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Speech by Lim Kit Siang at Malam Pakatan Rakykat Beaufort organized by DAP Beaufort on Thursday, 16th September 2010 at 10 pm: 

Najib should seriously implement Twenty Points Agreement on Borneonisation by setting target to fill at least half of 59 Federal departments in Sabah with Sabahans as heads before the next Malaysia Day on September 16, 2011

NSabahans are disappointed that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has come to Sabah completely empty-handed for the first Malaysia Day national public holiday in 47 years.

This makes a complete mockery of the belated recognition of the importance and significance of September 16 as Malaysia Day in the history of Malaysian nation-building process, which involves the rightful place of Sabahans and Sarawakians in the Malaysian scheme of things.

If not for People’s Power as represented by the emergence of Pakatan Rakyat, Malaysia Day on September 16 would not have been declared a national public holiday by the Prime Minister even after 47 years!

This is why the people of Sabah and Sarawak do not want to see the declaration of Malaysia Day as a national public holiday as a mere political ploy but want it to symbolize a belated recognition by and wake-up call for the Federal Government after 47 years to take seriously and address full-heartedly the frustrations, grievances and alienations suffered by Sabahans and Sarawakians for three generations at not being given full and fair treatment as Malaysian citizens – by removing once and for all the nagging sense felt by Sabahans and Sarawakians that they are not accorded recognition and rights as first-class citizens of Malaysia.

This is why Sabahans and Sarawakians expect more than having Malaysia Day declared as a national public holiday – why Sabahans expect Najib to come to Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan on the occasion of Malaysia Day to announce concrete measures how the Barisan Nasional Federal Government proposes to begin to address and resolve their 47-year-old grievances, frustrations and disaffections at not being given fair and proper treatment under the Malaysian sun.

For a start, how does Najib propose to fully implement the Twenty-Point Agreement which was the “magna carta” for Sabah in 1963 to join hands with Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore to establish the new nation and federation of Malaysia.

Yesterday, the Sabah press carried headlines like “Sabahans losing patience over 20 Points – Maijol”, quoting United Pasokmomogun Kadazan Dusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) vice president Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap declaring that “Sabahans are fed up with the Federal Government’s failure to fulfill what have been promised in the 20 Points Agreement”.

Maijol said: “Even after 47 years of being part of Malaysia, they are still waiting for the time when the 20 Points Agreement will be fully fulfilled.”

The minimum Sabahans had expected from Najib on his visit to Sabah to celebrate Malaysia Day as the first national public holiday is an acknowledgement and commitment by him as Prime Minister to fully implement the 20 Points Agreement.

This was also why at my arrival media conference in Kota Kinabalu yesterday morning and at the historic launching of Pakatan Rakyat Sabah last night, I had recommended to the Prime Minister the idea of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Twenty Points Agreement to assess their success, shortfalls and failures so that all the 20 Points can be fully implemented.

Unfortunately, my proposal has been ignored and the hopes of Sabahans and Sarawakians that their 47-year-old grievances and discontents will at last be addressed have been dashed with Najib coming to Sabah completely empty-handed.

Najib should make immediate amends for this serious omission by tabling the full implementation of the 20 Points Agreement as the first item of business at the Cabinet meeting next Wednesday, putting on the Cabinet agenda the proposal for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 20 Points Agreement.

One of the Twenty Points Agreement referred to a “proper Ministerial system in North Borneo”.

This commitment for a “proper Ministerial system” in the 1963 Twenty Points (the Great Charter of Sabah) had clearly been violated in the past 47 years or we would have seen a fair distribution of the state’s wealth and resources among Sabahans and not the abnormality firstly of Sabah which started as one of the richest states in Malaysia deteriorating to be one of the poorest states after 47 years; and secondly, the emergence of a coterie of new rich revolving around the Chief Minister or ex-Chief Ministers and ex-state ministers and their cronies while the overwhelming majority of Sabahans remain poor.

Let the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 20 Points conduct a full and comprehensive investigation into nearly five decades of misrule, corruption and gross abuse of power in the state which negated and nullified the pledge of the Sabah Magna Carta for “a proper Ministerial system” in Sabah.

Another Twenty-Point pledge is Borneaisation, which stipulated: “Borneanisation of the public service should proceed as quickly as possible.”

What has the Barisan Nasional Federal Government to show for “Borneanisation” of the public service in Sabah after 47 years?

I understand that out of 59 Federal departments, only five are headed by Sabahans. Over 80 per cent of school heads in the education department in Sabah are filled by officers from Peninsular Malaysia, which is clearly against the spirit and letter of the Twenty-Points on Borneanisation after 47 years.

I call on Najib to seriously and immediately implement the Twenty-Point Agreement on Borneonisation by setting the target to fill at least half of 59 Federal departments in Sabah with Sabahans as heads before the next Malaysia Day on September 16, 2011.

Najib should table this target at the Cabinet meeting next Wednesday to demonstrate that his administration is serious in wanting to address the 47-year grievances, frustrations and discontents of Sabahans and Sarawakians – making the first Malaysia Day as a national public holiday really worthwhile and meaningful.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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