KOTA KINABALU July 11, 2012: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leaders have taken Kota Belud member of parliament Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan to task for his statement on Sabah’s status as one of the 13 states in Malaysia.
According to the party’s women movement chief, Melanie Chia, Abdul Rahman said that he referred to history starting with the Malaysia Proclamation showing Sabah is one of the 13 states in Malaysia.
“History is always an important reference as it is the discovery, collection, organization and presentation of information about past events (Wikipedia) but we must not make selective references only,” she said.
Chia was of the opinion that the Kota Belud MP had failed to acknowledge there was the Malaysia Agreement signed on 9 July 1963 between the United Kingdom and the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. Without the signing of the Malaysia Agreement, an agreement relating to Malaysia together with the annexes, including the Constitution of Sabah, there would have been no Malaysia, she said, adding “please note, there were four parties to the signing of this agreement!
These important documents signed had determined the formation of Malaysia. Even in the Malaysia Proclamation as read by our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, and by the respective heads in Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, this proclamation must be read in its full text to get the full spirit of the proclamation, Chia pointed out.
The Luyang assemblywoman claimed that Abdul Rahman had chosen to refer and highlighted only the last paragraph of the Malaysia Proclamation to state his claim that Sabah is only one of the 13 states.
“Has he not read the preceding paragraph of the proclamation where it is written that our first Prime Minister with the concurrence and approval of His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of the Federation of Malaya, His Excellency the Yang Di-Pertuan Negara of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, ‘Do Hereby Declare and Proclaim’.
“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, has a state constitution and has the Cabinet system of State Government. The other states in Malaya are run by an Executive Committee.
“We should look at history in its totality and rectify any shortfall that is due to the people and not continue to blur and distort the facts and succumb to continued unfairness and injustices,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, SAPP Supreme Council member Peter Marajin said that the proclamation of Malaysia read by Donald Stephens (late Tun Fuad) at Padang Bandaran on that particular day that Sabah is one of the 13 states in Malaysia does not mean Sabah’s status is the same as Perlis or Kedah in Malaya at that time. It is only a question of convenience that such proclamation was pronounced.
“It must be remembered that Malaya had already attained independence on 31.08.1957 through a federation of 11 states. Sarawak gained her independence on 22.07.1963 and Sabah on 31.08.1963. These two Borneo territories were already full pledged nations when they joined up with the Federation of Malaya and Singapore to form a new nation called Malaysia” he said.
He said when the discussions were held for the formation of the new nation it was agreed that Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore were to be federated with Malaysia. But it does not mean that they agreed to be added as three new states under the already federated Federation of Malaya. The three nations 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 which include the 20 Points (Sabah) and 18 Points (Sarawak).
“The ‘colonization’ 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 only 27% of the total number of the seats. Here KL started amending the laws and the Federal Constitution to the effect that now the status of Sabah and Sarawak has now been reduced similar with Perlis, Kedah and so on, thus, doing away our autonomy and KL now is simply reluctant to acknowledge this, let alone restore it,” he said, adding Abdul Rahman should tell the people the reason behind KL’s reluctance to honour it.
Marajin said the people yearned for autonomy as what was stated in the Malaysia Agreement in which Sabah leaders have total powers to determine the State’s direction minus KL interferences.
He said KL could only interfere in Sabah when it comes to matters concerning the nation’s security.
According to Marajin, there is no question of secession because the formation of Malaysia was similar to the formation of Great Britain consisting of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where each of them has its own autonomy.