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UBF leaders paid courtesy call on James Wong recently; Dr Jeffrey on Lee Kuan Yew four years ago

By Nilakrishna James
KUCHING, Sarawak :
 United Borneo Front (UBF) leaders recently held an informal
meeting with Datuk Amar James Wong, former SNAP president and ISA detainee, to
discuss recent developments in UBF and SNAP party politics as well as the
genesis of the Malaysia formation.

Prolific author and poet, James Wong, now in his late 80s, has spent his life
determined to tell the truth about the formation of the federation and his book
entitled, “The Birth of Malaysia”, contains the key documents leading up to the
Malaysia Agreement in 1963, including the Malaysia proclamation by Tunku Abdul
Rahman, the Cobbold Commission Report and the Inter-Governmental Committee
Report in 1962. Unwilling to comment on the forthcoming Sarawak elections and
the future of the Taib regime, Wong discussed the UBF direction at length with
Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan and the issue of amalgamating various agendas between
different racial groups in Borneo.

Dr. Jeffrey, accompanied by Nilakrisna James and Zainal Ajamain, shared his ISA
experience with Wong which Dr. Jeffrey believes made them both ever determined
to tell the story of Malaysia to the world. “A former Malaysian Prime Minister
told me that I should not teach the people what the people don’t know. He
probably felt that ignorance would be a guarantee to the continual leadership of
the present regime. I decided to defy this and believe that knowledge would
empower the greatest amongst us and pave the way for a fairer system that would
reward those who rise through merit. James Wong and I have many things in common
and he is one of the last of the true mohicans,” said Dr. Jeffrey in his

The UBF leaders would promote Wong’s book, “The Birth of Malaysia”, in their
campaigns and will suggest to the government to make it a compulsory textbook in
all history courses in secondary schools.

Dr. Jeffrey also added in his statement that courtesy calls to various leaders
who were pertinent at the time of the formation is part of his overall agenda to
form a greater understanding of the story of Malaysia as without a true recount
of the history, the federation of Malaysia would not have a clear identity in
the world.

“Nilakrisna and I made a similar visit to former Singapore Prime Minister, Lee
Kuan Yew, about four years ago, together with my friend and renowned writer,
Raymond Tombung. Lee is a signatory of the Malaysia Agreement and was therefore
a crucial part of the negotiation process. We enjoyed tea with Lee and
reminisced on Lee’s role in Borneo’s history, the formation of Malaysia, the
legality of the Singapore exit in 1965 and more importantly the huge economic
disparity between the four former partners to the federation comprising
Singapore, Malaya, North Borneo and Sarawak. Lee knows how to answer a question
by saying very little and, unlike Wong, would probably not add much more than
what he has already written in his books, preferring to stick with his one
version of events. When Nilakrisna expressed her disappointment at the level of
poverty in Borneo vis-à-vis the immense development and wealth of Singapore and
Malaya and asked Lee why, as an educated lawyer and a more advanced statesman,
he did not advise the Borneo leaders on a more water-tight provision to secure
their rights, equality and safeguards in the Malaysia agreement of 1963, Lee
could only repeat that he felt “deep collateral guilt”. Guilt, as far as we are
concerned, would not reverse the situation, tell the truth, repair the damage or
provide solutions to our problems. I could only sense either pity or
condescension from both Singapore and Malaya for the Borneo dilemma and realised
very early on that we must not rely on the Federal Government for our
development and that both Sabah and Sarawak must learn to be self-sufficient and
self-reliant to generate our own wealth and reclaim what is rightfully ours,”
Dr. Jeffrey said.

Nilakrisna James also added, “I invited Lee Kuan Yew to visit Sabah and enter
our deepest interiors to experience hardcore rural poverty as he had admitted
that the last time he visited Sabah was in the early 1960s. With a big smile, he
said he might visit if I became a BN minister. I assumed of course that he was
joking or that he might kick the bucket before something like that ever
happened. I would have thought that Sabah would have been worth a visit from Lee
at least once after the formation of Malaysia if he cared at all about the
Borneo states at the time the agreement was signed. Jeffrey and I feel that no
politician worth his or her salt in this country should be in any doubt about
Malaysia’s formation history. If you are ignorant about the political genesis of
your own country and the true meaning of a federation, you can’t call yourself a
Malaysian ambassador or politician for you are in no position to speak
truthfully about your country. On what basis can you understand our present
problems and economic predicament if you are clueless about the truth? As
historians and writers, we will write the story of our journey to discover
truths and hope to share this one day through UBF.”

UBF will be making bulk orders of James Wong’s books to empower their future
protégés with what UBF believes to be one of the most important textbooks of the
nation’s history. Those who are interested to learn more may email UBF at or

About United Borneo Front
The United Borneo Front (UBF) is led by political economist Datuk Dr. Jeffrey
Kitingan, supported by strategists and co-founders, Nilakrisna James and Zainal
Ajamain, a lawyer and economist, respectively. The UBF is a civil rights
movement and pressure group that will form the Borneo Alliance of political
parties, NGOS and individuals in Sabah and Sarawak who subscribe to the Borneo
Agenda and the economic and political empowerment of Borneo as equal partners to
West Malaysia in the Federation. Founded on the 16th December 2010, the date was
chosen to reflect the date the Boston Tea Party was formed in America on the
16th December 1773 in retaliation against oppressive cabotage laws imposed by
the British against the American colonies leading to the American revolution
which resulted in America’s independence. UBF similarly pressures the Malaysian
government to review laws, contracts, regulations and policies which negatively
impacts the political and economic autonomies and development of the Borneo
states of Sabah and Sarawak.

About the Founders of UBF
Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan is a renowned and experienced politician and a
political economist by profession, graduating with a Masters degree from the
John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Masters and PhD
degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the
United States. He has held high ranking civil service and think tank positions
in government, led political parties and spearheaded several corporate
organisations and NGOs. He is also the author of several books and academic
papers. He has spoken at and organised several forums on politics and economics.
He continues to be a popular and charismatic political leader in Malaysia,
devoting his life to empowering the political and economic positions of the
people of Sabah and Sarawak.

Zainal Ajamain
 is an economist by profession, graduating with a Masters degree
from the University of East Anglia. He has held several high ranking civil
service positions in government and government think tanks and has worked as a
university lecturer, senior researcher, stockbroker, economist and published
several papers in international media journals. He was the co-author behind the
Sabah Government’s vision for development and progress in the Sabah Development
Corridor and created the first Offshore Islamic Fund in Labuan. He also held the
position of Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Remote Sensing and
Geographic Information Systems at the University Malaysia Sabah.

Nilakrisna James is a lawyer by profession, graduating with a law prize and
Bachelors degree from Hull University, a Masters degree from University of
London (King’s College) and the Barrister-at-Law in Lincoln’s Inn. She has
worked as a professional lawyer, an executive broadcast journalist, a national
anchor newsreader, a public relations and marketing consultant, a newspaper
columnist, a director of government bodies focusing on culture, art, tourism and
the environment and founded and led several NGO movements pertaining to human
and environmental rights. In 2009, she was given a US State Department
scholarship to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program in
the United States focusing on climate change and renewable energy.


  1. To all Borneo Cause fighters,

    We did not hesitate to call our movement an army. But it was a special army, with no supplies but its sincerity, no uniform but its determination, no arsenal except its faith, no currency but its conscience. ~Martin Luther King, Jr., Why We Can't Wait, 1963

  2. We are people of peace and tolerance. Of course Sabahans want peace... and independence.

  3. It is something to ponder on for our future generation. A lot of our historical facts had been distorted by the Federation along the years for their own benefit and agenda.
    Again we are not against anybody or the Law, just that we want to honor what's our fathers which they have put in place prior to formation Malaysia. It is our rights and it is a written document with Black and White. Nobody should deny it at all. Even UK and UN knows about it, and now the future of lies in the hand of the Sabahan and Sarawakian.

  4. Yang saya tunggu-tunggu selama ini sudah datang.. jangan lagi pandang belakang, bersatu lah kita memprtahankan kemerdekaan kita dan mengisikan apa-apa erti kemerdekaan Sabah yang dicapai Tun Mustapha dan Donald sama Sudang dulu.

    Bersatu kita Bajau Dusun Cina semua!


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