RANAU August 27, 2012: The federal government should stop duping Sabah and Sarawak into celebrating Merdeka Day when the 55th anniversary had “no relevance” to the two states, STAR Sabah chairman Jeffrey Kitingan said.
“How can these leaders continue to twist history to suit their political interests without considering our feelings and the truth?
“How could they [federal government] insist we must celebrate Malayan independence which has no relevance to Sabah and Sarawak?”
asked Kitingan when launching STAR’s Kundasang zone in Pinampadan near here.
He said what was important and relevant to Sabah and Sarawak is their own independence – July 22, 1963 for Sarawak and Aug 31, 1963 for Sabah – and that of Malaysia Day or the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.
“This date – Sept 16, 1963 – is the true ‘National Day’ that gives all three territories of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak, a common identity as Malaysians”, said Jeffrey.
He said that by continuing to impose Malaya’s version of history on Sabahans and Sarawakians, “the government is alienating the two territories”.
“By insisting that Malaysia is 55 years old now and not 49, the federal government is sending the wrong message to the people.
“Firstly, what the government is doing is teaching the people how to lie and manipulate the facts of history.
“Secondly, the Peninsula-controlled federal government is now telling Sabahans and Sarawakians [intentionally or not] that Malaysia was nothing more than a ‘takeover’ project for Malaya and that Sabah and Sarawak are now Malayan states/territories so they [Sabah and Sarawak] must now adopt Malayan historical independence,” he said.
Jeffrey, who is expected to take on his elder brother Joseph Pairin, the president of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), a Barisan Nasional member, for the Keningau parliamentary seat in the coming general election, also described the BN’s Janji diTepati (Promise Fulfilled) as an empty slogan.
“If this was indeed Malaya’s real intention, then those promises, assurances, undertakings and persuasions by Tunku Abdul Rahman and other Malayan leaders were all lies or Janji Terang Bulan.”
“And if they were mere Janji Terang Bulan, then the slogan Janji diTepati is an empty and hollow slogan as far as Sabah and Sarawak are concerned.
“If we Sabah and Sarawak have been cheated, we have to stop all this nonsense and start putting things right,” added Jeffrey.