Sabah leaders: We made right choice


KOTA KINABALU: Fifty years after the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963, Sabah leaders who were closely involved in the negotiations say they made the right choice in joining the federation.

The leaders believed that the decision to join the federation brought about much-needed security for the development of Sabah, considering that the state was ill-prepared for independence as Britain wanted to quit all its colonies.

Tan Sri Abdul Majid Khan, who was closely involved in the events leading to the formation of Malaysia when he was a personal assistant to the late Tun Fuad Stephens, said Sabah would not have been able to survive on its own as was viewed by the then expansionist Indonesia under President Sukarno.

Moreover, at the same time, Philippines, then led by President Diosdado Macapagal, also staked a claim on Sabah, he said.

Majid, who was a minister in the Berjaya-led state government (1976-85), was among four speakers – together with former chief ministers Tan Sri Peter Lo and Tan Sri Mohd Harris Salleh, and former federal minister Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Gilong – who shared their thoughts at a forum titled Formation of Malaysia – Sabah’s Untold Story organised by the Sabah Society on Wednesday evening here.

According to Majid, when the British told Fuad in 1960 that they were quitting all colonies, except for Hong Kong, Fuad met with key Sabah leaders, including Tun Mustapha Harun, to discuss Sabah’s future. At that time, Sabah had 300 graduates, consisting of two bumiputras, slightly over 100 Chinese, and the rest British and other expatriates.

“We were not ready when the British was pushing independence,” he said, while explaining that Tunku Abdul Rahman’s proposal for Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia in May 1961 slowly gained interest.

According to Harris, who was the secretary-general of Usno under Tun Mustapha, the safeguards for Sabah remained under the Constitution, and it was now up to the elected representatives in Parliament to uphold the interests of the state.

“Parliament is supreme. It is up to Sabah representatives to ask for things and to protect their people’s interest,” he added.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Government , Fuad Stephens , Malaysia

   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Nation

CRSM aims to raise RM500k to help 5,000 flood-hit families, says MCA Youth chief
Covid-19: One school each in Melaka, Terengganu temporarily closed
Saifuddin: RTM to set up special education TV channel
Penang firemen rescue girl, 3, after being trapped in a car
Deputy Foreign Minister donates 150k face masks to Bandar Tun Razak residents
Covid-19: 12 new clusters reported, seven linked to workplaces
Covid-19: Quarantined SPM, STPM students will be allowed to defer exams, says Education Ministry
Covid-19: 229 news cases in Sarawak, mostly in Sibu district
Medical student tests positive for Covid-19 in Melaka
Health Ministry sets up 213 Covid-19 assessment centres to help patients undergoing home treatment

Stories You'll Enjoy