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Friday, March 19, 2010

Sarawak and Sabah Shattered Dreams in Joining Malaysia

KUCHING
Thursday, 18th March 2010

A Sarawak delegation leader to the British Parliament has claimed that Malaysia had failed to honour its promises that Sarawak and Sabah be equal partners when they joined the Federation of Malaysia.
Nicolas Bawin told members of the House of Commons that Sarawak agreed to join Sabah, Malaya and Singapore in the formation of the federation which was established on Sept 16, 1963.
"We agreed because of the terms and conditions that were promised us," said Bawin, when he presented a memorandum to the Commons on Mar 9.
The head of government offices in Sarawak are influxs with officers from Malaya. Not only that, the most obvious government department where Sarawakian and Sabahan are being sidelined is in the Armed Forces. Until now..none of the natives from Sarawak and Sabah have been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Are the native officers not capable ? I doubt it. Look at the Military history, which group had being awarded  with the galantary award SP and PGB the most....Bukittunggal 
In an interview with East Malaysia popular online portal, Bawin said he told the Commons that Malaya became the most beneficial party to the Malaysia Agreement, while Sabah and Sarawak only received hand-outs from Kuala Lumpur.
"What remains are trails of broken promises" said the former president of Sarawak Dayak National Union.
He said the special positions of the natives of Sarawak must be safeguarded especially on land ownership, fair quota in civil services including armed forces and police personnel, fair access to scholarship and education and training, and fair access to licences and permits to trade and business.
Bawin alleged: "The quota for the employment of natives in the service no longer applies in view of the flooding of civil service with Malayan officers as well as preference only to certain tribal groups.

British MPs urged to help

"The giving of scholarships and educational grants are also very discriminatory. Children of native people are not given their dues when it comes to the award of scholarship and educational grants.
"The giving of licences and permits to trade and business is also very discriminatory. It is so difficult for natives of Sarawak to get licences and permits. On the other hand, certain groups get them easily. This has encouraged the rise of corruption and bribery."
Bawin said he had called on the British MPs to help Sarawak to relook into the Malaysia Agreement as the state was once a British colony.
He added: "They are going to look into our allegations and complaints."
He said the British MPs had expressed their sympathies and concerns over the way Sarawakians and Sabahans have been treated in Malaysia.
According to Bawin, a member of the British Parliamentary Select Committees on Human Rights, Virendra Sharma, promised them that the British MPs would look into the claims.
"I will look into the allegations and bring them to a higher level," Sharma, who is the Labour MP for Ealing, told Bawin and Daniel John Jambun who led the Sabah delegation.
Haunted by ghosts of history

Jambun had also told the British MPs that the people of Sabah are experiencing "shattered hopes and broken dreams" since Sept 16, 1963.
"Malaysia was conceptualized and constituted with the best promises, endearing in us hopes and dreams for a greater future," he told the British MPs.
"It is with sadness that I stand here to witness that what had transpired since 16 September 1963 had been a series of events that had led us to the present situation in which we can justly proclaim to be in a situation of shattered hopes and broken dreams."
He said the people of Sabah have been haunted by ghosts of history dating back to Aug 31, 1963, the day Sabah gained its independence from Britain.
Jambun highlighted three pertinent issues which might or might not have direct concern to the present British government:

* There is a need to take a critical review of the rationales and instruments for the formation of Malaysia.

* The perennial issue of security which now affects the sovereignty of Sabah within Malaysia.

* The spiralling deterioration in the economic well-being of the people of Sabah.

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Musa Condemns Federal Government For Witholding Kelantan's Oil Royalty

KUALA LUMPUR
Thursday, 18th March 2010

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam appeared tonight to back Kelantan’s oil royalty claims, when he said that the state government should be allowed to manage federal funds whether they are called oil royalties or goodwill payments.
He said such funds should be paid directly to the state government in accordance with the law and should not be channelled through special committees.
In an interview with Astro Awani tonight, Musa said the funds must be paid to the state government because the aim of such payments was for the public’s benefit.
“Whether it is goodwill payments or oil royalty that is not important. As long as they use it for development for the people.
“We should establish a system where we can monitor the funds even if the powers are given to the state government,” he said.
Musa’s comments come amid his Umno colleague Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s campaign to back Kelantan’s oil royalty claim.
Putrajaya is adamant that it will not pay one sen of oil royalty to Kelantan for oil and gas extracted in a shared production block off its waters.
Instead the government will pay out RM20 million to the Kelantanese people via federal agencies in what it calls a goodwill payment, similar to the mechanism it used in Terengganu between 1999 and 2009 when PAS was in power.
Tengku Razaleigh also warned Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) today that the ruling coalition could lose crucial votes in the next general election if the federal government continued to deny Kelantan’s oil royalty claims.
For the past few weeks, Umno leaders have stopped attacking the Gua Musang MP, concerned that verbal assaults will push him into the arms of the opposition and provide Pakatan Rakyat with a strong leader should Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim be convicted of sodomy.
But the politician, popularly known as Ku Li, is slated to question why Putrajaya withheld oil royalty payments to Terengganu during the PAS reign in the state, and raise questions on how the federal government used funds owed to the state government.
Musa, who was once politically aligned with Tengku Razaleigh in a rivalry against former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1987, acknowledged tonight that his remarks may cause restlessness among current party leaders.
“When you hear my remarks it is not ‘mainstream’. Some may say it is closer to Tengku Razaleigh’s views. But do not misunderstand me... to say that Musa is back with Tengku Razaleigh. No, we are old so don’t worrylah.”
But Musa said he believes that Tengku Razaleigh knows what he is standing up for in his fight for Kelantan.
“I believe he is well versed with the issue because he was from Petronas before and he was in government."

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Zahrain Hashim Names Bung Moktar Radin and Anifah Aman Among the BN Defectors in Anwar September 16 Power Transition Plan

KUALA LUMPUR
Thursday, 18th March 2010

Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim or "PKR Traitor" today named eight MPs, whom he claimed were ready to jump ship in the opposition’s bid to takeover the government on Sept 16, 2008.
They were Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh (BN-Kalabakan), Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (BN-Kimanis), Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan), Datuk Chua Soon Bui (Independent-Tawau), Datuk Eric Majimbun (Independent-Sepanggar), Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi (BN-Batu Pahat), Datuk Seri Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar (BN-Jerantut) and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN-Gua Musang).
A Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker was also in the fray, said Zahrain in his speech when debating the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat.
The whole House broke into laughter when Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar interjected: “Which deputy speaker?”

Zahrain claimed that there was a link between online newspaper MalaysiaKini and Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK)’s news portal with the opposition and urged the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to probe into it.
Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, Zahrain denied that he was a “BN mercenary soldier” as he had been vocal even before he left Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Meanwhile, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution hit back at Zahrain by calling him a “BN attack dog”.
“Zahrain assumes a new role to denigrate the opposition and his sudden outburst was a marked different from his heydays in the PKR.
“He hardly took part in parliamentary debates for the past two years but all of a sudden he became very vocal.
“When these MPs jumped ship, they turn into ‘attack dogs’. They had prepared texts prepared for them and bring up issues which they think are crucial,” added Saifuddin.
Responding to the label “attack dog”, Zahrain retorted that it was unbecoming for him to be given such a label, and he added “Anyway, it will not stop me. Do respect me as an MP.”

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