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Sabah Must Assert and Celebrate Independence Day on 31 August - Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu:     Sabah must assert and celebrate its independence on 31st August as independence day is the most important milestone of any nation and more so when 2013 marks its 50th anniversary of independence” said Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Chairman of STAR Sabah, in a press statement released today.

The people must know that Sabah gained independence on 31 August 1963 and was 16 days before being rushed into forming Malaysia with 3 other independent nations, Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore.  The correct history needs to be re-written and thought to our young that Malaya gained independence on 31 August 1957 while Sarawak and Singapore gained theirs on 22 July 1963 and 3 June 1959 and that Malaysia was formed as a new nation on “Malaysia Day”, 16 September 1963.
The significance of independence cannot be better said than by Sir William Goode, the last Governer of British North Borneo, stating “TODAY IS A HISTORIC DAY FOR SABAH. IT MARKS THE BEGINNING OF SELF-GOVERNMENT AND INDEPENDENCE AND THE END OF COLONIALISM” on 31 August 1963 before departing from the shores of Sabah at Jesselton port and widely reported in the then local papers.

It was the date that the powers, rights and privileges to decide the future destiny of Sabah was handed back to Sabahans.

This momentous date has been ignored for the past 50 years simply because Sabah was federated with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore on 16 September 1963.   Regardless of being federated to form Malaysia or not, Sabah was officially independent from 31 August 1963. 

The failure to recognize and celebrate Sabah Independence Day has partly led to Sabah becoming the 12th subservient state of Malaya who has since occupied and ruled Sabah as one of its 13 States and a re-colonization of Sabah.

The fears of Malaya being the new colonial masters of Sabah and Sarawak with transfer of power from London to Kuala Lumpur expressed by the late President Suharto in 1963 has now become a reality and nightmare for Sabahans.

The problem has become what is now known as the “Sabah Mess” – loss of autonomy, rights, rich resources, oil and gas, and indigenous natives being displaced and marginalized with illegal immigrants given identity cards through Project IC/Ops Durian Buruk.

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