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THE Borneo Heritage Foundation’s United Borneo Front (UBF) Committee Chairman, Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, requested the Federal Government to adhere to the assurances, undertakings and recommendations of the 1962 Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGC Report) as provided in Article 8 of the Malaysia Agreement when implementing the federalisation of agencies in the Borneo States of Sabah and Sarawak.

He said this during the UBF tea-parties held at Kampung Tamis Baru and Kampung Bungoliu in Kiulu on Sunday, respectively hosted by UBF supporters, Sapikit Marudin and Dullah Londow.

Federal and State departments and agencies should not overlap in their functions and what should be within the purview of the State should remain strictly within the State. I have received complaints of the increasing number of Federal agencies setting up offices in Sabah and questions have been asked if this is in line with the policy of federalisation and if this has in any way usurped our State agencies’ roles to the point that our guaranteed autonomy has been compromised.

Annex B of the 1962 IGC Report specifically prioritises the ‘Borneonisation’ of public services in the Borneo states as a ‘major objective of policy’ and that it is for the State Government to prescribe preferences for natives in respect of State services. In respect of Sabah and Sarawak, the Malaysia Agreement guarantees that the policy of Borneonisation should therefore take precedence over the policy of federalization. (Base on Dr. Jeffrey said in his press statement).

He added that Borneonisation and Federalisation can be implemented simultaneously without conflict if the very essence of the 1962 IGC Report was strictly respected and followed.

“It’s a question of whether we are all politically mature enough to accept this fact without getting sensitive and paranoid about this great East-West divide in our country. There is a greater chance of unity and understanding if we could resolve these issues professionally by following the formula that our forefathers had painstakingly devised with our former British counterparts.”

Dr. Jeffrey was accompanied by his co-founder Nilakrisna James; his speaker and committee member, Rubbin Guribah; and Head Coordinator for UBF Kiulu, Dusi Gingging.

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