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Sabahans to sue over ‘their rights’

By Luke Rintod of FMT
In the suit to be filed later today, two Sabahans want the court to order
Putrajaya and the Sabah government to strictly adhere to the Malaysia Agreement.
KOTA KINABALU: Two Sabahans are expected to file a summons at the High Court here today against the federal and state governments over their rights as stipulated in the Malaysia Agreement.

They are seeking various declarations from the court regarding “Borneonisation” in the state, as assured and recommended in the Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) in 1962 which precipitated the formation of Malaysia Federation a year later.

The summons by Mohd Najib Maidan Dally, 35, and Bernard Fung Fon Chen, 70, willl be filed by counsel Peter Marajin through his legal firm in Kota Kinabalu.

This is the first time such a summons is being filed against the federal and state governments regarding the Borneonisation issue.

Observers believe this will be closely-watched as it has a huge effect on the country as a whole and on Sabah’s autonomy especially.

Groups in Sabah have been demanding that the governments invoke, reinstate and fulfil the terms of the Malaysia Agreement.

Leading the call has been the Borneo Heritage Foundation’s Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.

Under the banner of United Borneo Front, he has repeatedly urged the federal government to adhere to assurances, undertakings and recommendation of the 1962 IGC Report as provided in Article 8 of the Malaysia Agreement when implementing the federalisation of agencies in Sabah and Sarawak.

He said Annex B of the 1962 IGC Report specifically prioritises the ‘Borneonisation’ of public services in the Borneo states as a ‘major objective of policy and the federal and state departments and agencies should not overlap their functions.

“What should be within the purview of the state should remain strictly within the state.

“Borneonisation should therefore take precedence over the policy of federalisation,” he said adding that the increasing number of federal agencies setting up offices in Sabah had stoked fear among locals.

Earlier in December last year Tawau MP Chua Boon Bui said Borneonisation should not be read as an anti-federal government feelings.

“We are not asking more than what is stipulated in the 18-point agreement.

“We are also not asking the Malayans to kowtow to us. We are only asking what is righftfully ours,” said Chua alluding primarily to the long-overdue Borneonisation of public services in Sabah.

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