THE MALAYSIA AGREEMENT OF 1963 MADE SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA ONE COUNTRY BUT THE TWO NOW THRIVE AS SEPARATE STATES AFTER DISAGREEMENTS!
Author: SIBETA MUNDIA, Barotseland Post | 21st January, 2024.
Many Zambians are not aware that the British colonial government pursued a policy of lumping different countries together, granting them independence as one sovereign state wherever it suited them. In Zambia, this happened in May 1964 when Britain granted independence to a country called Zambia by uniting the two separate British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland through the Barotseland Agreement 1964.
However, before the Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA64), Britain had just concluded another agreement in August of 1963, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which had combined North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore with the existing states of the Federation of Malaya, the resulting union being named MALAYSIA.
Briefly, the agreement relating to Malaysia between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore (MA63) was the agreement that combined North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore with the existing states of the Federation of Malaya, the resulting country being named Malaysia.
However, when disagreement arose, Singapore was expelled from Malaysia, becoming an independent state on 9 August 1965.
Accordingly, SINGAPORE and MALAYSIA now exist side by side as thriving separate states. No war or animosity currently exists between them. Although the two agreements, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA 63) and Barotseland Agreement 1964 (BA64), were not the same, the point being made here is that Zambians and Barotse people must be made aware that such independence agreements were not uncommon under the British colonial government.
It would appear that the British preferred this method for granting independence to colonial territories wherever it suited them and wherever possible. They tried to put Bechuanaland, now Botswana, under South Africa but the Batswana rejected the ploy. They left Zanzibar under Tanganyika to form what we all know as the United Republic of Tanzania. These are just a few examples. We could list many more. However, Zambians are always given gloomy pictures of war as in the Sudan – South Sudan affair or Rwanda, and Burundi wars, as a scarecrow for those peacefully advocating for Barotseland’s self-determination.
The major differences in handling disagreements arising from the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Barotseland Agreement 1964 respectively, is that when agreements arose in executing their agreements, Malaysia decided to grant Singapore independence in 1965, while Zambia in 1965, decided to start changing its national and domestic laws to forcefully assimilate Barotseland.
By 1969, Kenneth Kaunda and Zambia, using an ACT of Parliament, had decided to declare that the Barotseland Agreement 1964 was NULL and VOID, without consulting the people of Barotseland through a referendum! The territory was also unilaterally renamed Western Province from Barotseland. Since then, any Barotse person openly talking about the rights of Barotseland to self-determination has been arrested, killed, imprisoned, or detained without trial. While other Zambians can freely and openly talk about Barotseland on print and electronic media without fear, Zambians of Barotse descent will be dealt with severely as secessionists, treason felons, or seditious individuals who are a threat to national unity!
PICTURE FILE: The Litunga, King of Barotseland, Imwiko II (RIGHT) and 7th Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, walk side by side during the Kuomboka ceremony in Limunga, Royal Barotseland Kingdom.