KOTA KINABALU: Huguan Siou and Keningau MP Joseph Pairin Kitingan blames the hasty British departure from Sabah and Sarawak on 16 September 1963 for the prevailing confusion in the two states on their status in the Federation with the peninsula. “They did not do enough to prevent the confusion that has since cropped up. The British High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur should take note of this and send this message to the Queen.”
“It’s incumbent upon the British Government to assume the responsibility to help clear up the unhappiness in Sabah and Sarawak on Malaysia.”
Until today, we have so many unresolved issues in Sabah and Sarawak on Malaysia, he added. “Because of the British leaving without preparation and protection for the people, there’s suspicion and anger that has led to animosity against the Federal Government.”
He cited the interpretation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the 40 per cent revenue that Sabah is entitled to under the 48th Schedule in the Inter-Governmental Committee Report (IGC), as examples.
Pairin, who is also a Deputy Chief Minister and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President, was debating Budget 2016 in Parliament on Tuesday. “It cannot be denied that there’s much unhappiness in both states in Borneo over the loss of safeguards and their treatment after the formation of Malaysia.”
He conceded that the empowerment which Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had promised Sabah and Sarawak was a step forward. “We need autonomy in many areas like education and health. Small projects like supplying food to schools should not need approval from Putrajaya.”
The young have different views, he warned, on the 20 points safeguards (18 Points in Sarawak), five per cent oil royalty, and other issues that have become the topics in political debate. “Looking at the constitutional documents in Borneo on Malaysia, we can conclude that the British Government had acted in a rush as if it wanted to relinquish its responsibilities towards its colonies in Borneo.”
“Therefore, the proposal to form Malaysia was done in haste.”
Besides MA63, IGC Report and the 20/18 Points, Pairin cited the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR) as evidence of the British beating a hasty retreat from Borneo.