Failure of BN to honor points engraved in the Keningau Oath Stone

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to revisit the historic Keningau Oath Stone together with Dato Seri’ Wilfred Bumburing, the MP for Tuaran who had recently left the BN and aligned himself with the opposition. The Oath Stone was erected as a reminder of the guarantee of the Federal Government to honor the 20 point agreement made with Sabah before the formation of Malaysia. Almost 48 years later, it is evident from the DAP Sabah initiated Janji Ditepati Public Hearings, that the three main points engraved in the Keningau Oath Stone – guaranteeing freedom of religion, upholding land autonomy and protecting native customs and traditions – have been cast aside by the BN government.

Sabahans from all walks of life and backgrounds in Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Ranau, Tenom and Keningau have voiced out clearly and loudly, with their personal testimonies, that the rights of the Sabahans have not been upheld but have instead been abused and ignored in contravention to the spirit of the Keningau Oath Stone.

No less than Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, the former Sabah state secretary, has expressed doubt in the empty slogan that is Janji Ditepati when he said, during the Kota Kinabalu public hearing, that ‘the government is very long on eye catching slogans but very short on delivery’ akin to ‘lots of thunder and lightning but without the rain appearing.’ He is particularly well placed in making the statement that the BN government does not have the political will to solve the problem of ‘Pendatang Asing Tanpa Asing’ (PATI) as evidenced by successive half hearted and failed attempts over the past 25 years. One particularly egregious example of an empty promise was that made by Musa Aman, Chief Minister of Sabah, in 2006, to solve the problem of the illegal immigrants in Pulau Gaya which to date remains far from being solved.

The fact that many of these PATIs have been included in the electoral roll was highlighted by Dr. Chong Eng Leong, an expert on the illegal immigration situation in Sabah and the author of “Lest We Forget (Security and Sovereignty of Sabah)”. Dr. Cheong estimates that there is between one to two million illegal immigrants in Sabah, on top of the 900,000 who are on the census, means that it is highly likely that native Sabahans are now outnumbered by foreigners in their own country. Dr. Cheong further assertion that up to 250,000 of these illegal immigrants have found their way into the electoral roll is a further demonstration that the voting strength of the native Sabahans have slowly but surely been diluted over time.

At the same time as illegal immigrants are being given citizenship and registered as voters, many Sabahans are still facing problems obtaining citizenship status and many native Sabahans are being denied their right to Sijil Anak Negeri (SAN). In Ranau, we met Mrs Chong Siew On who was born in Sabah in 1941 and she has a birth certificate as well as a Sijil Anak Negeri but her 4 applications for an IC were rejected leaving her with only a red Permanent Resident IC. We also met Puan Ramlah from Ulu Kinabatangan who has 7 children only 4 of whom have birth certificates. The other three children were denied birth certificates because she doesn’t have a marriage certificate. We also met Kenneth Tan, who, like many other Sino Natives, cannot pass down their lands to their children because they were born after 1982 and could not obtain Sijil Anak Negeri (SAN).

In Penampang, we were informed by Charles from Kota Marudu that many of the residents of a kampong in his area had become squatters in Kota Kinabalu after their land was taken from them. Osul from Moyog spoke about the dire situation faced by his village as they face threats of eviction after they were relocated to land that had yet to be gazetted after the construction of the Babagon dam. Johan from Ulu Papar also expressed his fears that the same fate may befall his village if the Kaiduan dam were to be built.

In Tenom, where we were informed by the police that we could not use a loudspeaker to speak to and hear from the rakyat, we were given evidence by Daniel Kalingang of individuals who complained to him that they were promised low cost PPRT housing, some more than 20 years, and are still waiting for their houses to be built and delivered.

In Keningau, we heard from Mattius from Pensiangan who testified that their MP, Joseph Kurup, promised that their roads would be paved with asphalt but this was only selectively done and now, most of them are full of holes. Robert Linggi from Kinangau shared his experience of how new cars were inevitably damaged in 2 or 3 days because of poor road conditions.

These are just a small sample of the personal stories shared by many Sabahans whom we met so far in our Janji Ditepati Public Hearings. With this long string of broken promises, it is only apt that we return to the spirit and intention of the Keningau Oath Stone to uphold the rights of Sabahans. It is also apt that Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing, MP for Tuaran, joined us for our Public Hearing in Keningau. The decision by Wilfred Bumburing, who was also the Deputy President of UPKO, to leave UPKO and the BN is a strong confirmation that he has no confidence of the BN’s ability to uphold the rights and welfare of ordinary Sabahans. We welcome his decision to leave the BN and we hope that he can play a meaningful part to bring about regime change in the next general election so that the spirit and intention of the Keningau Oath Stone can be fulfilled.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Thursday, 6 September 2012 - 4:25 pm

    Musa Aman’s people are accusing Shafie Apdal’s people of leaking his account details with UBS Hong Kong. Shafie’s people are accusing Musa and his brother Anifah of leaking the story of his relationship with an actress. Sabah is interesting simply because there will be more revelations about the exclusive rich and the mighty when there is so much poverty on the ground.

  2. #2 by Peter on Thursday, 6 September 2012 - 4:42 pm

    The Sabahans and Sarawakians must wake up and fight with all possible means to get back their rights, dignity and honour which have been taken away by the BN corrupted politicians all the 50+ years. The time is now. Enough of those empty promises from BN. All these bums are only interested in their race, religion and above all to grab all your wealth and land. Wake up now!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 6 September 2012 - 4:54 pm

    Maybe only 1 sen out of every RM5 reaches the people. The rest are siphoned off by all the middlemen, leeches, cronies, hangers-on, baba-ali, ali-ali, tonkat-alis and so on.

    When the crooks are in the majority, who then have the power to harness them? Davids ?

  4. #4 by Loh on Thursday, 6 September 2012 - 5:10 pm

    Mahathir’s words


    Sep06 2012 Written by chedet

    ///1. We are 55-years old. This blessed multi-racial country of ours has been free for 55 years. For some Malaysians of 55 years and under, to be free of foreign rule is no big deal. Of course we are free, so what?///–Mahathir

    Malaysia has gained independence for 55 years. It is now said to be a free nation. But the people, the citizens may not be better off than when Malaya was under the British rule. The government has all the right to collect taxes and to keep revenue for the powers-that-be to squander away. But the people are having fear all the time, fear of theft, fear of robbery, and fear of dying at the hand of snatch thieves, and fear of traffic police who claim that one has violated traffic rules. When the people are fed up with the corrupt government and thinking of changing the tenant at Putrajaya, the powers-that-be spread the fear of a repeat of May 13. After 55 years of independence, only the politicians are free, free to squander and to privatize national resources while the citizens are living in fear, fearing about the future and the future of their issues.

    ///2. Jalur Gemilang! Just a rag – a strip of coloured cloth. It can be of any colour. What’s so great about the stripes, the star and the moon. Why must we be loyal to a piece of coloured cloth?

    3. And the anthem. Is it relevant? Why cannot we sing some other song?

    4. These are said to be symbols. Symbols of what??///–Mahathir

    They are the symbol of unity which the government should promote. But with racial differential treatment perpetrated by BN for the better part of the last 55 years, the people are more divided than united. That fits Mahathir divide and rule strategy, and recently, he argued about Malays’ power in government, rather than good governance of elected representatives. If the government serves the people well, does it matter who are the drivers? But when Mahathir having headed the government cannot leave the question of racial divide after all these years, can Malaysians expect UMNO to promote unity without first talking about race?

    ///5. Of course we are free of foreign rule. For these 55 and under, it is unthinkable to be under foreign rule. What we know is rule by some Malaysians. And they deny us freedom. We cannot demonstrate. We cannot step on pictures. We cannot change the colour of our flag – that rag. We cannot sing other anthems.

    6. We cannot do this; we cannot do that. So where is the freedom?///–Mahathir

    The greatest freedom after Merdeka is the freedom for the government of the day to use public funds as it pleases. Billion ringgit contracts can be dished out to the persons of PM’s choice without having to ever justify it. Petronas resources are not even answerable to the parliament.
    Mahathir lists some of the issues to ridicule Malaysians as if it was the wishes of Malaysians to see people step on picture. Curiously Mahathir had not said a word when the picture of opposition leader was stepped on. Nobody asked to change the colour of the national flag, and an odd example is now taken as the demand by all Malaysians. This shows how Mahathir distorts fact. As for demonstration, the government clearly practices double standards; and in some instances UMNO’s leader actually encouraged them such as demonstrating against the Chief Minister of Penang by UMNO and Perkasa members.

    People want the Election Commission to ensure that election would be conducted on a free and fair basis, through some of the safeguards mentioned by Bersih. Najib claimed that the election had been fair because Pakatan Rakyat won five states. Let us remind Najib that it was because the election had not been clean that BN lost only five states, else more states and perhaps Putrajaya could have fallen to Pakatan Rakyat.

    ///7. I am past 55 years. I lived under foreign rule. I lived under the British when all white men must be addressed as Tuan (master) and white women Mem (a corruption of Madame I suppose). Ours was to obey, theirs was to command. Politics was out of bounds.///—Mahathir

    For persons who have enjoyed power passed over to them from the British, addressing people Tuan cannot be a problem. They have to respect leaders of the more powerful countries as Tuan all the same. For the ordinary citizens, we have to call all those powerful civil servants Tuan. They are certainly more numerous now than in the days of the British. At least the British did not treat Malayans differently based on race; they were all second class residents.

    ///8. I lived under the Japanese. We feared for our women. They had to cut their hair short and wore men’s clothing. They hid in the attic, fearing being raped by Japanese soldiers.///–Mahathir

    The war ended in 1945. Mahathir coined the look-east policy in the 1980s. How can Mahathir forgive Japanese when some Malay or Indians women must have been raped during Japanese occupation? Chinese soldiers did not rape Malay or Indian women, and Chinese in Malaya did not gang up to rape Indians (Mahathir would care about Indian during that period), why does Mahathir harbour hatred against Chinese?

    ///9. The Kampetai or military police had a list of Chinese who had actively supported China against the Japanese. Many were executed by decapitation with the curved Japanese sword.

    10. Many were arrested and tortured. Water was hosed into their stomach and then forced out through their mouths and noses. They either died or they confessed to whatever crime they were accused of. Then they were taken out and shot.///–Mahathir

    11. Thailand allowed the Japanese army to land on its beaches and to march down the Isthmus of Kra into British Malaya. After two months of retreat, the British surrendered.

    12. As a reward for their cooperation, the Thais were given four northern Malay state – Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu.

    13. I experienced Thai rules. We had to respect their flag and anthem.///–Mahathir

    People in smaller towns in Thailand still stand to attention when the national anthem is played everyday.

    ///14. One evening as I was passing the Alor Star Police Station I heard the anthem and I froze, looking up at the Thai flag being lowered.

    15. An old Malay man cycled slowly past apparently unaware that he had to get off his bike and stand at attention.

    16. The anthem ended as the flag came down. I heard a shout and a Thai soldier who had been standing at attention ran after the old cyclist. He gave a flying kick to the face and the old man fell off his bicycle, lying still on the road.

    17. I did not go to his help. I was afraid of the soldier who seemed about to kick the man again. He changed his mind and went away.///–Mahathir

    The Thai soldier considered that he was doing his job to enforce a tradition. He did not kick a second time proved that he was not racist against the people.

    ///18. The Allied forces won the Pacific War and the British returned. They had promised to defend us from foreign attacks. They had failed. We had to live under the Japanese and the Thais.

    19. No apologies were offered. They merely threatened to depose the Malay rulers if they did not sign the MacMichael Treaty surrendering their states outright to the British. In the meantime we were ruled by the British Military Administration. No democracy.///–Mahathir

    The British knew how Japan ruled Malaya and they were just following the Japanese way.

    ///20. Then the worm turned. The docile Malays united as never before and forced the Malayan Union to be aborted. Eventually the states of the Peninsular and then the states of Sarawak and Sabah achieved independence as Malaysia.///–Mahathir

    Malaysians would not mind to hear the story since it makes UMNO feel good. Nothing happens in vacuum, and what happened elsewhere had implication for Malaysia too. After the Second World War, the United States of America was the superpower and she encouraged metropolitan powers to surrender their colonies. Mahahtir chooses a short cut approach to history, when it suits him.

    ///21. To me being independent will always be something I will cherish. As a Malaysian I don’t have to call foreigners “Master” or Tuan. We don’t have to fear foreigners in our country. We will not have our heads chopped off. We will not be kicked by foreigners in our own country.///–Mahathir
    Except that Malaysian government paid millions of ringgit to have a photo-opportunity with the President of the United States of America. Is that not worse than calling other Tuan, wherever one is?

    ///22. Yes, our Governments are not perfect. I was expelled from my party. I was ostracised. When I retired I was treated like an enemy of the Government.///–Mahathir

    Unfortunately for Malaysians the appropriate treatments were short-lived, and overturned in untimely manner.

    ///23. Others were detained without trial. A few claimed they were tortured. Maybe they were. But that is not the policy of our Governments. The law does not permit that though there are more advanced countries where torture is legalised.///–Mahathir

    What was worse than ISA was selective persecution to maintain power. Some countries use ‘torture’ to obtain information so that they could prevent a repeat of terrorism. That is how spies work, and semantic has no place in keeping a country safe.

    ///24. There are good things and bad things, good governance and bad governance in independent Malaysia. It is not perfect. But which country is perfect. In America there is much inequality with 1% being extremely rich and 99% poor according to Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz. Europe has been in financial crisis since 2008 and appears unable to get out of it.///–Mahathir

    Bad governance started since Mahathir took over and it began when public tenders of government projects were replaced by negotiated awards. That institutionalized corruption with impunity.

    America might have income disparity of vast dimension, but those who acquire huge wealth do not get them through transfer of public funds to private pockets, or through privatization of monopoly. America had racial discrimination until 1968, but Malaysia began racial discrimination as official government policies since 1969.

    ///25. In the Middle East there is the so-called Arab Spring. Many have died. Revolutionary successes have not brought the promised good Governments and prosperity yet. It will take time.///–Mahathir

    Middle East never had a democratic government in their history and they are starting one. We have democratic government since 1957, and it only got worse starting in the 1980s. Shouldn’t we revisit our past?

    ///26. Where else? Africa! I don’t think the Africans are better off than Malaysians. Latin America! Yes Brazil. It’s doing well, that’s all I know. The others are not.///–Mahathir

    Malaysia did not have to use Africa for comparison. Are we heading that route now?

    ///27. And in ASEAN. Singapore has done well. But the people seem unhappy. 15% of the population are treated as second class citizens. They are poor. The other countries are so so.///–Mahathir

    Was the 15% based on income classification, and at what multiple of Malaysia’s poverty threshold level? Is it based on race as the 15% represent that ratio of one race we know? Without Singapore Mahahtir does not have to answer the question that with vast natural resources in Malaysia, GDP per capita in Malaysia is only one-fifth that of Per capita GDP in Singapore which has no natural resources. The answer of course is corruption and racism.

    ///28. Am I stupid? But really there is nowhere else I would like to be other than Malaysia. It’s not a perfect country. I don’t like some of the things I see or experience. But on balance there is more good in independent Malaysia than there are bad things.///–Mahathir

    Where else would the indigenous people allow a foreigner to claim that he is indigenous and offer him the forum to play the divide and rule game? Where else can a government leader acquire so much power other than in Malaysia? With all the pillage on the country how can it progress? But why should he bother about the country since he can live like a king when only others suffer, not him?

    ///29. So I will celebrate Merdeka days. I will fly the Jalur Gemilang and I will sing the National Anthem. I am proud I am a Malaysian, a citizen of an independent country. I will not step on the pictures of people who only know how to hate and have done nothing to make this country better. By doing what they did they have demonstrated that they and the people who lead them are unfit to rule this independent country. They only know hate. Hatred does not develop nations.///–Mahathir

    Mahahtir could put people to jail through trumped up charges, and he did not have to let off his steam by stepping on people’s pictures, except on Pak Lah’s and in private. In a way Malaysians were fools to have allowed Mahathir to be Prime Minister for 22 years. He is slowly revealing how unworthy he had been as a Prime Minister.

    ///30. So I will shout “Merdeka” Malaysia for Merdeka means a lot to me.///–Mamakthir

    Where else would people tolerate a despot for that long?

  5. #5 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 6 September 2012 - 6:06 pm

    Oh dear me. Finis itu stone. Umno cannot take things like this. Umno would surely send its terrorist wing, perkasa, to damage or at least deface the stone.

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 6 September 2012 - 6:07 pm

    Again, let me say that Sabah oil royalties does not even come in the top 5 issues for Sabahan. The immigration issue is undoubtedly no 1 and Borneonisation of the civil service including enforcement agencies and GLCs is the second. The stone remind us, religious freedom, educational independence, native land, customs & traditions comes even before Sabah oil revenue..

  7. #7 by sotong on Thursday, 6 September 2012 - 6:11 pm

    The state belongs to them to do as they wish.

  8. #8 by ReformMalaysia on Friday, 7 September 2012 - 12:56 am

    “Janji Ditepati” ?
    Janji dengan PATI adalah!….

    M…… told the PATI(illegal immigrants/Pendatang Tanpa Izin)… I help you.. You Help me…. it is very simple deal… I GIVE YOU MALAYSIAN CITIZENSHIP WITH BUMIPUTRA STATUS & IC.. and in return YOU VOTE and ALWAYS VOTE FOR BARISAN NASIONAL IN EVERY ELECTION…. this will become a SOCIAL CONTRACT and POLITICAL CONTRACT……DEAL? ….”DEAL!!”

    …. then thereafter…. Sabah population grow at incredible fast rate… the fastest in the WORLD..

    Suddenly many “citizan” with a “missing link” appeared…. They are now “Malaysian citizen with Bumiputra status”….. A 30 year old is now Citizen/Malaysian Bumiputra…. but no local Sabahan ever see him born or grow up in Sabah….. the come out as Sabahan /Malaysia from nowhere?

    Janji Ditepati?


  9. #9 by monsterball on Friday, 7 September 2012 - 6:38 pm

    Mahathir will say…”What stone?”…
    “What did I promise to Sabahans?”
    Confronted..he now says….”All promises will be kept. Please be patient”
    Only timber and palm oil…to enriched the UMNO b privateers..are on going.
    Why keep Sabah be such a poor State …when it is the riches? is a formula Mahathir found to make sure…Sabahans stay hungry and must vote for BN…for “good living”
    It’s is modern slave driving techniques…Mahathir learned from the British history.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Friday, 7 September 2012 - 6:39 pm

    Mahathir will say…”What stone?”…
    “What did I promise to Sabahans?”
    Confronted..he is twisting now saying….”All promises will be kept. Please be patient”
    Only timber and palm oil…to enriched the UMNO b privateers..are on going.
    Why keep Sabah be such a poor State …when it is the riches? is a formula Mahathir found to make sure…Sabahans stay hungry and must vote for BN…for “good living”
    It’s is modern slave driving techniques…Mahathir learned from the British history.

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