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Sabah and Sarwak should secede from Malaysia and become independent nations

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2015 Category: News
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,659 times Debate No: 73005
Debate Rounds (3)
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Hello everyone, I have a really good debate challenge oppurtunity for you :). I have been reading that the predominatly Christian Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarwak have warned they might secede if Malaysia implements Hudud (Malaysian version of Shariah law) across it's states. In other words, if a harsh new set of laws is implemented, these 2 states will leave Malaysia and become 2 seperate independent nations. They have their own flag, governemnt, and generally, a set of laws. I would like to debate whether their secession is a good idea.
Rules: 1. Be courteous 2. Enjoy the debate 3. 1 forfeiture at most
Good luck to my opponett :).
1st round: acceptance and opening statements


Thanks for the debate, and I hope you're OK with me accepting it. I'll be arguing why Sabah and Sarawak should not seperate from Malaysia.

Here I'll lay down my initial arguments...

First of all, I believe that we should look at the reality of Hudud, which, if repressive towards Christianity (or even in general) we must look not only at these two provinces (constituting East Malaysia) but also the population of the predominantly-Muslim mainland. If such a repressive law is introduced, the Christian minority in Malaysia itself (not including Sabah or Sarawak) shall also recieve unfair treatment, as they are forced to abide by a strictly-religious law that does not reflect their own beliefs. Yet, as a minority, (rather than a majority, as in the two states of East Malaysia) they will not proide a strong-enough base of opposition to such a law, meaning that there is all the more chance it, and perhaps other implementations of political Islam, shall be introduced, all of which to the disadvantage of the non-Islamic minority in Malaysia. If Sabah and Sarawak remained part of the country, however, their population will provide the sufficient opposition needed for democracy, and for the enforcement of these strictly Islamic laws (representing the beliefs of a now-smaller proportion in the country, if you include the population of Sabah and Sarawak) to be reconsidered. In other words, without Sabah and Sarawak, the non-Islamic minority in Malaysia would have to suffer the enforcement of these laws as they would not provide a great enough counterweight. With the inclusion of these primarily Christian provinces, the required opposition exists, helping to dilute the strongly Islamic current existing in Malayan politics and create a more religiously-neutral society.

Following on from my last argument, I want to point out the fact that if these two provinces were to seperate, it is likely that as Malaysian Islamism is likely to grow stronger (and by nature, more oppressive towards the non-Islamic minority and also towards Muslims in the country) the Christian influence in Sabah and Sarawak may also increase as a product of national self-determinism. The result of this will be the creation of three, strongly-religious countries, rather than one with the potential to form a society open to all different religions. Thus, I believe that whilst demands should be made for the Christian population of East Malaysia to have their voices heard, perhaps pushing for greater autonomy in the region, they should remain as one state. Just look at Israel, the nation that was founded as a society to provide salvation for a religious minority, yet has now taken action to violently oppress the Muslim minority of Palestine and Gaza. Here we have an extreme example of what I'm suggesting may occur as a result of independence for these two states - the rise of inequal and undesirable political action out of religiously-based national self-determinism.

Finally, I'd just like to add that if Sabah and Sarawak seperate, what virtues does this preach? - The idea that different people with different beliefs cannot cohabit, and must live in a different country to ensure religious freedom. What kind of message does this send to the worldwide community of Islam, Christianity, or in fact any religion. What kind of religious stereotypes will it help to establish or strengthen? My argument being this: seperation is not the answer. Instead, the two religious communities of the different areas should work together, perhaps alongside the international organisations of democracy and equality (the UN, Amnesty International etc.), to ensure the creation of a multi-religious, free Malaysia.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you so much for this debate, and you have very fine arguments :).
Permit me to continue.
Sabah and Sarwak are yes, predominatley Christian states of Malaysia, whereas most of Malaysia is Sunni Islamic and a sliver of Buddhist. However, Hudud could be a disaster for these 2 states. It would greatly restrict Christian activities and evangelism there. It also limits the rights we cherish: freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Hudud would also impose very harsh penalties on the different people living in those two states.
These harsh new laws would opress Christianity in Malaysia, and specifically in Sabah and Sarwak. These 2 states should have the right to decide whether they will live under this harsh new system of justice in Malaysia or not.
I say the best option, given the circumstances, is for these states to conduct refredndums on indepednence and then break free of Malaysia if a majority favor secession.
Thank you so much for this debate :) has been a good one so far, and I can't wait to see your arguments


You have a lot of good points - this'll be quite hard!

I definately agree that these laws shall impose harsh penalties, restricting Christian activities, as it would likely restrict Buddhist activities in mainland Malaysia, but I believe that independence is not the answer. If Sabah and Sarawak secede, that will only solve the problem in these two areas. As I've already said, these laws will still be imposed with or without Sabah and Sarawak existing under the Malaysian government, although if these two states remain as part of the country then they will be able to oppose Hudud and the strict penalties it carries. Without Sabah or Sarawak, the non-Islamic minority on the mainland will not be able to, as they don't provide a strong enough base of opposition. So, to continue this point, I believe that seperation will mean that the repressive law exists, (though it shall not repress the population of Sabah or Sarawak, it shall repress Buddhist minority, and the smaller non-Muslim minorities in mainland Malaysia), only now it is strengthened by the fact that fewer people can oppose it.
I believe that, since this law contradicts religious freedom (a basic human right) and thus should be opposed, it shouldn't become law in Sabah or Sarawak, but neither should it be implemented in mainland Malaysia, so seperation only solves half the problem. Given the situation, I'd say that the only practical way of ensuring change for all religious groups across the nation is to work within the existing union to create it.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you so much for a great debate my friend and the nice compliment :). I will now post my arguments.
The Hudud laws are very harsh, and could impact Malaysia greatly. The Muslims of Malaysia even could be affected by this very badly. Their freedoms would be severeley limited, and they would face harsher penalties for even very small crimes. The Christians of Malaysia will be persecuted worse, and endure murch less freedoms and harsher penalties for their views. They would face very severe repricussions if they tried to oppse the Hudud law. Working together may not be an option under these harsher laws. Therefore, Sabah and Sarwak should seceed from Malaysia and become seperate nations.
Thanks for the debate :).


You mentioned that working together might not be possible under Hudud, which is undoubtedly true. However, if there's even a possibility of this occuring then I believe it should be given a wholehearted attempt, as a liberal Malaysia is definately a better outcome than just a liberal Sabah and Sarawak. This would mean that cooperation would have to be at least tried, even if proven impossible, in which case secession may prove the only way forward. To expand upon this point, secession is an absolute last resort, as there is no going back. It would also cause further difficulties to arise; many living in Sabah or Sarawak may have relatives on the mainland, visiting whom would become a lot more difficult, for example. Because of this, it should be treated as a last resort, especially when there is a possibility of a better outcome being achieved through other means (Malaysia remaining as one country, but the populations of Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak working to abolish Hudud entirely), and so the possibility of secession should remain if co-operation fails, but at this stage, it definately shouldn't be treated as the only option when others, especially those with a potentially-better outcome, haven't even been given an attempt.

Thanks for the debate :)
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Bookworm14Cats 3 years ago
This is something that I really want to put forward to right any misunderstanding as it is happening in Malaysia and other places too. What many people assume regarding to hudud is that it is a system that inflicts harsh punishments towards criminals, it is unfair,restricts other religious rituals or free will of an individual within a country or state. But here, I would like to note that hudud is in fact very limited to handle heavy crimes such as robbery, murder, rape and so on. It does not mention about restricting the right of other religion to carry out their necessary rituals. Besides, there are guidelines before proper punishments is fallen to the criminal to ensure that the suspect could defend him or herself. The main teaching of Islam is to respect others so it is impossible to believe that hudud, one of the three principles or divisions in Islamic criminal laws could pose as a profound threat to others. Hudud has the capability to curb potential serious crimes as it is a form of lesson and a remainder for those who want to commit such activities.
Posted by Nivek 3 years ago
We're neighbors. YEY <3
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