Friday, October 5, 2007

Our Borneon Argument

The ongoing academic discussion that is going on in Malaysiakini is so enlightening. I am indeed impressed with the arguments put forth by both disputing sparring sides and frankly, as a reasonably non-partisan ordinary Joe, I find the arguments by the disgruntled Borneo side much more convincing than that of the patronising "Uncle Yap's". I would ask Uncle Yap to read the highly respected statesman, ex-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's autobiography The Singapore Story and also one of the founding Malaysian forefathers, James Wong Kim Ming's book.

Here's more well-written arguments by Lucy Ahmad in her letter to Malaysiakini. Don't we wish the intimidated Malaysian press would publish daily matters of interest by Malaysians for everyone to read? Why must the population be prevented from knowing the truth? How can any society aspire to be a shiny beacon of academic excellence if even matters such as this, which are not harmful, unlike the encouragement to take illegal drugs and other controversial subjects, be dismissed by the mainstream docile boring local media?

Sabah, Sarawak - colonies all over again
Lucy Ahmed
Oct 5, 07 3:39pm

After reading Uncle Yap’s Stop dreaming, we didn't negotiate as equals, I just wonder what had motivated him to write such an insulting letter.

Uncle Yap should understand that when citizens (East Malaysians in particular) are whining non-stop, there must be some valid reasons for that.

Maybe we didn't negotiate as equals, but it was widely known that in 1961, in the midst of the independence mood going on in Southeast Asia, Tunku Abdul Rahman made a proposal to form the Federation of Malaysia which was to combine (1) Malaya, (2) Singapore, (3) Brunei, (4) North Borneo and (5) Sarawak.

Unfortunately (or rather fortunately for Brunei), Brunei opted out due to the strong opposition from its population, but mainly due to the disagreement over the payment of oil royalties plus the status of the sultan in the Federation of Malaysia. So the would-be merger was the marriage between the newly independent five states with the expectation of equal and humane treatment from the new government of the Federation of Malaysia (not Malaya).

We (the Borneans) surely did expect for equality as in due process the 20-point Agreement (Sarawak has more safeguard points) was forwarded to safeguard the people of North Borneo. Sabah and Sarawak understood that the 20-point Agreement to be perpetual, but sadly over the time, the federal government has successfully manipulated and eroded the guarantees agreed during the forming of the Federation of Malaysia.

There are many reasons why Tunku made the proposal to form the federation of Malaysia. It was not only to increase the size of the economic pie, but also to gain greater racial percentage on the bumiputera side - and this was proven in 1969 during the May 13 incident. By having North Borneo and Sarawak in the Federation, the number of bumiputeras increased and this helped a great deal to offset the ratio of the ‘communist’ Chinese's population in the Peninsular Malaysia.

I still do not understand 'why' so many of the West Malaysians (even the previous PM) were very much upset and ranted non-stop about the so-called "arm-twisting" British. I think it is time to make amend with the British. Without the British, we would not have managed to organise our social and political system as early as in the 60s. In fact, we should by now be grateful to the British for teaching us the system and showing us the way to the modern world.

Think of this: How twisted was the arm of the Malayans, compared to the twisted arm of the Sabahans? Weren’t our prominent political leaders thrown into the ISA lockup just for trying to voice the Sabahans needs and wants? Wasn’t our winning political party thrown out overnight, just because the federal government didn't agree with the democratically-elected leader? Even the previous PM bluntly threatened us that if we do not choose the federally-supported parties, Sabah will be denied the federal funding.

How much had the British robbed from the Malayans, and Malayans had not robbed from the Borneons? How about all those oil and other rich natural resources royalties which was one of the main reasons why Brunei opted out of the Federation of Malaysia. Five percent for the Borneons? You must be joking - even interest rate on ASB is around 10 percent and more.

Luckily we do not have any sultan in Sabah or Sarawak, or else they would have been long molested. Brunei is still standing tall with its crown, and Singapore's standard is almost at par with the Western countries.

Malaysia Boleh!


Anonymous said...

While I'm trying hard to understand the Sabah/S'wak side (I stayed there for > 10years), I really cant figure these whining about how the West M'sian 'rob' them or how unfair the malayan treats them blah blah blah... The West M'sian govt is downright corrupt I agree. Even we here are being 'robbed'!. But for once look at yourselves. You may not have sultans but your CM (both Sabah & s'wak but more S'wak) are acting worst them the Sultans. It's the S'wakians and Sabahan leaders who are robbing you, from years ago when they signed the Agreemt till today. Look at how Taib Mahmud and co is plundering S'wak. And what do the S'wakians do? Vote them back each time election is held. SO S'wakians (especially)...YOU brought these unto yourselves. Do something or stop whining.

Anonymous said...

If S'wak or Sabah is ruled like Brunei, you will not be able to whin or even write about it. So please dont even hint that you think Brunei is better. And, comparing yourself with Singapore? Come on, the State leaders that you keep voting each time dont even come close to being serious about being a clean and efficient government.

Anonymous said...

The truth of the matter is, guys, Sarawakians decided and probably will continue to do so, that reelecting Taib and his cohorts is better than being under west Malaysian control. .. Choosing the lasser of both evils, shall we say? Sarawakians could see what UMNO would do when they and their few local proxies, colonise a state like Sabah , making many locals unhappy.

Ghosthunter said...

What the federal government should do is simple: clean up their act in West Malaysia before convincing East Malaysians to integrate fully with West Malaysia.

What the hell is going on in West Malaysia today? The UMNO-controlled gov't shouts loudly about Malay superiority-not Bumiputras like the other natives); ongoing Lingamgate (You betcha-no Royal Commission will ever be set up by the gov't because there are too many skeletons in many closets!); forced Islamic conversion & Lina Joy torture & other religious issues; abuse of funds in bail-outs;rampant corruption and murders like Altantuya involving prominent person (or persons?) and a host of other evils that would make Pandora cringe.

Abang kecil said...

So where's the 'giving and taking' spirit that our beloved late Tunku envisioned? UMNO is to be blamed: it is the controlling party in government so it should take the lead as 'leadership by example'. Instead, the foolish party squandered all the goodwill of non-Malays and played the race card to ensure their chosen ones get reelected into power. Keris-waving, constant talk of May 13 bloodshed repetition, racist insinuations, NEP perpetuality that only encourages lathergy if not laziness and hand-outs, etc. Yes! The Federal authorities must get their act together before imposing itself on others. 'Imitation is the greatest form of flattery' so they say and it's nothing to be ashamed of-remember Japan copied American and western products right after their shameful defeat in WWII... and we laughed at poor inferior quality products in Asia, labeling them as 'Japan-made'? Well, Malaysia should copy Singapore in many ways so that it will become the reality of what the late Tunku envisioned.

No wonder the Borneons are not impressed with the West Malaysian politics!

Anonymous said...

"...clean up their act in West Malaysia before convincing East Malaysians to integrate fully with West Malaysia..."

What about East M'sians clean up their act too rather than blaming others? The truth is, it is the Sabah and S'wak votes (due to the large number of Parlimentary seats) that help ensures the UMNO/BN crooks still in power. So after all the whining, East M'sian provides the votes necessary to give BN big majority in Parliament. So one suggestion, next election keep your beloved Taib and co bcos you feel it's ok for them to rob you (rather than the Malayans), but send oppositions to Parliament so that your voices are heard. After all your BN reps in Parliament wont dare to raise their voice to fight for you. And their presence do not affect the running of the State.

Lucy Ahmed said...

For those, who think that the Sabahans/Sarwakians wished to be like Brunie or think of us comparing ourselves with Singapore, please do not jump too quick on your assumption. Let us get straight here. What the Borneons want is just their "rights" as citizen of a nation. If the West Malaysians are having and enjoying all those special benefits and treatments, thus do the Sabahans and Sarawakians wish for the same.

Why must the Sabahans and Sarawakians settle for a carrot when their brothers and sisters over the ocean are having all those prime quality beef? Why must we accept such open discrimination and, remain silent? Are we lesser citizens just because we live on the island of Borneo?

Yes, if our idiot politicians have corrupted us, the ordinary citizens, why not the much knowing and learned federal politicians came over to rescue us from the damn greedy good for nothing idiots? Or is it because...the West Malaysian leaders are purposely closing their eyes and ears...all due to their own self-interest to satisfied their power and wealth hunger?

We live in a guided democracy Malaysia. ordinary citizens...we could not do much!
We were force to surrender without adequate arm.

Our tears have gone dry.
Except for the faint light, we have nothing much
Our children turned into ghosts roaming without aim.

Lucy Ahmed