KUCHING (March 15): Eleven Sarawakians have filed a writ application to seek for a court declaration that the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63) is null and void from the beginning, and therefore, not a binding international agreement for its failure to comply with the requirement of international law rule for the making of treaties that only sovereign states can make binding agreements with each other.
The plaintiffs are Dorus Katan Juman, Hugh Lawrence Zehnder, Nor Nyawai, Xavier Ginafah Sidop, Jemain Uji, Belayong Nyandang, Kalai Sibok, Yu Chin Liik, Chieng Kung Chiew, Ahmad Awang Ali and Alim Giovanni Adlim.
Named as defendants are the government of Malaysia, government of the United Kingdom and Sarawak government.
According to the plaintiffs’ writ sighted by The Borneo Post, among others, they are seeking the court declaration the United Kingdom government’s purported decolonisation of Sarawak and Sabah in 1963 by transferring the two colonies to the Malayan Federation (renamed Malaysia) was not lawfully completed in a manner consistent with the right of people to unconditionally exercise self-determination as required by the UN General Assembly Resolutions (UNGAR) Resolutions 1514XV & 1541XV and international law principles nor in accordance with the Manila Accord 1963 which required that the UK and Malaya to seek consent of the people in compliance with the UNGAR 1541 to hold a referendum before establishment of the proposed federation and resolution of the Philippines’ claim on a part of Sabah.
The plaintiffs also sought for general damages for having suffered and for still suffering mental and emotional stress, loss and damage from the unlawful or illegal acts of the defendants against the plaintiffs jointly or severally, aggravated and exemplary damages for having suffered and for still suffering mental and emotional stress, loss and damage from the unlawful or illegal acts.
During a case management proceeding here today, High Court Judge Alexander Siew granted a month for the Malaysian and Sarawak governments to file an application to strike out the plaintiffs’ claim.
They also asked for their defence to be deferred pending the hearing of the striking out application.
Senior federal counsels Shamsul Bolhassan and Liew Horng Bin and federal counsel Low Wen Zhen from the federal Attorney-General’s Chamber (AGC) appeared for the Malaysian government while Khairul Kabir Abdul Kadir from the State AGC represented the Sarawak government.
However, no one attended on behalf of the United Kingdom government despite the writ served on its Embassy.
The 11 plaintiffs were represented by counsel Tiong Ing Ning of Voon and Co Advocates.
The High Court fixed June 30 this year for case management proceeding.