Sabah not on the right track if sitting on a time bomb!

By Daniel John

Former chief Minister and Sabah State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak, had said recently that he believes Sabah and Malaysia are on the right track to achieving state and national targets, and that to him Sabah has already seen tremendous developments “by leaps and bounds since independence,” and that “the federal allocations for Sabah and Sarawak… they are getting a bigger chunk of the federal fund. No one can deny this,” that the per capita income in the state has also increased and increasing and lifestyles have improved and that “we enjoy a peaceful and harmonious state that continues to progress at rapid pace,” he said.

Of course there have been a lot of changes after independence, but we must not look at what we have achieved only but what great developments we have missed because of mistakes we had committed and are still committing! If I were to elaborate on this point alone I could go on to fill up a few pages of this paper, even many books.

When I wrote my paper, “Shattered Hopes and Broken Dreams,” I listed a host of problems which had become cancerous for Sabah. Anyone wishing to have a copy of this paper can email me at danieljjambun@gmail.com. The issues are many, but let me just mention a few. By joining Malaysia in a hurry we have lost the right over a lot of things like revenue collection, which most of it now goes to Kuala Lumpur, and this is a violation of Point 11 of the 20 Points which says: “North Borneo should retain control of its own finance, development and tariff, and should have the right to work up its own taxation and to raise loans on its own credit.”

By looking at our potential oil revenue, Salleh cannot deny that we should now be richer than Brunei! Now there has been a discovery of a field with a stock of US500 billion worth of gas in Sabah waters, and the frustration is that it is even this will not be under our control. And what untold wealth have we lost because of the surrender of Block L and M – a surrender made without reference to the state cabinet and the federal cabinet? If we complain about Tan Sri Harris surrendering Labuan to KL without the people’s consent, imagine how much more we have lost with the loss of Block L and M! Tremendous development, my foot!

Salleh tries to downplay the seriousness of the illegals problem by saying there are needed in the plantation and construction sectors, as if we Sabahans are blind idiots who have never learned the truth about the whole rotten things about PTIs. The illegals are a massive problem which is threatening Sabah with the possibility of a reverse takeover and a drastic change in the demography of Sabah. Hundreds of thousands of them have become legal, are now already full-fledged new Bumiputeras of Malaysia because some leaders saw to it that they get Mykads. Many are still coming through our porous boundaries with ease. To come in and out of Sabah is so easy, without any fear of being caught. Just take a fishing boat out to sea and join a bigger boat to go to the Philippines waters which is a short distance away! And to come back, just do it vice versa, and the border police won’t even care! The refusal by UMNO to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry to solve it despite the many requests by BN local component parties can only be interpreted as caused by a hidden agenda to sabotage Sabah for the sake of political expedience.

The problem of the PTIs has become legendary and thanks to the works of Mutalib M. D. and Dr. Chong Eng Leong, we know this is not just a fourth-stage cancer. Sabah is sitting on this time bomb which is waiting to explode! And the federal government’s suspicious method of solving the problem with the 5P Registration method is not working. How many illegals have been sent home although we have registered hundreds of thousands of them?

What is going on behind it all? Why haven’t we heard anymore about it? Salleh cannot deny that the PTIs are still the mother of all problems in Sabah!

Sabah on the right track? After 48 years with BN, Sabah has become the poorest in Malaysia although it was endowed with rich natural resources.

What happened? Where have all the forests gone? Answer: To the casinos of Genting, Macau, Hong Kong and Manila.

Who got all the wealth of gold and other metals from the infamous Mamut Copper Mine?

Answer: The Japanese!

Who is reaping the majority share of the huge Sabah Forest Industries in Sipitang? The Indians, with Ballarpur Industries holding a superlion share of 97.8 percent since March 2007. (BPH is wholly owned by Ballarpur International Holdings NV, which in turn is owned by BILT (80%) and JP Morgan (20%).

We are surviving by importing 70% of our food supplies! So, I beg Salleh to explain what he means by “lifestyles have improved.”

Who owns lands in Sabah several times the size of Singapore and got it without state cabinet approval?

Answer: Felda. Who takes our income taxes, service taxes, parking offence compounds and penalties?

Answer: The Federal government, to the tune of around RM19 billion per year (for taxes only), and that calculates to about RM95 in five years. And how much were we allocated for development fund under the five-year 10th Malaysia Plan? RM9 billion with Sarawak and Sabah combined!

Datuk, are we on the right track? Over the last few years, especially after Umno took over Sabah in 1994, tens of thousands of Sabahan youths have gone to Singapore and the Peninsular to try to make decent livelihoods. We have a very high unemployment rate! A recent job fair organized by the government caused an embarrassment to the BN because tens of thousands came like hungry wolves trying to get only a few jobs. All those news about job creations and job offers, and blaming youths for being choosy are just propaganda and people are tired of it.

A hotel doorman in Kota Kinabalu makes about RM600, but if he did the same work in Kuala Lumpur he can make RM2,000 plus, even more in Singapore. Why? Because the economy of Sabah had long gone to the dogs!

We have a runaway inflation, which the BN keeps justifying as “tidak membebankan pengguna (not burdening the consumers).” People are suffering even with a salary of RM2,500, let alone those with less, and the worst affected are the kampung people who never get any salary raises because they have no salaries!

And yet they still have to pay for the higher petrol and cost of transport. Sabah’s GDP at 5% per annum is the lowest in the nation and we have been running on deficit budgets for the last 13 years! We are debt ridden! And with all these happening we don’t see any clear light at the end of the long dark tunnel.

We have been promised that poverty would be ended in Sabah by the end of last year. Instead the government found out there were even more poor people than they thought! We have been promised Sabah will achieve a developed status by 2015 but at the way things are going this is not going to happen, not even by 2020.

Salleh wants was to see Sabah become stronger economically, politically and culturally and staying within the federation. But with the strong economic colonialism of the Peninsular over Sabah, especially with the repressive cabotage policy in place and lack of Borneonization, how are we going to be economically stronger?

How do we become politically stronger with Umno controlling everything here? Does political strength mean Umno strength of control and dominance?

If even the local BN components are just stooges, what political strength for Sabah do we have? And about becoming culturally strong, what does that mean?

Even the Pesta Kaamatan is being controlled by Umno, even by leaders who have no KDM blood, to the point of excluding the Huguan Siou in the ceremonies! This talk about cultural development is all lies.

What is real is that the Malay supremacy is being applied in Sabah, with employments in the public sector  is biased to certain groups, so is that what Salleh means by Sabah becoming culturally strong?

We don’t need all these sweet talks which are made just for the sake of propaganda. What we need is solid results which can be backed up by real figures, and outputs and growths which we can feel in our stomachs.

DANIEL JOHN JAMBUN

Extracted from
http://wikisabah.blogspot.com/2011/09/sabah-not-on-right-track-if-sitting-on.html

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About Kinabalu

We are among the many Sabahan's who feels that we can make our country a better place to live than what it is today.

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