The first draft of “partnership” constitutional amendment

If this issue is not something that I familiar with or that important, I should not comment too much. However, I feel that constitutional amendment is too important (as the highest law in “the Federation”). Based on the information I collected during the past few years from the major libraries/archives in Singapore, Taipei and Kota Kinabalu, I feel that this constitutional amendment is too hasty and contains implicit political agenda from PH.

Tomorrow (9 April) will be the day for the second and third readings of RUU (and it may last until mid-night). If PH and its alliance receive nine more support, I perceive that it is difficult to propose another constitutional amendment on this issue in the next 20 years (if Malaysia is still there).

Although many politicians and NGOs have requested for the amendment draft since the end of March, the draft was only publicly presented during the first reading on April 4, and the people has only five days to discuss and react before the voting.

Since the PM announcement in last September, all the public discourse was centered on the term “Wilayah/Territory”, which made people mistakenly think that the term “Wilayah/Territory” would appear in the draft. Subsequently, many people questioned the real meaning of the term, but there was no official reply. The SS government even mistakenly believed and announced their readiness to drop off the usage of “State/Negeri” in all official documents after the amendment. Now I know that “Wilayah/Territory” is just an illusion to shifts the public focus. The 2019 draft does not contain the term “Wilayah/Territory”, afterwards many PH politicians argue hardly to prove that the term “States/Negeri” functions as “Wilayah/Territory”. Wao! We do not believe in the explanation that are not written on the draft.

Moreover, whether the draft proves “three territories” or “two territories”, their explanation are still self-contradictory. By turning the 1976 version from one into two lines, does it actually mean “three territories”? Then why not three lines? If all PH politicians agree that it is “two territories”, then at least I can understand that there is a consensus from their point of views! But in fact, no consensus among them! (Please check their statements from internet)

Then they claim that this draft is equivalent to 1963 version. If so, why do they delete “the States of Malaya” and “the Borneo States”? Minister LVK’s own explanation is that the two words are simply “out of date”. He claimed that “the Borneo States” could refer to Brunei and Kalimantan as well. Is it logic for Brunei and Kalimantan to appear in the Malaysia’s highest law? Moreover, isn’t the line, “namely, Sabah and Sarawak” explain further on what are “the Borneo States”?
Furthermore, if “Malaya” is out of date, why PH politicians back up the definition of “the Federation” in the 160(2) articles, “the Federation established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957” ? Why is the “Malaya” of the 1(2) article out of date, and then the 160(2) article still relevant? They claimed that the 160(2) articles have nothing to do with the 1(2) article, but there is no further explanation given. In my opinion, the distinction that makes the 1(2) and 160(2) article irrelevant is to emphasize and restore “the States of Malaya” and “the Borneo States” in the 1(2) article, in order to veto the general definition of “the Federation” in the Constitution. Another more thorough approach is of course to modify the definition of 160(2) “the Federation” into “the Federation established under the Federation of Malaysia Agreement 1963”.

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Do remember, the 160(5) article clearly states that “the Federation” has nothing to do with the definition of “the Federation” under “the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948”. Then why can’t we repeat the same in the Constitution by adding similar line to void “the Federation established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957”?

The confusion about the definition of “the Federation” has been raised up by scholars since 2015 (maybe earlier). We cannot accuse that the East Malaysian MP are making trouble this time. As long as the definition of 160(2) “the Federation” remained, “the Federation of Malaya” still exists in De Jure. In fact, I am very happy to see the status restoration of the lost “Federation of Malaya” in De facto.

After 4th April, the comments of the PH MP were directed to show “the unreasonableness” of localism MP, saying that they advocated the status restoration and now they oppose the act, that they are dominated by Umno. PH MP are trying to imply that if this amendment succeeds, localism parties will have nothing to attract votes. If PH MP really want them to lose local support, my suggestion is to return the oil and gas tax to 20%; it will be much more effective.

Some of the PH MP and scholars have pointed their fingers to 1976 scenario, showing that SS MP themselves support the amendment with the reasons to integrate more into Malaysia. Please, analyze the 1976 amendment in the politic-social context! Weeks before the constitutional amendment, the chief minister of Sabah and half of his cabinet that insisted on oil and gas tax and autonomy “were exploded”. In addition, in 1976, SS have not fully experienced the hardship for being Malayized and being Islamized.

The most important point, both the BN and PH have pledged to restore the status of 1963 before the election, rather than the status of 1976. Why focus on 1976? The people were dissatisfied with the 1976 amendment and that is the reason they propose to restore the status of 1963, isn’t it? Unless PH manifesto does not mention 1963, it is at least understandable from their perspective.

If you have watched the live broadcast of the 4th April Parliament, the localists did not completely oppose to the purpose of amendment, but they doubt the practical significance after the amendment. They hope that there will be more time and room for discussion. They request the establishment of special committee to analyze the wordings carefully and then pass the amendment in both Sarawak and Sabah legislative assemblies before passing in the parliament. These are their feedbacks that willing to communicate, and to reduce future disputes. If so, why PH is so rushed?

I sincerely hope that everyone can help me find that a non-contradictory interpretation or clear answers from PH MP in their past few days (4-9 April) statements. Thank you!

written on 8 April, a day before the amendment date
followed by Chinese version

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Continue reading “The first draft of “partnership” constitutional amendment”

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Bukan suka-suka

如果說印尼有Dangdut,那沙巴的代表音樂應是Rentak Sumazau。這種Rentak Sumazau受到卡達山杜順群的傳統音樂、英國流行樂,後來受到馬來流行樂的影響。特點是節奏性很強,然後融入一些銅制敲擊樂。早期從卡達山杜順語變成馬來語居多(也因為越來越多被馬來化,不會自己的母語了)。

這種沙巴歌曲越來越受到馬來亞半島的馬來朋友喜愛。他們通常都會用syiok來形容(即使聽不懂)。這首去年發表的歌也有小知名度。個人覺得這首的歌詞寫得很好。有一些段落善用馬來語的發音特色,『Tapi aku juga manusia biasa』的sia和bia,或『Walau awan datang menghalang』的datang和halang,或『Tiada insan lain selain dirimu』的lain和selain。

歌詞用了最日常生活的方式來表達心裡的感受,釀越久越有滋味。

Continue reading “Bukan suka-suka”

About the real partnership

No one in the history knew better than Lord Lansdowne, the UK Minister of State for Colonial Affairs as well as the chairman of the Inter-Governmental Committee in 1963.

The IGC is formed to ascertain the views and autonomy rights of North Borneo and Sarawak people and the IGC report is signed by the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and United Kingdom representatives (all together 27).

This is how he interpret the “real partnership” during the debate of “The Malaysia Bill 1963” in the UK house, 26 July 1963, 17 days after MA63 is signed in London.

When both PH and BN manifestos are to restore the autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak back to 1963, those leaders should have the least focus on the changes of those rights afterwards, especially after Singapore separation. Have a nice read, if you really care ^^

Equal partnership


Continue reading “About the real partnership”

非復邦,仍州也

希盟很傻,復邦一案,若是不想處理可以反悔,或是慢慢商議。如今被認為是騙局一場,只會加速沙砂的獨派聲音。

三個月前,希盟透過各大媒體宣傳『邦』(Wilayah)字眼;宣傳『沙巴、砂拉越和馬來亞,三個同等地位』,但是建議法案竟是,沒有『邦』,也把1976年版本的13聯邦州屬拆成11+2的公式,明顯和宣傳的有差,但是很多網民依然認為是東馬議員鬧事,沒有事先做功課(事前已強烈要求提早公佈草案卻不果)等,令人傻眼。

我們首先看看聯邦憲法第1(2)條文(1963年版本=《馬來西亞聯邦協定》版本):

聯邦的成員州屬為:
(a)馬來亞州屬,即柔佛、吉打、吉蘭丹、馬六甲、森美蘭、彭亨、檳城、霹靂、玻璃市、雪蘭莪與登嘉樓;(b)婆羅洲州屬,即沙巴與砂拉越;及
(c)新加坡州屬。

1965年新加坡退出,(c)項被刪除。

1976年所謂的沙砂降級修憲:

聯邦的成員州屬為柔佛、吉打、吉蘭丹、馬六甲、森美蘭、彭亨、檳城、霹靂、玻璃市、沙巴、砂拉越、雪蘭莪與登嘉樓。

注意:『馬來亞州屬』和『婆羅洲州屬』兩個字眼不見了。2019年的修案美其名是恢復《馬來西亞協議》版本,但結果和1963年相差很遠。

2019年草案版本:

聯邦的成員州屬為:
(a)柔佛、吉打、吉蘭丹、馬六甲、森美蘭、彭亨、霹靂、玻璃市、檳城、雪蘭莪與登嘉樓;及
(b)沙巴與砂拉越。

外加解釋,不在憲法://若修正案通過,將牽涉政府的額外財政預算,但金額目前尚未能敲定。//(沒有敲定細節,那就當作沒有說過^^)

注意:『馬來亞州屬』和『婆羅洲州屬』兩個字眼依然不存在。

再看外加解釋的最後一句話:

此修正,在任何形式,不會改變聯邦政府和州政府在聯邦概念下的功能。(Pindaan ini, dalam apa-apa cara, tidak mengubah fungsi Kerajaan Persekutuan dan Kerajaan-Kerajaan Negeri di bawah konsep federalism.)

州屬和聯邦的地位沒有改變,這只是形式上的不同,(現在或未來)都體現不出『恢復平等地位的意義』。

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Sino design Angpow

I have been collecting special Angpow design for over 20 years. This is one of the most precious Angpow collections that combines both the Chinese and KDMR/Momogun culture. Should I name it as a ‘Sino’ angpow?

The celebration of Lunisolar New Year in Sabah is participated by all ethnic groups. I found this design at Chanteek Borneo Indigenous Museum, at Tampuruli. It is actually one of the three designs, that includes the Angpow for wedding as well.

The assimilated practices of Angpow are also found in Hari Raya Puasa (Eid al-Fitr) and Deepavali celebration, with Green and Purple/Yellow as main color. I even kept the Kongsi raya version that blends red & green in one packet from 1996-1998 when Hari Raya Puasa and Lunisolar New Year fell within the same month. The next Kongsi Raya will be in 2029 to 2031.

20190314_183432 Continue reading “Sino design Angpow”

塔达那:建庙、庆祝农历新年的原住民

专栏  |  吴佳翰

发表于 19 3月 2019, 12:29 中午  |  更新于 19 3月 2019, 12:39 下午

沙巴黄大仙庙动土典礼。黄袍者为来自香港的李耀辉监院,中间白衣者为里姆斯议员。

【大专论坛】

2018年1月13日,马来西亚沙巴的“黄大仙庙”正式动土。这是香港黄大仙祠啬色园继加拿大温哥华和澳洲悉尼之后的海外分祠,座落于马来西亚沙巴的瓜拉班尤(Kuala Penyu)。

显然和前面两个大都市相比,瓜拉班尤只不过是凋零小县,人口不到2万,华人比例佔1.4%。在这个由九成土著所组成的县,怎么会筹建佔地5英亩、耗资马币700万的庙宇呢?

大部分学者或媒体经常把土著等同于马来人或穆斯林,而忽略非马来人土著的多元性。因此,瓜拉班尤的土著议员里姆斯(Limus Jury)带领民众,兴建如此大规模的华人宗教场所,难免会引起社会的讨论与不解。

瓜拉班尤黄大仙庙外观设计图,以海龟为外形,符合“Kuala Penyu”作为海龟河口的地名。 Continue reading “塔达那:建庙、庆祝农历新年的原住民”

談平等地位夥伴修憲的背景知識

馬來西亞聯邦在這季國會要把沙砂的州屬地位還原成和馬來亞同等的『邦』地位。

姑且不論到底是『婆羅洲州屬(沙砂)』和『馬來亞』同等,或是『沙巴』、『砂拉越』和『馬來亞』同等。但,總覺得大家在討論這件議題的時候,有些背景知識需要認清。

1. 《獨立十八/二十條款》存在,但沒有法律約束力
2. 沙砂新的國會議席比例,重點不在三分一強
3. 成立之初的國會議席分配並非根據人口密度

1. 馬來西亞成立的過程其實充滿很多法律協定的簽署,但是我至今還不明白為什麼馬來西亞政府會專挑一個最沒有法律約束力的《獨立二十條款》來教導。實際上,馬來亞政府為了『邀請』沙砂汶新共組馬來西亞,所答應的保障遠遠超過二十個

《獨立二十條款》缺乏約束力,是因為當時後提出的政黨UNKO,並非是民選的政黨。況且馬來亞、英國、沙和砂的政府代表都沒有簽署這《獨立二十條款》。

但,大部分的獨立二十條款的內容其實大部分和《1962年英國-馬來亞協定》的Annex重複,由英國首相Harold Macmillian和馬來亞首相Tunku簽訂。單單這個協定,馬來亞所承諾的保障就有29條(還沒有包括之後的條約)。

《1963年馬來西亞協定》的基礎是《1962年跨政府級別報告書》(Intergovernmental Committee Report, ICGR)。後者長達55頁,簽署代表包括英沙砂馬四方(汶萊作為觀察者)。

ICGR全文早期很難找到,如今可見:http://www.lawnet.sabah.gov.my/…/ReportOfTheI…/IGCReport.pdf

2. 沙砂新的國會議席比例,重點在於是否達否決修憲的門檻:即如果有一天馬來西亞聯邦把《聯邦憲法》的修憲門檻改到二分之一,即須根據ICGR的No19(2)內容,把沙砂新的國會比例提升到二分之一。(如果馬來亞政府乖乖的話)

即,如果是平等夥伴的話,就有用擁有否決一方所做的決定的權力。這體現在修憲的門檻上,即沙砂新的國會議席總和,須具有否決馬來亞所做的修憲權力。

ICGR No19.2 Continue reading “談平等地位夥伴修憲的背景知識”