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 booklet marks the fiftieth anniversary of this amazing occasion in South East Asia's heritage. the point of interest of the publication might be frequently at the event of Sabah and Sarawak as matters of the federation. It appears on the event of federalism from a few varied views, preserving in brain not only the consequences of federalism on Sabah and Sarawak but in addition the results at the federation as a complete. Has the cut price of 1963 been adhered to? Has Malaysian federalism been a profitable instance of this manner 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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Asymmetry here means that the powers being exercised are not the same as in the other sub-national units. In Asia, Aceh within Indonesia provides a good example of an asymmetrical devolution of power, based on agreements between the separatist movement and the central government in Jakarta. The people of West Papua are also seeking the same arrangement. Another clear example is the recently established Moro autonomous government in the Southern Philippines. In federal systems many tensions can arise, and federal systems tend to evolve over time, as has clearly been the case with Malaysia.
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. It needed to be effected and enforced by constitutional law.
States are entitled under the Constitution to certain grants, which are calculated according to formulae. These grants are constitutionally guaranteed and set out in detail in Schedule 10, so that there is no element of discretion involved. First, there is a Capitation Grant, which is based on the annual population projection for the state, as assessed by the federal government; being graduated, it favours states with a small population. The amounts payable are amended from time to time by Parliament according to inflation and population increase, but Parliament may not reduce the grant to less than 90 per cent of the previous year’s grant.