Make Sabah, Sarawak Equal Partners to Peninsula: Jeffery

Jeffery equal partners 1

A leading Sabah politician has called for a restructuring of the Federal government to put Sabah, Sarawak on equal footing with Peninsular Malaysia.
State Reform Party (STAR) chief Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the Malaysia Agreement 1963 has turned out to be a “takeover” project that has left the Borneo states subservient to Peninsular Malaysia, and robbed them of their wealth and political independence.

“If we were to save Malaysia, we have to restructure (the government). We cannot leave it like it is right now. It is one-sided,” Kitingan told a forum in Kuala Lumpur today.

He said revamping the structure of the Federal government could be done in two ways.

“One option is, Malaya will remain Federation of Malaya. You will have your own states, you will have your own prime minister, and own unitary (central) government.

“Sarawak will have the same thing. All the residencies in Sarawak will become states. And we can create a unitary government (each) in Sabah and Sarawak. They can then have their own prime ministers,” said the Bingkor state assemblyman.

Kitingan said the three central governments could collectively form a new Federal government that would cooperate on national policies, while development issues in each region would be left to each central government.

The new Federal government would be headed by one prime minister, known as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, he added.

“This means we are all in the Federation of Malaysia, but Sabah (and Sarawak) have their own government. Don’t kacau-kacau (disturb) there, we don’t kacau-kacau you here (Peninsular Malaysia),” he said.

“We take care of our own development, but we coordinate on the federal policies.

“This way, everything is fair. Then you retain what the Cobbold Commission Chairman was saying, ‘that you retain your individualities’,” Kitingan said at the forum jointly organised by the Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration and Borneo Heritage Foundation of Sabah.

Another option, said Kitingan, was to have one elected prime minister and three deputy prime ministers, one from the peninsula, one from Sabah, and one from Sarawak.

He said calls for a review of the Malaysia Agreement 1963, the oil agreement and even for a separation between the peninsula and Borneo states were growing louder.

“Instead of Sabah and Sarawak becoming equal partners to Malaya, we (Borneo) are just rooms in the longhouse of Malaysia. We were downgraded to become the 12th and 13th states. Malaya went up, Sabah and Sarawak stayed down,” said Kitingan.

“We feel we are being recolonised.” June 15, 2014.

Article was made by: Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan

Sabah and Sarawak must build strong bond now than ever…


KOTA KINABALU – 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.

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

Esscom Should Zone 1,400KM Coustline Into Manageable Portians

Amde Esscome

By Amde Sidik

ESSCOM- Eastern Sabah Security Command was set up in April 2013 to quelled the rampant activities of kidnappings and abductions along the coastal areas of the East Coast of Sabah.

The Eastern Coastal of Sabah has about 1,400 kilometers long stretching for the district of Kudat to Tawau, in between are Sandakan, Kunak and Lahad Datu

In general, people view ESSCOM has failed to curb the abduction and kidnapping activities. This year alone has three abduction cases. The most recent was on May 6, where Abu Sayyaf kidnapped a Chinese tourist and a Filipino restaurant worker. We are yet to hear the fate of the two victims.

It reminds me less than five years ago Federal Ministers used to make statements that kidnappings and abductions in Eastern Sabah were isolated cases, this agitated local people, wasn’t until Sultan Sulu invaded Sabah last year (March, 2013) otherwise situation wouldn’t change much. The Sultan Sulu invasion was considered weird when authority had to negotiate with terrorists. Why were they negotiating is in anyone guesses.

The same old attitude

Sabah border in the east is porous but it had been nearly the same before independent. Take Tawau for example, people crossing from Indonesia’s Pulau Nyamuk to Tawau requires no inspection.

I was in Cotabato, Mindanao a few years ago when I met one dark skin guy like pirate of the Caribbean who told me he used to visit Sabah many years ago. He said he was a pirate, along their routes to and fro from Malaysia’s water he used to shoot the lights houses and when chase by Malaysian marine they would just cut loose the net that they installed earlier, that marine boat went slower and stalled. That was scary like hell sitting next to him, when I asked what he does now, he replied, he is a good man now he is a pastor. Goddess me!

Living in the East Coast of Sabah according to one respondent who said, he has to endure the scary feeling, until he has enough money to move out from east coast.

The tourism business is worse affected sector in Sabah. Some hotels owners whom I contacted said, in Kota Kinabalu, on average hotel rooms occupancy reduced to about 30 percent, some even experienced 80 percent dropped since this latest abduction.

What is this telling us? The impact of Chinese tourists to Sabah indeed is phenomenal. But people in Peninsula may not feel this because tourists from China came via direct-chartered flights China- Sabah.

But it’s the lackadaisical attitude of political leaders over security problem in Sabah for so long is the most mind-boggling.

Issue on Federal government giving citizenship to Muslims Filipinos from Southern Philippines is not new thing. The just concluded Royal Commission of Inquiry had brought some lights. Generally people can interpret while Tun Mahathir Mohammad, former Prime Minister continues to say what he wanted to say, to fool us, let him be..

Not that many Malays from Peninsula

In the 70s, the statistics of race called Malay in Sabah was only 6 percent but by 2007 it’s more than triple, in some statistics even more. This additional numbers of Malay did not come from Peninsula, records did not show otherwise but must only come from Southern Philippines and Indonesian’s Island, and they are the new Malay. Sabah population now stands at 3.2 million a head of Sarawak 2.47; expert says Sabah population growth was abnormal.

Giving citizenship to Muslim from Southern Philippines would help to prolong the life span of UMNO, United Malay National Organization. Muslims immigrants easily became Malaysia citizens just because they are Muslims. A person owns Malaysian Identify Card is allowed to vote in country’s General Election, it means he is a citizen how he gets MyKad doesn’t matter.

The threat from Southern Philippines is for a long time to come after all the notorious Abu Sayyaf have family connection here and there is no sign of them retiring from doing what they capable of doing.

No need separate agency like ESSCOM

As at present set up ESSCOM needs close coordination with other agencies namely: Police, Army, Marine, political leaders and local leaders, without support from these agencies ESSCOM is powerless.

ESSCOM has neither experience nor expertise by it self, they don’t have manpower on it own.

The creation of ESSCOM is seen as unnecessary because of duplications of work beside, cumbersome networks that then who gives the final say. A former civil servant turns ‘KGB director’ now has to deal with countering terrorists, intruders, kidnapping, subversive activities, intelligent gathering, and etc, in which requiring a completely new skills and new environment altogether.

The scope of police’s work and army’s work could easily be extended to supervise Sabah’s the coastal line. The State security matters should not be made as political trade off. I still consider Sabah Police Chief would be the most appropriate person to head ESSCOM that what he is trained for. In fact a few senior police told me the idea of how to deal with Sabah East coast had been proposed long time ago.

Issue of Control

Control is one of the most important elements here until ESSCOM is in control; we may back to square one. Resources must be made available when required, no time lag, facilities such as high-speed boats, vehicles, weaponry, helicopters and personnel back up system are ever ready.

Outmoded police and army facilities must be replaced. Confident building needs to be emphasized especially with the introduction of the latest technology-this peripherals are a must, but the problem is, terrorists’ speedboats are faster than our police marine. Apart from that intelligent gathering must be sophisticated enough to counter the enemy.


Option 1
In my recent discussion with a former Superintendent police who served in Lahad Datu for several years Kamis Daming, and another was Zulkifli Ismail a former Sabah Security Director who said, the most practical thing to do is to break the coastline into manageable parts, for the purpose of this discussion let say, the government builds 5 stations serves as entry in and out points on the coast along the 1,400km, which means one station for every 300 km. These stations are equipped and manned with modern facilities. Logistically sophisticated competent to beat the intruders. Constant observations, monitoring, patrolling, contacts and routine exchanges of security activities with other stations.

Option 2
Let say build 5 platforms, ala oil rags on the sea, for every say 300 km or may be 3 platforms, one platform for every 500 km. The functions of the platforms are the same as stations in mainland mentioned above, except structures of platforms are built on the sea instead of on land.

Impressively built platforms would create tough image and authority means serious business. Equipped with modern security facilities include among them airstrip or landing pad for helicopters. Spending money on facilities like this is more meaningful than buying submarine, which can’t even ‘swim’. Again each of these platforms serves as point of entries

Last but not least, local an orthodox knowledge may still be required I was told mundu (local name for pirates) from Southern Philippines believed in superstition and still very much as part of their culture, they therefore do thing based on what they learnt from their ancestors was discovered by polices over the course of their duties in this region, for example, mundu strikes on certain organised timeframe they do it based on their beliefs, meaning, they don’t strike rampantly but calculative about the date, time or even places. May be with this knowledge would help security officers to take extra measures what part of the year would mundu likely strike sound more like 1bomoh

Amde Sidik is Director of PIPPA [Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis, Sabah] Former lecturer in law, and International Institutions & Political Environment at local and foreign Universities.