Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What Re-look? Basis of Malaysia Has Failed - Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “The recent events in the Peninsula with the rise of religious bigots and extremists and now violence with the non-appearance of the PM and the federal government on the Allah issue and the Bible raid proves that the federation of Malaysia is breaking up and will soon reach the point of no-return” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, commenting on the call by the senior Sarawak Minister for a re-look of the Malaysia Agreement.

The rising tension in recent weeks have now taken a turn for the worse with the Umno-led mob turning everything into racial and religious intolerance.   Even the sanctity of the Malay Rulers are being manipulated by the politicians to fuel further intolerance and to influence the outcome of pending court proceedings.

The founding fathers from Sabah and Sarawak were visionary and clear in their thoughts on the basis of the formation of Malaysia in 1963.   While they acknowledge that Islam would be the official religion, there would be freedom to practice other religions.

This was also the vision of the first PM of Malaysia when he delivered his speech in the Malayan Parliament on 16 October 1961.   Tunku Abdul Rahman said: “One reaction in the Borneo Territories was that the Malaysia concept was an attempt to colonise the Borneon Territories.  The answer to this was, as I said before, it is legally impossible for the federation to colonise because we desire that they should join us in the federation in equal partnership, enjoying the same status between one another, so there is no fear that Malaysia will mean that there will be an imposition of Islam on Borneo … Everybody is free to practise whatever religion”.

Freedom of religion was of utmost importance and was made to be the first item on the 20-Points/18-Points that led to the Borneo States agreeing to the formation of Malaysia.

The sickening strategy of Umno in playing with the race and religion card to pull in the rural Malays support so as to maintain their dwindling electoral support is pushing the nation to the brink of self-destruction in the Peninsula.

It has even reached the stage where the federal government ignores its own decision on the 10-Points and the numerous promises of the PM to the people of Sabah and Sarawak on freedom of religion.  The 1-Malaysia slogan is a hollow political gimmick and the PM is no longer the prime minister for all Malaysians as he should be.

Up until now, the people in Sabah and Sarawak had enjoyed peace and harmony amongst the various religions.   This very peace and harmony is threatened by the events in the Peninsula which appears to be condoned by the Umno-led federal government and participated by Umno leaders and members.

With this latest episode on curbing the freedom of religion particularly for the non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak, the very basis of the formation of Malaysia is torn apart.

Prior to this, the fundamental reasons, promises of security and development, that Sabah and Sarawak were pushed to join in the merger to form Malaysia were proven to be illusory and not fulfilled.  Instead of preventing the twin threats of the Philippines and Indonesia, Sabah is now over-run by Filipino and Indonesian immigrants, illegally given ICs by the federal government, out-numbering local natives and other races.

The federal government aided and funded the Muslim insurgency in Southern Philippines, even providing them with arms and weapons with training held in Sabah.   In an ironic twist, these insurgents, many with ICs and Umno memberships, invaded Lahad Datu in early 2013.    In a further twist, many of the insurgents that were killed were secretly buried by the authorities in various places in Sabah including in Keningau accordingly to their purported place of birth according to their dubious ICs.

After 50 years in Malaysia, development has not reach many parts of Sabah and Sarawak.  In many places, there is not even clean treated water, electricity or good sealed roads. 

Of course, the grandeur of development was more than clean treated water and electricity.   A Tan Sri Umno politician and former federal Minister was even thinking of flush toilets for Sabah and Sarawak after encountering flush toilets on his first visit to Malaya in 1962.   Electricity is now under the federal-controlled GLC yet last week there was a state-wide blackout in Sabah.

To make matters worse, the riches of Sabah and Sarawak oil and gas resources are “stolen” and used to develop Malaya and making Sabah and Sarawak the poorest and second poorest States.   To further rub salt into the wound, in 2014 Sabah and Sarawak will be contributing RM26.6 billion and RM45 billion to Petronas and the federal government coffers.

To add further injury, a water-treatment project in Keningau costing RM235 million will be funded by a loan from the federal government.   What a rip-off making Sabah pay the RM235 million loan after RM26.6 billion is stolen from Sabah in oil revenue alone?   Yet, not a squeak, not a whimper from Umno Sabah or the other BN components in Sabah.

Worse still, Sabahans and Sarawakians were treated shabbily as second or third class citizens by the federal government when they were denied federal flood aid while those in the Peninsula were given aid after aid, many hand-delivered by the PM himself, in addition to television sets, refrigerators, mattresses as well as more cash and gift vouchers from Petronas.

It is as clear as daylight that the basis for the formation of Malaysia has totally failed.  Malaysia is now a sad tale of broken promises and shattered dreams.   What is next for Sabah and Sarawak – continue in Malaysia or go the way of Singapore and Brunei which have fared much much better without Malaysia?

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