The reason UMNO is Rejected by Sarawakians Part II


zainal1Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud set the “benchmark” to paraphrase Dr Jeffrey Kitingan for the brave stand made by Pehin Sri to reject UMNO from Sarawak and to uphold the Malaysia Agreement 1963.  Within days of the announcement political players, observers and analysts knew a historic moment occurs in the Borneo States which may have wider and deep implications to present and future Sabahans and Sarawakians.  The call reverberates throughout the Borneo States, the Sarawakians now confident of their stand in this matter and the Sabahans now feels there is after all a light at the end of the tunnel.

Apart from Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who asserts that Taib’s parting words has set a benchmark for Sabah leaders as well.  Sarawak clear message to Kuala Lumpur that it is rejecting UMNO from entering Sarawak according to Jeffrey is because UMNO Baru is not the old UMNO of Tunku Abdul Rahman’s days.  The virtues, principles, benevolence of the past leaders do no longer exist in the leadership today.  DAP Tawau ,Sri Tanjung YB Chan Foong Hing says that Sarawak has Sabah to which they can use as an example of UMNO presence.  This according to him has achieve nothing apart from the huge influx of illegal immigrants diluting the local population and be given the derogatory name of fixed-deposit by the Barisan Nasional (BN) leaderships.

Interestingly even a newly registered political party joins the chorus in praising Taib’s firm stand to reject UMNO into Sarawak.  Parti Kerjasama Rakyat Sabah or in short PAKAR, President Zainal Nasiruddin says Malaysia is a Federation of with conditions and not a Unitary Federation but most of the conditions made 51 years ago was never taken seriously or maintained.  Zainal pointed out Taib message is a breath of fresh air which reminds him of the original struggle by Sabah’s founding fathers.

Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) through its Deputy President Amdee Sidik reminded the people in Sabah that they have been upholding the idea of autonomy as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.  Taib’s statement reaffirms that stand and that demand is not just Sabah making it in isolation.  Taib’s statement established that this demand is made by both of the Borneo States.

With just one statement Taib broke the 51 years of the Central leadership efforts to isolate these two Borneo States from each other.  The reason is simply that once these Borneo States combined all Kuala Lumpur’s problems in Malaya will look insignificant.  This is because the two Borneo States is not just the core of Malaysia’s political power for the last 3 General Elections; the Borneo States is also the main source of Malaysia’s economic strength especially for the last decades.

Malaysia is losing its strength in the Manufacturing and Electronic Sectors.  The continuing decline in demand for consumer goods from the United States and Europe is making the situation worse.  For the last decade Malaysia has been depending on its alternative growth engines i.e commodities.  Sabah and Sarawak is the 2 main producers of commodities for the Country palm oil, petroleum and gas.  Problems in the Borneo States mean more problems for the overall Malaysia Economy.  Most of the people in Sabah and Sarawak understand this situation in which they loath to cooperate with Kuala Lumpur to resolve.  After 51 years of disenfranchisement, marginalized and just simply taken for granted the Borneo people are waking up to the fact that Malaya need Sabah and Sarawak more than Sabah and Sarawak needing Malaya.

To make the situation worse, after 50 years forming Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur failed in integrating the economy of Sabah and Sarawak to that of Malaya.  Political integration like that done in Sabah is not the answer; it is doing more harm in the Central to Periphery relationship than good.

Zainnal Ajamain

Zainnal Ajamain is an economist by profession, graduating with a Masters degree from the University of East Anglia. He has held several high ranking civil service positions in government and government think tanks and has worked as a university lecturer, senior researcher, stockbroker, and economist and published several papers in international media journals. He was the co-author behind the Sabah Government’s vision for development and progress in the Sabah Development Corridor and created the first Offshore Islamic Fund in Labuan. He also held the position of Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems at the University Malaysia Sabah.  He was the Co-Founder of the United Borneo Front (UBF) and a passionate activist to abolish the Cabotage Policy.  He is also the Secretary General of a newly formed political party in Sabah.

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About sifusiber
A husband & a father who wants his children to have a better future

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