Kota Kinabalu August 21, 2012: Sabah is now well-placed to bargain its position in the country and reclaim its resource revenue, said State Reform Party (Star) Sabah Chairman, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
He said Sabah along with Sarawak could become the king makers - as proven in the election tsunami in 2008 - and that it has the opportunity to do so but that first its people need to unite.
"Things have changed. Before 2008, they controlled the Parliament.
They had 166 seats, including Labuan or 75 per cent in Parliament.
They had absolute power.
"But in 2008 their 165 seats were divided into half," he said during his lecture in the event dubbed the Borneo Tea Party.
He said if it wasn't for Sabah and Sarawak, the Barisan Nasional may have lost to the opposition.
Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said after Singapore's departure from the Federation, Sabah and Sarawak practically became the twelfth and thirteenth Malaysian states.
"Sabah is a very big state but we have been downgraded into Perlis.
Try and see Perlis. The State is only 830,000 sq to compare it with Pitas.
Pitas is bigger!
"But in Pitas there is only one assemblyman, one District Officer and one Member of Parliament. Perlis has 15 assemblymen, six parliamentary seats, a king and one regent," he said, adding that Keningau alone is bigger than Penang, Perlis and Melaka.
He said during his lecture on Thursday that to correct the situation, Sabah could divide itself into internal states, and that a mechanism is already in place through the Residency system.
"This way, Sabah could restore its status and compare itself to the peninsula."
He also said leaders at the time wanted Sabahans to be ignorant of its own history.
"That's why they don't teach Sabah history in schools.
They only teach Malayan History," Jeffrey said.
He said when he was interrogated under the now abolished Internal Security Act (ISA) he also defended the 20 Points as a vital piece of document or a pre-set requirement prior to the formation of Malaysia.
But added, it was compromised through negotiations by former State leaders.