Posts Tagged ‘Rule of Law’

Dr Mahathir did not come to campaign for Party Warisan Sabah and was saying on the night of 9th May 2018 that Warisan should have secured 35 seats instead of a dismal 21 seats. Now Shafie Apdal is claiming 45 seats in the Dewan.

How did it happen and what was his intention.

Well, we all know that absolute power corrupts absolutely beginning with the repeal of TYT term and giving him unlimited extension. Many opposed the move but those who have supported him did so to curry favour with Shafie with the hope of getting personal rewards…typical Sabah politicians.

Soon after it was established by the court that Warisan became the legit government, one can observe the key appointments, the police force and the Minister of Finance also taken up by Shafie and defying his own promise not to follow the footsteps of his predecessor Musa Aman.

After 9 months in power it was later admitted that the state had in fact Rm4 billion in government reserve. In the beginning it was reported by Shafie that the treasury has empty coffer which readily made people believe.

Warisan became the state government only through the support of UPKO. Without UPKO, Shafie could not become Chief Minister and Wilfred Tangau would not be appointed Deputy Chief Minister. The two live for each other. Warisan leaders were given a number of federal ministry posts, Darell, VK Liew and Mohd Din Ketapi and their choice of Sabahan personnel.

The spate of fire in the squatter colonies in Likas/Sepanggar, Banggi, and elsewhere have suspicion ignited. All these fires only occurred in squatter colonies all over Sabah and this is unique and devoid of logic. During the fires people are seen rushing to take away televisions, refrigerators, mattresses etc etc, but not their personal documents. Those affected by the fire are known PTIs (illegals) and the fires keep happening only in those squatter colonies. When one put two and two together, the answer is simple.

Then the State Minister of Law and Native Affairs Aidi Moktar out from nowhere said the government would review the law on whether the Bugis and Jawa communities can be considered as natives in Sabah. Why suddenly this? Is it because of the fear that Datu Akjan is taking away the Suluk and Tausug vote bank from Warisan to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM)? It seems as though there is a grand design to distort the Sabah political landscape and cause a racial imbalance for political purpose.

Then thousands turned up at NRD centres and by looking at the sea of crowd, the people are mostly foreign looking individuals which the local people know who they are. And worst still the state director of NRD said that the department was conducting census.

If we visit the CM’s office or even Jaujan Sambakong the local government minister’s office, one can see who are those that come to their office, its like a TAMU ground.

There was even a report that thousands have been issued late birth certificates in several parts of Sabah with substantial population of immigrants.

With all these happenings in Sabah the last nine months, for sure the Special Branch must be reporting to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir. And those receiving big favours from the government especially the millions changing hands at the Harbour Trade legal firm in Kota Kinabalu must be worried now. Naturally nothing is secret anymore especially with social media i.e Facebook, Whatsapp and blogs that could go viral and influence the course of events.

Anyway, how come a friendly Dr Mahathir who was on Warisan side and now suddenly PPBM is being painted bad?

There is no credible opposition in the state.

The influx of more PTIs and these people becoming bold and arrogant after Warisan victory are very obvious.

Hence, if PPBM comes to Sabah as an opposition to monitor the activities of the government it makes sense. Bersatu is part of the PH central government. Only PPBM or its appointed ally in Sabah can provide check and balance. The rule of law must take place. Even Najib has been charged in court, others in Sabah that wore the Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission’s (MACC) infamous orange lock-up T-shirt uniform must make it known that MACC has a case against them.

Any uprising in the future is possible when a large population of illegal immigrants is present in the state and comfortable with a sitting government. Sabah is facing an existential treat and I’m certain  Shafie is aware. That’s why today it was reported that SABAH Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal plans to meet the Philippines ambassador soon to raise Sabah’s concerns that security threat in the southern Philippines might spill over to Sabah. See here.

The fall of USNO in 1976 was a similar threat known to the Prime Minister at that time. History will repeat if not careful!

By Azmi Sharom, The Star

Things are being blown out of proportion over the issue with some viewing it through race-tinted glasses. Are they blind to the fact that the people who are annoyed at the kangkung remark are from all ethnic groups?

I DON’T like water morning glory a.k.a water spinach a.k.a kangkung. There’s a metallic tang to it that I find displeasing.

I much prefer kailan or bayam – the former fried with salted fish and the latter in a watery soup.

What has my taste in vegetables got to do with anything? Nothing really.

Just as the recent, rather humorous, jabs at the Prime Minister have nothing to do with his ethnicity.

It has plenty to do with his alleged insensitivity to the price hikes in the country (which affect every single Tan, Din and Harvin) and it has plenty to do with the fact that kangkung is funny (even its very name makes me giggle); but I can’t see where the Prime Minister’s ethnicity comes into play.

So, how is it racist?

I guess some people view the world through race-tinted glasses.

These are the people who are calling for a demonstration to defend the Prime Minister.

I must say their poster calling for participants in this demonstration looks very exciting.

It has a very macho-looking chap carrying not one but two parang and an equally macho call for all Malays to come out and defend their race, their king, their religion and who knows what else.

I am of course in favour of demonstrations and public protests; it is after all a fundamental right as guaranteed by Article 10 of the Constitution. But Article 10 also says, and rightly so, that any assembly must be peaceful and without arms.

This “Defend the PM” demonstration uses a poster with a chap carrying machetes. Aren’t machetes weapons? Are they asking people to bring their parang? Or is it just for dramatic artistic effect?

I am sure they will have a good explanation and surely the police should ask for it.

The Government has shown itself to be very sensitive to any symbols of violence. After all, the Registrar of Societies made a huge hue and cry about the fact that Parti Sosialis Malaysia used a closed fist for its party symbol.

A closed fist is violent, apparently. It conjures up images of pugilism, I guess.

But if a closed fist is violent, then isn’t a parang even more violent? Thus, I would be most surprised if the police do not swoop down on these organisers with the same vigour and energy that they use when swooping down on the organisers of other demonstrations.

For example, the anti-price-hike demo on New Year’s Eve was scrutinised and demonised by the cops because it was thought to be potentially dangerous.

The police even feared that there were going to be grenades in Merdeka Square.

The organisers did not say “bring grenades” and their posters did not have grenades on them but the cops wanted to be safe rather than sorry I suppose.

Therefore, I would expect nothing less from our men and women in blue than a complete and thorough investigation of people who actually have a weapon-wielding man on their invitation to a demo.

Especially in the light of several folks (again wearing those special spectacles) saying that this kangkung issue could lead to race riots.

Race riots? Because people are angry at price rises?

Are these people blind to the fact that the people who are annoyed at the kangkung remark are from all ethnic groups?

There is no racial issue here. The only racial issues are the ones being made up by the desperate people whose only pathetic claim to relevance depends on them making everything into a racial issue.

I don’t believe that Malaysians are going to fall for this idiocy. But having said that, a few may not care about reason and logic and all it takes is a handful to create trouble.

Surely a government maintaining the peace would seek these true trouble-makers out. Or do different rules apply? We’ll just have to wait and see.

> Azmi Sharom ( is a law teacher. The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

This is a comment piece by my friend Joe Fernandez on yesterday’s highly anticipated debate between two former Chief Ministers – Tan Sri Harris Salleh and Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

by Joe Fernandez

COMMENT If there are any lessons that emerged from a “non-debate”, of sorts, between two former Chief Ministers of Sabah on a cold rainy Fri evening in Kota Kinabalu, it was this: “that ignorance is bliss in matters of law, Parliament and the Constitution and that a little knowledge is dangerous”; that even the best subject matter expert opinion would have little chance against a wall of ignorance acting in perhaps good faith and with little else to go on.

Siapa yang makan cili akan rasa pedasnya!

If the cap fits, wear it!

Moderator Simon Sipaun, a former Sabah State Secretary, had his hands full keeping Harris Salleh, 83, from interrupting his opponent Yong Teck Lee, 55.

The debate was supposed to be about Sabah’s rights in the Federation of Malaysia which entered its 51st year on 16 Sept last month. Fifty years of Malaysia, in particular in the Borneo nations of Sabah and Sarawak, is a watershed year. The word out in the streets in Borneo is that there must be some form of consensus on the way forward. If the past 50 years is any indication, the people want no more of it.

Harris and Yong, going hammer-and-tongs against each other offered little help here. Yong was more than willing to help forge consensus on a way forward but for the most part Harris refused to play ball. He took no baits.

Harris, chief minister from 1976 to 1985, was the past which refuses to go away and offered little clues in forging a way forward for the next 50 years.

Yong brings up four issues for Debate, Harris only one

Yong, chief minister from May 1996 to April 1998, had to concede at least in his heart that he had little chance to begin with against Harris in their impromptu debate on Fri 11 Oct, 2013 at the Sabah Golf and Country Club in the Sabah capital.

He was “out-done” by Harris on all fronts in a way that only the latter could do: dismissed in a few words and sentences; or otherwise berated and out-shouted when it came to the law, Parliament and the Constitution. Yong did most of the talking; taking up his full 15 minutes allotted for every issue, while Harris did not go beyond three minutes each time on each issue.

Yong is a British-trained lawyer. Harris had only six years of school education.

One story making the rounds is that Harris was once offered a place as a mature student to do the Bar in London but apparently dropped the idea when another student in a similar situation as him gave up the idea after three years in the British capital. It must have been the English language. Had Harris completed his Bar, perhaps he could have had a better idea of the difference between Rule of Law and Rule by Law and that the Constitution is not so much about law but the ultimate political document.

Yong had four issues to bring up during the Debate: the 20 Points (20P)/1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63); the Petroleum Development Act/Oil Agreement; the surrender of Labuan island to the Federal Government; the power grab incident and the street riots which broke out in Kota Kinabalu in 1985 when the Berjaya Government headed by Harris was thrashed by the 45-day old Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) led by Joseph Pairin Kitingan in state elections that year.

Yong pledges to “shoot himself” if White Paper on SAS implicates him

Harris merely wanted Yong to explain to the crowd why the shares of the state-sponsored Saham Amanah Sabah (SAS), a unit trust, had fallen from its initial RM 1 offer price and was now hovering at about 0.35 sen. Harris felt that Yong, as a former Chief Minister, owed a duty of care to the 66,000 SAS holders – mostly Chinese housewives — saddled with bank loans in buying their stake.

Yong explained that Bank Negara (Central Bank) rules prohibited political interference and involvement in SAS or any unit trust. In short, he had no role in the misfortunes of SAS, no matter how much he sympathized with the stake holders. Yong’s successors have since tried injecting Sabah Government assets into SAS, in a bid to boost the unit trust price, but to no avail.

The SAS issue remains a political hot potato and Yong has paid a heavy price for it. In General Elections this May, his PBS-breakaway Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) failed to win even a single seat in the Federal and state legislatures. SAS was by no means the only reason but that’s another story.

Yong wants the Sabah Government to release a White Paper on SAS and pledged twice, dramatically with a fore finger to his head, that he would “shoot himself” if the White Paper on the SAS found any wrongdoing (criminal) on his part.

Harris denied that the street riots of 1985 were masterminded by the losing Berjaya leaders who allegedly hired illegal immigrants to go on a rampage of burning and general mayhem.

He admitted, in downplaying the riots, that there might have been “a little burning” but was rebutted by Yong waving pictures of the incident from the newspapers and pointing out that a curfew had to be imposed. The latter also stressed that local Muslims – Dusun and other Orang Asal (Natives), Suluk, Bajau and other Muslims – were not involved in the riots “meant to pressure the Federal Government into declaring a state of emergency” to facilitate the take over of the Sabah Government from PBS.

Mustapha failed to persuade Court on early bird theory

Harris attributed the riots to the “Malay Muslims’ being cheated by PBS in not forming a coalition government with United Sabah National Organisation (Usno). Harris is Brunei Malay on his mother’s side. His father was Indian. There are very few Malays in Sabah.

The “cheating”, Harris claimed, was behind the infamous power grab incident which saw Usno and Suluk leader Mustapha Harun clambering over the walls of the Istana (palace) in the wee hours of the morning and having himself sworn in as Chief Minister.

Usno, defeated by Berjaya in 1976, came in with 17 seats in the 1985 state elections, Berjaya had six and PBS took 25. The power grab incident saw Usno and Berjaya disingenuously forming a coalition Government together with six nominated state assemblymen. Mustapha, explaining the power grab, said that “the early bird catches the worm”. He was ousted within days by the Court which he tried to persuade with the “early bird” theory.

Harris cautioned the crowd against referring to every Tom, Dick and Harry in Sabah as an illegal immigrant. He pointed out that the present Governor was a Suluk, yet the Suluks in Sabah – and also the Bugis among others – were being referred to as illegal immigrants. He claimed that the Suluk – people from the southern Philippines like the Bajau — had been in Sabah the last 500 years and the Bugis (from Celebes, Indonesia) have also been here for a very long time.

Whenever Harris came up short in the argument, he had one constant piece of advice for Yong throughout the debate which turned out to be a stormy affair that lasted three hours: campaign hard throughout Malaysia, win two thirds majority in Parliament, amend the Constitution, and reinstate the 20P and the MA63 to set up a “banana republic” and/or win independence for Sabah and Sarawak.

He offered to be Speaker of the new Sabah Parliament, proposed his former Berjaya Deputy Mat Nor Mansor — a Brunei Malay now with Sapp – as the Sultan of Sabah and Yong as Prime Minister.

Parliament Supreme and can do anything on 20P/MA63

For Sarawak, he urged Yong to look around for a Dayak leader to be the new Rajah of that country in echoes of the Brooke Dynasty of white rajahs from England (1841 to 1941) who once ruled there for some 105 years.

It was Harris’ considered opinion that the 20P and MA63 no longer matter, that they had either been incorporated in the Federal Constitution or done away with through amendments in Parliament and in the State Assembly. He did not mention any part of the 20P/MA63 being excluded from the Federal and State Constitutions.

Yong begged to differ and wants the Sabah Government, for a start, to amend the State Constitution and restore Sabah’s status as a Negara (nation) in the Federation, a key point in the 20P.

He explained that he could not do anything on 20P/MA63 during his term a Chief Minister as the Federal Government was very powerful at that time and the “window of opportunity” did not present itself until the 2008 General Election when Sabah and Sarawak came centre stage as the Kingmakers in Parliament.

He echoed the popular view that that there was no Malaysia without 20P/MA63 which formed the basis for both Sabah and Sarawak to be in the Federation with Malaya. He wants the letter and spirit of both constitutional documents on Malaysia to be upheld, honoured and respected. His plea if true will fall on deaf years, Harris retorted.

Both Speakers did not touch on the need to interpret the intention of the framers of the various constitutional documents on Malaysia in a manner which reflected as if they contained a Basic Features Doctrine i.e. the 20P/MA63 could not be amended out of the Federal and state constitutions, done away with or not included.

Harris wants to take on Jeffrey Kitingan on colonisation

Sensing that the mood of the crowd was definitely against him, Harris denied that he was consistently taking a pro-Federal Government line on Sabah.

He claimed disingenuously in a simplistic brief that he was more concerned about the thinking among the people in Sabah on Malaysia. The Muslims, he stressed, would attribute their poverty to fate. The others including those in the kampungs (villages), he anguished, blamed Putrajaya for demolishing State rights – the famous 20P – and/or otherwise being in non-compliance on MA63.

Turning at one point on Bingkor State Assemblyman and State Reform Party (Star) chairman Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, who was seated in the front row, Harris reminded him that he had no response to his offer in a local daily (Daily Express) to debate him and other activists on the issue of whether Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) had been in colonial occupation of Sabah and Sarawak since the British departure in 1963. The issue is that there was no Referendum on the British leaving Sabah and Sarawak after their independence – 31 Aug and 22 July 1963 — in a Federation with Malaya on 16 Sept 1963, whether expanded or new.

Harris obviously feels compelled, even though long in retirement, to speak up whenever something doesn’t quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview).

Jeffrey had no opportunity to explain that a Right of Reply delivered to the said newspaper by the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BOPIM) chairman Daniel John Jambun was not carried by it until the Debate day. (It was carried the next day after the Debate almost a week late.)

“No one” held under ISA for opposing Labuan handover

Harris warned Yong at one time during the debate not to imply in any manner that he had sold Labuan Island, ostensibly to become an International Offshore Financial Centre, to the Federal Government. He challenged Yong to repeat any insinuations against him on Labuan outside the debate hall and promised to retaliate with a swift lawsuit against him. He mentioned that there was already a lawsuit pending in Court on Labuan and the matter was subjudice.

Harris stressed, in response to a question from the floor, that the question of seeking compensation for Labuan did not arise at the moment since the island was a losing concern. Similarly, the Sabah Electricity Board was handed over to the federal Government without compensation because it was another losing concern.

Harris denied that anyone had been held under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) for opposing the Labuan handover and dismissed a statement on the issue by one Darshan Singh from the floor. Darshan spent some time in detention without trial under the ISA apparently for opposing the Labuan handover. A lawyer in the crowd confided that he was standing next to Darshan when the latter was detained but escaped arrest, according to him, because he was “a Muslim”.

Yong disclosed that he was in Labuan on handover day and witnessed the Federal Reserve Units and Royal Malay regiments out in full force on the island to put on an intimidating display of brute force apparently to deter any opposition. It was a defining moment for Yong as he vowed then and there to enter opposition politics to oust the Berjaya Government.

Harris, not so long ago, picked up RM 1 million in Court-awarded damages from Yong in a defamation suit where the Judge held that the latter had implied that the former had “blood on his hands”. This was a reference to the tragic 6 June, 1976 air crash which wiped out almost the entire Sabah Cabinet led by Berjaya President Donald Fuad Stephens. Harris became Chief Minister by default and days later signed the infamous Oil Agreement with Petronas, the National Oil Corporation, and the Federal Government.

Harris, in response to Yong and questions from the floor, denied that he had been under any pressure to sign the oil agreement. Nevertheless, he disclosed that there was only RM 2 million in the kitty left by the ousted Mustapha Government. Signing the Oil Agreement meant an immediate cash infusion from Petronas in the form of Oil Royalty amounting to 5 per cent.

Besides, added Harris, Sarawak and Terengganu had earlier signed the Oil Agreements. If he had not signed, he ventured, “it would look as if Sarawak and Terengganu were stupid to do so”.

Harris claimed, in defending the Oil Agreement, that it was “international law” – at one time he even referred to the Law of the Sea – that onshore waters belong to Sabah and that the offshore belonged to the Federal Government.

Parliament Supreme and can do anything on 20P/MA63

He begged to disagree with Yong’s take that the boundary of Sabah was what it had at the time that it was taken/pushed by the British into the Federation of Malaysia. Yong, while not faulting Harris for it, also pointed out that the Oil Blocks L and M handed over to Brunei not so long ago were within Malaysia’s maritime boundaries in Sabah and Sarawak.

Harris showed little evidence during the Debate of the articulate self presented of him in the numerous press statements purportedly attributed to him in the local media, the Daily Express in particular.

Age, in any case, may be catching up with Harris in more ways than one. He had little patience with issues brought up by Yong, and in no mood to be apologetic, even displaying open defiance in taking a pro-Federal Government line in Sabah.

The crowd had turned up in the mistaken belief that Harris would concede that mistakes had been made during his time in public office and that he harboured more than his fair share of regrets.

On a plus note, Harris is willing to join the pro-20P/MA63 activists in Borneo if it can be demonstrated in any way that there’s probably a “cause for action” and that “any lost rights can be recovered”.

Parliament, he reminded, was Supreme and can do anything in explaining the perception that the 20P/MA63 had not been honoured. He failed to mention that the Veto Powers of Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament, a pledge under MA63, had been done away with by the Election Commission, the Attorney General and the Registrar of Societies.

Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez is a graduate mature student of law and an educationist, among others, who loves to write especially Submissions for Clients wishing to Act in Person. He also tutors at local institutions and privately. He subscribes to Dr Stephen Hawking’s “re-discovery” of the ancient Indian theory that “the only predictable property of the universe is chaos”. He feels compelled, as a semi-retired journalist, to put pen to paper — or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard — whenever something doesn’t quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview) or to give a Hearing to All. He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet. He’s half-way through a semi-autobiographical travelogue, A World with a View . . .

The stunning videos of the brutal killing of the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gadhafi is shocking. The bloody images have gone viral on the Internet. While I write this piece, Gadhafi’s lifeless body, still lies in a refrigerated former supermarket in Misurata. They have not given him a decent Muslim burial in accordance with Islamic principles, and this is bad.

Despite Gadhafi’s s authoritarian if not egocentric ways, the way they executed him is really sickening, he was executed in cold blood, it is summary execution. He should have been given a fair trial and he deserved it as a human.  Some video footage shows him asking for mercy from his captors. Come on, he is human, we all know he has been cruel in the past but why to go down to such low level ? I too never liked Gadhafi but I believe in democracy, rule of law and justice, and for me, even Gadhafi deserved a fair trial.

The circumstances of  Gadhafi’s death has raised serious questions about the commitment of America, NATO, National Transitional Council (NTC not THC) and the Rebel forces, to democracy and human rights. The World must call for an investigation. It is very disturbing. It is a fundamental principle of international law that people accused of serious crimes should if possible be tried.  As far as I know summary executions is illegal. It is different if someone is killed in combat.

For me, Libya has failed its first democratic test, with vengeance and bloodlust triumphing over due process, the rule of law, and justice. NATO is deeply complicit in this. The role of western powers, especially the United Kingdom, France, and the United States is a sorry saga of violent regime.

Anyway I hope if the NTC genuinely wants to set Libya on the right path, it would do well to begin by conducting an honest and impartial investigation into Gadhafi’s killing.

I wonder, does the West want democracy in Libya or just a friendly regime that will give it access to Libya’s oil? Or is it because of United States huge debts it hatched a conspiracy to own the oil reserves in Libya? Makes me think!

Anyway, Muammar Gadhafi will certainly not be mourned as a great leader of his people. But don’t forget that his rule did bring about positive changes for Libya, notably in health, education, and infrastructure development. In contrast to other Arab states, it also gave Libyans a consciousness about their oil wealth as a national resource.

It is so disappointing that Malaysia expressed no concern at Gadhafi’s violent end. Najib Tun Razak, why so quite about this, surely you could have done better!

Am I the only one that thinks this whole story is 2011’s joke of the year? hilarious!! Osama shields himself with ONE of his wives!! fantastic headline! The US created Osama (and let’s not forget Saddam) and now they just want that piece of a really bad chapter closed. So they come up with a story that Osama is at sea so that there cannot be DNA testing (remember, just like when Saddam’s son was found in a rubble of dirt and it was actually his stunt double…he was in Jordan with the rest of his family)..that story faded away instantly.

Anyway Guys, I believe, this is just another tactic by America to get rid of the old wart so that Libya can now be dealt with.

I also really don’t think the world is going to be safer because of the death of Osama bin Laden, who is President Obama trying to kid?

Osama’s body should “Not” been illegally dumped into the Indian Ocean! His body out of due respect should have been turned over to his immediate family with conditions on burial. The “Cover Up” continues!

Dr Mahathir is a cruel ruthless heartless unscrupulous person who eliminates his political opponents with not a single modicum of human decency. A totally ruthless unscrupulous person; that is how a lot of people see him. And they hate him. They look at him not as gentlemen as he does not have any sense of decency. He has none.

Remember, what he did to Anwar? Nearly killed him. So many more people were tortured and put in jail with trumped up charges during Dr Mahathir’s time.

And what do you think Malaysians think of him after this? Nothing more than a plain and simple shameless bully. That’s what many think of him. Seriously.

And even vital institutions of the country, the judiciary, the civil service, the police force and the professions has been discredited and each of these institutions have resulted in their total loss of credibility and respect for the rule of law after Dr Mahathir had dealt with them for the last 22 years. Dr Mahathir has managed singlehandedly to discredit each of these institutions. Some corrupt judges even routinely used the law to eliminate opposition politicians who didn’t suck up to Dr Mahathir and his policies. It was a fact that the politicized civil service gave favors to Dr Mahathir and cronies.

Malaysians can see now that the country has already been destroyed by Dr Mahathir’s 22 years rule. There is no longer the rule of law; and we have become a laughing stock of the world and some say we are a failed state. Its a sad story.

Read here what Lim Guan Eng has to say about his time under the ISA. You folks will curse Dr Mahathir even further after reading this piece….

ISA: 50 Years of Oppression

Chief Minister of Penang and DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng was the first to be arrested during the infamous Operation Lalang clampdown, and he was the last of the 1987 batch to be released. Here, he shares his experiences under the draconian ISA.

What are your thoughts on the ISA, which has now been in place for five decades?

It is definitely a very draconian legislation. When you look at it theoretically, you don’t get the real gist of it until it actually happens. When one considers the oppression, suppression and repression which the ISA and other related laws encourage, it simply goes against basic human rights and human decency. If you look at the extent of the law itself, it becomes real when it happens to an actual person.

Firstly, you are denied your basic human rights, your dignity and humanity; love doesn’t exist in there. You are denied the basic love of your family, compassion and you become just a digit, no longer a person with a name and identity. In short, you are denied freedom.

We are all creatures created by God meant to roam around freely. We are born free and should die free. When laws impose limitations on our freedom and choices, life becomes unnatural. Even if one were simply locked up in his bedroom without newspapers or some connection to the outside world, it is already stressful. Just imagine a detention cell where they don’t allow you to know the time of day as the lights are kept on 24/7 and the only human contact is your IO (investigating officer). It gets to the point where although it is perverse and you may have hated him in the beginning, you do look forward to seeing him because at least it breaks the monotony of the days.

By allowing one person absolute power to decide another human being’s future, I think we are going against nature. As they say, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So this is where torture and abuse, whether mental or physical, happens. They will stop at nothing just to break you down so that you will toe the line. Again, this is unnatural because you are forcing somebody against their will.

Even though the physical imprisonment of ISA may not happen to all Malaysians, but we are all still victims because of the fear it creates. The greatest freedom is perhaps freedom from fear because otherwise, you are unable to fulfil your true potential.

This law encourages people to lie and punishes people who speak the truth. It also impedes the administration of real justice and democracy. As long as the ISA exists, opposition to injustice as dictated by all religions will not prevail. Look around the world at all developed countries; they are democracies because that is the way to success. The ISA is a stumbling block towards Malaysia’s progress.

Please tell us about the process of your arrest and detention.

I had just been elected as a Member of Parliament for about ten months (after the 1986 general election) when the police summoned me to the Jalan Bandar police station in Kuala Lumpur. Upon recording the affidavit, I lodged a police report, criticising the government’s actions. After that, the officer asked me to sit and wait for another official. I waited but it took some time for him to come over. I had to rush back to Parliament as it was in session. So I said it was all right, and requested that the official call me again later. But the police refused to let me go. I began to wonder if something had gone wrong.

He told me to sit down and then showed me a document, saying, “You are thus informed you are now under the ISA detention order.” I could not believe it.

I asked him if there was any mistake. As a 26-year old, was I posing a threat to national security? But we knew there was certainly a hidden political agenda as there was a fierce political ruckus raging in UMNO. With all the internal fighting raging in their party, the leaders needed a scapegoat. I became the first detainee and the last ever to be released.

What were the conditions like in there?

During interrogations, it was a case of them refusing to believe my answers while I refused to cooperate with him. It was ridiculous because they even asked, “What is your name?” I replied that if they didn’t know who I was, they may have got the wrong person and should release me immediately.

They were failing miserably in their efforts to grill me and got fed up, hence they retaliated by putting me into a blue cell, a completely blue room. There was only a ventilator as the fan did not work. But it was a big fan with large blades, and in the middle of the fan was a hook. I asked them what the hook was for and they told me it was for hanging up those who were uncooperative. Thankfully I never found out if that was actually true! But they kept trying to intimidate me.

They stopped me from sleeping. I was seated on a wooden chair and light was casting on my face, just like in a movie. I still didn’t answer any of their questions. Instead I confronted them. I was young then, and hot-headed. I told them that whatever I said would not be correctly recorded anyway, so they might as well write down whatever they wanted.

The officer was getting so upset that I defied his orders, and he then refused to let me sleep for 48 hours. After being interrogated for 48 hours, I was completely exhausted. I tried to sleep but they were yelling at me. Afterwards I fell sick with a high fever. They were scared and sent me to the cell. So I stayed there for three days. They called a doctor to examine me and I was given some medicine.

When they questioned me again later, they were not so strict anymore, urging me to provide them with some information, saying it was their duty. Their attitude did become milder and it was good to be treated a bit gently. We knew the law, so they dared not do silly things. I refused to answer and stated “unwilling to answer” on their charge sheet. After it was finished, the report was sent to the Home Affairs Ministry.

There were five charges against me, including defending the rights of a primary Chinese School and criticising the inept teachers being sent to the school as well as censuring the MCA Cooperative Society’s syndicate, which was a big issue at that time. Due to the shenanigans going on in the cooperative, many people lost their hard-earned savings amounting to RM 1.4 billion. The fifth charge was because I had voiced my concerns about those living in poverty and held a demonstration. But these charges were clearly political witch-hunting because the police had not arrested or questioned us at the time of the incidents.

After 60 days in prison alone, you were sent to the Kamunting detention centre. What happened then?

I was detained, and my father rushed to the police station to see me, but they arrested him too. In short, they had lured him over, and it was a big blow to him. They hoped he would give up and surrender.

But then, after seeing this stubborn guy who was not giving up, they tried to upset him, asking me to appear on TV and write a confession letter to admit my “mistake” so I told him, “If I were an actor, I would have already had a career on TV. But I’m no Chow Yuen Fatt, so do not invite me on TV.” They wanted me to write a letter of confession, admit my mistake, and support Mahathir. I said to him, no need for me to support Mahathir, as he had so many supporters. Therefore, we were accused of being too contentious and sent to Kamunting.

Was life at the Kamunting centre more bearable?

Up to that point in my life, I had never experienced anything as trying as my imprisonment. I was struggling to endure the detention. You can experiment for yourself – lock yourself in a room, all day long with no escape. No newspaper, without your handset, leaving your phone outside. You have food and a place to sleep but…

You may not be able to bear it even for half a day. Imagine if you were in detention camp, not for half a day, or one whole day but days and weeks and months. In the beginning, we weren’t even given a mattress; we just slept on the cold cement floor. It affected my back after a while.

Once, I awoke in the middle of the night to find ants using my stomach as a bridge to carry a dead cockroach. But due to my back problems, it took me a while to be able to move, by which time the ants had already crossed over with their catch.

The food, of course, was terrible. The rice had small stones in it and the vegetables had sand. The meat given would be a small piece of fish or chicken and often it was just salted fish. Since my release, I avoid salted fish.

The cell itself was a small room with a toilet outside. It’s difficult without a built-in toilet, as you have to ask the police to open the door for you. You need to shout, and wait patiently for them. Sometimes they wouldn’t show up.

As for a bed, it is basically the concrete that you lay on. There was barely anything there, no newspaper or any information from outside. You’d dream about it. You read news from the old newspapers they used to wrap up your meals in. Initially we did that but they found us out soon enough.

So then we prayed hard that the newspapers would be a Chinese, English or Malay daily. But if there was a Tamil or a Jawi script paper, we couldn’t understand it and could only look at the pictures.

Discovering a Chinese, English or Malay daily was exciting and we would keep these papers. I read them over a hundred times, the same papers, I would read from left to right, upside down, reading it over and over, and would flip through again when I was bored.

When they found this out, they stopped wrapping the food in old papers, using plastic instead. Then life was boring as usual. In these times, we had to stare at the wall and watch mosquitoes or ants walking around.

Did you think about your date of release?

You might think of it initially, but you forget it as time passes. Thinking of it is like torturing yourself because there is no time limitation for the ISA. The detention order could be for 16 months or for 18 years. One person was in detention for over 18 years.

By reading books about Nelson Mandela detained for 26 years, you’d be so grateful! Console yourself that he was jailed for 26 years. By comparison, two years is minor!

My father and I were the last detainees freed. There were only two of us left inside that section. That site could house 600 prisoners, but there was only the two of us there, such a waste of public funds. We were both released last, on 19 April 1989. We were the first to be detained, and the last to be released. No doubt, this had to do with Mahathir’s personal feelings.

If you’re locked up, it’s not as difficult as your son being jailed, too. That must have been really torturous. So I salute my father for enduring this l. I knew very well that should I be released one day, I’d be even more motivated to fight as they had blatantly defied the law. They were casually violating laws, and I had to prove them wrong.

I was sure to come back, and struggle harder to fight them.

What was it like for your family to endure your detention period?

For a person, it depends on the strength of your convictions and commitments to the cause that led to your imprisonment. Are you really committed to the cause that led to the loss of your liberty? This is really tested at these moments. Either you emerge stronger or you come out broken, and it is, of course, hardest on the family.

Children, in particular, will not understand the situation so it is very difficult for them. But it can also help to strengthen family bonds after you endure such a traumatising experience. Of course, there are also families which end up breaking apart due to the detention so there are two sides to the coin.

It is hard for families to ever really share the experiences of what the detained person is going through. But if you have commitment and abiding faith that is unshaken, then you will emerge stronger than before and more determined to change the structures. It may seem like an impossible task but Malaysians should persevere in demanding the repeal of such laws.

In light of the 50th anniversary of the Act, what should and can Malaysians do about this law?

They should continue to oppose it and demand for its unconditional repeal through campaigns showing that this law is a stain on our common Malaysian identity. Whether we take an active approach such as becoming involved in politics or an inactive one such as being aware and voting, every Malaysian must stand up and be counted. We must oppose not just the ISA, but OSA (Official Secrets Act), the PPPA (Printing Presses and Publications Act) and the Sedition Act.

(used without the permission from DAP Rocket)

The Honorourable Dato’ Seri Anifah Hj. Aman

Foreign Minister of Malaysia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia

Wisma Putra Complex

No. 1, Jalan Wisma Putra

Precint 2

Federal Government Administrative Centre

62602 Putrajaya


By Post & Fax: 603-8889 1617/2816

Dear Foreign Minister,

The Solicitors’ International Human Rights Group (SIHRG) takes the opportunity to write an open letter to you following your recent visit to the United Kingdom and comments made on 8 August regarding the Malaysian Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) to members of the UK and Malaysian civil society outside the Malaysian High Commission at Belgrave Square.

SIHRG welcomes and applauds your attempts to engage with civil society on 8th August and address the difficult issues raised by Malaysia’s continued use of the draconian ISA in light of the recent disturbing clampdown in Malaysia of numerous planned peaceful protests and mass arrest of anti-ISA protestors. Such conduct by the Malaysian authorities has had a chilling effect on civil society and has brought to sharp focus how laws such as the ISA, if not repealed, will continue to cast a blight on Malaysia’s image in the eyes of the international community, undermine the country’s professed commitment to the rule of law and democratic values.

The Malaysian Government has accepted in recent times that all is not well with the ISA and the country’s other preventive laws. This recognition of a need for change has instigated yet another review of these legislations. SIHRG recognises that this is a step forward. However, provisions of the ISA have a wholly corrosive effect on fundamental liberties, and are inconsistent with Malaysia’s commitment to uphold the rule of law and abide by international norms. For these reasons SIHRG is of the view that there is an overwhelming need for Malaysia to show a strong irrevocable commitment to democratic values by repealing the ISA in its entirety.

Malaysian preventive laws, the most notorious being the ISA, allow for arbitrary detention of individuals at the will of the authorities, sometimes for prolonged periods, without trial or charges ever being proffered against them. These laws deny the detainee the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal and severely restrict a detainee’s right to access legal counsel. Individuals detained under the ISA and other preventive laws are deprived from any of the ordinary safeguards found under the country’s regular penal procedures. The systematic and pervasive use of preventive laws engenders a climate of fear among the public and undermines public confidence in the justice system.

You reiterated the Malaysian Government’s stand that it has ruled out repealing the ISA because the state is obliged to guarantee national security and the security of its citizens and the ISA is an important weapon in the state armoury to effectively combat terrorism.

SIHRG considers that there are compelling reasons for the Malaysian Government to reconsider its stand.

1. Indefinite incarceration of detainees has not been proven to be an effective method of preventing, reducing and/or alleviating terrorist attacks or terrorist related violence. In fact it is likely to be counterproductive (as has been the UK’s past experience). Malaysia, like many other countries, can develop a legal response to terrorism which allows it to protect the collective security of its people whilst giving effect to the rule of law and maintain core democratic values. The balance is important, not least to lend legitimacy to the legal measures adopted by allowing appropriate judicial and parliamentary scrutiny of executive decisions.

2. During its recent visit to Malaysian detention centres in June this year, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found evidence of a link between arbitrary detention and torture and ill-treatment. The detainee and prisoner interviews conducted by the Working Group observed that those detained under preventive laws were more vulnerable to state abuse as they are more likely to be tortured and/or ill-treated, in order to obtain confessions or evidence (facilitated by the fact that many are held initially in incommunicado detention), they are not informed of their right to contact relatives or to consult a lawyer (with some detainees interviewed stating that they were positively discouraged from consulting a lawyer).

3. There have been many instances reported in the media of lawyers either unable to access their clients detained under the ISA or face difficulties in getting such access. Lawyers perform a public role to ensure there is high public confidence in the proper functioning of the country’s justice system. In recognition of this important public role, Malaysia and other States unanimously adopted the UN’s Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers in September 1990 at the Eighth United Nations Congress in the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders[1].

4. The exceptionally wide powers available to the state under the ISA and other preventive laws are disproportionate to the perceived threat to national security and inappropriate to the nature of terrorism related crimes. Malaysia has already enacted specific legislations to deal with crimes related to terrorism. A strong state response to terrorism need not include the state’s routine use of extraordinary measures normally reserved for times of emergency.

5. Arbitrary detention without any prospect of trial or charge and the lack of a remedy to effectively challenge the legality of the detention is an unacceptable infringement of personal security and freedom and the presumption of innocence, a fundamental principal of modern criminal law and Malaysian penal law.

SIHRG is committed to promoting and monitoring human rights around the world. It counts the right of individuals to be given reasons for their detention and to be afforded the opportunity to challenge the legality of the deprivation of personal freedom before an independent and impartial tribunal as a basic civil right and a cornerstone of the rule of law. SIRHG abhors torture in all its forms and supports any positive measures adopted by states to eliminate and/or prevent any form of illegitimate violence perpetrated against its citizens.

Malaysia has repeatedly expressed to the international community that it does not condone torture. In your recent visit to the UK you too agreed that “the use of torture is completely unacceptable”. SIHRG considers that these are strong value statements that must and must be seen to be reflected in good governance. The ISA is an outdated colonial era relic which neither resonates with the Malaysian people nor the progressive forward looking attitude of the state.

SIHRG therefore strongly urges the Malaysian Government to take this timely opportunity to close the chapter on the country’s unhappy history with the Internal Security Act by repealing the Act in its entirety.

Yours sincerely

Lionel Blackman


[1]“Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, persecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognised professional duties, standards and ethics.” – Rule 16 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

Selepas Tsunami (After the Tsunami) from Pusat KOMAS .

This is the original Video CD which was confiscated by our cops just before the Sibu by-election. Very interesting video…watch it in full.

This video was done by KOMAS, the documentary is titled “after tsunami”, referring to the political tsunami on March 8.

Meanwhile, cops say this VCD is seditious in nature and hence they had confiscated it, would you believe it? You be the judge guys.

The 4 uploaded version in You Tube above were all copied from “Selepas Tsunami (After the Tsunami)

L-R, Dr, Nicholas Bawin of Sarawak, P. Waythayamoorty, Chairman Hindraf movement, Labour party MP, Virenda Sharma, and Daniel John Jambun of Sabah.

This is the story of Sabah since joining in the formation of Malaysia, September 16, 1963, from being one of the richest territory with plenty of natural resources has become the poorest state in the Federation.

Sabah is in a real mess. There are close to 1 million illegal immigrants in Sabah. Over 600,000 thousand with false documents have been given genuine Malaysian identity cards and some have even become voters. The acquisition of citizenship by these illegal immigrants was never in accordance to our country`s federal constitution. To me this is Treason.

Politicians link with the Barisan National are helping illegals to become Malaysian citizens and this act is prejudicial to the security and sovereignty of this country and it seems as though these UMNO fellows who are the culprits are immune to the laws of our country.

Anyway, many thanks to Waythamoorty the Chairman of Hindraf for taking the initiative in London in the British Parliament to help Sabah and Sarawak highlight the issues haunting these 2 states since formation of Malaysia, at least some one who is not from East Malaysia, understands the problems and is making effort to help. Also congratulate my good friend Dr Jeffrey Kitingan for taking the trouble to go all the way to Singapore to meet up with Waythamoorty and to personally request for support from Hindraf.

Read below the Memorandum delivered by Daniel John at the House of Commons London.

A Memorandum on the Fate of Sabah
in the Malaysian Federation

Presented by DANIEL JOHN JAMBUN, Esq.
At the House of Commons, London, the United Kingdom
March 9, 2010

Good afternoon all Honourable Members of the House, ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, I would like to record our most sincere gratitude having been given this honour of presenting this memorandum before this esteemed House. Today, marks a moment of honour for the people of Sabah, the former North Borneo, for having been accorded this rare opportunity to present a Memorandum a matter of grave significance, a matter which affect our fate as the people of the Federation of Malaysia. We see this as a historical event, a moment granted by God’s grace, in which we can communicate under this honourable roof, to reminisce a milestone of history half a century ago which was followed by sad events that in too many instances happened with numerous misgivings.
For decades now, we the people of Sabah, have been haunted by ghosts of history dating back to August 31, 1963, the day we gained independence from Great Britain. Malaysia was conceptualised and constituted with the best of promises, endearing in us hopes and dreams for a greater future. It is with sadness that I stand here to witness that what had transpired since September 16, 1963 had been a series of events that had led us to the present situation in which we can justly proclaim to be a situation of shattered hopes and broken dreams!

We therefore stand before this House, in good faith, to seek redress and to appeal for an inclusive dialogue, which we hope will lead to a clearer and brighter tomorrow to all parties concerned. I seek the indulgence of this House to hear our side of the story and adjudge the events of the past with a clear conscience and a sympathetic eye, and to lend us a hand in seeking a just and righteous solution to our problem.
I would like to present three pertinent issues, which may or may not have direct concern of the present British government. Firstly, we need to take a critical review of the rationales and instruments for the formation of Malaysia. There is the nagging question of justice in the drafting of the critical Malaysia Agreement, the efficiency and integrity off the Cobbold Commission, the reliability of the promises of the Twenty Points, the Inter governmental Committee Report and the Malaysian Act, historical documents which must be familiar to the knowledge of the Honourable Lawmakers in this House. Secondly, is the perennial issue of security which now affect the sovereignty of Sabah within Malaysia. And thirdly is the case of the spiraling deterioration in the economic wellbeing of the people of Sabah.

Sabah’s Expectations of Malaysia vs Reality and the Malaysian Agreement
The facts of history is that Sabah, a former British colony, achieved its independence on August 31st, 1963. On September 16, 1963, it merged with Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak to form the Federation of Malaysia on terms agreed by all parties. The concept of merger and equal partnership was introduced by Tunku Abdul Rahman to allay fears in Sabah and Sarawak of the possibility of Malaya recolonizing them upon the departure of the British masters.
The terms of this Federation are contained in various documents such as the Twenty Points, the IGC report and of course the Malaysia Agreement, which on paper protected the interests of Sabah and Sarawak within this new Federation so that they do not lose their autonomy in certain areas of governance which gave meanings and substances to their independence.
Without doubt, this was the expressed hope of the founding fathers, principally Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia; Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore, Donald Stephens and Mustapha Harun of Sabah, Stephen Kalong Ningkan of Sarawak, etc. Independent speeches were delivered by various leaders including Razak, Tun Mustapha, Donald Stephens and Sir William Goode to during the historic celebration of Sabah’s nationhood. I present several quotes from them below:

Today, is a historic day for Sabah. It marks the beginning of self-government and independence and the end of colonialism.

* Sir William Goode, outgoing Governor of North Borneo

(Sabah Times, Jesselton, August 1, 1963)

The Tunku naturally uttered several historic statements on the matter:

“The granting of self-government too would enable Sabah to stand on its own feet as equal with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore.”

(Sabah Times, Jesselton, August 30th, 1963)

“The important aspects of the Malaysia Ideal, as I see it, is that it will enable the Borneo territories to transform their present colonial status to ‘self government’ for themselves and absolute independence in Malaysia simultaneously…”

“The days of imperialism are gone and it is not the intention of Malaya to perpetuate or revive them. When the Borneo territories become part of Malaysia, they will cease to be a colony of Malaya, they will be partners of equal status, no more or less than the other States.”

(Strait Times, October 2nd 1962) The “other States” refer to the other States entities of Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak.”

Today, more than forty six years after independence, the people of Sabah are asking what happened to these rosy pronouncements and assurances. In fact the Sabahans have always been seriously clarification as to why Sabah is now functioning as if it is only a colony of Kuala Lumpur. Many still remember the warnings given by former Indonesian president Sukarno, who said that Malaysia will not change colonialism but will only shift its headquarters from London to Kuala lumpur. Has Sukarno’s prophecy come true today?
Tunku Abdul Rahman kept assuring us that Sabah was now independent; that it was no longer a colony and that Sabah will have its” absolute independence” in Malaysia. What Tunku Abdul Rahman said was exactly what we expected Sabah to gain and benefit from being part of the Federation, i.e. being a fully autonomous state within the Federation. But contrary to that promise, the reality today is that Sabah has become the 12th state of Malaya. Federal government leaders, dominated by Malayans, today can arbitrarily change, at their whims and fancies, whatever they wish to suit their needs and convenience. They even ignored the Twenty Points and the Malaysia Agreement and made it sensitive to even talk about them.
The Problem of the Illegal and Legalised Immigrants in Sabah
About half of Sabah’s population of 3.25 million today are foreigners. Out of this number, 750,000 are undocumented or without travel documents or work passes. Dr Chong Eng Leong paper, “Human Rights and Citizenship: Its impact on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights,” presented at the SUHAKAM Roundtable Discussion on July 31, 2006 refers.
Of these, 60,000 are categorized as refugees and about 153,000 to 418,000 are those supposedly given work passes. In addition there are those with false documents but over and above these numbers are the 600,000 who have been given genuine Malaysian identity cards or MyKads by higher authority under “Projek IC Mahathir” (Dr. Chong Eng Leong, Ibid.)
The most serious and obvious injustices inflicted upon Sabah is the deployment of non-citizen to become voters, thereby depriving citizens of the right to democracy and self-determination. The main category of foreign voters comprise the 600,000 who have been given Mykads, under “Projek IC Mahathir.” This project was widely debated in the local papers in 2006. A witness to a trial on an election dispute confessed in court to possessing a dubious identity card, telling the magistrate that he obtained his IC through “Projek President Mahathir.” This evidence was never contested, and nor has there been any denial form the former Prime Minister.
Security and Sovereignty
Most of these foreigners come from a neighbouring country (the Philippines) which, incidently, has yet to drop its territorial claim over Sabah. By the sheer number of the illegals from the Philippines alone, with their settlements surrounding all the major cities and towns, this claim could be easily legitimized. Sabah is now a haven for escaping terrorists, rebels and kidnappers. JI or Jemaah islamiyah, a terror network, has been identified as having its presence in Sabah. So is Darul Islam Sabah. Hence, with the presence of armed foreigners on our soil, Sabah is no longer a secure state.
This begs the question: Where is the security that the founding fathers of Malaysia had promised us? With the explicit support of Great Britain, we had been hard-pressed to join in the formation of Malaysia, in the name of security from Indonesia’s Confrontation and Phillippines’ claim. But as it turned out, today Brunei, which opted out following a rebellion, and Singapore which was later expelled, are doing so much better. There is therefore no denying that Brunei had been far-sighted, and Singapore had been ironically blessed by its expulsion.
Reverse Take Over
As the number of non-citizens are now rapidly outnumbering the local population in some areas (Dr Jeffery Kitingan, Justice for Sabah, Table 4.1), it is merely a matter of time for this foreign population to spread and overwhelm the whole of Sabah. SUHAKAM’s former Commissioner, Prof. Hamdan Adnan, once said that a foreigner reverse takeover is imminent if the trend continues unabated.
Sabah is a rich state endowed with much natural resources such as oil and gas, timber, fertile agricultural land and tourism potentials. With a population of just about three million, Sabah offers abundant promises for vibrant economic development and enviable prosperity. Unfortunately, Sabah today is the poorest state in Malaysia (according to the government’s Malaysia Plan Report). Most of Sabah’s timber has already been harvested without any heed to sustainable supply management, and over eighty percent of the agricultural land develop for oil palm belong to corporate giants owned by west Malaysian companies. Ironically, Sabah is Malaysia’s largest oil palm producer with 60% of the nation’s palm oil being produced in Sabah. Sabah is also one of three Malaysia’s oil producing states, producing more than 73,000 barrels of crude petroleum per day. Why then is Sabah poor and financially dependent on the federal government? The answer is simple: It is either that Sabah is not getting its fair share of its own wealth or is the victim of mismanagement, or both. UNDP (United Nation Development Program) put the State poverty rate at 24.3% of the population.

Poorest State
Sabah, once the richest state in Malaysia, is now the poorest. Most of the poor are Natives in the rural areas, including paddy farmers, fishermen and smallholders. The state government of Sabah has one of the highest budget deficit in the country amounting RM252.89 million (2006). With a population of 3.25 million, its per capita income currently stands at RM9,536 compared to RM18,040 for Malaysia. This show a huge disparity with Sabah’s per capita income way, way below the national standard. Where do our riches go to? To be exact: to the Federal Government. Sabah can never be rich as long as our State cake” is continuously divided into thirteen.
Oil Revenue
Oil and gas belong to the state but in 1976 the federal government made the state surrender this state resource to a central government agency, PETRONAS. It is said that that the “Double Six” Tragedy (airplane crash at Sembulan which killed senior Sabah cabinet members, including the then Chief Minister Tun Fuad Stephens, the former Donald Stephens) was the result of the refusal by Stephens to sign away Sabah’s oil right in Labuan then. Soon after Tun Fuad’s funeral, Harris Salleh signed the agreement. In return the state gets only 5% of the oil revenue. Why? Why do we get only 5% of the revenue from oil, when in the first place, it is a state resource? Who gets the other 95%? How much revenue earnings have been generated from Sabah’s oil and gas, including their by-products?
Felda and Felcra
Land given out to Felda and Felcra by the State Government for the purpose of development assistance to the landless local was never implemented. According to the former Chief Minister, Harris Salleh, 300,000 hectares have been given to Felda/Felcra for this purpose. We know of no one Sabahan having benefited, although perhaps there may be a few. So who are the rest of the beneficiaries? Who is reaping the oil palm harvest from our land? Obviously, justice must be served. And these lands must revert back to the State Government and their utilisation reviewed as part of our economic revival and poverty eradication programmes.

The enormous political implications of the non-citizens currently holding citizens’ identity cards are mind boggling. It is frightening to contemplate the ramifications of the fact that they can vote, as they have been recruited and mobilised by certain political leaders in the BN (the Barisan Nasional or National Front) ruling coalition. In fact most of these “voters for hire” have been recruited as members of UMNO (the United Malay National Organisation), the backbone of the BN.
Even a fellow BN member had openly admitted that illegals could be in BN parties. Chin Su Ling, Youth Chief of the Liberal Democratic Party, a component of the BN said there is a possibility that many illegal immigrants have become members of various BN component Sabah. (Borneo Post, Tuesday, September 19th, 2006). These foreigners may just be “voters for hire” at present but once they can organize themselves, they could be in a position to control Sabah UMNO and elect their own representatives into the State Assembly and Parliament. Once this is achieved they could take over the government and change the rules of the game in their favour. This is not impossible.
How did Sabah’s population grow so fast? Are we more fertile than Sarawak or the peninsular? NO! The high growth in Sabah’s population is explained by the high arrivals of foreigners, many of whom were later exploited to become voters through the “Project IC.” Worse, these foreigners who obtained MyKads through the backdoor also claim to be Bumiputeras (sons of the soil). They are in fact The New Bumiputeras! These new “natives” are now the same number as the natives!
Source of Socio-economic Problems
This large foreign population in Sabah also presents a heavy drain on the economy and social services fund. One estimate puts this cost to the State between RM271 million to RM811 million a year. They also take away from the local quota for education in schools and institutions of higher learning. They use a lot of medical facilities and health care services and encroach onto natives lands, producing squatter colonies. They also rely on low cost housing schemes provided by the government. They are also involved in drugs. According to the police, 90% of drugs are from the Philippines. They steal water and electricity through illegal connections and pollute the environment. Employment wise, many illegals are now running taxis, mini buses as drivers.
“The illegal immigrants are the mother of all problems in Sabah” – Dato Bakri Zinin . High ranking Police Officer, Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur

The root cause of Sabah’s dilemma is the fact that the Inter-Governmental Committee Report had failed to ensure Malaysian Government compliance with the Malaysia Agreement on a continuous basis. Various ‘modification’ and ‘adjustments’ had been surreptitiously inserted into the national governance mechanism which had trapped us into subservience and compliance and in the process eroding much of our rights and privileges.

The IGC must be revived and the United Kingdom, along with Singapore, Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya (the Federal Government), must play an active role as sympathetic and just former master to institute effective and enduring rectifications. This is the least that we can ask for. This is also the way forward. The United Kingdom is the first stop in our mission to revive the IGC. Efforts are also being made at this material time in Kuala Lumpur by Dr Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan, the chairman of the Common Interest Group Malaysia (Cigma) to seek the same redress and review of the terms of independence And formation of the Federation of Malaysia. Likewise we are mobilising a similar mission to Singapore prior to seeking a dialogue with the Sabah and Sarawak State Governments on the same issue.
With respect and reverence we lay our hopes and desires before this honourable House for a redirection of the negative trends that beset us in Borneo, in the full confidence that a vehicle to the future can be chartered for justice and truth, to pick up the pieces of the shattered hopes and broken dreams.

Thank you.

This year is going out and the New Year will soon be ushered in. The present year is gone old. Let it depart. You need not worry. It had been kind to all of us as Allah willed it so. Thank you Allah for this.

The sense of anticipation and resolve with which we greet every New Year, is even more acute this time. That is because now we are also celebrating the start of a new decade. A new decade has began guys.

And what a way to start of this new year when we hear that the Herald is free to use the word ‘ALLAH’.The High Court declared today that the Home Minister’s order banning the use of the term was illegal, null and void; the term is not exclusive to any religion.

Justice has prevailed and the independence of the judiciary is restored and the rule of law upheld. Wisdom has finally prevailed, I hope in Malaysia from today. This victory is for all Malaysians who cherish harmony, freedom, peace, and hope.

And this year my new year resolution is just to be myself.

Would be in Penang next week guys. Missing all of you already.

Happy New Year everyone, and God Bless