Thursday, 29 October 2009


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Borneo National Party

With reference to the article "Parti Rakyat Borneo Anyone?" which appeared on The North Borneo Herald would like to add that in 2006 a group of people met in a restaurant in Jalan Pantai, Kota Kinabalu to discuss the formation of the Borneo National Party.

The most senior leader in the group was Mathurin Daim, a former United National Kadazan Organization (UNKO) strongman from Papar. Mathurin Daim also served under various governments.

Among the things discussed were the alternating of the president's post between a Sabahan and Sarawakian every five years, the restoration of the original constitution of 1963, the need to place indigenous unity above personal concerns and a need to find a strong and consistent source of funding.

Unfortunately plans for the proposed party came to a halt when Parti Keadilan Rakyat made the Tambunan Declaration and the health of Daim worsened.

The draft constitution of the party is still available in the hands of Daim's trusted aide (in hard copy only) complete with party flag and all. Unfortunately very few of people still remain committed to the proposed party while one of them is still a member of a Barisan Nasional component party.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

AnD finally Dr Jeffrey quits PKR...More to follow suit

Dr Jeffrey quits as PKR V-P, may return to PBS
KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has resigned as a vice-president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), and has not ruled out the possibility of rejoining Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) led by his elder brother Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
"At the moment, I will leave my options open. I will decide when the right time comes," he told Bernama here. Dr Jeffrey was asked to comment on whether he would consider rejoining PBS, a component party of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN). He said he would consult other PKR divisional chiefs, his supporters and grassroots leaders before making a final decision on the matter. "I'm in no rush to make decision or to decide our next course of action," he said. Dr Jeffrey had also resigned as a member of the party's supreme council and the political bureau.Asked whether Dr Jeffrey was ready to team up with former Sabah PKR deputy chairman Christina Liew, who had also resigned as a supreme council member, to pursue their political careers, he said: "Yes, we will work together". Dr Jeffrey's resignation is seen as having dealt a major blow to PKR's attempt to strengthen itself in Sabah.
Dr Jeffrey, who is expected to send the resignation letter to the party headquarters by today, will remain as an ordinary member of the party, according to his former aide Kanul Gindol. It is believed that many of the division chiefs, including Dr Jeffrey himself, were disappointed with the decision of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to appoint Ahmad Thamrin Jaini as the party's new chief in Sabah. Sabahan Ahmad Thamrin was named as the new state PKR chief last weekend after a group of division chiefs expressed no-confidence in PKR vice-president Azmin Ali leading the state PKR. The resignation of Liew as a supreme council members is also seen as a setback for PKR. Liew, who is Kota Kinabalu division chief, announced her resignation as a supreme council member today, following in the footsteps of Dr Jeffrey. Liew said, however, that she would remain as a party member and retain the post of Kota Kinabalu division chief. "I will be submitting my resignation letter to the party president today," she told Bernama. Liew said she had always believed that the party was fair and transparent, until the appointment of Datuk Kong Hong Ming as PKR Sabah deputy chairman and Ahmad Thamrin as the party's new chief in Sabah. "My mum (mother) had to take the public humiliation of me being replaced (as deputy chairman) for unknown reasons. I worked so hard for the last nine years to promote Sabah PKR. "Since the party has disregarded my contribution, I will bow out with dignity now," she said.
PBS secretary-general Datuk Radin Malleh said the party did not want to speculate on Dr Jeffrey rejoining it.
"We will cross the bridge when the time comes. Right now, we don't want to speculate on anything," he said when met after a meeting of the party's organising committee. Sabah Umno secretary Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin, who is a Sabah deputy chief minister, said Dr Jeffrey was welcome to join the party."We welcome anybody who wants to join the BN. Of course, we will welcome him back to BN's side ... (because) he is not alone, he got supporters as well," he told reporters when asked if Umno would be willing to accept Dr Jeffrey should he decide to join the party.

More on PKR Sabah

Written by Admin
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 07:37


FIRST of all we, a loyal members of PKR would like to congratulates Ahmad Thamrin for being appointed as Sabah State Chief. Well, as per camp J requisition, to have a truly Sabahan to hold the post of State Chief, so the President has granted their request by appointing Ahmad Thamrin. Excellent job Dato' Seri President!

According to PKR's constitution, President has every right to appoint whoever that he/she likes to be the State Chief. So there shouldn't be any doubtful about it, eventhough camp J has claimed that they got 3/4 supports from the Divisional Chiefs. As a party member we should obey with the President decision. If anybody or whoever reluctant to bear the decision made, they are welcome to pull themselves out from PKR in block.

This group are just a liability to the party. They might think that they are the important person in party. For a God sake, they are nothing but a trouble-maker. They've created a lot of irreparable problems. I believes if they are gone, a lot more KDM will joint PKR and PKR will gain more trust from the Muslims and KDM. As what I've written before, this camp J is a disaster to PKR. Get rid of them and PKR will gain more and more supporters from every level of peoples. Trust me.

Dr Jeffrey should be thankful to the President for appointing him as the Vice President of PKR. To be frank, Dr Jeffrey has no influence in Sabah. Dr Jeffery bought a number of ‘fragile’ divisional chiefs in order to show to President and Ketua Umum that 3/4 divisional chiefs has supported and wanted him to be the State Chief. The grass-roots doubts the sincererity of Dr Jeffrey and his so called hard-core teams. Dr Jeffrey is a racialist and there's no way in hell that he could unites natives Muslims and natives non-muslims. We exactly don't have faith on him. They are experts in making up defamation.

I remembered Dr Jeffrey at once has chosen his own relatives to stand in Pitas on 2008 general election. Pitas is a Muslims area and it's end up with miserable result and deposit deprived ! Even Dr Jeffrey manage to win all KDM's seats they still can't rule the state. Happy daydreams Dr Jeffrey and the gangs.

From the rumours I've heard that Dr Jeffrey and the gangs would like to joint SAPP and it's not a shock if the current President of SAPP will be kicked out by Dr Jeffrey and the gangs. Well Yong Teck Lee, beware! This bizzare groups will crushed your SAPP as what they did to PKR. No wonder Pairin doesn't want his brother back to PBS. PKR should have not bring in Dr Jeffrey to PKR on the first place. Look what he did to PKR - a massive destruction!

By the way, who is Daniel John Jambun in PKR? He is not even a divisional chief and he is only former Deputy Sabah State Chief. Talking about the so called so powerful KDMTF, another daydreamer!

This task force it's not mentioned elsewhere in the PKR's constitution. This KADAZAN MURUTDUSUN task force are only created by Dr Jeffrey to ensconce himself. Wake-up dude, stand on your own feet and stand right infront of the mirror, and ask yourself, who am I and does myself meaningful to the party? If the answer is NO, it means that you and Dr Jeffrey brains need to be motivated and get polished!

Once again, to Ahmad Thamrin just ignores these uppish and broken-hearted groups headed by Dr Jeffrey and the gangs such as Awang Ahmad Sah, Awang Tengah, Duljit, Johanis, Jalumin and Lajim Yusof.

We are definately will gives our 100% moral supports to you. These groups will continously attacks you and your line-up Majlis Pimpinan Negeri. Let it be. Let the camp J barks all night long. So far they've done nothing good to PKR only demolishing and jeopardizing PKR.

To Daniel John, who are you to judge Ahmad Thamrin as a poor performer? Don't ever equalize the messed that you and Dr Jeffrey has done with other people. At least we are having a Sabahan leaders and may I remind you as per you and your gangs requested, remember?

So take it or leave it. Don't like? Get yourself out from PKR and leave PKR alone!

PKR Sabah is `melting'

Mr Kanul Gindol, ex-political secretary to Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan says Parti Keadilan Sabah is now melted and what is left was a small black bitter bean. This former executive Bernama journalist was commenting on the latest development of PKR Sabah's changed in leadership. (see story below)

"Di Sabah PKR sudah cair macam coklat kena matahari dan yang tinggal sebiji kacang hitam yang pahit," he said in a SMS to Aki Momogun last night.

Disrespect by PKR leadership: Jeffrey
Published HERE on: Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Vice President, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, said the appointment of the new State liaison chief by party's Supreme Council on Sunday was made without taking into consideration the majority voices of its supporters in Sabah and Sarawak.

"It was a disappointment for the party's branch chiefs and members in Sabah because the appointment was not made based on the majority voiceÉmeaning there was no respect for the voices of majority in Sabah," he said.

"The concept of democracy, supposedly being practised, is not being practised," he told Daily Express when contacted in Kuala Lumpur Monday, on his way back to Sabah.

He was asked to comment on the appointment of Ahmad Thamrin Haji Jai as the new State liaison chief, succeeding Azmin Ali who is also the party's Vice President.

Congratulating Ahmad Thamrin who was the party's State liaison secretary and division chief for Libaran on his appointment, Jeffrey said he did not anticipate there would be any difference (on the decision-making process by the party's Supreme Council) from what has happened previously.

"But the party's supporters in Sabah and Sarawak are very disappointed that the voices of the majority were left unheard in the decision-making process," he said.

Jeffrey, who was actually also among those whose names were submitted to head the State PKR, said Sunday's decision does not mean the end of everything for him, including his position in the party.

Asked whether it would make him reconsider the offer made by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) to return to the party, he said it has not crossed his mind.

"I do not think about that offer. I am actually going on long leave until January next year. And I would take this opportunity to have a re-look at the whole political scenario in SabahÉthere are still other ways to opt to," he said.

Ahmad Thamrin was appointed the new PKR Sabah liaison chief during the party's Supreme Council meeting held at its headquarters in Petaling Jaya on Monday. Azmin was previously the interim State liaison chief.

Meanwhile, Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) members in PKR have been urged to rethink their participation in the party, considering their presence is not appreciated by its supreme leadership.

United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) Vice President, Datuk Siringan Gubat, who made the call Monday, invited them to join or return to support the Barisan Nasional (BN) instead.

He said the appointment of Ahmad Thamrin Haji Jai as the new State liaison chief to succeed Azmin Ali seems to suggest there are no more credible KDM leaders left in the PKR Sabah.

He said the PKR supreme leadership does not even care about the feelings of its KDM members in Sabah most of whom wanted Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan to be named as the new State liaison chief.

"At one time Dr Jeffrey seemed to be the flagbearer of the PKR Sabah and that's why many members of the KDM community were attracted to the party. But unfortunately Dr Jeffrey was replaced just before the last General Elections.

Many actually predicted they (PKR) could have won certain seats if he (Dr Jeffrey) was not replaced," said Siringan who is Ranau Member of Parliament.

He said Jeffrey now seems to be out of favour in PKR even at the national level.

"So all those KDM members of the PKR are now like anak-anak ayam kehilangan ibu (chicks without the mother hen) É I urge all of them including Dr Jeffrey to just abandon the PKR and join the BN instead," said Siringan.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Kadazans and Dayaks plans new political party - Parti Rakyat Borneo

My friend, Joseph Tawie in Kuching posted this HERE.

Someone from Sabah inquired from me today whether it is possible for Kadazans and Dayaks to form a regional party, say Parti Rakyat Borneo. Or is there any other suitable name?

“The party will be based in Sarawak and to be headed by a Dayak Christian with a fair representation from both sides,” he said, and added that it should preferably be a multi-racial party.

He said: “We must try the never tried before one party and I want to shatter all mentality blocks among us in East Malaysia.

“I admit it is not easy to accomplish it, but let us give ourselves a chance to ponder on our broken brotherhood,”
he said.

The idea was not the first. Daniel Tajem made a suggestion in 2000 soon after he returned from New Zealand where he spent five years as Malaysian High Commissioner. But his suggestion was shot down by Leo Moggie, then the president of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) and James Masing. At the time, Moggie and Masing were like inseparable twins.

Tajem also made a suggestion that if a regional party between Sabah and Sarawak could not be formed, then they should seriously consider merging PBDS with SNAP in order to strengthen Dayak unity.

That idea was also shot down by the two men, claimed Tajem and pointed out that they disliked the idea as they were living in “comfortable zones” at the time, (and still are today).

In view of the recent calls for justice and equality for the people of Sabah and Sarawak as promised in the 20/18 points in the Malaysian Agreement it is good that we explore this suggestion further. Without Sabah, Sarawak cannot fight for justice and equal partnership alone. Likewise, without Sarawak, Sabah cannot do it alone.

Now, what is our response to the Sabahan's suggestion?

Friday, 23 October 2009

PBS keeps Pairin

PENAMPANG: Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan remains the president of Parti Bersatu Sabah 24 years after he formed it.

He was returned unopposed when nomination papers for posts ahead of the party elections on Nov 8 and Nov 9 were revealed at its headquarters here on Thursday - Oct 22, 2009.

Two of his three deputies -- Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili and Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai -- were also returned to their posts while Datuk A.K. Aliuddin Pengiran Mohd Tahir will likely see a challenge.

Three senior party members qualified to contest for the Muslim Bumiputera deputy president's post he holds. They were former Youth chief Almudin Kaidam, Rakam Sijim and incumbent Youth chief Datuk Jahid Jahim.

Jahid, however, may likely stick to defending his post as he is challenged by Jikulin Nointin alias Jake Nointin who qualified by virtue of securing four nominations from the party divisions.

Joint nominations committee chairman Johnny Mositun revealed those nominated for posts had until Oct 27 to confirm their decision to contest or otherwise.

There will be no contests for the top Wanita posts as its chief Datin Jamilah Sulaiman and her deputies, Datin Genevieve Kitingan, Datin Malianah Ugau and Datin Vicky Yee, were returned unopposed.

The committee in the last two days had screened hundreds of nominations for the various posts and rejected some, including one for a former party member who is now in the opposition.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Long overdue says SAPP

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, said that the September 16 national holiday is a long overdue rectification of national consciousness of Malaysia Day.

"Because of the PM's belated announcement, the five Pakatan Rakyat States have missed out on 2 years of opportunity to take the lead in fulfilling public expectations that they would declare September 16 as public holidays in their respective states, like Sabah and Sarawak.

"Further, it is only right that next year's Hari Kebangsaan be declared as 47th, and not 53rd and this 2009 year is also no longer 52nd Anniversary of Malaysia, but 46th.

"School books and government publications must similarly be corrected," Yong stressed.

MeanwhileSAPP vice president and Member of Parliament for Tawau, Datuk Chua Soon Bui welcomed the annoucement by the Prime Minister, YAB Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak in the parliament that 16/9 will be made a Malaysia Day, a public holiday.

She said after a long wait of 46 years, the fact has eventually been made right to the Malaysian people with the known fact that the date is the formation of Malayisa, when Sabah, Sarawak and west malaysia joined to form Malaysia on 16/9/1963.

She said she has repeatedly urged the government to recognize 16/9 as a public holiday and she is happy to see that such appeal has eventually been recognized.

She said it is not the public holiday that is important but the significance to recognize the effort of our forefathers from Sabah and Sarawak who had sacrified and made significant contributions on the formation of Malaysia on 16/9/1963. This should be recorded down in history and known to all Malaysians.

This is a significant recognition which will foster greater national unity and integration between the East (Sabah and Sarawak) and the West so that the true spirit of 1 Malaysia concept will not just be a slogan.
She also hopes such recognization will be a way forward to further focus to correct on the differential treatment and socio-economic gap faced by the Malaysians in Sabah, among many of the issues encountered.

She hopes the government will look into why civil servants posted to Sabah are getting higher housing allowances and hardship allowances than their counterpart from Sabah who are posted to West Malaysia ? This has deterred some Sabah civil servants to be transferred to West Malaysia.

She also questions why a total of 568 students graduates (Education faculty) from UMS (university of Malaysia Sabah) majoring in different subjects are still waiting in the dark whereas their counterpart graduates from universities in West Malaysia have been interviewed and posted to government schools. This is a clear case of marginalization between the East and West Malaysia.

She hoped the government is sincere in walking its talk on the 1 malaysia concept.

Finally, A Recognition for Malaysia Day!

from - here

The declaration by our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that beginning next year, September 16th would be declared a national holiday to commemorate the formation of Malaysia should be hailed.

Najib is the first Prime Minister to declare Malaysia Day as a holiday. Najib is perhaps a Prime Minister for all Malaysians after all. He is going to make it harder for the opposition to gain ground in Sabah and Sarawak. With the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) facing internal disputes in Sabah and Sarawak, Najib's Barisan Nasional (BN) stands to win with a bigger majority in Borneo in the next elections.

It is also hoped that Najib would also increase the representation of non-Muslim indigenes from Borneo in the Federal government. And the next step for Najib is to amend Article 160 of the Federal Constitution to include the definition of Malaysia Day.

Finally it happened

National holiday on Sept 16

2009/10/20 as reported here

KUALA LUMPUR: It was a long time coming but Malaysia Day on Sept 16 will be a public holiday next year, an announcement hailed across the board in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s declaration to this effect in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday found consensus among Malaysians that it was timely and a natural consequence of the 1Malaysia concept.
The prime minister said it was high time Malaysians celebrated the formation of
Malaysia in a proper manner.
With this, Najib said, Malaysia would have two National Day celebrations
— Merdeka Day on Aug 31 when Malaya gained independence from the Uni ted

Kingdom in 1957 and Sept 16 when Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak became Malaysia in
1963. (Singapore also joined the federation but left in 1966.)
“The people of Sabah and Sarawak have been part of Malaysia since 1963, so it is only fair that they enjoy progress, education, economic and social development as in Semenanjung (the peninsula),” he said when replying to a question on the 1Malaysia concept.
Najib’s announcement elicited loud table-thumping from Barisan Nasional members of parliament.
A beaming Najib said the cabinet had decided to host two National Day celebrations annually with different themes according to the
He said Merdeka Day would continue to commemorate the struggle to win independence with official functions such as parades held around the country.
Malaysia Day, he said, would focus on unity, celebrate racial understanding, and
Malaysia’s achievement in sports and socio-cultural activities and the arts
which together constituted the 1Malaysia spirit.
There was great joy in Sabah and Sarawak with the prime minister ’s announcement as both states have been calling for enhanced Malaysia Day celebrations for a long time.
In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the
announcement would make the people of the state more determined in their
effort to strengthen unity and sense of belonging in Malaysia.
“It will be a catalyst to steer the development of the state and promote
prosperity among the people in line with the 1Malaysia concept.
This is also a significant gesture to the people of Sabah because we
have long practised what was aspired for in the prime minister’s

vision of 1Malaysia.”
Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said the move augered well towards hastening the process of creating a cohesive nation built on
a multireligious, multiracial and multilingual platform.

“It is one of the best recipes to create a sense of 1Malaysia as propounded
by the prime minister.”
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun and Murut Organisation president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, describing the announcement as “a long-overdue recognition”,
said the decision would go a long way towards bringing the people together.
“The announcement is also a significant contribution to the prime minister’s passion for a 1Malaysia where Malaysians from all walks of life, ethnic or geographical origin and religious beliefs can feel that they have a place
under the Malaysian sun.”
Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the decision had helped resolve a key issue in the effort to promote patriotism and love for the country among Malaysians.
“This will further strengthen the sense of belonging among citizens
from different backgrounds. As for us in the PBS and as a partner
in the Barisan Nasional coalition, it will help us further work towards
building a better nation.”
Liberal Democratic Party president Datuk Liew Vui Keong said Najib’s announcement represented a deeply-appreciated recognition of both Sabah and Sarawak.
“It has become an intense topic of debate in our living memory since the formation of Malaysia. It reflects the seriousness of the prime minister’s sincerity in fostering a harmonious relationship
among us all.”
In Ku c h i n g , Parti Rakyat Sarawak president Datuk Seri Dr James Masing said it was most appropriate that Malaysia Day should be celebrated nationwide
with a public holiday.
“The prime minister has rightly declared Sept 16 a public holiday from next year. We should give more significance to the day by organising activities to recognise the formation of the Federation of M a l ay s i a . ”
Masing who is also the state Land Development Minister, said he had felt honoured when Najib spoke about the formation of Malaysia at the Malaysia Day gathering in the state capital last week.
Sarawak MPs attending the Dewan Rakyat were also thankful to the cabinet for making a decision that would further unite the people.
BN MP for Putatan Datuk Marcus Mojigoh said the people of Sarawak and Sabah were satisfied that the issue of Malaysia Day had finally been resolved.
“It has been raised many times in the past, and now that the prime minister has made his announcement, it is definitely a feel-good factor contributing to national unity.” Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister and BN MP for Miri
Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui, said the new national public holiday sent home the point that the prime minister wanted a very strong 1Malaysia feeling among Malaysians.
Science, Technology and Innovation deputy minister and BN MP for Petrajaya Fadillah Yusof said Najib was “walking the talk” about the 1Malaysia concept with the decision.
“This proves he is listening to the people and that 1Malaysia is not just rhetoric. Making Malaysia Day a national holiday only re-enforces
the Federal Government’s view of the importance of the celebration
Nancy Shukri (BN-Batang Sadong) said the decision showed that the Federal Government was sensitive to the feelings and needs of the people of Sarawak and

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Sarawak new political party

Sarawak, likely to hold its State election next year, now has a new political party called Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia (PRM). It is headed by veteran politician and State assemblyman for Ngemah Gabriel Adit Demong (Pix).

Adit, 59, who joined opposition party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat last year, had won the Ngemah seat as an independent candidate in 2006.

He had previously held the seat for three terms as vice-president of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), but had remained without a party after PBDS was deregistered.

A source said PRM’s application for registration had been approved by the Registrar of Societies and is all set to be launched in Sibu on Oct 15. The party, the source said, has the backing of several Sarawak's well known politicians.

"PRM will be applying to join Barisan Nasional and is confident to be accepted into the national coalition," the source said.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Pairin to continue leading PBS

Huguan Siou Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who has been Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president since the Sabah-based political party was formed in 1984 is all set to continue leading the party.

The Tambunan PBS Division, which he heads, held its meeting over the weekend returned him unopposed. As in previous party's election, the Tambunan assemblyman and Keningau member of Parliament, is likely to be opposed for the president post.

PBS's election will be held on Nov 7, 2009 at Hongkod Koisaan (the Kadazandusun Cultural Association's (KDCA) headquarters) at Jalan Penampang.

Pairin, who is also KDCA president, formed PBS after he was forced to leave Parti Berjaya Government, led by then Chief Minister Datuk Harris Mohd Salleh and of which Pairin was one of its Ministers, on Aug 16, 1984.

PBS was registered on Aug 6, 1984 and 46 days later, on April 22, 1985, the party won the State elections and Pairin was sworn as Sabah's 7th Chief Minister on April 22, 1985. Pairin has been Tambunan assemblyman since first winning the seat in the April 14, 1976 State elections.

Under the National Coalition Government, Pairin is now one of the three Sabah's Deputy Chief Ministers.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Journalists apple polishers???

This is story from HERE

Reporters must draw a clear line between the truth and flattery in order to fulfil their role as the eyes and ears of society, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said in Kuching on Friday.

“Do not ‘angkat’ (apple polish) too much. Reporters have to be courageous enough to speak the truth by writing things that reflect the needs from the ground."

WITH MEDIA FRIENDS: Dr Chan shares his opinions on journalism at the media night. — Photo by Hii Li Yiing

“You are part of the forces that could change the society for the better. Whatever it is, just do it because this is for the future of society and Sarawak,” he said at the ‘Full moon and Mid-autumn’ media night organised by the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) youth central.

“Do not be afraid of reporting the truth. Write what you feel is right for the society, for the state so that we can go forward,” he said.

Dr Chan, who is also SUPP president, asserted that reporters should be motivated to initiate positive change for social progress as well as to enhance the general well-being of the various communities.

“What needs to be changed must be changed. News reporting must reflect the feelings of the people on the ground. We want the press to tell us what is going on in Kuching and Sarawak,” he said, adding that the mainstream media still played an important role in today’s world.

He also called on media practitioners, particularly reporters, to be more proactive in discharging their duties so that social and other pertinent issues would not go unreported.

To help realise ‘a perfect future’, he said the media must go the extra mile and be courageous to come up with necessary news reports.

“Young people like you (media members) should be idealistic and want a perfect future, so be serious in your work instead of wasting your time to ‘angkat’,” he said.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Points to Ponder - For the Record

The Formation of Malaysia and Development in Sabah
or “Pembentukan Malaysia dan Pembangunan diSabah”
By Tan Sri Simon Sipaun
(Malaysia Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) Vice-Chairman and is retired Sabah State Secretary)
I thank the organizers of this Muzakarah Pakar “Adil Dan Beramanah Dalam Tadbir-Urus” for having invited me to share my thoughts on the topic “Pembentukan Malaysia dan Pembangunan di Sabah” or “The Formation of Malaysia and Development in Sabah”.
I have requested earlier for permission to speak in English which was granted. However I will be quite happy to respond in Bahasa Malaysia during the question and answer session.
I wish to make it very clear at the outset that what I say is purely my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect the stand of SUHAKAM or agreed to by my fellow-commissioners. My presentation is based on my personal recollection, observation, perception and experience.
The Formation of MalaysiaThe nation called Malaysia was born on 16 September, 1963. This is a historical fact. It cannot be disputed. I remember it very well. I was already 25 years old at the time. I also remember the day when Malaya gained independence on 31 August 1957. 1957 was the year I left school.
It was the year I sat for my Cambridge Oversea School Certificate – only a handful of us. In school my teacher used to discuss with students the possible merger of North Borneo (as Sabah was then known) Sarawak and Brunei, all British Colonies.
Malaya was never mentioned.
We were also asked to write essays on the subject. It was then that I became aware that when separate independent states federate big fish in a small pond becomes small fish in a big pond.
2. When Malaya became independent on 31 August 1957 there was great jubilation in Malaya. You could feel the atmosphere of jubilation through “radio tanah Melayu Kuala Lumpur” and Tunku Abdul Rahman’s famous exclamation of “merdeka!”.
However it occurred to me at the time why Malaya chose the love song “terang bulan” as the national anthem. “Terang bulan” was a very popular song in North Borneo at the time. You could hear it being played in houses with the famous “His Master’s Voice” grammaphones.
I would have thought that a completely new tune for the Malayan national anthem based on a nation-wide competition would have been more appropriate and preferable.
3. It has been said that history is subject to different interpretations. For example, during the colonial era in North Borneo Mat Salleh, we were told, was no more than a robber terrorising people. Now he is glorified and labeled as a hero and a freedom fighter.
Personally I do not know what to believe. It happened such a long time ago. There are times when history is also the distortion of facts by people in power. Lately I notice slogans like ‘celebrating 51 years of nationhood’. The question that comes to mind is which nation is being referred to? If it refers to Malaysia then obviously it is not factual because in 2008 Malaysia is only 45 years old.
If you refer to Malaya then it will be correct.
However I believe Malaya ceased to be an independent separate nation when it joined with Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah to form a new federation known as Malaysia on 16 September 1963. 51 cannot be equal to 45 unless we have forgotten how to count.
I wonder why we cannot be honest about something which is impossible to deny.
4. Personally I feel the formation of Malaysia came at least 10 years too early in the context of Sabah. I vividly remember a conversation I had in 1962 with one of our community leaders who was very close to Donald Stephens regarding Sabah’s participation in the formation of Malaysia.
I expressed the following views, amongst others, to him:-
i) Sabah would lose the only opportunity to experience being a truly independent sovereign state.
ii) It would simply be a transfer of power from the British to Malaya.
iii) Sabah did not have the people qualified and experienced enough to negotiate with Malaya and Singapore.
iv) Sabah should demand for self-rule initially followed by full independence from the British.
v) Sabah should then go to the negotiating table without the British if the people, via referendum, wished to federate with Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Brunei.
vi) Sabah should examine carefully the pros and cons of joining the proposed federation both in the short and long term before deciding.
vii) Sabah should insist on an escape clause in the event it found itself short-changed.
viii) At best it should only be a lose federation. And finally,
ix) The political union between Malaya and North Borneo would be artificial because the two territories had very little, if any, in common and separated by almost 2000 km of sea. North Borneo’s case could not be compared with Singapore.
Singapore was geographically part of the Malayan peninsula. Political union with Malaya made a lot of sense especially in terms of economic survival for Singapore. It had no natural resources, not even enough water for Singaporeans. At the time an independent Singapore was not a viable option. The word “Malaysia” itself is a combination of Malaya and Singapura.
The recruitment of North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei was an attempt to counterbalance Singapore’s Chinese population in the proposed federation. It was an after thought.
5. The literacy rate of Sabahans at the time was very low at best. They had no idea what was happening. In 1962 only 2 political parties were just formed. They were the United National Kadazan Organization (UNKO) headed by Donald Stephens and the United Sabah National Oganization (USNO) headed by Datu Mustapha Bin Datu Harun.
6. As it turned out Brunei opted out at the last minute and remained a big fish in a small pond. The intention of the founding fathers was a federation of 4 independent states namely Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah.
I have been unable to obtain a copy of the first Federal Constitution following the formation of Malaysia to see if such intention was ever reflected in the Constitution which could have been subsequently amended. Sabah according to the present Constitution is just one of the 13 states, a very small fish in a very big pond.
The opening statement of the 1963 Malaysia Agreement reads as follows:-“The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore, desiring to conclude an agreement relating to Malaysia agree as follow:-
……………………..”Malaya is referred to as the Federation of Malaya and the individual states were not identified and specified.
7. Article 1 of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 provides that “The Colonies of North Borneo and Sarawak and the State of Singapore shall be federated with the existing States of the Federation of Malaya as the States of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore in accordance with the constitutional instruments annexed to this Agreement and the Federation shall thereafter be called ‘Malaysia’.”
The signatories to the Agreement were the UK, the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. Article 1 of the Federal Constitution provides that the Federation shall be known as Malaysia.
However in Article 160 of the Federal Constitution the term “The Federation” means the Federation established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1957. Under the circumstances where do Sabah and Sarawak fit in? Are they really part of the Federation of Malaysia?
8. I am not sure whether Singapore left the Federation on its own accord or expelled from it in 1965. In my opinion when one of the original signatories ceased to be a party to the original Agreement then that Agreement should have been abrogated. After all it was very conceivable that Sabah and Sarawak became part of the federation because of Singapore. Brunei opted out of the federation in July 1963 and became independent only in 1984.
I remember Donald Stephens did suggest that the Malaysia Agreement and Sabah’s, position in the Federation should be reviewed. Very shortly he ended up being sidelined and neutralised.
9. The principle of a federal system of government is based on the sharing of powers between the Central and State governments. In the case of Malaysia they are listed under 3 main categories namely the Federal List, State List and Concurrent List.
It can be seen that most powers are in the hands of the Federal government. The States are left with land and local government matters. Even these, there are such Federal agencies as the National Land Council and National Council for Local Government.
The system is one in which it is federal in form but unitary in substance. 10. “Malaysia Day” is referred to no less than 6 times in the Malaysia Agreement which has only 11 Articles. The birth of Malaysia falls on 16 September 1963 which is Malaysia Day and passes by like any other ordinary day in this country.
The national emphasis is 31 August which is the independence day of Malaya. This date receives all the attention. To Sabah and Sarawak 31 August has hardly any significance. 11. Finally on the formation of Malaysia let me share with you some of my recollection of North Borneo before it became part of Malaysia. First and foremost the race/ethnic relations were excellent.
There were a lot of inter-marriages. When Peninsula Malaysia was experiencing riots on 13 May 1969 there was no sign of them anywhere in Sabah. If Sabahans are now conscious of racial and religious divides they learned it from Semenanjung. Life was peaceful. Admittedly there was no development of the kind found today. However Sabah was not alone. What was more significant was that there was no illegal immigrants.
There were no cases of local natives losing citizenship status whilst foreigners gain it without difficulty. There was no repressive and draconian laws such as the Official Secret Act, the dreaded Internal Security Act, the Printing Presses and Publication Act, the Sedition Act, the Police Act and the 4 Proclamations of Emergency.
There was no quarrelling over dead bodies. The Civil Service was multi-racial and meritocracy was recognized and practised. Corruption was unheard of. No community claimed superiority over the others. So much for my version on the formation of Malaysia.
Let me now briefly turn to:-Development in Sabah
12. I understand that Sabah is the poorest state in the country. This speaks volumes in terms of development in Sabah. What is surprising is that it happens in a state with rich natural resources such as timber, oil, gas and possibly other minerals.
It has fertile soils, geographical features including mountains, beaches, islands, flora and fauna which could be developed as tourist attractions. 13. Compared to Semenanjung infrastructure development such as roads, water and electricity supply is way behind.
The same can be said for health care and educational facilities. For example, before the formation of Malaysia 45 years ago the districts of Tongod and Banggi had no doctor.
Today 45 years later they still have no doctor. The district of Paitan does not even have one secondary school building. If you visit remote areas abject poverty can be seen and felt everywhere. Yet I have heard Federal and State political leaders saying abject poverty can be eliminated by 2010!
Government has been unable to do it for the last 45 years and it can now do it within less than 1 ½ years? To me only miracle can make it possible.
14. When I was in the Civil Service I remember at the time Sabah was producing between 110,000 and 120,000 barrels of oil per day. It was reported in the newspaper recently that Sabah has gas reserve amounting to about 12 trillion cubic feet.
Yet there is no commercial project and activity related to oil and gas. Terengganu where oil was discovered much later has refinery and related activities. I read in the local newspapers recently a Petronas statement indicating that Sabah has the least amount of gas reserve and located and spread in different places. I get the impression that it is not viable to exploit it.
If this is the case then it should be left alone for future generations. Yet a decision had been made to build more than 512KM gas pipeline from Kimanis in Sabah to Bintulu in Sarawak. I believe this is a multi-billion ringgit project.
The source of gas is from Sabah why can’t the project be located in Sabah? If there is doubt as to the reliability of gas supply the multi-billion ringgit project should be abandoned and the funds used to finance programmes for the eradication of poverty in Sabah.
15. The mother of all problems in Sabah is associated with the presence of unusually large population of illegal immigrants. It is quickly changing the economic, social, cultural and political landscape of the State.
The question that is in the mind of many Sabahans is – why has the government allowed this to happen? Thousands of people have requested for an Independent Royal Commission of Inquiry to be established to determine who are responsible for this state of affairs.
I hope a day will not come when the Philippines need not claim Sabah anymore due to a reverse take-over which in my view, has long started.
The illegal immigrants issue represents a national problem but shouldered by Malaysians living in Sabah. Sabahans feel threatened and insecure as the number of foreigners keeps increasing. My gut feeling is that there are more foreigners than locals.
It has to be admitted that they contribute to the development of the state by providing labour especially in the construction and agricultural sectors. Sabah without them would come to an economic standstill.
Personally I have never blamed the illegals for being in Sabah. If I was one of them I would be doing exactly what they are doing--searching for a better life. The blame is on the relevant authorities for allowing them in illegally.
Two books entitled “IC Projek” and “Lelaki Malaysia Terakhir” have identified national and state leaders who are alleged to have played important roles associated with the illegal immigrants issue.
To the best of my knowledge none of those leaders mentioned in the books has refuted or denied the allegations.
16. I understand that allocation of funds to Sabah is based on the number of Malaysian citizens living in the State. The estimated Sabah population is 3.5 million. Therefore the amount of funds received is only meant for 1.75 million people which has to be shared by 3.5 million people assuming that 50% of the population are foreigners.
17. The bottom line for Sabah is that it is the poorest state in the country. RecommendationsI have been requested to suggest some proposals at the end of the presentation.
As requested and due to time constraint I briefly list the following recommendations:-i) Genuine unity and national integration are vital for Malaysia. It cannot be denied that this country has plenty of divisive factors. It is a land of “multis”.
The process of unifying and integrating should be based on justice, egual rights and respect.
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that all humans are born free and equal in dignity and right. No nation which embraced race-based politics and one community claiming superiority over others survived.
Nazi Germany and Aparthied South Africa are cases that come to mind. We are all Malaysians and equal before God.

ii) We should focus on our similarities rather than on our differences. For example, school uniforms should be the same for every student. Mykad should be the same for every Malaysian. There should only be one box for all citizens indicated in government forms and not at present – one for Malays, one for Chinese, one for Indians and one for others. These are but a few examples of things which are not conducive to the creation of a genuine united country. Let us concentrate on our commonality and humanity.

iii) To reduce, if not, eliminate polarisation, the composition of the Civil Service and government agencies should be more reflective of the multi-racial make-up of the Malaysian Society. Meritocracy should be recognised, appreciated and practised, otherwise Malaysia will lose out in a globalised and competitive world.

iv) We should concentrate on enlarging the size of the economic cake rather spending too much effort and time how to share it.

v) We should have a sound education system at par with the best in the world and all Malaysians should be subject to the same system.

vi) Good governance is described as participatory, transparent, accountable and efficient. It promotes the rule of law and equal justice under the law. Good governance should be promoted and maintained at all cost for the present and future good of the country.

vii) No Malaysian or community should feel deprived or marginalised. Everyone should be treated equally and fairly. Selective prosecution or application of the law should stop.

viii) All laws which empower the government to arrest without trial should be repealed. Article 10 of the UDHR provides that everyone has the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial legal body. Article 11 provides that everyone has the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.
ix) It has been said that politicians think in terms of the next election whereas statesmen of the next generation. Malaysia needs more statesmen and less politicians.

x) Corruption is like a cancer to the country. It is costly. It should be minimized, if not, eliminated.

xi) The provisions of the Treasury Instructions should be strictly complied with. Negotiated contracts should be stopped. It is preventing the realization of the real value of public funds. One ringgit spent should realize the value of one ringgit not say 50 sen or less.

xii) The illegal immigrants in Sabah should be shared equally among all the States in Malaysia. Why should Sabah alone suffer from a national problem allegedly self-created by government?
xiii) Sabah deserves better treatment by the Federal Government in terms of more equitable distribution of opportunities and development projects. There are far too many talks and pledges but little, if any, action.

ix) September 16 every year should be observed and celebrated as “Malaysia Day”.


I do not wish to blame any quarters but the strong wind these few days and is still now has/is making life miserable. Electricity black-out, no phone line, cutting me and many others `isolated' from the rest of the world.

I am posting this via e-mail.