The NGO, Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMA), feels that after nearly 50 years of Malaysia, “it must be clear by now that it cannot continue to be business as usual in Sabah and Sarawak”.
“Already, the federal government has been in non-compliance with the 1963 Malaysia Agreement,” CigMA co-chairperson Daniel John Jambun said in a talk entitled, “The root causes of poverty in Sabah, Sarawak exposed,” here over the weekend.
He identified the 11 major reasons for poverty in Sabah and Sarawak. They are:
* Proxy state governments;
* Under-representation in the Malaysian Parliament;
* Unfair revenue-sharing;
* Five percent oil revenue;
* No oil and gas infrastructure;
* No Borneonisation of the federal civil service;
* Adat ignored;
* Loss of the one federation, three territories status;
* Illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls;
* National Cabotage Policy; and
* General non-compliance of the Malaysia Agreement.
Jambun was one of the seven speakers at an “Inter-party dialogue and leadership” seminar organised by the Borneo Heritage Foundation (BHF) in association with the ad hoc United Borneo Front (UBF).
The others were Jeffrey Kitingan, Nilakrisna James, Zainal Ajamain, Dr Chong Eng Leong, Amde Sidik, and Yong Teck Lee.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) adviser Simon Sipaun moderated.
Jambun said that non-compliance raised two questions, namely whether a compliance mechanism must be set up; or whether both Sabah and Sarawak should appeal to the international community and the United Nations.
The latter option, he said, “would be to facilitate the departure of the two states from the Malaysian Federation. Singapore (1965) is a precedent”.
Jambun said that it was unlikely that the Umno federal government, “obsessed with ketuanan Melayu” (Malay dominance and supremacy), would ever consider any compliance mechanism for the Malaysia Agreement or give justice, belated as it may be, to Sabah and Sarawak.
“This must be borne in mind by those who are currently flogging the Borneo Agenda with the hope that the federal government will come to its senses,” said Jambun in a reference to UBF’s agenda. “It (compliance) is a case of too little, too late.”
The departure of the British colonialists in 1963 saw the handover of the two Borneo states to new colonialists in Peninsular Malaysia, Jambun said, adding that “these are those who believe in the vile and racist master race policy of ketuanan Melayu”.
The ketuanan Melayu policy in Sabah and Sarawak, he added, was kept going by local proxies of the ruling elite in Putrajaya.
Furthermore, he opined, “these stooges of Putrajaya are traitors” who have allegedly participated in the colonial divide-and-rule policy of keeping the Chinese and majority non-Muslim natives out of the political mainstream and from the leverages of power.
“To add insult to injury, they have willingly participated in the marginalisation and disenfranchisement of their fellow countrymen,” alleged Jambun.
This, according to him, was done through the placement of illegal immigrants on the local electoral rolls and the granting of MyKads through the backdoor by Putrajaya.
“What happened to the security promised us by federation in 1963?” asked Jambun. “This is one of the major reasons for grinding poverty in Sabah and Sarawak.”
He noted that the World Bank confirmed late last year that Sabah and Sarawak had achieved “the dubious distinction of bring the poorest and second poorest states in Malaysia”.
He wants to know whether both states agreed to federate together with Malaya and Singapore in 1963 to end up “at the bottom of the dung heap” along with the marginalised and disenfranchised elements of the third force in Peninsular Malaysia.
“Even more than the Chinese and non-Muslim natives communities, it’s the local Muslim native communities that are now feeling the brunt of marginalisation and disenfranchisement,” said Jambun. “They see their already small stake under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution being shared with the instant natives created from among the illegal immigrants.”
In Sabah, he noted, the local proxies of Putrajaya have now been dispensed with and Umno itself has struck roots to take half the seats in the state assembly and half the Sabah parliamentary seats.
He thinks that Umno invited MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the PPP along for company to mask their true intentions “and recently came up with the so-called 1Malaysia policy”.
This, in his view, “further ensures the continued enslavement of Sabah (and Sarawak)”.
In Sarawak, meanwhile, Umno is poised to enter the state in the manner that it has done in Sabah, warned Jambun.
“This is to ensure that the majority Dayak community will never be able to rule their own state.”
Jambun said that it was time the United Nations rescued Sabah and Sarawak from the “gross violations of human rights taking place”.
He also wants the UN “to help restore our sovereignty and territorial integrity and guarantee our security”.
He added that something must be done, and done quickly, before the situation further degenerates into “an even greater vicious cycle of poverty, ignorance, disease and violence”.
Jambun said that the departure of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965 raised the question of whether the original federation of 1963 still existed or whether Sabah and Sarawak have been quietly incorporated as two of the states in the 1957 Federation of Malaya (now masquerading as Malaysia).
“This (1957) appears to be the case and must be considered seriously by our legal fraternity,” he said. “They should convey their views as well on this issue to the governments of Sabah, Sarawak, the federal government, the government of the United Kingdom and the United Nations.”