Second Proposal for Malaysia Day 2020: Prime Minister to present the three pledges of Keningau Batu Sumpah in Parliament and a motion on government’s commitment to uphold them as basis for Malaysian nation-building

Just now, I made a proposal affecting the national level – that every Minister should declare support for the five Rukun Negara principles or he or she should resign as a Cabinet Minister forthwith.

Now, I wish to make a second proposal which primarily concerns Sabah.

On the occasion of the Malaysia Day, the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would be attending a Malaysia Day commemoration event entitled “Demi Mempertahankan Hak Kita” at Batu Sumpah, Keningau.

For close to half a century, except for one or two Sabah politicians, the Keningau Batu Sumpah had been completely forgotten whether by national or Sabah leaders, until I visited Keningau in March 2010 together with two DAP MPs, Teo Nie Ching and Lim Lip Eng and the then lone Sabah State Assemblyman Jimmy Wong.

Until then, I had never heard of the Keningau Batu Sumpah because no one ever raised it not even in Parliament by Sabah Members of Parliament.

The Keningau Batu Sumpah inscribed the historic guarantees given to Sabahans in the interior for Sabah’s joining in forming Malaysia in 1963 - about freedom of religion, that land will forever be a state matter and customary rights will forever be respected and safeguarded by the government.

After my March 2010 visit to the Keningau Batu Sumpah, it was clear that the solemn pledges laid out in the trinity of rights to Sabahans from the interior in exchange for the formation of Malaysia had not been honoured and fulfilled.

As a result, I became the first Member of Parliament to raise the Keningau Batu Sumpah issue in Parliament, and since then, DAP MPs from Sabah had consistently raised the issue.

We also launched a Batu Sumpah Awareness campaign, and Czech writer Milan Kundera’s famous quote “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” was most apt to use during the Batu Sumpah Awareness Campaign.

Today, we have an event of the Prime Minister himself attending a Keningau Batu Sumpah function on the occasion of this year’s Malaysia Day – a mark of the remarkable success which the DAP’s Batu Sumpah Awareness Campaign had achieved over the years.

However, the Prime Minister attending an event related to the Keningau Batu Sumpah’s three commitments of “Ugama Bebas Dalam Sabah”, “Tanah Tanah dalam Sabah di kuasai oleh Kerajaan Sabah” and “Adat Istiadat anak rayat Sabah dihormatkan dan dipelihara oleh Kerajaan” is not adequate.

I call on the Prime Minister to table the Keningau Batu Sumpah in the November meeting of Parliament and to introduce a motion to commit the government to recognise and fulfil the three pledges engraved on the Keningau Batu Sumpah.

Are the political parties, leaders and candidates contesting in the 16th Sabah state general election prepared to give their support to my proposal?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri