Neither BN nor Pakatan good for Sabah, S’wak

Declassified documents pertinent to Borneo, found in the British archives, indicate that Putrajaya’s policies may be running foul of the unwritten constitution of Malaysia. 

Joe Fernandez, FMT

Former Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Harris Salleh has never failed to appear from time to time as a bundle of contradictions to the extent of even embarrassing his own party leaders.

Harris, in his defence, may be said to mean well and even acting in good faith but often this argument is nothing more than the proverbial fig-leaf.

The man simply can’t be allowed to get away with it too many times. It creates not just bad but dangerous precedents. Both Harris and former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad appear to be birds of a feather in more ways than one.

However Harris isn’t even facing the remotest danger of being hauled up by Umno — assuming he’s still a member of the party given his penchant for sponsoring mosquito parties including Usno 2006 which is awaiting “registration” — on disciplinary charges for bringing it into public disrepute. This Mother of All Charges, with apologies to Saddam Hussein, is sure to cook anyone’s goose for good.

Harris, in the latest, put his aging foot in his mouth in making comparisons between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan).

In remarks carried earlier this week in the local media, a seemingly worried and frustrated Harris warned Sabahans in no uncertain terms that voting in Pakatan will be like going into the fire from the frying pan (BN).

Either state is not a desirable “ideal” for Sabahans. Harris however seems quite convinced that the frying pan is the lesser of two evils for Sabahans “since there’s no other choice”.

Orang Asal — Murut and Dusun including Kadazan or urban Dusun — activists beg to disagree with Harris on his theory that “better the frying than the fire”.

For starters, they think the jury is still out on whether Pakatan is the fire or the frying pan, not that it makes any difference. Pakatan, in a way, might be akin to going into the frying pan from the fire (BN).

Pakatan has pledged that Sabah and Sarawak will enjoy 20 per cent oil and gas royalty under its federal administration vis-a-vis the present measly five per cent they collect from the BN federal government.

Agenda Borneo vs Agenda Malaya

Is this what Sabahans really want after 50 years of putting up with Malaysia in the mould of the Peninsular Malaysia-dominated Putrajaya?

This year alone, the federal government collected RM18 billion in oil and gas revenue from Sabah. Elsewhere, it has collected RM24 billion in other revenue.

The Malaysia Agreement stipulates that 40 per cent of this combined total must be returned to the state. However, this stipulation has allegedly not been honoured since 1970, according to sources in the know.

Orang Asal activists like local hero Jeffrey Kitingan are urging the people to say “enough is enough!”.

“Ini kali lah!”, scream Sabahans who want to have nothing to do whatsoever with Putrajaya allegedly continuing to rule Sabah and Sarawak through local proxies and their stooges.

“Kalau bukan sekarang, bila lagi! Kalau bukan kita siapa lagi!”, they want to know.

Enter the Agenda Borneo, propagated by Jeffrey’s United Borneo Front (UBF), as the eternal stand against the Agenda Malaya of Putrajaya and the parti-parti Malaya operating in Borneo.

The Agenda Malaya, according to Jeffrey and his people, has seen the Federation of Malaya masquerading as the Federation of Malaysia since 1963.

Giving proof they cite the fact that Putrajaya claimed that Malaysia was 55 years old this year, the figure calculated from Aug 31, 1957, the day that the British advisors to the Bugis Sultans gave up their control of the Malayan Administration.

As further proof they point out that Putrajaya keeps referring to Sabah and Sarawak as the 12th and 13th states and has ensured that local history text books maintain the fiction that both “nations in Malaysia” secured their independence through Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.

Malaysia has unwritten constitution

Nothing could be further from the truth on the history of Malaysia, swear activists in Sabah and Sarawak.

Sarawak in fact chose independence as its form of self-determination and secured that status on July 22, 1963.

Sabah, likewise, chose independence as its form of independence and secured that status on Aug 31, 1963.

It follows therefore that both Sabah and Sarawak entered the 1963 Federation as “independent nations” in Malaysia unlike self-governing Singapore which became independent through the new Federation.

Brunei chose to remain a British protectorate rather than risk all in emulating Singapore.

Brunei was proven right when Singapore left Malaysia two years later in 1965.

Sabah and Sarawak, which realised that the written Constitution of Malaya was being passed off as the written Constitution of Malaysia, were not allowed by Putrajaya to follow in Singapore’s footsteps and go back to solely their hard-won self-determination status of July 22, 1963 and Aug 31, 1963 respectively.

Malaysia, Jeffrey and company want to tell the whole world, has an unwritten constitution based on the Batu Sumpah among other constitutional documents including the written constitution of Malaya.

The other constitutional documents cited are the Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGCR); the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR); the 20/18 Points; the informal UN survey in Sabah and Sarawak; the Malaysian Bill and the state constitutions of Sabah and Sarawak.

Constitution a pandora’s box

STAR deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun and activist Kanul Gindol claim that they found more than 5,000 declassified documents during a month’s research stint in November at the British Archives in Kew Gardens, England.