By DR JEFFREY KITINGAN
COMMENT: Najib Razak’s visit to the State on Malaysia’s 54th anniversary would be meaningful only if he could make actionable commitments to fulfil Sabah’s Special Rights and status as an equal partner in the Federation.
Such actionable commitment would go a long way to restore confidence in the Borneo States. Otherwise, what is there to celebrate on Malaysia Day – September 16?
For the past 54 years, since their respective Independence, and since the formation of Malaysia, the Borneo States, particularly Sabah, have suffered many losses and negative experiences including:-
– the loss of Sabah’s political autonomy;
– the loss of revenues and financial autonomy;
– the loss of ownership of our oil and gas resources;
– and the loss of business and employment opportunities for our youths who now forced to flock to Malaya and Singapore for employment and lately to Australia to pluck fruits.
We have become poor, in fact the poorest State in Malaysia with 40 per cent of the nation’s poor, and dependent despite our vast and rich resources, our strategic location and our huge economic potentials.
We have become a vassal State of Kuala Lumpur. Over centralization and over federalization of Sabah, the unfair exploitation have made Sabahans feel colonized and marginalized.
Our security and control of our political franchise have been compromised by the deliberate mobilization and recruitment of illegal Muslim immigrants, knowing their claims as instant citizens and voters.
Sabahans feel betrayed by Malaya which promised many good things and made numerous assurances when proposing Malaysia and the Federal government for failing to honour these promises and assurances.
Sabah and Sarawak agreed to form Malaysia on certain conditions and with specific safeguards but these have been forgotten.
You don’t even honour your commitments written in the Federal Constitution.
What is there for us to celebrate?
We are not happy.
The least you, Mr. Prime Minister of Malaysia, could do now after 54 long suffering years is to fulfil those promises and assurances.
The people in Sabah and Sarawak are restless. They are losing confidence in the Federation, some even wanting out of Malaysia, fueled by the Government’s inaction and non-compliances.
As the current PM, show by your positive action and response that you can save Malaysia.
• Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who is the Assemblyman for Bingkor cum President of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR).