It is my personal opinion that integration is a great idea as it will strengthen our beloved nation, Malaysia but it MUST NOT be carried out with the loss of our less developed East Malaysia's (and our East Malaysians') special rights which are safe-guards for our future generations' livelihood and present low poverty rates and reasonably high standards of living. It is to be remembered that after all, Sabah and Sarawak are not colonies of West Malaysia.
The issue of clandestine granting of citizenship to unqualified foreigners as evidenced in Sabah and in Sarawak, as seen in Tan Sri Dato Wong Soon Kai's letter to our former Sarawak's Chief Minister /governor by Muslim leaders should not happen.
In 1991, as a cheer-leading, banner-waving only Malaysian in an Islamic class with the course title Contemporary Islam filled with Muslim students in a foreign university, I impressed my professor , the well-respected Muslim scholar, a doctorate graduate of Egypt's famous Al-Azhar University, Dr. Earl Waugh with my writings and presentations in class. Out of 40 Muslim students, almost half would drop off because of the high standard of religious teaching the good stern with a dry sense of humor professor adopted. I survived his course! I got a credit '7' out of the best '9'!
(I remember that Dr. Waugh was an invited speaker at an Islamic conference in Malaysia sometime ago)
At that time, I always spoke highly of the progressive Umrah that could co-exist peacefully with the non-Muslims and the tolerant multi-racial country we had. I also wrote glowingly about the diversity of practices in Islam such as Surfism as practised in Turkey and parts of Iran (What would the good prof say about the non-tolerant attitude of the present evil Nazi-loving Iranian theocratic regime which persecutes these Surfists today?).
Since coming back, I have been thinking of saying to Dr. Waugh that I have changed a lot of my views as I am not happy with the extremist direction this country is heading, religiously.
Where is the compassion and the humanity when families are torn apart by zealous Islamic authorities who are hell-bend on applying the less progressive, weaker interpretations of portions of the hadith? Who are the so-called self-righteous hypocritical Islamic experts to play god and decide if the apostates will go to hell if they are not given Islamic burial rites and buried in Islamic graveyards?
How ethical can the zealots be if they attempt to convert others through dubious means such as bribing them with rich logging concessions as in Tan Sri Datuk Wong Soon Kai's letter to Sarawak's former Chief Minister and governor and by such and other means in many cases in Sabah? What about coercion as alleged by an Indian student, C. Ragu in a technical college recently?
I was invited to a function at a school sometime ago and I left it feeling offended because the West Malaysian female ustaz refused to shake hands with me during the welcoming ceremony. She had shaken hands with all the female visitors before it came to my turn. When I reached out my hand, she backed off, shaking her hand like a venomous snake and then walked off. At that very moment I was disgusted with her narrow-minded attitude. Was this progressive Islam?
So I say to all the Muslim zealots out there-Keep your narrow-minded ways to yourself and remember that Sabahans and Sarawakians will not be corrupted by your evil ways. We know what you are. Take a jump into hell by yourselves you nincompoops! Don't let a single Sabahan and Sarawakian be deceived by charlatans like you and make anyone loose his or her soul 'cos of you. You are just wolves in shepherds' clothing.
Point 1: Religion
While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia there should be no State religion in North Borneo, and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to North Borneo
Point 2: Language
- a. Malay should be the national language of the Federation
- b. English should continue to be used for a period of 10 years after Malaysia Day
- c. English should be an official language of North Borneo for all purposes, State or Federal, without limitation of time.
Point 3: Constitution
Whilst accepting that the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya should form the basis of the Constitution of Malaysia, the Constitution of Malaysia should be a completely new document drafted and agreed in the light of a free association of states and should not be a series of amendments to a Constitution drafted and agreed by different states in totally different circumstances. A new Constitution for North Borneo (Sabah) was of course essential.
Point 4: Head of Federation
The Head of State in North Borneo should not be eligible for election as Head of the Federation
Point 5: Name of Federation
“Malaysia” but not “Melayu Raya”
Point 6: Immigration
Control over immigration into any part of Malaysia from outside should rest with the Central Government but entry into North Borneo should also require the approval of the State Government. The Federal Government should not be able to veto the entry of persons into North Borneo for State Government purposes except on strictly security grounds. North Borneo should have unfettered control over the movements of persons other than those in Federal Government employ from other parts of Malaysia into North Borneo.
Point 7: Right of Secession
There should be no right to secede from the Federation
Point 8: Borneanisation
Borneanisation of the public service should proceed as quickly as possible.
Point 9: British Officers
Every effort should be made to encourage British Officers to remain in the public service until their places can be taken by suitably qualified people from North Borneo
Point 10: Citizenship
The recommendation in paragraph 148(k) of the Report of the Cobbold Commission should govern the citizenship rights in the Federation of North Borneo subject to the following amendments:
- a) sub-paragraph (i) should not contain the proviso as to five years residence
- b) in order to tie up with our law, sub-paragraph (ii)(a) should read “7 out of 10 years” instead of “8 out of 10 years”
- c) sub-paragraph (iii) should not contain any restriction tied to the citizenship of parents – a person born in North Borneo after Malaysia must be federal citizen.
Point 11: Tariffs and Finance
North Borneo should retain control of its own finance, development and tariff, and should have the right to work up its own taxation and to raise loans on its own credit.
Point 12: Special position of indigenous races
In principle, the indigenous races of North Borneo should enjoy special rights analogous to those enjoyed by Malays in Malaya, but the present Malays’ formula in this regard is not necessarily applicable in North Borneo
Point 13: State Government
- a) the Chief Minister should be elected by official members of Legislative Council
- b) There should be a proper Ministerial system in North Borneo
Point 14: Transitional period
This should be seven years and during such period legislative power must be left with the State of North Borneo by the Constitution and not be merely delegated to the State Government by the Federal Government
Point 15: Education
The existing educational system of North Borneo should be maintained and for this reason it should be under state control
Point 16: Constitutional safeguards
No amendment modification or withdrawal of any special safeguard granted to North Borneo should be made by the Central Government without the positive concurrence of the Government of the State of North Borneo
The power of amending the Constitution of the State of North Borneo should belong exclusively to the people in the state. (Note: The United Party, The Democratic Party and the Pasok Momogun Party considered that a three-fourth majority would be required in order to effect any amendment to the Federal and State Constitutions whereas the UNKO and USNO considered a two-thirds majority would be sufficient)
Point 17: Representation in Federal Parliament
This should take account not only of the population of North Borneo but also of its seize and potentialities and in any case should not be less than that of Singapore
Point 18: Name of Head of State
Yang di-Pertua Negara
Point 19: Name of State
Point 20: Land, Forests, Local Government, etc.
The provisions in the Constitution of the Federation in respect of the powers of the National Land Council should not apply in North Borneo. Likewise, the National Council for Local Government should not apply in North Borneo.