The 18 Points Agreement

Remember this post of mine?

The 2o point agreement or 18 point agreement was made by state of Sabah & Sarawak was made prior to the formation of Malaysia in September 16, 1963. In short, point 1 to point 18 are the 18 point agreement for the state of Sarawak.

I’ve search high and low for the 18 point agreement and finally I found the answers behind my own ‘backyard’. Thanks to Fallenelves on his findings on the agreement. 😉

The agreement was written for the main purpose of safeguarding the interests, rights, and the autonomy of the people of Sabah upon the formation of the federation of Malaysia. It was originally envisaged that Sabah be one of the four entities in the federation, the others being Malaya, Singapore, and Sarawak. However, due to lack of education and awareness, Sabah and Sarawak has ended up being often mistaken as merely one of the 13 states in the federation. Sabah and Sarawak is not part of malaysia, but a partnership or a *merger to West Malaysia of what was known as Malaya (or Tanah Melayu or Ketuanan Melayu state).

In 1961, when the Malayan government began discussing a possible merger with neighbouring Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei, problems of ethnic power relations arose again. The “Malaysia” proposal sans Sabah and Sarawak went back more than a decade; earlier negotiations had proved fruitless. The Singaporeans themselves were not anxious to be ruled by what they considered a Malay government. By 1961, however, Singapore had grown receptive to the idea of joining Malaysia, largely because of the prevailing idea at the time that industrial Singapore could not survive without access to Malayan markets.

The Malayan government was not keen on having the Chinese Singaporean population push the Malays into a minority position in the new Malaysia. Many Malays felt that upsetting the Malay-dominated nature of the armed forces and police might place them in a dangerous situation. It was also argued that the inferior economic position of the Malays would be emphasised by the entry of even more rich Chinese, setting the stage for major discontent. The Malayans decided to resolve this by merging with Sabah and Sarawak; both British colonies had large native populations whom the government considered “Malay”. Under Article 160 of the Constitution, most of them were not Malay; the natives were mainly animists or Christians instead of Muslims as required. To resolve this issue, the government expanded its informal definition of “Malay” to include these people.

Sabahans and Sarawakians could not see how they would benefit from merger. Many regarded Malaya as being only for the Malays, a group they did not include themselves in. The spectre of “Malaysia” — the inclusion of the phrase “Malay” being considered frightening — with its official religion of Islam and official language of Malay, did nothing to soothe their fears of “Malay domination”. For merger to come about, they insisted the natives of Sabah and Sarawak be awarded the same privileges as Malays. A 20-point agreement between Sabah and the Malayan government, and a slightly different 18-point agreement by Sarawak, was later agreed upon. After much negotiation and a show of support from the British for merger, the impasse was resolved. Although natives of Borneo were denied the privileges of Malays, merger was effected on 16 September 1963.

Last night, I had a big shock. A MP (Member of Parliment) claimed he/she doesn’t know anything about the 18 point agreement existence. Was that intended? If yes, why? Or the MP was plainly a MORON?

You can check it out here.



  1. pilgrimsmaster

    31 January, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    it is in the interests of politicians to make us ignorant about sarawak’s history. mun sik tauk cerita, sik rakyat bantah, terimak jak nasib.

  2. pharmacy tech

    9 February, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

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