Wednesday, 28 August 2013


by: Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan




Kota Kinabalu:     Sabah must assert and celebrate its independence on 31st August as independence day is the most important milestone of any nation and more so when 2013 marks its 50th anniversary of independence” said Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Chairman of STAR Sabah, in a press statement released today.



The people must know that Sabah gained independence on 31 August 1963 and was 16 days before being rushed into forming Malaysia with 3 other independent nations, Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore.  The correct history needs to be re-written and thought to our young that Malaya gained independence on 31 August 1957 while Sarawak and Singapore gained theirs on 22 July 1963 and 3 June 1959 and that Malaysia was formed as a new nation on “Malaysia Day”, 16 September 1963.



The significance of independence cannot be better said than by Sir William Goode, the last Governer of British North Borneo, stating “TODAY IS A HISTORIC DAY FOR SABAH. IT MARKS THE BEGINNING OF SELF-GOVERNMENT AND INDEPENDENCE AND THE END OF COLONIALISM” on 31 August 1963 before departing from the shores of Sabah at Jesselton port and widely reported in the then local papers.



It was the date that the powers, rights and privileges to decide the future destiny of Sabah was handed back to Sabahans.



This momentous date has been ignored for the past 50 years simply because Sabah was federated with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore on 16 September 1963.   Regardless of being federated to form Malaysia or not, Sabah was officially independent from 31 August 1963. 



The failure to recognize and celebrate Sabah Independence Day has partly led to Sabah becoming the 12th subservient state of Malaya who has since occupied and ruled Sabah as one of its 13 States and a re-colonization of Sabah.



The fears of Malaya being the new colonial masters of Sabah and Sarawak with transfer of power from London to Kuala Lumpur expressed by the late President Suharto in 1963 has now become a reality and nightmare for Sabahans.



The problem has become what is now known as the “Sabah Mess” – loss of autonomy, rights, rich resources, oil and gas, and indigenous natives being displaced and marginalized with illegal immigrants given identity cards through Project IC/Ops Durian Buruk. 




As can be seen and heard at the on-going RCI, unqualified illegal immigrants were hand delivered ICs and MyKads, dubiously and unlawfully issued by the Federal government as part of a re-colonization plan of Sabah.  Yet, these acts of treason are still being defended by some federal leaders and echoed by Sabahans who have all sold their souls and the country just for the sake of retaining political power and control over Sabah.



It is happy to note that the Sarawak government has now taken cognizance of Sarawak’s Independence Day on 22 July and have celebrated Sarawak’s 50th anniversary of independence.   The Sarawak government even enacted the departure of the British rulers on the river banks at Kuching as part of the celebrations.



The Sabah government should do the same to show Sabah is an independent sovereign nation within the nation of Malaysia.   It is inappropriate for the Sabah government to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sabah Independence as “50 Tahun Sabah Maju Jaya Dalam Malaysia” and celebrating it on this coming 16th September. 



There is no meaning to “Sabah Maju Jaya Dalam Malaysia” when all its revenues and oil and  gas resources are siphoned off to fund the development in Malaya.   This is emphasized recently recently by the Sabah JKR Director who highlighted and lamented that Sabah badly needed RM2 billion to urgent repair its 4,560 km of roads to restore them to serviceable condition especially in the rural areas yet RM18 billion was taken from Sabah’s oil and gas by Petronas in 2012. 



The federal allocation was only RM50 million for upgrading the Pan-Borneo highway in Sabah in 2012, part of the paltry RM423 million for the upgrading of the 2,230 km Pan Borneo Highway, as announced recently by the Deputy JKR Minister who is from Sabah.



After 50 years of lies and cover-up, the time has come for the Sabah government and Sabahans to rise above political subservience and assert and celebrate Sabah Independence Day and to correct the wrong facts of history and rectify past mistakes.  Otherwise, there would be no meaning to the singing of the Sabah Tanah Airku Anthem 'Sabah Merdeka Selama-lamanya'.

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