Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan stands by his conviction that based on what he calls “clearly available evidences” Sabah was cheated into becoming the 12th unitary state in the Malaysia.
In response to the contention by Kota Belud member of parliament, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan who argued that Sabah was one of the states of Malaysia from the beginning, Jeffrey told a meeting of STAR’s Political Bureau here yesterday that there are more than sufficient evidences to show that originally, Sabah had no intention of becoming a unitary state of the new Federation.
“Even simple facts of local history will support this, such the fact the name of our Head of State was ‘Yang Di Pertua Negara’ in line with the promised made in Point 18 of the 20 Point Agreement,” he said. “The intended form of the federation from the beginning, as signed by the United Kingdom, North Borneo, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya, was for the four entities to remain as sovereign entities.”
Jeffrey pointed out that the clearest proof is the promise that the Tunku himself had said in no uncertain term that “Sabah and Sarawak will not become the 12 and 13th state of Malaya.” He said this is an irrefutable record of the history of Malaysia and that he would be very surprised if anyone, including Abdul Rahman, can interpret it any other way.
In an additional statement today, he also fully agreed with the arguments presented by SAPP’s women movement chief and Luyang assemblyman, Melanie Chia and SAPP’s supreme council member, Peter Marajin. Yesterday Chia had said that the Kota Belud MP had failed to acknowledge that there was the Malaysia Agreement signed on July 9, 1963, and that without this and other documents there would have ben no Malaysia.
“Even in the Malaysia Proclamation as read by our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman by the respective heads in Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore,” she said. “This proclamation must be read in its full text to get the full spirit of the proclamation. And ha If Sabah does not have that special position, that is, it is unlike any of the other states in Malaya, how is it that we together with Sarawak, Sabah has a constitution and the Cabinet system of the State Government?”
Marajin on the other hand contended that North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore were to be federated with the new nation Malaysia with distinct autonomy of their own and not to be treated like Perlis, Kedah and the other states of Malaya. “This autonomy is well spelt out in the IGC Reports and other documents,” Marajin said. “The ‘colonialization’ of Sabah and sarawak began when Singapore was ejected from the Federation in 1965 whereby the parliamentary seats for the two Borneo territories had been reduced to 27% of the total number of the seats.”
Jeffrey said that he would be very happy to meet Abdul Rahman for a discussion on the matter, and to give Abdul Rahman the full supporting evidences of Sabah’s full nationhood status at the beginning of Malaysia. “Or better still, the whole group of BN assemblymen and MPs can organize a meeting in which I can give a briefing session on the matter,” he said.