Sabah and Sarawak must build strong bond now than ever…

Sabah and Sarawak must build strong bond now than ever...

Kota Kinabalu; 20/05/2014 (Tuesday) Opposition political parties of Sabah based must be seen as one group and one force if it were to win people’s hearts to face the next General Election. Second, the path where the group is heading to must be clearly seen, and the move by Sabah and Sarawak must be in tandem in their demand for full autonomy based on Malaysian Agreement 1963. Thirdly, the networking of the two Borneo States must take place at various levels according Amde Sidik, the Director of PIPPA-Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis Sabah.

In Sarawak’s case the autonomy has been practised slightly ahead of Sabah. Sarawak State is in control of the appointment of its Chief Minister, unlike Sabah where Prime Minister who decides, this is because Sabah is controlled by UMNO, whose chief is the Prime Minister, not only that, every other appointments and policy matters and directions need to have UMNO Chief ‘s blessings.

“Sarawak way would be aspiration for Sabah political movement now. The past and the current Chief Minsters of Sarawak have made it clear time and time again, if the autonomy of the State is to be safeguarded, Peninsula Party in particular UMNO has no place in Sarawak, who else can inspire Sabah better” Amde said.

In the recent two seminars held in Kuching, where two groups of Sabah politicians and NGOs were invited. One, on 26th was organised by Sarawak Sovereignty Movement where three speakers involved, one was Sabah’s politician, one from Sabah’s NGO and a Sarawak academician from International Islamic University who discussed the topic of The Malaysian Agreement 1963, attended by a few federal officers included one from Sabah BN Federal Minister’s representative attended the seminar. Another was on 27th were Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan of the STAR Sabah, Datuk Yong Teck Lee President of SAPP, one Puan Lina Soo from Sarawak NGO and one from Peninsula discussed about the Past, Present and the Future of Malaysia.

There had been great enthusiasm on the autonomy issues in the two separate seminars.

In my observation, its only fair to suggest that cooperation between the two states is a must, and this one of the viable strategists that could be used by the two States Amde Sidik, said

Sarawak would be having its State general election in the 2016, but it doesn’t distract the cooperation.

Sabah must adopt Sarawak’s style, to eliminate any opposition parties, which are not local based. Their promise about autonomy isn’t the same as local parties, and in fact they are only to hijack and confused rural voters.


Amde Sidik is Director of PIPPA -Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis, Sabah

Peninsular Malaysia, breeding ground for Islamists?

 Peninsular Malaysia, breeding ground for Islamists?

By Amde Sidik

Is Malaysia turning into a breeding ground for Islamists? The recent upsurge of religious extremism-linked incidents in Peninsular Malaysia seem to indicate so.
More worrying however are indications that such acts of extremism appear to be a subtly planned and strategised move.
I have repeatedly said in the past that Malaysia should stop sending students to Egypt and nations in that part of the world.

If the taste of pudding is in the eating, then the religious extremism we are facing is it.
Students sent to study on taxpayers money are returning as religious bigots with scant respect for lives, cultures and believes and this includes those shared by Muslims.

These religious extremists are using NGOs as shields under the pretext of ‘Islamic Struggles’ and are intimidating ordinary citizens especially non-Muslims with their extreme and sometimes seditious remarks.

It has made walking on streets in Peninsular Malaysia uncomfortable.
The fact is religious extremists are all based in Peninsular Malaysia under the noses of Putrajaya.

Many of these groups are offshoots of Umno and as such untouchable. Ibrahim Ali, the president of Perkasa is one such example.

We have heard seditious calls such as “pendatang” and calls for Chinese and Indians who don’t like Malaysia to go back to China and India respectively.

These are hurtful remarks which Malaysians in Sabah can neither share nor stomach.
As a Muslim I am disgusted by such behaviour and remarks by my fellow Muslims in the Peninsular.

Prevailing misconception

I see that if these extremists can mouth such vile remarks to their neighbours in Peninsular
under the noses of the authorities than our sensitivities in Borneo. which is thousands of miles away, is of lesser concern and importance.

There is a misconception that Muslims are all alike everywhere. This is not true.
Sabahan Muslims are not like Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia.

An example is the perception of Peninsular Muslims towards their brethren in southern Philippines. They feel sympathy.

We in Sabah feel nothing for the Muslims in southern Philipines.

In fact we feel anger for the decades of hell we have suffered because Peninsular Malaysia sympathised with southern Philippines.

Legalised illegal immigrants, majority Muslims from southern Philippines, have snatched from us our quality of life, peace and religious freedom.

The southern Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf, is a splinter of Moro National Liberation Front.

They are a Muslim group and have been ‘terrorising’ Sabahans for years, all with the assistance of their local legalised family affiliates, courtesy of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Project IC.

But only in recent months has this become a major concern.

Three kidnappings have taken place in Lahad Datu under the purview of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) putting test the stength of Malaysia’s security system.
The very existence of Esscom has now been put to question.
Esscom as it is, isn’t good enough. The government should revamp it and place it either under the police or Chief Minister Musa Aman.

Esscom must have personnel who are trained and experienced in countering terrorism. It must be given powers to direct agencies emulating the army.
The nation’s security interest must not be seen to be adulterated with other interests, least of all by a misconception of Muslim brotherhood.

Amde Sidik is a former lecturer and director with the Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis, Sabah.

Religious extremism: View of an East Malaysian Muslim

Religious extremism: View of an East Malaysian Muslim

By Amde Sidik

MAY 15, 2014

The recent upsurge of religious extremists movement in Malaysia looks like planned and strategised in subtle way, and one wonders if the country is turning into a breeding ground for the groups.

Religious extremists boast their struggles using NGOs as shields, under the pretext of “Islamic struggles”. Ordinary citizens, especially non-Muslims, feel intimidated by their extreme, sometimes seditious remarks, which makes walking on Malaysian streets uncomfortable. The media too can be blamed for their aptness in sensationalising the issue of race and religions. Had they not given coverage, there is no way they could be where they are now.

When we talk about religion, there is a different perception among people in Sabah compared with Malaysians in the peninsula. Majority of Sabahans don’t share sympathy about the plight of Muslims from southern Philippines as they had experienced hell for the last fifty years or so, no matter what Tun Dr Mahathir said on the Project M.

Labour might be cheap because of their presence but the overall quality of life of Malaysians has declined, because those who migrated to Sabah were poorer than Sabahans, some were even criminals or escapees from prisons.
The biggest threat now economically in Sabah is not the Filipinos but those newly arrived from Celebes Island. There are 17 million in the crowded Celebes Island who look at Sabah as gold mine.

My point is that Malaysia’s religious extremists are all based in the peninsula, at the very nose of the people in power, and as such there is this suspicion for their inaction. We notice many extremists were the offshoots of Umno, which is why they are untouchable, such as Ibrahim Ali, the president of Perkasa.

We have heard such statements as “if you don’t like Malaysia go back to China” or “go back to India” or wherever. This kind of saying hurts. Malaysians in Sabah don’t share this view and can’t stomach it. Religion isn’t the only line of connection. Blood connection has always been thicker here. I have in fact written this phrase time and times again, as a Muslim I am disgusted because of the behaviour of my fellow Muslims.

If they, the extremists in the peninsula, can say to their neighbours next door, what about us, who are thousand miles away and as such so much less significant to them. Only a matter of time this same people would tell us to go back to Borneo. If that is the case, we ought to be thinking of doing something before it’s too late.

Among the most notable leaders now is a Muslim educated from a reputable Islamic institution Al Azhar University, Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman, who has been behaving like a graduate of Boko Haram. But of course Egypt is no longer a suitable place to seek knowledge. I wouldn’t recommend. Malaysia should stop sending students to this part of the world. If the taste of pudding is in the eating, then we have had it. Don’t waste public money. If patriotism is what the government is for, they may not getting it all. Instead, some came back as religious bigots.

This reminds me of a TV discussion a few years back on why Christians in East Malaysia can use the word “Allah” but not in West Malaysia. The answer from one NGO leader was that it’s all right for East Malaysia to use “Allah”, but it is not proper for Muslims in West Malaysia to allow Christians to use it. When asked why, he simply said, “Not proper”. My question: Is he implying that Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak are not proper? – May 15, 2014.

* Amde Sidik is director of Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis, Sabah.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

Article from:

On The Rights To Secede

By Amde Sidik

MAY 11, 2014 

Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen recently told the Sarawak Assembly that if a referendum to decide whether Sarawak should remain in Malaysia were held today, 75% of Sarawakians would opt for separation.

That prompted this writer – the director of Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis Sabah – to refer to his “What do we mean by autonomy?” presented at the “Malaysia Agreement 1963” seminar  held in Kuching on April 26 and organised by the Sarawak Sovereignty Movement, chaired by Datuk Morshidi Abd Rahman, who is also SSM chairman.

How secession can be made and in the context of Malaysia?

But today, no country can intimidate its citizens forever.

In Malaysia, the word “autonomy” has never been said openly until SAPP leaders did in November 2010, on the eve of the Batu Sapi, Sandakan by-election.

SAPP was accused of wanting to pull out of Malaysia. Voters were scared. The result was predictable. But now Sarawak is talking about separating from the Federation of Malaysia – which is another step above autonomy.

According to Amde, with the current political scenario in Malaysia, there are three options available for the Borneo states.

One, proceed with the current political system, where nothing is changed.

Two, demand for autonomy, because that is our legal rights under Malaysia Agreement 1963, that is, restore the agreement because that is what the people expect.

Third, secede from Malaysia.

Only recently the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abd Rahman Dahlan said Sabah and Sarawak could not secede from the federation.

But as Amde pointed out in Article 2 of the Federal Constitution, there is no mention of secession, but that doesn’t mean you can secede, which is not unusual in legal interpretation of English law.

The general concept is if one voluntarily on one’s free will joins an association, it is assumed it is also one’s free will to leave.

International law experts have no problem in agreeing with this.

There are two main United Nations bodies that are concerned with secession – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR and International Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ICESCR.

Take Somalia as an example. Other legal theorist like Allen Buchanan says secession is allowed:  a state can secede for any reasons, only if there are grave injustices or both.

* Amde Sidik is director of PIPPA (Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis, Sabah).

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.



Undang-undang ‘diubah’ untuk mengambil kekayaan Borneo

Undang-undang ‘diubah’ untuk mengambil kekayaan Borneo

KUCHING: Kerajaan Persekutuan telah ‘memaksa’ Sabah dan Sarawak menyerahkan minyak dan gas mereka melalui pengisytiharan darurat pada 15 Mei 1969.

Encik Zainnal Ajamain berkata Sabah dan Sarawak tidak bersetuju dengan tindakan kerajaan persekutuan melakukan nasionalisasi minyak dan gas mereka.

“Nasionalisasi sering bermaksud proses mengambil industri swasta atau aset swasta menjadi pemilikan awam,
“Minyak dan gas di Sabah dan Sarawak adalah milik kepunyaan mereka sendiri dan tidak pernah dinasionalisasikan tetapi dipaksa melakukannya melalui pengisytiharan darurat,
“Sabah gagal dalam mempertahankan tindakan terbabit dan usaha mereka berakhir kerana pengisytiharan terbabit dan undang-undang yang digubal, ia tidak boleh menjadi tidak sah walaupun undang-undang adalah tidak berperlembagaan,” katanya semasa berucap di Forum Perjanjian Malaysia 1963, Laporan IGC dan Isu Referendum anjuran Sarawak Sovereignty Movement (SSM) di Hotel Telang Usan.

Zainnal juga berkata rakyat Sabah dan Sarawak perlu memerhatikan perkara terbabit dengan serius.

“Setiap rakyat Sabah dan Sarawak mesti mengetahui bagaiman kekayaan mereka diambil dengan cara paksaan yang memberi kelebihan kepada golongan elit Malaya dengan mengorbankan rakyat Borneo – tiada rundingan dan tiada kompromi,
“Kebanyakan mereka percaya Perlembagaan mungkin tertinggi tetapi ia terhad mula dengan Perjanjian Malaysia 1963 dan yang kedua melalui Perlindungan dan Kaveat yang telah dibuat dalam Laporan Jawatankuasa Antara Kerajaan (IGC),
“Sebagai tambahan, Parlimen mungkin merupakan badan tertinggi membuat undang-undang di Malaysia tetapi jelasnya ia tidak melakukannya apabila berlanggaran dengan Perlembagaan Malaysia sendirinya,” katanya.

Beliau menegaskan Kerajaan Persekutuan bagaimanapun boleh memintas semua perlindungan ini, menyemak dan mengimbangi, Perjanjian Malaysia 1963 dan Laporan IGC dengan hanya membangkitkan Artikel 150 melalui pengisytiharan Darurat.

Artikel 150
Sementara itu, pentadbir halaman SSM, Datuk Morshidi Abdul Rahman berkata forum atau seminar seperti ini perlu dilakukan selalu.

“Peserta didedahkan dengan perkara yang jarang mereka dengar tetapi berhak dan disisi undang-undang, minyak merupakan milik kita,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan dalam SSM.

Forum itu juga dihadiri Timbalan Presiden Parti Maju Sabah, Amde Sidik dan Professor Hasmadi Mois dari Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia yang juga merupakan panel penceramah.

Kita perlu memahami kuasa yang dipegang dalam Artikel 150 Perlembagaan Malaysia dimana rakyat Sabah dan Sarawak tidak pernah tawar-menawar dalam membentuk Malaysia, tegas beliau.
“Pemimpin Sabah dan Sarawak percaya bahawa apa-apa masalah dalam proses Pembentukan Bangsa boleh dirunding dengan bijaksana tetapi pemerintah elit telah melanggar pemahaman ini bila mereka dengan sewenang-wenangnya mengambil kekayaan Borneo untuk diri mereka,

Dalam Artikel 150, Yang di-Pertuan Agong mempunyai kuasa dalam keadaan tertentu mengeluarkan pengisytiharan darurat.
Salah satu pengisytiharan yang dilakukan ialah semasa rusuhan kaum pada 13 Mei 1969 manakala dalam Situasi Darurat Artikel 150 (5) Parlimen boleh membuat undang-undang dimana sesuai untuk darurat dan dalam Artikel 150 (6) apabila Parlimen meluluskan undang-undang, ia tidak boleh menjadi tidak sah semata walaupun ia tidak selaras dengan mana-mana peruntukan Perlembagaan Malaysia, jelas Zainnal.

“Ini juga bermakna bahawa undang-undang ini boleh menjadi tidak konsisten dengan Perjanjian Malaysia 1963 atau perlindungan Laporan IGC,
“Ini menerangkan bagaimana Kerajaan Persekutuan melakukannya dengan menjangkau sebelum rancangan ‘Greater Malaysia’ diumumkan sehingga pembentukan Akta Pembangunan Petroleum (PDA) 1974,” ujar beliau.

Forum terbabit dihadiri sekitar 50 ahli SSM dan diisi dengan sesi soal jawab dan pembentangan kertas kerja oleh panel penceramah.

Encik Zainnal dan juga Tuan Hj Amde Sidik adalah juga ahli PIPPA (Progressive Institute of Public Analysis), Sabah.

(From FreeMalaysiaToday Borneo+)

Sabah leaders, reps must reclaim rights

Sabah leaders, reps must reclaim rights

Don’t expect federal leaders to raise issues concerning Sabah and Sarawak considering all that they have already done, said a Sabah NGO.

KOTA KINABALU: Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis, Sabah (PIPPA) has called on policy makers both from the ruling coalition and the opposition, to reclaim the state’s ownership of oil and gas resources.

It urged this in a paper distributed by its members to the various policy makers, including the chief minister Musa Aman, Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly Salleh Said Keruak, deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Lajim Ukin, the Sabah opposition leader, at the State Legislative Assembly Building, yesterday.

PIPPA director Amde Sidek said such a move is appropriate and necessary in view of the fact that the Emergency Law had been lifted on Nov 24, 2011, thus rendering the Petroleum Development Act 1974 null and void.

He explained that the Federal Government took ownership of Sabah and Sarawak Territorial Waters by virtue of the emergency law declared on the May 15 1969 under article 150 of Federal Constitution.

Parliament was suspended and reconvened only on 20 February, 1971.

Between 1969 and 1971 a number of laws were created, among them, three laws that transferred the ownership of Sabah and Sarawak Territorial Waters to the Federal Government as follows:

i. Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No.7 1969 [P.U. (A) 307A/1969] enacted 2 August 1969 and came into force 10August 1969.

ii. The Continental Shelf Act 1966;

iii. The Petroleum Mining Act 1966

Ordinance No 7, 1969 limits the State’s territorial waters to three nautical miles including Sabah and Sarawak.

When it was passed in 1966, it could not be applied in Sabah and Sarawak without the consent of the respective States Government.

The two Acts only came into force for Sabah and Sarawak after it was gazetted as P.U. (A) 467/1969 Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance No 10 of 1969 dated Nov 8, 1969.
Two years and only silence

The abolishment of the emergency law was announced by the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, on Nov 24, 2011, by virtue of article 150 (7) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

“This article says, all laws made during the emergency, once the six months has lapsed after the proclamation of lifting is announced, are no longer valid but void. The sixth month fell on the 24 May 2012.

“Hence, by the operation of law, a body like Petronas no longer has the right to operate, sign contract, explore and so on. The rightful owner is the state government.

“Unfortunately, after 24 months have lapsed since PM lifted the emergency law, our Sabah lawmakers are still keeping quiet about it, which is unbecoming of a wakil rakyat (elected representative).

“We would not expect federal leaders to raise the issue after all what they did to Sabah and Sarawak.

“We therefore urge all wakil rakyat to take cognition to the rights of the state and the right of the people.

“We hope with the papers we present today (yesterday) would enable them to understand what does the lifting of the emergency law means to Sabah, especially its rights to oil and gas resources.

“PIPPA is ever-ready to assist to make our policy makers and the people in general to understand with regards to the issue,” Amde explained.

He also noted that after receiving the papers distributed by PIPPA, Salleh had responded by promising to look into the matter.

Among the key PIPPA members present to distribute the papers were its chief researcher Zainal Ajamain, and James Ligunjang, besides Amde.

Free Malaysia Today – April 15, 2014