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 ebook marks the fiftieth anniversary of this awesome occasion in South East Asia's heritage. the point of interest of the e-book may be as a rule at the adventure of Sabah and Sarawak as matters of the federation. It seems to be on the adventure of federalism from a couple of diversified views, holding in brain not only the consequences of federalism on Sabah and Sarawak but additionally the results at the federation as a complete. Has the cut price of 1963 been adhered to? Has Malaysian federalism been a winning instance of this type of presidency in Asia, or has the discount 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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To preserve a multipolar society, power should be devolved. This of course has consequences in terms of financing state governments and increased bureaucracy. ”) and Andrew Harding (“Protection of the Indigenous Peoples of Sabah and Sarawak under Malaysia’s Federal System”) refocus the discussion on human rights issues and political representation pertaining to the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak. For Andrew Harding, while the federal system has maintained the system of recognition of native adat, the human rights of the indigenous peoples of Sarawak have not been maintained.

This is the ‘centripetal’ (centre-seeking) tendency with a federal system. Our authors in this collection argue that this centripetal tendency is what has actually occurred in Malaysia in the past half century. But a federation can also tend towards decentralisation or fragmentation, which is known as the ‘centrifugal’ (centre-fleeing) tendency, the ultimate end of which would be the breaking up of the federation. For this reason we need to pay close attention to the institutions that create and enforce federalism; and the institutions need to work in a way that understands and supports the distribution of power that federalism entails.

At the state level, the BN has been politically successful as well, although they have had problems with three states: Kelantan, Terengganu and Sabah. Kelantan has been ruled by Parti Islam Malaysia (PAS) for most of the past fifty years, while Terengganu was under PAS rule for several terms. Sabah presents an interesting case-study. While the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) state government was officially part of the BN from 1986 to 1990, it behaved like an opposition party within the BN. It took a strong ‘state-rights’ stand against Kuala Lumpur, so much so that on the eve of the 1990 elections, it left the BN and joined an opposition alliance.

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