Archive for May, 2012

KOTA KINABALU: The polemics on Putrajaya’s internal colonization policies in Sabah and Sarawak appears to be getting increasingly shrill and out of hand and needs to be brought to a swift end and buried for good. Instead, it’s felt that it’s best to let bygones be bygones and “focus on regaining self-determination along the lines of 31 Aug 1963” for Sabah and Sarawak.

Self-determination in this form for Sabah and Sarawak would be “the best way forward and out from internal colonization”. Self-determination, in international law, “has come to mean the free choice of one’s own acts without external compulsion”.

This is the growing consensus within the State Reform Party (Star), a Borneo-based national party which initiated, formed and leads the United Borneo Alliance (UBA) to work towards a 3rd Force in the Malaysian Parliament.

“We feel it’s pointless, indeed counter-productive, to engage in further polemics on the issue of internal colonization in Sabah and Sarawak,” said Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun in a press statement. “We should stop participating in further polemics on the issue. It serves little purpose to debate anyone on internal colonization.”

He was commenting on a statement on Wed this week in the local media by the Yayasan Islam Sabah (YIS) virtually denying the basis on which Sabah and Sarawak formed Malaysia. The welfare body also claimed, “in defiance of international law”, that Sabah does not have the right to leave Malaysia.

Former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh heads the YIS and recently challenged Star chairman Jeffrey Kitingan to a public debate on internal colonization. Jeffrey accepted the dare subject to Harris proving locus standi and “something more than hot air coming out of the debate”. Harris, in turn, called Jeffrey “chicken”, a label which the latter threw back at the former.

Daniel explained that UBA had hoped that a public debate on internal colonization would not be about scoring points or turning heroes into zeros or vice versa but instead facilitate the process of reversing the phenomenon in the two Borneo states in Malaysia.

“We feel that this – reversing internal colonization — is not going to happen now given denials and counter denials being issued daily by Putrajaya’s proxies in Sabah and Sarawak,” said Daniel. “These proxies have any number of stooges with them who are willing to sell their souls to the devil himself.”

Asked for the basis on which the party is in consensus on regaining self-determination, he replied that “it would facilitate us getting out of the quicksand being created by others on the issue of internal colonization”.

“International law is clear,” he said. “We have the right to get back our self-determination of 31 Aug 1963 and any number of traitors among us is not going to derail the process.”

Again, he reiterated that Sabah and Sarawak exercised the right of self-determination and won independence on 31 Aug 1963. Self-determination, explained Daniel, is the principle in international law that “nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion – think Malayan, British — or external interference”.

However, this freedom was taken away 16 days later by “a bad British idea called Malaysia”, he added. “We were blackmailed into Malaysia by claims that Indonesia and the Philippines are like crocodiles waiting to swallow us once the British leave. No one swallowed Brunei.”

“Sabah and Sarawak should go back to 31 Aug 1963 and reclaim the independence that we won that day,” said Daniel. “That’s our right to self-determination.”

Malaysia, according to Daniel, is not working out at all for Sabah and Sarawak just as it did not work out for Singapore and was a non-starter for Brunei.

“Brunei stayed out from Malaysia at the 11th hour and Singapore left two years later,” noted Daniel. “Look, where they are now! Meanwhile, Sabah and Sarawak are the poorest states in Malaysia. This is not what we bargained for when we were literally blackmailed by Malaya and Britain into Malaysia.”

Malaysia, claimed Daniel, had in retrospect nothing to do with the welfare of the people of Sabah and Sarawak and was mooted purely to protect the British commercial empire in the wake of decolonization. It was a time of the Cold War and communism terrorism raging in the region, he noted.

He lamented that the security promised Sabah by Malaysia did not materialize and instead it had been seriously compromised by the influx of illegal immigrants continuing to enter the electoral rolls, the changing demographic make-up and character and the increasing disenfranchisement and marginalisation of the local people.

“We can’t continue to live in a state of denial,” said Daniel. “It’s time to call a spade and spade so that we can move into the future that we all want for our children and grandchildren.”

Sabah, reiterated Daniel, needs to forge its own destiny in the community of nations instead of being tied to an unhappy relationship with Peninsular Malaysia on the other side of the South China Sea, several thousand kilometers away.

The Star deputy chief conceded that his state chapter had yet to discuss re-gaining self-determination with the Sarawak chapter of the party and their allies in UBA.

Besides Star, UBA includes the Sarawak National Party (Snap), the Borneo Heritage Foundation, Borneo Forum, Common Interest Group Malaysia (CigMA), KoKaKoBa, the Oil For Future Foundation and various NGOs who are on the verge of signing up with the alliance.

“We will first finalize the consensus within Star Sabah before reaching out to Star Sabah and our other allies in UBA,” disclosed Daniel. “We can only make an official announcement once we are ready.”

It’s crystal clear, said Daniel in citing various reactions so far, that Putrajaya will not play ball on the issue of complying with the four constitutional documents and/or conventions on Malaysia.

He cited the four documents/conventions as the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63); the 20/18 Points (20/18 P); the Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR); and the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR).

Putrajaya’s non-compliance of the four constitutional documents/conventions, claimed Daniel, rendered the Malaysian Constitution and Malaysia inoperable to the extent of the non-compliance and placed Sabah and Sarawak’s participation in the Federation as “non-existent”.

“The issue of whether we are in or out of Malaysia no longer arises,” said Daniel. “We are out and have been out since Putrajaya has been in non-compliance. This means we have gone back to the status we had on 31 Aug 1963.”

Constitutional lawyers familiar with the issue of compliance are in broad agreement that there’s no law on compliance and no mechanisms on compliance and therefore the Federal Government cannot be said to be acting unlawfully by being in non-compliance.

The other side of the coin is that the Federal Government can be said to be acting unconstitutionally by being in non-compliance, and by extrapolation and logical deduction, not acting lawfully on the issue of the participation of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

The bottomline, it’s acknowledged, is that it’s difficult to argue with the consensus that non-compliance has meant that Sabah and Sarawak are not in Malaysia, and therefore, the two countries have the same status that they had on 31 Aug 1963 i.e. before Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963. In short, Putrajaya’s non-compliance has meant that the status of 31 Aug 1963 has never been taken away from Sabah and Sarawak or ceased to exist and has continued and continues to this day.

Daniel John Jambun
Deputy Chairman, State Reform Party (Star)
Contact: 012-834 0972

Wed 30 May, 2012

by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENT The United Nations Security Council, acting through its previous 24-nation Decolonization Committee, would be the right body to resolve the renewed controversy in Sabah on whether it and Sarawak, the neighbouring sister state in Borneo, have been effectively colonised by the Federal Government in Putrajaya and/or Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) since Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963.

The controversy reached its zenith when former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh, a one-time blue-eyed boy of the Federal Government, challenged United Borneo Alliance (UBA) chairman Jeffrey Kitingan in recent days to a public debate on the issue.

Harris feels compelled to come forward “to defend the state and Federal governments on the issue of colonization” and feels that Jeffrey should not “chicken out” by laying down impossible conditions for the proposed debate to take place.

Jeffrey thinks that it’s not a question of being a chicken, as alleged by Harris, or a hero.

He wants something more than hot air to come out of the debate. He feels the debate should not be about scoring points on the issue or turning heroes into zeros or vice versa.

He wants the state and Federal governments to formally appoint Harris to represent them in the proposed debate.

Otherwise, Jeffrey & Co see the long retired Harris, “with due respects to him as a former Sabah Chief Minister”, getting involved unilaterally in the proposed debate for no rhyme or reason on behalf of the said parties and without proving locus standi.  Jeffrey & Co, however, are more than gratified that Harris has taken a keen interest in the issue and would prefer him to be on their side as a moral supporter  with a clear conscience but only after studying it (the issue) in depth on his own based on the various statements emanating from UBA in the local and alternative media.

Therein the matter lies. Jeffrey has since proposed June 17 for the debate to take place in Kota Kinabalu. This was after Harris said anytime, any place.

Enter the UN idea from Jeffrey’s camp, according to State Reform Party (Star) deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun. Harris agreed as well, in a statement on Tues 29 May in the local media, that the issue of colonization “is a UN case if true (Jeffrey’s allegations)”.

The starting point for the UN intervention, if any, on a point of history, ethics, morality, law, constitution, justice, diplomacy and politics could be why Sabah and Sarawak were not allowed self-determination as free states and were instead rushed into Federation with Malaya and Singapore on 16 Sept, 1963 after enjoying just 16 days of independence i.e. from Aug 31, 1963 to 16 Sept 1963.

History books were sanctioned by the Federal Government, and glossing over the 31 Aug 1963 date, even disingenuously claim that “Sabah and Sarawak became independent through Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963”.

Indonesia objected to the renewed loss of independence by Sabah and Sarawak.

The Philippines objected as well but for different reasons. It pointed out that its Sulu Archipelago was at one time together as one with the eastern and northern parts of Sabah, under the defunct non-territorial Sulu Sultanate, for the purpose of toll collection along the waterways. Hence, Manila raised its claim to Sabah.

No one paid any heed to them. Those were the days of the Cold War and the threat of communism terrorism raging in the region. The United Nations Security Council was firmly in the pockets of China (Taiwan), the United States, Britain and France with the USSR being the lone ranger among the five permanent members.

Hence, the sneaking suspicion that Sabah and Sarawak were re-colonised after 16 days of freedom and this time by the London-backed Malaya which went on to dominate and monopolize the Federal Government of Malaysia.

Britain had to give up its colonies in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Singapore in line with the dictates, demands and recommendations of the then 24-nation UN Decolonization Committee in which India under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru played a sterling role.

Any UN intervention should also cover why Brunei stayed out from Malaysia at the 11th hour, why Singapore was expelled from the Federation two years later, and more importantly, why Sabah and Sarawak were not allowed to review their position in the Federation of Malaysia in the wake of the city state’s departure.

They had even demanded this right. In retaliation, Kuala Lumpur ousted Sabah Chief Minister Donald Stephens from power and dispatched into political exile as High Commissioner to Australia, a favourite dumping ground along with New Zealand for politicians in the two Borneo states who incurred the wrath of the Federal Government.

This Stephens was the same man, now as Chief Minister Muhamad Fuad Stephens, who died inconveniently – conveniently for Kuala Lumpur — in a tragic air crash in mid-1976 shortly after he refused to sign over Sabah’s oil and gas resources in perpetuity to the Federal Government-owned Petronas, or Petroliam Nasional, the National Oil Corporation.

Harris coincidentally, Stephens’s deputy, succeeded him as Chief Minister and appeared to have dutifully done what the Federal Government demanded.

Jeffrey’s elder brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan – currently demoted to Deputy Chief Minister — was the witness.

It’s this same Harris who’s now eager for a debate with Jeffrey probably because the latter keeps harping on the loss of the oil and gas resources – and recently Oil Blocks L & M to Brunei — as a major evidence of internal colonization.  So, partially at least, Harris has locus standi to debate Jeffrey.

Jeffrey has plenty of other evidence as well on internal colonization, besides oil and gas and Stephen’s untimely death, all of which Harris appears keen to “demolish” when presented at a debate.

Harris could have chosen to demolish them as and when they appeared in the local media from time to time. So far, he has chosen to keep a discreet silence on Jeffrey’s allegations in the local media on Sabah and Sarawak being internally colonised by Putrajaya. It’s difficult for Harris for anyone else sometimes to know whether Jeffrey is coming or going and hence some confusion for everyone.

If and when the Debate does take place, it will allow a re-visitation of several major aspects of the internal colonization allegations.

For starters, besides the mystery over the 16 days, Brunei, Singapore, Stephens, oil and gas, the Debate can hear evidence on the Federal Government being in non-compliance on four key constitutional documents and /or conventions which govern the participation of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

The documents/conventions: the 1963 Malaysia Agreement; the 20/18 Points; the Inter Governmental Committee Report; and the Cobbold Commission report.

UBA has been making the case public that the Federal Government’s “non-compliance has rendered the Federation of Malaysia inoperable to the extent of the non-compliance” and thereby the question that arises is whether Sabah and Sarawak are in the Federation of Malaysia or out like Singapore in 1965.

If out, why is the Federal Government carrying on as if the two states are still in Malaysia? This means, the argument goes, that they are effectively colonies of Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia).

If the two states are still in Malaysia, why is the Federal Government in non-compliance? It (non-compliance) cannot be reconciled with the continued participation of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation.

If the case can be made that the Federal Government has not been acting unlawfully on compliance – there being no mechanism on compliance and no law – it’s seems to be a kamikaze argument on the surface, as it cannot be said that it has not been acting unconstitutionally, and if so, it has not been acting lawfully at all by being in non-compliance.

UBA also points out that Malaysia is not functioning as an equal partnership of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak – for example the Prime Minister of Sabah is not allowed to call himself Prime Minister; Malaya is not sharing the Federal Government with Sabah and Sarawak; Malaysia is not functioning as a two-tier Federation i.e. one at a lower level among the states in Malaya, and another at the higher level as a Federation of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

UBA also alleges that Malaysia has been getting away from the concept of being a Federation and more towards a unitary state.

It’s alleged that the grinding poverty of Sabah and Sarawak, the poorest and second poorest in the country, is a direct result of internal colonization which includes taking away most or all of the revenue of the two states to Putrajaya and returning only a pittance to them “to keep them perpetually poor and unable to forge their own destiny in the community of nations”.

Other issues on internal colonization: statelessness; the Federal imposition of proxy state governments in Sabah and Sarawak; illegal immigration and disenfranchisement and as reflected in the electoral rolls, among other.

Last, but not least, UBA points out that Sabah and Sarawak were promised autonomy in Malaysia with the two states – unlike the states in Malaya — surrendering only defence, foreign affairs and national economic planning to the Federal Government.

The bottomline on internal colonization appears to be that Sabah and Sarawak see no need or reason to be in the Federation of Malaysia, tied to a peninsula on the other side of the South China Sea and virtually unable to even breathe without permission from their political masters, when they can quite easily make and pay their own way like Brunei, Singapore, South Sudan and Timor Leste, among others, as independent member states of the United Nations.

by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENT Everyone involved should perhaps seriously rethink — from all angles and sides — the suit pending in Court on the legality of the handover of Labuan to the Federal Government. They should consider leaving the matter in the hands of the politicians. They are the right party to take the issue to the people and the Court of Public Opinion to help resolve it.

Or do we want to merely flog the issue in Court for all it’s worth and then deftly restrain the Court from ruling against the people? That will be like spinning a sob-story in Court and running away bawling loudly for all to hear.

If so, perhaps there are some who just want to make political capital out of it.

However, people always remember winners and heroes.

The Court can refuse to hear arguments on constitutional conventions and neither will it interfere in matters of High Policy just as it will not interfere even with management prerogatives.

If pushed into a corner on law, not on the Constitution, the Court can and may rule that the handover of Labuan to the Federal Government was not unlawful. Is there a law prohibiting handover?

Then we will be left with referring the matter to the Federal Court on points of law, if any, and probably fighting a losing battle every step of the way.

In any case, any Court ruling that the handover was not unlawful will be a major political setback for the people of Sabah and Sarawak. Those involved in the handover will be jumping up and down with joy, if unable to do cartwheels at their age. Indeed, it cannot even be ruled out that these are the very people behind the suit pending in Court on the Labuan hand-over.

It may be difficult for the Court to rule that the handover was lawful because there’s no law either on handing over territories — at least, there doesn’t seem to be any — and besides why should they be so foolish as to stick their necks out for the very government which continues to mindlessly squat on them under the guise of “bangsa, agama, negara”, whatever it means.

Moreover, any indication of pro-Government bias on the part of the Judiciary can only further incur the people’s wrath and continue to fuel their suspicions about the institution. The Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya case histories are not applicable in the case of Labuan as they are from the other side of the South China Sea.

But will the Court rule that the handover was procedurally defective, if any? This is the only glimmer of “hope” for us but what if the Court does not go there and instead takes a simplistic approach: not unlawful. Case dismissed. Pay costs.

Sabah was not compensated even a sen for the Labuan handover unlike Selangor’s experience with Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
In addition, the Federal Government took over all state assets and investments on the island without reimbursement.

Potentially, there’s a case here for a Class Action suit if the state government hesitates to Bill the Federal Government for the acquisition of its assets. The Bill can be backdated to the handover date and carry 8 per cent compound interest until full and final settlement.

Already, the demoralized Judges don’t think too much either these days especially ever since Mahathir Mohamad, given his eternal feuds with lawyers, compromised the Doctrine of Separation of Powers and virtually reduced the Judiciary to yet another government department after earlier reducing Parliament to a rubber stamp..

The culture that has emerged in the process — no respect for the brightest and best — is a sign of the times.

That’s why we see extremely weak candidates, who can’t write a simple sentence in English, passing law a la the PSD even from foreign institutions — which are more into brainwashing in actual exam questions for a fee — and then going on to become Ali Baba lawyers. Many of these are among those supporting the Mahathir-proposed Law Academy.

That was a little digression, not a commercial break.

Even if the Court finds that the handover was procedurally defective — whatever it means — was it minor or major, both highly subjective and which we can argue till the cows come home, and if the latter, what then? Will major procedural defects mean the handover was “unlawful”? Where’s the law prohibiting hand over of territories? Of course we can claim that just because we can’t find such law, it does not mean it does not exist.

On major procedure, we can agree that Sabah was not partitioned into Sabah mainland and Labuan before the handover. How does one excise a part of the state and instead of giving the people the right of self-determination, hand it over to perfect foreigners — what else — on the other side of the South China Sea?

Under the Immigration Act, the people of Malaya are foreigners in Sabah and Sarawak.

Have the people of Labuan ceased to be Sabahans following the handover, and if so, where’s the benefit in that for them?

It’s just plain hogwash to say that Labuan had to become a Federal Territory to get development funds from the Federal Government. The people of Labuan would always want to be Sabahans, but of late to add insult to injury; they are being subjected to immigration restrictions when travelling by air to the mainland.

Has Labuan therefore been re-colonised or internally colonised?

Again, will the Court rule the handover was unconstitutional?

Something can be not unlawful but that doesn’t mean it’s not unconstitutional.

Let’s not worry over whether something was constitutional but whether it was unconstitutional. That would be the right approach. The Constitution is a very wide area and beyond the expertise of most lawyers in Malaysia. One can’t go from defending two-bit hoodlums one day to pontificating sanctimoniously on the Constitution the next day.

Since the Constitution is mostly about politics, not law, it must be settled politically.
Constitutional conventions — they are not law and therefore not enforceable in a Court of Law — is the practice of the Constitution and clothe its dry body with what makes it work.

The bottomline is that the handover of Labuan was unconstitutional because it was and continues to be against the politics of the people and constitutional conventions as expressed in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement, the 20/18 Points, the Inter Governmental Committee Report and the Cobbold Commission Report.

If anything is unconstitutional, it cannot be lawful since the Constitution is the Supreme Authority in the land and Parliament remains sovereign. Legislators are bound by oath to uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

It’s the politics of the people which eventually expresses itself in constitutional conventions and Administrative Law; the latter too not law at all but government policies in action.

However, unlike constitutional conventions, government policies can of course be challenged by way of Judicial Review provided one has locus standi — not trouble-creators, mischief-makers or cranksters — and the action is not time-barred unless the question of a continuing breach arises here.

The moral of the story on the Labuan handover: political issues must be settled in the political arena and in the Court of Public Opinion and not a Court of Law.

KOTA KINABALU: The State Reform Party (Star) is taking the position that there’s no Malaysia without four important constitutional documents and/or conventions viz. the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), the 20/18 Points, the Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR) and the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR).

It’s not possible to ever ignore, drop, do away, annul and/or amend these documents or claim that they have already been incorporated in the Malaysian Constitution and/or alternatively overtaken by events, whatever that means, said the party in a statement.

“Whether or not the contents of the four constitutional documents and/or conventions have been incorporated in the Malaysian Constitution, the said documents/conventions continue to exist,” said Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun in the statement after emergency consultations via telephone with party chairman Jeffrey Kitingan who’s away in Kuching for a party function in the Mas Gading parliamentary constituency.

Incorporation, reiterated Daniel, cannot do away with the four documents/conventions and advised those genuinely interested in the issue to research and study the development of the “unwritten” British Constitution.

“The aforesaid four are important historical, political and constitutional documents which supplement/complement the Constitution and must be read together with it,” he added. “Half-truths distort the true picture and does a grave disservice and injustice to our people.”

He was commenting on a statement by Sabah state assembly speaker Salleh Keruak in the local media on Sun on the 20 Points of Sabah.

Salleh claimed that the 20 Points are no longer valid as they have been incorporated in the Malaysian Constitution.

The same Salleh report in the local media went on to claim that many of the 20 Points were “annulled” under the Usno Government.

Daniel urged Salleh not to create a “constitutional crisis” by suggesting things which were not only untrue but not in the interest of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

He asked how it would benefit the people of Sabah and Sarawak by denying the existence and/or validity of constitutional documents and/or conventions which provide the very basis for Malaysia to come into being in the transition from independence on 31 Aug 1963 to Federation just 16 days later.

The transition, he reminded, was “without so much as providing a decent breathing spell for self-determination to at least work for some time and the people enjoy the fruits of that very independence”.

“We know that Salleh is trying to please his political masters in Malaya,” said Daniel. “But he should remember that these are the very people who have been squatting on us since Malaysia and claiming that we obtained independence through Malaysia.”

If the suggestion is that we should be grateful for Malaysia, continued Daniel, “it’s certainly not true”.

Sabah and Sarawak, he stressed, were independent 16 days before Malaysia was rushed into being “and thereafter left in a limbo for us on this side of the South China Sea”.

The Star deputy chairman advised Salleh and other members of the parti parti Malaya operating in Sabah and Sarawak to leave the unresolved status of the two states in Malaysia to local parties and hold their peace on the issue.

“The vested interests in Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) only want to pit us local people against each other so that they can continue to divide and rule us forever,” said Daniel. We must be careful not to continue swallowing the bait set by them for us or we will get nowhere.”

He warned that it would be counter-productive to accept that something that exists doesn’t exist as “that would mean that we are back to square one before the formation of Malaysia”.

Taking up the cudgels again on the issue, Daniel belaboured the point that the Federal Government’s non-compliance with the four constitutional documents and/or conventions makes Malaysia inoperable to the extent of the non-compliance “and merely further facilitates the internal colonization that we are experiencing”.

“Non-compliance cannot be half-hearted or a cherry-picking exercise,” said Daniel. “Either there’s compliance or there’s non-compliance.”

Asked whether his party was suggesting that the Federal Government has been in non-compliance on the said four documents/conventions, Daniel replied that “the evidence of non-compliance is all around us in internal colonization”.

For starters, he claimed that the proof of non-compliance lies in the fact that Malaysia was not functioning as a two-tier Federation i.e. one at a lower level among the states in Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) and another at the higher level as a Federation of three equal partners viz. Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

“Singapore was also a partner but was kicked out in 1965 when it complained that Malaysia was not functioning as a Federation of equal partners,” said Daniel. “For example, Kuala Lumpur kept insisting that the Prime Minister of Singapore should call himself Chief Minister as in Sabah, Sarawak, Penang and Malacca and that there can be only one Prime Minister i.e. in Kuala Lumpur.”

The Star deputy chief, on a point of clarification, ventured that the head of government in Sabah should also be Prime Minister as in Singapore and the Australian states “but we were not allowed to follow this provision”.

He vowed that a Sabah state government initiated, formed and led by Star would refer to the head of government as Prime Minister and not Chief Minister as at present and, likewise, “there would other re-visitations on Malaysia in Sabah”.

“Non-compliance is a very long list and not related to just one or two matters,” said Daniel. “We are duty-bound to bring these matters to the attention of the people, the younger generation in particular, as they have been kept in the dark so long by the ruling party’s control of the media.”

Touching on Salleh’s suggestion that non-compliance, if any, be put on the back-burner while focusing more on bringing development to the people, Daniel said his party begs to disagree.

“This is a self-serving suggesting by leaders who are more interested in their pockets,” said Daniel. “Compliance should come first to ensure justice, democracy, self-determination and thereby bring about genuine development in the process.”

Daniel was also at a loss to understand what the ruling party means by development when the World Bank labelled Sabah in Dec 2010 in Kota Kinabalu as the poorest state in Malaysia, and Sarawak the second poorest.

“Putrajaya and its proxies in Sabah have been talking themselves hoarse about development since 1963 but we are still poor despite the wealth of our natural resources,” said Daniel. “So, that’s why we are harping on the theme that non-compliance and internal colonization go together. This is reflected in our grinding poverty brought about by chronic under-development as a result of internal colonization.”

Daniel John Jambun
Deputy Chairman, the State Reform Party (Star)
Contact No: 012-834 0972

Sun 27 May, 2012

by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENT It appears that the current Najib Administration has forgotten the bitter lessons learnt during Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s long innings in office when he, the frightened little man he was by default in office, openly and shamelessly rooted for extreme coercion as his preferred modus operandi.

It’s not so much that Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak is calling the shots in the current stand-off with the Bar Council of Malaya on the proposed Law Academy in the wake of Bersih 3.0.

De facto Law Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz, egged on by Mahathir, appears to be single-handedly taking on the legal profession in the country. He must have a death-wish like Mahathir.

Why doesn’t the Election Commission (EC) address, in a rational, detached and professional manner, the issues raised by Bersih 3.0?

Instead, the Government is indulging in the politics of distraction and disruption to camouflage the numerous complaints against the EC, the Electoral Rolls and the electoral process. The EC cowers meanwhile behind the Government which appears determined not to allow a free and fair election lest it end up, after 55 years, in the dustbin of history. Fifty-five is a good time to retire.

To digress a little, Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur will turn into yet another Tahrir Square with reminiscence of the Arab Spring if the ruling Umno wins the 13th General Election with anything more than a simple majority. The fault will lie squarely on the EC and Umno.

The Umno Government can only underestimate the determination of the Opposition for free and fair elections at its own peril.

Now, we are saddled with the Umno’s politics of distraction and disruption again a la Mahathir in the wake of ex-Bar Council Chief Ambiga Sreenivasan assuming the mantle at Bersih. The Government is under no illusions that the Opposition, which has an eye on the 67 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia where Indians decide, is behind Bersih. It sees the Bar Council as having a hand in Bersih 3.0 via Ambiga. Hence, moves for a so-called Law Academy to “rein in the Bar Council” and at the same time intimidate Indian voters into supporting the Government once again.

Mahathir tried, repeatedly, to do a number on practising lawyers in the country after the sacking of the Lord President. Eventually, he had to retreat with his tail between his legs when jurists worldwide began scrutinizing him and he began to more than feel the heat.

History is set to repeat itself under the guise of the proposed Law Academy and for the aforesaid reasons.

Mahathir appears to belabour under the illusion, or perhaps deliberately, that politics is only for politicians and politicians.

Hence, he castigates the Bar Council as “having degenerated into a political party with no one to look after the profession”.

Politics cannot be divorced from law.

The Constitution is more politics than law and its dry bones, masquerading as law, are clothed by constitutional conventions and administrative law, both of which have nothing to do with law but is all about politics. It’s the politicization of issues, like the need for electoral reform, which eventually finds its way into constitutional conventions and administrative law.

So, the Bar Council stands on firm ground on the legal profession and should not be seen as behaving like a political party anymore than the NGOs which flog a single issue where the politicians have failed.

Nazri, in a contradiction in terms vis-à-vis Mahathir, claims that the Government-mooted Law Academy will look after the interests — whatever they are — of law graduates who are not in professional practice. It’s clear that the Government wants to use the Law Academy for political purposes and mainly to clobber the Bar Council with it.

This is the second such attempt by the Government.

The first was through an association for secular Muslim lawyers. This divide-and-rule tactic has not worked so far because very few Muslim lawyers abandoned the Bar Council to join the new association. Muslim lawyers have no reason to be separate from the Bar Council just as members of other faiths.

Nazri should know that Mahathir doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to the legal profession, given his tainted record on the Judiciary, and should not continue to ventilate his ignorance in public like his political master.

The Bar Council has neither forgotten, nor forgiven him, for single-handedly eroding the Doctrine of Separation of Powers and reducing the Judiciary to yet another Government Department firmly under the thumb of the executive. This was after Parliament had been reduced to a rubber stamp and the King placed in imminent danger of losing his head by way of a so-called Special Court. There’s no precedent for this legal Sword of Damocles anywhere in the world.

If the King has to step down, for any number of reasons, he steps down but he can only be persuaded by the Council of Rulers to do so and not the Government. He doesn’t get dragged to Court like a commoner. But this was what Mahathir, in his supreme ignorance, bequeathed the nation.

Whatever happened to a concept of Crown Privilege? The King can do no wrong.

Now, Nazri and Mahathir are leading those egging any number of publicity-seekers to set up the Law Academy. No doubt there will be some takers, none from the Bar Council, just as in the case of the Muslim Lawyers Association. The Federal Government reportedly plans to fund the Law Academy with an initial launching grant of RM 15 million.

If non-practising lawyers want to band together for some reason, they can always do so, as provided for by Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

However, they should not band themselves together as a Law Academy. They are not qualified to do so since the great majority is neither in teaching nor are they in professional practice. No doubt they would have forgotten whatever law they learnt in their quest for a paper qualification. Ten out ten they would fail a simple law test.

A Law Academy is an institution of higher learning for the teaching and development of the law via academia, with emphasis on jurisprudence, and research on law, government and politics. Membership of the Academy is honorary.

The right parties to set up a Law Academy would be the Bar Council of Malaya, the Sabah Law Association and the Sarawak Advocates Association together with the law faculties at local universities and those overseas in Commonwealth countries.

The Federal Government has no business whatsoever pushing for a Law Academy or whatever with half-baked characters just to politicize the legal profession for its own ulterior motives.

Open Letter to Yayasan Islam Sabah on “theories”


Yayasan Islam Sabah contradictions on citizenship, no locus standi

Dear Yayasan Islam Sabah,

The Yayasan Islam Sabah (YIS) appears to be getting way ahead of itself in pontificating sanctimoniously on its four “theories”, for want of a better term, in the Daily Express report, “YIS: Those already having documents need not worry”, on Wed this week.

The first YIS theory is that Malaysian citizens in Sabah need not fear about their citizenship rights as long as their identity card was issued by the National Registration Department (NRD).

This is a fallacy in law.

The Federal Government cannot issue Special Passes, temporary residence permits (green cards), permanent residence status (red cards) or citizenships to foreigners in Sabah without the prior written recommendation and consent of the state government, which must be the initiating party, on a case-by-case basis.

There’s no evidence that the Federal Government indeed received any such prior recommendation and consent of the state government. The politics will not allow it.

If the Federal Government receives any applications directly from foreigners in Sabah for Special Passes, green and red cards or citizenships, it’s duty-bound to advise the applicants to go through the state government and not go off at a tangent and act unilaterally.

The four constitutional documents and/or conventions govern the membership and participation of Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Federation as equal partners of Malaya. These documents are the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), the 20/18 Points, the Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR) and the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR).

In addition, the Immigration Act is clear in that Peninsular Malaysians are foreigners in Sabah and Sarawak.

Again, any Malaysian personal document, for example, mistakenly issued by the authorities will not, in law, be considered a mistake on their part but on the part of the individual who misled them, whether knowingly and/or  fraudulently, to procure something that they were not entitled to hold or were not eligible to obtain.

There’s a precedent.

In 1965, the Federal Government discovered that thousands of people in Peninsular Malaysia had obtained citizenship papers by fraudulent means. It wrote to these people. Most of the fraud touched on applicants misreporting the actual length of their stay in Peninsular Malaysia after arriving from their home countries.

The Federal Government offered a general amnesty to those affected provided that they surrendered their citizenship papers, paid a fine of RM 300 and applied for either permanent residence status or temporary residence permits from the NRD or Special Passes from the Immigration Department as the case may be.

Approval was on a case-by-case basis but within months and in any case did not exceed two years.

The general amnesty did not disqualify those affected from re-applying for the same documents they had to surrender but only when they were eligible. Needless to say, the applicants had to run the gauntlet upon re-applying.There was no guarantee that the generally amnesty would not be held against them.

If one obtains a Malaysian personal document for which one is not eligible or not entitled to obtain under the law and Constitution, the said document would be a nullity in law from the very beginning. In law, it’s as if the said document was never issued.

No passage of time, even over generations, will whitewash an illegality and make it legal.

The onus is on the perpetrator to come forward and face the system without waiting for the long arm of the law to catch up with him or her sooner or later. Perpetrators should not hope for the declaration of a general amnesty which may or may not materialise.

The long arm of the law can catch up with any perpetrator by way of a Judicial Review by any citizen to revoke the “citizenship” of anyone not entitled to hold it or not eligible to obtain such a document. In such a situation, the perpetrator is faced with all sorts of eventualities including being blackmailed for life by any applicant seeking a Judicial Review or ending up in a legal twilight zone as a stateless person.

In Sabah the rot stems from the fact that many people are twice-born, once in their home countries and the second time in Sabah.

Their second birth is recorded in a late registration birth certificate by way of a Statutory Declaration (SD) wherein the applicant falsely and fraudulently claims to have been born in Sabah.

By this seeming laxity on the part of the NRD and the Court, the imposters avoid having to apply for citizenship. How can the NRD accept the contents of a SD as the Gospel truth when it’s nothing but wholesale perjury i.e.lying under oath.

A simple NRD checklist can easily weed out the fraudsters: ancestral kampung? The name of the kampung head and names of those in the Village Security and Development Committee? Names of family members and close relatives? Photographic evidence? Schools attended?

This was not done.

This is an open secret in Sabah and as evident in cases which have been heard or more accurately part-heard in Court.

It would suffice for our purpose to cite two cases: Pakistani carpet dealer Salman Majid, 50; and Indian restaurant keeper Mohd Kani Majid, 46.

Those interested can Google the cases, the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and draw their own conclusions in the light of the periodic outbursts from YIS on the illegal immigrant phenomenon in Sabah.

On what basis is Kani, to focus on one of the cases, holding a MyKad and an international Malaysian passport?

He even admitted in Court in 2009 that he was born in Tamil Nadu, India and arrived in Sabah in 1983 to work in Papar.

If so, did he apply for Malaysian citizenship before being given the MyKad and international Malaysian passport? His MyKad states he was born in Papar.

Why did the Immigration Department take away his MyKad and international Malaysian passport, detain him at the Rumah Merah for Illegal Immigrants in Menggatal, and try to force him to apply for an international Indian passport with a view to deporting him to India?

His lawyer, P. J. Perira, had to write to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Attorney General, and reportedly threaten “to expose all” and predict dire consequences before the case was dropped in Court like the political hot potato it was and his Client suddenly released without any explanation whatsoever.

Kani reportedly got the “treatment” from the authorities because he made the cardinal sin of voting for the Opposition after he reportedly became fed up of being blackmailed by all and sundry. He felt that he was a slave to his blackmailers.

This is the certain fate that awaits anyone in Sabah holding Malaysian personal documents which they are not entitled to hold or eligible to obtain under the law and Constitution. It’s a vicious cycle of criminal exploitation from which the victim can only escape by fleeing back to his or her home countries.

In Salman’s case, also withdrawn by the prosecution, he claimed in Court that certain persons took away a lot of his money and berrated him for more. The Judge can ignore the complaint as irrelevant.

He was last reported to be suing the Malaysian Government for damages and compensation over his detention and for RM one million missing from his bank account. He will probably win since under our adversarial process of Court, the Judge doesn’t ask any questions to ensure that justice is also done to the people and country. It can’t be public policy to allow twice born persons to remain in the country.

Salman was born in Pakistan but he never admitted this, except to say that he was not in the country for 23 years — “being away 10 years without returning is enough for one to lose citizenship” — and that he has been entered in the official records as born in Ranau, Sabah.

Salman was detained at an Immigration Depot somewhere in Kuala Lumpur in early 2005 pending deportation to Pakistan.

No less a person than former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh testified on his behalf in Court where he disclosed that the accused had always been a loyal Barisan Nasional (BN) voter. “Loyal BN voter” were the magical words which apparently persuaded the prosecution to drop all charges against Salman and free him.

The second YIS theory — which does not hold water either — is that raising any doubts on the issuance of MyKads is tantamount to “inciting racial and religious conflicts”.

It was not stated which groups would be engaged in conflict with each other.

However, it would seem to suggest that the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the country would bash up genuine citizens if they (genuine citizens) ever have the temerity to examine the perceived sins of ommission and commission of the NRD, among others, too closely.

This is not the done thing in any civilised country in the world.

No foreigner can simply walk into Malaysia and threaten the citizens of the country with impunity or call them all sorts of names just to console themselves that they are not as guilty as hell.

Citizenship is a one-to-one arrangement and/or engagement between an individual and the state and this does not involve any other person or group — including YIS — apart from the parent or parents of the said individual.

In administrative law as in Judicial Review, to prove locus standi, a person or group would have to first satisy the Court that it is not a busybody, trouble-creator/mischief-maker or crankster.

Next, it would have to prove to the satisfaction of the Court that it has a legitimate interest to protect.

Third, it must satisfy the Court that it has been deprived of or suffered losses in some way because it has been denied its legitimate interest. It’s not necessary to quantify such losses.

YIS fails on all three counts in determining locus standi.

It has no business self-appointing itself as “Defender of the Federal Government” on the MyKad issue.

The Federal Government is supposed to defend itself.

If any party, other than the Attorney General, rushes to defend the Federal Government on the MyKad issue, it will only be embarrasing it for no rhyme or reason and compromising its position in law.

The third YIS theory, a kamikaze one, is that “even if foreigners take over Sabah, they are of the same Malay stock from the Malay Archipelago”.

This is nothing but politics as evident from DNA studies and has no basis in law.

Rumpun Melayu is a figment of the imagination.

The Malay in the term Malay Archipelago refers to the Malay language, first developed from its Cambodian hill country dialect roots by Hindus and Buddhists from India, as the lingua franca for the region. Malay does not refer to a so-called Malay race.

Malay is an anglicised word which comes from the Tamil malai, meaning hill.

DNA studies have proven that the entire population of Southeast Asia are descended from Dravidians — dark-skinned archaic whites or caucasoids — who made their way from South India, along the Asian coast, to South China and Taiwan and mated with the distinctive Mongolian tribes living there.

This is the only Rumpun in the Malay Archipelago and the rest of Southeast Asia as far as DNA studies go.

The fourth YIS theory — not found in the Federal Constitution — is that only the Murut and Rungus are the original people of Sabah and others are all foreigners who took over the state since 100 or 200 years ago.

Does this mean that only the Murut and Rungus cannot trace their DNA to East Africa? Did they suddenly fall from the sky or sprout from the ground as a separate species from the human race?

The Federal Constitution defines who are citizens in Malaysia and the process by which citizenship can be obtained.

No Malaysian will question the Federal Constitution on citizenship.

There are only three categories of citizenship.

The 3rd category is “citizenship by naturalisation”. These are foreigners who enter the country legally with valid travel papers and with work permits attached to entry permits which will someday facilitate their application for citizenship.

There are strict requirements in law to comply with in the meantime.

A naturalised citizenship would have to first undergo the process of applying for temporary residence (green card), followed by permanent residence (red card).

The 2nd category is “citizenship by registration”.

These are issues of a naturalised citizen either born in Malaysia or abroad.

If born abroad, the birth must be registered at the nearest Malaysian High Commission or Embassy within three months “in order to claim Malaysian citizenship rights”.

One cannot be a citizen by registration without applying for it. In the absence of a formal application to be a citizen by registration, an eligible applicant would only be recognised as a permanent resident.

The citizenship of such a person would be the previous home country of the father or mother who became a naturalised citizen.

Example: a Filipino citizen becomes Malaysian citizen but son of this new citizen would still be Filipino citizen if no steps are taken to apply for citizenship by registration.

The 1st category is citizen by operation of law. This is an issue of a citizen by registration or citizen by operation of law and whether born in Malaysia or abroad.

Again, if born abroad, the birth of such an issue must be registered with the nearest Malaysian High Commission or Embassy within three months “in order to claim Malaysian citizenship rights”.

In the event of failure to register such a birth accordingly, the issue will be considered a citizen of the country where he was born. If the issue insists on staying in Malaysia, he or she can only be accorded permanent residence status but is not barred from applying to become a citizen by naturalisation.

The bottomline is that YIS should not belabour under the misconception that the Federal Government can issue citizenships to any Tom, Dick and Harry.

Agiain, there are articles in the Federal Constitution which govern the issuance of citizenship.

The Federal Government cannot issue citizenship by administration. Issuance of citizenships is not by administrative law but by the Constitution.

The acceptance of SDs in the past from applicants for late registration of birth certificates was by administration. However, this well-meaning Government policy did not facilitate in clearing the backlog of late registration of birth applications from locals. Instead, it was roundly abused by illegal immigrants to obtain Malaysian personal documents which they were not entitled to or not eligible to obtain.

In the long run, the illegal immigrants listed in the NRD computers would become a serious political problem for Putrajaya.

These people either have to be taken by Peninsular Malaysia, repatriated to their home countries or turned over to the United Nations.

If they stay in Sabah, they can only apply for Special Passes from the Immigration Department or turn to the NRD for green or red cards meant for Peninsular Malaysia.

One further difficulty, and compounding the mess, is that the Federal Government has been in non-compliance on the four connstitutional documents and/or conventions. The membership, participation and partnership of Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Federation is thereby rendered inoperable to the extent of the Federal Government’s non-compliance with the four constitutional documents and/or conventions.

Are Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia or out?

If it transpires that Sabah and Sarawak have in fact never been in Malaysia, the foreigners in Sabah would have to be turned over to their home countries and/or the United Nations.

They can’t stay in Sabah — Rumpun Melayu or no Rumpun Melayu — and continue to overwhelm the local population in a bid to steal the country from right under their noses.

They should go back to their country before its too late and they end up as stateless people.

Avoiding the nightmare of being stateless means the illegal immigrants would have to return to their home countries they same way they came into Sabah i.e. by the backdoor after ditching their Malaysian personal documents which they also procured by the backdoor.

KOTA KINABALU: The State Reform Party (Star) shares the sentiments of the Democratic Action Party (Dap) that the possibility of one-to-one fights in Sabah to take on the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the forthcoming 13th General Election is non-existent.

It also agrees with Dap that the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) was out of synch with local politics but thinks “it would be kinder not to comment further on an irrelevant party”.

However, Star begs to differ with the Peninsular Malaysia-based national opposition party on why “it’s not possible to strike a deal with the self-glorified and unrealistic Star”.

“We are not indulging in self-glorification or being unrealistic,” said Star vice chairman Dr Felix Chong, a Dap leader until recent days, in a prepared press statement. “It’s the people who are glorifying us everywhere including in FaceBook.”

He was referring to a statement by Kota Kinabalu MP and Dap Advisor in Sabah, Hiew King Cheu, in the local media on Thurs this week.
On Star being unrealistic as alleged by Dap, Chong pointed out that the campaign for a 3rd Force in the Malaysian Parliament was based on realpolitik.

He added that winning seats at the GE was not realpolitik but incidental and that the concept (realpolitik) must extend beyond and more importantly deal with the unresolved status of Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Federation.

“We can’t talk about Sabah and Sarawak rights in the Malaysian Federation until the issue of the Federal Government’s non-compliance with the four constitutional documents and/or conventions governing our membership, participation and partnership in Malaysia is resolved,” said Chong.

He referred to the four documents as the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), 20/18 Points (20/18 P), the Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR) and the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR).

He claimed that the Federal Government’s “ominous silence” on the four documents rendered the Malaysian Constitution inoperable to the extent of its non-compliance with the said documents and thereby raised a fundamental issue of politics, the law and the Constitution: were Sabah and Sarawak in or out of the Federation?

If both states were in fact out of the Federation, continued Chong, why is Putrajaya carrying on otherwise since 1963 and more especially since Singapore’s expulsion in 1965? Are both states being occupied by Malaya?

If both states are still in the Federation, he stressed, what’s their legal and constitutional status in the face of the aforesaid non-compliance? Are they colonies of Malaya?

The Dap vice chairman does not want the Federal Government to admit its failure on the four documents “only after all our oil and gas resources have been plundered from us and we are pushed into a corner financially”.
These are serious issues that must be dealt with urgently, he said. “We are looking at the big picture and our longterm future, not the short-run or immediate run like the myopic parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak.”

Chong added that Dap like “the other parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak” are more focused on seizing control of Putrajaya from BN instead of being relevant to the struggle of the local people.

“We are not interested in regime change but system change,” said Chong. “Why should the people of Sabah and Sarawak go from the frying pan (BN) into the fire (Pakatan Rakyat) or, at best from the fire (BN) into the frying pan (PR)?”

He noted that PR leaders had often spoken about system change but the fact that they are openly against Star’s struggle for Sabah and Sarawak “shows that it’s either merely paying lip to system change and is focused on regime change or wants system change to be confined to Peninsular Malaysia”.

Chong warned Dap that it’s not good enough for PR to “bribe Sabah and Sarawak” with 20 per cent oil royalty in return for voting for them.

“What PR is saying is that they will steal less of our oil and gas resources compared with BN?” said Chong. “These resources belong to us 100 per cent. It’s like adding insult to injury if someone tries to bribe us into inaction with a fraction of our own money after stealing it.”

Besides dangling the 20 per cent oil royalty carrot-and-stick before the voters, the Star vice chairman hasn’t seen why the parti parti Malaya crossed over from the other side of the South China Sea.

In a dig at Hiew, Chong said that the people of Sabah and Sarawak were not interested in seeing all dolled up Dap leaders “self-glorifying” themselves in photo ops in the media “showing them pointing at an uncovered manhole, an unpaved road or at something floating in a longkang (drain).”

Asked whether the BN would win the next GE by default in Sabah and Sarawak in the absence of a seat-sharing pact among opposition parties to take on the ruling coalition one-to-one, Chong said that it was too simplistic to paint such a dismal picture.

For starters, even given an opposition seat-sharing pact, Chong claims that the BN would have a head start given the number of illegal immigrants — “its electoral Fixed Deposits — on the electoral rolls.

For another, he thinks that in principle “any form of pre-polls seat-sharing and /or coalitions is against the concept of democracy. By endorsing elite power-sharing, it denies the people meaningful participation in elections and thereby circumvents government of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Chong thinks that the only way for the people of Sabah and Sarawak to defeat the BN is to reject any political party involved in placing illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls, proxy politics of “the parti parti Malaya” and to vote on the basis of the issues before them.

“It doesn’t matter how many candidates enter the fray, “said Chong. “The issues and the number of issues will carry the day for Star and its 3rd Force allies in the United Borneo Alliance (UBA).”

A 3rd Force in the Malaysian Parliament is an idea whose time has come, said Chong. “It can steer evenly between PR and BN.”

He described the 3rd Force as a response to the “historical window of opportunity” opened up by the 12th General Election in 2008 when a political tsunami swept Peninsular Malaysia, deprived BN of its coveted two-third majority and threw up a two party system there.

“It would be foolish for us in Sabah and Sarawak to squander this historical window of opportunity and pander to the whims and fancies of the parti parti Malaya with their self-serving politics,” said Chong.

Both BN and PR, noted Chong, were Peninsular Malaysia-based national alliances/coalitions.

In response, believes Chong, Sabah and Sarawak need a Borneo-based national alliance in the Malaysian Parliament to lead a 3rd Force. “Such a Force is the best guarantee for Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia,” said Chong. “The issue of non-compliance can be resolved once and for all.”

Besides Sabah and Sarawak, Chong said that other elements of the 3rd Force would come from the other side of the South China Sea and include the Orang Asli, the Christians, other minorities, fence-sitters and the Indian community which decides in 67 of the parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia.

Star chairman Jeffrey Kitingan announced in mid-April that the party would contest all 60 state seats in Sabah and 26 parliamentary seats including Labuan.

The party took the stand under its Plan Z after Sapp broke ranks with the UBA and entered into unilateral seat-sharing talks in Kota Kinabalu with de facto Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Anwar Ibrahim who claimed to be speaking on behalf of PR. However, this was subsequently disputed by Dap in Sabah.

Open Letter to Hindraf Makkal Sakthi


Borneo-based and led national 3rd Force in Parliament

Dear Waytha and Uthaya,

Johore may be set for interesting times as it faces an uncertain future as an Umno bastion.

Muhiyiddin is reportedly trying to do a number on Najib here by planning to get rid of Ghani in a bid to prepare for the post-13th General Election period. He must think that Johore’s and Mahathir’s support alone are sufficient to help him mount a successful challenge against Najib for the Umno presidency.

The Sultan should continue to remain above politics and not agree to bring in, as rumoured, Khalid Nordin.The MB should be free of palace control.

The national Opposition alliance meanwhile is spreading any number of rumours on its political foes.

Among these rumours: infighting in Umno (also in BN over seats); MIC will be alloted less parliamentary seats and state seats than it won the last time lest the Opposition wins even more seats from the party — MIC is set to lose Segamat, Tapah and Hulu Selangor — and the party to be compensated by other non-elected positions in government; the companies in the submarine case in France will be found guilty of giving out bribes for the deal. Mahathir, Mukhriz and Muhyiddin — the 3Ms — will be jumping up and down with joy as they will finally have an opportunity to oust Najib before the GE; Ananda Krishnan’s money meant for the GE has been frozen by India for money laundering (That does not seem to have prevented Astro from giving out RM 500 million to RTM a few days ago to improve services.); Syed Mokhtar’s money alone is not enough to finance the GE; Najib has either finished his RM 500 million from the submarine deal or is not willing to part with anymore money for politics just in case he loses the GE; Mahathir is not willing to part with any money for the GE; Daim Zainuddin is willing to finance individuals, not parties, provided they can be useful to him in some way.(How is he going to finance anyone without knowing who will be selected as candidates?) Taib’s money meant for the GE was frozen in Switzerland after the Bruno Manser Foundation tipped off authorities there; Umno branches have squandered the money given to them for the GE etc

In retaliation, one word from Umno making the rounds is that Azmin Ali is trying to get rid of Nurul Izzah Anwar from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and politics “because he fears that she’s eyeing his deputy presidency which she can win if push comes to shove”. Here, it seems that Anwar is keeping mum because Azmin has a “hold” on him. So, it seems that fugitive blogger-cum-fairy-tale writer Raja Petra Kamarudin — “I will eat my beret if I am caught lying” — is trying to unilaterally mount some sort of heroic one-man campaign for Nurul against Azmin. (Petra seems to be more disappointed that the blogs did not claim that he’s having an affair with Nurul and is instead giving that credit to that “ugly bugger” Tian Chua “when he — Petra — is more handsome”. He forgot to mention old and senile in describing himself.)

If politics in the country is in the shithouse, it’s a different picture on the economy.

Malaysia in fact will do very well but always in the long-run as it keeps bouncing back and not just on paper. This would be despite the politics and politicians because it’s tied to China and increasingly to India and it’s not just on the economy either but also on security which is the most important factor in creating and maintaining wealth..

We are no longer putting all our eggs in one basket or banking on the west and Japan.

However, we have yet to give the Indian community a place in the sun.

This factor, more than anything else is annoying India and the diaspora in more ways than one and thereby undermining our national security, and by extension, our economy and future.

By short-changing the Indian community for no rhyme or reason, we are literally sabotaging the economy in an act of high treason.The deprivation of the Indian community is Malaysia’s loss as it stifles potential and doesn’t do anything to unleash the creative genius of the victimised. The Indian community can produce more hotshots like Tony Fernandes and Ananda Krishnan if the Umno government stops squatting on them. All the country needs is another two or three people like Tony Fernandes and Ananda Krishnan to propell it into among the best in the world in other fields.

The Indian community nevertheless has turned away from PKR — over Anwar consistently denying the community’s role in the political tsunami of 2008 and labelling community activists as racists — but is unlikely to return to the BN. It remains with Dap and Pas because it probably sees them as the lesser of the two evils, the other being PKR/Umno.

So, Najib will hesitate in calling for the GE as long as he can hesitate for any number of other reasons as well but not, as stated before, the economy. So, the economy is not a factor at all in deciding when to call the GE. Najib’s alphabet soup recipes on the economy — GTP, ETP, PTP, NEM, NKEA, NKRA, NEAC, EPP, KPI etc — are just so much cosmetics, gimmicks and hype, if not pure, unadulterated BS.

Najib’s fear of losing the GE is there and real. He has been reported as saying that the next GE date is a secret like the Coca Cola recipe. Coke has kept its recipe secret for well over a century and will never reveal it. Is Najib trying to say that he will never reveal the GE date because it will never be held under him?

In Sabah and Sarawak, Umno’s electoral Fixed Deposit states, Najib is taking things for granted.

He has done nothing to bring Taib in Sarawak under control or reach out to Jeffrey Kitingan in Sabah by at least giving him a hearing on Malaysia.

Jeffrey is “equally dangerous” as Taib, if not more. He’s quite capable of pulling out the proverbial rabbit from the hat in the quest for the tataba, the magical wand of power which Umno wrested from his elder brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan in 1994. The brothers are working together — “blood is thicker than water” — across the political divide.

Jeffrey, under his Plan Z, would go for all 60 state seats in Sabah and 26 parliamentary seats including Labuan. He expects the multipilicity of issues to favour his party even if the opposition in the state fails to agree to take on the ruling BN one-to-one.

Star is still work in progress in Sarawak under the United Borneo Alliance.

Regarding the national debt, the national Opposition alliance would of course continue to politicise the situation but the fact is that it’s not at all even a bit scary although our money is at present fleeing to Singapore on its way elsewhere.

If the Malaysian ringgit is at present falling against the Singapore dollar for example, blame it on the continuing national Opposition alliance’s rhetoric on the national debt.This is economic sabotage tantamount to sedition and treason. The national opposition alliance is meanwhile claiming that it’s Umno money that is fleeing to Singapore and weakening the ringgit against the Singapore dollar.

Perhaps that’s why Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali have been hauled to Court for their allegedly “wink wink” participation in Bersih 3.0. If they can’t be clobbered for their “sins” elsewhere, the modus operandi seems to be to throw anything and everything at them …failing to pay parking tickets, glaring at Mahathir on TV etc etc

The issue is not the national debt level per se but our ability and willingness to pay which is not in question right now but may definitely be so, as in Greece, if the national Opposition alliance is not careful with its mouth if and when it comes to power. We saw what happened in Greece. The Greek problem is economics only in the immediate and long run but more about politics in the short-run.

The national Opposition alliance in Malaysia, like in Greece, is likely to politicise the national debt level in order to knock Umno/BN (by then in Opposition if crossovers take place) in a bid to prevent it clawing its way back to power.

Values — property, shares, currency — will all definitely fall if a PR Federal Government is loose-mouthed in the short and immediate-run.

This is because we have at present a disloyal national Opposition, one which doesn’t know where party politics ends and good government begins.

We need a loyal national Opposition i.e. one loyal to the country.

In any case, some people with money to spare for rock-bottom bargains will be set to make a killing when values pick up — as they will — in the long-run. Perhaps Pakatan Rakyat (PR) can then collect 20 per cent royalty on such capital gains and windfalls.

Public and investor confidence in the short-run would nose-dive under a loose-mouthed PR Government, the foreign lenders would get jittery and recall their loans and given “the run on the bank situation”, Malaysia would have to run to the IMF for aid but not necessarily under a “tail between the legs” Federal Government. It must also be remembered that the systemic problems in the economy were not resolved by avoiding the IMF in 1997/98.

Fortunately, most of the government debt is domestic.

But what about the local lending institutions invested in Government securities which by then may be PR’s responsibility?

What the IMF would do, as with the other countries, is to take over Malaysia’s foreign debts to prevent a contagion effect on the lender economies.

Then, Malaysia would owe the IMF — in fact the Treasuries of the foreign countries/companies which lent Malaysia the money and not the IMF itself — and would be subject to strict supervision until the loans are repaid. It means no AliBabaism and Umnoputeraism (or rather PRism) and Government contracts and procurements would have to be open to all.

If the national Opposition alliance doesn’t politicise the national debt when in power, there would be no problems. The economy will not be affected then by the fall of Umno/BN from power.

Another, and more worrying issue is that the national debt is presently being incurred not in the genuine interest of the people and the nation but because the ruling elite are busy plundering the Public Treasury for themselves, albeit indirectly, while “if necessary enticing the Sultans in the process for political reasons”.

There’s a sort of “make hay while the sun shines” syndrome at work.

PR is waiting to emulate Umno/BN on this in Putrajaya but no doubt after the IMF, if invited, has left the country. They are all waiting to become super rich overnight at the expense of us all. Blame it all on the pervasive culture of corruption of the process and system.

So, the more things appear to change, the more they will appear to remain the same if we have a two-party system in Parliament.

It’s not enough to have regime change.

There must be system change.

That’s why we need a Borneo-based national alliance to lead a 3rd Force in Parliament to steer evenly between PR and BN, both the latter Peninsular Malaysia-based alliances/coalitions. Besides, the 3rd Force will be the best guarantee for Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia. This can be done by the 3rd Force getting the Federal Government to comply with the four constitutional documents and/or conventions on the membership, partnership and participation of these two states in the Malaysian Federation i.e. the 1963 Malaysia Agreement; the 20/18 Points; the Inter Governmental Committee Report; and the Cobbold Commission Report. Non-compliance renders the partnership of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia inoperable to the extent of the non-compliance.

This is where Hindraf comes into the picture as a crucial element in the 3rd Force and to focus on the 67 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia where the Indians decide.

There are also other 3rd Force elements in these 67 seats i.e. the Orang Asli, the Christians, other minorities and the fence-sitters who can help to make a difference for the better.

However, Hindraf needs to work together with Dap and Pas, if not PKR, on the 67 seats. It can contest under a Peninsular Malaysian chapter of the State Reform Party (Star), as earlier envisaged, to truly ensure the emergence of the 3rd Force in Parliament. Waytha’s intended return from political asylum by Nov 25 this year for the Hindraf National Convention at the Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur should provide a kickstart.

The national Opposition alliance should give way to the 3rd Force not only in Peninsular Malaysia but also Sabah and Sarawak or risk Umno/BN winning the GE by default.

If the national Opposition alliance refuses to play ball, hopefully the issues will carry the day for the emergence of the 3rd Force. The longer the GE is delayed, the greater the prospects for the emergence of a more respectable 3rd Force in terms of numbers.

Letter to the editor

Dear Sir,

“A disenchanted East Malaysian voter” (Daily Express Forum Sun 20 May, 2012) appears to be caught up with the politics of delusion in rooting for a two-party system for Sabah and Sarawak as well.

Don’t we want to not only stand up and be counted but also stand on our own two feet?

When are we going to stop living in fear and shed the slave mentality and the dependency syndrome foisted on us by the subsidy regime and other ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) dirty tricks to ghettoize us and make us think that we are incapable of doing anything and would have to depend on them forever to keep body-and-soul together?

“A disenchanted East Malaysian voter” wasn’t able to state even one reason how Sabah and Sarawak would benefit from either BN or Pakatan Rakyat (PR), both Peninsular Malaysia-based national coalitions/alliances. The 1963 Malaysia Agreement must be kept in mind.

Is he suggesting that the only choice that Sabah and Sarawak have would be to jump from the frying pan (BN) into the fire (PR) or, at best, from the fire (BN) into the frying pan (PR)? In Malay, it’s said, “keluar dari mulut harimau, masuk mulut buaya”.

There are others who suggest that better the known devil (BN) than the unknown angel (PR)!Again, there’s a third group who moan that Sabah and Sarawak are caught between the devil (BN) and the deep blue sea (PR).

The history of Sabah and Sarawak before and immediately after Malaysia should be kept in mind when we propose simplistic and naïve solutions like a two-party system to include Malaysian Borneo.

The four constitutional documents and/or constitutional conventions – the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), the 20/18 Points (20/18 P), the Inter Governmental Committee Report (IGCR) and the Cobbold Commission Report (CCR) – envisaged Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in Malaysia along with Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia) and Singapore (until 1965).

These documents, read together with the Malaysian Constitution, involve the autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak and their rights in the Federation as a two-tier set-up.

At another or second and lower level, Malaya or Peninsular Malaysia is a Federation of the states in the Peninsula.

Hence, the best guarantee for Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia is a Borneo-based national alliance which could lead a 3rd Force in Parliament to steer evenly between BN and PR.

The 3rd Force does not comprise Sabah and Sarawak only but also includes various elements on the other side of the South China Sea viz the Orang Asli, the Christians, other minorities, fence-sitters and the Indian community which decide in 67 of the parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia.

At present, elements of the 3rd Force straddle both sides of the political divide and this may remain so for the immediate future.

The State Reform Party (Star), a Borneo-based national party, wants to form the nucleus of a non-aligned 3rd Force in Parliament together with other allies in the United Borneo Alliance (UBA). The UBA is still work in progress.

Star is not the story of one or two persons but has been re-born as a party of the people, by the people, and for the people. The people behind Star in Sabah would have been under another label if the Registrar of Societies (ROS) had not been in continuing violation of Article 10 of the Federal Constitution at the behest of certain vested interests.

The parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak are welcome to change their names to reflect the local situation, incorporate locally and join UBA provided that they have full autonomy from their political masters in Kuala Lumpur.

At present, local members of the parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak are seen as traitors who are willing to be proxies and stooges of politicians on the other side of the South China Sea. They are willing to facilitate the “foreigners”, for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver, to step-up the internal colonization of Sabah and Sarawak and thereby further enslave the people.

It must be remembered that Peninsular Malaysians are foreigners in Sabah and Sarawak under the Immigration Act 1967. By rooting for either BN or PR, we would only ensure that even more illegal immigrants would enter our electoral rolls to lord over us one day.

The political tsunami of 2008 opened up a historical window of opportunity for Sabah and Sarawak when the ruling coalition lost its coveted two-thirds majority in Parliament and had to live with the emergence of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as a government-in-waiting.

Suddenly, Sabah and Sarawak are in the political mainstream and reckoning again despite having less than the minimum one-third plus one seat in Parliament promised by the Malaysia Agreement.

Patently, it would be foolish of us to squander the continuing historical opportunity of 2008 – indeed an “Act of God” – by slavishly rooting for either BN or PR at the ballot box.

The question of the opposition splitting its votes is a myth that must be laid to rest.

The people have the right to decide how united or disunited they want to be and this would be based purely on the issues being flogged during the campaign in the run-up to the General Election, the next being the 13th.

The voters will make an intelligent choice between the parties and candidates based on the issue before them.

So far, PR has yet to bring any issue of interest to Sabah and Sarawak before the people. BN, meanwhile, has been singing the same old song since 1994 when it promised a “Sabah Baru within 100 days”.

No doubt, both these Peninsular Malaysia-based national alliances/coalitions are focused only on Putrajaya and beyond that they haven’t the faintest idea of what to do for Sabah and Sarawak. We are mere numbers as BN and PR leaders sit in Kuala Lumpur punching on their calculators. They don’t see as a people with real problems that cry out for solutions.

In that sense, the parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

The parti parti Malaya must get out of Sabah and Sarawak and stay out if they are not willing to incorporate locally and give full autonomy to their local members.

The 3rd Force can support either BN or PR in Parliament to form the Federal Government but without itself being part of the Federal Cabinet or the state cabinets in Sabah and Sarawak.

This would not exclude the 3rd Force from accepting government positions elsewhere.

While the majority – as in the number of seats in Parliament past 111 – have the right to rule, democracy also means that the minority have a right to be heard.

The 3rd Force should only be in the Federal Government when it can initiate, form and lead the Federal Government in partnership with either BN or PR. The fact that the 3rd Force may have less seats in Parliament vis a vis either BN or PR, its potential partners in a Federal Government, is beside the point.

The 3rd Force should not be part of any move by BN and PR to even initiate a government of national unity as that would not be in the best interests of Sabah and Sarawak given the historical “window of opportunity” concept.

The future of our children and grandchildren depend on the decisions that we make today. Let them not urinate on our graves.

The bottomline is that both the local parties and the parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak are talking past each other.

They are not talking the same language.

The MA63, 20/18 P, IGCR and the CCR are important constitutional documents and/or conventions pertaining to Sabah and Sarawak’s partnership in Malaysia along with Malaya and S’pore (until 1965).

Without the Federal Government complying with the four documents, the Malaysian Constitution is inoperable to the extent of its non-compliance, and by extension, the membership of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia is void and/or voidable.

Therefore, until compliance, Malaysia is in a simmering constitutional crisis in Sabah and Sarawak.

Daniel John Jambun
Deputy Chairman
The State Reform Party (Star)
Kota Kinabalu

Sun 20 May, 2012

This is Part Two in the two part series by our guest columnist Joe Fernandez. See Part 1 here


by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist


ANALYSIS (Part 2) The present BN ruling coalition has less than two-thirds of the seats in the current Parliament. It’s also highly unlikely that any future ruling party, coalition or alliance will achieve the magical two-third position in Parliament.

The Elections Commission, at best, can therefore only re-draw and keep re-drawing the present electoral boundaries for any number of reasons but cannot propose an increase in the number of parliamentary seats unless there is, as stated before, consensus on the issue.

Meanwhile, the parti parti Malaya are already operating in Sabah and Sarawak, positioned to take further advantage of any increase in the number of seats in Parliament. Again, the PSC’s recommendations refer.

The parti parti Malaya are doing this after adding insult to injury by already taking a big chunk of the current 57 seats which Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan have in Parliament.

All this means that the parti parti Malaya are further weakening the position of Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament and at the same time strengthening their position at the expense of the people in the two Malaysian Borneo states.

Enter Star with its 60/26 policy on contesting all seats at stake in Sabah come the 13th GE.

However, the party appears more than willing to accommodate other local parties in the opposition provided they are not in cahoots, for want of a better term, with the so-called parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak.

Members of these parties are routinely castigated as “traitors” who are ever willing to be proxies and stooges of politicians on the other side of the South China Sea “for the continued enslavement of the people in Malaysian Borneo under Putrajaya’s internal colonization policies” in return for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver.

The publicly expressed willingness on the part of Star is notwithstanding the fact that the young Turks in the party are, in principle, against any form of seat-sharing which mirrors the BN Formula.

The BN Formula, the young Turks argue, circumscribes the democratic process by endorsing elite power-sharing and denying the grassroots meaningful participation in the electoral process.

Accordingly, the young Turks also have quarrels with the BN Concept — pre-polls power-sharing pact — but remain silent on the BN Spirit i.e. arriving at decisions in government, the Cabinet and the legislature by consensus-and-compromise.

Much has been made of the fact that the members and leaders of the parti parti Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak are locals, not Peninsular Malaysians, and hence the thinking that the said parties should be considered “local parties”. It is difficult to accept such perverted logic, according to local parties, unless such parties reportedly incorporate locally, change their names, and have full autonomy from the parent parties in Peninsular Malaysia.

Only genuinely local parties, argue parties like Star, can fight for the rights of Sabah and Sarawak as equals — a legal concept — of Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) in the Federation of Malaysia as per the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.

Sabah and Sarawak don’t want to be planets revolving around a sun but aspire to be a sun around which other planets revolve.

Sabah and Sarawak being the equals of Malaya can best be seen in the fact that Malaysia has two High Court systems i.e. the High Court of Malaya and the High Court of Borneo with separate jurisdictions. A case in the High Court of Borneo cannot be transferred to the High Court of Malaya and vice versa. Action can be commenced in either Court against anyone no matter where resident.

Both Sabah and Sarawak are the only states to have their own Attorney Generals while Malaysia has one in Putrajaya.

Both Sabah and Sarawak are the only states to have the Ministerial form and system of government, the only other Ministerial form and system being the Federal one in Putrajaya.

The 20 Points related to the Malaysia Agreement clearly states that the head of government in Sabah would be Prime Minister and the Yang di Pertua Negara, the head of state in a secular state constitution. However, these three provisions as many others in the 20 Points are being observed more often than not in the breach.

They retain immigration powers which, in recent years, have been re-defined by administration to mean only the right to deny work permits to Peninsular Malaysians wishing to work in Sabah or Sarawak. Otherwise, both Sabah and Sarawak could impose a blanket ban — instead of on a case by case basis as at present — on politicians from both sides of the divide entering the two states “for the purpose of stealing seats”.

Hence, the oft made argument in Sabah and Sarawak that only local parties can fight for, secure and ensure the rights of the people in the two states.

The suspicion is that the only reason that the parti parti Malaya are in Sabah and Sarawak is to come to power in Putrajaya.

Seizing control of the Federal Government will remain an elusive dream without the parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak. This reflects the reality that politics in Malaysia has irreversibly metamorphosised into a two-party system in Parliament.

The political tsunami of 2008 must be seen as “an Act of God”, truly ushering in “a historical window of opportunity for Sabah and Sarawak”. This fact has been acknowledged by both sides of the political divide in the two states but there has been little, by way of dividends, for BN parties in Sabah and Sarawak. What has been noted is Umno continuing to humour BN parties in Peninsular Malaysia in government, the Cabinet and elsewhere at their expense.

It remains to be seen whether this translates into substantial anti-BN votes come the 13th GE.

Patently, it cannot continue to be business as usual in Sabah and Sarawak.

Many in Malaysian Borneo believe that a 3rd Force in the Malaysian Parliament, to steer evenly between the Barisan Nasional and the Pakatan Rakyat, is a idea whose time has come.

Initially, such a 3rd Force would largely be a part of both the BN and to a lesser extent PR, and at the same time allow the nucleus of such a force to be outside the two Peninsular Malaysia-based national coalitions/alliances.

The nucleus of the 3rd Force is expected, in time, to build a Borneo-based national alliance/coalition to emerge in Parliament for a three-party system.

The Jury in Sabah and Sarawak has decided on the issue.

They have long retired and deliberated on the pros and cons of a two party system vs a three-party system.

They are in favour of a three-party system.

The rationale behind the decision in favour of a three-party is that under a two-party system, Sabah and Sarawak would be merely going from the frying pan (BN) into the fire (PR),  — keluar dari mulut harimau, masuk mulut buaya — or at best, from the fire (BN) into the frying pan (PR).

There are those in Sabah and Sarawak, as in Peninsular Malaysia, who beg to disagree with the need for a 3rd Force in Parliament.

Demokrasi Sabah (Desah), a newly set-up NGO headed by former Sabah state secretary Simon Sipaun, wants to ensure one-to-one contests to ensure the further strengthening and entrenchment of the two-party system in Malaysia. Desah wants to put the idea to a test through a series of public debates in Sabah but confined to the opposition parties.

Local opposition parties in Sabah, as in Sarawak, are all for one-to-one contests but draw the line at a two-party system.

Also, they are eager to debate the parti parti Malaya on both sides of the political divide in the state and in neighbouring Sarawak.