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Pessimism and Cowardice Will Not Lead Sabah Forward

Kota Kinabalu:    “Sabah needs leaders that are progressive and forward-thinking to lead Sabah towards progress and prosperity which will also contribute towards the advancement of the nation.   Leaders that are pessimistic and cowardice will not lead Sabah and the nation forward” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief in response to statements looking down on Sabahans especially youths that are unaware of the history of the formation of Malaysia and would not be able to look after and safeguard Sabah.

The party that should be taught the true facts of history should be the federal government and the Ministry of Education so that the young in Malaysia are taught the true history not some twisted fact that Malaysia gained independence on 31 August 1957.

As for security, there is a hidden agenda to threaten Sabahans with misplaced threats and dependence on security on the federal government.  We even have a federal Minister saying Sabah is not safe for tourists resulting in cancellations of tourist bookings and slowdown for the tourism industry in Sabah.

Unlike many Sabahans, some leaders have gone weak probably due to their easy and sometimes luxurious life that they seem to have no fight left in them and simply surrender or give up when discussing about security for Sabah or merely repeating the official story-line from Putrajaya that Sabah cannot defend itself, only the federal government can.

They are merely giving excuses when the people on the ground are talking about being prepared to defend their homeland if Sabah is invaded by foreign forces or even if Sabah do indeed separate from a break-up of Malaysia due to non-compliance of the terms of the merger agreed in 1963.    And these people cut across all races and include all the multi-ethnic races in Sabah.

And Sabahans served with distinction during World War 2 with the allied forces from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and others.   There was also the Sabah Border Scouts who before being disbanded by the federal government, had secured Sabah’s borders much better than later federal security forces who allowed in illegals during their guard.   Such is the make-up of Sabahans if they are indeed called upon to defend their homeland.

And their further and lame excuse to look towards the federal security apparatus is misplaced confidence.  

It is the very federal government and its leaders that failed to fulfil the promises and failed to provide the security to Sabah since 1963.   In fact, some of the security problems caused by insurgents in the Southern Philippines is caused by the Malaysian government through covert operations to fund, train and arm the insurgents.    Sabah was even used as a training ground and safe heaven.

Added to the problem was the wanton issuance of ICs and MyKads to foreigners even from as far as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.    Many were issued ICs on the illegal basis that they were “born” again in Sabah when they were not.  It was a common story repeated and repeated again at the RCI hearings last year.

The purported claims of the Sulus and the Kiram descendants will not go away whether Sabah is part of Malaysia or independent on its own.   The purported claims will also not be settled by military means and their claims are not helped by conflicting internal disputes even amongst families.  Even Umno Sabah members are claiming to be the “Sultan of Sulu”.

The federal government and past leaders are the culprits of the insecurity problem in Sabah.  “How can we rely on the federal government to provide security” queried Dr. Jeffrey.

If and when Sabahans choose to be out of Malaysia, it is eligible for membership in the Commonwealth.  As an independent sovereign nation then, Sabah/North Borneo or whatever new name it adopts, can enter into a security and military pact with the Commonwealth countries, particularly Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Sabah would also be entitled to be a member nation of ASEAN where one of the areas of cooperation is security.

One should not unduly worry about security.   Tiny Singapore has been independent on its own since 1965 and it has re-built its defence capabilities and have been able to look after its own security.   There is no reason why Sabah cannot or is incapable of taking care of its own security.

Another factor is that a free and independent Sabah would have the financial and revenue resources to manage its security needs.

As it stands, Sabah is part and parcel of the Federation of Malaysia and Sabah leaders need to show their mettle that they are not backward but are able contribute forward-thinking towards nation-building as the country approaches the time-line of developed status by 2020.

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