Daniel John Jambun, the leader of the Sabah delegation to Britain, today challenged Deputy Chief of Sarawak Alfred Jabu anak Numpang for an open debate.
“We want to call on Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu Anak Numpang to prove that he's a 'somebody' as he implies by briefing the people on his track record in defending the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
“We challenge Jabu to an open debate on the issues raised by the Common Interest Group Malaysia (Cigma) during their briefing to members of the House of Commons in London on March 9,” Jambun said in a statement emailed to The Broken Shield.
The Broken Shield had earlier published Jambun’s memorandum presented to the House Commons.
Jambun who is the deputy chairperson of Common Interest Groups (CIGMA) said: “Jabu is turning a blind eye to the serious plight of Malaysians in Sabah. Or is it more likely that he is actually ignorant about the horrendous problems faced by Sabahans because he has not been to Sabah often enough.
“Cigma's memorandum titled 'Shattered Hopes and Broken Dreams' detailed Sabah's expectations upon independence as were promised by Tunku Abdul Rahman and under the Malaysia Agreement, the Intergovernmental Committee Report and the 20 Points, the issue of state security and threats to national sovereignty.
“These included 'reverse takeovers' arising from the influx of illegal immigrants, poverty, unfair sharing of oil revenue, lack of fair benefits from land alienation to Felda and Felcra, and other socio-economic problems as a result of the unjust distribution of wealth and opportunities for Sabah from the national economic cake.
“Over the past 50 years 'various modifications and adjustments' to the Malaysia Agreement have eroded the rights and privileges of Sabahans. Forty-six years after independence, Sabah is now the poorest state despite its abundant natural resources.
“Whatever good we had received from Malaysia, it is all totally negated by the fact that we are not secure as a state and that the federal government has reaped a huge economic harvest from Sabah and returned so little to us,” he said.
Since the takeover of Umno/BN in Sabah in 1994, Sabah, he said, had been plundered to the point of becoming the poorest state in Malaysia.
“We are in such dire straits with a very uncertain future, so what is the point of praising the government? Jabu surely knows that Sarawak has had no better deal in Malaysia than Sabah.
“He must not think Sabah is in the same position as Sarawak which still has some of its original rights intact. Even Umno daren't enter Sarawak. But we in Sabah are in a much more different situation. We are under a state government which is under the directive of Kuala Lumpur.
“Brunei, which opted out of Malaysia, and Singapore which later left the federation, are in a much better economic position regionally and globally. In fact, with all the rich natural resources that we have, Sabah should be richer than Brunei.
“We reiterate that we are ready for an open debate on these issues with Jabu anytime at any venue of Jabu's choice. Let the people judge who is a 'nobody in his own country.' At the moment, the consensus of public opinion is that Jabu is a proxy and stooge of the ruling elite in Kuala Lumpur and hence a traitor to our people.
“There is nothing wrong in Cigma calling for the re-activation of the Inter-Governmental Committee on the Malaysia Agreement. The IGC was meant to be a permanent institution to monitor the Malaysia Agreement.
“Jabu must explain why the IGC has fallen into inactivity and disuse over the years. We call upon the Malaysian federal government and the governments of Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and the UK to return to the IGC as soon as possible, failing which we will relentlessly pursue the matter further in various international forums.
“We appeal that the governments of Indonesia and the Philippines be accorded observer status at the IGC. The presence of Indonesia will ensure that the re-colonisation of Sabah and Sarawak by Malaya, after the departure of the British, is reversed. The late President Sukarno of Indonesia did warn against re-colonisation when he launched his policy of konfrantasi (confrontation) and ganjang Malaysia (hang M'sia) in 1963.
“The presence of the Philippines will ensure that we can bring the so-called Sabah claim to a closure. Following the successful briefing at the House of Commons in London on Mach 9, we intend to pursue the introduction of an EDM
(Early Day Motion) on the Malaysia Agreement in the British Parliament as soon as the forthcoming UK general elections are over.
The writer is deputy chairperson, Common Interest Group Malaysia (Cigma).