DAP KDM Declaration – let KDM not end up as outsiders in the land of their ancestors

The launching of the DAP KDM (Kadazan-Dusun-Murut) Declaration at the DAP KDM convention today is a historic moment in the political history of Sabah and Malaysia as it represents a stirring call for justice for the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut community to ensure that 44 years after the 20-Point Agreement on Sabah’s formation of Malaysia, the largest community in the state does not end up at the bottom of the heap as to become “outsiders” in their own land!

I am very impressed by the seriousness, fervour and sense of mission of the DAP KDM leaders who took the initiative to formulate this historic KDM Declaration, as is evident by the commitment and sense of mission demonstrated by the five presenters at the convention on the plight and promises facing the KDM community and which formed the basis of the DAP KDM Declaration, viz:

1. The Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) Crisis – Pastor Jeffrey Kumin (DAP Karambunai branch chairman)

2. Squatter colonies of illegal immigrants and Sabah land problems – Steven Jimbangan (DAP Kepayan branch chairman)

3. Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) Unity – Paul Kadau (DAP Interior leader)

4. Poverty and Education in Sabah – Justin Sabran (DAP Kuamut branch chairman)

5. Impact of illegal immigrant presence to Kadzan-Dusun-Muruts (KDM) – Edward Mujie (DAP Tamparuli branch chairman)

The DAP KDM Declaration in a most dramatic and eloquent manner highlights the grave problem of the political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious marginalization of the KDM community when it posed the question, “Can a KDM ever become a Sabah Chief Minister again?”

This is a question which every KDM, nay every Sabahan and every Malaysian, should ask as its brings to the forefront the grave problem of the marginalization of the KDM community as to become the new underclass in Sabah and Malaysia.

In the first three decades of Sabah’s nationhood in Malaysia from 1963-1993, anyone posing the question “Can a KDM ever become a Sabah Chief Minister’, would be regarded askance as someone who is not only politically uninformed but with questionable intellectual capabilities.

Today, it is those who think such a question utterly irrelevant who will be regarded as politically uninformed or even intellectually handicapped!

What is the reason for such a sea-change in the Sabah political landscape in a matter of 15 years when what was once held as virtually as a birthright is regarded by many as “lost for good” as to be irrecoverable?

When Sabah helped form Malaysia in 1963, the first Sabah Chief Minister was a KDM – Donald Stephens/Tun Fuad Stephens, who held the post for a year, returning briefly as Sabah Chief Minister for 44 days until the tragic “666” helicopter crash on June 6, 1976 which wiped out the multi-ethnic Sabah leadership of Fuad Stephens, Peter Mojuntin, Chong Tian Vun and Salleh Sulong, and forever changed the course of Sabah history.

The next KDM Sabah Chief Minister is Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan who held the post for nine years from 1985 to 1994.

This works out to a KDM being Sabah Chief Minister for less than 11 years in the 44-year history of Sabah in Malaysia, i.e. less than 25% – which is clearly a poor reflection of the proper place that should be occupied by the KDM community in Sabah politics as it was the largest ethnic community in 1963.

In the 1994 Sabah state general election, Barisan Nasional promised a “Sabah Baru” to the people of Sabah, including equal political partnership and power-sharing in the state with the rotation of post of Chief Minister among the three major communities under a Barisan Nasional state government.

What is the record of this “equal political partnership and power-sharing” in the past 14 years of Barisan Nasional rule in Sabah?

In the past 14 years of Barisan Nasional rule, the post of Sabah Chief Minister was held by bumiputras for 10 years or 71% of the period and non-bumiputras (Chinese) for four years or 28%. If the bumiputra Chief Ministership for the period is further examined, it will break down to nine years or 65% of the 14-year BN rule for Muslim bumiputras and nine months or six per cent for non-Muslim bumiputras (Tan Sri Bernard Dompok).

If anyone should challenge or doubt the statement that the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut community have been marginalized and become a new underclass, the history of the Sabah Chief Ministership whether of the past 14 years under Barisan Nasional rule or of the past 44 years in the history of Sabah in Malaysia would be an irrebuttable response.

The grave problem of the KDM marginalization in Sabah after nearly half-a-century of nationhood in Malaysia can be illustrated by a catalogue of grim statistics. Suffice here for me to refer to two such grim statistics, viz:

• Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, Sabah has the worst poverty incidence of all states in Malaysia, higher than Kelantan and Terengganu, with hard-core poverty incidence at 6.5% as compared to Terengganu 4.4% and Kedah and Kelantan 1.3%. Among the poor and hard-core poor, the KDM occupy the bottom of the heap.

• In 1963, Sabah’s population was 454,421. This has jumped more than seven-fold to 3.2 million in 2005 primarily because of the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants who have become citizens and voters through false identity cards – to the extent that it is believed that foreigners have outnumbered local Sabahans in the state. No wonder the KDM regard themselves as having become strangers in the land of their ancestors.

The DAP KDM Declaration a stirring call for justice for the KDM community to ensure that 44 years after the 20-Point Agreement on Sabah’s formation of Malaysia, the largest community in the state does not end up at the bottom of the heap as to become “outsiders” in their own land.

Sabahans and Malaysians must be reminded of the fundamental principles on which Malaysia was founded – the 1957 Merdeka “social contract” when Malaya achieved independence and the 20 Points Agreement when Sabah, together with Sarawak and Singapore, joined Malaya to form the new Federation of Malaysia in 1963.

Many who talk about the 20 Points do not know what they contain. Let us harken back to the 20 Points, starting with the first of the 20 Points, viz:

Point 1: Religion

While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo.

If Point One of the Twenty-Points had been strictly and scrupulously observed, Sabahan and Malaysians would have been spared the many divisive issues which had polarized Sabahans and Malaysians – such as the confiscation of printed materials for Christians in Sabah because of the unconstitutional ban of the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims or the half-way stop-work order for the construction of the world’s tallest RM5 million Mazu statue in Kudat because of a fatwa by the Sabah mufti that it is haram in Islam to construct the Mazu statue.

The DAP KDM Declaration to restore justice to the KDM community is part of the larger Malaysian battle for justice for all marginalized communities and groups for an equal and rightful place under the Malaysian sun and deserves the support of all Malaysians regardless of race, religion, territory or political beliefs.

(Speech when launching the DAP Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) Declaration at a DAP KDM convention at Ruby Hotel, Kota Kinabalu on Saturday, 19th January 2008)

  1. #1 by disapointed86 on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 10:52 am

    The BN gov robbed everything from them…i believe the KDM community are regret over 2 reasons:
    – Broken promise(20 Points Agreement) of the BN government
    – Regret to join Malaysia
    due to some facts that they may enjoy and have a brighter future if they didnt join Malaysia in the first place..
    Singapore doing a wise choice pulling out from Malaysia and today they are doing pretty well compare to Malaysia..Being marginalised on their own accestor land is something each of us cannot accept..

  2. #2 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 10:55 am

    But the Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation: Art. 4(1).

  3. #3 by BlackEye on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 10:59 am

    The Malay states cannot secede from the federation as they are subject to a different agreement. Why can’t Sabah secede from the federation?

  4. #4 by BlackEye on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 11:02 am

    The Federation of Malaya is not a true federation. Relationship between Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia is more of a confederation.

  5. #5 by bolehlandor on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 12:11 pm

    Sabah & Sarawak rakyat has been taken for a horror ride by the ruling politicians of bolehland. This illustrated that ppl in west bolehland is more smarter than ppl in the east. That is why never look east – they are not so smart!

    Now the oil revenue is all channeled to develop east leaving pittance to the asli ppl in Sabah. Ppl in Sabah can continue to vote for BN and their wealth can then continue to be plundered by the crooked politicians in the east. It is that SIMPLE.

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 12:12 pm

    “Why can’t Sabah secede from the federation?” you mean in context of breach of 1963 20 Points Agreement? Do you know that the very thought or suggestion of that would be seditious under our Sedition Act? That’s how things are changed esp during TDM’s 22 year old rule.

    The DAP KDM (Kadazan-Dusun-Murut) Declaration is a great thing that DAP has brokered, and its politically advantageous to DAP for coming election.

    It is a fact that among the poor and hard-core poor, “the KDM occupy the bottom of the heap”. The instances of marginalisation cited are also undeniable fact. These guys have taken so much of wealth from Sabah and given so little in return. Don’t forget the indigenous bumiputras of Sarawak as well. They share with their Sabah cousins the same plight.

    It will be interesting to see if BN could still garner that kind of support it did from East Malaysia this time around.

  7. #7 by Saint on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 1:01 pm

    It is not going to be easy to take over Sabah with the illegals having become citizens. How many of them have voting rights is the initial problem to be sorted out.

  8. #8 by k1980 on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 1:49 pm

    In the 1990s, Yugoslavia (founded in 1918) broke up into seven separate states because the Serbs tried to ‘sapu’ everything for themselves. In the end, the Serbs end up governing Serbia an area of about 10% of the original Yugoslavia.
    Moral: Those who want to sapu everything will end up sapu-ing the floor for scraps

  9. #9 by ChinNA on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 2:02 pm

    KDM should join Singapore-lah.

    Seriously, this is a joke.

  10. #10 by Tickler on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 2:03 pm

    Only KeADILan and Pas are in a position to challenge Umno directly, but rest assured, to vote for MCA, MIC or Gerakan is to reward Umno and perpetuate 2nd class citizenry for not only Chinese, Indians and others, but also for under-priviliged Malays.


  11. #11 by Short-sleeve on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 2:32 pm

    GE is now just round the corner, lets not just come to this blog to read and rant. We need to print out the articles here and hand it out to as many people as possible. It is the fence sitters that we need to target and win over.

    We all need to lift ourselves and do our part and not depend on Kit & DAP / PAS/ PKR to make that change.

    There are thousands and thousands of fence sitters out there , and they are not here in this blog. So, lets spread the message across. In short, we need to do our part as well or else we will be looking at another 5 years of UMNO-BN rule.

  12. #12 by k1980 on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 3:18 pm

    Public anger is also running high over fuel price hikes and spiralling food prices, with forecasters predicting slow growth of 5.4 percent this year from 6.1 percent in 2007.

  13. #13 by somaris on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 4:12 pm

    LETs all help DAP/PKR/PAS to win .Go all out to tell the people not to vote MCA/MIC/PPP.this people are the dog for UMNO.Dont waste time GE is around the corner.

  14. #14 by MISHUGINA on Sunday, 20 January 2008 - 10:06 pm

    It’a really funny how the ACTUAL bumiputeras are being marginalised the same way the whites marginalized the Red Indians in Americas and Aborigines in Australia.

    The UMNOputeras so-called “sons of the earth” are the cowboys in our side of “wild wild west”. It’s ironic had the state chose to join Philippines in the 60s it won’t be so bad.

  15. #15 by sumbiling on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 1:52 am

    to secede with malaysia and join other countries or stand on its own is not the choice for now. to do it is not as easy as saying it. sabah is a “special” state just like sarawak. the politics, the people and the cultures are very much different from the other states.

    it is proven that BN still can “win” the election although they lose it. the frogs are to be blamed as well as the people of sabah themselves for still voting the BN.

    the situation is getting worse now. the “pilaks”(filipino illegal immigrant) are in. they are able to vote and their votes go to the BN.

    i really hope something can be done in this coming election. be wise sabahans. change your fates. the time will come, when the pilaks have a voice to speak. they will ask for this and that and at that time…. you can never say no..

    you and i dont want this to happen. sabah is ours.

  16. #16 by k1980 on Monday, 21 January 2008 - 9:47 am

    The Bruneians are now laughing their heads off at the [deleted] Sabahans and Sarawakians for joining malaysia in 1963

  17. #17 by sotong on Wednesday, 23 January 2008 - 7:32 am

    Humanity is not about racial survival.

    BN politicians had betrayed and failed these people for far too long.

    True Malaysians must ensure the unique culture and traditions of real bumi and their way of life are protected at all costs.

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