Call on Pairin, Harris as well as Najib to confirm that 30 years ago, the Berjaya Sabah State government was on the verge of surrendering the state’s autonomy powers on immigration to the Federal Government
The report in today’s Free Malaysia Today must be a shock to Sabahans and Malaysians, for it was revealed for the first time that some 30 years ago, the Sabah state government was on the verge of surrendering the state’s autonomy powers on immigration to the Federal Government.
This came about in the ongoing polemics betwee two former Sabah Chief Ministers, Datuk Harris Salleh and his nemesis, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
The Free Malaysia Today report “Pairin tells Harris not to harp on ‘lost’ Sabah rights” quoted Joseph Pairin as reminding Harris that it was under Harris’ Berjaya Sabah State government that Sabah’s state rights were “slowly eroded until very little was lieft”.
Joseph Pairin said that if it had not be him as Chief Minister from 1985 to 1994, even the special immigration powers vested in the state would have been taken away.
Pairin alleged: “The Berjaya Government was on the verge of surrendering Sabah’s immigration powers before it was ousted from power.
“Some of us in Berjaya stopped it and asked for three years to think it over.”
Pairin said that “luckily”, his 45-day-old Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) wrested the reins of power from Berjaya and that “put paid to the Federal Government’s plan to abolish the state’s immigration powers”
I never knew and have never heard that the Federal Government under the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was planning to abolish Sabah’s immigration powers, although Harris as Sabah Chief Minister surrendered Labuan to the Federal Government in 1984 which was subsequently declared a Federal Territory.
I have asked around and nobody seemed to know that there were plans from 1983-1985 involving both the Federal and Sabah State Governments to abolish Sabah’s immigration powers.
Pairin, Harris and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak (as there must be documentation on such a matter in the Federal Government) should confirm whether 30 years ago, the Berjaya Sabah State government was on the verge of surrendering the state’s autonomy powers on immigration to the Federal Government.
As the then Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir – who is still very active and alert in the public domain, even plotting to scalp another Prime Minister – should throw light on another long-kept secret in Malaysia on the circumstances and history of attempts in his first four years as Prime Minister in the eighties to abolish Sabah’s state immigration powers as revealed by Joseph Pairin.
In this connection, Joseph Pairin should explain why he had kept secret the plot to abolish Sabah’s state immigration autonomy for three decades!