June 7, 2015
The Sabah Earthquake- have we forgotten to mourn together as a nation?
by Din Merican
On September 16, 1963, 4 countries came together to form a new nation called the Federation of Malaysia. The 4 countries were Malaya (which was itself a federation of several states), Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. On August 9, 1965, Singapore declared her independence after she was expelled from of Malaysia leaving only 3 countries in the Federation.
Since her departure, Singapore has charted her own destiny and become the powerful and important city state financial centre that it is today. When her founder, Lee Kuan Yew died recently, the world stood at attention in respect of the man that had made Singapore what it is- a successful nation where everything works excellently.
The same success story could not be told of the 3 countries left in Malaysia. Economic blackmails by the Federal government under Barisan Nasional in order to have political dominance over the state governments became the way business is done.
In the end, the development of the states were sabotaged by the very central government that the people elected to bring them prosperity. It became worse when several states came under opposition rule.
Outright sabotage of these states’ development which were hostile, while outright bribery of the states that supported the central government. That is how Sabah and Sarawak have become to be regarded as the electoral fixed deposit boxes by the central government politicians in Malaya.
Thus, the resentment towards Orang Malaya continues in these two states. In the end, the politicians of these states too played the political blackmail game and demanded political bribes, sometimes for their states, but most times for themselves, as a condition for supporting the BN central government.
That is the sorry state of affairs we have today which is unashamedly declared by PM Najib in Sarawak recently when he said that he and his wife can sleep on the same pillow because the people of Sarawak support him.
Sabah has been infiltrated many times by Filipino bandits. In the recent Lahad Datu epsiode, Sabah was even invaded leading to the formation of Esscom which is supposed to ensure that the borders of Sabah, being the national borders of Malaysia will never be invaded again. But that was just an empty promise. Since then, more kidnappings have happened and Sabah remain ever exposed to invaders with the central government and military unable to do anything. Therein lies the broken promises that the Federation and the Federal Government made to Sabah which was never fulfilled.
The Federal Government could not and did not provide safety, peace and security to Sabah from foreign invaders. Sabah might as well have been part of the Philippines with such frequent incursions breaching it’s state borders. The Federal Government failed in that basic duty that it owed to a country in the Federation.
That is not all. The terrible disease that has struck our nation is symptomatic when Sabah suffered an earthquake just a few days ago. This was a natural disaster. There were deaths. The state is in mourning, but the Prime Minister did not go to Sabah. He has instead gone to Saudi Arabia to perform his umrah. Which is more important?
Yesterday was the Yang DiPertuan Agong’s birthday. There were celebrations and conferment of awards. Did the federal government and its ministers not think of the grief of Sabah? The Agong ‘s speech drafted by the federal government did not even mention Sabah’s disaster. A more appropriate action would be to cancel these celebrations and conferment of awards. But we did not do that.
If Sabah is an integral part of Malaysia, should we not abort all these ceremonies. Or have we simply forgotten to mourn together as a nation?