Hornbill Unleashed

August 9, 2014

Why East Malaysians are unhappy

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

asli sabah bnJoe Fernandez

A scholar says federating with the Malayan Federation has not worked out for the two Borneo states.<

Federating with the Malayan Federation in 1963 has not worked out for Sabah and Sarawak for a number of reasons and is causing much unhappiness in the two Borneo Nations.

This is the thesis statement in a presentation by Monash University lecturer James Chin at the Borneo Research Council Conference in Kota Kinabalu recently.

The 20/18 Points, safeguards for Sabah and Sarawak rights, “did not work out (in practice), causing the people to feel they were cheated”, said Chin. “Even government statistics show the high poverty levels in these states, especially Sabah.”

One reason for all these, implied Chin, could be that Putrajaya, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, having the same party in power, are “going back on their promises to Sabahans and Sarawakians”.

“The federal system has not worked since 1963. There was a strong push for political centralisation under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad,” said Chin in citing another major reason for the unhappiness..

In his most telling statement, the university don charged that the Muslim communities and non-Muslim communities in both Borneo states were the big winners and losers respectively. He attributed this to the “Federal Government’s policy since 1963”.

Within the context of Malaysia, the most burning issue is that the Federal Government’s imposition of the West Malaysian political model on Sabah and Sarawak is a no no, said Chin.

“This model is essentially based on race,” said Chin. “It does not work in Sabah and Sarawak because of the multiracial society.”

He said East Malaysians feel they are losing their unique political, cultural and social environment because of the imposition of an unsustainable political model which is “changing the whole dynamics of the political, cultural and social environment in both states”.

Therefore, the reasons for the rise of nationalism in Sabah and Sarawak in recent years as seen in Facebook in particular are not difficult to find, he added.

“There are already suspicions that the UN commission sent to gather the views of the people prior to Malaysia was fixed,” said Chin. “The reports in the Cobbold Commission and the UN commission were too similar.”

Chin said the evidence was found in archived documents in London by scholars, particularly non-Malaysian scholars. “There is an argument now that perhaps the commission was not as independent as was first thought.”

This raises questions on the legitimacy of the federation bringing in Sabah and Sarawak, he noted. “Sabah and Sarawak were not consulted either on the exit of Singapore.”





    The Cobbold Commission was a biased body made up of British and Malayan officials or representations who had a blatant agenda to legitimize “Malaysia” formation in the eyes of the world.

    How can this be an independent body when their declared intention was to support the formation of Malaysia?

    It was 100% biased in favour of Malaya and Britain to create a neo-colonial federation to promote their respective agendas.

    The Commission’s finding was competed against a background if suppression and denial of democratic rights to the Borneo people. Read the background facts in “The Rising Moon” a book by Prof Michael Leigh who researched the 1960s political development in Sarawak.

    Another Professor of History Professor Geoffrey Wade concluded as follows:

    “By bringing together the states of the peninsula (Singapore, Melaka and Penang and the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak) as the new Malaysia, the British aimed at dealing with all of their leftover colonies in Southeast Asia in one fell swoop.

    By ensuring that Sabah and Sarawak did not seek independence and instead became dependent on and subordinate to Kuala Lumpur, the British Cold War strategy of creating a Western-oriented bulwark across the middle of Southeast Asia was achieved.

    This relationship of dependence and subordination of Sabah and Sarawak to Kuala Lumpur has, however, been a cause of dissatisfaction ever since.

    Originally proclaimed as equal partners in the new nation, the two Bornean states have been continually exploited for their oil and timber resources, fiscal allocations (they are given 5% of the oil and gas revenues they produce) and their representation in the federal parliament. This exploitation has been exacerbated by the corruption of those, such as Taib Mahmud, who were assigned fiefdoms in the Bornean states by Kuala Lumpur.”


    Comment by anon — August 10, 2014 @ 7:25 AM | Reply

  2. Don’t need a beating about the bush scholar to tell us the freaking obvious that federating with the Malayan Federation has not worked out for the two Borneo states.

    Comment by Hornbill Leashed and Gagged — August 10, 2014 @ 4:03 AM | Reply

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