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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Redesignate Former Residencies/Divisions Into Internal States of Sabah and Sarawak

KOTA KINABALU - “The restoration of Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya as equal partners in the Federation of Malaysia will require some adjustments and rationalization  to  justify and enhance this equality,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, President of the Borneo Heritage Foundation and Bingkor Assemblyman, in responding to the calls for the restoration of the original categorization under Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution.

Jeffrey said if this was done, Article 1(2) could look like this:-

1.(2)       The States of the Federation shall be:-

(a)    The States of Malaya, namely, Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Terengganu;

(b)   The States of North Borneo (Sabah), namely, Kudat, Pantai Barat Kinabalu, Pedalaman            Keningau, Sandakan, Tawau and Labuan;

(c)    The States of Sarawak, namely, Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu,               Mukah, Bintulu, Kapit, Miri and Limbang.

According to Dr. Jeffrey, this would be the best rationalization to justify the equal status of the three regional entities as it should be. This is because directly under the States of Malaya are the 11 internal states in exactly the same way Residencies and Divisions are organized in Sabah and Sarawak.

In fact, the Districts or former Residencies/Divisions in the Borneo States are much bigger in area than many of the States in the Peninsula. For example, the District of Keningau with an area of 3,533 sq. km. is larger than the combined area of the States of Malacca, Penang and Perlis of 3,505 sq. km.

The proposed State of Pedalaman Keningau would comprise the Districts of Tenom, Pensiangan, Tambunan and Keningau.

The States of Sarawak would be even bigger than most Malayan States as Sarawak is almost equal in size to the entire Federation of Malaya of 11 internal states. Based on the territories of Sarawak at the time of the formation of Malaysia, it would have 9 internal states compared to the current 11 Divisions and Sabah 6.

Based on this rationalization, Malaysia would look like the Chart below.

The above suggestion will strengthen Malaysia, politically, economically and socio-culturally based on their regional autonomy with the understanding that the Federal government’s role and power would be shared equally among the three (3) member entities.

For this to materialize, the Federal Constitution would need to be comprehensively revised as per MA63, the IGC Report, 20-Points and various other assurances.

Now that the equal status of Sabah and Sarawak to the Federation of Malaya and the 1976 constitutional amendments to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution being null and void, action should be taken to rectify the past mistake instead of just empty talk by all concerned.

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