KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has stirred a hornet's nest by his statement in the local media on Tues on "the Opposition lying about the state being colonised by the Malaya-run Federal Government".
The State Reform Party (Star), for one, wants Musa to prove his allegations of the Opposition lying instead of "hiding beyond vague, sweeping and meaningless statements".
The state cabinet holding meetings, the state government co-operating with the Federal Government or being pawned off with announcements of measly fund allocations by the latter "does not mask the reality that Sabah has been colonised", according to Star in a prepared press statement. "The evidence of internal colonization is all around us."
"We challenge him to a public debate on the topic: Is Sabah still a colony?" said Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun. "Demokrasi Sabah (Desah) the NGO can make the arrangements."
Star, added Daniel, has all the facts, statistics and figures to prove that Sabah has been internally colonised by Putrajaya since 16 Sept 1963 when Malaysia was formed.
The Star deputy chief, continuing, alleged that it was “the mother of all lies” to say that Sabah became independent through Malaysia. Sabah, he pointed out, became independent on 31 Aug 1963 "before it was swallowed up by Malaya 16 days later under false pretences".
"We thought that we had helped formed a new Federation, Malaysia, where Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya would be equal partners," said Daniel. "Instead, we came out from the tiger's mouth (Britain) and landed in the crocodile's mouth (Malaya)."
He claimed that Singapore was kicked out from Malaysia in 1965, two years later, when the island resisted attempts by Kuala Lumpur to re-colonize it in the wake of the British departure. Brunei, according to him, had deep suspicions about Malayan leaders and stayed out from the Federation at the 11th hour.
Asked whether Star a “smoking gun” on its allegations, Daniel replied that the party is being guided by international law and the interpretation of the United Nations Security Council on what constitutes "internal colonization".
He cited South Sudan, which became independent in July last year, as a classic study on "internal colonization".
"The UN found that South Sudan, where the people are mostly Christians and Blacks, had been internally colonised by the Muslim Arab government in Khartoum in the north," said Daniel. "The UN Security Council approved the partition of the country and the independence of South Sudan."
Citing facts, figures and statistics, Daniel claims that the proof of internal colonization is based, among others, on the declaration of the World Bank at the end of 2010 in Kota Kinabalu that the state was the poorest in Malaysia. There are parallels here with the story of oil-rich, dirt-poor South Sudan, he said.
In short, Star attributes the grinding poverty of Sabah -- Sarawak as well -- to the internal colonization of these two states in Borneo by the Malaya-run Federal Government in Putrajaya.
Malaysia, fumed the Star deputy chief, is a bad British idea initially meant to protect their commercial interest in their former colonies.
Malaysia, for Sabah and Sarawak subsequently meant exchanging British colonialism for Malayan colonization. Brunei, he reiterated, saw through the Malaysia scam and stayed out of the Federation at the 11th hour. “Singapore was trapped just like Sabah and Sarawak but managed to escape in 1965”.
“Look where Brunei and Singapore are today compared with Sabah and Sarawak,” said Daniel. “The S'pore/Brunei currency is worth RM 2.50 sen. At the same time, their cost of living is very much lower than in Sabah and Sarawak.”
Under the Malaya-controlled Federal Government, internal colonization has been the cruel fate of Sabah and Sarawak, belaboured Daniel. “Impoverished hordes are rushing into our states to marginalize and disenfranchise us and make us even poorer.”
Money, or rather the lack of it, is the key factor in the internal colonization of Sabah and Sarawak, explained Daniel.
He stressed that the Federal Government takes 95 per cent of oil and gas revenue in the inner waters of Sabah and Sarawak and 100 per cent of these resources in the outer waters.
“This is an illegal act as pointed out by the Sabah Law Association which has since declared that the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) is unconstitutional,” said Daniel. “If the PDA is unconstitutional, the so-called oil agreement between Sabah/Sarawak and Petronas does not exist.”
At the same, the party has discovered that almost all other revenue is being taken away by the Federal Government. “Last year, such revenue amounted to RM 40 billion,” said Daniel. “Those who are interested in the details can Google YouTube for Dr Jeffrey Kitingan’s speeches on the issue.”
Of the National Budget of almost RM 200 billion for this year, Daniel remains perplexed that Sabah and Sarawak have been allocated only “a measly RM 4 billion each”.
He does not know how much of this amount has been actually released to the two states.
Nevertheless, he finds it odd that Peninsular Malaysia is getting almost RM 192 billion although the 1963 Malaysia Agreement envisaged the all three territories in the Federation -- Sabah, Sarawak, and Peninsular Malaysia -- would be equal partners.
To add insult to injury, goes on Daniel, Peninsular Malaysia-owned gaming, plantation and shipping companies in Sabah, as in Sarawak, are siphoning away billions every year from the state.
“The evil National Cabotage Policy (NCP) continues to enrich a handful of ship owners in Peninsular Malaysia who are linked to MCA and have the Ministry of Transport in the pocket,” he said. “It's these ship owners who are bankrolling the politics of MCA.”
He claims, based on pending cases in Court, that thousands of hectares of NCR land in Sabah, as in Sarawak, have been seized under one pretext or another by Peninsular Malaysia-owned companies.
“The result has been our people becoming landless and being pushed to join the urban poor in the squatter areas created by illegal immigrants,” said Daniel. “Here, they are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, ignorance and disease.”
In the ultimate analysis, Daniel warns that the Federal Government has no choice but reverse its internal colonization polices in Sabah and Sarawak “or we would have no alternative but take up the matter with the United Nations Security Council”.
In addition, he wants the Federal Government to reimburse the Sabah and Sarawak Governments for the disproportionate revenue taken from the states since 1963. This reimbursement, supervised by the UN Security Council, can be spread out over 50 years but must carry compound interest of 8 per cent per annum until full and final settlement, he suggested.
“The restoration of Sabah and Sarawak to the pink of financial health is the key to resolving the grinding poverty of the two states brought about by internal colonization,” said Daniel. “Petronas must get out from Sabah and Sarawak and stay out.”
The Federal Government, he ventured further, must also comply with the Malaysia Agreement and ensure that Borneonisation is carried out as envisaged in the 20/18 Points and the Malaysia Agreement, the Inter Governmental Committee Report and the Cobbold Commission Report.
Malaysia must be brought back to its right premises as a two-tier Federation, summed up Daniel, “where Sabah and Sarawak have autonomy” with the Federal Government responsible for only defence, foreign affairs and economic planning but only when it comes to these two states.