Archive for the ‘History of Sabah.’ Category

Sabah’s nearly 4m population makes it No 2

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Statistics Department firgures show Sabah has the second highest population in Malaysia after Selangor at 3.9 million in 2017. In  the city alone, there are 553,900 people, 51.5pc male and 48.5pc female.

Apart from being an administrative centre, Kota Kinabalu is now a major tourist destination. Based on reports from the Sabah Tourism Board, the number of tourist arrivals to Sabah reached 3.7 million in 2018.

Aware of this development, the Kota Kinabalu City Police Headquarters took a proactive step by introducing the motto, “Keselamatan dan Kesejahteraan Keutamaan Kami” (Safety and Prosperity Our Priority). It is the first police headquarters in Malaysia that is optimistic to make its city the safest to visit and live in.

Its Chief ACP Habibi Majinji, who attended the Police Volunteer Reserve (PVR) corps’ recent family day, explained that the force has opted to optimise its strengths in preventative and criminal justice in the State capital.

“Our motto, Safety and Prosperity Our Priority, takes its form from the name of the city, which is a word beginning with the letter K. Our mission is to realise Kota Kinabalu as the safest city to visit and live in,” said Habibi.

“For that purpose, we mobilise all elements in the field to ensure the highest safety. The elements include periodic patrols by our patrol car (MPV) and motorcycle (URB) units in residential and industrial areas.

“Another feature of our police headquarters is bicycle patrols in public parks by the PVR team, so our members are omnipresent in the focused location.”

At the city police headquarters level, the PVR team is under the administration of the Head of Crime Prevention and Community Safety Division, DSP Kalsom Idris. Habibi said the PVR’s involvement in criminal prevention assignments greatly helps city police in terms of increasing the strength of the teams.

“PVRs usually assist in assignments such as public order, traffic control and crime prevention operations that require a lot of strength. Their role is the same as that of regular police but they have power only when assigned by city police headquarters such as inspections and arrests. Without assignments, they cannot carry out police work,” he said.

“In the context of our motto, PVR is also included in the safety elements with regular members as front liners. So far, we have a PVR bike patrol team with regular members at the Likas Public Park. Thankfully, we managed to reduce the crime rate and receive a positive response from the public.”

According to Sabah PVR Commander Supt Paul Lajumin, PVR membership in Malaysia has now reached 20,000. In Sabah, a total of 2,636 members are stationed at police stations throughout Sabah supervised by a District Police Volunteer Head (KSPD).

At the city police headquarters level, the PVR team consists of 471 people led by KSPD chief ASP Ag Usli Mohd Salleh who is assisted by Insp.Noran Addy Sukiran and Insp. Mohd Fadli Izan Mat Min.

Ag Usli explained that the affairs of members were coordinated by seven police station administrators under city police headquarters’ administration. They are Sergeant Henry Titin (Kota Kinabalu Police Station), Corporal Al Jospeh Malibin (Alam Mesra Police Station), Corporal Terrence James (Inanam Police Station), Corporal Maidin Li (Menggatal Police Station) Corporal Mazlan Mutalib (Tanjung Aru Police Station) and Lance Corporal Rayner Stephen (Luyang Police Station).

Meanwhile, City Deputy Chief of Police Supt George Abd Rakman said the team was created in 1957 as a unit of manpower support.

“The main condition for joining the PVR team is one must have a job. In other aspects, they’re like regular members except there’s some physical and academic flexibility and so on to give the public an opportunity to get involved in a policing career while contributing to the nation without abandoning their job,” he said.

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Some 3.9 million Sabahans involved in 2020 National Population and Housing Census

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: The implementation of the 2020 National Population and Housing Census would help the government to devise and plan any development programmes for the benefit of the people.

Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said that around 3.9 million citizens of Sabah will be involved during that period which covers 800,000 houses throughout Sabah.

“It is through statistics that we can obtain better data which is crucial to improving the lives of our citizen, to develop basic amenities such as education, facilities, and roads.

“Therefore, Population and Housing Census must be implemented every 10 years as it is the main source of gathering information on how to provide better basic amenities for the people,” he said.

He said this in his speech which was delivered by DOSM Population and Demographic Statistics Senior Director Datin Rozita Talha during the Statistics Literacy with the Community Seminar 2018 at INTANCampus, Sepanggar on Thursday.

Also present in the event was DOSM Sabah Director Norhayati Jantan.

The 2020 National Population and Housing Census would be the sixth census since it was first implemented back in 1970, and subsequently 1980, 1991, 2000, and 2010 by the Department of Statistics.

He added that the implementation of 2020 National Population and Housing Census refers to the recommendation of United Nations which says that every nation should conduct at least one population and housing census from the period of 2015 until 2024.

DOSM will fully utilise the use of technology especially in data gathering through Online Self-Listing (OSL), e-Census, Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) and Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI).

“We will fully utilise the use of Smartphone by developing an application that is user-friendly so that all people can access it quickly, give response without burdening them.

“Therefore all people are welcomed to complete the questionn.


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Foreigners make up one-third

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Close to one third of Sabah’s population now comprises foreigners according to a census by the Department of Statistics. Malaysian citizens make up 2,741,700, while foreigners number 1,158,300.

The data showed that the distribution of foreigners can be found across the State with a substantial comparison to locals found in Lahad Datu and Kinabatangan, in particular.

This was revealed in a paper presented by Sabah Immigration Director Musa Sulaiman titled “Population Statistics: Foreign Residents in Sabah” in conjunction with the Statistical Literacy Seminar held at the Intan Campus in Sepanggar, here, Thursday.

His paper was presented by his Assistant Director (Strategic and Planning Division Head) Lily Surayani Raona. The one-day seminar titled “Mycensus 2020 : Data Anda Masa Depan Kita” was organised by the Department of Statistics.

He went on to explain that the status of foreigners can be divided into three, namely those with valid status, those with illegal status and those with status under the management of the Sabah Foreigners Management Committee.

Those with valid status are foreigners holding Permanent Resident status, visitors, expatriates, foreign workers and IMM13 holders, while those with the status of being illegal are those without pass and have no documents.

Those whose status is under the management of the Sabah Foreigners Management Committee are those with temporary residents status, refugee children without IMM13, document holders other than immigration documents, children born from marriage with illegal immigrants and pa’lauh (sea gypsies).

Statistic arrival of foreign visitors to Sabah, showed that in 2016 the number of foreigners visiting Sabah was 1,230,621. The figure however dropped to 925,255 last year and as of August, this year, a total of 517,484 foreign visitors were recorded.

Over the past three years since 2016, arrival of tourists from China recorded the highest with a total of 859,825, followed by South Koreans (505,326) and Indonesians (345,542).

The top three lowest arrivals are visitors from Singapore (49,655), USA (38,655) and Germany (19,331).

The number of passes and permits issued by the Immigration Department in Sabah as of August this year since 2016 is 26,708.

The most issued are student passes and work passes with a total of 28,908, followed by Social Visit Pass for foreign wives (26,708) and Special Pass (17,705) as of August this year.

The statistics also showed that a huge number of Temporary Special Work Pass Visit were issued to those in the plantation and agriculture sectors over the past three years since 2016 with a total of 194,512 and 76,722, respectively.

As for operations, the Sabah Immigration Department has done a total of 1,010 operations as of August this year, with a total of 21,198 people inspected, leading to the arrests of 8.744 undocumented immigrants and 504 employers.

Of the figure, a total of 3,309 undocumented immigrants were detained during the operations, while 5,435 were arrested after turning themselves in, while a total of 45 employers were detained during operations and 459 were caught under the 459 rehiring programme.

Filipinos topped the chart for those detained with a total of 2,393 as of August this year, followed by Indonesians (816) and Pakistanis (65).

Since 2016 to August this year, a total of 4,514 undocumented immigrants and employers have been charged in court, while 574,619 have been deported since 1990 to August this year.

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No time frame: Dr M

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government will work on returning equal rights to Sabah and Sarawak as soon as possible, but it cannot set a time frame for when this will take effect, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir, who had on Sunday night reiterated PH’s election manifesto promise to give the East Malaysian states recognition as per the Malaysia Agreement in 1963 (MA63), said it may take time to amend the Federal Constitution due to possible opposition in Parliament.

Anticipating a hard task in getting a two-thirds majority in the Parliament to pass amendments to the Federal Constitution for the changes that will be made in the MA63, he said: “Well, at the moment, we (Pakatan Harapan) do not have the two-thirds majority which we will need in order to change the Constitution. So we will have to figure out how we can achieve the two-thirds majority.

“We will find out whether we can go to the Parliament and get the two-thirds. When they (opposition MPs) talk they will say something, but when they are there (in the Parliament) they get the whip to tell them not to support and all that, which then we will have a problem,” he told reporters after having breakfast with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and other State Cabinet members, here, Monday.

Dr Mahathir said like recently when the PH Government wanted to repeal the Anti-Fake News Bill, “we thought they would support us but when we went to the Senate, we did not have the majority, so we lost.”

“In the meantime, we will study what are the things that have to be repealed and substituted with new provisions in the Constitution, with regards to the MA63.

“There will also be some loss which we will have to look at,” he said.

Asked whether it would involve health and education matters, Dr Mahathir said:

“Yes, I was told your schools are still made of wood which I think needs to be attended to. There are schools which still do not water supply or toilets, a lot of things need to be done here.”

On the time needed for the completion of the review on MA63, Dr Mahathir said it would depend on the people who are working on it and the push by Sabah and Sarawak.

“The discussion on the MA63 will be held as soon as possible, but it is the process to achieve an agreement that may take time.”

When asked on the equal partnership, Dr Mahathir said well, there are certain things which were decided in Kuala Lumpur by people who are not actually familiar with the conditions in Sabah and Sarawak which will have to be addressed.

“Either we will have more Sabahans and Sarawakians to work in the peninsula, in the Federal Government or else, we will need to have some of the decision-making transferred to Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said Sabah has the capability for rapid development having gone through much progress over the years.

He said he was impressed with Sabah’s landscape after arriving in the State capital on Sunday for the Malaysia Day celebration here Sunday night and believed the State had strong potentials to be a developed State.

“I have not been to Sabah for a long, long time…the town is now quite clean. What I think should be done (to develop Sabah further) is to identify assets of Sabah, which can be exploited. You have land, mountain, seas, beaches and low temperatures, which may be good for vegetable-growing,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also expressed concern for the high cost of living that the people in Sabah had to bear due to corruption in the previous administration, but did not deny that there were also other factors contributing to the high costs such as the implementation of the cabotage policy.

by Larry Ralon.

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Don’t sideline Sabah in nation’s development: Syed Saddiq

Monday, September 17th, 2018
(File pix) “There must be greater focus in developing Sabah. When we invest in Sabah, Malaysia as a whole will benefit,” said Syed Saddiq. Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah should be given greater focus in Malaysia’s development drive in order to propel the state to greater heights.

This is the stand of Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who said Sabah deserves the same attention as other states when it comes to development projects, especially ones which do not sideline youths.

“Development projects in the country need to be distributed fairly. Sabah, being a very large state, deserves attention.

“However, based on statistics, there are insufficient job opportunities in Sabah and the unemployment rate among young people is higher than the national average.

“There must be greater focus in developing Sabah. When we invest in Sabah, Malaysia as a whole will benefit,” he said.

Syed Saddiq was speaking to reporters after paying a courtesy call to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman paying a courtesy call to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal. Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah

The Bersatu Youth Chief said he and the Sabah leader discussed youth development programmes and establishing strong ties between Bersatu and Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), among other topics, during their meeting.

On infrastructure development in the state, he told reporters that problematic constructions will be reviewed, and there should be open tenders for projects.

By Avila Geraldine.

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Big turnout at the first Malaysia Day celebration after the change of government

Monday, September 17th, 2018

More than 30,000 people from all walks of life have turned up for the national-level Malaysia Day celebration.

More than 30,000 people from all walks of life have turned up for the national-level Malaysia Day celebration at Padang Merdeka.

This is the first Malaysia Day celebration after the change of government at the federal and state levels.

People at the first Malaysia Day celebration after the change of government.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his spouse Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali  arrived at the venue at 8.08pm and the event officially kicked off with the arrival of The Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his consort Toh Puan Norlidah R.M. Jasni.

Also present were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal , federal and state ministers.

Performers welcoming the arrival of guests for the Malaysia Day celebration.

by Chok Sim Yee

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‘Returning equal status’

Monday, September 17th, 2018
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Malaysia Day celebrations in Kota Kinabalu yesterday. With him are Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin (third from right) and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (second from left). PIC BY EDMUND SAMUNTING

KOTA KINABALU: SABAH’S and Sarawak’s position in Malaysia as equal partners will be reinstated, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

He said the two states’ status would be reinstated once the review of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) was completed.

Under the agreement, the Federation of Malaysia consists of the States of Malaya (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu), the Borneo states (Sabah and Sarawak) and Singapore. Singapore left the federation in 1965.

Dr Mahathir said returning Sabah’s and Sarawak’s rights, as enshrined in MA63, would give the country a strong foundation to bring the three regions closer.

“The need for development in Sabah and Sarawak must be given attention as there are still districts that are left behind and with less than satisfactory amenities.

“The study on MA63 will definitely create the need to reassess some (old) practices,” he said to thousands at the Malaysia Day celebrations here last night

He said the review must be done in the spirit of camaraderie and respect towards each other.

“Without such spirit, our unity as a nation will cease, and whatever we are enjoying now will be lost in future,” he said.

Present were Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, the committee chairman for the event.

Dr Mahathir said the Federal Government would never forget its responsibility towards Sabah and Sarawak, and would find a way to develop infrastructure based on the needs and wants of the people in both states.

At the same time, he was confident that there was a need for “reciprocity” between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak.

“Based on this spirit, leaders and people in Sabah and Sarawak must be aware there are states in the peninsula that are still lacking and in need of continuous assistance from the government.

“I am confident the people of Sabah and Sarawak feel at ease and accepted in the peninsula as their presence there has no restrictions or ‘encumbrances’.

“This, I believe, has brought the ties between people of Malaysia closer. It is this that has helped Malaysia to maintain as it is, despite differences of opinions between the leaders from the three territories.

“We had gone through so many things in the country we call Malaysia. Yes, the journey is not always smooth, and sometimes we slipped and lost our way.

“But what is important is to pick ourselves up and get back on the right track.”

He said the 14th General Election proved Malaysians’ ability to rise again after being diverted from the path formed years ago.

“We may have been diverted so far in the few years recently and the damage is big and difficult to repair, but we have no choice but to make efforts to restore things.

“Like it or not, we must correct them. If we quit and let it continue, our value as a free country will be lost.

“It means we had allowed those who betrayed our country to win. We cannot let this happen.”

By Kristy InusAvila Geraldine.

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Key points from the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

Still unclear about what’s in the agreement? We’ve broken it down for you.

1. Unlike Malaysian laws, MA63 cannot be changed in the Malaysian Parliament This is because the MA63 is an international treaty, and not a piece of law legislated by the parliament. The only way the terms within MA63 can be amended is for all the signatory parties to sit down together as peers and amend it. In practice this would mean Sabah, Sarawak, the federal government and the United Kingdom would have to sit together and renegotiate the terms in order to change it.

2. Sabah and Sarawak are more than just states under Malaya Under the MA63, Sabah and Sarawak are equal partners in the formation of Malaysia and not individual peninsular states. This means Sabah and Sarawak have extra autonomy in the administration of land and immigration matters.

3. There should be no state religion Locals were concerned as to whether the role of Islam as the official religion of the Federation of Malaya would affect religious freedom if Sarawak became a part of Malaysia. It stated that that complete freedom of religion would be guaranteed in the Federal Constitution and that ‘Sarawak has at present no established religion and it would not be required to accept Islam as its State religion.’

4. Sabah and Sarawak have the right to use English in its state assembly and court proceedings Article 161(1) forbids any law restricting Sabah and Sarawak’s right to use English for official purposes until after 10 years from 16th September 1963. As of today the National Language Act 1963/1967 has not yet come into force in Sarawak. This means that it is still not mandatory for the state to use Bahasa Malaysia in government departments and state ministries.

5. Sarawak and Sabah have their own immigration law Sarawak and Sabah have the power to regulate immigration to their states. This is why Malaysians from the Peninsular require a permit if they want to work or study in Sarawak or Sabah, and those who are on a short visit to Sarawak and Sabah will have to fill an immigration form for a 90-day visit pass. This restriction is laid in Section 66 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963, and was included because of MA63.
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The Malaysia Agreement disagreement

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

Today we celebrate our first Malaysia Day as a “new Malaysia”. But two of the three parties that helped create Malaysia might not have so much cause to celebrate.

FOR over 10 years, activist Zainnal Ajamain has been fighting a seemingly losing battle – to get his home state of Sabah the rights it was promised under the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 (MA63).

If MA63 had gone according to plan, Sabah and Sarawak wouldn’t even be states in Malaysia – they would be founding partners, with more autonomy than other Malaysian states.

They would also probably be way more wealthy and developed than they are now, because they were promised a higher share of their petroleum revenue.

But that’s not the case today.

Despite them currently producing 60% of Malaysia’s petroleum, worth an estimated RM38bil in 2017, they’re only getting 5% of the revenue each. The original deal? Sabah was to receive two-fifths (or 40%) of its own net revenue. Sarawak was promised annual grants that would increase from RM3.5mil to RM21mil over four years, and the amount would be reviewed “in later years”. It never was.

“I think we’ve been cheated for over 50 years,” says Zainnal. “We’ve been developing based on policies set by Kuala Lumpur, not by us.

“Based on those policies, Kuala Lumpur will allocate us our funding even though the money came from us in the first place, through our oil and gas, timber and our income tax.”

Today, Sabah is the second poorest state in the country after Kelantan. Both Sabah and Sarawak continue to suffer from under-development and a lack of accessible healthcare and education.

To understand just how this all came about, we have to go back to 1963.

How it all went down

In order to persuade the Borneo Territories of Sabah and Sarawak to join Malaysia, MA63 included provisions to ensure autonomy of civil services, freedom of religion, and their own immigration control, in addition to the promise of development.

As founding partners, they were assured that there would be a review in a decade, in order to ensure the partnership was going as planned.

But that meeting never took place. In fact, it has never taken place.

What did take place, however, was the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) being passed in 1974, giving Petronas sole and exclusive ownership over the country’s oil and gas, most of which comes from Sabah and Sarawak.

The oil-producing states would receive cash payments in return, amounting to the aforementioned 5%, and the rates would thereafter be decided by “relevant parties”.

However, the PDA also states that Petronas is subject to the control and direction of the Prime Minister, which means the Prime Minister is, in effect, the only person who can change the rates – and those rates have not changed since.

Two years later, the Federal Constitution was amended. Sabah and Sarawak, the original stakeholders of Malaysia, saw themselves “demoted” from founding partners to the 12th and 13th states of Malaysia.

“We formed Malaysia because we wanted to form Malaysia. But instead in 1976, the clever people in KL went and put Sabah and Sarawak in Malaya. That’s wrong,” says Zainnal.

Sabahan lawyer and former PKR supreme council member Ansari Abdullah thinks the Federal Government was not solely responsible for the “downgrade”.

“It was passed by Parliament,” he says.

“The Sabah MPs at the time should have objected. But the state government and our MPs kept quiet. Likewise, Sarawak. So you cannot blame anybody but our MPs and state government at that time.”

But that wasn’t the only limitation Kuala Lumpur would pose on Sabah and Sarawak’s autonomy.

In 2012, the Federal Government passed the Territorial Sea Act which limits Sabah and Sarawak’s jurisdiction over their waters to three nautical miles (5.5km) from the coastline, away from most of the oil and gas fields.

Sarawakian politician Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri says the change was not approved by the state government, and called on the new Pakatan Harapan Federal Government to review the act.

“We are not asking for more – we are only asking for what is ours,” says Nancy.

Reconciling with the past

In line with its 2018 general election manifesto, the Pakatan Harapan government announced their plans for a Special Cabinet Committee to review and propose measures to rectify the status of MA63.

But this plan, while laudable, isn’t anything new. There were multiple committees under the Barisan Nasional administration as well, including the 2015 National Steering Committee (of which Nancy was co-chairperson), but nothing changed.

“We’re immune to it (the promise of rectifying MA63),” says Lina Soo, president of the Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration.

“But since the (previous) Federal Government hadn’t bothered to change anything for 55 years, we hope the Pakatan Harapan government will be better.”

Under the 2015 National Steering Committee, four Federal-level meetings were held and reports were submitted, including to then-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, but the committee has been defunct ever since the change in government, according to Nancy.

While it might still be possible to rectify the status of MA63, fulfilling every single aspect of it might be impossible, according to Sarawakian James Chin, director of the Asia Institute in the University of Tasmania.

“If the financial arrangements weren’t followed since 1963, the Federal Government really can’t pay off the amount of money owed to Sabah and Sarawak,” says Chin, who has written in numerous academic journals about governance in Southeast Asia. “There’s no way they have that pot of money.”

A start, however, would be fulfilling the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, which promised to “increase petroleum royalty to Sabah and Sarawak to 20%”.

But in July, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the 20% would be on profit, not revenue, which sparked another round of debates on whether this would actually be an upgrade on the 5% of gross sales Sabah and Sarawak currently receive.

On top of that, the Special Cabinet Committee promised by the Pakatan government to review MA63 is still yet to be announced.

Parti Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking, who is also Minister of International Trade and Industry, isn’t giving up hope, despite having fought for Sabah’s oil royalty to be increased to 20% for years.

For change to happen, the PDA would have to be looked into and amended, he says.

Leiking had been trying to get answers from the former government about what the 5% figure meant in cash allocations to Sabah.

“I had been asking the government for seven years about why Sarawak got more money than Sabah, even though we’re both supposed to have 5%,” he says.

“I hope the committee will go into further details on how we can correct the revenue sharing and whether we have been treated fairly.”

Leiking has fought for years, but people in Peninsular Malaysia might not fully understand why. After all, not every state has oil royalties – why is it so important two states get all that money?

The problem is that many areas in Sabah and Sarawak still lack clean water, electricity, roads, healthcare and access to education.

According to the Report of the Director-General of Health Malaysia, basic healthcare and facilities are available to only 70% of the population in Sabah and Sarawak, compared to more than 95% in Peninsular Malaysia.

Similarly, literacy rates in Sabah and Sarawak are lagging behind at 79% and 72% respectively while the rest of Peninsular Malaysia had a 97.3% average in 2010.

While Malaysia has prospered off the backs of Sabahan and Sarawakian oil, much of their population have continued to live in poverty.

“Time has stood still for the past 55 years,” says Soo. “The oil revenue has not returned to Sarawak. Everything has gone to Petronas and the Federal Government to fund the massive development in Malaya, but in our rural areas, our schools are collapsing, our school children study by candlelight.”

Leiking entreated people across Malaysia to learn about the history of how the country was founded, saying there is a “disconnect” between east and west Malaysia.

“As long as the disconnect continues, the people of Sabah, the people of Sarawak will never be satisfied and there will always be growing resentment towards west Malaysians.”

Understanding our origins

According to Chin, our history textbooks in schools simply don’t educate Malaysians enough about how their country was founded.

The way it is taught in school does not reflect the complexity of the country’s formation, or the contributions made by Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak, he says.

“The historical grievances can’t be undone,” he says.

“What you have to do is actually confront it and reflect on it so future generations will not make the same mistakes.”

Public education is the key to bringing balance back in the relationship between east and west Malaysia, he said.

“There’s really no understanding of the Malaysia Agreement. We really need the population of Malaysia to understand its own history and not allow it to be hijacked by vested interests.”

That’s what Zainnal has been trying to do for the past decade. To educate Malaysians about our history, beginning with East Malaysians themselves, through a set of modules he has developed over the past five years.

by chen yih wen and johenson goh
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50% of country’s poor are from Sabah – IDS chairman

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

Simon Sipaun

KOTA KINABALU: Although Sabah is rich in natural resources, 50 percent of the country’s poorest people are found in the state.

Institute of Development Studies (IDS) chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun finds this ironic and states that there were no reason why the people of Sabah should be poor since that state is endowed with natural resources such as oil, gas, timber and fertile soil.

He cited that Sabah has been shortchanged and questioned why Sabah’s gas was being transported 512 kilometers away for processing via gas pipeline costing billions of ringgit.

“Conventional economic and business wisdom tells me that raw materials should be processed as near as possible to their source,” he said at the Youth Unemployment seminar held at the Hyatt Regency Kinabalu yesterday.

He added that the endeavor could have created enormous job opportunities for local Sabahans, had a gas processing plant been located in Kimanis.

“It represented a lost opportunity for Sabah,” he said.

Sipaun also said oil was discovered in Sabah much earlier than Terengganu, yet Sabah does not have an oil refinery like Terengganu.

“Sabah only has petrol stations,” he chided.

He also said it was unfair that for every 100 barrels of oil produced by Sabah, only the value of five barrels goes back to Sabah.

“Is this fair to Sabah? I do not think so. It is high time Sabah is treated in a fair manner,” he stressed.

In his speech, Sipaun also mentioned that Sabah has the highest rate of unemployment in the country at 13.5 percent as compared to Melaka which only has 2.9 percent unemployment rate in 2017.

He stressed the need to address the unemployment in Sabah, stressing that unemployed youth meant wasted human capital.

“Many youths have left the state to work elsewhere – to Malaya, to New Zealand and to Australia.”

He said he hoped the new government would be able to change the situation for the better.

He also said the creation of job opportunities would require Sabah becoming attractive to investors, both locally and from outside.

“Our infrastructure must be adequate,” he said, stressing that the water and power disruptions must be addressed as well as skilled labour being made available.

He also stressed the need to have zero tolerance for corruption.

by Jenne Lajiun.

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