Sabah, Sarawak losing points to KL

By K Pragalath


Malaysia is 47 years old through the unification of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore in 1963. (Singapore was separated from Malaysia in 1965.)

The Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu-Kuching relationship must be relooked because of the imbalance between the centre and the periphery.

Most importantly, the 20-Point Agreement has been largely ignored in making the Malaysia that we have today.

Initial attempts by Sabah first chief minister Fuad Stephens to do so resulted in him being made Australian High Commissioner.

As a result, there were regressions from Sabah’s 20-Point Agreement and Sarawak’s 18-Point Agreement as seen in the “Allah” controversy and the ban on the Malay language Bible.

Both agreements on religion state that there should be no state religion for Sabah and Sarawak.

The “Borneonisation” of the public service as agreed to in the deal has also been violated. Over the years, more public servants from the peninsula were transferred to Sabah to fill in the void.

What development?

Unfortunately, an ignorant Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri recently stated that Sabahans in the interiors should be grateful as Sabah’s inclusion in Malaysia had ensured development in the state.

Using development as a bait is wrong because “development is the one term most used by politicians to cheat the people” (quoted from a Malayalam movie).

If development had indeed been provided, why is the road network in both states still bad? My brethren from both Sabah and Sarawak can attest to the fact that Sabah and Sarawak are two decades backwards compared to Peninsular Malaysia.

What development is Rahim speaking about when my brethren over there are still having difficulties to complete 11 years of education?

Contrary to Rahim’s statement, Kuala Lumpur has gained more than Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in the 47-year-old relationship.

The most recent evidence was Barisan Nasional’s slim majority in the 2008 general election, which was only made possible because of the safe deposit votes from Sabah and Sarawak.

In addition, the Mahathir administration should be “thanked” for initiating the IC project that created BN voters out of illegal immigrants from Indonesia and the Philippines

To address the imbalance, more autonomy should be accorded to Sabah and Sarawak. It can be initiated by increasing the petroleum royalty from the current 5% to 20%.

Secession by both Sabah and Sarawak is out of the question as it violates the agreement

  1. #1 by k1980 on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 11:36 am

    Who will be the next Stephen Kalong Ningkan?

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 11:37 am

    “Secession by both Sabah and Sarawak is out of the question as it violates the agreement”
    Really? Y? Any agreement can b broken
    Even marriage agreement can be broken, no heard of divorce aah?
    In 1M’sia, surely Sabah n Sarawak can sms Putrajaya “I divorce U” 3 times n then say bye bye 2 M’sia which reverts 2 Malaya

  3. #3 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 11:40 am

    UMNO people always think that other races need to ”membalas budi” Not doing so will be deemed as ”cabaring Malay Rights” as enshrined in their own Constitution. We are still wondering what they have done for us so that we must ”membalas budi” Maybe if they can cough out a portion of the ill-gotten billions and give to each and everyone of us RM 1m, we darn sure will membalas our budi.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 12:16 pm

    It is hard to enforce from the centre the political ideolgy of ketuanan prevalent in Semananjong politics in the politics of Sabah and Sarawak.

    Ketuanan is based on fundamental premise of definitive people being in the country earlier than others who should “membalas budi” for having been given citrizenship rights by acquiescing to the definitive people’s superior entitlement to political economic and cultural dominance in national life.

    This quid pro quo premise cannot convincingly be applied to Sarawak whose definitive and indigenous people are Dayaks and Ibans and the Bidayuh; or in the case of Sabah, the Dusun/Kadazan, Muruts, Bajau and Chinese – who were all there well before 1963 formation of Malaysia whereby West Malaysians are to them more like “immigrants”, so to speak… Hence the raison de etre of the 20 and 18 point agreements to demarcate the line over which West Malaysians should respect and not cross.

    If it were crossed, and these two states become fixed deposit states, it is only because West Malaysian politicians in cahoot with elites there could take advantage of the lack of literacy and sophistication of the general masses there, who, if awakened -ie if they start thinking West Malaysians should “membalas budi” to them for so long foraging on their natural resources without quid pro quo restribution of their benefits – they will naturally start to think of reclaiming their rights under these 20 and 18 point agreements.

    This is a sensitive area because any significant awakening along above lines (especially if pushed for by the Opposition)will put in jeopardy the fixed deposit status of these states affecting BN adversely in the overall political equation.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 12:32 pm

    ///Most importantly, the 20-Point Agreement has been largely ignored in making the Malaysia that we have today.///

    Isn’t that tantamount to “KL colonisation of Sabah and Sarawak”?

  6. #6 by limkamput on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 1:12 pm

    Jeffrey, just want to differ with you in one point. You talked about people’s awakening and the safe deposit is gone. But for Sabah, I think it does not matter anymore whether the indigenous people and the Chinese have awakened or not. The new “tuans” there are the recent arrivals who are now bumi/malay as defined in Peninsula Malaysia.

    I think the issue here is not just centralisation or decentralisation. Surely we do not want strong regionalism to emerge that will eventually break up the country. The issue is to be fair, that they are equal partners, that it is meaningful and beneficial for them to remain in Malaysia.

  7. #7 by Peter on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 2:12 pm

    “…increasing the petroleum royalty from the current 5% to 20%.” I’m SICK to read this all over the newspaper!

    Why we can only get back 20%? This is like you are invited to join a club, but then you will have to contribute 80% of your salary to the club. Does that sound logic?? THAT IS STUPID!

    THIS IS OUR OIL, OUR NATURAL RESOURCES! Contribute 50% is more than enough!! I would say, out of the 50% contribution, 20% for Malaya, the 30% MUST BE used to develop Sabah. The rest, back to our own cash reserve! IF BN feels unhappy, then they can all go home!

    If Brunei can do it, why can’t we?

  8. #8 by frankyapp on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 1:51 am

    Like I said before Sabahans wanted its status quo back ie the 20 points. Without it,we are liken some kind of slave or a sort of cow with its nose being hooked with ring and rope around it to be led here and there according to the wishes of the master. Frankly I think most Sabahans feel humiliated of being treated this way by Putra Jaya. Hence I think most wanted change in order to recovering what’s lost over a near century ie our pride.In addition we also wanted to be partners and builders of Malaysia. In a nut shell,Sabahans wanted to have equal shares in all matters concering the welfare of the nation.

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