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Friday, August 30, 2019

STAR: Stop ignoring voices of Sabah and Sarawak

KOTA KINABALU - Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) warned the federal government not to continue ignoring the voices of the people in Sabah and Sarawak, including those who have been calling for the secession of the two Bornean states from the federation.

Speaking to reporters here today, STAR president Jeffrey Kitingan said it is appalling that the federal government has continued to impose its will on Sabah and Sarawak leaders, making the states subservient to federal will on issues including economics, religion, politics and, in Sabah’s case, demographic re-engineering.

“This is why the people here are becoming bolder in calling for secession from the federation of Malaysia.

“Why should Putrajaya be surprised? If they continue ignoring these voices, do not be surprised if they escalate into something bigger,” he said.

Kitingan, who is also the Keningau MP, said he was saddened that the people in Sabah and Sarawak continued to be “forced” into celebrating the anniversary of Malayan independence.

He said this mentality is an example of Malaya trying to exert its influence and supremacy by treating the Bornean states as if they are colonial territories void of any unique history, culture, rights, autonomy, independence, or individuality.

“It is ridiculous to make us celebrate the Malayan Independence Day of 1957. Even school children now know how absurd that is,” he said.

Instead of continuing down the same road as the previous federal government, Kitingan said the current government should practise unity in diversity and stop imposing its will over Sabah and Sarawak.

A good way to start, he said, is by acting against those who play the race and religious cards for political mileage.

At the same time, he said the federal government must recognise the uniqueness of the societal make-up in all three territories, namely Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak, and their own histories and cultures.

“Each territory has its own characteristics and histories. Malaysia was not formed so that Malaya can take over. But this is what has happened and, as a result, the country’s legitimacy has been questioned endlessly.

“This includes the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) that has remained unfulfilled in its entirety ever since it was signed in 1963. Singapore was lucky to have left early and has gone on to become a first-world nation,” he said.

As it stands, Kitingan said Malaysia has a choice on whether to turn from its destructive path or put things right.

“It is a desperate situation because we cannot take this any more,” he said.

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