27 DECEMBER 1963, Page 14

SUKARNO'S WAR SIR,—At last, it has taken the Spectator to

drive home the point that Indonesia's policy of 'cohfronta- tion' against Malaysia is too, successful for President Sukarno to change course (Spectator, December 13). But you fail to state the reasons why Indonesia initially opposed the Malaysia scheme; that Indo- nesian opposition is not merely some 'circus stunt,' but designed primarily to reduce Cold War tensions that the creation of Malaysia exacerbated. In the words of the resolution of all anti-Malaysia political parties in Malaya and Northeim Borneo, 'Malaysia is a Western battleship.' It is precisely for this latter reason that various Afro-Asian countries have sup- ported Indonesia's policy.

The British position in Malaysia is anomalous enough, you state. True. Nowadays the stationing of foreign bases in any country is anomalous. However, the danger to the British position is not so much from Indonesia, but from the peoples in the territories concerned. In the Federation of Malaya all the. opposition parties polled 49 per cent of the electorate at the last general elections in 1959. Since then there has been a split in the Malayan Chinese Association and the United Malays National Organisation. The split in the latter is primarily on the question of Malaysia, and Indonesian oppo- sition to Malaysia has exacerbated this split. Even the Minister for Agriculture, Aziz Ishak, a vice- president of UMNO, resigned from the party and took with him a considerable section of the UMNO supporters. Many political observers believe that

opposition to the Government is at present more than 50 per cent of the electorate. In Singapore, the Barisan Sosialis and the United People's Party polled 43 per cent of the votes at the recent autocratic general elections; both are uncompromisingly op- posed to Malaysia. In Sarawak, the United People's ' Party there polled over 40 per cent of the electorate

at the recent elections, despite the repressive con- ditions under which the elections were conducted. In short, the Malaysia plan is going to collapse, not • so much because of Indonesian opposition to the scheme, although this is one factor, but because the peoples in Malaya and Northern Borneo are in- creasingly hostile to the scheme.

The Tentera Nasional Kalimantan Utara. which conducts the guerrilla warfare in Northern Borneo, is getting the support from the inhabitants there and that is why British officers have had 'weakening morale.' The Afro-Asian Conference held at Moshi, the Afro-Asian Journalists' Conference and recently the Trade Unionists' Conference have all expressed their support to the guerrillas there. The effects of this have been twofold. Firstly, it has alienated Tunku Abdul Rahman's Government from the main- stream of Afro-Asian political thought, and, secondly, it has encouraged the local peoples there in their opposition to Malaysia.

What makes the Spectator so sure that Sukarno will accept United Nations troops along his border? I am more inclined to believe that the Indonesians will invoke the Manila accords which bear Tunku Abdul Rahman's signature. The Tunku is down on record as having agreed that 'the primary responsi- bility for the peace and security of the areas con- cerned rests with the peoples of these territories.' This would entail the removal of British bases and troops from Malaya and Northern Borneo. The ques- tion, therefore, is whether the British Government and Tunku Abdul Rahman will abide by the Manila agreements or are those accords hardly worth the paper signed on? The answer is quite evident. The United Nations will be brought in there solely to escape the provisions of the Manila Declaration.

190a Finchley Road, NW 3