Thursday, 4 September 2014

Separation not secession

Yong Teck Lee says Sabahans are not secessionists or traitors. They only want separation from Malaysia.

KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah Chief Minister Yong Teck Lee has said it is not right to label any movement in Sabah as “secessionist” because the state was historically not part of Malaya/Malaysia.

He thinks the term “separation” is more appropriate.

For example, Singapore separated, not seceded from Malaysia in 1965, he pointed out.

“We also reject any talk that Sabahans are traitors,” said Yong, who heads the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

“Sabahans are patriots who want to see a successful Malaysia that respects, recognises and upholds the letter, spirit and intent of the Malaysia Agreement 1963, without which there would be no Malaysia.”

The real traitors in the country, said Yong, are those who gave out MyKads to illegal immigrants, “fake” sultans who claim that Sabah belongs to them and extremists who divide Malaysia dangerously along racial and religious lines.

“It’s indicative of the sad state of the Malaysian Federation today when top federal leaders chose the Merdeka week to issue threats against Sabahans for being so-called secessionists,” he said.

He said that after 51 years of federation with the peninsula, Sabahans were no longer cowed by such threats.
To threaten Sabahans with arrests would only harden their resolve as they already see no solution within the Malaysia context, he added.

“There’s no apparent effort by the Federal Government to resolve the issues that drive Sabahans to cry for separation from the peninsula,” said Yong. “There’s a need to understand this cry for separation and solve the grievances of Sabahans.”

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