LABUAN July 18, 2012: State Reform Party (Star) chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the people of Sabah have every right to know the political background and history which led the then North Borneo to agree to join the Federation of Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak to form Malaysia on September 16, 1963.
He maintained that the date was significant as two other independent countries, namely Sarawak and Singapore, agreed to join Sabah and the Federation of Malaya to be united as partners under a new independent country known as Malaysia.
Jeffrey said this when launching the party’s Labuan division on Monday.
“We had been sweet-talked by the leaders from Kuala Lumpur who offered us sweet promises into believing that Sabah would be an equal partner in the new country and would share the wealth fairly.
“The real fact was we have already gained independence from the British earlier before we were colonized by the leaders from Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
Jeffrey claimed that the political game in Malaysia was being played and masterminded by Malaya and after the agreement to form the federal government was made, Malaya ‘kicked out’ one of its partners, Singapore, without even referring the matter to Sabah and Sarawak.
“After they ‘dumped’ Singapore out, they manipulated Sabah and Sarawak in order to gain the two-thirds majority in parliament before successfully downgrading the status of Sabah and Sarawak from a country to one of the states within the federation.
“Later, all the 20 points which formed part of the basis for Sabah to form Malaysia were thrown into the garbage bin and none of the points has been given to Sabah until now,” he said, adding that the name Malaysia has been used to colonise both Sabah and Sarawak.
Jeffrey also touched on the oil royalty agreement which caused the first chief minister of Sabah, Tun Fuad Stephens to be toppled when he refused to sign the agreement giving Sabah a five per cent royalty from its oil resources.
“What most of us did not know is the five per cent was not an oil royalty agreement rather than a compensation for our oil and gas to be ‘handled’ by the newly set up Petronas back in 1974.
“In the agreement it is also stated that we could never claim for oil royalty. So, there is no oil royalty for us. Is it a fair agreement for Sabah?
“After Kuala Lumpur appointed Tun Mustapha as the new chief minister, he too refused to sign the agreement,” he said.
The agreement was finally signed by the new leader favoured by Kuala Lumpur, after both Tun Fuad and Tun Mustapha were toppled.
The first chief minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan shared the same fate of the two Sabah chief ministers when he disagreed to sign the agreement.
Jeffrey said that the five per cent for Sabah and Sarawak was solely made by Kuala Lumpur.
“It is not fair that we are only given five percent and the other 95 percent goes to Petronas. We should be given at least 50 per cent oil royalty as the oil and gas are located within Sabah region,” he said.
Jeffrey said that the party would insist for the oil agreement to be re-looked into for justice to be incorporated into the agreement.
“We want the agreement to be rescinded and enter into a new one,” he said.
Touching on cabotage, Jeffrey also wanted it to be cancelled, as it is a cruel policy which incurs the cost of living in Sabah to rise by 40 per cent and to affect the livelihood of every Sabahan.
“Cabotage has made it costly for investors to invest in Sabah,” he said.
Jeffrey expressed his wish for Labuan to be an independent state and the island is still well remembered as being part of Sabah.
He maintained that Labuan should have two or three parliamentary seats and no less than three state seats.
Also present was Labuan Star chief Adrian Jimlih.
by Adrian Nandu