|Sunrise on Mount Kinabalu|
We in Semenanjung only learn to appreciate that the formation of Malaysia was not the same as Merdeka during the administration of Pak Lah when Hari Malaysia was made part of the extended celebration of Merdeka. In 1963, it was planned for August 31st but delayed by 16 days due to some international issues.
We in Semenanjung take for granted the formation of Malaysia but in Sabah, every other person knows the history behind it by hard.
No discussion in politics with Sabahan will escape their open dissatisfaction for the alleged breach of the 20 points agreement by the Federal Government. Documents like Cobbold report, Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, Malaysia agreement etc flow like water when they discussed the issue. Such agreement does not exist but the agreed points, among many other agreed points, are there in these documents.
However, like everything else in Malaysia, so does in Sabah, politicians have played their part in the issue. The line between fact or fiction; truth and false are blurred. Spin and manipulation have creeped in.
Since our posting "Debunking Jeffrey's 20-points agreement"on September 13, 2013, we have learnt more on the subject, met people and experts conversant and honest in their understanding of the subject, and naturally understand it better.
And, we begin to know the real player and who are just reading their lines. Also the sincere, the opportunist and the evil destroyer.
We emphatise with Sabah and would like to see Sabah and Sabahan develop and prosper as well as us in Semenanjung. It breaks our heart to see poverty still exist in East Malaysia.
If it possible, Malaysians living in the interior should have the same quality of life as other Malaysians living in the rest of the country.
Such disputes should end and solution put in place. The past must be put behind immediately to allow us to move forward.
Over the weekend, something we consider as positive happened in a forum at UMS, Kota Kinabalu which was attended by representatives of various vocal parties in this issue.
Bernama report in FMT, below:
Negotiation ‘only way’ to settle Sabah problemsThe Star reported:
March 7, 2015
Forum on Malaysia Agreement urged to put aside political differences.
The 12-member panel concurred that it was the best solution to satisfy disgruntled groups who bring up issues such as Sabah’s 20-point memorandum in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
The panellists also agreed that for Sabahans to get their demands and rights recognised, constant negotiation need to be held among the Federal and State governments, politicians, academicians as well as legal practitioners.
“Yes. Let us sit together and put aside our political differences to resolve this issue,” said Anifah Aman, the MP for Kimanis, who moderated the forum.
The forum was held in conjunction with the Publicity and Public Diplomacy Programme organised by the Foreign Ministry and University Malaysia Sabah. Anifah is also foreign minister.
Umno lawyer Shafee Abdullah said the ethnic groups in Sabah must not merely be “sleeping partners” in matters concerning their rights, such as the right to learn their native languages in schools.
“You must negotiate all the time. But it must be done in a civil manner. I don’t see why the government will not listen,” he said.
Another panellist, Sabah political analyst Zainal Ajmain said it was crucial for the people in Sabah to grasp the essence of the Malaysia Agreement.
“In studying the formation of Malaysia, there is a need to understand the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report 1962 on the proposed Federation of Malaysia; the Federal Constitution; and the Malaysia Agreement.
“Based on the Constitution, our status is not ‘lower’ but equal,” he said.
Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the 20-point memorandum should be respected by all so that no one would have any reason to raise the idea of Sabah’s secession from Malaysia.
“Go back to former Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s promise that there would not be any interference by peninsula Malays in the absolute rights of Sabahans,” asserted Jeffrey, who is also Sabah State Reform Party chairman.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Datuk Yong Teck Lee shared similar views that the 20-point memorandum should be acknowledged by all parties.
Published: Saturday March 7, 2015 MYT 9:37:00 PMBefore anyone get political and start whacking at Edmon Bon and call him an evil pro-Pakatan lawyer, there is truth or at least factual basis to what he said.
Updated: Sunday March 8, 2015 MYT 9:22:02 AM
Forum: Sabah has Constitutional right to 40% of government revenue from state
by muguntan vanar
KOTA KINABALU: A Constitutional safeguard that guarantees Sabah 40% of net revenue earned by the Federal Government from the state became the centre of discussion at a forum on state rights.
The forum, featuring 12 panellists on "The Agreement to Formation of Malaysia 1963" moderated by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) discussed at length issues faced by Sabah and the erosion of its rights.
Among the panellists were peninsular-based lawyers Edmund Bon and Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who said that many state rights were spelt out in the Constitution and it was up to Sabah to pursue it.
Bon said the right to get back 40% of net revenue received from Sabah by Government was written in the Constitution.
Another panellist, Sabah activist Zainal Ajamain, noted that it was an area worth pursuing as the Inter-Governmental Report (for the formation of Malaysia) had also agreed that the Federal Government would provide financial guarantees to the state, including topping-up any budget deficit.
"Since 1963 we have never invoked it," Zainal said at the forum attended by some 1,000 UMS students, local NGOs and other parties.
Shafee said that for Sabahan to pursue their interests in the Federation, they should be "active, not sleeping partners".
Others in the panel included former chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee, who spoke about unmet promises for Sabahans to take over federal civil service jobs, while State Reform Party (STAR) Sabah chairman Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said there was room for negotiation to keep Malaysia intact.
Anifah, who is a Sabahan, when wrapping up the forum said that it was important for leaders and people in the state to be united in efforts to seek state rights.
"This is a good start. We can study various issues raised and pursue it as it is the right of the state," he said, adding that it was not a good idea to seek secession in view of the geo-political situation in the region.
There is a clause 24 sub-para 8 in the IGC report and we share it below:
Like everything else in any agreement or consensus, there are exceptions and conditions to anything agreed. That could be the basis as to why certain agreed points are not abide to. The Federal Government will have start singing.
And, there are solutions for the way out of it as in clause 24 sub-para 9, below:
For Sabahan to claim for "back pay", it would be an unrealistic and the sum insurmountable. A more realistic solution could be "negotiated".
Anifah Aman is right. It is pointless to even consider of secessation as it will not benefit either parties and the region's stability. Quite a man to be able to put all these parties together.
Knowing the warm and friendly, peace-loving, but straight forward Sabahans, quite sure a feasible solution will come. It is far better than hitting it to the streets.
If only PKR, other political parties and NGOs realised that the public is sick with demonstration. It leads to nowhere but anarchy and chaos.
A court judgement is a court judgement. No one should be above the law.
For the rest of Malaysia, there is something positive that can be learned and to be emulated from Sabah politics.
The power chase must not come at compromising the nation's interest as done by some. Sometimes partisanship should be cast aside for the sake of common interest.