(1) Rakyat Sabah Telah Hilang Negeri mereka kepada UMNO.
(2) Rakyat Sabah dijajah oleh UMNO dan ini merupakan satu kezaliman & Kes Rompak!
(3) Sabah adalah kepunyaan Rakyat Sabah.
(4) Semenanjung tidak mempunyai Hak Undang Undang di Negeri Sabah.
(5) Ini telah pun dipersetujui semasa Sabah & Sarawak bergabung dengan Malaya.
KOTA KINABALU, Feb 21 — As elections loom, the “Sabah for Sabahans” war cry appears to be resounding louder than ever as the newly-formed Sabah Star joins an already crowded opposition battle for a state long considered a Barisan Nasional (BN) stronghold.
Led by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, the now one-month-old Star, or “State Reform Party”, believes that it will be this very sentiment that will finally break the ruling pact’s chokehold on the east Malaysian state.
The 65-year-old political veteran, whose long and colourful career has seen him float in and out of at least six political parties, insists that this time, he has just the right brew for what he feels is a more enlightened Sabah electorate.
“We (Sabahans) have suffered. We have achieved independence but we are not enjoying independence. In fact, we have lost that independence and (we have) become a colony again,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an exclusive interview recently.
Over the past year, Dr Jeffrey, through another platform — the United Borneo Front (UBF) — has been traversing the length and breadth of rural Sabah to spread his “Borneo agenda”, playing on a small but growing anti-Malaya sentiment to capture political power. Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore formed Malaysia in 1963 but Singapore was asked to leave two years later.
He has hosted what he calls the “Borneo Tea Parties” in at least 400 locations state-wide, hoping that his symbolic use of the historic “Boston Tea Party” event will jolt a sense of patriotism within the electorate to fight for the state’s autonomy.
The Boston Tea Party was a significant event in America’s independence struggle when colonists boarded ships in Boston Harbour in 1773 and dumped 342 chests of tea into the water to protest against taxation by Britain.
“Like the colonists in America, we too want our rights back. We want to go back to the 1963 Malaysia agreement. We want to implement what has been agreed on ... the promises, the assurances,” Dr Jeffrey said.
“We want a fair share of roles in the federal government — we are one of the components that make up Malaysia, so we are supposed to share the role of managing the country.”
He noted that for any side to gain federal power in the coming polls — either BN or the opposition — much emphasis must be placed on capturing the hearts of east Malaysians, a factor he said would be used as a “bargaining chip” to achieve autonomy for Sabah.
“We will seek a review of our revenue-sharing formula ... because, we (Sabah) are an independent country — we merely agreed to form a federation, that’s all,” he said.
Since the Malaysia agreement, Dr Jeffrey said, Sabahans have become “beggars” in their own homeland with the state long rated the country’s poorest despite being rich in natural resources.
“Did you know that in terms of revenue, the state government only collects about RM3.6 billion? But that we are sending RM35 billion to the federal government every year?” he said. He pointed to the growing influx of illegal immigrants in the state, a longstanding problem that will emerge as a key issue in the coming polls.
“This is one of the worst things the government has done just to maintain their power base ... they are actually destroying the state,” he said.
During his two-day working visit to Sabah last week, Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not announce the Cabinet’s decision to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into the problem of illegal immigrants in the state as had been expected.
Instead, the prime minister announced that Sabah has finally lifted itself from off the bottom rung and relegated PAS-led Kelantan to the status of the nation’s poorest state.
But to Dr Jeffrey, the state known as the Land Below the Wind still lags far behind its partners across the South China Sea.
He lamented the BN government’s focus of economic development, saying everything has always been about “peninsula, peninsula, peninsula”.
“It is like, they eat first and whatever is left over (is fed to) Sabah and Sarawak,” he complained.
But all this could change, Dr Jeffrey believes, with enough ground work.
Through his “Borneo Tea Parties”, the politician has been giving Sabahans lessons in history, buoyed by conviction in his belief that “knowledge is power”.
During each “tea party”, Dr Jeffrey said participants participate in a three-step process — learning about Sabah’s history of independence and the formation of Malaysia; what happened since the 1963 agreement and how to move forward; and a question and answer session.
“The answer is education and knowledge. I tell them of my own experience in the past when (former prime minister Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad said to me — Jeffrey, do not teach the people what they don’t know.
“Let them be ignorant ... so that they can be manipulated and controlled. This is the federal attitude, you know,” he said.
Despite his apparent confidence that the “Borneo agenda” could topple BN come the general election, however, Dr Jeffrey said Sabah Star would be “practical” in its wrest for power.
He said the party was willing to negotiate a power-sharing formula with other key opposition parties in the state, namely the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and the three-party coalition of Pakatan Rakyat (PR), comprising the peninsula-based PKR, PAS and DAP.
But Dr Jeffrey has one condition that would likely not go down well with the federal opposition pact PR — that all Sabah-based parties take the lion’s share of seats in the coming polls.
“There will be some, I would say, areas of conflict. That is why we propose that PR, being peninsula-based, focus on the peninsula while we focus here and we will support each other when forming the federal government,” he said.
Dr Jeffrey said that Sabah Star already has its list of candidates ready for the polls and is prepared to field candidates in at least 22 to about 30 state seats in the 60-seat Sabah assembly.
Its candidates, he said, comprise at least 80 to 90 per cent political newbies, most of whom are teachers and professionals, with a small number of senior politicians like himself.
“The teachers are our biggest supporters and the young people are coming in. “So I think the effect is there ... it is certainly building up. I am no longer alone in this fight for Sabah autonomy,” he said.
In Election 2008, BN swept a whopping 59 of the state’s 60 seats that were up for grabs but later lost two seats when SAPP left the pact. DAP holds one seat.