Sabah State Assembly next month should pass special resolution to support RCI on 50 years of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia

The Sabah State Assembly, when it meets next month, should pass a special resolution supporting the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on how the dreams and aspirations of Sabahans and Sarawakians in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed in the past five decades.

However, even before the Sabah State Assembly meets starting on April 15, I hope that the Sabah and Sarawak Barisan Nasional MPs would speak up in Parliament in the current parliamentary debate on the royal address to endorse my call in Parliament on Thursdays for such a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

2013 in three years’ time mark Sabah’s 50th anniversary in the formation of Malaysia. It is appropriate in preparing for the occasion to seriously assess whether the dreams of Sabahans and Sarawakians in 1963 to form Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed.

Have the people of Sabah been granted their full citizenship rights as Malaysians in the past five decades?

Let the debate and soul-searching begin as to how one of the richest states in Sabah had been reduced in five decades to become the poorest state in the federation.

Before Malaysia was formed in 1963, a Cobbold Commission conducted a fact-finding survey of the people of Sabah and Sarawak for their views as to whether the new nation should be established out of the federation of Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Brunei with Malaya.

Numerous fact-finding tours were also organised at that time to send Sabah and Sarawak leaders to Malaya to see for themselves the benefits and developments Sabah and Sarawak would enjoy if they agree to the establishment of Malaysia.

It was precisely on the dual promises of the constitutional safeguards for Sabah (commonly known as the 20 Points) and Sarawak and the material and developmental rewards the two states would enjoy that the new Malaysian nation was formed in 1963.

My visit into the Sabah interior yesterday has reinforced my conviction that a Royal Commission of Inquiry on five decades of Malaysian federation is vital and paramount as there are deep-seated frustrations and dissatisfactions that the two promises of constitutional safeguards and development progress for Sabah and Sarawak had not been realised.

The purpose of such a Royal Commission of Inquiry is for the Malaysian government and people to ascertain and to remedy and rectify the frustrations and disappointments of Sabahans and Sarawakians over the dual promises on the formation of Malaysia some 50 years ago.

Yesterday, together with DAP MPs Hiew King Cheu (Kota Kinabalu), Teo Nie Ching (Serdang) and Lim Lip Eng (Segambut), and DAP Sabah State Assemblyman for Sri Tanjong Jimmy Wong, I visited Keningau and saw for ourselves the historic “Batu Sumpah” at the Keningau District Office, bearing the words:


  1. Ugama Bebas dalam Sabah
  2. Tanah2 dalam Sabah di kuasai oleh Kerajaan Sabah
  3. Adat istiadat anak rayat Sabah dihormatkan dan dipelihara oleh Kerajaan.

Sebalik pula rayat2 Sabah di dalam interior bersumpah taat setia kepada Kerajaan Malaysia.”

These were the terms of the oath of loyalty of the Sabahans from the interior five decades ago in exchange for the formation of Malaysia. Have these solemn pledges laid out in the Keningau Batu Sumpah been honoured by both sides?

I asked the Sabahans in Keningau and they were distressed that the Malaysian Government had not honoured the terms of the Batu Sumpah.

This is what a Royal Commission of Inquiry on five decades of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia should probe into – the extent of fulfillment and shortfalls of the constitutional safeguards for Sabah and Sarawak on the formation of Malaysia.

Even on the other promise of material development, it is clear that the material and infrastructural development and progress of the ordinary people of Sabah and Sarawak had fallen far short of expectations.

The DAP team visited Kg Tuarid Liawan which is only 1.5 km from Keningau and we found extreme poverty and shocking infrastructure backwardness.

In Kg Batu Biah about 8 km from Keningau, there are water pipes for 15 years but with no water supply.

In Tambunan, we saw a road in good condition but which was dugged out last year and remade – the equivalent of pork barrel politics of funds being given to build a bridge where there is no river! I understand the digging of a good road just to rebuild it cost some RM150,000. It would be better to spend this money be giving cash payout of RM10 for every voter in Tambunan and allow some cronies to benefit from such political largesses for “building a bridge when there is no river”.

In fact, Sabah probably leads the country as the state with the most pipes without water and most electric lines without power.

The people of Sabah and Sarawak were promised progress and development, at least to the level achieved by the Peninsular states.

Have these promises to Sabah and Sarawak been fulfilled in the past five decades? The answers must be a loud No.

Where have all the wealth of Sabah and Sarawak gone to in the past five decades?

After nearly five decades, many in Sabah and Sarawak even lack the most basic infrastructures to be found in the rest of Malaysia like regular electricity supply, uninterrupted piped water and good roads and bridges – and not bridges when there is no river!

This year, the people of Tawau celebrated Chinese New Year’s Eve in darkness because of power blackout – not a rare occurrence but a regular ordeal to the people of Tawau, Sandakan, Lahat Datuk and most parts of Sabah.

The people of Sabah are entitled to ask why with Sabah’s immense wealth, they cannot enjoy the basic infrastructures that are taken for granted in other states – why, for instance, Sabahans must suffer constant power black-outs which are unheard of in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Alor Star, Ipoh, Seremban, Malacca, Johore Bahru, Kuantan, Kota Bahru, Kuala Terengganu – even in Kuching, Sibu, Miri?

A Royal Commission of Inquiry on five decades of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia will put all these shortfalls and failures of the dual promises of constitutional safeguards and development progress in proper perspective and in the forefront of the national agenda.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 4:20 pm

    Why does it need a politician from Peninsula Malaysia to speak out for the people of East Malaysia where there are more than 50 MPs? What are they doing keeping mum over the lack of development there? Their salaries come from the taxpayers, not their grandpapas!

  2. #2 by malaysian conscience on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 4:43 pm

    Ask Bung Mokhtar to move the RCI motion!!

    He may not as he is just too busy with his new wife to even care for the Sabahans.

  3. #3 by cseng on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 5:47 pm

    sabah truely malaysia!…

    Most Malaysian like to bully and other like to be bullied, so BN stay in power for that perculiar need.

  4. #4 by OCSunny on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 6:11 pm

    As a west Malaysian, I have seen alot of developments and progress in Sabah since 1979 when I first went to Tommanggong to work in an oil palm plantation. Basck then, there was no connecting road from Sandakan to Lahat Datu and to Tawau. Now these towns are connected and we can see a vast amount of jungle transformed to oil palm plantations and of high standard. Kota Kinabalu has now improved to a level which I think can rival Malacca or Ipoh.

    I agree that the following problems are still not being looked into by the relevant authorities.

    a) Very rare we have power and water breakdown in Peninsular Malaysia but not so in Sabah.

    b) Alot of poor people can be envisaged from the many small zinc and plank houses especially in the interior areas. However, one cannot be sure whether these are locals or illegal foreigners squatting. There are thousands of them.

    c) Potholes and landslides on main roads connecting to the major towns take years to repairs. Half the road disappearing is a very common sight.

    d) West Malaysians entering Sabah is restricted to 3 months stay only….just like foreigners…..the illegal Indonesians and Fillipinos are better off as they don’t get the 3 months restriction tickets at the Immigration counters. 1Malaysia?!?

    e) Sabah has now 500,000 non-citizens of Fillipino or Indonesians origin in the state or maybe much less than that???

    f) Is there any more large tract of virgin jungle in Sabah???? Even the elephants have no more place to roam freely!!!!

    g) Poor Sabahans will forever be left behind West Malaysia inspite of the fact they have oil and timbers.


  5. #5 by yhsiew on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 6:41 pm

    ///In fact, Sabah probably leads the country as the state with the most pipes without water and most electric lines without power./// (Kit)

    Obviously these pipes and electric lines were laid to enrich some BN cronies without commitment to amenities development.

    Sabahans and Sarawakians must learn to be smart and must not let greedy politicians take them for a ride.

  6. #6 by johnnypok on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 6:44 pm

    All their pockets are full of money
    All their mouths are choked with shit
    All their brains are injected with urine
    All their minds have been washed and drained

  7. #7 by frankyapp on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 7:02 pm

    Calling the Umno/Bn control Sabah State Assembly to have a Royal Commission of Inquiry on 50 years of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia is like asking for the moon. I think YB Lim Kit Siang should spend more time with Datuk Yong Teck Lee to deal and settle pretty lots of misunderstanding between the DAP and SAPP. Currently I’m seeing some leading local leaders are after each other’s neck and it’s giving a lot of bad impression on the people how the opposition parties could unite and topple Umno/Bn. Please show Sabahan what you can,not what you cannot right now b4 it’s too late. Umno/Bn is watching you guys over certain petty issues,they would manipulate it and turn it around against you.

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 8:53 pm

    Najib’s government should stop sending astronauts to space and cease talking about Vision 2020 and high income country but instead, get down to the very basics of providing basic infrastructure and amenities to the long neglected (or rather forgotten) people of Sabah and Sarawak – not merely as federal responsibilities but also as a respect for human dignity.

    Pakatan Rakyat must ensure Sabahans and Sarawakians are not excluded from benefiting from Najib’s soon-to-be-announced “New Economic Model”.

  9. #9 by lopez on Saturday, 20 March 2010 - 9:07 pm

    sarawakians are smarter than sabahans, otherwise pee end clubbers will be easy easy set office already sarawakians are more intelligent people there, people who are not tempted by short term cheapo deals.

    go strong sarawakians…..but one thing though you can never remove people’s surname.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Sunday, 21 March 2010 - 3:51 am

    35 years ago….South Korea was way behind Malaysia…and now look at S.Korea.
    So many countries were way behind….all are more advanced and prosperous than Malaysia.
    UMNO BARU is corrupted to the core…encouraging divide to rule….profiteering only selected few…making sure the word “corruption” not true…and using the word “commission” too.
    Yes…UMNO BARU is corrupted to the core..and after 12th GE…trying hard to buy up votes from Sarawakians.
    You don’t get rid of UMNO can unite as Malaysians.

  11. #11 by chengho on Sunday, 21 March 2010 - 7:32 am

    Perak fiasco you cannot manage ,how rakyat in Sabah can belive in you . you’re slowly becoming Anwar Kit anything and everything u object, object ,object..

  12. #12 by lopez on Sunday, 21 March 2010 - 9:11 am

    wah….thousands of illegal squatters ka….if like this sure …sure show many development lah…locals happy ,,state gomen happy …all happy…pee end most happy.
    got income mah and no need to work very hard, may be not at all too.
    no wonder hospital also no enough bed lah, funny disease inject into locals for a few ringgit …cheap wat,,a log of balau kow tim easy easy.

  13. #13 by alwaysfair on Sunday, 21 March 2010 - 9:12 pm

    You think these reps will speak out? They only now how to carry balls.

    Read here how Sabah natives were marginalised by Mamak’s project IC for illegals.
    Shattered Hopes and broken Dreams.

  14. #14 by DCLXVI on Sunday, 21 March 2010 - 11:33 pm

    chengho: “Perak fiasco you cannot manage ,how rakyat in Sabah can belive in you . you’re slowly becoming Anwar Kit anything and everything u object, object ,object..”

    Perak state government power grab from Pakatan Rakyat’s hands by Umno-BN isn’t some fiasco caused by Anwar or Kit; it was caused by leaders of the Umno-BN controlled federal government who aren’t even the elected representatives within the state of Perak.
    The people of Sabah have seen such a scenario almost 2 decades ago before when Umno-BN wrested the Sabah state government from PBS. Now, the Sabahans see more influence from Umno-BN controlled federal government in the running of their state government, which is not in the proper spirit of their 20-point memorandum.
    Pakatan Rakyat will have to object if there is any wrong done unto the rakyat, especially by Umno-BN…

  15. #15 by yhsiew on Monday, 22 March 2010 - 1:17 am

    Shattered Hopes and Broken Dreams

    A Memorandum on the Fate of Sabah in the Malaysian Federation

    Presented by DANIEL JOHN JAMBUN, Esq. At the House of Commons, London, the United Kingdom

    March 9, 2010

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