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Malaysia a failure in Sabah, Sarawak

By Joe Fernandez
It’s patently pointless getting into rhetoric and polemics on Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak, at this juncture, in the wake of the Lahad Datu Standoff. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has vowed that Sabah will remain forever within Malaysia. Apologists for his Administration swear that Malaysia was properly constituted in Sabah as well.

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) in The Ballad of East and West

Malaya on the one hand, and Sabah and Sarawak on the other hand, are poles apart.

It would be more pertinent to examine, with an eye on the forthcoming 13th General Election, that Malaysiawhether properly constituted or otherwise in 1963, has indeed failed in these two Borneo nations. It follows therefore that it’s high time that they regained and/or restored their self-determination status of 31 Aug, 1963 and 22 July, 1963 respectively when they opted for independence and no word of Malaysia was mentioned in the declarations.

Four points would suffice.

In Dec 2010, the World Bank released a damning report in Kota Kinabalu on poverty in Sabah and Sarawak. The report, based on figures from the Economic Planning Unit and the respective State Planning Units, confirmed that both Nations were the poorest in Malaysia. Sabah had the dubious distinction of being the poorest.

The 2ndpoint is the fact that both Singapore has grown by leaps and bounds since 1963 when Malaysia was set up on Sept 16. Singapore was expelled from Malaysia two years later and has built an economy almost as large as that of Malaysia. Brunei stayed out of Malaysia at the 11th hour and is among the richest countries in the world.

Sarawak another Sabah in the making
Thirdly, as the on-off Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) proves, the Orang Asal of Sabah would lose their country altogether to the illegal immigrants from Indonesia in particular, and from the Philippines, if Sabah continues to remain within the Federation of Malaysia. The fact that the illegal immigrants are Muslim and the Orang Asal largely Christian is beside the point.

The marginalization and disenfranchisement of the Orang Asal, as part of Putrajaya’s internal colonization policies in Sabah and Sarawak, continues unabated.

In 2005 alone, the statistics indicated that there were 1.7 million foreigners in Sabah vis-a-vis 1.5 million locals. Of the 1.7 million foreigners, who are often collectively dismissed as illegal immigrants, no less than 600,000 had Malaysian personal documents in the form of the MyKad held only by citizens by operation of law.

Fourthly, the energy-intensive SCORE region in Central Sarawak has plans to attract 1.2 million foreign workers over the next decade or so. Already, there are 600,000 foreigners in Sarawak and of these no less than 240,000, it has been estimated, are illegal immigrants from Indonesia and elsewhere.

Sarawak in Malaysia seems to have embarked on the same ruinous path as Sabah to marginalize and disenfranchise the Orang Asal who also include the local Sarawak Malays, who are actually Bidayuh and Iban converts to Islam in the last 300 years.

Why any Government worth its salt would want to deliberately create jobs for foreigners when its own citizens have numerous needs unmet is a million dollar question as recent protests in Singapore on the same issue show.

Internal colonization is a winner take all in Sabah and Sarawak
Even so, it won’t be exactly a walk in the park for Sabah and Sarawak to exit Malaysia.

For starters, there’s the question of numerous foreigners in both states being on the electoral rolls.

Then, there’s the wedge that successive administrations in Putrajaya/Kuala Lumpur had driven between the local non-Muslim and Muslim population in Sabah and Sarawak to create disunity and thereby prevent any possibility of their nations exiting the Federation of Malaysia and denying the ruling elite valuable resources to add to their already considerable looting of the Public Treasury in Malaya.

More damaging is the reality that Sabah and Sarawak, except for the Stephen Kalong Ningkan and Joseph Pairin Kitingan periods respectively, have been run by local proxies, their stooges and rogue elements of Putrajaya. This kind of rotten politics, in return for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver, has facilitated Putrajaya’s internal colonization policies in the two Borneo nations in Malaysia.

Internal colonization is a winner take all in Sabah and Sarawak: on the one-hand take away all the resources and revenue of the two Territories; and at the same time give very little back so that both territories continue to remain at the bottom of the dung heap and thereby unable to pose a serious threat in any shape or form to Putrajaya.

In any case, the days of the local proxies, stooges and rogue elements via local political parties seem to be numbered.

The voice of Borneo in the Malaysian Parliament

Putrajaya no longer wants to take a risk as evident from the presence of Umno in Sabah since 1994.

The parti parti Malaya, on both sides of the political divide; seem determined to eliminate local parties from the political theatre.

If the parti parti Malaya call the shots in Sabah and Sarawak, the voice of the people of Borneo in the Malaysian Parliament will be extinguished.

As it is, Malaya has more seats than it should have in Parliament. The Malaysia Agreement envisaged that Malaya should not have more than two-thirds less one seat. Given the 165 seats that Malaya has at the moment in the 222-seat Parliament, the Territory has 18 seats more than it should have.

At the same time, to add insult to injury, some of the 57 parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak are held by the parti parti Malaya.

Najib should admit failure in southern Philippines
No one in his right mind would believe that the Sulu people have the resources to ta

Najib should admit his role in the imminent failure of the peace process in southern Philippines.

Instead, Najib is picking on the Opposition pledging to honour the Autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak as the reason for the Lahad Datu standoff.

Does he want to continue ketuanan Melayu (Malay political supremacy, dominance, hegemony) in Sabah and Sarawak?

The Autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak is implicit.

The political salvation of Sabah and Sarawak hinges on the people of the two territories forming a united front and presenting their case on internal colonization before the UN Security Council.

This was the route taken by Southern Sudan which was allowed by the UN Security Council to break away from Sudan.

Malaysia an Equal Partnership of Nations
As an addendum to the Sabah, Sarawak Petition before the Un Security Council would be the fact that No Referendum was ever held in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Malaya on Malaysia. The Cobbold Commission report is No Referendum.

Malaya cannot continue to masquerade as the Federation of Malaysia and refer to Sabah and Sarawak as the 12th and 13th States in Malaysia (Malaya).

The written Constitution of Malaya cannot continue to be passed off as the written Constitution of Malaysia.

Malaysia, if it's continued, in fact has an unwritten Constitution based on the written Constitution of Malaya, Batu Sumpah and other constitutional documents from Sabah and Sarawak on the Malaysia concept.

Malaysia, if it had been indeed constituted on 16 Sept 1963, would have been 50 years this year, not 56 years this year as Putrajaya claims.

Malaysia was supposed to be an Equal Partnership of the Nations of Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, Singapore and Malaya.


  1. Correction: The 2nd point is the fact that both Singapore and Brunei . . . Joe Fernandez

  2. excerpts from Wkisabah News
    ANAKSARAWAK March 12, 2013


    "The fact remains that UMNO used the guarantee of security plus their absurd racial balance argument terms as justifications for formation of Malaysia.

    Both arguments fell apart long ago- so that leaves no reason to justify the existence of Malaysia.

    UMNO's reneging on its Malaysia formation justification to protect Sabah Sarawak security reached its peak with its sponsorship of illegal invasion.

    1. From independent facts and even the RCI exposes, UMNO was doing exactly the opposite in not providing security for Sabah and Sarawak in the late 1960s. Instead it deliberately jeopardised their security by re-engineering the electoral system in opening up the borders and sponsoring the invasion of millions of illegals who were given instant citizenship rights over all local born people.

    2. Again from independent sources- It was UMNO who allowed the Sulu problem to develop by giving safe haven in Sabah to Filipino insurgents they are now calling "terrorists". UMNO armed and trained the MNLF in Sabah.

    What sort of twisted logic were they using when instead of repelling all illegals and armed men before they land in Sabah shores they put up the "welcome" sign?

    3. UMNO's racial balance argument fell apart when Brunei rejected Malaysia in 1963 and Singapore left in 1965.

    This rationale was very important to UMNO as it wanted to further its Melayu Raya plan to dominate the 3 British Colonies.

    Their appeal to race and religion did not work for Brunei as it became clear that UMNO did not intend to be equal partners with Brunei but actually wanted to be the big brother when they demanded control over Brunei oil and finances. Singapore also left because of UMNO reneging on the equal partnership of all the 5 countries in Malaysia.

    4. The original Malaysia concept fell apart when Brunei and Singapore were left out. This means by default UMNO achieved its Melayu Raya racial domination agenda in Sabah and Sarawak as there was no balance of races but the domination of bumiputras (a racist term invented by the late Tunku and his colleagues) over non-bumiputras. This was not the original argument they used to support the formation of Malaysia.

    If all of you including local UMNO supporters are not aware,the 18/20 Points Agreements (SIGNED by UMNO under false pretences) said the "federation shall be called "Malaysia" and NOT Melayu Raya.

    Could there be anything more clear to express the fears of domination by the Sabah Sarawak people?


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