunei sultans. Von Overbeck wanted to be safe so simply gave in to a mere claim he did not have to as Sabah was ceded to him by Brunei in its ENTIRETY including areas being claimed by Sulu.
        Ask yourself why to this day Sulu does not show the documents to prove brunei had ceded to the territory to his family or why Brunei gave all of it to the British?

  21. Nameless

    What Sulu Sultanate?
    Which Sultan?
    The Philippines doesn't even recognize this Sultanate anymore and there's a whole bunch of Sultan pretenders.
    These people have no honor. Only greed.
    Unilateral ceasefire my ass.
    You insult the Malaysian government and in the same breath call for some 'ceasefire'. Malaysian government has given the chance to leave without any harm for weeks and these militants arrogantly chose to stay and slay Malaysia's security forces.
    If you really are with your people just tell the stragglers remaining to surrender.

    • Maha

      Even 1,000,000 people will claim as Sultan, there ONLY 9 Heir. Malaysian sponsored or not..They surfaced just to mess the issue…

      Always REMEMBER: There are only 9 heir to Sabah which identified by Chief Justice Macaskie of North Borneo in 1939..

      .

      =============
      (9) Original Heirs of the SULTAN OF SULU for “Sabah” on the 1939 final judgment of North Borneo (Sabah) Chief Justice Macaskie:

      1. Dayang-Dayang Hadja Piandao Kiram

      2. Putli Tarhata Kiram

      3. Putli Sakinur In Kiram

      4. Mora Napsa

      5. Esmail Kiram

      6. Datu Punjungan Kiram

      7. Sitti Mariam Kiram

      8. Sitti Rada Kiram

      9. Sitti Putli Jahara Kiram

      CERTIFICATION: This is to certify that the above individuals are the present legal administrator/administratrix of the NINE HEIRS of the SULTAN OF SULU, mentioned in the Judgment of Chief Justice Macaskie.

      ==============
      Jamalul Kiram III is one of the administrator of the heir…

      • Maha

        Why there is an heir to the RENT Sabah?

        Clearly, there is the owner….

        Now, The question will be reduce to… LEASE OR CESSION?
        Why Malaysia pays it yearly to Malaysian Heir thru theeir Manila Embassy?
        ===============================

        Now, the original contract of Lease written in Arabic but in Malayo-Jawi Language…

        Clearly the word was PADJAK … previous translation of padjak was "cession" which is used by British and cant be verified during Judge Macaskie judgement due to absence of original..

        BUT,

        PADJAK clearly means as understand and used by Tausug as RENT..

        PADJAK = RENT

        hope the lady young lawyer….will not ask the original contract or she can always go to Philippines…
        ==============================

        • Amr

          The meaning of the word is not relevant as Sulu had surrendered her rights to Spain who ceded the land to the British therefore the 1878 treaty is over ruled by the 1885 treaty.
          In 1903 the Sultanate of Sulu confirmed the cession and ceded a further 3 Islands whining about 1878 treaty as if time stopped still at that point is idiotic at best.
          You have a very weak argument

    • saud anderson

      Read history books if you have any.

  22. oik65

    Hi Azira, nice piece. However, I have to point out that the treaty that the Sulu Sultan signed with Overbeck in 1878 is a separate treaty to the one signed with Spain mentioned in the ICJ judgment. The treaty with Overbeck is the one that the Sulus want everyone to see because at least it gives them some small glimmer hope of winning the argument.

    The treaty with Spain in the same year gave Spain sovereignty over Sulu and all its dependencies. Then in the Madrid Treaty of 1885, Spain recognized North Borneo as belonging to the British.

    • status quo

      what glimmer of hope, the 1878 agreement refers to a fixed amount per annum with no provision for review. there is quite simply nothing that needs to be discussed. it also identifies the agreed jurisdiction for any legal dispute to be heard, which is "Borneo", in other words, Sabah – so why didn't these people from Sulu not do the correct thing and file their complaint supported by genuine documents in the civil courts of Sabah? Simple, they think that they are above the law and can just go around brandishing guns and everybody will give in to their demands.

  23. zakzak

    Well written article Azira, thanks.
    A couple of days ago, I read that one point of that the Sulu Sultanate and Philiphine gov want/wanteto contest is that the 1878 agreement is void since the party Sabah was ceded to was not a government, thus the has no power of sovereignty, or something like that.

    • Amr

      Doesn't matter though as in 1903 Sultanate Of Sulu confirmed the cession also their version of the contract is dubious they are basically everyone to accept their version without any evidence.
      besides the self determination of Sabah over rules any colonial era treaties

  24. Enni

    If somehow the Sulu Sultanate succeed in taking over Sabah, how do they intend to rule? Sabah have progressed economically and the business environment is very complex and cut-throat just like in many neighbouring countries. Without experience a newcomer can easily fall prey . It will be like a situation of being ' out of the tigers clutches but into the crocodiles mouth'. Why not drop the claim and just join Malaysia and be part of a bigger and stronger Muslim country.

  25. chris

    There is a small point but an important one, I am informed that Sabah was actually an independent nation prior to joining Malaysia, this happened a few days prior to Sept 16. So even if the Sultan had valid claims, this would be extinguished when the people of Sabah had elected to be independent from British prior to joining Malaysia. In short, the people of Sabah choose self-determination, as per United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) under titled Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples which provided for the granting of independence to colonial countries and people hence an inevitable legal linkage between self-determination and its goal of decolonisation, recognised by all nations including the govt of the Philippines. As to the incompetency or lack of firmness by the Malaysian govt including paying off terrorist (in the Sipidan fiasco), I only wish I have the answer.

    • status quo

      correct and that is why it was legally done that way

    • pengtuck

      Exactly. Those earlier idiots SOLD OUT. That's why they were an independent state. Too bad there wasn't ebay back then. They would have PayPal buyer protection.

  26. Fendy Ali

    Well written, Azira. However, may I point out that it is the 20 Point Agreement that formed the basis of certain autonomy that is given to Sabah. The 18 Point Agreement is in respect of the points in Sarawak.

    And as Rafie (in the comment above) correctly highlighted, entrance to Sabah where passport is no longer required.

    • Amr

      This doesn't support your theory at all nor I assume the Kirams case EVEN if there was no referendum a group of people did go about trying to ascertain the feelings of some of the people and even today there is no desire for Sabah to join Philippines or the Sultanate of Sulu.
      There is no independence movement either only the ramblings of a bitter man who wants to rule Sabah by himself the fact finding mission determined by the UN is more credible than the sayings of a power hungry politician no one else btw is backing this guys assertion and claim.
      Nice try but a massive fail from your part

      o

  27. Tripoli

    1. First of all, I don't know what your idea of the word "Royal" is but if it is in the lines of British Monarchy or even Thailand who live in gold gilded palaces and what not. That is not how the Sultan or even the Datus live in the Philippines… They are ordinary folk. I have even gone to school with Princesses (Dayangs) and Ladies (Bais) and honestly you couldn't even tell. They even use public transport. Corrupt Moslem officials live more like Sultans than this one. As for Datus, some of them live in huts, maybe bigger than their people's but still huts… They may have kris and weaponry (they are Tausugs, fighting people) centuries old (magnificently looking by the way) but just hidden under layers of malong(special kind of cloth). These are people often thought of as out of place and out of time but never without a sense of identity even when the rest of the Filipino population loves to say they are part American, Chinese, Japanese or what not…..
    As for the pristine original declaration of Independence in the US… Kudos to them… I think (doubtful) our gov't has taken good care of ours (I'm certain it is not pristine). I can tell you for sure the original 1800's copy of Noli Me Tangere authored by our National Hero, Jose Rizal sits in the National Library… Rubber stamped and Packaging taped to keep the binding together.

    2.This is what the Sultanate would like to contest in ICJ but because of politics my gov't has been remiss in pursuing this in ICJ for 40-50 or so odd years. The gov't did have a special power of attorney to pursue this but since nothing has happened the Sultanate rescinded that SPA and still my gov't has been putting Sabah on the table during negotiations without consulting the Sultan. And so here we are.
    Can you imagine trusting someone with what your ancestors have given you with a promise that something will be done, only to wait for nothing, and in the end to be told it is a "hopeless cause" and frankly they don't care.

    3.As for the findings of the Cobbold Commission… The Sultanate would like to contest the veracity of that finding because, back when it was conducted, Sabah was a backwater state… more space than people… There is doubt people who occupied Sabah back then were fully aware or understood what the referendum was for. That and there was so much effort to make that finding in favour of the federation.
    As for self-determination, it goes different ways. What do you think are these Tausugs (militants and terrorists to you) doing? In spite of Malaysia kicking them out and the Philippines practically denying them, they still go on. They will die for what they believe is right. I am sorry it has come to killing but I think politicians lack the understanding of what it is to have principle that they never understood these people.
    They are certain they will die. Both gov'ts should have taken it into consideration. My president asks them to come home and threatens to sue them when they arrive. How sane was that? Would you have gone back? They ask for honour or death and you threaten them with constitutional violations?… Blunder after blunder after blunder… and the recent one by your PM. After the attention given by UN, these Tausugs had a unilateral ceasefire hoping your PM would do the same but no… Most likely because of the nearing elections he has to save face. He has been humiliated by the breach in security in Sabah, his police cannot control 100 people plus his army's 7 battalions are still not finished with now 200 or 300 and then something like 152 men in the jungle…after air strikes, mind you. And then both gov'ts blame opposition… Honestly, I don't care what opposition did/ does a good leader better sort this out. Otherwise my loyalty is with my people as I am sure yours are with Malaysians.

    • J C

      Hello Tripoli

      A reply if I may :-)

      1) You seem to be saying 'well the Sultan and Datus are nice people, cut them some slack'. Well, I disagree that they are 'nice', nice compared to the corrupt officials you talk of but certainly no saints, trust me I've dealt with them. I think they became irrelevant for a reason though perhaps it would have been better for them to have a larger role than they do now. Anyway, I agree with you somewhat, the South of the Philippines has never really 'belonged' to the Philippines, perhaps somewhat like how the East of Malaysia doesn't really 'belong' to the West of Malaysia. But hey, when my people were over dividing up Asia they made mistakes… sadly we have to live with them and going round to the next door neighbor and saying 'yeah I know it's been 50 years but we'll be having this back now' really is not the way to do it!

      2) Kinda get your point here; yes the attack was somewhat out of desperation but I also think there are other reasons too. I mean, why now? Why not before? I think a fair number of these invaders are wanted criminals and terrorists, no longer needed after the peace deal was signed. We can't just let them bugger off to Afghanistan or Gaza like we used to now so they wound up pissing off Malaysia. It's also probably got something to do with that oil the Sulu Sultan may or may not be sitting on or the myriad of other problems that family keep under wraps. Still, at least they got to go out in their silly blaze of glory that they desperately wanted.

      3) I'm going to take some issues with this point. The first paragraph seems to be saying 'Sabah people were stupid then, they didn't know what they wanted'. Now while I can see some merit to that (I do think that perhaps they didn't know what they were going in for when they were ripped off by Malaysia later on). However one can't just stand there now and dig it up purely because it is convenient! If Sabah wants to leave Malaysia then I am sure they will let us know, heck I think that we are in for a surprise come GE13!

      As for the second paragraph on this band of gunmen, so what if they are ready to die for their cause? Doesn't make it any more right; Germans were ready to die for Hitler, Russians for Stalin, Americans to this day are prepared to die for some of the terrible things their country does, does it make them any more right? They are foolish glory seekers in my opinion.

      I agree however that they are misunderstood, again I refer you to my first paragraph about not really 'belonging' to the PI. However, I think that Malaysia was very understanding when they first arrived, heck were many Malaysians pissed off that they all weren't blown to bits as soon as they landed! But we let criminals off purely because they have a different way of looking at life, a shoplifter who says he subscribes to the belief that everything belongs to the people and that is why he steals should get the book thrown at him just like anyone else! I think these gunmen had their chance to negotiate, they blew it. Heck, as you say they even got a ceasefire brokered by KL, how crap a way to repay than invade?! No, I find the motives of these gunmen fishy to say the least, I think Sabah was just an excuse.

      I haven't replied to all your points but I hope you'll respect don't want to go on all night, make people bored and I also have a kitchen to clean. So in conclusion I don't think this is a time for loyalty to any one cause. Mistakes were made in the past, mistakes are still made today. However invading your next door neighbor will always be wrong no matter what.

      Replies welcomed!

      JC
      thepenofawanderingstranger.com
      [email protected]

    • saud

      Even if these highnesses are poor as you implied…you cannot twist history. Sabah belongs to them. Thank you.

    • Status Quo

      I am British and my wife is a Filipina, and we have also visited Sabah and spoken with locals and we know what they want. We both agree that Sabah has decided to govern itself and that should be respected, and that the claims of this disputed "sultan" of a "sultanate" that stopped being a sovereign state more than one century ago have no valid grounds in modern international law. Unfortunately, there are too many Filipinos like yourself who just cannot accept a court's decision, and think that the way to behave is to resort to illegal carrying and use of firearms. In other words, poor losers with chips on both shoulders who cannot handle reality and who go around blaming everyone but themselves for their own past poor decisions or mistakes. Worse, most of the violent minded Filipinos posting on Philippine newspaper websites have never even visited Sabah and are quite simply talking out of their bottom. There are many Filipinos who are tired of reading the bullshit posted by other Filipinos on the Sabah issue. They recognise, given their own people power revolution and fight for independence from both the Spanish and the Americans, that the current behaviour of the Karims is somewhat hypocritical and that the reality is quite simple – through self-determination, Sabah belongs to the people of Sabah who have in turn decided to be a federated state of Malaysia. QED.

    • pengtuck

      In the first place if they really wanted Sabah, they would not have SOLD OUT in the first place.

      The key word here is SOLD OUT. Understand that.

      Once you SELL OUT you're SOL. Time has passed. Events have moved on. You can't rewind things no matter how bad that crap is.
      On the critique of our PM yes he is an idiot. No doubt, many locals would agree. You're forgetting one thing though. People landed on Malaysian shores without going through immigration. What do you want him to do? Welcome them with open arms and all is forgiven ?

      On the matter of contesting the veracity of the Cobbold Commission they can contest all they like but they will have zero standing. ZERO. Why? Because they SOLD OUT.

      Read the article. They SOLD OUT.

    • DanieLoHH73

      Based on Historical facts, the Sulu Sultan was given part of Sabah as a colony. And the Sultanate have been treating as such, a colony. Else how do you explain the Sultanate willingness to Padjak it to the British? Whatever the translation means? If the part of Sabah owned by the Sulu Sultan was nothing more than a colony to him, to support such claim that Sabah should be returned to the Sulu Sultanate is tantamount to an attempt to recolonize Sabah against the wishes of Sabahans. I thought Imperialism is dead in the 1950s apparently it's not in Philippine…

  28. Guest

    Good research. .

  29. mekyam

    nicely done! bravo thank you, Azira!

  30. Rafie

    Just one point of information Azira –

    You don't need a passport to enter Sarawak and Sabah anymore. You still need an IC and you would need to fill out a form upon arrival, but the passport is no longer required.

    Wonderfully written, concise and well-researched. I'm lovin it.

    • Sarawakians

      KINDLY READ THE COMMENTS ON "THERE WAS NO REFERENDUM" POSTED ON THIS PAGE

      The writer limited her research to the open sources which were very biased.

      For a start the Cobbold Commission was not an independent body as it comprised only British colonial and Malayan government officials and ex-officials. This was a conflict of interests as any bush lawyer would know.

      The Cobbold Commission was designed to show the world that the colonial masters were acting fairly but in reality it was a sham. They were going through the motions and were forcing through their agenda of consolidating the 5 territories based on their 1942 plan despite local and international opposition to "Malaysia".

      The Borneo people opposed the imposition of Malaysia peacefully and also with armed resistance seen in the anti-Malaysia Brunei uprising in 1962 and the Sarawak guerilla war of independence from 1962 to 1990. They oppose Malaysia as neo-colonial creation becasue they saw it was only transfer of colonial rule to a new master under Malayan rule.

      The last 50 years has seen how Malaya has converted Sabah and Sarawak into colonies which it had plundered (especially their oil wealth) to develop Malaya under its corrupt patronage system.

      Malaysia was formed against this background.

      No one should be proud to be a Malaysian.

  31. proud2bmalaysian

    Well written. My piece is written here http://proud2bmalaysian.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/

    and I am just a Malaysian interested in this matter.

    By the way, Malaysians from the Peninsula need only show their IC for immigration purpose. However, immigration clearly belongs to Sabah and Sarawak although synchronized with the Federal organization. That is why at times some people are rejected entry for reasons best known to them.

    • ANTI-COLONIALISM

      MISGUIDED PRIDE

      P2M – Unfortunately your pride as a "Malaysian" is misguided. You need to know the historical facts.

      "Malaysia" was a British Malayan idea pushed on the Borneo colonies in 1961 when they were not even ready for their bilateral proposal to federate Malaya Singapore Brunei North Borneo and Sarawak as a new country.

      Britain and Malaya's main justification for forming Malaysia was that it would protect the Borneo colonies from foreign invasion and communist takeover reflecting their cold war strategies.

      Sabah and Sarawak were coerced to be part of Malaysia when Brunei did not even want to join and Singapore left in 1965. The Malaysia concept was not the original concept first proposed.

      The Borneo people opposed "Malaysia" and wanted to form their own federation consisting of Brunei North Borneo and Sarawak called "North Kalimantan". In Dec 1962 an anti-Malaysia armed uprising broke out in Brunei and spread to parts of North Borneo and Sarawak. This developed into a guerilla war for independence in Sarawak from 1962 to 1990.

      The Sulu invasion demonstrates that Malaysia could not protect Sabah from foreign invasion. In fact UMNO left the borders open and unguarded.

      Most people of Sabah and Sarawak have come to detest the colonial rulers from Malaya for cheating them of their independence and plundering their countries.

      • proud2bmalaysian

        Assuming you have privvy to what you call history, you allege that the Borneo people never did wanted to be a part of the Federation of Malaysia. I tend to disagree with you but there is no way to go back into time to find out, would we? But one thing for sure. The spirit and context that Sabah and Sarawak joined the Federation of Malaysia is not actualized. In fact, they have now been obscured. They were supposed to be equal members to the Federation of Malaya, not another state of that Federation.

        Singapore did not leave in 1965. History tells us they were "kicked out" by Tunku forcing the parliment to vote on it.

        I agree that our Federal Govt left the borders open for some reason. One could be that security of Sabah is under the PM Dept. What do they know about security? That is probably why the Maritimes, Navy, Army and Police are not aware. Now, the ESSCOM is under Mindef. What about the rest of Sabah? What happened to the Sabah Army? Why are they not involved?

        Questions, questions and more questions.

  32. Pepper Lim

    Nice!

  33. nithiah

    im convinced.

    • ANON

      (From a posting in Hornbill Unleashed 27/03/13. The Malaysia Insider writer has not done her homework to present a fair and balanced opinion).

      THERE WAS NO “COBBOLD COMMISSION REFERENDUM”! NO EXERCISE OF FREE CHOICE!

      THERE WAS NO “COBBOLD COMMISSION REFERENDUM” ON THE MALAYSIA QUESTION. There was never an exercise of free choice or “YES or NO” vote by the Sabah and Sarawak people on whether or not to become part of Malaysia.

      There was only a “Cobbold Commission of Enquiry on Malaysia” in North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak to find out whether the people here supported the British Malayan 1961 proposal to incorporate 5 countries (Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, North Borneo and Sarawak as equal partners) under the “Malaysia Concept”.

      The word “enquiry” in plain English does not mean a “referendum”. The Thesaurus defines “enquiry – a systematic investigation of a matter of public interest”.

      This enquiry was carried out by British and Malayan colonial officials and ex-officials appointed by the British government which was a clear conflict of interest.

      The Commission was therefore not an independent body conducting an assessment of views. This was done to avoid complying with the UN de-colonisation protocol of a referendum and side stepping the strong local and international opposition to the Malaysia proposal.

      1. COBBOLD COMMISSION’S BRIEF WAS CALLED AN “ENQUIRY”. .

      The Commission conclusions were called “findings”. This means this was no more than taking an opinion poll on the “Malaysia concept/proposal”. It was Britain’s a response to the widespread local and international opposition to their neo-colonial idea.

      It is to re-define the dictionary meaning to call an “enquiry” a “referendum” and actually done to mask the real history behind the formation of Malaysia.

      A “referendum” is an independently supervised vote on a question or issue of national or public importance affecting a group of people or nation. Examples of East Timor and Southern Sudan which had independence referendums. But there was never such a vote in Sabah or Sarawak on the Malaysia proposal which had far reaching disastrous impact on the people!

      2. COMMISSION INTERVIEWED 4,000 PEOPLE

      The Commission “interviewed” about 4,000 in the 2 colonies being less than 4% of the total population in 1962. This was hardly a vote.

      If it were a “referendum” all the people of adult age in the 2 colonies should have been allowed to vote on the question after a reasonable period of education so they could make an informed consent or decision. This was the very objection raised by the 2 British colonial governors who said the Borneo people were not ready for the federation.

      4,000 people cannot by any stretch of imagination be called a representative “vote” or referendum.

      Cont'd next post

      • ANON

        3. WIDESPREAD OPPOSITION TO MALAYSIA

        The Malaysia proposal aroused immediate opposition in the 3 Borneo colonies with people expressing fears of being re-colonised by a transfer of power to Malaya. The independence movement in the 3 Borneo colonies led a delegation to he UN to expressed their opposition to Malaysia.

        In Sabah only the Suluks and Bugis who were then only a tiny minority interest group supported the Malaysia Concept. In Brunei and Sarawak the opposition to Malaysia was even more strongly articulated and widespread with unprecedented huge demonstrations against Malaysia in Sarawak.

        Around the same time when the Commission “findings” were released, the Brunei of people elected the anti-Malaysia Brunei People’s Party with a landslide majority in an open general election held by the British colonial authorities.

        The BPP put forward 3 resolutions for the first Legislative Council meeting:
        1. Reject the Malaysia proposal.
        2. Reunite North Borneo and Sarawak with Brunei
        3. Form the independent Borneo Federation (North Kalimantan)

        The BPP proposals were rejected by the British and on December 8 1962, the BPP led Brunei anti-Malaysia Uprising for independence broke out with the declaration for an independent North Kalimantan.

        The fighting spread to parts of Sabah and Sarawak and later developed into a guerilla war for national liberation and independence in Sarawak which lasted till 1990. At the same time Indonesia launched its “Ganyang Malaysia” campaign with “Konfrontasi” to “smash Malaysia”.

        4. MALAYSIA NOT FREELY & VOLUNTARILY “FORMED”

        Malaysia was hastily declared on September 16 1963 while there was an anti-Malaysia independence armed uprising in progress and before the people were give time to properly and fully consider the implications of the fCONCLUSION:ederation.

        Prior to that the concept had changed into a new concept because Brunei declined to be part of the federation over lack of real “equal partnership”. This is changed the racial balance justification for forming Malaysia.

        Further, North Borneo and Sarawak were still colonies when the Malaysia Agreement was signed on July 9 1962.

        Sarawak regained its independence on July 22 1962 (independent state from 1841 to 1941). Sabah got an even shorter independence on August 31 1962. They were still colonies which could not have validly sign an international treaty like Malaysia Agreement. They did not even have properly elected representatives.

        This means that the signing was not an informed and free and voluntary act by both colonies.

        CONCLUSION:

        This is the historic background of the opposition to Malaysia. The argument that there was a “referendum” is an overstated big lie and false argument used to mask the facts and legitimise the formation of Malaysia.

        The Cobbold Commission was only an “enquiry”.

        THERE WAS NEVER A REFERENDUM ON MALAYSIA!