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NGO marks 52 years of Merdeka
Published on: Tuesday, September 01, 2015
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Kundasang: A 2015 Sabah Day was observed here, Monday, to press for the recognition of the true interpretation of independence among the people of Malaysia, especially Sabahans.The event, held to mark Sabah's 52 years of independence from colonial rule, was organised by a newly formed coalition called United Sabah Alliance (USA).

Those present included veteran politician-cum-USA Chairman Datuk Hj Mohd Noor Mansoor, Sabah Star Chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, APS Chairman Datuk Wilfred Bumburing, SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee and GPS Chairman Datuk Kalakau Untol.

It began with a flag procession from Ranau to Kundasang, followed by the Sabah Day Independence Walk from Kg Pinausuk to Kundasang in the morning. The celebration kicked off with welcoming speeches from SSPR Chairman Jalibin Paidi, Sabah Day 2015 Organising Chairman, Japiril Suhaimin and a poem citation by Sabah Star Paginatan Chief, Fedrine Tuliang.

In his speech, Jalibin commended the diligence of about 350 supporters who participated in the flag procession walk and that it reflected the effort of Sabahan's struggle to achieve self governance.

"This is the message that we want to convey to our children, which is, living in a country where its government did not abide by the laws when forming Malaysia in the past and resulting in the hardship that we are experiencing today," he said.

Japiril said, during the formation of Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak were promised that the two nations will have equal status with Malaya, but afterwards the status was quietly reduced to being one of the thirteenth and fourteenth states in Malaysia.

"Sarawak today enjoys much higher level of autonomy compared with Sabah because it is governed by local political parties. On the other hand, Sabah has close to no autonomy because it is governed by political parties from Malaya.

"We want to ensure that in the next General Election, Sabah will be won by local political parties under USA," he said.

Kalakau, in his speech, said not only did leaders from Malaya failed to honour the Malaysian Treaty for Sabah and Sarawak, but also succeed in imposing a colonial mindset on the people of Sabah.

"We want to free ourselves from the colonialism mindset, where we have to refer every single thing to them. We say enough is enough. We must be able to decide for ourselves," he said.

Meanwhile, Yong said the event was special because it is the first time Sabahan were able to celebrate their day of independence with clear conscience without being confused by the Peninsular Malaysia.

"Previously, although there were protests from Sabah, we were told that on Aug 31 we are celebrating Malaysia's Independence day. But Malaysia did not achieve independence on Aug. 31. It was Malaya which achieved independence on Aug. 31 1957.

"This is the sort of mindset colonialism which we are talking about where facts of history were distorted and put into school text books. This sort of abuse teaches our young children into believing in a lie.

"After much struggle, today the Federal Government finally agree to change the celebration from Independence Day to National Day and agree that instead of 58, it is the 52nd year of Malaysia's formation. But they still celebrate on Aug 31, which is Malaya's independence day. But over here we are experience a paradigm shift where we are celebrating Aug. 31 as Sabah's independence Day," he said.

Yong said, people in Sabah lived harmoniously side by side unlike in Malaya, where racial integrity need to be fostered otherwise racial confilcts are prone to happen.

"Actually Sabah and Sarawak have no problem of living harmoniously despite of various ethnicity, race, religion and backgrounds. Malaya who are actually the real threat to Malaysia."

So I say, If Malaya don't like it, they can get out of Malaysia.

"Don't hope that Malaya will save Malaysia. Sabah and Sarawak sre the ones who could save Malaysia. We need to save Sabah from Malaya. Our oil, our land, all our assets," he said.

"Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak, like Indonesia, once achieved our independence from colonialism. But Malaysia was formed from the coming together of three independent nations. So how can we say the Aug 31 is Malaysia's National day?

"If there are others who condemn us for celebrating Sabah's Independence Day today, then how come it is alright when people in the Peninsular shout 'Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka, today to celebrate their indipencdence day?" he asked.

Bumburing said today people ask the question that since most of those fighting for Sabah's rights consist of past leaders who once held important posts in the government, why never did anything when still in power.

"Our answer is simple. Anyone who dares to fight in the past would always be arrested in the ISA. The question that really matters today is to ask ourselves what is the right thing to do," he said.

Jeffrey said in the Malaysian Agreement in the 11 th Paragraph in the 20 Points, Sabah must have the authority to determine the bearing of its own development, but today, Sabah's produce are mostly taken by the Federal government.



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