Take control of our own politics, Fuad Stephens’ daughter urges Sabahans

Fauziah visiting the memorial plaque with her friends.

KOTA KINABALU: A daughter of one of Sabah’s founding fathers has called for Sabahans to unite and take control of the state’s own politics.

Fauziah Mohd Fuad Stephens, daughter of the late Tun Fuad Stephens, gathered with her friends at the memorial plaque of the formation of Malaysia in Kudat district, as a tribute to her late father and his works.

On the plaque are etched the words “this is the memorial for the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963” written in the native Rungus language.

“We are gathered here today because it means so much to the family. My late father, Tun Fuad Stephens, was the first Chief Minister of Sabah (once called Negara Sabah),” she said in a statement on Sunday (Sept 18).

Fauziah, who is also the Kudat division vice-chief for Parti Warisan, said her father had once told them that self-government was a stepping stone towards independence through Malaysia.

“Here we are today, having our history written and rewritten. We have gone through a lot being in Malaysia,” she said.

She said Sabah lost its “Negara” title in 1976, and became part of the states in the federation of Malaysia as state number 12.

Fauziah said Sabah has been placed under “emergency law” for more than four decades, losing control over its own oil and resources.

“We even lost our free political institution. We are one step forward, two steps backward in our progress towards independence.

“We have unfinished business to attend to, so we urge Sabahans to unite and take control over our own politics,” she said.

Fauziah said that with her father’s advice of self-government as a stepping stone, it is time to step up and complete the process.

She said Sept 16 is Malaysia Day but there is no song of victory coming for them yet.

“Malaysia Day has always been a sad remembrance in our family. Today, witnessed by everyone here, we plan to make Malaysia Day a victory for Sabah worth celebrating,” she said.

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