Borneonisation ignored: Yong
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) President, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee said the people lived in harmony without racial or religious conflicts, with no communist threat and very little crime before Malaysia was formed.
"And Sabah was the richest State in the country when Sabah formed Malaysia with Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya in 1963, after Brunei opted out.
"However, after the formation of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur began to control Sabah's politics," the former Chief Minister said. Sabah then was governed by London with a locally-appointed Legislative Council.
He was responding to Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who had said Yong was outdated in comparing Kuala Lumpur with the British colonialists.
Yong said the Sabah Head of State has to be advised by the head of the Barisan Nasional ruling coalition in Kuala Lumpur before swearing in the Chief Minister.
"Things got worse when even Members of Parliament and Assemblymen have to be endorsed by Kuala Lumpur before they could become election candidates.
"Hence, our political leaders have become subservient to Kuala Lumpur.
In reality, Sabah has lost whatever autonomy our founding fathers expected in 1963," he claimed.
He further said Article IV of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 binds the United Kingdom to transfer sovereignty and jurisdiction over Sabah to Malaysia.
"As such it was not wrong to say that political control of Sabah has shifted from colonial capital London to national capital Kuala Lumpur (now Putrajaya)," Yong pointed out.
On the issue of the public service, he said the Point Number 8 of the Twenty Points submitted by Sabah representatives to the Cobbold Commission is on the Borneonisation of the public service.
The Cobbold Commission, formed to ascertain the views of the people of North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak on the Malaysia proposal, accepted the Borneonisation condition in their report of June 21, 1962 as follows: "Borneonisation of the public services should proceed as quickly as possible". The Malayan representative in the commission was Tan Sri Ghazali Shafie.
Yong said this Borneonisation condition was then incorporated into the Report of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) on February 27, 1963 as follows:
"Borneonisation of the public services in the Borneo states is a major objective of policy. For a number of years to come special arrangements will be necessary to secure this objective and to protect the legitimate interests of the Native people."
Finally, the Malaysia Agreement dated July 9, 1963 binds the governments of Malaya, North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak to Borneonisation.
"This is contained in Article VIII of the Malaysia Agreement," Yong said.
Towards this end, Yong said it was therefore sad that after 46 years of Malaysia, out of the 81 federal department and 39 agencies, only 38 per cent are headed by local Malaysians.
"As for the cream of service, the Pegawai Tadbir Diplomat, only 3 per cent are Sabahans. This excludes statistics on the armed forces and Royal Malaysia Police. "None of Malaysia's ambassadors is a Malaysian from Sabah," he said.
He said local heads of departments have to refer most matters to their Putrajaya head offices for decisions, citing an example, the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak which cannot even employ a clerk.