Revolution in Borneo?


(FMT) – Malaya’s failure to understand the underlying issues in Sabah and Sarawak may well be Umno’s Achilles heel in the Borneo states.

The majority of Sabahans and Sarawakians that were born in late 80’s and early 90’s are now aware of the unwritten history of Sabah and Sarawak.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the mostly faceless and nameless Sabah and Sarawakian nationalists who have scoured and dug through the historical and colonial archives in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and London.

I believe these nationalists have a better grasp of the history and a more complete record of data on the formation of Malaysia compared to all the university history professors combined.

These data also include secret correspondences, private letters and memoirs written by those who have worked and stayed in Sabah and Sarawak during those periods.

These nationalists managed to not just understand the narratives but also embrace the emotions and conscience of the people at that time.

In bits and pieces they quietly and continuously post these papers and findings in the alternative media, specifically Facebook educating people on the truth.

Whilst these groups are varied, their arguments – that Sabah and Sarawak were tricked into forming Malaysia – are consistent.

This ideological revolution has gained traction amongst the youth of Sabah and Sarawak.

It is therefore not surprising that when former Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud told Sarawakians to reject Umno and said that the status quo of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 stays, there was overwhelming support from the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

The youth in Sabah and Sarawak are throwing their weight behind Taib and his team.

And this is critical in two ways.

Umno’s Achilles heel

Firstly it is to keep the leadership in Malaya at bay and stop them from meddling in Sabah and Sarawak’s local politics.

Secondly it is to prepare the groundwork for the next Sarawak State Election expected in 2016.

Kuala Lumpur (KL) is lost in understanding the growing disenchantment in Sabah and Sarawak.

They failed to realize that these sentiments are not simply parochial in nature rather it is about basic rights.

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