By Dr. Andrew J Harding, Dr. James Chin
On sixteen September 1963 Malaysia got here into being with the accession of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore to the prevailing Federation of Malaya. This booklet marks the fiftieth anniversary of this impressive occasion in South East Asia's historical past. the focal point of the e-book can be frequently at the event of Sabah and Sarawak as matters of the federation. It appears to be like on the adventure of federalism from a couple of varied views, holding in brain not only the consequences of federalism on Sabah and Sarawak but additionally the consequences at the federation as an entire. Has the cut price of 1963 been adhered to? Has Malaysian federalism been a winning instance of this kind of presidency in Asia, or has the cut price been undermined in methods opposite to the unique deal within the Malaysia contract of 1963? What were the sensible results on East Malaysia in the course of 50 years?
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Extra info for 50 Years of Malaysia. Federalism Revisited
In this connection a draft bill on immigration was appended to the Malaysia Agreement and promptly passed into law as the Immigration Act 1963 a few days before Malaysia came into being. However, there was also concern about other issues: financial arrangements and development; the special position of natives of Sabah and Sarawak; the national language; religion; the legal system; representation in the federal parliament; and of course how these states would be protected from future constitutional changes affecting any of these issues.
In the last twenty to thirty years, there has been much interest in federalism as a solution to various problems. It has been looked at as a blueprint for decentralisation; as a way of resolving ethnic or central-local tensions; and as a way of maximising economic benefits. Federations often experience inter-governmental conflicts and transgressions, especially when the federal government centralises too much power at the expense of the states. In extreme cases such as the former Yugoslavia and the West Indies, they can even break up completely.
Clearly there is room for improvement here. Federalism needs to be constantly maintained through politics, administration, economics, and law, and is therefore a real responsibility of all branches of government, legislative, executive and judicial. This is true not just at the federal level but at the state level too. As some speakers at the workshop pointed out, state political leaders in Malaysia have not always maintained states’ rights and interests within the federal structure despite having ample opportunities to do so.
50 Years of Malaysia. Federalism Revisited by Dr. Andrew J Harding, Dr. James Chin