50 Years of Malaysia. Federalism Revisited by Dr. Andrew J Harding, Dr. James Chin

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 prevailing Federation of Malaya. This ebook marks the fiftieth anniversary of this striking occasion in South East Asia's historical past. the focal point of the ebook should be frequently at the adventure of Sabah and Sarawak as topics of the federation. It seems to be on the event of federalism from a few diverse views, maintaining in brain not only the consequences of federalism on Sabah and Sarawak but additionally the consequences at the federation as a complete. Has the cut price of 1963 been adhered to? Has Malaysian federalism been a profitable instance of this kind 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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This further contributes, in her argument, to the marginalisation of ethnic communities in these two states. Moreover, she argued, while both Sabah and Sarawak have a degree of formal representation in Parliament, in terms of substantive representation there is very little discussion of issues relevant to the people of these two States. By contrast, there has been a change in their representation at the level of the executive. Here elite representation is growing, but it is personality-based and party-based.

At this stage it was felt that a paper on federal-state issues post 2008 was needed and Rasyikah Md Khalid, Faridah Jalil and Mazlin Bin Mokhtar were asked to contribute their paper on the Selangor water issue, which was delivered at a Young Scholars’ Workshop at NUS in December 2013. We also felt that we should have an interview section and Assoc Prof Bridget Welsh kindly volunteered to interview Tan Sri Simon Sipaun and Dato Dr Peter Mooney. We would like to record our appreciation to all those who took part in the workshop and the support staff, especially CALS Manager Ms Regana Mydin, who did a wonderful job in putting it all together.

An important example is taxation of income, where they refused on grounds of efficiency to give powers to the states, as a result of which there is an imbalance between federal and state finances. The total revenue of all of the states combined in 2006 was less than RM9 billion, compared to federal revenue of more than RM120 billion in the same year. Expenditure showed a similar imbalance. In practice state governments have found it difficult to avoid an operating deficit, and development funding normally has to come from federal sources.

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