The Borneo states can resolve their unhappiness with Malaysia at the same time as the states in Malaya.
LETTER: We believe that it’s not necessary to fall back on “constitutional documents on the Malaysia concept” to push for autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak.
The struggle for autonomy must be waged within the context of the return of rule of law.
Again, any part of any country in the world can push for autonomy for any number of reasons.
Briefly, all politics are about restructuring the distribution of political power and restructuring the allocation of resources. This approach is good enough to push for autonomy. Most of the revenue and resources of Sabah and Sarawak are going to Putrajaya.
Very little of it comes back. This is a classic case of colonial exploitation, under international law, and paving the way for self-determination.
We are taking the cue from a press conference held by Sarawak4Sarawakians in Kuala Lumpur on Tues and DAP reportedly offering greater autonomy for the Borneo states.
The desire of the people to stand on their own two feet was sufficient for any territory of significance to push for autonomy or even beyond.
Sabah and Sarawak are territories of significance in the federation.
Patently, the states in Malaya have a case for more autonomy as well given the excesses of the Mahathir administration (1981 to 2003).
This explains why DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng mentioned Johor, Selangor, Penang and Kelantan as well when proposing greater autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak.
SakSaMa was for autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak without reference to this or that constitutional document. The definition of federation in Article 160 in the Federal Constitution will find resolution after autonomy.
SakSaMa — Sarawak, Sabah, Malaya — also stands for equality (saksama) in Malay.
The battle cry derives from Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa, the coalition of seven parties, pushing for an equal partnership of Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya.
Guan Eng would not be able to raise “new federalism” as the DAP’s mantra had the Mahathir administration not compromised Malaysia as a federation.
Something has to give away. A federation is about power being shared at the federal, state and local governments.
After local elections were suspended in the late 60s Mahathir Mohamad came along and centralised all power in the federal government, in particular the position of prime minister.
Malaysia was no longer a nation of laws. If we had been a nation of laws, wrongdoers involved in recent financial scandals would have been brought to justice.
The rule of law and bringing back the federation must be kept in mind, as the quest for autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak continues.
Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah