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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 extraordinary occasion in South East Asia's heritage. the point of interest of the booklet should be customarily at the event of Sabah and Sarawak as matters of the federation. It appears on the adventure of federalism from a couple of various views, maintaining in brain not only the consequences of federalism on Sabah and Sarawak but additionally the consequences at the federation as an entire. Has the cut price of 1963 been adhered to? Has Malaysian federalism been a winning instance of this manner 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?

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Extra info for 50 Years of Malaysia. Federalism Revisited

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Thirdly, Parliament can legislate where simply requested to do so by a state legislature. The National Land Code 1965 is a good example of the use of this power. Like the Local Government Act 1976 it is a federal law dealing with a state matter; it was passed at the request of all the states rather than under the special powers mentioned above for land and local government. The two statutes mentioned here were passed following agreement between the Federation and the States in their respective national councils.

The consensus was that secession was not in any event a realistic option. However, Khairil Azmin Mokhtar’s essay stresses that coercion cannot be part of a federal system, as legally speaking the two levels of government and the units within a federation are equal. In theory, yes; but the federal executive power has displayed willingness in the past to use force to keep the Federation intact, and ‘coercion’ describes rather accurately the interference in the Sarawak Constitution and the dismissal of Stephen Kalong Ningkan as Chief Minister in 1966, even though secession itself was not even in question.

In Malaysia, legislative powers over water-related subjects can be found in all three legislative lists; the Federal List, the State List and the Concurrent List. “Fifty Years of Water Resources Management in Malaysian Federalism: A Way Forward” by Rasyikah Md Khalid et al analyses the historical development of the constitutional division of water jurisdiction and also the water conflict between the Federal Government and the State Government of Selangor. This chapter is of some interest given that Selangor is governed by the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

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