KOTA BELUD July 10, 2012: The 16 September Malaysia Proclamation read by Donald Stephens (the late Tun Fuad Stephens) at the town padang in 1963 during the announcement of the formation of Malaysia is proof that Sabah is one of the 13 states in Malaysia and not one of ‘four’ in Malaysia as claimed by STAR Sabah Chapter chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
Kota Belud member of parliament Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said as a member of parliament, he has no reason not to agree with Dr Jeffrey that being one of four was better than one out of 13.
However, history could not be set aside and thus, Dr Jeffrey’s accusation that leaders from Malaya had cheated Sabahans has no basis if based on written history, he opined.
“According to Dr Jeffrey, Malaya leaders have cheated Sabahans so I referred to history starting with the Malaysia Proclamation on September 16 1963, where Tun Abdul Razak, representing Tunku Abdul Rahman, came to Sabah and together with Tun Mustapha and Donald Stephens who represented the Kadazan community, stood on a small stage at the town padang to read out a proclamation which formed a country called Malaysia.
“The proclamation was not read by Tun Abdul Razak or Tun Mustapha, it was read by Donald Stephens, an important Kadazan leader in Sabah at that time,” he said, adding that the proclamation was also read out simultaneously in Kuching at the same date, month and year.
Abdul Rahman said this when officiating the “Program Aman Kampus Di Bawah Bayu” at the Dewan Datuk Musbah in Kampung Taun Gusi here recently. It was attended by 130 students from UMS, UiTM, Kolej Yayasan Sabah and Politeknik.
The proclamation Donald read, which is still kept in the national archives, he said, stated: ‘Sesungguhnya pada hari ini tanggal 16 September 1963 dengan keberkatan tuhan, hari ini tertubuh sebuah negara yang di namakan Malaysia yang akan terus merdeka sampai bila-bila dan negara Malaysia ini akan terdapat negeri-negeri yang akan bernaung di bawah negara Malaysia ini.
Donald then went on to name the states from Perlis, Kedah, Johor until Sabah, he explained.
According to him, at the time in 1963, Stephens and Mustapha knew that Sabah and Sarawak had agreed to be part of the states listed in the proclamation.
He also was of the opinion that the important document was not a speech but a proclamation showing in totality 13 states including Sabah and Sarawak which was clearly read out by Stephens.
“This is history and we cannot run away from it; maybe we all have different schools of thought now but it was clear at that point in time that Stephens, Mustapha and other state leaders knew Sabah will be a state sheltered under Malaysia,” he said.
He however stressed that since he was not satisfied with the Malaysia Proclamation and want Sabah to be recognized as ‘one of four’, he looked back in history at September 1963 after the Malaysia parliament was formed.
When Malaysia was formed, members of parliament from Sabah were also present at the sitting and their speeches were recorded throughout 1963 and 1964. The MPs from Sabah also stated that Sabah is one of 13 states in Malaysia, he said.
“I read this in the parliament’s official records… not one person said that they are confident Malaysia which is made up of Sabah, Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore will progress. Instead, the speeches from Sabah MPs, then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, and all cabinet ministers said that Sabah and Sarawak are the same as other states in Malaysia,” he pointed out.
“As we cannot refer the issue to the Sabahan leaders as they have all passed on, we still can refer to history so we cannot run away from what was in the proclamation,” he said.
by Nancy Lai