One interesting development that follows Kelantan’s struggle for Oil Royalty from PETRONAS is the issue of the Federation Agreement 1948.
For those who are with the party who disagree to pay the State of Kelantan argue that the 1948 agreement on the Federation of Malaya provides no provision for the Federal Government to pay the state Royalty for the oil extracted from Kelantan waters beyond 3 nautical miles of the coast of Kelantan.
Some say the Federal Government has the full power to pay the state in whatever manner they choose and the State should just be thankful for whatever quantum they decide to offer.
Some leaders who put up argument are those who are high ups with strings of scrolls and decorations articulate the issue without understanding what the actual contents of the Federation agreement and the spirit of the Federation and Federal Government.
When the issue of Oil Royalty comes to the fore the understanding of the Federation is taken without looking at the right and proper angle and seems to confuse everyone.
Let us reminisce a bit of history so that we comprehend if not all at least a slight of it.
We must not talk in the dark and expediently take the Federation of Malaya agreement as the premise of argument against paying the oil royalty to any state including Kelantan.
When the British failed to go ahead with The Malayan Union in 1946 the power and the sovereignty of all the states and the power of the respective Malay Rulers were reinstated.
It means that each and individual state was sovereign (Berdaulat); both for the Federated and the UN Federated Malay states.
Federation of Malaya was the alternative where the individual sovereign states formed a Federation of all the sovereign states administered by a Federal government in Kuala Lumpur as the capital city for all the states.
The working committee for the formation of the Malayan Union (MU) was represented by 3 parties: The Malayan Union, the Malay Rulers and UMNO.
They took a long and hectic time of 5 months before it was tabled to British Cabinet and Parliament of Westminster Abbey, in London.
The Malayan Union was represented by A.T Newbott, MU) Sec. Gen., KK O’ Connors MU Attorney Gen, W.D Godsall,MU Finance Sec., Dr. W Lineham and A. William, both from MU Public Service Commission.
The representative from the Malay Rulers were, YM Raja Kamarulzaman(Perak), Dato’ Hamzah Abdullah(Selangor), Dato’ Mohammed Sharif(Kedah), and Dato’ Ahmad Kamil(Kelantan).
AND UMNO was represented by Dato’ Onn Jaafar, Dato’ Abdul Rahman Mohd Yassin and Tuan Haji Megat Yunus as the Secretary.
This working committee worked unremittingly writing and formulating the draft of the intended and proposed formation of the Federation of Malaya.
Finally on the 5th of December 1947 the draft was accepted by the British Cabinet and subsequently by the British Parliament on all contents of the drafted constitutions and the moral of the formation of the Federation of Malaya.
On the 1st of February 1948 the Federation of Malaya was formally formed in place of the Malayan Union which was strongly rejected by UMNO (The Malays).
The Malay Rulers were reinstated together with their respective States with sovereignty (Daulat), and subsequently working together with UMNO for total and complete independence which the Federation achieved ultimately on the 31st August 1957.
Meanwhile the Federation of Malaya which encompassed 9 sovereign Federated and non Federated Malay States plus the 2 Straits Settlement states of Penang and Malacca were under British Protectorate with Kuala Lumpur as the administrative centre of the newly found Federation.
Every state on its own until now is a sovereign state with individual House of Legislative called the State Assembly to legislate laws which normally goes in tandem with the Federal Legislative body, The House of Parliament and the Senate.
In the House of Senate each state would send 2 representatives proposed by the State Assemblies form all the states to make up the facet of the Federation of the sovereign states.
I would suggest that every ordinary rakyat including you and me as well as the leaders should take up civic courses on this topic to avoid too many wrong interpretations about the Federation Agreement of 1948.
Now, let us all ask what is the actual meaning and interpretations of Federation of Malaya?
How does it correlate with the issue of currently in debate (Oil Royalty/Wang Ehsan) between the politicians who are on the side of the rakyat and those on the side of their personal gains and greed?
Can the Federal leaders say that the states have no power in the comings and goings of the Federal Government?
I reckon I should deliberate it in 2 or 3 days from now. What I have just written is just the preamble of the actual issue that will be in my next posting.