Monday, March 11, 2013

Shafie Apdal Do You Know Your History ?

Hantu Laut

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"....... George Santayana

Was Sabah invaded by the British?

If one were to relive history and bring us back to the colonial era of European domination of the world one would be surprised of the many different ways, the many different European nations gained control over most of Asia, Africa and the Americas.

They achieved global domination by sending their armies to conquer, or sending their merchants to trade, or gunboat diplomacy, or by sending their people to settle.

European imperialism and dominance controlled almost three-quarters of the world land mass and population in the nineteenth century and controlled much of the world's finance, commerce, intellectual life and military power. 

As they say "the sun never set in the British empire" as it covers the entire world's time zones where the sun rises in one and sets in another. The British Empire encircled the globe then. A good read on the British Empire is a book by Niall Ferguson titled "Empire:How Britain Made The Modern World"

Among the European colonialists, the British were probably the most temperate and civilised, most of her colonies are gained through trade, negotiation, or gunboat diplomacy. Unlike, the Spaniards and Portugese, who were true invaders with gun blazing in many of the countries they took, Britain seldom have to fire their guns to take a country. Only when they are set as colonial masters would they consider any uprising as rebellion and will quell it with armed forces as in the Indian Mutiny and other small and obscured uprisings in their other colonies.

It surprised me that the Federal Minister of Rural Development Shafie Apdal said in a news article that appeared on Page 5 of the Daily Express dated 9 March 2013 that when the British invaded Sabah the heirs to the Sultan Of Sulu whom he says had the rights but did not defend Sabah.

I am not sure which "Buku Sejarah" our minister read. 

The British never invaded Sabah as what the Sultan of Sulu is trying to do now with armed incursion.Not a single shot was fired by the British to take this land. 

The acquisition of Sabah by the British was a long drawn affair that started as a business by private individuals. It was governed by  private individuals and the Chartered Company for almost half a century before the Japanese invasion.

Sabah, was invaded by the Japanese in World War II and became a crown colony and part of the British Empire after being liberated by Britain after the war. 

The only country that ever invaded Sabah was Japan, not  Britain  as inferred by our honourable minister.

I will not delve further into the history book as most educated Sabahans would know the history, except our minister, who may have mistakenly equate the Sulu invasion an "casus belli" (act of war) as justification to regain a territory taken by force in the past.

Sabah was acquired from the Sultanate of Sulu by treaties who ceded the territory to the British by the then Sultan. The Sultan was not under any threat of war when his signed the cession treaty. Stupid, maybe, but certainly not under duress or threat of war.

Territory can be ceded for payment as in the Louisiana and Alaska Purchase. Louisiana was ceded by France to the US for a total sum of $15 million and Alaska ceded by the Russian at a cost of $7.2 million. 

Cession money can be paid in any form, in lump sum, by instalments or in perpetuity, up to the parties concerned to decide.

Cession is an act by which a personal claim is transferred from the assignor  to the assignee. Once the obligation is transferred the cession is entirely substituted and the assignor loses his right and the new concessionaire gains that right.

The Philippines government has refused to take criminal action against the Sultan and all those responsible for the death and destruction inflicted on our soil which make them complicit in the act of terror against our nation. 

Malaysia should claim damages from the Philippines government for losses suffered by the nation caused by the armed incursion of its citizens.

Najib, when this is all over we Sabahans demand that you seek compensation from the Philippines government for all losses and cost of the war against the Filipino terrorists.


David de la Harpe said...

Great piece of writing based on historical facts and a proper understanding of the English language
Cheers !

Michelle de la Harpe said...

This is good!

Temiang said...

A thoughtful piece. It's all in the interpretation, isn't it? The question is whose interpretation wins the day?

Purple Haze said...

I do not recall in any of the history books that I have read about Sabah that the Brits used force to acquire North Borneo.

Shafie, tolong baca buku sejarah skali lagi.

William Wong said...

Yes, some ministers need to go back to school. Shameless, a literate man can be a sudden YB in our country. They even dare to shout at the people to go back their country when the finger should also point at himself.