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Abolish Colonial Concept of ‘Ketuanan’ says UBF

By Nilakrishna James
Kota Kinabalu, SABAH: United Borneo Front (UBF) leader, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, has asked the Federal powers to refocus their mind on Tunku Abdul Rahman’s original call for unity in diversity and to abolish all racial references to the term ‘ketuanan’which he says agitates half the country and is an old colonial concept of ‘master and servant’ that serves as a bitter reminder of British colonialism in this country.

“The Federal powers have spent the last half a century indoctrinating this country into abhorring the entire idea of colonialism and white domination over our people. Yet, the term ‘ketuanan’ is used without caution and sensitivity reminding us about the oppression of the past. The term should be totally banned from political rhetoric and all references to racial based domination of one race over another must be abolished. Our public holidays in this country reflect the important festivals observed by various religions in Malaysia. These holidays reflect the country’s commitment to mutual respect for the various races in this country. One would have thought that the study of these festivals and the world religions should have by now infiltrated the educational curriculum in primary schools. Otherwise, how is any Malaysian able to appreciate or comprehend the meaning of their often long and many public holidays? All of us should be able to explain the meaning of these festivals to tourists and outsiders but nobody is really prepared with the details. We end up looking like a nation of ignorant people celebrating without knowledge,” said Dr. Jeffrey in his Chinese New Year message.

Meantime, the UBF leader and his advisers, Nilakrisna James and Zainal Ajamain, were seen visiting the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) official open house on Friday with Dr. Jeffrey clarifying that UBF’s Borneo Alliance unites parties and organisations which subscribe to the Borneo Agenda and UBF’s 7 core demands, dispelling any reports that UBF has formed alliances with groups in West Malaysia.

“The Sarawak National Party [SNAP] has subscribed to our Agenda and in this sense we consider them to be part of the Borneo Alliance. We have not formed any alliance with any parties or organisations from Semenanjung or Sabah as we are not aware of any of them making a public commitment to the Borneo Agenda or our UBF struggle. Some politicians though have privately and confidentially informed me of their personal commitment to the Borneo Agenda and we consider this to be a positive sign for the Borneo states,” Dr. Jeffrey said.

He added that a political party representing the struggle of the UBF may be on the horizon and will not conflict with the UBF as a concept. “The UBF is merely a name given to a civil rights concept that loosely binds the movement of groups and people to a cause for the political and economic empowerment of Borneo. In itself, this concept is neither a society nor a political party. When people gather together in a tea party to celebrate the concept, they engage in a meaningful political discussion about this concept; a bit like a religious group gathering to talk about their God or a wedding party which talks about the sanctity of marriage. People must stop thinking that the United Borneo Front is a vehicle that would allow them to represent the people in cabinet or parliament. As a concept, the UBF is popularised as a great moot point for debate. It will not enter the election as a party, have an elected organisational structure or collect funds from the public,” he added.

Dr. Jeffrey announced that they will continue with “Borneo Tea Parties” after the Chinese New Year and that he and his advisers and a few mentors will voluntarily train selected UBF protégés for political leadership this month.


  1. Ketuanan should be accorded by people not forced upon them...and it should be within own fraternity ie ketuanan borneo within borneo island, ketuanan melayu within malay comunity and so on

  2. It is okay to have the word ketuanan but please dont misuse itu.. Ok pe ketuanan rakyat, or ketuanan borneo


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