by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan
It is not surprising to the Malayan national parties that national means Malaysia without Sabah and Sarawak.
What national re-conciliation is meant by Umno/Barisan Nasional – PKR/Pakatan Rakyat without the participation of Sabah and Sarawak?” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, commenting on the calls for national reconciliation and national consensus.
For national reconciliation to be meaningful, there must be proportionate representation from Sabah and Sarawak and issues involving them need also to be addressed.
Sabah and Sarawak issues should not be left on the back-burner as though they do not exist or are not national issues.
Issues involving Sabah and Sarawak should also be addressed at the national reconciliation.
Sabah and Sarawak issues should not be seen as confined to them regionally as many of their issues are of national concern and affects the whole nation.
The continued denial of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners to Malaya and their continuation as the 12th and 13th States are issues of national concern.
The 95% revenue taken by Petronas and the federal government and the wanton and unwarranted issuance of dubious MyKads to foreigners in Sabah are not localised issues.
Some of these foreigners with fake ICs have already infiltrated into society in the Peninsular.
The importation of Umno/Malayan hegemony into the Borneo States and the malaise and disease brought about by racial and religious issues from the Peninsula and the restriction of freedom of religion should be stopped totally.
If unresolved these so-called Sabah and Sarawak issues can lead to the break-up of the Malaysian federation.
The federal and national leaders on both political divide need to re-educate themselves that Sabah and Sarawak formed Malaysia with Malaya in 1963 and that Sabah and Sarawak did not join Malaysia or that Malaysia gained independence in 1957 or that the Malays fought for Malaysia’s independence.
These leaders need to discard the mentality that Malaysia means the Peninsula or that Sabah and Sarawak are irrelevant. National should also not mean Malays, Chinese and Indians only with the people in Sabah and Sarawak as “others” or “lain-lain” and therefore irrelevant.
The people in the Peninsula, due to the government policy and administration, are taught to look at themselves as Malays, Chinese and Indians.
This is not the case in Sabah and Sarawak where the people stand united as Sabahans and Sarawakians and not broken down into races or religion.
The federal government, Umno and certain racial-centric NGOs need to stop the madness of condoning, promoting and inciting racial and religious hatred.
Currently, the racial and religious tension and intolerance is probably at its highest level. Yet, the PM, the Cabinet and the federal government has gone on leave and failed to address this pressing issue.
All the non-Umno BN components and federal Ministers need to re-assess their effectiveness and position in the BN coalition. Events on the 10-Point Solution shows that the Umno Supreme Council is higher in authority than the Cabinet.
The Cabinet meetings cannot even make any decision on the 10-Points.
However, after the Umno meeting, the PM as President of Umno strongly announces that the 10-Points is subject to state laws and that non-Muslims must adhere to State laws.
Should Umno or the Cabinet be making this decision? Isn’t the Cabinet the highest authority of government yet powerless to decide on the extent of the 10-Points implementation?
Has the Cabinet sub-contracted their powers to Umno?
Can the Cabinet over-ride the decisions of Umno?
Freedom of religion in the Borneo States has led to racial and religious harmony and unity amongst the various ethnic groups and religion.
It is the very fabric of life in Sabah and Sarawak with many families having members even siblings and parents of different race and religions.
What Umno, the religious bigots, extremists and political opportunists wish to achieve in the Peninsula by using race and religion has no place in Sabah and Sarawak?
To have a meaningful and lasting peace and harmony, the national reconciliation must involve Sabah and Sarawak lest the Peninsula leaders wish to have a break-away for Sabah and Sarawak.
Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is the Chairman of the State Reform Party (STAR) Sabah
* The views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the columnist and this article first appeared in fz.com