By Lawyer Jack Situn
KOTA KINABALU: The Malay Rulers and dominant Malays rejected the Malayan Union modelled on the UK system proposed by the British in 1946.
What most terrified the Malay Rulers and Malays was that the Malayan Union granted EQUALITY OF ALL RACES under a CENTRALISED SYSTEM of government from Kuala Lumpur. The Rulers were also worried about losing their political influence over their respective domains and subjects. As the paramount objectives of MA63 are EQUAL RIGHTS and EQUAL PARTNERSHIP, Malay Rulers’ apprehension and doubts, if any, appear justified.
In the UK, whether you are white, black or yellow, English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish, etc etc, once granted British Citizenship you enjoy Equal Rights as a citizen of the UNION of the United Kingdom.
As it is now, Malaysia is a hybrid of the “US Federalism” and “UK Unionism”. Should MA63 be implemented to the letter, Malaysia could be moving towards the UK Unionism model comprising three semi-autonomous States but with devolved powers (decentralized powers) from Putrajaya.
This means there shall not be any preferential treatment of a particular region or race, as Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya have equal rights and equal partnership. Thus, the Malay Rulers need to be convinced that elements of the Malayan Union of a bygone era are NOT coming back to haunt them.