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Towards the end of the 1950s, secret discussions were held within the British government and their allies (Australia & the United States) on the possibilities of some form of a union of Malaya, Singapore and the Borneo Territories.

Colonial Officers privately suggested a union of the Borneo Territories only. However, the negotiations of any union were complicated, fraught with distrust, and a complete misunderstanding of the people of Borneo, their cultures and how they lived their lives.

By 1961, due to external pressures from the United Nations and the spread of communism within South East Asia, the British Government had no choice but to force a union which the people of North Borneo clearly did not want.

But what made the representatives of the people of North Borneo (and Sarawak) change their minds and what central role did the United Nations play in forcing this union?

Avtar Singh has been researching secret Australian diplomatic documents and files since January 2023 and has completed the reading of over 9,000 pages of documents over the past 9 months and has selected 10 key talking points not previously known or acknowledged as being central to the reasons why North Borneo had no choice but to participate in the union that led to the formation of Malaysia.

His research also coincides with a book he is currently writing titled “The Thomas Jayasuria Interviews” which will be published in late 2024.