Is the recent transfer of Sabah judges to the peninsular part of the federal government’s Malayanisation programme?
“The Sabah government must assert its authority and stamp out any attempt to impose imported Malayan hegemony over Sabah and her citizens” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief in voicing his concerns over the sudden and unusual transfer of 7 non-Malay Sessions judges/magistrates to the Peninsular.
It is highly unusual that 7 Borneo native non-Muslim judges and magistrates are transferred in one go. This transfer and consequential replacements with Malayans raise doubts and questions over the motives of the federal leaders in their treatment of Sabahans/Sarawakians.
“Is this part of the Federal government’s Malayanization programme?” asked Dr. Jeffrey, “and isn’t their replacements contradictory with the Borneonization set out under the 20-Points and the Malaysia Agreement”.
The issue of transfers, Borneonization and rights of Sabahans/Sarawakians are important aspects of the special rights and privileges of Sabah and Sarawak agreed in the formation of Malaysia.
“Is there no government in Sabah to look after Sabahans?
Has the Sabah government been consulted?
Is the Sabah government aware of this?
Has the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak being consulted?” queried Dr. Jeffrey.
“It seems to me that the Federal government no longer respect the special rights and privileges of Sabah and Sarawak.” opined Dr. Jeffrey.
“I would like to know what is the official stand of the Sabah government.
More questions are raised when one considers the rumours and speculations circulating around over this transfer move by the federal judicial and legal service.
At the outset of the formation of Malaysia, it was agreed that there would be a High Court of Borneo, now known as the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak and the appointment of judicial officers and commissioners do not rest with the federal authorities.
While the lower courts officers come under the judicial and legal service commission, the federal government need to take cognizance that Sabah has its own set of local laws and customary laws and is not ruled by federal law alone. The land laws take cognizance of local native customary rights and the local native customary laws and are alien to Malayans, as if it is from another world compared to Sabah.
In the dispensation of justice, Sabahans are entitled to and expect to be judged by qualified persons and knowledge of local laws and customs should a pre-requisite in Sabah.
The rumours and speculations are adding fuel to the fire. As it is, the Director of the Courts is a Muslim from Malaya. So is the Chief Registrar of the Courts which is traditionally held by a Borneo native.
“Is the transfer move an attempt to prevent a local native from being promoted? Is the move a pre-cursor to bring in another Muslim Malay from the Peninsula?”
Whatever the motive or objective of the transfer move and subsequent replacement exercise, the Sabah government and the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak need to look into the matter and assert their authority as Sabah and Sabahans expect them to do.
As aptly stated by the Chief Minister of Sarawak in the presence of the Prime Minister, the Sabah government must do likewise and stop any attempt to impose Malayan Muslim hegemony in Sabah. There is no place in Sabah for such race and religion extremism.