BY PLUTO JAMES
KOTA KINABALU: Claiming potential threat to her personal safety, besides the possibility of being arrested under the Sedition Act, London-based Sabah activist Doris Jones who advocates secession, is reconsidering her plans to return to Malaysia.
She said although she’s prepared to sacrifice for her struggle for her beloved state of Sabah and its people, she’s wise enough not to get herself killed in the course.
Jones also acknowledged that she was concerned with the possibility of the Malaysian authority arresting her under the Sedition Act although she doubt there was actually a warrant of arrest on her, citing her walking out of the Malaysian Embassy in London recently, without being arrested.
“If there is such a warrant of arrest on me, they (Malaysian authority) could have arrested me when I was inside the Malaysian Embassy recently, as that’s considered Malaysian territory,” she said.
Recently, Kota Kinabalu-based legal consultant Jeremiah Yee has warned that Jones will be arrested upon returning to Sabah using her newly-acquired British passport, since there has been a warrant of arrest issued by the police on her, to face charges under sedition for her secessionist movement.
He explained that unless Jones was issued with a diplomatic passport, having an ordinary British passport does not give the holder immunity from prosecution.
“If the Malaysian authorities have issued a warrant to arrest someone for some sort of offence, this means the person can be arrested when he or she steps onto Malaysian soil,” he said.
Doris, 46, who is Penampang-born and raised in Labuan was married to an Englishman but she remained in England when the two went separate ways.
When contacted via her Facebook account, Doris whose maiden name is Yapp Kim Yuon remarked:
“The death of P.I Bala (a private investigator who is a key witness in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial) after returning to Malaysia is one lesson to learn from! If they do kill me in silence here (London), it is different story but to put myself to be kill...that is stupid,” she said.
Although it was reported that Balasubramaniam had died due to a heart attack on 15 March 2013, there were nonetheless a lot of speculations over the actual cause of his death in the Malaysian blogsphere.
The last time Jones returned to Malaysia was before the 13th general election. She left Malaysia for United Kingdom in 1996 and is currently working as a paralegal cum advocate in London.
Her interest to champion Sabah rights started since 1984 when Labuan became a federal territory. She claimed that at that time, she already had a negative perception of the Federal government’s treatment towards Sabah.
“I knew the making of Labuan an Offshore Financial Centre would not last long and would scrap off many job opportunities for the locals on the upper grades. And there’s also the issue of illegal immigrants coming in (to Sabah) without any control. So, what is the meaning of federal government?” she said.
Previously, there was an attempt by the authorities to extradite Jones but it could not be carried out as Britain does not recognise her crime under the Sedition Act.
Meanwhile, asked on her earlier plans to return to Malaysia with her newly-acquired United Kingdom international passport, she revealed that it was aimed chiefly to give her support to the group of four volunteers of the Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) movement, who were charged with allegedly propagating the secession of Sabah from Malaysia.
With the changed of her plans to return to Malaysia now, Jones who is the founder of Sabah Sarawak Union (UK) said she would continue to monitor and support the SSKM volunteers from London. She also claimed to have around 70,000 followers.
She maintained that secession is the best way for Sabah and its people to regain control of their rich natural resources and to strive for a better future.
“We are entitled to every penny out of our oil, gas, timber and other natural resources. Secession is the best answer for us in Sabah. Will this nation ever return to the constitutional principles of our founding fathers? The answer, I am convinced, is NO!
“What I am doing now is not a ''circus show''. It is real and I am willing to take all the risks. We, Sabahans have nothing to lose after all; after this 52 years (of independence) we have lost billions and lives! We, Sabahans must take a stand against the ongoing and unjust colonisation of our homeland,” she said.
Touching on the Sabah Immigration Department director Noor Alam Khan Wahid Khan’s recent statement that she would have to make up her mind on which citizenship to retain when she returns to Sabah, Jones countered that Noor Alam should be more concerned of the huge presence of illegal immigrants in the state, rather than questioning her citizenship.
“I was born a Sabahan and I always will be a Sabahan. No one can change that!” she concluded.
Source: Kinabalu Today