Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sabah's Remarkble Transformation Through Malaysia

BERNAMA is a government mouthpiece. It tends to exaggerate the
achievements of the current BN government especially UMNO.

Statistics don't lie. Our salaries had not increased as much as our
neighbours especially Brunei and Indonesia. In fact, it had decreased
in many areas, taking into account the value of our currency.

In fact Brunei and Singapore never devalue their currencies like
Malaysia, while keep on increasing salaries, whereas in Sabah,
suppression of salaries and devaluations of currencies had made the
income of Sabahans to be 5 times less than Brunei. Indonesia salaries
had increased 300% in the last few years.

The facts are very clear, by 2006 Sabah has among the highest
incidence of poverty in the whole world. Sabah also has the highest
human trafficking cases in the whole world. All this accelerated
during the UMNO rule of Sabah, since 1994.

It is true that Sabah has improved, but at a much slower rate than
other regions included what used to be poor, such as Acheh, Rwanda,
Myanmar, Somalia, Darfur. As a result these regions had improved so
much while Sabah had not. The reason is vey clear.

The policy of the Federal government as state in the Newspaper article
by Taib Mahmud is very clear. Sabah and Sarawak had never been given
any priority in development because it is not cost effective. If this
is not very clear enough, there is now NO SPECIALIST HOSPITAL AT ALL,
in Sabah. Under PBS, the opposition, at least we had SMC, Sabah
Medical Centre. Even medical statistics is very sadly putting Sabah
among the poorest in the whole world. Even in Malaysia Sabah is far
far behing. No wonder, when it is the worst in the whole world.

If the Coal power plant were built, destroying our tourism industry
due to the destruction the environment, the contruction of the gas
pipelines across Sipitang, destroying livelihood of fishermen and tour
operators, while getting nothing for the gas itself, the FUTURE is
very DARK.

After all, it is very clearly stated in all government statements and
budgets. Sabah is not worth developing fast because it is never
economical, but its resources are worth sending to Malaya for free
despite the huge transportation and environmental costs, despite the
dire needs for Sabah. Sabah cannot even use the gas for themselves.
They had to import COAL at heavily subsidised prices.

Sabah's Remarkble Transformation Through Malaysia

By Emin Madi

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 19 (Bernama) -- When Donald Stephens, dressed in a
Kadazandusun traditional attire, read the proclamation of the
Federation of Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963, it was a highly meaningful and
exciting moment for the thousands of people at the Jesselton Town

Abdul Rahim Ismail was a form one student at Sabah College when he
witnessed the important event that not only marked the inauguration of
a new nation called Malaysia but officially confirmed Sabah's
participation in the federation.

"Although I knew what was going on but at that particular moment I did
not think much of the event's significance to my state as well as my
future," said Abdul Rahim.

The historical event at the town field now known as Padang Merdeka was
held in the presence of Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the deputy prime
minister then.

After the proclamation was read, (Tun) Datu Mustapha bin Datu Harun
was sworn in as Head of State and Donald Stephen (later to be known as
Tun Fuad Donald Stephen) as the Chief Minister of Sabah.

Looking back, Abdul Rahim, now a Datuk and a former state minister,
said being the son of a poor fisherman, there was nothing much to look
forward in life and he was unsure of his future.

"But independence has indeed brought new hope to the people of Sabah,
especially the poor like me.

"I am proud to say that what I have achieved today was the result of
Sabah's independence through Malaysia," said Abdul Rahim, who hails
from Kampung Buang Sayang, Papar.


Abdul Rahim who is currently the Chairman of the Fisheries Development
Authority (LKIM) pointed out that Sabah has undergone tremendous
transformation in terms of physical infrastructure and socio-economic
development since joining the federation.

"But the real transformation as far as Sabah is concerned is
undoubtedly after the Barisan Nasional (BN) took charge of the state,
where the Federal-State government working relationship improved
tremendously," he said.

"While Malaysians truly benefited from their new found freedom, some
countries were unfortunate because they were still troubled by
internal conflicts that led to bloodshed and civil wars even after

"I think we should never forget to tell our children and future
generation on the importance of appreciating our country's
independence," he said.

In echoing Abdul Rahim's views, Zaiton OKK Anik agreed that since
gaining independence through Malaysia 47 years ago Sabah has
practically transformed from an economic backwater into a vibrant,
united and progressive state.

"Now people can move freely and conveniently from one place to another
because of the availability of good road network throughout the state.

"You will also notice that even some remote areas in Sabah are now
provided with electricity, water supply, clinics and schools," the 59-
year former teacher said.

Zaiton, who attended secondary school in Keningau, said she was
particularly proud of Sabah's transformation in the field of
education, especially with the mushrooming of public and private
institutions of higher learning in the state.

"30 years ago or so, it was very costly for Sabahans to pursue studies
at universities in Peninsular due to many factors, including distance,
cost of air flights and accommodation," says Zaiton.

"But Sabah students now have the opportunity to pursue their studies
at local universities without having to go overseas," she said

Zaiton also believes that Sabah's rapid socio-economic development
under Malaysia is due to the sound management of its vast resources by
past and present leaders, especially under the BN government.

"In short, Sabah through the goodwill of state and federal leaders has
indeed gained a lot in terms of socio-economic development since
gaining independence and the people now enjoying better standard of


A young lawyer, Azman Ruslan, feels fortunate to learn of the
experiences of his parents who have lived during and after the
colonial era.

"It is even more fortunate for people of my generation because we have
everything on a silver platter as a result of the selfless struggles
of our past and present leaders.

"I therefore believe that we should not only play a role in
safeguarding the sovereignty of our nation but also teach the future
generation about the meaning and importance of independence," says
Azman, who was born in August, 1970.

Azman, who is also Sabah Umno Youth head, said it was therefore
imperative for the future generation to remember the history of our
country's independence as 'colonialisation' could repeat in different

While appreciative of Sabah's tremendous socio-economic achievement
under Malaysia, Jasni Matlani, a writer and head of the Badan Bahasa
Sabah (BAHASA), believes the struggle must continue in safeguarding
our sovereignty.

"Therefore I suggest that any form of activities that involve youths
must include programmes that inculcate the history of our nation's
independence as well as paying tribute to those who struggled for

"We also urge the government to consider setting up a special
allocation for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), especially the
literary and cultural bodies, to conduct youth programmes that create
awareness," he said.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Apin, a quantity surveyor, says those who have
inherited the colonialists' era robust thinking must consider
themselves lucky.

"We find that life in the challenging 21st century actually calls for
the rigid and disciplined leadership of the colonial era," he said.


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