50 Years of Malaysia: Federalism Revisited by Dr. Andrew J Harding, Dr. James Chin

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 present Federation of Malaya. This publication marks the fiftieth anniversary of this impressive occasion in South East Asia’s history.

The concentration of the e-book might be often at the event of Sabah and Sarawak as matters of the federation. It seems to be at the experience of federalism from a couple of various views, holding in brain not only the results of federalism on Sabah and Sarawak but in addition the consequences at the federation as a complete. Has the cut price of 1963 been adhered to? Has Malaysian federalism been a profitable instance of this type 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?

About the Editors

Professor Andrew Harding is Director, Centre for Asian felony experiences on the nationwide college of Singapore. he's a number one pupil within the fields of Asian criminal reports and comparative constitutional legislations. He began his educational profession at NUS prior to relocating to SOAS, college of London, the place he turned Head of the legislation university and Director of the Centre for South East Asian reviews. He joined NUS, as Director of the Centre for Asian felony reports and Director of the Asian legislation Institute, from the college of Victoria, BC Canada, the place he was once Professor of Asia-Pacific criminal kin and Director of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives.

Professor James Chin is Professor of Political technology and Head of the varsity of Arts & Social Sciences, Monash collage, Malaysia Campus. He has released generally on Malaysian politics and was once co-editor of the bestseller Awakening: Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia. Prof Chin is concerned with the next enterprises: Advisory Board, Centre for Public coverage experiences; Senior Fellow, Institute for Democracy and fiscal Affairs (IDEAS); Programme Director, Jeffrey Cheah Institute of Southeast Asian reviews; government Committee, Transparency foreign Malaysia department (2009-2012) and Senior traveling Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian reports (ISEAS) Singapore

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Is federalism, for Malaysians, something just to be tolerated as a kind of necessary compromise, and not celebrated as an ideal fulfilled? After fifty years, is there really much to celebrate? Or is it rather an occasion for assessing what has gone wrong, and how Malaysian federalism might be improved? Does federalism even look the same way from different state capitals as it does from Putrajaya? Consistent with a balanced picture of federalism in Malaysia the present collection of pieces marking the anniversary of 1963 begins with the evident fact that fifty years of federalism have provided evidence of many problems.

At the same time the general trend of discussion is not towards advocating independence for those states, but rather towards the decentralisation of powers to the state level. Why is it that this success, if that is what it is, is not regarded with more satisfaction? Is federalism, for Malaysians, something just to be tolerated as a kind of necessary compromise, and not celebrated as an ideal fulfilled? After fifty years, is there really much to celebrate? Or is it rather an occasion for assessing what has gone wrong, and how Malaysian federalism might be improved?

Federalism’ is used these days to denote a state with more than one level of government operating each within its own constitutionally protected sovereign sphere. It does not have to be based on a treaty; in fact a treaty system would these days more likely fall within the notion of a ‘confederation’, a looser arrangement in which states come together for certain limited purposes. The Federation of Malaysia on the other hand is based on a treaty — the Malaysia Agreement of 1963. This was an international agreement involving the Federation of Malaya, the United Kingdom, and the then colonies of Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

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