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Remember, we study history to try and understand the past, not to judge it

In 1991, the brother of the Sabah Chief Minister, Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for allegedly plotting to take Sabah out of Malaysia. With the detention of Dr Jeffrey, this more or less ‘confirmed’ the rumour of the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia and subsequently for Sabah to join the Philippines.
Raja Petra Kamarudin
"Remember, we study history to try and understand the past, not to judge it." That was what my lecturer told me this morning. I think he is chiding me for being too judgemental in my comments regarding the English Civil War and the conflict between King Charles I and Parliament, the course I am currently taking.
With that spirit as the backdrop, I would like to give you my analysis regarding the current controversy raging in Malaysia -- and that is the controversy regarding the Sabah immigrants issue that is being investigated by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI).
The Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) was formed on 5th March 1985 and it won the state elections that were held soon after that with Pairin Kitingan as Sabah’s new Chief Minister.
During PBS’s rule of Sabah from 1985 to 1994, a lot of rumours were flying around Peninsula Malaysia, especially amongst the Malay-Muslim community. And what was being said alarmed the Malays-Muslims from West Malaysia.
The first rumour concerned Muslims in Sabah converting or returning to Christianity.
During the time of Tun Datu Haji Mustapha bin Datu Harun -- that is the period when Usno was ruling Sabah -- many non-Muslim natives were converted to Islam. From what we in Peninsula Malaysia heard, those who converted to Islam were given land and money, and were sponsored for a trip to Mekah. Hence, according to what the Sabahans told us, many natives converted to Islam for the monetary rewards rather than because they believed in Islam.
When PBS took over the state government, it seems that many who converted to Islam earlier converted or went back to Christianity. And this upset the Muslims from Peninsula Malaysia. Whether this really did happen or not is another matter. This was what they were told and this was what everyone believed was happening. Hence this outraged the Muslims.
The next rumour was regarding who was allegedly behind PBS.
The rumour then was that the Vatican was financing PBS through the Philippines. It seems this involved a huge sum of money and the purpose of the Vatican was to establish a Christian government in Sabah.
Ultimately, the plan was for Sabah to pull out of Malaysia. Sabah would then join the Philippines, which has always claimed that Sabah belonged to the Philippines. (Read more regarding this matter below).
In 1991, the brother of the Sabah Chief Minister, Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for allegedly plotting to take Sabah out of Malaysia. With the detention of Dr Jeffrey, this more or less ‘confirmed’ the rumour of the plot to take Sabah out of Malaysia and subsequently for Sabah to join the Philippines.
Hence the Malays-Muslims from Peninsula Malaysia had to ‘do something’ to bring down the Christian government of Sabah and prevent ‘Christian’ Sabah from leaving Malaysia to join the ‘Christian’ Philippines. And that would be to dilute the Christian population of Sabah by bringing in Muslims and giving them voting rights, meaning also identity cards.
The Prime Minister during that period was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his Deputy was Anwar Ibrahim, who was also the Director of Operations for Barisan Nasional Sabah. However, this was not something that only those two could pull off.
This was a Muslim versus Christian issue. This involved the Vatican and the Philippines plotting to turn Sabah into a Christian state and eventually pull Sabah out of Malaysia to become part of the Philippines.
Hence Seri Perdana, the army, the police, the Immigration Department, the National Registration Department, the Elections Commission, etc., all had to play a part in keeping Sabah Muslim and to prevent Sabah from leaving Malaysia to become part of the Philippines.
This was a huge conspiracy that involved many people and many government agencies. There may have been a few decision-makers at the top but these people could not have pulled something this big off unless the entire government machinery was mobilised towards this effort.
Later, all those key people at the lower level -- such as those from the Immigration Department, National Registration Department, and so on -- were detained under the ISA in a bid to silence them.
Just too many people were involved and it was too risky to allow these people to roam free where they could probably talk. So they were rounded up and detained without trial. They could certainly not be put on trial where all the evidence of their ‘wrongdoing’ would be revealed in court.
To the Sabahans, those from West Malaysia or from Kuala Lumpur are traitors. To the Malays-Muslims from West Malaysia, those who managed to thwart the Vatican/Philippines plot to pull Sabah out of Malaysia to become part of the Philippines are patriots who have served Islam well.
I suppose this brings me back to the course I am currently taking. To the ‘Roundheads’, Charles I was a traitor to the Protestant cause. To the 'Cavaliers', Charles I was a victim of injustice. It all depends on who is writing history and the victors and not the vanquished always write history. And since Charles I lost the civil war and his head got chopped off, then Charles who was ‘weak’ and compromised with the Catholics is the traitor while the Parliamentarians are the patriots.
How will those people behind the move to thwart Sabah becoming Christian and thereafter leaving Malaysia to become part of the Philippines be viewed by historians, say, 100 years from today? I suppose it depends on who will be writing those history books and this, again, will depend on who the winners are going to be.
As my lecturer said, "Remember, we study history to try and understand the past, not to judge it." Hence I will not comment on whether what they did was right or wrong. My job as a student of history is merely to relate what happened and state how I interpret those events. This will be how I am going to pass my course at the end of March 2013.
The Philippines’ claim to Sabah (EXTRACT)
The Sultanate of Sulu was granted the territory as a prize for helping the Sultan of Brunei against his enemies and from then on that part of Borneo is recognized as part of the Sultan of Sulu's sovereignty. In 1878, Baron Von Overbeck, an Austrian partner representing The British North Borneo Co. and his partner British Alfred Dent, leased the territory known as "Sabah" - roughly translated as "the land beneath the winds". In return the company will provide arms to the Sultan to resist the spaniards and 5,000 Malaysian ringgits annual rental based on the Mexican dollars value at that time or its equivalent in gold. This lease has been continued until the independence and formation of the Malaysian federation in 1963 together with Singapore, Sarawak and Malaysia. Up to these days, the Malaysians have been continuing the rental payment of 5,300 Malaysian ringgits - a 300 ringgits increased from original rent.
In 1962 during the Pres. Diosdado Macapagal's administration (the father of the present president, Glorio Arroyo), the Philippines formally claimed Sabah based on the Sultanate of Sulu heirs' claim on the territory. The Philippines broke diplomatic relations with Malaysia after the federation have included "Sabah". The sultan's heirs have given the Philippine government the authority to pursue the claim legally in international courts. However, the succeeding administrations have either have ignored or set aside the claim for peaceful co-existent and trade relation with the Malaysians. 
One significant incident involving then President Marcos have briefly brought into limelight the Sabah claim once more. In 1972, the Marcos government have been training secretly a group of Muslim Filipinos in Corregidor, an island off Manila Bay, for possible intrusion in Sabah to pave the way to an armed secession of Sabah from Malaysia. But upon knowing of the plans, the recruits have mutinied and were eliminated except for one that swam the bay and was rescued. The newspapers have called this incident, the "Jabidah Massacre" named after the operation that was given by the military. The survivor divulged the plan and the claim was put in back burner once more. It was believe that because of the incident, the Malaysians have been aiding the Muslim separatists against the Philippine government. Some people says this distracted the attention to the claim on Sabah as the government was embroiled in containing the conflict.
How Philippines will eventually take Sabah (EXTRACT)
Much water has flowed under the bridge since the formation of Malaysia. Even though Malaysia gained independence through peaceful means, it did not mean that the birth of the new nation was without labour pangs.
Sukarno of Indonesia and Macapagal of the Philippines were both opposed to the inclusion of the North Borneo territory in the Federation of Malaysia. Sukarno, it must be emphasised, had launched the Konfrontasi to crush Malaysia.
Macapagal was however less vehement in his pursuit against the formation of Malaysia, despite allegations in the first half of 1968 that young Suluk men were secretly being trained in Corrigedor for the purpose of infiltrating and invading Sabah.
Successive Philippine governments have raised the matter of the claim over Sabah with the Malaysian government at various regional and international fora. At one stage, they even threatened to bring the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague for arbitration.
However, the Malaysian government has persistently refused to be a litigant on the grounds that Sabah had become an integral part of Malaysia through a constitutional and democratic process.
That aside, the people of Sabah had strongly expressed their desire to be part of the Federation of Malaysia under the aegis of the United Nations-sponsored United Nations Malaysian Mission (UNMM) and the Lord Cobbold Commission.
Notwithstanding the above argument, the Philippine government has persisted to pursue her claim of sovereignty over Sabah. Two books were published on the claim, one in 1964 and the other in 1967, setting out the legal and historical bases of her claim on Sabah; but the contents of the books were refuted by the Malaysian government's at a June-July 1968 meeting in Bangkok, much to the embarrassment of their Philippine counterparts.
G James, Malaysiakini (READ MORE HERE:

1 comment:


    What the above article is saying is that the Malayans were labouring under a racist/religious delusion that they had the God given right to make Sabah otherwise!

    RPK's article confirms that the Malayans were out to subjugate and dominate Sabah. That was why our forefathers opposed Malaysia. Even the Suluks and Bajus now regret that they supported the idea!

    G James article shows he knows nothing about our Borneo history. He is no exception!

    "Even though Malaysia gained independence through peaceful means, it did not mean that the birth of the new nation was without labour pangs."

    Did he not know that it was done by force of arms in suppressing the anti-Malaysia Brunei Uprising on December 8 1962 and the guerrilla independence war that followed in Sarawak till 1990? They opposed Malaysia because they saw it as a plan to re-colonise Sabah and Sarawak.

    Can any one prove this is not true?

    Malaysia was imposed on us by peaceful means by any stretch of the imagination!

    Part of the Malayan domination complex (affecting Muslim and non-Muslims alike) is to hide the real history of the Borneo people's struggle for independence which included the anti-Malaysia struggle. It was not Sukarno Ganyang Malaysia struggle but the Borneo people's Ganyang Malaysia Struggle for independence!

    Where did you learn history? We are yet to get de-colonised and gain real independence!

    Wake up Sabahans do not allow these foreigners to impose false ideas on you and control your lives and destiny!


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